2017-2018 Chronological Resources
(Key: E = Elementary, M = Middle, H = High, TR = Teacher Resources)
1 Mary “Mother” Jones, union organizer, born (1837-1930). Mary “Mother” Jones was a champion of the working class. She was an ardent campaigner for the United Mine Workers and helped coordinate major strikes. She founded the Social Democratic Party and helped found the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). She continued to fight for justice for working people until her death in 1930.
Mother Jones: Labor Leader (Graphic Biographies series). This graphic novel tells the story of Mary “Mother” Jones, a leading labor union and child labor activist in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (E, M) http://amzn.to/t3u38W
The Most Dangerous Woman in America? The Mock Trial of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, by ExplorePAhistory.com. This site contains a lesson plan in which students conduct a mock trial of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. The site also links to additional resources, including a PBS webisode on Jones. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/vm5kEs
1 130th anniversary of “Why Am I a Heathen?” Regarded by many as the “Chinese Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” for his activism in the Chinese American community, Wong Chin Foo published the essay, “Why Am I a Heathen?” Based on his work explaining Buddhist and Confucian ideals to American audiences and combatting the racist stereotype-driven view of Chinese immigrants as godless, the essay examines his rejection of Christian faith in favor of traditional Chinese beliefs.
Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, PBS curriculum and documentary. This documentary describes the ways the first arrivals from China in the 1840s, their descendants, and recent immigrants have “become American.” Facing History offers a teaching unit to accompany the film. (E, M, TR) http://to.pbs.org/MQcxL
3 40th anniversary of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Signed into law by President Carter, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act regulates the environmental impact of coal mining. It was the first federal act to acknowledge and address the impact of the coal mining industry on the environment.
Got Coal? Teaching About the Most Dangerous Rock in America, by Bill Bigelow. This teaching activity gives students the opportunity to play and analyze a game created by The American Coal Foundation. Students will also write from different perspectives and watch excerpts from films to expand their knowledge of coal mining and think critically about the industry’s motives and goals. (TR) http://bit.ly/2n9WMxu
4 40th anniversary of the International Hotel Eviction. After years battling eviction, a San Francisco community of mostly low-income Filipino and Chinese senior tenants at the I-Hotel were forced out of their homes by riot-equipped police to make room for a parking garage. Today, a new I-Hotel sits on the property with low-income apartments for seniors, thanks to continued activism to preserve culture and to advocate for fair housing.
Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel/Si Lakas at ang Makibaka Hotel, by Anthony Robles. This English/Tagalog bilingual picture book begins with a note from the author about his Filipino grandparents, who came to the US as farm workers and brought Makibaka, the spirit “of struggle, of love, and of laughter” with them. The book tells the story of a contemporary boy who organizes his community to resist gentrification. (E) http://bit.ly/KYQR68
6 Hiroshima Day. This annual observance is held to remember the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
WWII: The Pacific, by Marilyn Fenichel, Discovery Education. Students study WWII in depth and engage in analysis and debate on whether the use of nuclear bombs was the best way to end the war. (H) http://bit.ly/aiLc06
7 40th anniversary of the Abalone Alliance protest at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Named for the California Red Abalone killed by the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant’s first hot flush, the Abalone Alliance began protesting the nuclear plant on the grounds that it was an environmental hazard and a danger to neighboring children and families. Forty-seven people were arrested; 1,500 people rallied nearby to support the cause. The following year, 487 people were arrested and 5,000 rallied in support.
Nuclear Weapons: What Should Our Policy Be?, by The Choices Program. This unit engages students to consider a balanced range of views on the questions that surround the future of nuclear weapons. The material in this 2-day lesson is drawn from a larger curriculum called “The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons.” (H) http://bit.ly/uIMKs0
9 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous people around the world are dispossessed of their land and resources, discriminated against and denied basic human rights. On this day, these conditions are acknowledged as challenges to be resolved by all people, and the richness of indigenous cultures is celebrated.
An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples, and reveals how Native Americans actively resisted expansion of the US empire for centuries. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2iunON4
Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline, by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Bill Bigelow and Andrew Duden. This role play helps students recognize the issues at stake in the historic struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2j9JkW3
9 10th anniversary of the first American presidential forum on LGBT rights. Although none of the Republican presidential candidates agreed to participate, six Democratic candidates, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, participated in this forum, sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT advocacy group in the US. The event was hosted by the Logo channel, which is owned by Viacom and which originally focused on LGBT issues.
Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism, edited by Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz. Essays chronicling the experiences of 14 Latinx LGBT activists present a new perspective on the often marginalized history of their work in the last three decades of the twentieth century. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2kKgIp8
12 International Youth Day. This UN holiday recognizes efforts of the world’s youth to change global society for the better, and promotes ways to engage their active involvement in making positive contributions to their communities.
The Kid’s Guide to Social Action, by Barbara A. Lewis. This five-part book gives elementary and middle school students the tools and knowledge they need to take action on issues they care about. A summary of the book and activity suggestions for its use in the classroom can be found on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/KiWXiH
14 Jayanti (Hinduism). Krishna is believed to be the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, and this Hindu celebration of Krishna’s birth is observed by fasting, praying and singing, dancing, and staying up until midnight to exchange gifts. In temples and homes, images of Krishna’s infancy are placed in swings and cradles.
My Hindu Year (A Year of Religious Festivals), by Cath Senker. This children’s book explores events, customs and celebrations in which Hindu children participate throughout the calendar year. Readers can also look inside an 8-year-old Hindu boy’s diary to learn what it’s like to experience the different events. (E) http://amzn.to/Rfiery
15 70th Anniversary of the Indian Independence Act. Ending 200 years of British colonization, the Indian Independence Act created the sovereign nations of India and Pakistan. Although ending a prolonged fight for independence from British rule, this decision forced the migration of millions of Hindus and Sikhs to India and millions of Muslims to Pakistan. It also marked the beginning of years of violence between Muslims and Hindus in this region of the world.
Chachaji’s Cup, by Uma Krishnaswami. Neel loves listening to his grandfather’s tales of great Hindu gods and demons and of his adventures in the Indian Army. But it is the tale of his favorite teacup that teaches Neel the most, for Chachaji’s cup holds far more than sweet, spicy masala chai. A powerful double-page spread addresses the partition of India and the resulting migration. (E, M) Link to the book: http://amzn.to/2ixn7Ep; link to a video of the author explaining the impetus for the book: http://bit.ly/2k0NX8e
16 40th anniversary of Richards v USTA. After undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 1975, ophthalmologist and professional tennis player Renee Richards was banned from competing in the women’s US Open because of a “women-born-women” rule. Richards challenged the decision; in 1977, a New York court ruled in her favor. In his decision, Judge Ascione wrote, “this person is now a female.”
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin. This groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love and struggles of transgender teens. Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults, and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2suUkUW
Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen, by Arin Andrews. Seventeen-year-old Arin shares all the hilarious, painful and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this first-of-its-kind memoir. This edition includes a reading group guide and an all-new afterword by the author. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2kHUxPX
17 Marcus Garvey, civil rights activist, born (1887-1940). Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), the largest secular African American organization in history. A Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist, he sought to unite all people of African descent and aimed to build modern societies in Africa through trade between Black businesses in Africa and the Americas.
Marcus Garvey Lesson Plan, by Stanford History Education Group. Lesson plan on the central historical question: why was Marcus Garvey a controversial figure? Includes links to videos and relevant primary documents. (H) http://stanford.io/2kzWag1
21 Serj Tankian, Armenian American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet and political activist, born (1967). Serj Tankian co-founded the nonprofit Axis of Justice, a collaboration of musicians, fans and grassroots political organizations fighting for social justice. Some of his key causes include human rights, Armenian Genocide recognition, environmental issues and animal protection.
Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, by Karnig Panian. Panian’s memoir is a full-throated story of loss, resistance and survival, but is told without bitterness or sentimentality. His story shows us how even young children recognize injustice and can organize against it; how they can form a sense of identity that they will fight to maintain. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2lFpvGK
23 90th anniversary of the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Anarchists and Italian-born immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted of armed robbery and murder, despite a lack of evidence against them. Ignoring national and international protests and the fact that another man claimed responsibility for the crime, the Supreme Court refused to overturn their convictions, and the two men were executed in Boston. In 1977, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis posthumously granted them pardons, citing the unjust treatment they had received.
The Meaning of Sacco and Vanzetti, by Howard Zinn. On November 7, 2008, Howard Zinn gave a 35-minute lecture on “The Meaning of Sacco and Vanzetti” at the Dante Alighieri Society Italian Cultural Center in Cambridge, MA. In his lecture, Zinn explained the relevance of the Sacco and Vanzetti case for America today. (M, H, TR) Download the video from the Zinn Education site: http://bit.ly/2iMMHo8
23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. In 1791, enslaved African men and women staged a revolt in current-day Haiti, demanding freedom and independence. This uprising was a turning point in human history and is marked by UNESCO as an official day to pay tribute to those who fought for freedom and to inspire all peoples of the world to fight against servitude, racism, prejudice, racial discrimination and social injustice.
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database and Lesson Plans, by Voyages. A dedicated team of teachers and curriculum developers from around the US developed lesson plans to present the transatlantic slave trade database to a broader audience, particularly grade 6-12 students. These lessons allow students to engage the history and legacy of the Atlantic slave trade in diverse and meaningful ways. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1SlotMh
13 Honest Books About Slavery Young People Should Actually Read, by Claire Fallon. A handful of picture book recommendations for children that treat the subject of slavery honestly and appropriately. (E) http://huff.to/1OE3Jde
24 50th anniversary of the Youth International Party’s disruption of the New York Stock Exchange. Described by some as “guerilla theater,” Abbie Hoffman’s Youth International Party (also called “Yippies”) threw dollar bills from the gallery of the New York Stock exchange onto the trading floor below. Trading was disrupted for six minutes while traders scrambled for the cash and security guards removed the group from the building. Told the act was illegal, Hoffman replied, “What do you mean? People throw away money all the time here!”
Guerilla Theater, a Documentary, by the EastSide Arts Alliance. A brief history (11 min.) of guerrilla theater in American political movements. A profile of EastSide Arts Alliance’s theater program and their partnership with Mujeres Unidas y Activas in the domestic workers’ bill of rights campaign. Members of MUA use theater in their fight for basic workers’ rights. (H) http://bit.ly/2klsna1
26 Yun Posun, Korean independence activist and politician, born (1897-1990). Known as the “father of the modern democratic movement” in Korea, Yun Posun held several government positions following World War II, but quickly became disaffected by the authoritarian rule and corruption. He won election as Korea’s President in 1960, but resigned in 1962 after a military coup. He was imprisoned several times for his outspoken opposition to the government.
My Name is Yoon, by Helen Recorvits. This picture book is about a Korean girl who has difficulty adjusting to her new life in America. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://amzn.to/22B02f5
29 Temple Grandin, professor of animal science and autism advocate, born (1947). Challenging stereotypes about the autistic, Temple Grandin excelled academically, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Animal Science. She developed a system for more humane treatment of animals in slaughterhouses, revolutionizing the industry. Grandin is an outspoken advocate for early intervention for children with autism and is a proponent of neurodiversity.
Temple Grandin. This movie was shown on HBO as a mini-series. It chronicles the life of Temple Grandin, a woman with autism, who revolutionized livestock handling in the USA and has written several books about her life with autism. (M, H) http://itsh.bo/bmNqNc
I’m Here, by Peter Reynolds and SARRC (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center). This short film, based on an original story and art by Peter H. Reynolds, and produced by FableVision, movingly conveys the loneliness that a child on the autism spectrum often experiences, and the life-changing impact each of us can have when we reach out and embrace them. (E)http://bit.ly/2jUTt8m
29 150th anniversary of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs’s speech to the Congress of German Jurists. In 1867, Ulrichs, speaking in Munich on behalf of a resolution urging the repeal of anti-homosexuality laws, became the first self-proclaimed homosexual to speak out publicly for homosexual rights.
Gay-Themed Picture Books for Children, by Patricia A. Sarles. This blog includes a significant number of books that feature people who identify as transgender and children who are exploring gender identity. Many themes are addressed, but the link will take you directly to the tab labeled “trans people.” (E, M) http://bit.ly/KFflTB
30 50th anniversary of Thurgood Marshall’s appointment to the US Supreme Court. The first African American to sit on the Supreme Court, Marshall opposed discrimination and the death penalty, and championed free speech and civil liberties. Before joining the Supreme Court, Marshall served as the NAACP chief counsel, and played a key role in successfully arguing the case of Brown v Board of Education.
Thurgood Marshall: A Teacher’s Guide, by Isela Pena. Background information, annotated bibliography and recommendations for teachers of linked resources and lesson plans. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1UQ4nup
1 50th anniversary of the publication of El Grito. El Grito: A Journal of Contemporary Mexican-American Thought was published by Quinto Sol, the first fully independent publishing company to come out of the Chicano movement. The company provided a place for many Chicano writers, thinkers and artists to narrate their own stories, which was vital for the Chicano movement in the 1970s.
¡Viva la Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History, by the Southwest Organizing Project and Collision Course Video Productions. Based on the book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martínez, this two-part video in English offers a compelling introduction to the history of Mexican American people. (M, H) http://amzn.to/XhUqfa
2 Eid al-Adha begins at sunset 9/1 (Islam). Eid al-Adha (“Sacrifice Feast”) is a Muslim holiday commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son. Satisfied with Ibrahim’s devotion, God accepted a sacrificial animal in place of the son. The Muslim tradition of charity and care for the poor has roots in this tradition, as the sacrificed animal (holiday meal) is shared equally among the family, their friends and relatives, and the poor.
The Best Eid Ever, by Asma Mobin-Uddin. During Eid, Aneesa is sad that her parents are thousands of miles away for the Hajj pilgrimage until her grandmother gives her a beautiful gift that comes in handy when she meets two sisters who are refugees and in need of her help. (E) http://bit.ly/2rnNzVl
The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta, by Fatima Sharafeddine. In 1325, when Ibn Battuta was just 21 years old, he bid farewell to his parents in Tangier, Morocco, and embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca. It was 30 years before he returned home, having seen much of the world. In this book he recalls his amazing journey and the fascinating people, cultures and places he encountered. (E) http://bit.ly/1SzOHet
2 50th anniversary of the first publication of The Advocate. The Advocate is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to LGBT news, politics and culture. It is the largest and oldest publication serving the LGBT community in the United States.
Popular Education: LGBT Issues, by Californians for Justice. This workshop helps participants break down the idea of a gender binary, understand the connection between sexism and heterosexism/transphobia, and gain a deeper understanding of transgender issues. The materials are free, but you must register at www.buildthewheel.org to access them. (H) http://bit.ly/2nnxMmU
4 Labor Day
What Rights Do We Have?, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. A teaching activity that provides teachers with five units centered around labor movements, history and rights. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1kaTKy8
4 110th anniversary of the Bellingham riots. With tacit approval of the police, a mob of White men attacked East Indian employees of local mills, beating and robbing them and driving them into the streets. The perpetrators were never prosecuted. One hundred years later, in 2007, the Mayor of Bellingham acknowledged the state’s responsibility for the violence, and pronounced this date a “Day of Healing and Reconciliation.”
The Knotted Line, by Evan Bissell. This is an interactive, hands-on laboratory for exploring the historical relationship between freedom and confinement in the United States. With miniature paintings of over 50 historical moments from 1495 to 2025, The Knotted Line asks: how is freedom measured? It also imagines a new world through the work of grassroots movements for self-determination. Curriculum guide for teachers included. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1QO2Zc3
5 140th anniversary of the assassination of Chief Crazy Horse. Chief Crazy Horse was a Native American freedom fighter, who was a leader in the Battle of Little Bighorn, one of the US Army’s most ignominious defeats at the hands of Native American resisters. Pursued by the US military, the Sioux were outnumbered and suffering from inclement weather and starvation. Crazy Horse surrendered, and was murdered by a US soldier at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, by Joseph Marshall III. Jimmy McClean is a Lakota boy. When he embarks on a journey with his grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, he learns more and more about his Lakota heritage – in particular, the story of Crazy Horse, one of the most important figures in Lakota and American history. Drawing references and inspiration from the oral stories of the Lakota tradition, the author juxtaposes the contemporary story of Jimmy with an insider’s perspective on the life of Tasunke Witko, better known as Crazy Horse. (M) http://bit.ly/2mwyCZY
7 Jacob Lawrence, African American artist, born (1917-2000). Lawrence painted in a style called “social realism,” in which he portrayed poverty, racism, injustice and police brutality. Throughout the Civil Rights Movement, he painted marches, meetings, interracial marriages and battles with police. One of his best-known works is a series of paintings called “The Migration Series,” in which he depicts the historical movement of African Americans from the South to the North.
Story Painter: The Life of Jacob Lawrence, by John Duggleby. The paintings of Jacob Lawrence tell stories – stories of enslavement and freedom, of human migration and renaissance, of struggle and triumph. A collection of his stunning paintings provides the backdrop for this exceptional biography, which tells the story of one of our finest living painters. With over 25 full-color reproductions and an insightful glossary, not only is this an easy-to-read, engaging biography, it’s also an excellent starting point for discussions about American history. (E, M) http://amzn.to/2k9ymjx
Educational Resources on Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, by the Phillips Collection. As part of the Phillips Collection’s commitment to sharing and expanding Jacob Lawrence’s legacy and achievements with broad and diverse audiences, the museum has produced interactive features based on and inspired by the artist’s extraordinary work. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2jFS85M
8 International Literacy Day. International Literacy Day gives children and communities a chance to rediscover the joys of reading while raising awareness about those without access to education.
Flying Lessons & Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh. In partnership with #WeNeedDiverseBooks, this is a collection of short stories from an impressive group of authors of Color, on themes ranging from basketball dreams to first crushes. The diverse stories celebrate the uniqueness and universality in all of us. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2kkCmgj
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance, by Nikki Grimes. In this collection of poetry, Grimes takes a new look at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using “The Golden Shovel” poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking. Original artwork in full color from some of today’s most exciting African American illustrators is also included. (E, M, H) http://amzn.to/2jK1j5x
9 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Though fairly watered down, the 1957 Civil Rights Act was the first legislation to protect civil rights since post-Civil War Reconstruction. The Act established the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, and empowered federal officials to prosecute individuals who conspired to deny or abridge another citizen’s right to vote. It also established a Commission on Civil Rights charged with investigating allegations of voter infringement.
Race and Voting in the Segregated South, by The Constitutional Rights Foundation. This site offers the history of race and voting in the segregated South through the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and describes how “grandfather clauses” disenfranchised Black voters. Ideas for discussion, writing, further reading and classroom activities are also offered. (H) http://bit.ly/18kxLwd
12 40th anniversary of the murder of Steve Biko. Steve Bantu Biko (1946–1977) was the leader of the student-led Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, and a deeply influential young anti-apartheid activist engaging the urban Black poor. Biko died as a direct result of an extended period of torture while in the custody of security forces.
South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy. This website presents first-hand accounts of the anti-apartheid movement. It includes interviews with South African activists, raw video footage documenting mass resistance and police repression, historical documents, and suggestions for teachers. (H) http://bit.ly/rvUu4V
The Apartheid Museum. The Apartheid Museum in South Africa hosts an online exhibition with educational resources for teaching about the history and legacy of apartheid. (M, H) http://bit.ly/12HQ1jN
13 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples.
Standing Tall at Standing Rock, by Ayşe Gürsöz. It was young people who launched the #NoDAPL movement to stop construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe land. Here are some of their stories captured at the Oceti Sakowin camp by digital storyteller Ayşe Gürsöz, from September 16 to September 21, 2016. Site includes photographs of the young people along with quotes and short narratives. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2k30B6I
15 First day of Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Latino Heritage: A Discussion Activity, by Teaching Tolerance. A compilation of essays, lessons, videos and activities to help students gain a deeper understanding of past and present struggles for Latino civil rights. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1kHi3b3
The Girl from Chimel, by Rigoberta Menchu and Dante Liano. Before the 36-year war in Guatemala, despite the hardships the Maya people had endured since the time of the Conquest, life in their highland villages had a beauty and integrity that were changed forever by the conflict and brutal genocide that were to come. Menchu’s stories of her grandparents and parents, of the natural world that surrounded her as a young girl, and her retelling of the stories that she was told, present a rich, humorous and engaging picture of that lost world. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1QM9abk
Yes! We Are Latinos: Poems and Prose about the Latino Experience, by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. Thirteen young people living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latinx experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each young person provide stories about the quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character’s background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2skC3tg
16 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This is the only international treaty with universal ratification – all 197 UN members have agreed to the legally-binding requirements to phase out ozone-depleting substances. A unique feature of the Montreal Protocol is a provision that enables quick responses to new scientific information, which increases the likelihood of agreement to accelerate the reduction of harmful substances.
This Is My Planet: The Kids’ Guide to Global Warming, by Jan Thornhill. The book takes a comprehensive look at climate change, beginning with basic information about how the planet works and moving through an in-depth look at human societies and three specific environments – polar, ocean and land. (E, M) http://amzn.to/2soVyBM
16 Mexican Independence Day. Otherwise known as El Grito, on this day Mexicans celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain.
El Grito: A Lesson Plan, by Patricia Schwarz. In this elementary-middle school lesson plan, students read a book written by students (El Grito) to learn the story of Mexico’s fight for independence. Vocabulary activities, extension activities, links to build background information and other resources are included. (TR) http://bit.ly/1cNPPpp
18 80th anniversary of the publication of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Of Hurston’s many literary and academic works, this novel is her best known, and is regarded as a seminal work in both African American and women’s literature. The novel addresses a range of themes from love and marriage to speech and silence, and gender roles – informed in large part by Hurston’s own experiences as a Black woman.
Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree, by William Miller, Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Based on the autobiographical writings of acclaimed novelist Zora Neale Hurston, this book tells the “poignant saga of how one of our most significant storytellers learned to dream.” (E) http://bit.ly/Jun2Yn Teachers Guide: http://bit.ly/2ekve4K
Zora and Me, by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon. A fictionalization of the early years of Hurston, the literary giant, this astonishing novel for middle-schoolers is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself. It’s a coming-of-age story set in Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn’t merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love and pride. (M) http://bit.ly/2nAHlv6
20 280th anniversary of the “Walking Purchase”. In yet another example of White settlers defrauding Native Americans of their land, the Walking Purchase was an alleged treaty agreed by William Penn and the Delaware (Lenape) tribe in 1686, though its legitimacy was disputed. Penn’s son managed to wrest 1.2 million acres of land from the Delaware tribe, pushing them onto land that was of little value.
