STUDENT VOICES: "The Youth Movement Extends Beyond Gun violence"

Posted by Suraya Buffong on June 26, 2018

Students are the future. My generation has opinions, a voice and power at our fingertips.

We use social media, political protests and other methods to share our views with our peers and with anyone else who will listen.

We start movements and lead teach-ins. We use technology, our opportunities and our privileges to effect change in society.

The March for Our Lives protest against gun violence galvanized a population of young people to say #Enough and #NeverAgain to gun violence.

But the youth movement extends beyond gun violence.

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Topics: Student Voices

Go Behind the Scenes of This Year's Winning Student Essays!

Posted by Stacey Perlman on May 30, 2018

Facing History and Ourselves is proud to announce the three Upstander Scholarship winners of the 2018 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest! Thanks to a generous contribution by Holland & Knight, these three received $5,000 toward tuition fees for college. This year’s theme, which was connected to the documentary film, American Creed, asked students to tell a story that they believe shows the power of uniting people, building bridges, or orienting us to what we share and the common good.

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Topics: Student Voices

Celebrating LGBT Pride: Why I No Longer Hide My Rainbow

Posted by Charlie Kolodziej on June 7, 2017

June is LGBT Pride Month. To celebrate, we're featuring a student essay from Charlie Kolodziej who shared why he openly embraces his identity as a gay teenager. Out of over 5,200 submissions to the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, Kolodziej's essay was chosen as one of the three to receive a $5,000 Upstander Scholarship, thanks to the generosity of the Holland and Knight Charitable Foundation. Kolodziej's words reminds us about what it means to decide to not be afraid of showing who you are.

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Topics: Student Voices

Student Voice: The Power of Identity

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 1, 2017

Cicada Scott, the winner of last year's Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, wrote an eloquent essay about life as a non-binary gender teenIn light of recent news about the rollback of federal protection for transgender students, Cicada's reflection on the power of understanding one's own identity is more timely than ever. Read our Q&A with Cicada and check out this year's prompt for the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest. Submissions are open until March 15. Students and teachers will have the chance to win more than $25,000 in scholarships and awards.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Contests, Student Voices, Writing, LGBTQ

Asking Big Questions with the 2017 Student Essay Contest

Posted by Laura Tavares on February 6, 2017

I came to the teaching profession with big ambitions. Like many readers of this blog, I imagine, I’ve always loved learning, and I enjoy the effervescent and unpredictable company of kids. As a first-generation college graduate, I know firsthand how education can transform an individual’s life. But I also entered the classroom with the conviction that schools have a communal and civic purpose, too—that they are the root and heart of democratic societies.

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Topics: Contests, Student Voices, Writing, Holocaust

To Free a Mockingbird

Posted by Sam Kiss on October 6, 2016

To celebrate LGBTQ History Month this October, we are honoring voices like Sam Kiss'. His essay was a finalist in the 2016 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, which asked students to draw upon themes from Harper Lee's classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. He shared his personal story about what it was like to come out to his family as a transgender boy. 

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Student Voices, LGBTQ

StoryCorps’ Dave Isay: Show Gratitude by Listening

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on October 3, 2016

Imagine preserving the voices and stories of an entire generation over a single holiday weekend. For the second year in a row, Facing History and Ourselves is partnering with StoryCorps for The Great Thanksgiving Listen to accomplish just that. You can preserve history with us by uploading your own interview with an elder this year, and empowering your students to do the same, by using the free StoryCorps app. Visit thegreatlisten.org for more details about the project and to download the TGTL 2016 Teacher Toolkit.

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Topics: Student Voices, Memory, Identity, History, Community, David Isay, StoryCorps

How Samantha Power Inspired Me to be an Upstander

Posted by Yohara Molineros on September 23, 2016

There are more people displaced in the world today than at any time since the end of World War II. In May 2016, Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, shared this fact with dozens of New York City students, all immigrants, during a visit to Newcomers High School. By discussing the global refugee crisis with them, the ambassador hoped to inspire a sense of responsibility in students—to bridge the gap between us and them—and to empower them to take action. Hear how this visit inspired Yohara Molineros, one of those students. 

Teachers, make sure to check out Facing History's new lesson, Understanding the Global Refugee Crisis, which draws on readings and short videos from Ambassador Power's conversation. We provide essential materials, resources, and activities to explain and humanize a crisis that often feels too overwhelming to confront.

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Topics: Student Voices, Refugees, Refugee Crisis

Behind the Essay: A Q&A with Student Contest Winner Cicada Scott

Posted by Stacey Perlman on June 7, 2016

Cicada Scott, a senior from Manitou Springs, Colorado, received the $2,500 Benjamin B. Ferencz Upstander Award for the 2016 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest. To celebrate LGBT Pride Month in June, we go behind the scenes to learn more about what inspired Cicada to open up about being a non-binary gender teenager. Preferring pronouns like "them" and "they," Cicada describes non-binary as a "catchall category for people who are neither exclusively male or exclusively female."

After graduation, they plan to attend college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They are looking into studying robotics but are still deciding the right major. 

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Contests, Student Voices, Writing, LGBTQ

Vote Today! Help Us Choose This Year's Student Contest Winners!

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on April 18, 2016

We couldn’t believe it ourselves: Over 4,000 students entered our 2016 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest!

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Contests, Student Voices

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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