For the month of April, a large banner draped over the Bay Bridge draws the attention of 250,000 drivers to the Armenian Genocide each day. On my commute to work, I asked two passengers in my rideshare if they knew about the Armenian Genocide. Aside from stating that a genocide happened in 1915, neither could tell me what happened, who the Armenians were, or where Armenia is located.
In a recent interview, Facing History alumna Amal Altareb spoke about the impact of Facing History on her development as a Yemeni-American student activist and aspiring policymaker.
Altareb shared that she was born in California and lived there for a year before immigrating to her family’s native Yemen. She then lived there for 11 years until new professional opportunities and the political instability that followed the Arab Spring beckoned her family back to the U.S. For readers unfamiliar with this history, the Arab Spring refers to a wave political protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that swept the Middle East from 2010 to 2012.
"Thousands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers' eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson. These are truly scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history."
-Judge Fouad Riad after confirming the Srebrenica indictment of Mladic and Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic on 16 November 1995.
“Daddy - I don’t want to leave Europe, I love this house and I want to stay living here,” my six year old son, David, piped up whilst his Dad was watching the coverage of the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. We reassured him that leaving the EU didn’t actually mean physically going anywhere. However, had some of my children’s classmates expressed this anxiety, those words would have had a whole different weight to them. Some of their parents, as citizens of other countries within the EU, are struggling with what a ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean for their families.
As we approach the end of Women’s History Month, our mediascape has featured an array of stories—contemporary and historical—about women making history across the United States. But what about stories that are often not told?
Less reported are the experiences of Native American women whose stories remain relegated to the periphery. Underrepresented in national media coverage and often hidden from view on Indian Reservations, Native American women face unique assaults on their rights that are impossible to understand without examining the continuing violence perpetrated on Native Americans as a whole.
Facing History and Ourselves President and CEO, Roger Brooks, responded to the recent Christchurch mosque shootings on Cognoscenti today—the ideas and opinion page for WBUR, the Boston-based wing of NPR. In his piece, he reflects upon his exposure to antisemitism over the course of his upbringing and how this shapes his thinking about contemporary antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate. He also invites the reader to consider how education can be used to mitigate hatred and temper the threat of violence.
On Friday, March 15, 50 people were murdered in a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We mourn the victims, killed when they had come to pray in sacred spaces, and we are filled with sadness for those who have lost friends and loved ones. News of the horrific attacks has spread around the world, in many places emerging during the school day or just as students and teachers arrived in classrooms. Once again, as we all face news of devastating violence, educators have the added task of helping young people to process, understand, and reflect.
This March, Facing History and Ourselves is honored to celebrate Women’s History Month by highlighting courageous women and girls who have actively made history. We know you’re strapped for time as an educator, but fear not. Facing History has you covered for thoughtful, actionable teaching resources that will bring women’s history—and women’s leadership today—to life in your classroom all month long.
Topics: Women's History Month
A governor is revealed to have dressed up in blackface (at least once); an attorney general is shown to have done it, too; a senator is exposed as having edited a yearbook full of racist images and language; a team at Gucci apologizes for creating a balaclava sweater that evokes blackface.
As educators concerned about social justice, we know that black history ought to be central to any American history curriculum if we are to deliver the unadulterated truth of our nation’s past. But who defines black history and with what consequences?
Topics: black history