When the Shadbush Blooms, by Carla Messinger. A young Lenni Lenape girl travels through the seasons, dreaming of her great-great-grandmother’s life, planting seeds, picking berries, playing in fallen leaves and romping in the snow. Told from the viewpoints of Traditional Sister and Contemporary Sister, each from her own time, this is a book about tradition and change. (E) http://bit.ly/2mwibx9
20 10th anniversary of the Jena 6 protests. The Jena 6 were six Black teenagers charged with attempted murder in Jena, Louisiana, after they jumped a White student they thought had participated in hanging nooses from a tree in the schoolyard. The case came to symbolize the unfair treatment of Black people in the US justice system. Between 15,000 and 20,000 protestors marched in Jena to protest the excessive charges, and related protests were held in other US cities the same day. The charges were reduced in response to these demonstrations.
Revealing Racist Roots: The 3 R’s for Teaching About the Jena 6, by TAG- National Teacher Activist Groups. RRR is a collection of resources and lesson ideas aimed at helping teachers and students understand contemporary racial conflict by placing the case of the Jena 6 within a historical framework. Created during the national protests in 2007, teacher activists from across the country collaborated on the guide. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2jedDhc
Racism of Mass Incarceration, Visualized, by Bruce Western, The Atlantic. In this animated interview, sociologist Bruce Western explains the current inevitability of prison for certain demographics of young Black men and how it’s become a normal life event. “We’ve chosen the response of the deprivation of liberty for a historically aggrieved group, whose liberty in the United States was never firmly established to begin with,” Western says. (M, H) http://theatln.tc/2mTgcaf
21 Muharram begins at sunset 9/20 (Islam). Muharram is the beginning of the first lunar month of the Islamic calendar. It is often considered the second holiest month, after Ramadan.
My Name is Bilal, by Asma Mobin-Uddin. In this book, Bilal feels the need to hide his Muslim religion for fear he will be teased by other students. (E) http://bit.ly/w4nStZ
Salaam – A Muslim American Boy’s Story, by Trish Brown. This is a biography about a Muslim American boy named Imran, who likes to do the same things that most children his age enjoy. Not everyone understands what it means to be Muslim, and through his story, Imran shows that Muslims strive to be good people, just like those of other faiths do. (E) http://bit.ly/tBgIH7
21 Rosh Hashanah (begins the evening of 9/20, ends 9/22; Judaism). Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.
Apples and Pomegranates: A Rosh Hashanah Seder, by Rahel Musleah. This children’s book acts as a guidebook for celebrating the Jewish New Year. Traditional foods and the sequence in which they are eaten are described. Each chapter includes the history of the food, an activity, recipes and more. (E) http://bit.ly/TG0KUy
21 First day of Navaratri (Hinduism). Navaratri is a 9-night festival of worship and dance that honors Mother Goddess in all her manifestations.
The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow, by Sanjay Patel. Pixar animator and Academy Award-nominated director Sanjay Patel (Sanjay’s Super Team) brings to life Hinduism’s most important gods and goddesses (and one sacred stone) in fun, full-color illustrations, each accompanied by a short, lively profile. (E) http://amzn.to/2lGRKac
22 World Carfree Day. Each year, people around the world organize events to showcase alternatives to the automobile. The day was created in 2000 by Car Busters.
Fueling Our Future, by Facing the Future. Students compare energy use and CO2 emissions in the US and China (and optionally in another country). They research energy impacts and sustainable energy solutions, write a resolution, and stage a mock “World Energy Summit.” (M, H) http://bit.ly/1YOJyze
25 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine’s first day of school. The Little Rock Nine was a group of Black students who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Thwarted by violent White mobs and National Guard troops positioned to prevent them from entering, President Eisenhower ordered paratroopers to protect them. The students faced continued harassment, discrimination and violence throughout the school year.
“A School Year Like No Other”: Eyes on the Prize: “Fighting Back: 1957-1962,” by Bill Bigelow. This lesson celebrates the determination and sacrifice of those individuals who were on the front line in this struggle. To a lesser extent, it attempts to examine some of the resistance to school integration. Students watch the video segment from Eyes on the Prize, and through their own writing, they “become” the individuals whose lives shaped and were shaped by these key civil rights battles. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2hWXuee
25 First Day of Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982, according to the American Library Association.
Librotraficante. The Librotraficante Movement’s homepage offers visitors numerous resources, including a list of banned books that reflect Chicano heritage and history, information about underground libraries, and lists of events that are occurring during Chicano Heritage Month. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1buJEBN
IndyKids. The Nov/Dec 2008 issue of IndyKids features a piece about an activity a New York library did with its students to celebrate Banned Books Week. Pages 6 & 7. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1BDHEXk
Celebrating the Freedom to Read, by the Banned Books Week Coalition. Information and resources, including links to videos, related to increasing awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read and the movement against book censorship. (TR) http://bit.ly/1Wkfsoc
25 First Day of Ally Week. Ally Week involves a week of activities designed to encourage students to be allies against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in America’s schools.
GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit. The NEW Safe Space Kit features the Guide to Being an Ally, which provides concrete strategies for supporting LGBT students, educating about anti-LGBT bias and advocating for changes in your school. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1swLr3q
28 Bhagat Singh, Indian revolutionary and socialist, born (1907-1931). Bhagat Singh was one of the most important figures in the Indian Nationalist Movement. Singh broke from Gandhi’s nonviolent movement and became actively involved in violent insurgency against British rule. He was executed at the age of 23, and remains a hero to many for his commitment to the cause of Indian independence.
We, the Children of India, by Leila Seth. Written by Leila Seth, the first female Chief Justice of an Indian state, the book de-mystifies the Preamble to the Indian Constitution in language for children. Seth explains terms such as justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, while sidebars and speech balloons give further background and context. By the end of this slim volume, we learn not only what the Preamble is, but how it was written, the people behind it, when and how it was signed, and how Indians won freedom and found the way forward. (E) http://amzn.to/2mif0x1
30 170th anniversary of George Perkins Marsh’s Environmental Speech. Marsh’s speech to the Agricultural Society of Rutland County, VT, paved the way for conservation efforts for America’s natural resources. Far ahead of his time, Marsh touched on ideas such as global warming, greenhouse gases and sustainable development long before any of these terms entered the general lexicon.
Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?, by Anne Rockwell. This book offers young students information about the greenhouse effect, how global warming is affecting the planet, and ways in which readers can fight global warming. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/vuuSCG
30 Dussehra (Hinduism). Dussehra is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over Demon King Ravana, or good over evil.
30 Yom Kippur begins at sunset on 9/29/17 (Judaism). Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is one of two Jewish High Holy Days. It falls 10 days after the first High Holy Day, Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur, by David F. Marx. This children’s book introduces students to the basic facts about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It describes how these holidays developed and how they are celebrated, and includes games, traditions, goods and crafts. (E) http://bit.ly/UjH9yW
1 First day of Disability Employment Awareness Month. National Disability Employment Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities.
Museum of disABILITY History. This site features an extensive virtual exhibition of images that help raise awareness of people with disabilities and their contributions to society, as well as lesson plans on disability-related topics for all grade levels. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1jDKHWi
Disability History Museum. This site was designed “to promote understanding about the historical experience of people with disabilities by recovering, chronicling and interpreting their stories.” This searchable collection offers documents and images related to disability history in the United States. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/JAD9r
1 World Vegetarian Day/First Day of Vegetarian Awareness Month. World Vegetarian Day is the annual kick-off for Vegetarian Awareness Month. The goal is to make a difference by informing others and raising awareness about the benefits of vegetarianism.
Meat.org: The Website the Meat Industry Doesn’t Want You to See. A website with films and resources about animals killed for food. Free vegetarian starter kits and DVDs available. Warning: Explicit imagery that some may find hard to watch. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/17fyrKa
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits – folklore and pop culture, family traditions and national myth, apparent facts and inherent fictions – and how such tales can lull us into a brutal disregard of the facts. With a focus on the meat industry, the book also explores the ways cows and chickens are treated for the production of our milk and eggs. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/32Rc0a
1 First day of LGBT History Month/Coming Out Month. LGBT History Month/Coming Out Month celebrates the lives and achievements of LGBTQ people.
Month-by-Month Planning Page, by Safe Schools Coalition. Month-by-month planning provides information and lessons that speak to the intersections between LGBTQI history and other heritage months. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/j5FQX
Welcoming Schools. Welcoming Schools is a guide for administrators, educators, parents and guardians who want to strengthen their schools’ approaches to family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying. It is specifically designed for use in K-5 learning environments, and is inclusive of LGBTQI families and individuals in the broader context of diversity. (E) http://bit.ly/bN8CiT
Acting Out: Combating Homophobia Through Teacher Activism, by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, Lauren M. Kenney and Jill M. Smith. This book chronicles how teachers from urban, suburban and rural districts have come together in a teacher inquiry group to challenge homophobia and heterosexism in schools and classrooms. (TR) http://amzn.to/1m3JQUE
And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. And Tango Makes Three (based on a true story) is about a penguin family living in New York City’s Central Park Zoo that is a bit “different.” A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E)http://bit.ly/1onzrxu
LGBT History Month website. This website gives the history of LGBT History Month, and features 31 famous people in LGBT history, one per day. Includes a trivia challenge, video, resources, brief biography and downloads. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/Om6vef
Brother to Brother, directed by Rodney Evans. Bruce Nugent, a Black gay writer who worked with Langston Hughes, befriends a young poet and together they take a journey into the gay subcultures of the Harlem Renaissance. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/QiJcf8
2 80th anniversary of the Parsley Massacre (El Corte). Under the orders of the Dominican dictator Trujillo, the execution of more than 20,000 Haitians began in what is now known as the Parsley Massacre at Massacre River. The effort was aimed at eradicating the population of Haitians sharing a border with the Dominican Republic. The massacre is also referred to as El Corte (The Cutting) in Spanish.
Caribbean Connections: The Dominican Republic. This book provides an overview of the history, politics and culture of the Dominican community, the fourth largest Latino group in the United States. Spanish language companion available. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/gaH71
3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The Collection: Oral Histories/Archives from the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement, hosted by UC-Berkeley. This collection consists of more than 100 oral histories with leaders and shapers of the disability rights and independent living movement from the 1960s onward and an extensive archive of personal papers of activists and records of key organizations. (E, M, H)http://bit.ly/2iUUKMT
4 Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Day. Also known as the Mooncake and Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes its name from the moon being roundest and brightest at this time of year, symbolizing family reunion. The festival celebrates gathering, giving thanks for the harvest, and prayer, and is celebrated in several East Asian countries.
Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, by Grace Lin. This K-3 book allows readers to join a Chinese American family as they celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. (E) http://bit.ly/W1RkEb
5 World Teachers’ Day. World Teachers’ Day was inaugurated in 1994 to commemorate the signing of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers in 1966.
The Pedagogy of Teacher Activism: Portraits of Four Teachers for Justice, by Keith Catone. Through the artful science of portraiture, The Pedagogy of Teacher Activism presents the stories of four teacher activists – how they are and have become social change agents – to uncover important pedagogical underpinnings of teacher activism. (TR) www.activistpedagogy.com
5 140th anniversary of Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph’s surrender at Eagle Creek. In response to relentless persecution by the US Army, about 700 Nez Perce fled 1,000 miles to escape forced internment on a reservation. Captured 40 miles south of the Canadian border, the surviving Nez Perce were sent to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, despite the promise by the US government to allow them to return to their homeland.
Chief Joseph: “Account of His Trip to Washington, D.C., by Zinn Education Project. Film clip of Chief Joseph’s account of the resistance to the ongoing encroachment of Nez Perce’s lands in the 1870s, read by Q’Orianka Kilcher. (H) http://bit.ly/2iG44X0
5 First day of Sukkot (begins at sunset 10/4, ends at sunset 10/11; Judaism). Sukkot is a 7-day harvest holiday that commemorates the 40-year period during which the Jews wandered the desert.
The Very Crowded Sukkah, by Leslie Kimmelman and Bob McMahon. This children’s book tells the story of a family celebrating Sukkot by building a sukkah (a temporary hut) outdoors. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, the family makes a decision about the celebration that includes some surprising guests. (E) http://bit.ly/19QlvpC
6 140th anniversary of the founding of Fukuin Kai. The Japanese Gospel Society, or Fukuin Kai (sometimes spelled “Fukuinkai”), was founded in 1877 by Japanese Christians in San Francisco. It was the first Japanese immigrant support group, working against racial discrimination and exclusion and offering services to newly-arrived Japanese. It was also the precursor to Japanese Christian churches founded in the US beginning in the 1890s.
Political Cartoons and Dr. Seuss, by PBS. This lesson accompanies the film The Political Dr. Seuss. Students will analyze Dr. Seuss’s WWII anti-Japanese propaganda. Note that this isn’t a student-friendly site. (M, H, TR) Link to film: http://to.pbs.org/2e72bj0; Link to lesson plan: http://to.pbs.org/2nse49x.
6 Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights activist, born (1917-1977). Hamer played a major role in organizing the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer to register African American voters. She was a founding member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was established in opposition to her state’s all-White delegation to the Democratic National Convention.
Freedom Summer Project, by Wisconsin Historical Society. The Wisconsin Historical Society site encourages teachers, writers, historians and others to use its more than 100 manuscript collections about the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964. Documents include official records of student organizations, personal papers of movement leaders and activists, internal memos and more. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1q7K6m6
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, by Carole Boston Weatherford. This is the story of Fannie Lou Hamer, in poetic form. It is infused with Hamer’s own quotes and colloquial style that defined her skill as a leader and speaker for the Civil Rights Movement. This book charts Fannie Lou Hamer’s life from her family beginnings as a sharecropper to her run for the Mississippi State Senate. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2k8N4Ht
9 Indigenous Peoples Day. Indigenous Peoples Day, also known as Native American Day, began as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day in Berkeley, CA. The goal is to commemorate Native American history and promote Native American cultures.
Transform Columbus Day. Transform Columbus Day is an alliance of social justice groups who are committed to challenging traditional ethnocentric views of Columbus as a pioneer and sole discoverer of the Americas. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/3syjAe
Reconsider Columbus Day, presented by Nu Heightz Cinema. This short PSA asks people to reconsider whether the crimes of Columbus should be celebrated. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/9ILuXF
The People vs. Columbus, et al., by Bill Bigelow. This role-play begins with the premise that a monstrous crime was committed in the years after 1492, when an estimated three million Taínos on the island of Hispaniola lost their lives. It’s a free download excerpted from Rethinking Columbus. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/hRdbSf
A Coyote Columbus Story, by Thomas King. Thomas King uses a bag of literary tricks to shatter the stereotypes surrounding Columbus’s voyages. He invites children to laugh with him at the crazy antics of Coyote, who unwittingly causes Columbus to bring about the downfall of his human friends. He also makes the point that history is influenced by the culture of the reporter. (E) http://bit.ly/1RyuKQl
10 50th anniversary of the execution of Che Guevara. Trained as a doctor, Ernesto “Che” Guevara was an Argentinian Marxist revolutionary. He assisted Fidel Castro in overthrowing the US-backed Batista regime in Cuba in 1959. Guevara left Cuba for Bolivia in 1966, where he led guerilla forces attempting to overthrow the government. He was captured by government forces in 1967 and executed at the age of 39.
Revolutionary Advertising: A Lesson on Che Guevara, by Annissa Hambouz and Javaid Khan, from the NYTimes Learning Network. In this lesson, students learn about the 40th anniversary of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s execution, and the proliferation of his image as an international symbol of revolutionary values. They then interpret the iconic Che image from different points of view, and reflect on the notion of the commodification of revolutionary values. (H) http://nyti.ms/2mwiYy5
10 Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the all-Black 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, born (1837-1863). Robert Gould Shaw was a White officer in the Union Army during the US Civil War. Although his parents were abolitionists, Shaw was less committed to emancipation, but he took command of the all-Black 54th Massachusetts regiment and came to respect and admire the men in his command. When he learned that Black troops were paid less than Whites, he organized a boycott until they were granted equal pay.
Letters to New York from Robert Gould Shaw, by John and Charles Lockwood for the NYTimes. A collection of primary source letters from Shaw, who commanded the all-Black 54th Massachusetts regiment in the Civil War, to his family in New York, contextualized by the authors. (H) http://nyti.ms/2lGALn2
11 30th anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Dubbed “The Great March,” about 300,000 LGBTQ people and their allies marched on Washington calling for more federal money for AIDS research and treatment and for an end to discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. Energized by the rally, there was a significant uptick in LGBTQ organizing at the local level, providing greater visibility to the struggle for LGBTQ rights.
Gsanetwork: Empowering Youth Activists to Fight Homophobia and Transphobia in Schools. The Gsanetwork website provides support and resources for anyone interested in starting a gay-straight alliance or similar group in their schools. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9w9Nlq
11 National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed day of awareness for coming out and discussions about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.
Safe Schools Coalition. An incredible wealth of resources for educators for supporting LGBTQ youth and creating safer school environments. Explore the entire site, or use the link for specific resources on coming out. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/9FQkmx
12 80th anniversary of the first patented Folding Wheelchair. Inventors Herbert A. Everest and Harry C. Jennings created and patented a design for the first folding wheelchair. This design allowed for chairs to be stored in cars, and enabled people with disabilities and assistive devices to travel with greater ease.
On a Roll, film directed by Joanne Caputo. Greg Smith is a talk radio host, father, son and activist. In this film, he reveals the challenges he faces as he navigates life from his power wheelchair. (H) http://to.pbs.org/SJEWas
15 White Cane Safety Day. White Cane Day celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the importance of the white cane as a symbol of independence.
The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination, by Jimmy Liao. This story follows the narrator, a woman who has lost her sight, through her journey around the city. She navigates the subway and the city she knows with language and descriptions that tap into her imagination, as well as her innermost thoughts and feelings. (E) http://bit.ly/JycaYp
16 World Food Day. World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Young Readers Edition: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, by Michael Pollan. Based on Pollan’s best-selling book of the same title, this version is written for teens and challenges readers to consider the origin of the foods we eat and the broad ramifications of our eating habits. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/utIarp
Food, Inc. Classroom Discussion Guide, by TakePart.org. This guide, to be used in conjunction with Food, Inc., helps students connect the issues behind mass production of food and abuse of government subsidies of major food corporations to the challenges of keeping food healthy and affordable. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2mOaRQt
Fresh Food or Fast Food, by IndyKids, May/June 2009. This issue of the progressive newspaper for kids includes a special feature on food justice. There is also a teacher’s guide. Click on the May/June 2009 link and scroll to P.3. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1lcaGcy
Food First: Institute for Food and Development. A list of books published by the Institute for Food and Development that examine the connections between human rights, social justice and food. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1qeUHJT
17 340th anniversary of New York City cartmen prosecuted for striking. The first recorded prosecution against strikers in colonial America occurred in New York City in 1677. Twelve cartmen lost their right to cart goods until they paid a fine for refusing to follow instructions prescribed by the city government.
Kids on Strike!, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This book for grades 5 and up features stories of strikes led by young people in the US to demand better wages, safer working conditions and other labor issues. (M) http://bit.ly/2tikQh7
17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This day promotes the need to eradicate poverty worldwide, especially in developing countries.
Finding Solutions to Hunger, by Kids Can Make a Difference. An educational program for middle and high school students focuses on the root causes of hunger and poverty, the people most affected, solutions and how students can help. (M, H) http://bit.ly/cYEDNd
Teaching Economics As If People Mattered, by United for a Fair Economy. A collection of lesson plans about economics from a social justice perspective. (H) http://bit.ly/6AIy7u
18 430th anniversary of the first recorded presence of Filipinos in what is now California. A group of Native Filipinos (“Luzones Indios”), sailing a galleon for Spain, sighted California while sailing the Manila-Acapulco route. These sailors made landfall in California more than 30 years before the English first landed in Plymouth. A group of men went ashore near Morrow Bay to claim the land for Spain, meeting resistance from the indigenous people already there. Though a complicated event, Filipino American History month is celebrated in October to mark the occasion.
A Century of Challenge and Change: The Filipino American Story. The aim of this curriculum is to highlight the historical and cultural experiences of Filipino Americans within a multicultural and global context by emphasizing ethnic pride, cultural connections, critical thinking and community activism. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/266pmy4
Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults, by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard (Editor). 29 Filipino American writers explore the universal challenges of adolescence from the unique perspectives of teens in the Philippines and the US, organized into five sections – Family, Angst, Friendship, Love and Home. (M, H) http://amzn.to/2refi6U
Dignified and Determined: Labor Activism of Filipina/o American Farmworkers, by Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Dawn B. Mabalon, Maricel Elacio, Erica Parpan, Ingrid Gonzales, Ron Quimel, Frederick David and R.J. Lozada. This lesson plan, which focuses on Filipina/o American farmworkers, examines how we view the labor and activism of the Pinay/Pinoy pioneers. These lesson plans aim to help us be more critical of how we perceive and understand labor, work, class and economic justice. (H) http://bit.ly/1fPbdx0
19 Diwali (Deepavali), Indian Festival of Lights (Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism). Diwali (Festival of Lights) is an annual Hindu festival of lights that commemorates the return of Lord Rama from exile.
