Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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A Conversation with Dr. Kimberly Parker on Movements to Create More Readers

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on July 29, 2021

Laura Tavares, Facing History's Program Director for Organizational Learning and Thought Leadership, recently placed a piece on the School Library Journal website in which she interviews Dr. Kimberly Parker, cofounder of #DisruptTexts. #DisruptTexts is a "crowdsourced, grass roots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum." In this interview, they discuss the impact of Dr. Parker's early experiences on her educational vision, how educators can expand upon the literary canon when selecting texts, and how educators can help their students see themselves as readers. Below is an excerpt from the piece:

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Topics: ELA, Equity in Education

Embrace SEL and Trauma-Informed Teaching in 2021

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on July 27, 2021

As teachers prepare to head back to school this year, it is valuable to prepare for the level of trauma that individual teachers may be called upon to hold. The Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Resource Center indicates that trauma “results from exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being.” From the economic strain and complex traumas induced by the COVID-19 pandemic to those resulting from racist violence, students and teachers are returning to the classroom with a heavy emotional load. With all that educators will be asked help students face, it is a great time to cultivate a strong foundation of social-emotional learning (SEL) and trauma-informed teaching methodology. 

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Topics: SEL, Social-Emotional Learning, trauma

Growing Up Jewish in a Christian World

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on July 8, 2021

As acts of antisemitic violence have become more visible in the news in recent years in the United States, many non-Jewish people have begun to apprehend the extent of violence that continues to befall members of this community. Amid this awareness, we often hear less about the way that non-physical forms of violenceincluding words, symbols, and narratives that advance antisemitic hateare equally insidious and have a particularly corrosive impact on young Jewish people’s experiences, self-concepts, and sense of possibility.

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Topics: Antisemitism, Religious Tolerance, Jewish Education Program, Religion

How Do We Pursue Equity in Education? By Learning, Unlearning, and Muddling Through

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on July 2, 2021

Facing History's Chief Officer of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Steven Becton and Kaitlin Smith recently placed an article in the School Library Journal newsletter about the historical contexts that shape educational inequity and what it takes to disrupt it.

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Topics: Equity in Education

Responding to Contemporary Antisemitism in the Classroom

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on June 8, 2021

As the nation reacts to the wave of antisemitic attacks that have been occurring in cities across the country in recent weeks, educators have an opportunity to help students gain a deeper understanding of contemporary antisemitism. In these times, teachers can play a vital role in helping students and communities respond to acts of hate. 

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Topics: Antisemitism, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles

Reflections on Yom HaShoah

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on April 7, 2021

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is observed every April around the world. On this day, we remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the Jewish resistance that accompanied and followed these events. Today, we sit with the pain, suffering, and multigenerational trauma sustained by the six million victims and their families.

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behaviour

Combating the Erasure of API Experiences and Anti-API Violence

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on April 2, 2021

On Monday, March 29th, a Filipino woman was brutally attacked in New York City while bystanders, including security guards, looked on without intervening. On Tuesday, March 16th, six Asian Pacific Islander (API) women lost their lives in three consecutive shootings in the Atlanta area. Weeks earlier around Lunar New Year, a wave of xenophobic violence swept the San Francisco Bay Area, metro New York and other US cities where numerous API people were attacked and some lost their life. 

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Topics: Racism, Asian American and Pacific Islander History

Recommitting to Holocaust Education

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on January 27, 2021

As we observe Holocaust Remembrance Day this year, we find much reason to pause, mourn, and reflect. As the recent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol revealed, we are living amidst a climate of hate in this country that seems to grow more visible and pervasive with each passing day. During the invasion of the Capitol, we saw demonstrators present a whole array of white supremacist symbols ranging from Confederate flags to signs displaying hateful, racist language. Though much of the discussion that has followed the insurrection has explored the racism on display that day, it is also crucial that we examine the virulent antisemitism that was also present and that is fueled by the same white nationalist ideas.

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behaviour

Moving Forward, Looking Back: A Reading List

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on January 21, 2021

As we pass Inauguration Day, Americans are sitting with a great many feelings. Some may be moving forward with a sense of disappointment and uncertainty while others are basking in the sense of possibility that new beginnings provide. Irrespective of where we lie on this continuum, the events of the last year have revealed to all of us that our democracy is highly fragile and continued civic engagement is required to strengthen its functioning. But in order to move forward, we must be prepared to look backward and plumb the lessons of the past. 

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Topics: Reading List

Inauguration Day 2021: A Turning Point for the Ages

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on January 19, 2021

As we approach Inauguration Day on Wednesday, January 20th, we lie at the crossroads of progress and regress; of inclusive representative democracy and mob rule. With so much fear and uncertainty in the air, it is easy to forget the fact that we approach a significant national milestone this week.

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Topics: American History, black 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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