Kaitlin Smith

Kaitlin Smith is a Marketing and Communications Writer for Facing History and Ourselves.

Recent Posts

10 Resources for Teaching Immigration

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 16, 2021

During the final week of July, Facing History will host Identity, Membership and Belonging: A Summit on Teaching Immigration featuring historian Dr. Erika Lee and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. Though registration for the summit is now full, we invite you to join us for two upcoming webinars on July 28th and 29th with Dr. Erika Lee and Jose Antonio Vargas, respectively.

Whether you are able to join us or not, all educators are welcome to take advantage of our growing library of curricular resources that help students understand key historical migrations, the impact of the policies surrounding them, contemporary migration issues shaping our world, and the ways that migration shapes individual and national identity.

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Topics: Immigration

5 Summer Audiobooks for Teachers

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 15, 2021

For many educators, summer offers a welcome break from the frenetic pace of the school year. But teacher professional development and summer fun aren’t mutually exclusive, and there are ways to squeeze in plenty of both before classes resume. With the rise of digital audiobooks and podcasts, it is easier than ever to build new skills and expose yourself to new ideas surrounding the theory and practice of teaching while, say, taking a leisurely walk on the beach, powering through an epic road trip, or even catching up on self-care at the gym.

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Topics: Reading List

6 Resources for Teaching Current Events

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 13, 2021

With the 24-hour news cycles that exist today, educators are faced with a challenging range of important topics to potentially address in the classroom, but actually teaching current events is easier said than done. From world-changing humanitarian situations to smaller developments unfolding at the level of one’s community, wading into these waters can be complicated, particularly without the support of best practices. How do we cultivate safe and brave spaces for our students and ourselves as we navigate the many issues of the day? And what does it look like to do this skillfully amidst the escalating culture wars that polarize discussion and the challenge of media literacy in a “post-truth” world?

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Topics: current events

Dr. Gholdy Muhammad on Cultivating Genius

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 9, 2021

When Nina Simone sang the uplifting lyrics of her song “Young, Gifted and Black” in 1970, she invited her listeners into a powerful way of re-envisioning Black excellence in themselves and Black people around them. But even half a century later, there are a host of barriers that continue to undermine the flourishing of Black excellence in educational settings.

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Topics: black history, literacy

Trans Youth Transforming Schools and Beyond

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 30, 2021

As Pride Month draws to a close, educators and school leaders have an opportunity to think about how to support and ally with LGBTQIA+ students more effectively all year long. But we must not forget that LGBTQIA+ youth are also powerful agents of change who are actually leading the way in many key arenas. This year, we are seeing a number of transgender youth standing up for equity, inclusion, and justice in powerful ways within and beyond their own school communities. 

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Topics: LGBTQ

Exploring Audre Lorde's Legacies

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 24, 2021

As we reflect upon various issues that figure in the lives of LGBTQIA+ people during Pride Month, it is also important to retain an understanding of the vastness and diversity of this community. Considering the impact of different dimensions of one’s identity—for example, sexual orientation, gender identity, racial identity, and class background—on one’s experience is crucial for gaining a meaningful understanding of one’s experiences. The complex connections between these various dimensions of identity is often described using the term “intersectionality.” Though it is not uncommon to encounter discussion of intersectionality in 2021, this was not always the case. One key figure who has left an indelible mark on intersectional thought and organizing is the Black lesbian scholar, feminist, mother, and poet Audre Lorde. Born in 1934, Lorde not only challenged her contemporaries to think about identity and politics intersectionally, but also challenged them to value the inner emotional landscape as a core resource in the work of liberation.

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Topics: LGBTQ, black history

10 Resources for Teaching LGBTQIA+ History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 22, 2021

Pride Month each June offers educators a reminder to center the histories and experiences of LGBTQIA+ people throughout the year. But knowing which resources may offer compelling points of entry for students is a more challenging matter. Consider this rich array of online exhibitions and primary resources from archives and historical societies to open and/or revitalize reflection in your classroom about the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people across space and time.

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Topics: LGBTQ

Reads for Juneteenth

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 17, 2021

Described as a second independence day, June 19th or Juneteenth marks the day that emancipation reached enslaved people in the furthest reaches of the American South. Though the Emancipation Proclamation established that all enslaved people held within the rebellious states were freed, plantation life continued as though no change had occurred in many parts of the slaveholding South until this day. And just yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill to make Juneteenth a legal public holiday. Juneteenth is a time to reflect upon this history, as well as the steps toward freedom that have been achieved and the forces that continue to undermine the freedom of African Americans.

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Topics: Reading List, black history

LGBTQIA+ Resources from Facing History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 16, 2021

It is Pride Month again this June and a great time for educators to ensure that LGBTQIA+ histories and experiences are centered throughout the year. Below are a number of Facing History resources that can help educators explore these themes with confidence and curiosity. These resources include on-demand webinars, exclusive expert interviews, classroom lessons, and reading lists for both adults and young people.

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Topics: LGBTQ

5 New YA Books with LGBTQIA+ Narrators

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 9, 2021

Pride Month has arrived and as schools wind down for the summer, it is a great opportunity for young people to dive into some new books that speak to the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people. Check out the following five new YA titles which address themes spanning activism, young love, school bullying, immigration, and navigating family relationships from the perspectives of a diverse array of LGBTQIA+ narrators.

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Topics: LGBTQ

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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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