Lights for Gita, by Rachna Gilmore. This book introduces readers to Divali (Diwali), one of the most important holidays observed by Hindus all over the world, through the eyes of Gita, a young immigrant girl. The author’s site includes a teacher’s guide and other books about Hinduism. (E) http://bit.ly/KCeUSp
22 National day of protest to stop police brutality. The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation has been mobilizing annually to expose the epidemic of police brutality. The coalition asks that we wear black on this day to honor those whose lives have been stolen by police brutality. http://www.october22.org/
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. What Starr says or does not say, could upend her community or endanger her life. (M, H) http://amzn.to/2nMFuq3; Link to a video of the author: http://bit.ly/2nAJwl0
Every Mother’s Son, by P.O.V. This is a film that presents three primary examples of police brutality and what is being done about it. The lesson accompanying the video addresses what students can do to take action. (H) http://to.pbs.org/1cNyCMD
#FergusonSyllabus: Talking and Teaching About Police Violence, by Prison Culture. A tremendous set of activity ideas, lesson plans and resources for teachers and young people exploring police violence. Includes integration of the arts and other media. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oV3uV9
Resources on the Ferguson Movement Moment, by Catalyst Project. Organic, linked resources related to teaching and learning about Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1p8dY3n
23 70th anniversary of the NAACP’s “Appeal to the World”. On Oct. 23, 1947, the NAACP sent to the United Nations a document by W.E.B. DuBois and others titled, “An Appeal to the World,” which asked the UN to redress human rights violations the United States committed against its African American citizens. The petition called on the world body to act against what it called, “…a basic problem of humanity; of democracy; of discrimination because of race and color…”
The Niagara Movement: A Declaration of Principles. Engage students in reading the list of principles, beliefs and demands of the Niagara Movement, which preceded the establishment of the NAACP. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1TLUlM1
Platform from the Movement for Black Lives. In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the US and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda. View their platform here. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2aIgQAK
24 Marie Foster, voter registration and civil rights activist, born (1917-2003). Marie Foster’s civil rights activism grew out of her frustration at being denied the right to vote in her native Alabama. After finally succeeding on her ninth try to pass the unconstitutional voter registration test given to Black would-be voters, she began teaching classes on how to pass the tests, resulting in the registration of hundreds of Black voters.
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by Jonah Winter. As Lillian, a 100-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky – she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. (E) http://amzn.to/2mhWp45
24 70th anniversary of Walt Disney’s testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. An outspoken anti-communist, Walt Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming current and former Disney employees he believed to be communists. He was one of many Hollywood producers, directors, actors and studio executives who betrayed their friends and colleagues in what was little more than a witch hunt.
The Hollywood Ten, by Ironweed Films. Who were the Hollywood Ten? This 1950 documentary gives us a closer look at the ten blacklisted film writers and directors who defied the government and the sentiments of their day by refusing to testify during the HUAC anti-Communist hearings. John Berry, who directed the documentary, was blacklisted himself upon its release. (H) http://bit.ly/2jgyNLF
26 Intersex Awareness Day. Intersex Awareness Day is the international day of grassroots action to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children.
InterACT, Advocates for Intersex Youth. A rich bibliography of resources, from academic and news articles to human rights rulings and policy statements related to intersex awareness and advocacy. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1KUOkJN
27 50th anniversary of the Baltimore Four protest of the Vietnam War. In the first of more than 100 similar anti-war protests at Selective Service offices throughout the country, Father Philip Berrigan and three others entered the Selective Service office in Baltimore and poured duck blood over draft records, symbolizing the spilling of human blood in Vietnam. The group was arrested and convicted of defacing government property and interfering with the Selective Service system.
John Lennon’s “Imagine” and the Vietnam War in the 1970s. This lesson plan explores the lyrics of “Imagine” and encourages students to think about the meaning of these lyrics, especially how they related to Lennon’s feelings about the Vietnam War. Students are also encouraged to think about how these same ideas apply to more recent wars with which the they are familiar. Although it is presented as a single lesson, it can easily be expanded for further discussion. (E, H) http://bit.ly/JC0SEW
31 Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Mix It Up is an annual event sponsored by Teaching Tolerance that seeks to break down the barriers between students and improve intergroup relations.
Mix It Up at Lunch Day, by Teaching Tolerance. Teaching Tolerance provides free Mix It Up lessons and activities for teachers to use to organize a successful Mix It Up at Lunch Day and promote social border crossing all year long. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/SWiezA
31 Halloween. Halloween is thought to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts.
What Do Halloween Costumes Say? by Teaching Tolerance. This site provides a variety of activities to raise awareness about the potential of stereotyping in Halloween costumes. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1nyjLIm
Ohio Univ. Students to Classmates: “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume,” by Jorge Rivas, Colorlines. This article tells the story of Ohio University student group, “Students Teaching About Racism in Society” (STARS). The group created an educational campaign called, “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume,” in response to racist costumes often worn on Halloween. Includes links to campaign posters. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/seCYEf
Reverse Trick or Treat, by Global Exchange. This kit lets children help end the exploitation of adults and children working in the cocoa industry and raise awareness of Fair Trade. Trick-or-treaters hand out Fair Trade chocolate to adults, with informational cards attached, to explain the problems of the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade presents a solution. (E) http://bit.ly/1gCxUkI
1 First day of National American Indian Heritage Month. National American Indian Heritage Month recognizes the significant contributions of American Indians.
We Shall Remain: Episode 5 Wounded Knee, by PBS. We Shall Remain is a miniseries and multimedia project on Native American history. Episode 5 focuses specifically on the Wounded Knee incident. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/9O6AqP
American Indians in Children’s Literature Blog, by Debbie Reese. This blog is one of the finest collections of resources and critical perspectives on teaching about Native Americans. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/3HATt
The Alcatraz Proclamation: A Primary Document Activity. Teaching Tolerance offers a wealth of activity ideas related to Thanksgiving, Native American mascots and Indigenous peoples’ proud heritage of resistance. (M, H) http://bit.ly/9sPNbx
Unlearning “Indian” Stereotypes, by Rethinking Schools. Narrated by Native American children, this DVD teaches about racial stereotypes and provides an introduction to Native American history through the eyes of children. Includes a teacher’s guide and other resources. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/tr5Tf
Sky, by Pamela Porter. This moving book, written in the haunting voice of a young child, is based on true stories told to the author by her friend Georgia Salois, a Metis whose people lived with the Blackfeet Nation in Montana. (E) http://bit.ly/1UfjL2R
1 El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). El Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday during which ancient Aztec rituals honoring the dead are performed. The rituals have been practiced for at least 3,000 years.
Pablo Remembers, by George Ancona. This photodocumentary-style children’s book follows Pablo and his family as they celebrate Día de Los Muertos by honoring his grandmother. (E) http://bit.ly/RL0vbg
Celebrations: Day of the Dead mini-unit. Students will learn about Día de Los Muertos through the use of writing, art, cooking and incorporating the Spanish language. (H) http://bit.ly/1tTrmWX
2 10th anniversary of the first Power Shift Convergence. The first convergence, organized by the Energy Action Coalition in Washington DC, aspired to train, connect and inspire young people to develop a youth-led climate movement. The goal is to build a vibrant climate movement to demand climate justice and build a clean economy that works for everyone. Four subsequent convergences have been held in DC and elsewhere.
50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth. This book shows children how elements of their environment are connected to the rest of the world. Clear, practical tips show kids how they can conserve energy, recycle waste and take on important environmental projects. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2sxFQDG
3 Rosalie Barrow Edge, women’s rights activist and conservationist, born (1877-1962). Rosalie Edge was a prominent suffragist, holding a leadership position in the New York State Woman Suffrage Party. She later applied her advocacy skills to the cause of wildlife conservation, exposing some “conservation” groups for allowing illegal hunting on their grounds. Edge co-founded the Emergency Conservation Committee, which established the first sanctuary for birds of prey in the US.
Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature from the Conservationists, by Dyana Furmansky. Dyana Z. Furmansky draws on Edge’s personal papers and interviews with family members and associates to portray an implacable, indomitable personality whose activism earned her the names “Joan of Arc” and “Hellcat.” (H) http://amzn.to/2lV6cw4
5 Ida Minerva Tarbell, teacher, author, journalist, born (1857-1944). Tarbell was a pioneer in investigative journalism, writing a series of articles (later a book: The History of the Standard Oil Company), that exposed the illegal business practices of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil Company. Her book led to the eventual breakup of the multinational conglomerate and a finding by the US Supreme Court that the company had violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Lesson Plan on the Progressive Movement: Life as a Muckraker, by Victor Bright, The Library of Congress. In this lesson, students examine the social problems that emerged in American society as a result of industrialization. Students interpret, compare and evaluate primary sources from the early 20th century, and learn how photojournalism exposed desperate social conditions and political corruption. (H) http://bit.ly/2laTKnu
5 Daylight Saving Time ends
7 Marie Curie, scientist, Nobel Prize laureate, born (1867-1934). Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for her contributions to the scientific field, winning two for Physics – in 1903, shared with Antoine Henri Becquerel and Pierre Currie, and alone in 1913; and one for Chemistry in 1911. She excelled in an era of science dominated by male researchers. Her research led to significant discoveries about radioactivity and x-rays.
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, by Rachel Ignotofsky. A charmingly illustrated and educational book, this New York Times best seller highlights the contributions of notable women to the STEM fields, from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. (E, M) http://amzn.to/2kWB67V
7 180th anniversary of the murder of Elijah Parish Lovejoy. Minister, journalist and abolitionist, Elijah Parish Lovejoy published the Alton Observer, an anti-slavery newspaper. Lovejoy also used his position as a Presbyterian minister to advocate an end to slavery. He was murdered by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois, during their attack on his warehouse to destroy his press and abolitionist materials. His death inspired other clergy to take up the abolitionist cause.
Considerations for Early Childhood and Elementary Educators on Slavery and Resistance, by Teaching for Change. Essay full of resources on the “do’s and don’ts” of books for young children on the topic of slavery. Includes a link to a list of more than 50 recommended books for young people of all ages. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Kvu9MA
7 Election Day
It Ain’t Just About a Vote: Defining Democracy for Movement Building, by Project South. This toolkit asks students to take a broader look at democracy and citizenship. Each exercise was created specifically to begin conversations on the larger, longer-term view of democracy, struggle and movement building. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1XuheSq
Money in Elections: What is it Doing to America?, by Alan Shapiro. Three student readings, discussion questions, and suggestions for inquiry engage students in exploring the role of money in electoral politics. (H) http://bit.ly/sUIgLr
8 Dorothy Day, journalist, activist and co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, born (1897-1980). A convert to Catholicism, Dorothy Day worked at the intersection of faith, journalism and activism. She co-founded a newspaper called The Catholic Worker that used religious teachings to argue for pacifism, women’s suffrage and other social justice causes.
Dorothy Day: Selected Writings, edited by Robert Ellsberg. This edition marks the 25th anniversary of Day’s death, and is widely recognized as the essential and authoritative guide to her life and work. (H, TR) http://amzn.to/2lPofUA
10 Arnold Zweig, German writer and anti-war and anti-fascist activist, born (1887-1968). Arnold Zweig was a German Jewish author and outspoken critic of militarism and fascism. He fled to Palestine in 1933 and returned to Germany in 1948 after the defeat of the Nazis. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize for his efforts to legitimize East German literature and was nominated six times for Nobel prizes – four times for Literature and twice for Peace.
Holocaust and Human Behavior, Facing History and Ourselves. Comprehensive set of teaching resources on the Holocaust. As students read and reflect, they investigate the forces that undermined democracy in Germany, betrayed a generation of young people, and ultimately led to the Holocaust. In doing so, students discover that many of those forces threaten our own society today. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1KVlskh
11 Veterans Day
Voices in Wartime Education, by The YES! Education Program and Voices in Wartime Education Project. This site seeks to enable students to engage deeply with the subject of war by hearing and re-telling the personal stories of witnesses to war, and engages students in imagining and creating a less violent world. The site includes the film’s trailer, curricular materials and poetry. (H, TR)http://bit.ly/1uCgCMY
14 100th anniversary of the “Night of Terror” (began the night of 11/14). Thirty-three women protesters, members of the Silent Sentinels, who picketed the White House daily to demand voting rights for women, were arrested and sent to the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia. With orders from the warden, 40 guards went on a rampage, beating, choking and torturing the women to the verge of death.
National Archives Teaching with Documents: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment. Collection of relevant documents with teaching suggestions and links to other related lessons. (E, M) http://1.usa.gov/XwHdN
17 International Students’ Day. An international observance and celebration of student community, multiculturalism and inclusivity. Originally commemorating the Nazi Germany storming of Czech universities, colleges and universities now mark it as a celebration of their international students.
We Came to America, by Faith Ringgold. A timely and beautiful look at America’s rich historical diversity, with an appropriate complication of the “nation of immigrants” narrative that includes recognition of Indigenous peoples and the forced migration of the slave trade. (E) http://bit.ly/2llxdp8
18 Sojourner Truth, feminist and abolitionist, born (1787-1883). Born into slavery, Sojourner Truth was illiterate, but became internationally known and revered as an eloquent preacher and fierce proponent of abolition, women’s rights, prison reform and the elimination of capital punishment. When Truth learned that her son had been illegally sold to a White man in Alabama, she sued, becoming the first Black woman to successfully sue a White man in federal court.
Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, by Andrea Pinkney and Brian Pinkney. Step-Stomp Stride tells the story of Sojourner Truth, one of the most extraordinary and courageous women in American history. (E) http://bit.ly/JfU2SR
18 40th anniversary of the first National Women’s Conference in the US. The National Women’s Conference adopted a 26-point Plan of Action, which included reproductive freedom, sexual preference protections and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. It was the first time women of Color and lesbians were able to voice their frustration at the lack of inclusion in the movement. The conference stemmed from the 1975 UN International Women’s Year proclamation.
The New Sex Ed: Empowered Youth Strengthening Communities, by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice. These organizing tools and resources present sexuality education justice that is holistic, relevant to ALL people, and grounded in young people’s communities. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1qkzjCU
20 Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day is set aside to memorialize those who were killed because of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.
Beyond The Binary, a Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools, by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Transgender Law Center and The National Center for Lesbian Rights. This guide includes information for helping students deconstruct some of the myths behind gender identity. It can be used to develop plans for Transgender Day of Remembrance or for action planning to change school policies that are not supportive of all students. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9wjXL2
Luna, by Julie Anne Peters. This novel is told from the perspective of a young woman who is dealing with her brother’s decision to live as his true female self, Luna. It is included in the Gay-Straight Alliance Network’s list of recommended books for and about LGBTQ youth. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uXD94h
The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper. Transgender and gender-variant children have a hard time. They are generally discouraged by their families and bullied at school. This handbook is for families and teachers who want to understand and support children’s self-definition. (TR) http://bit.ly/rQ4LZY
The Youth and Gender Media Project. The Youth and Gender Media Project encompasses a growing collection of short films that capture the diversity and complexity of gender non-conforming youth. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1pDshdH
23 National Day of Mourning. In 1970, Wamsutta Frank James, a Wampanoag Indian, was invited by the state of Massachusetts to deliver a speech about Thanksgiving. The speech was titled, “The National Day of Mourning.” When the text of the speech was revealed, Massachusetts uninvited him. In response, a group of New England Native Americans declared Thanksgiving 1970 the first annual National Day of Mourning.
Thanksgiving Mourning, by Teaching Tolerance. In this activity, students will explore the perspectives of two Native American authors about the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday, and then draft letters to them. (M, H) http://bit.ly/qy6im
Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths and Misgivings, by Vera L. Stenhouse, Rethinking Schools. As a teacher educator, Stenhouse discusses some of the ways classroom educators can demystify the first Thanksgiving. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/2z77Ov
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving, by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Marge Bruchac. Produced in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plymouth Plantation, 1621 weighs Wampanoag oral traditions and English colonial written records against the popular myth of “brave settlers inviting wild Indians over for turkey dinner.” (E, M) http://bit.ly/1tTFP7H
Oyate. Oyate is a Native American organization that lists recommended children’s books on Native American history and culture. The website features Thanksgiving resources and provides criteria for evaluating the quality of books about Native Americans. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/4DUTbG
24 Buy Nothing Day. Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism, strategically celebrated on “Black Friday,” the busiest shopping day of the year in the US.
The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, free downloadable video that explores consumption and exposes the connections between different environmental and social issues, while providing suggestions for action. (E, M, H) Website: http://bit.ly/vXj7EC; Reading Guide: http://bit.ly/1TQdXO0
The Story of Change, by Annie Leonard. Follow up video fromto The Story of Stuff, The Story of Change asks if shopping can save the world. The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their civic muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Vo6GIQ
Labor Rights in the Classroom. Workers all over the world suffer from conditions that many would consider unbearable. These conditions are, in part, a result of corporations taking advantage of workers and depriving them of their rights. The lessons on this website help students to understand how consumerism and corporate greed in the US affect workers around the world. (M, H)http://bit.ly/1VkYSFm
24 #NotOneDime. #NotOneDime is a nationwide economic boycott focused on racial justice. The campaign was launched in the aftermath of the Ferguson non-indictment decision. #NotOneDime calls for a moratorium on all non-essential shopping from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, and reclaiming Black Friday as a national day of action and service.
#NotOneDime, by a coalition of community organizers, faith leaders and fed-up American citizens. Full website, including the history, demands and resources related to the economic boycott organized in the aftermath of the non-indictment in Ferguson. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1T3u7E4
Teaching #Ferguson: Connecting with Resources, by Art Museum Teaching. List of resources – all hyperlinked and annotated – related to teaching #Ferguson in K-12 classrooms and beyond. (TR) http://bit.ly/1VLFEWu
24 Fur Free Friday. This annual national protest against the wearing of fur is held on the day after Thanksgiving with the aim of educating shoppers and spreading awareness about the horrors of the fur industry.
Council of All Beings, by the Institute for Humane Education. What does a mountain wish for? A wolf? A cow? A river? Participants “become” a being or part of nature, and share with the Council the lives, concerns, hopes and wisdom of their assumed beings. (E) http://bit.ly/1nK7xwg
24 50th anniversary of the opening of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop. Opened in New York by Craig Rodwell, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop (later the Oscar Wilde Bookshop) was the first bookstore devoted to gay and lesbian authors and a center for LGBTQ organizing. It closed in 2009 during the recession.
Stephen Fry Reads Oscar Wilde’s Children’s Story ‘The Happy Prince,’ by Josh Jones on Open Culture. Introduces Oscar Wilde’s lesser known children’s stories, and includes an interview with Stephen Fry. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/16m3H6O
25 120th anniversary of Puerto Rico’s independence from Spain. After years of fighting for independence from Spain, the colony of Puerto Rico won “Carta Autonomica” from the Spanish government. This Autonomous Charter was negotiated by proponents of Puerto Rican independence, and provided a structure for an elected government headed by a Spanish Governor with veto power. Autonomous rule was not to last long; the US took control of the island less than a year later.
War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony, by Nelson A. Denis. The website for this book includes a historical overview of Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence, and a wealth of related resources, including video clips and other multimedia. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2lOJDVL
25 70th anniversary of the “blacklist” of the Hollywood Ten. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigated allegations of communist influence in the US during the early years of the Cold War. The first Hollywood “blacklist” was instituted when 10 writers and directors (the Hollywood Ten) were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the HUAC.
Sound Smart: The Hollywood 10. Film clip in which historian Yohuru Williams discusses key facts about the Hollywood 10, a group of film directors, screenwriters and producers blacklisted for alleged communist affiliations in 1947. (H) http://bit.ly/1F9mHDg
World War II and McCarthyism, by Gayle Olson-Rayner. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 16 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on domestic opposition to the “good war” and the impact of McCarthyism. (M, H) http://bit.ly/SOI76o
26 Simon Nkoli, South African anti-apartheid, gay rights and AIDS activist, born (1957-1998). Nkoli is considered the creator of South Africa’s Black gay movement. He was arrested for anti-apartheid activities during the 1970s and 1980s and later fought for the rights of LGBTQ people and against the widespread denial of the AIDS crisis.
Teachers’ First HIV and AIDS Resources. This website offers a collection of reviewed resources to help teachers and students learn more about HIV/AIDS. Resources include unit and lesson plans, links to relevant websites, videos and more. (TR) http://bit.ly/1t9G5zc
29 Take Back Black Health Toxics Tour. National leaders carried out a demonstration in Dickson, TN to raise awareness and pressure Congress and other elected officials to ban the dumping of toxic materials in areas generally populated by low-income and people of Color. This action propelled the growing environmental justice movement.
Introducing Kids to the Idea of Environmental Racism, by Teaching Tolerance. In this lesson plan for young children, students explore the concept of environmental racism and learn about various environmental hazards that disproportionately affect communities of Color. (E) http://bit.ly/2myObks
1 World AIDS Day. The United Nations has designated this day to honor AIDS victims, to focus attention on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and to organize anti-discrimination activities.
AVERT: Averting HIV and AIDS. A variety of resources and information, including quizzes, handouts, videos and lessons for teachers and teens about living with and preventing HIV/AIDS. (M, H) http://bit.ly/uq5WS7
1 30th anniversary of the Nursing Home Reform Act. This Act mandates the use of pre-admission screening and resident review for individuals with disabilities in order to determine if they need to be in a nursing facility before placement. It also requires specialized services for people with disabilities when staying in nursing facilities. The Act has helped to prevent the wrongful institutionalization of those with disabilities.
Lesson Plan: Legislation, by the Museum of Disability History. Students will be able to demonstrate how legislation passed since World War II has been important to the lives of people with disabilities. Students will rank the significance of this legislation from most important to least important. (E, M) http://bit.ly/RXFXey worksheet: http://bit.ly/PguNlu
3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities
10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children’s Books for Ableism, by Chloë Myers and Hank Bersani, Jr. This article from Rethinking Schools gives teachers the tools to become aware of the omission of persons with disabilities in children’s literature. This exclusion decreases the likelihood that the histories, experiences or feelings of people with disabilities will be discussed in our classrooms. (TR) http://bit.ly/tBev3J
3 170th anniversary of the publication of The North Star. The North Star was a 19th century anti-slavery newspaper published by Black abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Martin Delaney. While many had supported William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, Black abolitionists felt it necessary to have their own newspaper and organization. It was one of the most influential anti-slavery publications of the pre-Civil War era.
‘If There Is No Struggle…’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement, by Bill Bigelow. This role-play puts students in the position of abolitionist groups working together to end slavery. (E, M) http://bit.ly/QsfVje
3 50th anniversary of the formation of the first unit of the Brown Berets. Young Chicanos for Community Action formed the first Brown Beret unit in 1967. One month later they held their first demonstration against police brutality in Los Angeles. The group continued to organize, working on issues from education and healthcare to political representation and opposition to the Vietnam War.
