Remembering Toni Morrison

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on August 9, 2019

On August 5th in New York City, legendary writer, editor, and educator Toni Morrison died. As countless figures around the country reflect upon her legacy, we find an opportunity to consider her impact on American culture and the responsibilities of educators everywhere.

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Topics: Teaching, Race and Membership, Literature, black history

Engage! (ing) Summer Reads

Posted by Tracy O'Brien on June 13, 2019



Summer is a time for relaxation. However, many of us also seek books and stories that will immerse us in the experiences of others, or will help us stay engaged in making a better world. Here are six picks that will teach, challenge, and inspire us.

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Topics: Democracy, Immigration, Race and Membership, Holocaust Education, LGBTQ, Reading List

It Takes a Village: The Success of Brown v. Board

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 3, 2019

The recent 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Educationthe landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the policy of state-sanctioned segregation in public schoolsraised a number of vexing questions for those concerned with educational equity today. As a decades-old quagmire of competing interests sustains school segregation in many parts of the country, this anniversary reminds us that we must have all hands on deck in the continuing fight for educational equity.

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement, Democracy, Race and Membership, Jewish Education Program

Informed Choices for a Stronger Democracy

Posted by Karen Murphy on February 28, 2019

A governor is revealed to have dressed up in blackface (at least once); an attorney general is shown to have done it, too; a senator is exposed as having edited a yearbook full of racist images and language; a team at Gucci apologizes for creating a balaclava sweater that evokes blackface.

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Topics: Reconstruction, Race and Membership, black history

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

Where Do We Go From Here?: A Q&A With Journalist Jelani Cobb

Posted by Martha Park on December 6, 2017

As a high school student growing up in Memphis, Facing History and Ourselves helped me understand the history of my hometown. When I was a sophomore in high school on Facing History’s tour of major cities in the Civil Rights Movement, I could see how Memphis fit into the larger context of that history as it rippled through Alabama cities like Birmingham and Montgomery and in Little Rock, Arkansas. And through Facing History’s emphasis on upstanders, I saw how I had a part to play in my city’s future.

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Topics: Race and Membership

Build Relationships to Create Equity for Minority Students

Posted by Akisha R. Jones on August 21, 2017

Growing up, my favorite teacher, by far, was Mr. Collins, my AP calculus teacher at Huron High School. The class was tough — more than I thought I could handle. But Mr. Collins never let me fail. He made sure I was present and engaged, stayed with me after class when I needed extra help, and gave me rides home when necessary. I could laugh with Mr. Collins and I could cry with him. He was even in communication with my mother about my progress. Mr. Collins set high expectations for my success, and in the end, I passed the class — and the AP exam.

I was one of a handful of black students in the classroom, and Mr. Collins was white.

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Topics: Race and Membership

How The Legacy of Ell Persons Lives On With Michele Whitney

Posted by Michele Whitney on July 13, 2017

Last year I began a family history project as a way to distract myself from the grief of being an “adult orphan.” My dad passed away 13 years prior and my mom had recently passed away at the beginning of 2016. So much of my identity had been found in my parents, and now being alive without them both was very confusing. I found a unique solace in the research of my ancestors.

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Topics: Race and Membership

Memphis Students Unite Their Community 100 Years After A Lynching

Posted by Stacey Perlman on May 22, 2017

On May 21, 1917 thousands of people gathered in Memphis to watch the brutal lynching of Ell Persons. One hundred years later, this past Sunday, the student-led activist group, Students Uniting Memphis (SUM), gathered with 500 community members from all backgrounds to commemorate his life and bring awareness to the injustices that occur when we divide people into “us” vs. “them.”

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Topics: Race and Membership

Today's News, Tomorrow's History: Can Racism be Outlawed?

Posted by Monica Brady-Myerov on January 31, 2017

Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. We will take a look at the ways countries have tried to manage racism, especially in Brazil.

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Topics: News, Race and Membership, Journalism, Racism, Public Radio, Today's News Tomorrow's History, In the news, Listenwise

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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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