On Thursday, June 23rd, a number of Facing History staff based in New England had the rich opportunity to attend Melia Bensussen and Kirsten Greenidge’s riveting new play Common Ground Revisited at the Boston Center for the Arts. The play is a creative response to J. Anthony Lukas’ seminal book Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families which delivers what is often regarded as the definitive account of the contentious period in the 1970s in which busing was used as a strategy to drive school desegregation in Boston. Bensussen and Greenidge’s play thickens the plot considerably, however, as they deconstruct the book’s contents in real time—playing, replaying, and remixing scenes from the book.
In 2015 Facing History and Ourselves celebrated ten incredible years of Community Conversations, marking the decade with its first ever event in Boston.
Thanks to The Allstate Foundation’s sponsorship of Community Conversations, Facing History has been able to engage communities in difficult discussions around bigotry and hatred; work we’ve honed for nearly 40 years in classrooms around the globe. These free events spark respectful dialogue about pressing social issues and engage people from all different backgrounds to address racism, prejudice, and antisemitism. And in today’s world the need for unifying, understanding, and healing has never been greater.
From over 400 nominations, we selected 20 finalists from around the world for the 2014 Facing History Together Teacher Recognition Contest. Then you voted for the educator whose story and work inspired you most.
Today we are so thrilled to introduce you to our 2014 Facing History Together Teacher Recognition Contest winner Hayden Frederick-Clarke, the founding math teacher at Diploma Plus, a small learning community at Charlestown High School in Boston, Massachusetts. Frederick-Clarke will receive a $5,000 teaching grant to benefit his school and community, and to further his work as a great educator.
Facing History and Ourselves is saddened to note the passing of Thomas M. Menino, Boston's longest-serving mayor, at age 71. Mayor Menino was a champion for civic and educational equality, and a longtime supporter of Facing History.