Radical Brownies, produced by Grace Lee and directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton. A documentary on the Radical Monarchs (previously known as the Radical Brownies), an alternative to the Girl Scouts for young girls of Color in Oakland, CA. Its members, who don brown berets in recognition of their ancestors, earn badges not for sewing or selling cookies, but for completing challenges on social justice, including Black Lives Matter, “radical beauty” and being an LGBTQ ally. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2iLy0Pu
6 110th anniversary of the Monongah Mining Disaster. In the Monongah mines of West Virginia, 362 men and boys were killed in a massive explosion, ignited by coal dust and methane gas. That year, 3,242 Americans were killed in mining accidents. The United Mine Workers of America fought for and won the passage of safety regulations in the mining industry.
On Coal River, by Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood. This film takes viewers on a gripping emotional journey into the Coal River Valley of West Virginia – a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. The film follows a former coal miner and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley, their children, and life as they know it. (H)http://bit.ly/2hVKGq7
8 Bodhi Day (Buddhism). Bodhi Day commemorates the day that Buddha reached enlightenment.
Under the Bodhi Tree, by Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. This book tells the story of the Buddha’s life, from his birth as a pampered prince, through his cultivation and enlightenment, to his founding of the Buddhist sangha and his final Nirvana. (E, M) http://bit.ly/sfwpqS
9 30th anniversary of the First Intifada. The First Intifada was a Palestinian rebellion against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. When outside pressure for return of the disputed territories failed to achieve results, young people initiated a series of demonstrations that became increasingly violent. The Intifada is credited with drawing international sympathy for the Palestinian situation.
The Palestine Teaching Trunk, by the Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle. The Palestine Teaching Trunk offers teaching materials for high school teachers to borrow. Each teaching trunk contains lesson plans, posters, artifacts, novels, DVDs and more. The curriculum is also available online to download. (TR) http://bit.ly/1fcJ1Cp
10 Human Rights Day. This day celebrates the UN’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human Rights and Service-Learning: Lesson Plans and Projects, by Kristine Belisle and Elizabeth Sullivan, Amnesty International-USA and Human Rights Education Associates (HREA). This manual contains lessons and service-learning projects. The lesson plans are divided into five human rights topic areas: environment, poverty, discrimination, children’s rights to education and health, and law and justice. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2mObd9C
The Human Rights Education program of Amnesty International. The Human Rights Education program was designed to support teachers to promote the human rights principles and positive value system that are set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Site includes curricular guides, letters for parents, lessons to use with popular films and more. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/d1D1BS
We Are All Born Free, published by Amnesty International. Published to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, We Are All Born Free uses pictures by internationally renowned artists to illustrate the meaning of these rights. (E) http://bit.ly/v1jRdL
10 International Animal Rights Day. International Animal Rights Day began in 1997 when a group of animal rights activists declared that all animals are sentient beings and deserve to be treated with respect. The group picked December 10 because it is also Human Rights Day and the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Animal Protection Activities, by the Institute for Humane Education. Activity topics include the connections between animal and human oppression, the inconsistencies in how we make choices about how we treat others, and more. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2KwWb0R
10 Ari Ne’eman, autism rights activist, born (1987). Ari Ne’eman, who has Asperger syndrome, is an American autism rights activist who co-founded the Autistic Self Advocacy Network in 2006. He also chaired the Policy & Program Evaluation Committee of the Council on Disability.
My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete. In this story, told from a sister’s point of view, we meet a family whose oldest son – who is autistic – teaches them important lessons about togetherness, hope, tolerance and love. (E) http://bit.ly/2rHEHVZ
10 20th Anniversary of the start of Julia “Butterfly” Hill’s two-year tree sit. From December 10, 1997 to December 18, 1999, Hill lived in a 1,500-year-old redwood tree in California, which she affectionately named “Luna,” to prevent the Pacific Lumber Company from clear-cutting the ancient redwood forest that housed the tree. After 738 days, a resolution was reached in which the company agreed to preserve Luna and all trees within a 200-foot buffer zone. Hill is the youngest person inducted into the Ecology Hall of Fame.
Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest, by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw. This beautifully illustrated picture book takes some liberties in telling the story of Julia “Butterfly” Hill and her two-year stint tree-sitting in an ancient redwood to prevent its destruction by the Pacific Lumber Company. (E) http://amzn.to/2nhfS0F
The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods, by Julia Hill. The story of Julia Hill’s activism on behalf of a forest facing destruction, as told by the woman herself. (H) http://amzn.to/2njIWW3
11 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. This international treaty requires ratifying nations to agree that global warming exists and is caused by man-made carbon dioxide emissions. It also requires nations to agree to reduce collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.3%. 191 nations have signed the treaty.
An Inconvenient Truth. This film exposes the myths and misconceptions that surround global warming and inspires actions to prevent it. The site includes a study guide and interactive activities. (H) http://bit.ly/sw1Unz
12 First day of Hanukkah, begins at sunset on 12/12 (Judaism). Hanukkah is an 8-day Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights.
Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah: With Lights, Latkes, and Dreidels, by Deborah Heiligman. This children’s book features National Geographic photography to illustrate how Jewish people around the world celebrate Hanukkah. (E) http://bit.ly/RflFhW
13 10th anniversary of the Environmental Justice Access and Implementation Act of 2007. This Act establishes a system of government accountability to ensure fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, particularly minority and low-income populations, in the development, management and enforcement of environmental laws.
Environmental Justice: Opposing a Toxic Landfill. A clip from Earthkeeping: Toxic Racism introduces the beginning of the environmental justice movement, the opposition to a toxic landfill in Warren, SC and how those protests led to wider awareness of and dialogue about the environment and communities of Color. (M, H) http://bit.ly/PEn2Fw
15 50th anniversary of the signing of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The Employment Opportunity Act of 1962 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made attempts to include protections against age discrimination, but the lack of data caused Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz to commission a study on “The Older American Worker: Age Discrimination in Employment.” Soon after its publication, in December 1967, the new law was signed by President Johnson.
50 Books About Labor, compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. A bibliography of 50 children’s books about labor issues. (E, M) http://bit.ly/Lgy8nX
15 20th anniversary of the appointment of Bill Lann Lee as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Bill Lann Lee, a renowned civil rights attorney, was appointed Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights by President Clinton. He became both the highest-ranking Civil Rights representative and the highest-ranking Asian American in the Justice Department.
Know Your Rights, by Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Know Your Rights resources and materials on various topics affecting the Asian American community, including citizenship clinics, language and voting rights, and more. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2n6wecZ
18 International Migrants Day. There are close to 200 million migrant workers in the world. The UN marks this date to recognize this diverse group of workers and the economic, social and political contexts that affect their rights and livelihoods.
Calling the Doves/El Canto de las Palomas, by Juan Felipe Herrera. This picture book is Herrera’s memoir of his childhood as a son of migrant farmworkers. Written in English and Spanish, it celebrates the work, skills and love of Herrera’s parents. (E) http://amzn.to/2sKe0ED
18 Judith E. “Judy” Heumann, American disability rights activist, born (1947). Heumann is a lifelong civil rights advocate for people with disabilities. Her work with governments and private organizations has produced significant contributions to the development of human rights legislation and policies benefiting children and adults with disabilities. Through her work in the World Bank and the State Department, Heumann extended the international reach of the disability rights and independent living movements.
Beyond Victims and Villains: Contemporary Plays by Disabled Playwrights, by Victoria Ann Lewis. This anthology, the first of its kind, explores how disabled artists depict the world they inhabit with their disabilities. (H) http://amzn.to/2mtDfHs
20 Frank Kameny fired from the Army Map Service for being homosexual. Kameny was the father of the LGBTQ Civil Rights Movement. He was arrested during a police sting in a public bathroom. The case was expunged, but he was fired from his job because homosexuals were barred from government employment. His appeal, which went to the Supreme Court, was the first civil rights case based on sexual orientation.
Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Takes Effect, by PBS Newshour. This PBS news footage of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell provides an article and downloadable video clip, along with warm up and discussion questions. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1vMdTAC
21 Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) marks the beginning of winter. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year.
A Coyote Solstice Tale, by Thomas King. Trickster Coyote is having his friends over for a festive solstice get-together in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the party-goers through the snowy woods to a shopping mall – a place they have never seen before. Winner of the American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Awards, Best Picture Book. (E) http://bit.ly/1TIeAtW
21 Soyal, the New Year’s celebration of the Hopi and Zuni. Among the Hopi and Zuni people, a ritual is performed to celebrate the return of the sun after winter and a time of renewal and purification.
Celebrate My Hopi Corn, by Anita Poleahla. This board book, written in Hopi and English, is the story of how corn is planted, cultivated, harvested and prepared for use in the Hopi home. The colorful illustrations by Hopi artist Emmett Navakuku describe the changing seasons and daily activities in a Hopi village. (E) http://bit.ly/2n7lqep
24 70th anniversary of Presidential Pardon for Japanese American Draft Resisters. President Harry Truman pardoned nearly 300 Japanese Americans who were imprisoned for resisting the draft during WWII. These resisters were American-born US citizens whose parents were Japanese immigrants. They objected to being forced to serve the country that imprisoned their families in internment camps.
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, by Amy Lee-Tai. This children’s book tells the story of a young girl and her family’s experience in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Lee-Tai invites the reader to explore the injustices hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans faced. Teacher resources and ideas for activities are included. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1mdeKuK
25 Christmas. Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus.
The Women Who Gave Us Christmas, by William Loren Katz. Article about how women organized Christmas bazaars to finance the abolition cause, and used the fundraisers as an opportunity to spread anti-slavery messages. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1QvQJe8
Alfredito Flies Home, by Jorge Argueta. Alfredito and his family are getting ready to return to their old home in El Salvador for Christmas, their first time back since they left as refugees. (E) http://bit.ly/24R4JW1
25 180th anniversary of the Seminole Nation victory at Lake Okeechobee. The Seminole Nation in Florida was a coalition of Africans and Native Americans. The Seminole Nation confronted the US invading troops that sought to destroy the coalition and return the Africans to slavery. At Lake Okeechobee, the Seminole defeated the forces of Zachary Taylor. The Seminole wars of resistance represent the largest slave revolt in US history and a powerful alliance with Native Americans.
The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role-Play. This role-play encourages students to explore from the inside the dynamics that led to Native American forced relocation. As they portray individuals in some of the groups that shaped these historical episodes, the aim is for them to see not only what happened, but why it happened – and to consider whether there were alternatives available. (M, H) http://bit.ly/vT0KrP
26 First day of Kwanzaa (Umoja = Unity). Kwanzaa is a 7-day celebration honoring African American culture and heritage in which each of the seven days is dedicated to a specific life principle.
The Official Kwanzaa Website, maintained by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa. This website provides information about the symbols, values and rituals of Kwanzaa. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2wtSIp
26 110th anniversary of the New York City Rent Strike. 16-year-old garment worker Pauline Newman organized one of the largest rent strikes in New York history. The strike involved 10,000 families, of whom about 2,000 succeeded in getting their rents reduced. More important, the strike attracted the attention of leading figures in the settlement house movement who eventually succeeded in implementing rent control in New York City.
Kids on Strike!, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This book for grades 5 and up features stories of strikes led by young people in the US to demand better wages, safer working conditions and other workers’ rights. (M) http://bit.ly/2tikQh7
27 Second day of Kwanzaa (Kujichagulia = Self-determination)
Black Owned Business Directory, by #NotOneDime. A growing list of Black-owned businesses to support. (TR) http://bit.ly/1Rsgclj
27 80th anniversary of Brown v Calvert County. Before desegregation, White teachers earned almost twice as much as Black teachers. Harriet Elizabeth Brown, a Black school teacher, enlisted the help of the NAACP and successfully sued Calvert County, MD for violating her 14th amendment rights. The Maryland Board of Education equalized salaries across the state, paving the way for similar changes nationwide.
Feminist Freedom Warriors. A digital video archive documenting cross-generational conversations about justice, politics and hope with feminist scholar-activists. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2kKV2X9
28 Third day of Kwanzaa (Ujima = Collective Work and Responsibility)
Mutual Aid Toolbox, by Big Door Brigade. We cannot rely on the government to provide what people need, especially when vulnerable people are under attack by government agencies and agents. This toolbox is a list of models and tools for starting mutual aid projects – projects that help materially support people facing eviction, deportation, criminalization, poverty, isolation and violence.(M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2kL2cup
29 Fourth day of Kwanzaa (Ujamaa = Cooperative Economics)
Cultivate.Coop. Cultivate.Coop is an online hub for pooling knowledge and resources on cooperatives. It is a space to collect free information for those interested in cooperatives, and one where people can build useful educational tools for the co-op community. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ekaidO
30 Fifth day of Kwanzaa (Nia = Purpose)
Seven Principles, by Sweet Honey In the Rock. A song that teaches the seven principles of Kwanzaa. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/vNc77L
31 New Year’s Eve
31 Sixth day of Kwanzaa (Kuumba = Creativity)
1 Seventh day of Kwanzaa (Imani = Faith)
2 50th anniversary of the signing of the Bilingual Education Act (BEA). Also known as Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, this was the first US law to address the needs of students with home languages other than English. Originally geared toward Spanish-speaking students, the law was later expanded to include other language speakers. A criticism of the law is that it failed to acknowledge the relationship between language and culture.
Rethinking Bilingual Education, by Rethinking Schools. A new, edited collection of articles about bringing students’ home languages into our classrooms. The stories offer powerful examples of social justice curricula taught by bilingual teachers. The volume also includes ideas and strategies for how to honor students’ home languages in schools with no bilingual programming. (TR) http://bit.ly/2njKRdr
4 70th anniversary of the independence of Burma from Great Britain. After a series of wars between Britain and Burma, spanning several decades, the British took control of the country in 1886. The country was annexed as a province of British India. After World War II, during which Burma helped Britain defeat Japan, the two countries negotiated terms for independence, which was finally attained in January 1948.
I See the Sun in Myanmar, by Dedie King. Aye Aye’s father is a fisherman on the river and her mother is a nurse in a nearby hospital. The story also provides an elementary introduction to Buddhist culture and the tradition of metta, a practice of saying phrases of loving kindness. The day unfolds with the verses of metta that Aye Aye whispers to herself. Her wishes of kindness and compassion to those around her mirror the deep-rooted Buddhist culture in Myanmar (also known as Burma). (E) http://bit.ly/2jUWSDM
6 110th anniversary of Winters v United States establishing Native American water rights. Indigenous communities, both historically and today, struggle against the government to protect their water rights. This case ruled that Indigenous communities have federally reserved and protected water rights. In recent years, these protections are again in question as water on Indigenous lands is being threatened by the practice of fracking.
#StandingRockSyllabus, by the NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective. This syllabus project contributes to the already substantial work of the Sacred Stones Camp, Red Warrior Camp, and the Oceti Sakowin Camp to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens traditional and treaty-guaranteed Great Sioux Nation territory. The different sections and articles place what is happening now in a broader historical, political, economic and social context going back over 500 years to the first expeditions of Columbus, the founding of the United States on institutionalized slavery, private property and dispossession, and the rise of global carbon supply and demand. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2dQye3P
9 Simone de Beauvoir, French writer and feminist, born (1908-1986). Simone de Beauvoir was an existentialist intellectual and outspoken feminist. Among her most influential writing was The Second Sex, one of the most important and earliest works on modern feminism. She was also very politically active, supporting Algeria and Hungary in their fights for independence, and was a leading critic of the Vietnam war.
Feminine Beauty: A Social Construct?, by Nigel Warburton and Harry Shearer. A 2-minute animated video that brings to life Simone de Beauvoir’s theory that resistance to male stereotypes of beauty can mean greater equality. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2jscO0m
9 40th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s inauguration. Harvey Milk was inaugurated as a San Francisco City Supervisor, becoming the first openly gay man to be elected to a political office in California.
The Harvey Milk Story, by Kari Krakow and David Gardner. A children’s book about Harvey Milk that can be used to spark discussions with younger children around topics of identity, pride, courage, activism and the broader concepts of freedom and representation in the United States. The website includes an educators’ guide and lesson plans for the book. (E) http://amzn.to/1lumbg0
13 40th anniversary of NASA’s selecting its first women astronauts. In 1978, NASA announced its latest group of astronauts, which included six women. All six eventually went on at least one mission to space. NASA had trained 13 other women as astronauts in the 1960s, but none of them ever got the opportunity to go into space.
Hidden Figures: A Discussion Guide, by Journeys in Film: Educating for Global Understanding. This free downloadable viewing guide accompanies the film, Hidden Figures. The guide is designed to support dialogue with families, educators, and middle- and high school students to understand the historical context of the women featured in the film. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2mccaXt
NASA Modern Figures Toolkit, by NASA. The NASA Modern Figures Toolkit is a collection of resources and educational activities for students in grades K-12. Each educational activity and resource includes a brief description, as well as information about how the activities and lessons align with education standards. Resources highlighted include videos, historical references and STEM materials. (E, M, H) http://go.nasa.gov/2mYcyJ3
13 60th anniversary of the landmark decision in One, Inc. v Olesen. “ONE: The Homosexual Magazine,” began in 1952 to advance the stories, rights and experiences of the LGBT community. The FBI and US Postal Service accused the magazine of publishing material that was “obscene, lewd, lascivious, and filthy,” using Comstock laws to prevent its mail delivery. The Court ruled in favor of the magazine, the first time the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the LGBT community.
The Visibility Project. The Visibility Project is a video story collection and photo portraiture series featuring Queer Asian American Women, as well as transgender and gender non-conforming people. The project combines art, media and social justice to document personal experiences and share histories. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1vj1wOr
14 Makar Sankranti (Hinduism). Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival that celebrates the day when the Sun-God begins its ascent into the Northern Hemisphere.
Uttarayan, by BAPS Swaminarayn Sanstha. This kid-friendly page provides information about “Uttarayan” or Makar Sankranti. Visitors can read about the different rituals that take place and view photographs. Links to other festivals and related topics are also available. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1gx1RE2
15 Martin Luther King Day. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a US federal holiday marking the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a prominent leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement. It is observed on the third Monday of each January, around the time of King’s birthday, January 15th.
Liberation Curriculum, by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Lesson plans, primary resources and articles based on the Martin Luther King, Jr. archives at Stanford University. (H) http://stanford.io/1DNVv1M
Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching, by Deborah Menkart, Alana Murray and Jenice L. View. This book includes interactive and interdisciplinary lessons, readings, writings, photographs, graphics and interviews, with sections on education, labor, citizenship and culture, and reflections on teaching about the Civil Rights Movement. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/uPIYBc
15 20th anniversary of the law against domestic abuse in Turkey. Turkey’s parliament passed a law that husbands could be indicted for domestic abuse. Though significant on its face, there are many glaring exclusions, including unmarried women and divorced women, and virtually no enforcement, according to Human Rights Watch.
Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America, by Peter Cohn. This resource is a 64-minute film, along with viewing guides and other educational materials. “Power and Control” has two main strands: the first, the story of a family and the second an account of how domestic violence policy has evolved over the past 30 years. This link brings you to the main site, and you can click on “For Educators” at the top to access the teaching materials. (H) http://bit.ly/2lYABGX
16 Religious Freedom Day. Religious Freedom Day commemorates the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which declared that government-mandated religion was a violation of one’s natural rights. In doing so, Virginia became the first state to separate church and state.
Maintain Neutrality, by Teaching Tolerance. This link provides a collection of lessons designed to help teachers maintain the distinction between “teaching religion” and “teaching about religion.” The site has a wide array of other lessons and resources on the topic. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/9B9stE
Taking a Closer Look at Religions Around the World, by Teaching Tolerance. This lesson offers a starting point for exploring religions and faith traditions, creating an ongoing respectful dialogue about religious tolerance. (M, H) http://bit.ly/d0WqIg
Respecting Nonreligious People, by Teaching Tolerance. Students often learn the importance of respecting people of different religions, but what about people who do not hold religious beliefs at all? This lesson introduces students to people who choose not to follow a religion. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/nonrelig
We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, by Deepa Iyer. In the lead-up to the recent presidential election, Donald Trump called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States, surveillance against mosques, and the creation of a database of all Muslims living in the country, tapping into anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hysteria to a degree not seen since the targeting of South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh people in the wake of 9/11. In the American Book Award–winning We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer shows that this is the latest in a series of recent racial flashpoints. (H) http://bit.ly/1KtM1pM
18 60th anniversary of the Lumbee Indians driving out the Ku Klux Klan. After crosses were burned on the lawns of two Lumbee Indian families in North Carolina, the KKK held a rally “to put the Indians in their place.” About 1,000 Lumbee tribesmen surrounded the Klansmen and disrupted the rally, forcing the Klan to flee in terror. Although the Klan remained active in North Carolina, they never bothered the Lumbee again.
North Carolina’s Lumbee Fight for Justice: The Battle at Hayes Pond, by Carolina K-12 Schools. In this lesson, students learn about North Carolina’s Lumbee and their heroic resistance to hatred and bigotry on this night, known as “The Battle of Hayes Pond.” Students will explore the night’s events and design an “Active Citizenship” award to honor the Lumbee for their vigilance in fighting for their rights. (M) http://unc.live/2meNGMU
Ku Klux Klan Activity from Harper’s Weekly, by Oakham School in Oakham, England. This activity about the Ku Klux Klan from Harper’s Weekly includes instructions, primary documents, and the text of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. (H) http://bit.ly/1tvMDFK
18 50th anniversary of Eartha Kitt’s remarks at the White House about crime and juvenile delinquency. At a White House luncheon, Black American actress Eartha Kitt told an audience of White women, including the First Lady, that crime and delinquency among America’s youth was a direct result of the Johnson Administration’s Vietnam War policies. Consequently, she was blackballed in the US, unable to find work for 10 years. Her career blossomed in Europe, and she eventually returned to the US where she continued to thrive.
13th Critical Viewing Guide, by Graduate Students in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College and Dr. Leigh Patel. Ava DuVernay’s film, 13th, provides a history of the establishment and maintenance of the prison industrial complex as an extension of chattel slavery in a racist, profit-driven society. This guide seeks to further elucidate several important themes not sufficiently covered in the documentary, but that undergird projects of racist capitalism. The guide provides questions for reflection, readings, videos, infographics and other materials, and aims to facilitate a more critical engagement with the film. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2n1BZt8
23 Gertrude Belle Elion, biochemist and Nobel Prize laureate, born (1918-1999). Gertrude Elion was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988 for her revolutionary research in the fields of pharmacology and medicine. In the 1950s, Elion and her research partner George Hitchings developed a method of synthesizing drugs for the treatment of leukemia, malaria, infections and gout. Their work was also instrumental in the development of safe organ transplantation.
Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty. Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. Downloadable teacher’s guide, posters, bookmarks and more. (E) http://bit.ly/2lT5f3u
24 170th anniversary of the California Gold Rush. The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848 when gold was discovered in the American River at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of the gold discovery led to a boom in people traveling to the area, including a large influx of immigrants from China. Although these immigrants would go on to help support the infrastructure of the area, they faced a campaign by White Americans that included both legal and violent measures to restrict and eventually halt immigration from China into California. Despite the efforts to keep non-Whites out, the gold rush is partly responsible for the vast ethnic diversity in California.
Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America, by David H.T. Wong. Told as the history of the Wong family, this accessible volume offers readers both a panoramic and intimate look at the Chinese experience in North America. No doubt, this is a story of racism, exploitation and violence, but it is also a story of warmth and solidarity. (H)http://bit.ly/2mxipHy
25 100th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from Bolshevik Russia. When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian Czar in 1917, Ukraine, a very prosperous region, declared itself a republic within a federated Russia. After Lenin rose to power, Ukraine went a step further, declaring total independence in January 1918. Independence was fleeting, as Ukraine was unable to withstand the Soviet incursion. It became one of the first members of the USSR in 1922, and remained so until the USSR’s collapse in 1991.
25 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba. Pope John Paul II was the first head of the Catholic Church to visit Cuba since the communist takeover in 1959. During his visit, the Pope criticized the Castro government for its repression of religious and other freedoms. He also condemned the US for its decades-long sanctions against Cuba, which, he said, have imposed undue hardships on the poorest of the Cuban population.
The Cuban Missile Crisis: Considering Its Place in Cold War History, by The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that examines the Cuban missile crisis and the relationship between the US and Cuba. Materials include videos, lesson plans and web links. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/s5OtiG
27 110th Anniversary of Adair v United States. The Supreme Court ruled that Section 10 of the Erdman Act, prohibiting railroad companies from precluding union membership as a condition of employment, was unconstitutional because it infringed on the right to liberty of contract under the Fifth Amendment and exceeded Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause. This was a significant blow to workers’ rights.
History of Railroad Unions in the US. Comprehensive collection of documents, videos and links about the history of railroad unions in the United States. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1vuka6C
30 70th anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. A Hindu peace activist who promoted civil disobedience, first in South Africa and later in his homeland, Gandhi started a movement that ended the oppressive British colonization of India. His assassination in 1948 was the sixth attempt on his life. He inspired many liberationists, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
Gandhi, by Demi. Demi’s book is a straightforward illustrated biography of Gandhi’s life. (E) http://amzn.to/2tByrQP
31 80th anniversary of the Pecan Shellers Strike. Led by labor organizer Emma Tenayuca, 12,000 San Antonio pecan shellers, mostly Latina women, walked off their jobs. The pecan-shelling industry was one of the lowest-paid industries in the US, with pecan dust causing high rates of tuberculosis among the workers. Although the strike didn’t achieve its goals, it is considered a milestone in the Mexican American struggle for justice.
That’s Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/No Es Justo! La Lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la Justica, by Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Teneyuca. A description of the children’s book, which tells the story of Emma Tenayuca’s fight for labor rights. Ideas for activities and teacher resources are also included. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1Z1IAR1
1 First day of African American History Month
The African American Experience: North Carolina Freedom Monument Project. These lesson plans help students become familiar with the life and contributions of David Walker, abolitionist and civil rights leader. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Juaqke
African American Odyssey, by Library of Congress. Comprehensive online display of materials and primary resources related to the African American experience. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/aXfZMt
Blacked Out History: REBELLION, by Dream Defenders. An extraordinary collection of digital art pieces for every day of February, highlighting and educating users about lesser known historical events related to struggles for freedom. (M, H, TR) http://ddblackedouthistory.tumblr.com/
This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration, by Jacqueline Woodson. The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration, told by tracking the history of a rope that is passed down through three generations. (E) http://amzn.to/1oWJ7Yj
1 180th anniversary of the first woman to address a legislative body in the US. Angelina Grimké addressed the Massachusetts state legislature on behalf of 20,000 women of Massachusetts who signed petitions pleading for the rights of African Americans. Grimké described the cruelty she had seen in the South and the racial prejudice in the North.
Angelina and Sarah Grimké: Sisters of Social Reform. Students learn about two women who worked to abolish slavery, and about the importance of setting goals and ambitions. (E) http://bit.ly/2coz8F4
2 170th anniversary of the end of the Mexican-American War. In its quest to control the continent, the US tried several times to buy land from Mexico. Mexico’s refusal to sell and the American annexation of Texas drove the neighboring nations to war. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo codified Mexico’s defeat, which ceded several southwestern states for $15 million. The US Senate reneged on some of the terms, souring post-war relations.
US-Mexico War: “We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God,” by Bill Bigelow. This teaching activity is based on Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States, and provides students with a variety of themes regarding the US-Mexico border during the early 19th Century. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1U9d1Ci
6 100th anniversary of (some) British women winning the right to vote. The Representation of People Act of 1918 gave voting rights to women over the age of 30 who owned property. While it was a step forward, only 40 percent of British women met these criteria. Ten years later, the Equal Franchise Act gave all women over the age of 21 the right to vote.
7 120th anniversary of the Dreyfus Affair. French artillery captain Alfred Dreyfus was falsely accused of treason, convicted on no evidence, and exiled to Devil’s Island for life. Dreyfus was Jewish, and antisemitism played a major role in his conviction. Writer Émile Zola wrote a scathing letter to the newspaper accusing the military of a cover-up, for which he was convicted of libel. Dreyfus was eventually exonerated and reinstated to the army.
The Dreyfus Affair, a video from PBS. This video from the PBS series The Story of the Jews examines the Dreyfus Affair – a trial that began in 1894, which shook the French population and had a lasting impact on Theodor Herzl, an influential Zionist leader. Site includes support materials, including discussion questions, handouts and teacher resources. (H) http://bit.ly/2lH4oWX
8 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre. A protest at a Whites-only bowling alley launched days of unrest in Orangeburg, SC. Tensions came to a head at South Carolina State College when the city’s White police force fired on more than 100 unarmed African American students. Two years before the deadly Kent State shootings, the massacre was relegated to relative obscurity by racist press coverage.
Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968, film by Judy Richardson and Bestor Cram. A documentary film that brings to light the story of the attack by state police on a demonstration in Orangeburg, South Carolina that left three students dead and 28 injured. (H) http://bit.ly/2j8KUGj
11 40th anniversary of the start of the Longest Walk. Symbolizing the forced relocation of Native Americans, the Longest Walk was a 2,700-mile transcontinental march for Native justice, starting in San Francisco and ending in Washington, DC. It was also a protest against pending legislation that threatened Native American land, hunting and fishing rights. Following the march, the bills were defeated, but this was the last major demonstration by the Red Power Movement.
Framing Red Power, by Jason A. Heppler. This is an online collection of historical documents and articles about the Trail of Broken Treaties. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/uc1xwV
12 50th anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. After two garbage collectors were crushed to death on the job, African American sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike to demand safer working conditions, higher wages and union recognition. Martin Luther King, Jr. prominently supported the striking workers. About to launch the Poor People’s Campaign, he believed their struggle highlighted why economic justice needed to be at the center of the Civil Rights Movement.
I Am a Man, a digital library from Wayne State University. This website contains comprehensive information about the Sanitation Workers Strike and the surrounding political and social context. It includes a wealth of primary source documents and multimedia clips to support teaching and learning. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2laUBF0
14 Frederick Douglass, African American social reformer and abolitionist, born (1818-1895). Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass was one of the most influential abolitionists in US history, speaking widely against the evils of slavery and advising Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Douglass was the first Black person to hold a significant position in US government and continued advocating for the rights of women and African Americans until his death in 1895.
Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom, by Bill Bigelow. This lesson introduces students to the numerous and varied ways African Americans resisted enslavement, using the autobiographical narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, published in 1845. It includes a video of Danny Glover reading Douglass’s speech questioning what Independence Day means to African Americans. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/twIr1s
14 Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of one or more early saints named Valentinus, and became associated with romantic love several centuries later during the Middle Ages in England.
Flower Workers Lesson Plans, International Labor Rights Forum. This lesson plan explores workers’ rights in the cut flower industry and how consumerism on Valentine’s Day in the US affects workers abroad. (E, M) http://bit.ly/tFAlAq
Fair Trade in the Classroom, by Global Exchange. Through this Valentine’s Day unit, students learn about child labor and how it’s exploited by big chocolate companies. Students take social action by telling these companies that they should sell Fair Trade products instead. (E, M) http://bit.ly/95yZbZ
Love in 7 Portraits, by National Geographic. Photographers share one of their favorite photographs that they feel captures the essence of love. Consider asking students to share a photograph of their own that depicts love in their lives. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1Rkfczq
14 Ash Wednesday/first day of Lent (Christianity). Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a time of penitence and reflection in preparation for Easter for most Western Christians.
BBC Schools: Guide to Christianity. This site includes basic information about Christianity, including Lent and Easter, as well as links to classroom activities intended to help students understand the beliefs and practices of Christians. (M, H, TR) http://bbc.in/ROXVFb
14 Mahashivaratri (Hinduism). Mahashivaratri (Night of the Shiva) is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates Lord Shiva. Devotees observe day and night fasting and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.
15 120th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Maine. An explosion sank the USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor, killing 268 American crew members. Though the cause remained a mystery, inflammatory press coverage blamed the Spanish, and business interests pressured President McKinley to seize on this opportunity to expand the American commercial empire. This helped launch the Spanish-American war a year later, which furthered American imperialist efforts with the colonization and annexation of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
Resistance in Paradise: Rethinking 100 Years of U.S. Involvement in the Caribbean and the Pacific, Teaching Guide, edited by Debbie Wei and Rachel Kamel. This teaching guide focuses on the role of US involvement in countries such as Hawai’i, Guam and Puerto Rico. Filled with illustrations, cartoons, photographs, poems, stories and historical and contemporary documents that are formatted for easy reproduction for classroom use. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/rsJayw
15 Parinirvana – Nirvana Day (Buddhism). Parinirvana Day is a Mahayana Buddhist holiday that marks the day when the Buddha is said to have achieved Parinirvana, or complete Nirvana, upon the death of his physical body.
Becoming Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha, by Whitney Stewart. This book follows Buddha from pre-birth prophecies through his pampered youth, his break with royal life and his quest for enlightenment. (E) http://bit.ly/udMbPl
16 Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year is the beginning of the year according to the Lunar Calendar. It is celebrated throughout the world, particularly in Asia.
Lunar New Year, books reviewed by The Asian American Curriculum Project. A review of children’s books from several Asian cultures about the Lunar New Year. (E) http://bit.ly/aabooks
A Chinese New Year Celebration, by IndyKids. Bilingual essays by students discussing what Chinese New Year is about and what it means to them. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1ezU9co
Shanghai Messenger, by Andrea Cheng. Shanghai Messenger is about a young Chinese girl, the child of an American father and Chinese mother, who travels back to China to visit her extended family and explore her roots. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/tVVSjp
16 Tet (Vietnamese New Year). Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, is the most popular holiday in Vietnam. Tet marks the arrival of spring, based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Celebrations last at least three days and people celebrate by visiting friends and family and cooking special holiday foods.
Vietnamese Americans Interdisciplinary Curriculum Guide, by Teaching Tolerance. This curriculum guide sheds light on the complexities of the Vietnamese American experience. (M, H) http://bit.ly/9Q1L0r
19 Presidents’ Day. Presidents’ Day began as an official holiday to honor George Washington’s birthday, and is still officially called Washington’s Birthday by the federal government. Today, the holiday honors all those who have served as President of the United States.
#TrumpSyllabus, created and compiled by Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Alicia Moore and Regina Lewis. A compilation of lesson plans written by and for K-12th-grade teachers (and college educators) for teaching about the 2016 presidential campaign, resistance and revolution, White privilege and White supremacy, state-sanctioned violence and sanctuary classrooms, fake news and Facebook, and freedom and justice. Each lesson plan is presented in its entirety and includes warm-up and group activities, essential questions and objectives, resources and connections to the Common Core Standards. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2j7rtya
Teaching Against Trumpism, by Radical Teacher. Thoroughly vetted, well-organized list of syllabi, lesson plans, resource guides, multimedia and more, compiled by educators and activists, to assist educators in teaching against Trumpism. (TR) http://bit.ly/2lRHkC6
Write the Truth, by Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools. Peterson describes an inquiry project in which his fifth graders investigated which US presidents owned slaves, and then wrote letters to textbook publishers to demand that this information be included. (E, M) http://bit.ly/svqysP
19 50th anniversary of Florida’s statewide teachers’ strike of 1968. Florida teachers walked out across the state after years of sanctions on a government that refused to adequately fund deteriorating public schools or teachers’ salaries. They won a salary raise, and per classroom spending increased. This was the nation’s first statewide teachers’ strike, and it was the first strike supported by the National Education Association, which finally adopted more militant union tactics.
Granito de Arena/Grain of Sand; Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad/A Little Bit of So Much Truth; Desde el Filo de la Navaja/ From the Edge of the Blade. These three films document different aspects of the community-based movement against the state government in Oaxaca. The first film documents the three-decades-long struggle by the teachers’ union to democratize their union. The other films specifically focus on the 2006 “rebellion,” which led to the temporary toppling of the state government. (TR) http://bit.ly/2dH3EKP; http://bit.ly/2e9nxxJ; http://bit.ly/1qLDSvh
21 190th anniversary of the first newspaper published by Native Americans. The Cherokee Phoenix was the first Native newspaper in the US, established in 1828 and published in the Cherokee language. The paper editorialized against the Indian Removal Act and helped unify the Nation. It was forced to close six years later because of a lack of funds. As Chief Ross made plans to revive the paper, a local White militia destroyed their printing press and burned the office. It re-opened in 1844 and is still in print.
The Cherokee Nation and the Birth of a New Script, by Geraldine Granahan, New York Historical Society Museum & Library. This New York Historical Society Library blog post features items that were printed in the Cherokee language, including the Cherokee Advocate newspaper, which was printed weekly in Cherokee and English. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1jTLAht
21 International Mother Language Day. International Mother Language Day is observed yearly to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
Abuela, by Arthur Dorros. Rosalba, a young Hispanic girl, spends a day with her grandmother, who speaks only Spanish. Together, they embark on an adventure, flying across New York City and ending up where Abuela grew up. As they explore different areas, they exchange Spanish and English words. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1ahF9eu
21 50th anniversary of the founding of ANERA. The Arab-Israeli War of 1967 left thousands of Palestinians poor and homeless. A small group of Americans coalesced to provide immediate assistance to survivors of the conflict. In concert with groups on the ground, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) continues its work today in Palestine and Lebanon as a non-religious and non-political nonprofit.
Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine, by Refaat Alareer. A compelling anthology of short stories from 15 young writers in Gaza. Their words take us into the homes and hearts of moms, dads, students, children and elders striving to live lives of dignity, compassion and meaning in one of the world’s most embattled communities. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oomY4K
23 W.E.B. Du Bois, African American scholar, journalist and civil rights leader, born (1868-1963). W.E.B. Du Bois was an internationally renowned anti-racist organizer, communist and public intellectual. He wrote The Souls of Black Folk, which urged Black society to abandon complacency as a strategy for defeating racism and agitate more radically against their oppression. A founder of the NAACP, Du Bois was the leading figure in its fight for anti-lynching legislation in the early 1900s.
A Teacher’s Guide to The Souls of Black Folk, by Penguin USA. Several units of lesson plans ranging from Du Bois’s disagreements with Booker T. Washington to Jim Crow, to Emancipation and its aftermath. (H) http://bit.ly/2mh3ajn
What’s in a Name? W.E.B. Du Bois vs. W.E.B. De Bois, by Aldon Morris, author of The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology. Blog post reflecting on the misspelling of Du Bois’s name in a tweet from the US Dept. of Education. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2lgQVS4
26 80th anniversary of the Chinese Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Strike. Chinese American garment workers were grossly underpaid. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union began organizing in Chinatown, and the women soon went on strike against National Dollar Stores. They won a 40-hour work week, better wages and safer working conditions, and helped to racially integrate the leadership of the ILGWU.
Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance, by National Women’s History Museum. This online exhibit highlights the experiences, innovation and resistance of Chinese American women during their first 100 years in the United States. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/18FrvTD
1 Tecumseh, Native American leader, born (1768-1813). Tecumseh was a Shawnee chief who formed the largest confederation of nations, known as Tecumseh’s Confederacy. He fought many battles against the US Army, and supported the British in the War of 1812. Tecumseh’s political leadership, oratory, humanitarianism and personal bravery attracted the attention of friends and foes, and he was greatly admired by both the British and the Americans. His exact birth date is not known.
Tecumseh’s Speech to the Osages (Winter 1811-12). Tecumseh, a Shawnee leader, sought to persuade all Indian tribes to unify against the growing White incursion into Indian lands. Links lead to primary text and Brian Jones’s video re-enactment of the speech. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1pfwY8P
1 40th anniversary of the first observance of Women’s History Week in Sonoma County, CA. Women’s History Week, established by the Education Task Force of Sonoma County (CA) Commission on the Status of Women, eventually led to the establishment of Women’s History Month, proclaimed by Congress in 1987.
Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History, by Kate Schatz. Forty stories of women all over the world who have persevered and fought for equality – from well-known leaders to lesser-known heroines like Chinese feminist Qiu Jin, Japanese mountain climber Junko Tabei, and Nazi resister Sophie Scholl. From ancient heroes to contemporary figures, the book spans centuries and continents. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1Lu1St4
Nine 2017 Releases from Latinx Authors to Add to Your TBR this Women’s History Month, by Bustle. Students are encouraged to use Women’s History Month as an opportunity to diversify their reading to include books by Latinx authors. With everything going on in the US right now, we need to amplify these voices. The only way to ensure that we continue to see diverse voices on our nation’s bookshelves is by reading and championing more of them. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2mjm9Mx
1 First day of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month, which grew out of a weeklong celebration in California, is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, society and culture.
Let Her Learn: A Toolkit to Stop School Push Out for Girls of Color, by the National Women’s Law Center. This toolkit will help you determine if your school’s discipline policy treats girls of Color fairly. Use this guide to learn your rights, how you can change your school policy and where to find help. (TR) http://bit.ly/2i1PIRG
Decolonizing Gender, by Malcolm Shanks and khari jackson, from People’s Ed Movement. A free zine that includes tools and resources for those interested in facilitating workshops and lessons on decolonizing gender. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2lizC7r
1 50th anniversary of the first in a series of East Los Angeles school walkouts. Mexican American teachers and students in Los Angeles demanded improvements to their schools, including bilingual and bicultural education. When the school board refused, they walked out en masse in the first of the “East LA Blowouts.” This battle against White supremacy unified the Chicano community into a powerful political force.
Walkout, a film produced by Moctesuma Esparza. Walkout is the stirring true story of the Chicano students of East Los Angeles who, in 1968, staged several dramatic walkouts in their high schools to protest academic prejudice and dire school conditions. 111-minute film. (H) http://bit.ly/2iW7mqP
Pump Up the Blowouts: Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of the Chicano/a School Blowouts, by Gilda L. Ochoa. Ideas for teaching students about the 1968 walkouts by Chicano students in California. (H) http://bit.ly/2j5w03l
The History All Around Us: Roosevelt High School and the 1968 Eastside Blowouts, by Brian C. Gibbs. A teacher uses the activist history of Theodore Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles to pose students the question: “What would you be willing to do to create change?” (M, H) http://bit.ly/2j5DrYh
1 Purim begins at sunset on 2/28 (Judaism). Purim celebrates the defeat of a plot to exterminate Jews living in Persia. It is one of the most joyous holidays of the Jewish faith.
Purim (Celebrations in My World), by Lynn Peppas. This children’s book explores the story and customs of Purim. (E) http://bit.ly/TGc6Id
Judaism 101. Website for basic information about Judaism and Jewish holidays and customs. (E, M, TR) http://bit.ly/cYCpN7
2 First Day of Holi (Hinduism). Holi is a 2-day Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, as well as the arrival of Spring. It is also known as the “Festival of Colors” for the ritual throwing of colored water and powder on friends and family.
Holi, by Uma Krishnaswami. This children’s book uses photographs to explore Holi. It shows how participants use colorful powders to celebrate this holiday. (E) http://bit.ly/ZUxEKc
3 Rubén Salazar, journalist and activist, born (1928-1970). Rubén Salazar, the most important Latino journalist of the 20th century, was killed by an LA County Sheriff’s deputy on August 29, 1970. Salazar worked for several major newspapers and later served as News Director at KMEX, one of the nation’s first Spanish language TV stations. He was an outspoken advocate for Chicano rights, and often reported on the mistreatment of Latinos by LA’s police and sheriff’s departments.
500 Años del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, by Elizabeth Martinez. This book presents Chicano history and the true story of La Raza through hundreds of photos, drawings, paintings and bilingual text. This photo essay celebrates the survival of the Mestizo people, their resistance to exploitation and the strength of the Raza women. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1ccLz1m
4 30th anniversary of Searcey v Crim. The Atlanta Peace Alliance sued the Atlanta School Board for denying their organization and other peace movements the same access that military recruiters are given to school bulletin boards, guidance counselors and career days and youth motivational days. The Court ruled that this denial of access was unconstitutional.
Camouflaged: Investigating How the U.S. Military Affects You and Your Community, by NYCoRE. This resource collection is a tool for educators to help students explore the role of the military in their lives and in their communities. (M, H) http://bit.ly/JTwH94
6 50th anniversary of the establishment of the National Council on Indian Opportunity. Established by Executive Order in response to the Red Power Movement, the National Council on Indian Opportunity was an initiative intended to support tribal and urban Native Americans. Before its premature end, it facilitated tribal self-determination by expanding access to federal funds.
We Shall Remain. This is a PBS miniseries and multimedia project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. Five 90-minute documentaries, spanning 300 years, tell the story of pivotal moments in US history from the Native American perspective. Website includes teacher’s guides. (H) http://to.pbs.org/10DjT
6 30th anniversary of the Gallaudet University “DPN” protest. The only university in the world designed for deaf and hard of hearing students, Gallaudet University had never had a deaf president. When the Board chose its seventh hearing president, students protested until the Board reversed its decision and hired a deaf candidate, Dr. I. King Jordan, rendering the Deaf President Now (DNP) protest a success.
