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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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

Taking School Online: A Teacher Checklist

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on March 23, 2020

The public health crisis posed by the COVID-19 outbreak has many schools rapidly shifting to online and distance learning. In these schools, educators are navigating new technologies and ways of teaching during an immensely challenging and uncertain time in our communities, when students’ (and teachers’ own) social-emotional needs are just as critical as academic goals. The resources below are designed to help teachers approach online learning with a focus on sustaining community, supporting students, and creating engaging, meaningful learning experiences. 

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Topics: Online Learning

Never Forget: How to Help Younger Generations Remember the Holocaust

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on April 26, 2018

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Holocaust education is lacking among younger generations. Some can't even identify what Auschwitz was. At Facing History, we've always known there is more to remembering the past than just reciting names and dates. There is an essential need to connect those details to the complex context in which they existed. The Holocaust did not just happen. Nor did other genocides before or after. Instead, they were built upon the steady unrest, hatred, and propaganda that culminated in the tragic loss of human lives. All were based on trivial characteristics deemed unworthy by a society. 

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Topics: Roger Brooks

Reflections on Student Activism After National Walkout Day

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on March 15, 2018

Yesterday we watched as thousands of students across the nation banded together in solidarity one month after the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead. As part of National Walkout Day, they flooded the streets with messages for elected officials: enough is enough. Something needs to change.

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Topics: current events

What Does it Mean to be American? 9 Quotes from Around the Country

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on February 27, 2018

"What does it mean to be American?" is a timely question amidst the immigration debate but it's also one the United States has been struggling with for years. In 2014, New York Times reporter Damien Cave traveled the length of highway I-35, which runs south to north through the middle of the United States, for his “The Way North” project. Along the way, he asked 35 people this question. In 1997, the PBS documentary, A More Perfect Union, addressed the same issue. The complexity of these answers over time still resonates today.

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Topics: Identity

When People Tell Me To Get Over Race, I Remember Elie Wiesel's Words

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on February 7, 2018

Sonari Glinton is a journalist who read Night as a young boy and went on to study with Elie Wiesel when he was a student at Boston University. In a 2016 essay written right after Wiesel's death, Glinton describes how he was first drawn to Night simply because it looked like a quick read for a book report he’d been assigned to write. He was surprised to discover that he identified with its protagonist, even though, as a black boy growing up in Chicago, he and Eliezer would seem to have little in common. Still, Glinton saw himself in Eliezer’s love of books and theology and his status as part of an out-group in his society. Eliezer’s sense of fragility and vulnerability felt familiar.

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Topics: Race and Membership

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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