How Facing History Stirs the Call to Teach: An Alumna Interview

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 19, 2019

Formed in collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves in 2005, The Facing History School is a public high school deeply informed by Facing History pedagogy within the New York City Public Schools. In a recent interview, I spoke with Yenny Bautista—alumna and Fulbright English Teaching Fellow to Brazil—about how the Facing History experience stirred her call to teach.

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Topics: New York, Teachers, Alumni

Teaching LGBTQIA+ Students: Insights from Harvey Milk High School

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 28, 2019

Harvey Milk High School was the first high school in the world designed for LGBTQIA+ students when it opened in New York City in 1985. In a recent interview, I spoke with two Harvey Milk staff—clinical social worker Tanya Koifman and social studies teacher Natalie Velazquez—about some of the unique challenges facing LGBTQIA+ students today, the depth of resilience their students exhibit, and strategies educators can use to engage LGBTQIA+ students everywhere.

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Topics: New York, Teachers, LGBTQ

Remembering Stonewall on the 50th Anniversary

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 26, 2019


Widely considered the event that inaugurated the modern gay rights movement, this Friday, June 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Stonewall was the culmination of a number of efforts that had been bubbling just beyond public perception for decades and finally burst into view when a group of LGBTQ people facing ongoing police brutality and economic exploitation fought back at New York City’s Stonewall Inn.

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Topics: Memorials, New York, Universe of Obligation, Racism, LGBTQ

Education Week Highlights Facing History: Watch How One Educator Addresses Islamophobia in the Classroom

Posted by Daniel Braunfeld on March 3, 2016

What does Facing History look like in action? Look into Calee Prindle’s classroom and you’ll see it come to life. Calee is an English Language Arts teacher and an advisor at the Facing History School (FHS) in New York City. FHS is a founding member of The Facing History Innovative Schools Network – a connected group of more than 80 schools that embrace Facing History's core themes as essential to their mission.

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Topics: Classrooms, New York, Teaching, Facing History and Ourselves, Paris

Changing Lives and Honoring the Leaders Working for Justice

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on November 4, 2015

What do Facing History and Ourselves classrooms really accomplish? Where do our students go after graduation? And how does our approach actually change their lives? We find one answer in the story of a Dominican teenager who immigrated to New York City less than a decade ago. Luis Santos—like so many youth today—fled violent rioting in the streets of the Dominican Republic after it took the life of one of his best friends. Santos found himself attending the Facing History School in Hell's Kitchen, NYC.

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Topics: Students, New York, Teaching, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Bryan Stevenson

Intern Forges Sharing, Learning, and Communication with South African Students

Posted by Alexandra Gluckman on October 15, 2015

“In conversation, we were all able to see and understand circumstances beyond our own..."

In 2011, when I was 13 years old, my family and I traveled to South Africa. My dad was born and raised in Cape Town. In 1976, the Soweto Uprising and corrupt Apartheid government prompted his parents to move their family to Toronto, Canada. During our trip, I spent time in Khayelitsha, Langa, and Gugulethu, black townships near Cape Town, with children close to my age who shared many of my interests. I was struck by their harsh living conditions and bleak educational futures relative to my own. The connections I made inspired my desire to make a positive difference. But, at the time, I was in middle school and I had no clue how.   

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Topics: International, New York, South Africa, Shikaya, Intern, Learning

Can Gaming Spark Social Change?

Posted by Jessica Millstone on January 22, 2015

In the 21st century, it is almost as likely that a student will play a video game as watch television or read a book.

Indeed, the Pew Research Center estimates that 97% of teenagers (as well as 60% of adults, according to the Entertainment Software Association) regularly play video games. These numbers indicate that modern video games have huge potential for helping young people better understand their world, and can increase their empathy for those around them.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Events, Gaming, New York, Facing Technology

The Memories We Keep

Posted by Caren Osten on December 15, 2014

I remember sitting on my parents' bed one evening after dinner when I was seven years old, squeezing into a spot next to my older brother, Marc. In the coziness and safety of their room—walls clad in purple fabric and a white shag rug underfoot—my parents began to share their stories.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, New York, Identity, Facing History Together, Holocaust, Memoir, Facing History and Ourselves, Survivor Testimony

Honoring Upstanders

Posted by Julia Rappaport on November 6, 2014

Facing History and Ourselves in New York is celebrating its 21st annual benefit dinner tonight, and honoring individuals who are making a difference in their communities, and in the world, by speaking out against injustice and creating meaningful change.
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Topics: Classrooms, Student Voices, Choosing to Participate, Events, Human Rights, New York, Facing History Together, Upstanders, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers

Using Art, Literature, and Poetry to Study Untold Stories from History

Posted by Karen Scher on September 30, 2014

Forty-one years ago this month, a violent military coup in Chile led by Army Commander-in-Chief Augusto Pinochet overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically-elected government.

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Topics: Classrooms, Art, English Language Arts, Teaching Strategies, Democracy, Memory, Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, New York, Teaching, Identity, Holocaust, Genocide/Collective Violence, Teaching Resources, History

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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