Keep Your Ear on the Ball, by Genevieve Petrillo and Lea Lyon. This children’s book features Davey, who is blind and very independent, except when it comes to playing kickball. After his friends reject him from their team, they learn to work together to respect Davey’s unique abilities. (E) http://bit.ly/13elPRb
8 International Women’s Day. More than 15,000 women workers marched through New York City to demand higher wages, shorter hours and voting rights, inspiring similar actions across the world. At a Socialist International conference, women decided to designate a day for women to rally for and continue to make gender equity demands. In 1977, March 8 officially became the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
The National Women’s History Project website. The National Women’s History Project is an educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs. (TR) http://bit.ly/1bLzBiR
Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai: Shaking the Tree, by Marieke van Woerkom. To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, students think about women they admire, learn about African leader Wangari Maathai, and discuss the Peter Gabriel song “Shaking the Tree.” (H) http://bit.ly/t11Crk
10 50th anniversary of César Chávez’s first hunger strike. Consensus was building inside the United Farm Workers (UFW) to meet violence with violence in their struggle for human rights. Chávez fasted for 25 days, ending on March 10, to demonstrate his commitment to nonviolent resistance. His hunger strike brought national attention to the UFW fight.
Viva La Causa: The Story of César Chávez and a Great Movement for Social Justice, by Teaching Tolerance. This short documentary film and accompanying teacher’s guide explore the Grape Strike and Boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. The free teaching kit includes a 39-minute film on DVD and a teacher’s guide. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/ffoc4E
11 Daylight Saving Time begins
13 First Day of Deaf History Month. Deaf History Month celebrates the contributions of deaf Americans to US society and culture, and promotes awareness of deaf culture in America.
Observing Deaf History Month, by Alexandra Gomez. This article provides readers with information about milestones in deaf history, as well as links to fiction and nonfiction books about deaf people. (M, H, TR) http://on.nypl.org/VDs76u
Deaf Jam, directed by Judy Lieff. This film follows Aneta Brodski, a deaf teen living in New York City, who discovers the power of American Sign Language poetry. As she prepares to be one of the first deaf poets to compete in a spoken-word slam, her journey leads to an unexpected collaboration. The website includes clips and a deaf history timeline. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/PrShXc
13 20th anniversary of the overturning of California’s Prop 187. Proposition 187 required health care providers, teachers, social workers and police officers to verify and report on the immigration status of everyone they worked with. After mass protests and a long legal battle, a California judge declared the ballot measure unconstitutional.
Education Not Deportation: A Toolkit for Educators, by TeachDream. A free PDF toolkit for educators and school communities to support and stand with both documented and undocumented immigrant students and families. (TR) http://bit.ly/2lr95kP
Fear and Learning at Hoover Elementary, produced by Laura Simon. This documentary film follows the social and political context that led to the success of the anti-immigrant ballot initiative, Proposition 187. The film was produced by a Mexican American fourth grade teacher who taught at Hoover Elementary. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/13YChA1
Drop the I-Word Campaign, by Race Forward, the Center for Racial Justice Innovation. Race Forward’s “Drop the I-Word” campaign to eliminate use of the word “illegal” was launched in September 2010 as anti-immigrant sentiment and hate crimes against communities of Color had increased. Site includes a video and a toolkit for activists and educators. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/28NFQEW
14 10th anniversary of Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan. This four-day event, organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, drew veterans from across the country to discuss their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some participants offered photographic and video evidence to support their claims of war crimes and other illegal activities. The event also featured panels of experts, Iraqi and Afghan civilians, and journalists, who discussed a range of topics, including GI resistance movements, veterans’ health benefits, gender and sexuality, among others.
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq, by Jeanette Winter. Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For 14 years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library – along with the 30,000 books within it – will be destroyed forever. (E) http://bit.ly/1SwFIeu
Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey, by Doug Kuntz. When an Iraqi family is forced to flee their home, they can’t bear to leave their beloved cat Kunkush behind. They carry him with them from Iraq to Greece, keeping their secret passenger hidden away. But during the crowded boat crossing to Greece, his carrier breaks and the frightened cat runs from the chaos. This moving true story captures the hope of this war-torn family to be reunited with their cat. (E) http://amzn.to/2lb28mZ
The United States in Afghanistan, by The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that brings students into the policy debate about the US presence in Afghanistan. Materials include graphic organizers, videos, maps, images and web links. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/rOtp9Q
16 40th anniversary of the Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill. The Amoco Cadiz ran aground three miles off the coast of France, splitting into three pieces and dumping its entire cargo (219,797 tons of oil) into the sea, producing an oil slick 18 miles long and 80 miles wide, polluting 200 miles of coastline.
The Elders Are Watching, by David Bouchard. As Native elders have advised from time immemorial, this is a gentle plea to respect the natural environment. (E, M) http://amzn.to/2kjhCZe
16 50th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre. In one of the most horrific acts of violence against civilians during the Vietnam War, a unit of American soldiers brutally killed as many as 500 women, children and elderly people in the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. The brutality of these killings and the extent of the cover-up that followed heightened growing antiwar sentiment on the home front.
Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War, Inside A People’s History for the Classroom, by Bill Bigelow. This lesson helps students uncover the historical roots of the Vietnam War to better understand why and in whose interest this war was fought. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1vqiUBs
17 10th anniversary of the release of Mokarrameh Ebrahimi and her son from an Iranian prison. Found guilty of adultery in Iran, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi was sentenced to death by stoning. The “Stop Stoning Forever” campaign brought worldwide attention to her execution, and Ebrahimi and her son – whom she had while in prison – were released after 11 years. This galvanized the global struggle against cruel punishment.
Herman’s House Lesson Plan: Is Solitary Confinement “Cruel and Unusual”? by PBS. In this lesson, students explore the relationship between evidence and opinion as they examine whether prolonged solitary confinement should be declared unconstitutional based on the Eighth Amendment. Video clips provided are from Herman’s House, a documentary about Herman Wallace, an inmate at Angola prison who has spent 40-plus years in solitary confinement – more than any other person in the United States. (H) http://to.pbs.org/2mDe9mp
19 50th anniversary of the Howard University student protests. For five days, students at Howard University occupied the administration building, demanding the right of their campus newspaper to criticize the policies of the university president. They also called for a department of African American history and culture, and the resignation of the university president. Many of the students’ demands were met, sparking Black student movements nationwide.
Know Your Rights Posters, by Oakland International High School Students. For six weeks, 11th graders at OIHS investigated their rights in the United States as part of an interdisciplinary project-based unit in their Reading and Digital Media Arts class. They created a full range of posters for free download and print. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2l9gYfI
Why Protest? A zine, by Project NIA. Why Protest? is available for free download in the hope that everyone who can will make their own copies to share with their communities, hand it out at protests, use it to start discussions about why protest matters, and pass it along to the people in their lives who are newly engaged in politics. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2mQbpqB
21 World Down Syndrome Day. This day is dedicated to raising public awareness and advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome. It has been officially recognized by the UN since 2012.
My Friend Isabelle, by Eliza Woloson. This book is about Charlie and Isabelle’s friendship. At first, Charlie sees only the differences between himself and Isabelle, who has Down syndrome, but in the end, he realizes all of the similarities they share. Book description is on 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which offers a summary of this book and other social justice children’s literature titles. (E) http://bit.ly/154hueW
21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination commemorates the lives of the anti-apartheid demonstrators killed on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa.
Short Films on Race and Racism, from the New York Times. Three short films (under 6 minutes each) that teachers can use in the classroom to start conversations about how race and racism affect the way people see themselves and others. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2myMaEY
Teaching the “New Jim Crow,” by Teaching Tolerance and Michelle Alexander. This comprehensive teacher’s guide includes links to ten lessons that accompany Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Also includes assessments and supplementary resources. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1tjWsXL
Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism – from Ferguson to Charleston, by Citizenship for Social Justice. A list created by White people for White people, to engage White Americans in taking responsibility for helping one another to understand privilege and leverage their position to fight alongside those at the forefront of racial justice struggles. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Hm3Wyk
22 World Water Day. This observance is held annually to highlight water issues and to advocate for universal access to sustainable fresh water resources.
Mni Wiconi: The Stand at Standing Rock, by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Short, powerful informational video describing the #NoDAPL struggle at Standing Rock. Works well as a primer for students unfamiliar with the basic issues related to the struggle. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2g3OmlJ
Measuring Water with Justice, by Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools. This article discusses several strategies to teach about the costs of producing water, who should have rights to drinking water, and how oil spills affect ecosystems and communities. (E, M, TR) http://bit.ly/rxObc5
Flow: For the Love of Water, directed by Irena Salina. This film builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2w3gIl
25 20th anniversary of the founding of The Trevor Project. LGBTQ teens face higher rates of depression and suicide, which the Academy Award-winning short film “Trevor” highlighted. It launched The Trevor Project, the leading organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ young people.
The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project operates a nationwide crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project saves lives every day through its free and confidential helpline, its website and its educational services. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1cpnJMB
25 Palm Sunday (Christianity – Western and Eastern Orthodox). Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It is said that people lined the road, waving palm fronds, as Jesus passed by. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of “Passion Week” or “Holy Week,” the last week of Jesus’s time on earth.
Easter, by Gail Gibbons. This children’s book explains, clearly and simply, why Easter is celebrated, and includes descriptions of many traditions. The book also introduces children to other related holy days, such as Good Friday. (E) http://bit.ly/1crHuCY
26 Rama Navami (Hinduism). Rama Navami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama or the marriage of Rama and Sita.
BBC Schools: Guide to Hinduism. This site offers basic information about Hinduism, including some of the major festivals. Links to commonly asked questions, as well as classroom activities and worksheets, are included. (M, H, TR) http://bbc.in/10sh2K9
26 70th anniversary of the formation of the American GI Forum. A Latinx veteran group, American GI Forum, was established in Texas in response to the segregation of Mexican American veterans. The group focuses on civil rights, voter registration, education and veterans’ issues. Their motto is “Education is Our Freedom and Freedom Should Be Everybody’s Business.”
The Recruiter, directed by Edet Belzburg. This curriculum, which accompanies the documentary, The Recruiter, provides teachers with tools to take students beyond their own perspectives on war and into the lives of teenagers choosing to enlist in the United States Army. It also prompts discussion about the personal circumstances of the teenagers themselves and the nature of the war in which they are participating. (H) http://bit.ly/JC0Woj
28 120th anniversary of US v Wong Kim Ark. Wong Kim Ark was born in 1873 to Chinese nationals legally living in San Francisco. When he was barred re-entry to the US because the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act robbed him of citizenship, he sued. The US Supreme Court ruled in his favor, holding that citizenship could not be denied to any person born in the country.
Landed, by Milly Lee. Landed tells the story of Sun, a young Chinese man who emigrates to America during the age of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Lee based the story on that of her father-in-law, and provides useful historical background information. (E) http://bit.ly/2l8kwRx
29 Swaminarayan Jayanti (Hinduism). Swaminarayan Jayanti is the birthday of Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan tradition.
The Story of India: Tracking Early Hinduism, by PBS.org. In this lesson for the middle- to high school level, students explore the foundation of Hinduism by examining the ancient texts that defined it and learning about the major deities. Then students create a scrapbook of images and text that represent their journey of learning. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1cqVvVc
30 First day of Passover, begins at sunset on 4/10 (Judaism). Passover is an 8-day festival that commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
This is the Matzah, by Abby Levine. This children’s book follows Max and his family as they prepare to celebrate Passover. (E) http://bit.ly/XD7hUc
30 Good Friday (Christianity). Good Friday occurs 2 days before Easter and commemorates the death of Jesus.
30 60th anniversary of the first performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey founded his American Dance Theater to combat racism in the industry. Now the leading space for African American dance, it showcases Black dancers articulating a Black cultural heritage: “sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.”
Alvin Ailey, by Andrea Pinkney. This is an illustrated children’s book about African American choreographer and activist Alvin Ailey. (E) http://amzn.to/K0dbK2
31 Hanuman Jayanti (Hinduism). Hanuman Jayanti commemorates the birth of Hanuman, the Vanara god.
Hanuman Jayanti. This is a religious website that tells the story of the life of Hanuman. Illustrations are provided, and links to other festival and related topics are also available. (M, H)http://bit.ly/KntMvy
31 50th anniversary of the arrest of the LA 13. The LA 13 were identified as the key organizers of the LA Blowouts – the largest high school student strikes in US history. Brought up on felony charges, the response by the community was overwhelming. The fight to release the LA 13 and clear them of charges had the unintended consequence of taking attention, resources and focus away from the purpose of the walkouts.
Students Rising, a lesson plan from PBS Learning Media. In this lesson plan, drawing on material from Latinx Americans, students explore rising consciousness and activism among Latinx youth in the 1960s. Students view a clip on the situation of Mexican American students in Los Angeles, examining how self-concepts and expectations were affected by the Chicano Movement. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2l9ev45
31 130th anniversary of the founding of the National Council of Women of the United States (NCWUS). Growing out of the women’s suffrage and anti-slavery movements of the 1800s, the National Council of Women of the US fought for the rights of women to vote, work and be educated. It continues its feminist work to this day.
Keep Climbing, Girls, by Beah Richards. A dynamic ode to girl power, written by the award-winning African American actor, poet and playwright Beah Richards. (E) http://bit.ly/1pmSvEc
31 César Chávez Day. César Chávez Day celebrates the birthday of Cesar Chavez, an American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist. Chavez also co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later known as United Farm Workers of America), which achieved unprecedented gains for farm workers.
Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez, by Kathleen Krull. This picture book chronicles Chávez’s youth and the struggles he endured on his journey to becoming a leader. The second link is to a teacher’s guide. (E) http://amzn.to/1V7FcF3, http://bit.ly/1Qd1FZx
Model Curriculum and Resources for Teachers. This curriculum on the life and work of César Chávez from the California Department of Education includes biographies, pictures and other resources to help teachers prepare lessons for this holiday. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1mFT0W3
1 Easter (Christianity – Western and Eastern Orthodox). Easter is a holiday in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Celebrate Easter: With Colored Eggs, Flowers, and Prayer (Holidays Around the World), by Deborah Heiligman. This children’s book uses National Geographic photographs to document the celebration of Easter around the world, including the White House Easter Egg Roll and traditional bonfires in Europe. (E) http://bit.ly/T4xiH4
1 First day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Inaugurated in 2001, Sexual Assault Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness about sexual violence and to educate the public, including law enforcement, about the true causes of sexual assault – primarily male entitlement and lack of respect for women. It also promotes bystander involvement and encourages victims to report assaults without fear or shame.
Sex Education Resource Center, Advocates for Youth. This website offers an education resource center, which includes K-12 lesson plans, curricula, national standards and state legislation about sex education. (H) http://bit.ly/6aiCSa
Tough Guise. Tough Guise is aimed at a general student audience to analyze masculinity as a social construct, a performance, or a role; in short, a tough guise. The film links violence to the construct of masculinity based on domination and violence. (H) http://imdb.to/u8BXK7
Media Education Foundation on YouTube. Media Education Foundation’s channel on YouTube offers video clips of Jackson Katz, one of the writers of Tough Guise, talking about the documentary. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/UeG6hD
NO! Confronting Sexual Assault in Our Communities. This documentary explores the impact of sexual violence on Black women and girls. As incidents of violence and sexual assault increase in number, this film can be used to support both women and men as they learn to navigate the challenging terrain of sexuality – without violence. The second link is to a facilitator’s guide to the film. (H) http://bit.ly/filmNO and http://bit.ly/guideno
1 First day of National Poetry Month. The largest literary celebration in the world, National Poetry Month is an annual celebration of poetry and its place in American culture.
Growing Up Hip-Hop, by Kahlil Almustafa. In this collection, written throughout his youth and young adulthood, award-winning poet Kahlil Almustafa captures the experiences, contradictions and healing that have defined the Hip-Hop generation. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/10R2UF4
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth. Original poems that pay homage to 20 poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder and perhaps even pick up a pen. (E, M, H) http://amzn.to/2o1N12q
Hip-Hop and the Classics for the Classroom, by Alan Sitomer and Michael Cirelli. This collection of lesson plans analyzes the poetry of Hip-Hop and compares its motifs, themes and general poetic devices to the poems traditionally studied in order to teach the core elements of the poetic craft in an appealing, relevant and accessible manner. (M, H) http://bit.ly/23Dh8ic
The Dreamer, by Pam Munoz Ryan. This award-winning middle school novel offers a wonderful introduction to the life of Pablo Neruda as a child. Neruda’s commitment to follow his dream to write, as told in The Dreamer, will provide inspiration to many readers not only to read Neruda’s poems, but also to write their own poetry. (M) http://bit.ly/1qMWdb3
2 10th anniversary of Nujood Ali’s divorce. In Yemen, 10-year-old Nujood Ali was sold into marriage to a 30-year-old man. After two months of repeated sexual assaults and beatings, Nujood escaped and camped out at the courthouse in Sana’a. A sympathetic judge had her husband and father arrested, and assigned Nujood a human rights lawyer, who successfully argued her case for divorce. Although the case drew worldwide attention, the practice of selling young girls into marriage is still widespread.
Early Childhood Resources on Domestic Violence, by the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition. This resource offers information about a variety of resources for young children, parents and professionals on the subject of domestic violence. Resources include books, curricula, videos and games. (TR) http://bit.ly/1kQd4Cz
4 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated by a sniper while standing on the balcony of a Memphis motel. A key leader of the Civil Rights Movement and advocate of nonviolence, King was in Memphis to support striking Black sanitation workers. Many believe James Earl Ray, who confessed to the murder, was a scapegoat of a larger conspiracy to silence King and dismantle the Civil Rights Movement.
I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Arthur Flowers and Manu Chitrakar. African American writer, griot and blues singer, Arthur Flowers, and Indian scroll painter, Manu Chitrakar, combine their very distinctive storytelling traditions in an extraordinary jam session, creating this stunning graphic narrative-style biography of Martin Luther King Jr. (E)http://bit.ly/1LbGvPY
4 Maya Angelou, author, poet, civil rights activist, educator, actress, born (1928-2014). Prolific author, poet and activist Maya Angelou rose from a difficult childhood to become one of the leading voices in the Civil Rights Movement. She expanded her reach, educating a broader world audience on social justice through her work as a movie director and playwright. In 2010, Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US.
Schomburg Center Research Guide: Dr. Maya Angelou, by Alexsandra Mitchell. Extensive collection of archival materials related to the life and legacy of Dr. Angelou, including links to manuscripts and rare books, newspaper clippings, photographs and prints, arts and artifacts, and moving image recordings. (M, H, TR) http://on.nypl.org/2oefvs7
Teaching Maya Angelou with the New York Times, by NYT Learning Network. A collection of linked articles, teaching resources, and ideas from the New York Times and elsewhere, for teaching and appreciating the life of Maya Angelou. (M, H) http://nyti.ms/2lGPyzP
Maya Angelou, a PBS documentary by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack. With unprecedented access, filmmakers trace Dr. Angelou’s incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos, and her own words. Debuted Feb. 21, 2017, and free to stream. (H) http://to.pbs.org/2jwY8gZ
5 50th anniversary of the Chicago uprising. Sparked by the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and fueled by generations of discrimination, poverty, inadequate housing and schools, fires lit up the night sky on the west side of Chicago. Dr. King once said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” The poor and Black of Chicago had gone unheard for decades. They were met with police and National Guardsmen with orders to “shoot to kill.”
Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, by Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK’s last book before his murder explores the frustration of Blacks in the North rising from unrealized hopes for change of the Civil Rights Movement. While the book explains his critique of the Black Power Movement, chapter one provides a good lens for understanding the roots of urban “riots” or “uprisings.” (H, TR) http://stanford.io/1RCjnWP
6 50th anniversary of the murder of Lil’ Bobby. Bobby Hutton joined the Black Panther Party (BPP) at the age of 16. When Oakland police ambushed two BPP cars, there was a 90-minute shootout. The cops shot Hutton more than 12 times after he had already surrendered and stripped to his underwear.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, by Stanley Nelson. The first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for Black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Guide for educators included. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1oI7BE6 and http://bit.ly/1ooi5Zk
7 World Health Day/70th anniversary of the World Health Organization. World Health Day is observed annually to commemorate the establishment of the World Health Organization and to bring awareness to the importance of global health. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the organization, which works to guarantee universal healthcare and prevent, treat and reduce the spread of diseases.
Critical Condition and other films about healthcare. Films about healthcare from P.O.V. and Media That Matters. (H) http://to.pbs.org/sGen3S
Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, by PBS. This seven-part series exploring race and socioeconomic disparities in health investigates how the social circumstances in which we are born, live and work can get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and viruses. The website includes a classroom section, discussion guide and video clips. (M, H, TR)http://bit.ly/eSKw
Health: The Big Picture, by The Change Agent. Issue 28, March 2009 of The Change Agent explores students’ experiences dealing with health challenges and their individual and community-based responses to those challenges. It also contains information about the US health insurance industry, student-recommended home remedies and more. The resource is available after free registration at: http://www.nelrc.org/changeagent/backissues.htm (TR) http://bit.ly/2dUHrc3
9 120th anniversary of Ida B. Wells’s petition demanding federal action against lynching. The lynching of Black men was endemic in America, and the US government did nothing to stop it, saying these crimes were local law enforcement matters. When a Black US Postmaster – a federal official – was murdered, Wells, a Memphis newspaper editor and ardent civil rights activist, led a protest in Washington DC, urging President McKinley to step in.
Strange Fruit, by Joel Katz. This documentary explores the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic. The film examines lynching, the interplay of race, labor and the Left, and popular culture as forces that gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement. Site includes a protest music overview and a resource page (“Learn More”) with websites, books, articles and lesson plans on protest music. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/dm2psW
9 Paul Robeson, African American actor, singer and civil rights activist, born (1898-1976). Robeson was a star athlete, Ivy League scholar and internationally renowned singer and actor who lent his fame to the cause of civil rights and social justice. His outspoken criticism of racism in America and his anti-imperialism landed him in the crosshairs of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which succeeded in getting him blacklisted, ruining him professionally and financially.
