Dr. Carol Anderson on Racial Justice and Voting

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on October 23, 2020

We recently sat down with Dr. Carol Andersonprofessor, historian, and National Book Critics Circle Award winner—to discuss the history of the struggle for African Americans' voting rights, as well as its continuing relevance to racial justice and democracy. Dr. Anderson is the author of numerous books including One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy. Below are excerpts from our conversation with Dr. Anderson, facilitated by Facing History’s Director of International Strategy, Dr. Karen Murphy.

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Topics: Democracy, Voting Rights, American History, black history

Meet the FH Alum Challenging Barriers to Voting Through Tech

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on October 20, 2020

In a recent interview, I had the opportunity to speak with Prince Taylor, alumnus of the Facing History School in New York City and team member at Politickinga mobile app that offers comprehensive, nonpartisan information designed to empower millennial voters to cast their ballots. In this interview, we discuss his work at Politicking, their work to counter voter suppression and/or barriers to voting, and how Facing History shaped Taylor’s professional trajectory. 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 system. 

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Topics: Voting Rights, Choosing to Participate, Alumni

The Rising Threat of Cyberbullying Amid COVID-19

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on October 16, 2020

Bullying remains one of the most intractable interpersonal problems facing young Americans across geographic, racial, and economic divides. StopBullying.gov reports that an alarming 20% of young people ages 12 to 18 experience bullying and it is for this reason that every October is National Bullying Prevention Montha time to draw greater attention to this epidemic of interpersonal violence, what drives it, and how to stop it. Major studies from the last three years showed that most bullying targeting young people occurred in school settingsa reality that has prompted onsite intervention efforts including mapping the zones in which bullying is most likely to occur. This and other school-based strategies have offered educators, parents, and students new tools for managing the crisis, but there is more to tackle than meets the eye. As schools take on hybrid and wholly remote learning models amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of cyberbullying has reached unprecedented heights.

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Topics: Bullying and Ostracism, Cyberbullying, Bullying, The BULLY Project

Young Poll Workers as Upstanders

Posted by Megan Barney on October 14, 2020

Across the United States, people are gearing up for Election Day on November 3, 2020 in the midst of continuing cultural, social, and political upheavals. As the nation continues to grapple with the enduring presence and lasting impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this election season looks different than those in the past. The debate over mail-in voting versus in-person voting continues and the emphasis on the need to keep everyone safe and healthy continues to hold public discourse. 

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Topics: Voting Rights, Upstanders

The Long Struggle for Indigenous Peoples' Day

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on October 9, 2020

For an increasing number of communities around the United States, October 12th is Indigenous Peoples’ Day—a holiday dedicated to highlighting the cultures and suppressed histories of indigenous peoples. This holiday emerged in an explicit challenge to the narratives that undergird Columbus Day—the federal holiday on the same date used to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ purported “discovery of America.” Columbus is among the historical figures denounced this year as a growing movement continues to surface the interconnected legacies of racism and colonialism in the United States. However, indigenous peoples have been calling for a reexamination of how we narrate our nation’s founding for decades through efforts including the campaign for an Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

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Topics: American History, Indigenous History, Native Americans

5 Ways to Ground Your Teaching in Equity and Justice

Posted by Rose Sadler on October 7, 2020

As many educators are teaching under extraordinarily challenging circumstances, we know that a central issue for educators is how to center equity and justice in their classrooms and schools. The long history of racism in education is still with us, and after a summer marked by racial violence, and an ongoing pandemic that is disproportionately impacting people of color, issues of equity and justice remain urgent and pressing.

If you are someone who is new to this work or if you are looking to recommit yourself to equity and justice, here are five ways to ground your teaching:

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Topics: Equity in Education

Pre-Election Reads

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on October 5, 2020

As we approach the November election in the United States, we find ourselves in a chaotic political landscape defined by an endless deluge of conflicting information and a sense of rising stakes across political camps. Amid this flurry of activity, it is easy to get lost in the unique features of this election and gloss over perennial issues that still warrant our attention. These include the long (and ongoing) fight to extend voting rights in this country, the hows and whys of casting one's ballot, and the various forces that keep people from voting. We also have an opportunity to think about the parallel roles that our young people can play in enhancing democratic processes that don't involve setting foot in the voting booth. The following five books released this year each cover important material on these themes and equip the reader with crucial information as we approach November. Below, the publisher of each book provides an overview of each title:

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Topics: Reading List

Reckoning With Our Past: The Legacy of Migration and Belonging in US History

Posted by Charles Thomas Lai FitzGibbon on October 3, 2020

Fifty-five years ago this October 3rd, at the base of the Statue of Liberty, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. “This bill is not a revolutionary bill,” explained Johnson. “It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives.” What it would do, he hoped, was eliminate the hypocrisy that had allowed the nation to embrace ideals of freedom and equality while sustaining discriminatory immigration policies that had effectively barred non-white migrants from entering the country for decades. 

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Topics: Immigration

Education Must Disrupt White Supremacy

Posted by Roger Brooks on October 2, 2020

At Facing History, we stand with educators who are working to disrupt rising white nationalism. 

Since the Unite the Right Rally of 2017 in Charlottesville, white nationalist groups have become increasingly visible on the national stage, deepening threats of racial and antisemitic violence across the country. Indeed, these threats are so severe that the Department of Homeland Security prepared draft reports (recently released to the press) indicating that “white supremacist extremists” currently pose the greatest terror threat to the nation.

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Topics: Antisemitism, Racism, white supremacy

Making Sense of the Debate: 6 Resources

Posted by Mary-Liz Murray on October 1, 2020

The history of debate and civil discourse between candidates running for political office in the United States has long been held up as a pillar of our elections process and our democracy. Typically used as a means to debate policy publicly, defend positions, and appeal to voters, debates bring candidates into the same space and ask them to adhere to a set of agreed upon rhetorical rules of engagement. As we approached the first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, many hoped for a sound policy discussion that would leave them with a strong sense of each candidates’ beliefs and positions. What we saw instead was a distressing abandonment of our accepted norms and expectations of civil discourse in favor of a confusing, hostile, and demoralizing exchange on the global stage.

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Topics: voting, civil discourse

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.


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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