The Many Faces of Paul Robeson, by the National Archives. Integrated history and language arts unit based on the activist life of Robeson. Includes and integrates various primary source materials. (H) http://bit.ly/2kkcuWj
10 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Peace Agreement/Belfast Agreement. After three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement formally brokered peace. The parties committed to a power-sharing assembly and disarmament.
Peace Tools for Teachers. This page on the peaceCENTER website offers a variety of peace teaching resources including lessons, activities, dates and quotes. (E, M, H ,TR) http://bit.ly/1SycneA
11 50th anniversary of the Indian Civil Rights Act. Calling for greater “self-determination” of Native peoples in tribal nations, President Johnson signed into law the Indian Civil Rights Act. It afforded constitutional protections to Native citizens against their tribal governments – and the power of the US federal government to enforce them. Many Natives resented this overreach.
We Shall Remain. This is a PBS miniseries and multimedia project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. Five 90-minute documentaries, spanning 300 years, tell the story of pivotal moments in US history from the Native American perspective. Website includes teacher’s guides. (H) http://to.pbs.org/10DjT
11 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Soon after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the 1968 Civil Rights Act became law, guaranteeing fair housing opportunities. Despite the law, housing discrimination and segregation persist today.
Remarks on the Signing of the Civil Rights Act, by Lyndon B. Johnson. When he signed a new Civil Rights Act to provide fair housing for all Americans, President Johnson spoke about the significance of the historical occasion, calling on the American public to support the new law. Video of the speech is at this link. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2m66xgA
12 160th anniversary of the founding of the Sons of Vulcan, a steelworkers union. The first union contract in American history was ratified when the Sons of Vulcan ended their strike in 1865. They had bargaining power because they created steel, essential for the Union’s Civil War effort. One of the Sons of Vulcan’s greatest downfalls was its racist stance of not admitting any Black members.
The Power in our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States, by Bill Bigelow and Norman Diamond. This celebrated book provides entertaining, easy-to-use lesson plans for teaching labor history. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/rtAWyl
12 Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sunset on 4/11.
Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story, by Ken Mochizuki. As a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania in the 1940s, Chiune Sugihara had a chance to help thousands of Jews escape the Holocaust through Japan, but it was against his government’s orders. When his five-year-old son Hiroki asked, “If we don’t help them, won’t they die?” Sugihara decided to assist the refugees. Site also contains related teaching materials. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2lHAOOe
One Survivor Remembers, by Teaching Tolerance. This documentary tells the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein’s six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. The free teaching kit includes the film and lesson plans. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/17OwOL
14 Vaisakhi (Sikhism). Vaisakhi is a festival that celebrates the founding of the Sikh community.
My Sikh Year: A Year of Religious Festivals, by Cath Senker. This book moves chronologically through the calendar year and looks at the typical events, customs and celebrations celebrated by Sikh children. (E) http://bit.ly/wLQQtK
Countdown to Vaisakhi, by Navjot Kaur. A teacher’s guide for discussing Vaisakhi in schools. (E, M, TR) http://bit.ly/WwPDDl
A Lion’s Mane, by Navjot Kaur. This is a picture book that helps young readers journey to cultures around the world to explore the meaning of the dastaar, the Sikh turban. The second link is to a teacher’s guide for the book. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1fbUwfZ Teacher’s Guide: http://bit.ly/V1oNlK
Guru Nanak, by Rina Singh. The Sikh faith, the world’s fifth largest religion, began with the teachings of Guru Nanak in the 15th century and evolved with the nine gurus who followed him. His attempt to define a universal humanity resulted in Sikhism – a religion that embraces everyone. This biography tells the story of his life, including his spiritual journeys, the miracles he performed to illustrate his teachings, and his poetry. (E) http://amzn.to/1qMWw5Q
Resources for Educators, by the Sikh Coalition. Resources for all grade levels on how to teach about Sikhism. If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, Washington DC metro area, New York or New Jersey and want someone to deliver a Sikhism presentation in your school, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1edL3DS
15 170th anniversary of the Pearl Incident. Free African Americans and White abolitionists chartered a schooner, The Pearl, to rescue 77 people from slavery. This was the largest nonviolent attempt by enslaved Africans to escape slavery in US history. Though it failed, the incident led to a series of congressional and presidential actions that later laid the foundation for the abolition of slavery in Washington DC, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War.
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life, by Ashley Bryan. Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away. (E) http://bit.ly/2iuy8Va
18 330th anniversary of the first anti-slavery resolution in the US. The first anti-slavery resolution in the “New World” was adopted at a Germantown, Pennsylvania meeting of Quakers and Mennonites. British Quakers owned slaves, which was abhorrent to their German Quaker brethren. Despite continued campaigning, it would be 86 years before the Quakers officially adopted the anti-slavery philosophy in 1774.
‘If There Is No Struggle…’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement, by Bill Bigelow. This role-play puts students in the position of abolitionist groups working together to end slavery. (E, M) http://bit.ly/QsfVje
20 National Day of Silence. During Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), students lead protests against LGBTQ harassment in schools.
Day of Silence Website. This site includes information about the day’s history, as well as FAQs, reproducible materials, an organizing manual for students, and more. (M, H) http://bit.ly/3SF54f
21 John Muir, naturalist, botanist, engineer and “Father of the National Parks,” born (1838-1914). John Muir pioneered the environmental movement in the US. Driven by a love of California’s Sierra Nevada and Yosemite, he petitioned Congress to pass the National Parks Bill and founded the Sierra Club, which continues to fight for environmental justice today.
The John Muir Exhibit: Educational Resources, by the Sierra Club. Teacher and student resources, including many primary sources for John Muir’s writing, focusing on the impact of John Muir’s life on environmental protection and justice. Includes content in social studies, science, and more. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2l9xVpi
22 Earth Day. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated in 175 countries. Events are held worldwide to raise awareness of environmental issues. According to the Earth Day Network, it is the largest secular civic event in the world.
Environmental Protection Activities and Online Games, by the Institute for Humane Education. Among other great resources and lesson plans, this website hosts several online games that help students explore issues of environmental sustainability. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2wRZH44
Race, Poverty and the Environment. This journal links issues of racism and poverty with environmental justice. Some recent resources are available for free download; older resources require a purchase. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1r0QFKy
A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis, edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart from Rethinking Schools. This book features some of the best articles from Rethinking Schools magazine along with classroom-friendly readings on climate change, energy, water, food and pollution, as well as on people who are working to improve the environment. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1VKElav
Lessons from Mother Earth, by Elaine McLeod. Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really being aware of the garden. But today they step outside the door and Tess learns that all of nature can be a garden. If you take care of the plants that are growing, you will always find something to nourish you. This gentle story demonstrates the First Nations’ tradition of taking care of Mother Earth. (E) http://bit.ly/1QBznLT
23 50th anniversary of the Columbia University Student Protests. Black and White students at Columbia University launched a nonviolent occupation of administration buildings. They were protesting weapons research that supported the Vietnam War and the construction of a gym in Morningside Park, which would exacerbate segregation. The university met both of their demands after a campus-wide strike.
1968: Columbia in Crisis, by Columbia University Libraries. Incredible collection of primary source documents and background information related to a widespread student protest against segregation and the Vietnam War. (H) http://bit.ly/2kQFi9d
24 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. This observance is held annually to commemorate the victims of the massacre and deportation of Armenians by the government of the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923.
Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians. This resource provides students with the latest scholarship on the Armenian genocide. (H) http://bit.ly/18ZZ9Uk
Confronting Genocide: Never Again?, by The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that examines how the US responded to five instances of genocide, including the Armenian genocide. Materials include videos, maps, graphic organizers, surveys and web links. (M, H) http://bit.ly/136NnUk
28 Oskar Schindler, human rights advocate, born (1908-1974). Schindler employed more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust in order to protect them from the Nazis, convincing them that the Jews were necessary for the war effort. In 1962, Yad Vashem awarded Schindler the title “Righteous Among the Nations” in recognition of his work. In 1993, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council posthumously awarded him the Museum’s Medal of Remembrance, an honor bestowed very rarely.
Holocaust Resource Collection, Facing History and Ourselves. A comprehensive collection of resources for engaging students of all ages in examining the history of the Holocaust and developing their skills of ethical reasoning, critical thinking, tolerance and empathy. There is also a link to the organization’s genocide resource collection. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2fO3xR1
29 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. The Treaty of Fort Laramie held that Whites would not enter the Black Hills without Native permission. When gold was found there, however, Congress changed the terms of the treaty without Native consent – just one of countless examples of US exploitation of Native peoples.
Sioux Treaty of 1868, by the National Archives. Primary source documents, teaching activities, and standards correlations related to the 1868 events in Fort Laramie and the subsequent theft of land by the US government. (H) http://bit.ly/2fCX4qY
29 140th anniversary of the landmark Ah Yup decision. Basing its decision on the 1802 naturalization law and its subsequent revisions, which limited naturalization to immigrants of White or African descent, a California court ruled that Ah Yup, a Chinese immigrant who sued for the right to naturalization, was neither “White” nor of “African descent.” This effectively barred all Asian immigrants from naturalization.
Chinese Immigrants in America: An Interactive History Adventure, by Kelley Hunsicker. This book describes the experiences and perspectives of Chinese immigrants in the US in 1850. The book enables readers to interact with history by allowing them to choose what they would do next. By making choices, readers uncover historical details about the lives of Chinese immigrants who worked as gold miners, railroad workers and more. (E) http://bit.ly/QfGB5Q
29 30th anniversary of the Congressional Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities. The Task Force built grassroots support for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark and sweeping piece of federal legislation.
Inclusion on the Bookshelf, by Teaching Tolerance. An article about the importance of using children’s books that include characters with disabilities. Includes recommended books. (E, M) http://bit.ly/5GBVIR
30 Vesak (Buddhism). Vesak (Wesak/Vesakha) is the most important holiday in the Buddhist calendar, celebrating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, death and his passing into nirvana. The exact date of Vesākha varies according to the various lunar calendars used in different traditions.
Celebrations: Wesak, by Anita Ganeri. This children’s book, part of the “Celebrations” series, explores the history behind Wesak and how it is celebrated today with special foods, clothing, songs and rituals. (E) http://amzn.to/VAg7CL
30 First day of Screen-Free Week. This annual international event encourages people to take a break from digital entertainment (TV, computers, tablets, game systems) and suggests that they read books, get outside, be creative, and just spend more time with family and friends.
Educator Toolkit for News and Media Literacy, by Common Sense Education. Educators can choose their grade level range and explore teaching tools and lessons by topic. Includes videos and interactive educational games, take-home student activities, and more. All resources are designed to give students the essential skills to be smart, savvy consumers and creators of media. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2ouhmGI
Screen-Free Week Organizer’s Kit, by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. This resource includes kits that you can download for free. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1NHnYH3
1 First day of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. May is designated as a month to celebrate the history, traditions and culture of Asian-Pacific Americans. It was officially signed into law in 1992.
Asian American Books. An extensive catalog of resources and services that underscore the importance and diversity of the Asian American experience. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2unIYN
Strangers from a Different Shore, by Ronald Takaki. This book offers a good survey of Asian American history. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/tHoLeH
1 International Workers’ Day/May Day. International Workers’ Day, or May Day, recognizes the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement. It also commemorates the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886, in which Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight-hour day, killing several demonstrators.
Missing from Haymarket Square, by Harriette Gillem Robinet. 12-year-old Dinah Bell is too young to be working 12-hour days. But to the factory and mill owners, age doesn’t matter. When her father is taken prisoner for helping to plan a labor march in favor of an 8-hour work day, Dinah faces danger. This book addresses race, immigration, labor, and strategies used to divide workers. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2ldgkwC
1 210th anniversary of the founding of Prophetstown. Two Shawnee brothers, Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa, established Prophetstown as a place for Indigenous nations to come together in resistance to White settlers. Tecumseh campaigned to form an Indigenous American confederation to stop settler colonialism. Prophetstown became a training center for warriors. More than 1,000 residents from several nations lived there at its peak.
Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Leatherdale. Whether discussing the transformative power of art or music, the lasting trauma of residential schools, growing up poor, or achieving success, the contributors to this remarkable anthology all have something in common: a rich Native heritage that has informed who they are. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2lbgT9m
1 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). Modeled after the NAACP, MALDEF has been taking on civil rights cases on behalf of the Latinx community in the US since its inception in San Antonio, TX. In addition to litigation, the organization engages in advocacy, communications and community education to serve the Latinx community.
Precious Knowledge: Ethnic Studies in Arizona, by Ari Luis Palos and Eren Isabel McGinnis. A documentary film about the struggle to keep the Mexican American Studies program at Tucson High School. (E, M, H) http://to.pbs.org/1o0m2n4
3 Septima Clark, African American teacher and civil rights activist, born (1898-1987). Clark believed that education was a form of political activism and essential for gaining the right to vote. As the Director of Education and Teaching for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, she established “Citizenship Schools” throughout the Deep South in the 1950s, focusing on teaching students to pass the literacy requirements for voter registration. Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Clark as the Mother of the Movement.
Oral History Interview with Septima Poinsette Clark, July 30, 1976, by Documenting the American Truth. Septima Clark recalls some of the successes of her work with the SCLC, especially the passage of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the challenges of the work. Clark notes how several leaders needed to learn techniques for serving poor rural people, and she often corrected their misunderstandings. Transcripts and downloadable audio file available. (H) http://unc.live/2kjVizD
5 80th anniversary of Dorothy Hansine Andersen’s identification of cystic fibrosis as a disease. This important discovery continues to save infant lives. Andersen went on to help develop a test to diagnose cystic fibrosis, which led to advances in treatment and management of the illness that, until that time, had been a fatal disease in infancy.
Cadberry’s Letters, by Jennifer Racek. Developed for pre-school-age children, Cadberry’s Letters uses simple, easy-to-follow language to explain Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and the daily care that goes along with it. Children will learn about things like Pancreatic Enzymes, Chest Physical Therapy and more. Bright, full-page illustrations bring the story to life and feature a lot of the equipment and medications CF patients may use in their daily lives. (E) http://bit.ly/2lI4jPO
5 Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of a small Mexican militia over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Despite this victory, France eventually defeated Mexican forces and occupied the country for three years.
Celebrate, Don’t Desecrate, Cinco de Mayo, by Educational Justice blog. Article tracing the origins of the celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the United States to the Chicano anti-imperialist movement in the 1960s. (TR) http://bit.ly/2dlkFJm
Cinco de Mayo Inc. This blog is dedicated to documenting and critically examining the commercialization of Cinco de Mayo. This Mexican holiday has become more popular in the US than in Mexico, in part because of corporate America’s desire to make money off the Latino consumer market. It also perpetuates damaging stereotypes about Latinx people, while obscuring the historical significance of this day. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/rryYIN
Rethinking Cinco de Mayo, by Sudie Hofmann, Zinn Education Project. In this article, Hofmann critiques a stereotypical Mexican American event meant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Readers will find information about the history of Cinco de Mayo and how it is celebrated in the US; art depicting the events of the Battle of Puebla Day; and reactions from Chicana/o students. Links to related materials are provided. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/13VTKtX
Cinco de Mayo, Yesterday and Today, by Maria Cristina Urrutia and Rebeca Orozco. Cinco de Mayo is one of the most celebrated days in the Mexican calendar, but few people know that it commemorates a decisive victory of the Mexicans against the invading French in 1862. Drawing on historical sources and the photographic record of a contemporary reenactment, this book introduces children to this important, but little understood, event. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1QF2KOp
6 International No Diet Day. No Diet Day is an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and raising awareness of the dangers and futility of extreme dieting.
Reshaping Body Image, by Teaching Tolerance. This lesson is intended to help students examine how people of varying shapes and sizes are typically viewed in our society. How and why do perspectives on beauty and body image change over time? (H) http://bit.ly/dVObJ0
Deconstructing Barbie: Math and Popular Culture, by Swapna Mukhopadhyay. Math activity from the book Rethinking Mathematics, that engages students in considering the question, “What would Barbie look like if she were as big as you?” (M, H) http://bit.ly/1W9s53q
7 Beginning of National Children’s Book Week. Initiated in 1919, National Children’s Book Week is dedicated to celebrating children’s literature and encouraging children to read. It is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the US.
We Need Diverse Books™, a grassroots campaign. We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. Website includes resources and book lists. (TR) www.weneeddiversebooks.org
Using Picture Books to Explore Identity, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, by Loraine Woodard. In this unit, students explore three picture books to better understand and to promote discussion about and action on ideas of identity, stereotyping and discrimination. (E, M) http://bit.ly/b3u2eC
7 20th anniversary of the start of women’s participation in athletics in the Gulf countries. Qatar became the first Gulf country to allow women to participate in athletic competitions, though, ironically, Qatari women themselves were not allowed to compete.
Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History, by Molly Schiot. This book is based on the Instagram account @TheUnsungHeroines, a celebration of the pioneering, forgotten female athletes of the 20th century, and features rarely seen photos and new interviews with past and present game changers. (E, M, H) www.theunsungheroines.com
7 National Barrier Awareness Day. Proclamation 5472 declared National Barrier Awareness Day as an occasion to recognize and fight against the many barriers, both visible and invisible, that people with disabilities face. On this day we are reminded to work to eliminate the social, legal, economic and physical barriers that confront individuals with disabilities.
Disability Social History Project. This site contains a wealth of information, including a list of “Famous and Not So Famous” people with disabilities, a timeline and a history of the word “handicapped” via the Serendipity link. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/163FXqn
8 National Teachers’ Day. A day set aside to honor teachers for their contributions to learning, child development and to the community.
Teacher Activist Groups. The Network of Teacher Activist Groups (TAG) is a national coalition of grassroots teacher organizing groups that engage in shared political education and relationship-building to advocate for educational justice, both nationally and in their local communities. Teachers can look for a local group or find a local cause and get involved. (TR) http://bit.ly/ihT9QP
8 160th anniversary of the Chatham Convention. Abolitionist John Brown worked with Martin Delany to convene a clandestine convention in Chatham, Canada, where they adopted a provisional constitution for a new “Promised Land” for Black Americans fleeing slavery. This eventually led to the raid on Harper’s Ferry, WV, where Brown was captured and later executed.
John Brown’s Holy War. This companion site to the 1999 PBS documentary on John Brown uses a timeline, an interactive map, short biographies and histories, and a teacher’s guide to explain the story of Brown’s life and times. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/vnXBc
9 Graciela Olivarez, Mexican American activist, born (1928-1987). Graciela Gil Olivarez earned many firsts, from Phoenix disc jockey to Notre Dame law school graduate, where she was both the first female and the first Latina to earn a law degree. She called attention to the urban poverty of Mexican American families and the dismal conditions of migrant camps. Olivarez was appointed Director of Community Services by President Carter, the highest ranking Latina in that administration.
500 Years of Chicana Women’s History, by Elizabeth Martinez. Stories and photos of Chicana/Mexican American women in politics, labor, art, health and more. (H) http://bit.ly/2lguk9w
12 50th anniversary of the Mother’s Day March in Washington, DC. Organized by the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), the marchers called for “Mother Power” to advance their cause of welfare rights, and attracted thousands of women, both Black and White. It was the official kickoff of the Poor People’s Campaign.
Women’s March Platform: Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles, by grassroots organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017. “Recognizing that women have intersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, we have outlined a representative vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all.” (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2jBYN0a
12 50th anniversary of the start of the Poor People’s Campaign. The Poor People’s Campaign, spearheaded by the SCLC, was a coalition of Black, Native American, Puerto Rican, Mexican American and poor White communities to assert the rights of all to “a decent life and respect for their culture and dignity.” Resurrection City was erected on the Washington Mall on May 13, but was forced to close after six weeks.
New Poor People’s Campaign Organizing Packet, by Kairos. Historical background, primary source documents, and other resources related to the Poor People’s Campaign, as well as materials to support organizing a new Poor People’s Campaign. The packet addresses water shut-offs, Ferguson and Watts uprisings, and other important social justice issues. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2oJpNBj
12 World Fair Trade Day. The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) draws on support from a membership of 350 Fair Trade organizations from 80 countries. Goals include creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, payment of a fair price, gender equity and improved working conditions.
Win-Win Solutions: An Introduction to Fair Trade and Cooperative Economics, by Equal Exchange. Composed of four units, this curriculum raises students’ awareness of core issues surrounding food production and trade. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2m0N8xt
13 Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that celebrates mothers, motherhood, and the influence of mothers in society. Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, though some celebrate on a different day.
Mama’s Day, by Strong Families. Each year, artists are commissioned to create images that capture the full diversity of family arrangements. These images are offered as free e-cards; the site includes the opportunity to send an e-card to an incarcerated or detained mama. (E, M, H) www.mamasday.org
Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio, by Rigoberto Gonzalez. Antonio knows that words have the power to express feelings like love, pride or pain. With Mother’s Day approaching, Antonio searches for the words to express his love for his mother and her partner Leslie. His friends tease him about Leslie, an artist, who towers over everyone and wears paint-splattered overalls. Now Antonio must decide whether or how to express his connection to both of the special women in his life. (E) http://bit.ly/1pvHIrn
Mother’s Day Proclamation – 1870, by Julia Ward Howe. Poem by Julia Ward Howe, advocating for women around the world to organize to resolve conflicts peacefully. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/eT5sy
13 50th anniversary of the UN International Conference on Human Rights in Iran. Held on the 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first UN International Conference on Human Rights mainly reiterated the original doctrine. Emphasis was placed on basic human rights regardless of race, religion or gender, and, for the first time, called for the reproductive rights of parents and the fundamental right to an adequate education.
Amnesty International Website. Students can use this website to research human rights violations by topic or country. They can also join ongoing campaigns against abuses worldwide. (H, TR) http://www.amnesty.org/en
13 130th anniversary of Lei Áurea (The Golden Law) in Brazil. Even as slavery was ending in the rest of the world in the 1700s and 1800s, slavery in Brazil continued. In 1873, Joachim Nabuco established the Brazilian Anti-Slavery Society, which put increasing pressure on the government to end the practice. Finally, in 1888, Lei Áurea (The Golden Law) was enacted, making Brazil the last country in the Western Hemisphere to officially abolish slavery.
Brazil: From Colony to Democracy, by The Choices Program. This site provides supplemental materials that can be used to teach about Brazil, from Portuguese colonialism through present-day Brazil. Materials include graphic organizers, videos, student activities and web links. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/sSMKHP
14 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel. The state of Israel was established in Palestine in accordance with the 1947 UN resolution. The borders of Israel were not specified in the plan. The Israeli Declaration of Independence called for complete equality for all inhabitants regardless of religion, race or sex, and says that Arabs living in Israel are entitled to “full and equal citizenship.” Arab-Israeli conflicts continue to fester, resulting in countless lives lost and displacement of Arab Palestinians.
The Flag of Childhood: Poems from the Middle East, by Naomi Shihab Nye. In this stirring anthology of 60 poems from the Middle East, Palestinian American Naomi Shihab Nye welcomes us to this lush, vivid world and invites us to explore. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1Tn5rVG
Teaching the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict through Dual Narratives, by Samia Shoman. This curriculum provides insights into the challenges of teaching about the Israel-Palestine conflict. It offers suggestions on how to present the historical context and current situation using essential and unit questions, and a methodology for teaching about peace attempts and barriers to peace. (H) http://bit.ly/266sk5P
14 Magnus Hirschfeld, German sexologist, born (1868-1935). Known as the “Einstein of Sex,” Hirschfeld established the world’s first gender identity clinic. A pioneer in sexology, Hirschfeld was the first to work with transsexual people.
10,000 Dresses, by Marcus Ewert. Every night Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, flowers, and windows. Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. “You’re a BOY!” Mother and Father tell Bailey. Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together, and Bailey’s dreams come true. (E) http://bit.ly/2jUwJon
15 10th anniversary of Tyler et al v County of Los Angeles. In 2004, after repeated attempts to obtain marriage licenses, two same-sex couples sued the state of California, challenging the ban on same-sex marriage. In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled for the plaintiffs, declaring that same-sex marriage is protected under the Constitution, and requiring recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Constitutional Amendments and Gay Marriage: Background, Activities, and Critical Analysis, by Doug DuBrin. In this lesson, the gay marriage debate is used as a means of introducing students to the history and process of amending the US Constitution. (H,TR) http://to.pbs.org/1q2gLIN
15 Diane Judith Nash, civil and voting rights activist and strategist, born (1938). Diane Nash was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1962, she was sentenced to two years in prison for teaching nonviolent tactics to children in Jackson, MS. Nash played a major role in the Birmingham desegregation campaign of 1963 and the Selma Voting Rights campaign of 1965.
Diane Nash and the Sit-Ins, by PBS Learning Media. In this video interview, civil-rights leader Diane Nash recalls her role in the 1960 Nashville sit-ins, the 1961 Freedom Rides, and the 1965 voting rights campaign in Selma, Alabama. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2oc9rBp
Makers Profile: Diane Nash. Video of Nash speaking about her first encounters with the Jim Crow South, desegregating lunch counters, and courageous leadership. (M, H) http://aol.it/1PIlaMy
Selma: From the Bridge to the Ballot, by Teaching Tolerance. This 40-minute film tells the story of a courageous group of students and teachers who, along with other activists, fought a nonviolent battle to win voting rights for African Americans in the South. This free film kit comes with a teacher’s guide, a timeline of events, and a map of Alabama noting key locations. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1KTdVSf
15 International Conscientious Objectors Day. A day to celebrate those who resist war on moral grounds, especially by refusing to participate in military structures.
Conscientious Objection: Youth and Militarism, by the American Friends Service Committee. The American Friends website has a host of materials about militarism, alternatives to the military, counter-recruitment and conscientious objection. (H) http://bit.ly/2elLUG2
DMZ: A Guide to Taking Your School Back from the Military, by The War Resisters League. DMZ is a comprehensive organizing manual for youth activists and their allies for keeping military recruiters out of schools. (H) http://bit.ly/2lYwZZD
Why War Is Never a Good Idea, by Alice Walker. Poet and activist Alice Walker exposes the power and wanton devastation of war in this evocative poem, with an unflinching look at war’s destructive nature and unforeseen consequences. (E) http://bit.ly/1krnZ84
16 First Day of the Month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month of fasting and prayer in the Islam faith. It is the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic calendar, and commemorates the month during which Mohammed received the revelations that became the Koran (Quran).
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story, by Reem Faruqi. Lailah’s hesitation about her faith and traditions is gently explained from a child’s point of view. Though she is excited to begin fasting during Ramadan, she is unsure about how to explain this practice to her classmates or deal with the temptations of lunchtime. Eventually, with the help her librarian and teacher, she gains confidence among her peers. (E) http://bit.ly/2kFmPLM; Interview with author here: http://bit.ly/2kzsP6e
17 50th anniversary of the Catonsville Nine. The Catonsville Nine were nine Catholic activists who burned draft files to protest the Vietnam War and the Catholic Church’s tacit endorsement of the war. On May 17, 1968, they broke into the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland and took 378 draft files to the parking lot, where they set them on fire with homemade napalm. Similar antiwar protests took place throughout the US.
The Catonsville Nine Files. Features documents, photos, and audio and video accounts about the Catonsville Nine. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2lgFJG7
17 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHO). IDAHO aims to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people.
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) Website. Resources about LGBTI injustices all around the world and ways to contribute to campaigns fighting for LGBTI justice. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1i0e5IG
Acting Out: Combating Homophobia Through Teacher Activism, by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, Lauren M. Kenney, and Jill M. Smith. This book chronicles how teachers from urban, suburban and rural districts joined together in a teacher inquiry group to challenge homophobia and heterosexism in schools and classrooms. (TR) http://amzn.to/1m3JQUE
Molly’s Family, by Nancy Garden. Molly’s Family is about a five-year-old girl with two moms and her struggle to understand the true meaning of family. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/XPWQ5s
20 Shavuot begins at sunset on 5/19 (Judaism). Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of three major festivals that have both agricultural and historical significance. It commemorates the time when the first fruits are harvested and brought to the Temple, and it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
A Mountain of Blintzes, by Barbara Diamond Goldin and Anik McGrory. This children’s book tells the story of a family saving up to make cheese blintzes, a traditional food eaten during Shavuot. (E) http://bit.ly/Tn2986
20 Charles David Keeling, scientist who first noted the greenhouse effect and global warming, born (1928-2005). Keeling measured and recorded carbon dioxide levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. The results are known as the “Keeling Curve” and are evidence of humans’ involvement in global warming. The poor and disadvantaged are the most vulnerable to the effects of global warming and environmental degradation.
How We Know What We Know About Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming, by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch. The science behind the climate change headlines is presented in a nonfiction book geared to young people. (M) http://bit.ly/2j8SMHO
23 180th anniversary of the Trail of Tears. President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The law forbade forced removal, but Jackson, and later, President Van Buren, defied that proviso, sending troops to violently evict thousands of Native Americans from their land. The Trail of Tears was the 1,200-mile forced march, which resulted in the deaths of at least 5,000 people from disease, starvation and murder.
“All the Real Indians Died Off” And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker. In this book, scholars and activists Dunbar-Ortiz and Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disprove long-held and enduring myths. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2nS7oyo
24 100th anniversary of Canadian women winning the right to vote. The Canadian suffragist movement was dominated by White, middle class women, as was the case elsewhere. Although Canadian women won the right to vote and run for office in national elections on this date, there were exceptions: Asian women (and men) were excluded until 1948, and Indigenous people were excluded until 1960.
Women’s Suffrage in Canada: Education Guide, by Historica Canada. This teacher’s resource guide to Canadian suffrage invites students to deepen their understanding of gender equality and democracy through research and analysis, engaging discussion questions, and group activities. It asks students to examine issues of identity, equity, activism and justice in historical and contemporary contexts. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2dRY2iV
25 African Liberation Day. African Liberation Day, established in 1958 at the first Pan-African conference held on African soil, celebrates the hard-fought freedoms of African countries from European colonizers.
Wonders of the African World, by PBS. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes viewers on a journey to discover a treasure trove of African history and culture. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/3BHM0I
Africa Access. Organization whose aim is to help schools, public libraries and parents improve the quality of their children’s collections on Africa. This site includes an online database of reviews of children’s books about Africa, bibliographies for specific research topics related to Africa, and awards for the best children’s books on Africa published in the US. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/K1g9m
I Didn’t Know There Were Cities in Africa!, by Teaching Tolerance. Article with “do’s and don’ts” of teaching about modern Africa. (E) http://bit.ly/9pooY
How Big is Africa Poster, by African Studies Outreach Program, Boston University. The website features a poster of the map of Africa with other countries superimposed to compare size. Links to other K-12 resources, as well as children’s and young adult books, are also provided. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Qd8Uk4
27 60th anniversary of Ernest Green’s high school graduation. After the Brown v Board of Education decision declared laws requiring segregation in public schools unconstitutional, Ernest Green joined a pioneering group of Black students, called the “Little Rock Nine,” to integrate Central High School. Following a year of brutal harassment and violence by aggressive White mobs, Green became the first African American to graduate from Central High School.
Warriors Don’t Cry: Connecting History, Literature, and Our Lives, by Linda Christensen. Role-play and writing activities for language arts and social studies on the Little Rock Nine, Brown v Board of Education, and schooling in general. Designed for use with the memoir, Warriors Don’t Cry. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/RHiFzh
28 Memorial Day. Originally designated as a day to honor those who died in the Civil War, Memorial Day (formerly called Decoration Day) is now celebrated as a tribute to all those who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces.
Project YANO – The Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities. Celebrate Memorial Day by helping students find alternatives to military service. Project YANO is a non-profit community organization that provides young people with an alternative point of view about military enlistment. (H) http://www.projectyano.org
May 30, 1937: Memorial Day Massacre, by Howard Fast. Essay, article, and actual footage on a strike that took place in Chicago on Memorial Day in 1937, and the brutality of police in response. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2jUKLWX
30 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Convention on Cluster Munitions is an international agreement that bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions – a type of explosive weapon that indiscriminately scatters small bombs over a wide area. Although the US is not a signatory to this Convention, and has actively opposed it, they are quick to denounce other countries for using these weapons.
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, by Steve Sheinkin. The story of 50 African American sailors charged with mutiny during World War II for challenging working conditions after a deadly munitions explosion. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2l0MDj5
1 First day of Caribbean American Heritage Month. Caribbean American Heritage Month is a month designated to celebrate the history, traditions and culture of Caribbean Americans and to honor their contributions to American society.
Caribbean Connections Series, by Teaching for Change. Teaching for Change has developed this six-book series that brings the Caribbean experience to the classroom. (H) http://bit.ly/16GLJyb
Island Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba, by Alma Flor Ada. These true autobiographical tales from renowned Hispanic author and educator Alma Flor Ada are filled with family love and traditions, secrets and deep friendships, and a beautiful, emotive picture of the island of Cuba, where Alma Flor grew up. (E) http://bit.ly/1pdpvPv
Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, by Margarita Engle. Multiple voices in free verse share little-known stories of the thousands of workers from the Caribbean who suffered and lost their lives while building the Panama Canal. (M) http://bit.ly/1pdoHdw
1 First day of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots, where gay rights activists clashed with NYC police over discrimination. It also aims to raise awareness about issues surrounding the civil rights of LGBT Americans.
Beyond Tolerance: A Resource Guide for Addressing LGTBQI Issues in Schools, by NYQueer and NYCoRE. A comprehensive resource guide with activities, websites, organizations and an annotated bibliography to support educators in addressing queer issues. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9nCcFt
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Curriculum. The website features tools and resources for teaching about gay issues, addressing homophobia, and supporting students’ efforts to start Gay/Straight Alliances. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/YWvaMw
Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s website has several training and reference materials to teach about discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/9a4k7r
Two Spirits, directed by Lydia Nibley. The film “Two Spirits” interweaves Fred Martinez’s life and murder with an examination of the two-spirit tradition among Native Americans, telling a nuanced story of what it means to be poor, transgender and Navajo. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1qA6uVK
1 100th anniversary of the Smith-Sears Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Act. This federal act resulted in the establishment of the nation’s first vocational rehabilitation program for veterans with disabilities.
Veterans for Peace: Exposing the True Costs of War and Militarism Since 1985. Veterans share their personal stories of why they became Veterans for Peace as a way to educate others on the reality of war. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2eaIYfB
4 UN Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. Appalled by the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression, in 1982 the United Nations General Assembly decided to commemorate June 4 of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. It reminds people that there are many children throughout the world who suffer from different forms of abuse, and there is an urgent need to protect the rights of children.
Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Short video of Alice Walker reading a letter from Rachel Corrie, a young, White American, who traveled to the Gaza Strip as part of the International Solidarity Movement, and was killed by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the IDF. (H) http://bit.ly/1vSZIJU
A Little Piece of Ground, by Elizabeth Laird, with Sonia Nimr. This novel is about a young boy named Karim, who is living through the Israeli occupation of Palestine. (E) http://bit.ly/rxsebu
5 20th anniversary of the General Motors strike in Flint, MI. Frustrated at GM’s continued outsourcing of work to non-union factories and the company’s failure to make good on promised upgrades to local plants, UAW workers at GM parts plants in Flint, once the heart of GM’s global empire, walked off the job. The strike lasted 54 days and crippled GM production nationwide.
Flint Sit-Down Strike, by the United Auto Workers. A short documentary, with some historical footage and oral histories, capturing this critical moment in auto labor history, which took place in 1936-1937. (Note that this resource is not about the 1998 strike, but has many of the same themes.) (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1REmaSw
6 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy’s commitment to social justice is well-documented. As US Attorney General, he was a leading proponent of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and championed voter rights, equal access to education, and desegregation in housing. He also ordered the end of segregation in public transportation and sent US Marshals to protect Freedom Riders in the South. As a US senator, he initiated programs to address the needs of the dispossessed and powerless throughout the country.
Civil Rights and Racial Equality: Teacher Resources, by The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Center. A collection of lesson ideas, activities, and action projects related to the life of Bobby Kennedy and extending to civil rights issues of today. Includes a link to a “Become a Defender” unit developed in partnership with Rock Your World, that serves as a comprehensive social action curriculum. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2kX59fr
8 110th anniversary of the National Conservation Commission. Considered the start of the modern conservation movement, the Governors’ Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources was the first to acknowledge natural resource management as a national priority, and led to the establishment of the National Conservation Commission. These developments drove conservation issues into the public consciousness and stimulated several private and state-level conservation initiatives.
Our Land, Our Life, by Oxfam America. This video explores Carrie and Mary Dann’s story of their struggle to protect the sacred and environmentally sensitive land that belongs to the Western Shoshones. (M, H) http://bit.ly/GTJmK
10 70th anniversary of Puerto Rico’s infamous Law 53, known as La Ley de la Mordaza (Gag Law). La Ley de la Mordaza made it illegal in Puerto Rico to display a Puerto Rican flag, sing a patriotic tune, talk of independence and, of course, fight for the liberation of the island. It was also known as “the Little Smith Act” because it was patterned after a similar law passed in the US.
I Have a Border in my Mind: The Puerto Ricans’ Arts and Culture as Factors for Self-Esteem, by Abie L. Quiñones-Benítez. This unit provides information on the history of Puerto Rico and individual lesson plans to help students learn more about Puerto Rican culture and identity. (M, H) http://bit.ly/KLRahe
11 10th anniversary of Canada’s official apology for Indian Residential School abuses. In an unprecedented move, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper publicly apologized to victims of the government’s Indian Residential Schools policies in the 19th and 20th centuries. In a practice characterized by many as cultural genocide, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their homes, forced to abandon their families, traditions, languages and cultures; many were also victims of horrendous physical and sexual abuse.
When We Were Alone, by David Robertson. When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a terrible time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength. (E) http://bit.ly/2kz3o4N; Teacher’s Guide: http://bit.ly/2kdDW3W
12 World Day Against Child Labor. The World Day Against Child Labor is intended to raise awareness and promote activism to prevent child labor.
Iqbal, by Francesco D’Adamo. This is a powerful story based on the real life and death of a Pakistani child sold into slavery. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1tRoxV7
Teaching with Documents: Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor. This site contains reproducible copies of photos documenting the role of child labor in the development of the industrial United States. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/3qo8vl
12 120th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence. Emilio Aguinaldo, an exiled Filipino revolutionary, declared Philippine independence from more than 300 years of Spanish rule. Going back on its offer to aid their cause, the US exploited the revolutionaries in their bid to gain control of the Philippines from Spain. US control was cemented by the Paris Treaty of 1898, which also gave it control over Puerto Rico and Guam.
Dignified and Determined: Labor Activism of Filipina/o American Farmworkers, by Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Dawn B. Mabalon, Maricel Elacio, Erica Parpan, Ingrid Gonzales, Ron Quimel, Frederick David and R.J. Lozada. This lesson plan, which focuses on Filipina/o American farmworkers, examines how we view the labor and activism of the Pinay/Pinoy pioneers. These lesson plans are intended to help us be more critical of how we perceive and understand labor, work, class and economic justice. (H) http://bit.ly/1fPbdx0
15 Eid al-fitr begins at sunset on 6/14 (Islam). Eid Al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-Breaking) is celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan to mark the end of fasting. It is often celebrated over the course of three days.
Islamic Celebrations, by Teachers’ Domain. In this video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, members of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC discuss the religious and spiritual significance of the Eid al-Fitr holiday. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/uFXEix
BBC Schools: Guide to Ramadan. This site includes basic information about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, as well as links to lesson plans intended to help students understand the beliefs and practices of Muslim people. A lesson on Islamic art is included here. Follow links to “BBC Food” for information on Eid al-Fitr around the globe. (E, M, H) http://bbc.in/bFTw84
The Arab World in the Classroom: An Introduction to lslam, by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. An Introduction to Islam is a 16-page reader-friendly guide that can be downloaded for free to share with teachers and students. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/23DqeeR
Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr: With Prayer, Fasting, and Charity (Holidays Around the World), by Deborah Heiligman. This children’s book explores Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr through the use of text, photographs and maps. (E) http://bit.ly/T7pNU9
16 60th anniversary of Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech at a civil rights workshop at Highlander Folk School. Roosevelt spoke at the workshop, despite death threats from the KKK. Under J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI singled out Eleanor Roosevelt for her outspoken support of civil rights, workers’ rights, education reform and aid for disadvantaged populations, labeling her a communist sympathizer. Her file with the FBI was one of the largest on record.
Resistance 101: A Lesson for Inauguration Teach-Ins and Beyond, by Teaching for Change. To help introduce a history of resistance to injustice, Teaching for Change created this lesson for middle and high school classes to use for Inauguration Day Teach-Ins and other events. Resistance 101 is an introductory lesson, allowing students to “meet” people from throughout US history who have used a variety of social change strategies. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2jSK7dX
16 The 10th anniversary of the first same-sex wedding to take place in California
No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lewis, directed by JEB. This 57-minute film about the founders of the lesbian rights movement reveals their inspiring public activism as well as their charming and very funny private relationship. A review and clip of the film is available on the site. (H) http://bit.ly/XPXznb
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon’s Wedding Video. A Groundspark’s video of lifelong LGBT activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon’s marriage, which was the first gay marriage performed in San Francisco under the mayoralty of Gavin Newsom, who had fought for years to legalize gay marriage. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/LNj4Lo
17 Father’s Day. Father’s Day is an annual holiday that honors fathers and father figures, and celebrates their contributions to the lives of their children and to society.
The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic. “American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal justice system that’s left the US with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they’ve failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Moynihan’s report, ‘The Negro Family,’ tragically helped create the system, it’s time to reclaim its original intent.” (H, TR) http://theatln.tc/1LP0eVD
Daddy, Papa, and Me, by Leslea Newman. Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with his daddies. (E) http://bit.ly/1LbyE4Y
18 90th anniversary of the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. On this day, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in a plane across the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger. Four years later, she would complete her first transatlantic flight as a pilot.
Women in Aviation and Space History, by Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This museum website features 47 women who are or have been included by name, artifact or photograph in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s exhibits. Amelia Earhart is among the 47, and included in her comprehensive biography are Earhart’s notable flights, her role in The Ninety-Nines (a female pilot organization), and her work designing “functional” women’s clothing. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/18KWb34
Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World, by Cynthia Chin-Lee and Megan Halsey. Detailed collages and illustrations draw from various events of both hardship and triumph in the lives of 26 amazing women. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1Ql0I4T
19 Juneteenth. The oldest known celebration of the end of slavery, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.
Indentured Servitude and Slavery, by Michael Ray. This six-minute digital history of slavery includes the voices of slave survivors, as well as pictures that depict the struggles and inequities that these individuals endured. (H) http://bit.ly/1pCbpBh
Been Here So Long: Selections from the WPA American Slave Narratives, by the New Deal Network. Included are 17 of the approximately 2,300 American Slave Narratives collected by the Federal Writers Project, with lesson plans. (H) http://bit.ly/uy2uKF
Perspective on the Slave Narrative, by EdSITEment. Lesson about the Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (1847). The book is analyzed both as a work of literature and for its contribution to the abolitionist movement. (H) http://1.usa.gov/hjAWP5
Rethinkin’ Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation, by Bill Bigelow, Huffington Post. This article questions the portrayal of President Lincoln as an abolitionist in the movie Lincoln. Bigelow also discusses how he and his students approached the study of the Emancipation Proclamation, beginning with Lincoln’s inaugural address. (H, TR) http://huff.to/UpgZq8
19 Joe Glazer, folk musician, labor activist, born (1918-2006). Joe Glazer, often referred to as “labor’s troubadour,” was a member of the Textile Workers Union of America. He worked in Mexico for the US State Department as a labor advisor, and was a co-founder of the Labor Heritage Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening the labor movement through the use of music and the arts.
Putting a Face on the Organization of Labor, by Jim Shannon (2004). Lesson from the American History Through Music Project: Voices Across Time, introducing students to Joe Hill through analyzing folk songs from the era. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1c5yZxY
20 Albert Parsons, labor activist, born (1848-1887). Albert Parsons was an activist for the rights of former slaves, and became a leader of the labor movement in Chicago. Albert and his wife Lucy helped lead a march for the eight-hour work day in 1886. Although not involved in a deadly rally in Chicago that same week, Parsons was convicted of “conspiracy to murder” and was hanged in 1887.
Haymarket: A Novel, by Martin Duberman. This moving work of historical fiction makes working-class life and organizing come alive. The detail and drama of the struggle for an 8-hour work day, as seen through the lives of labor activists Lucy and Albert Parsons, hold the reader’s attention. The author deftly weaves critical themes of race and gender. (H) http://bit.ly/2mgA17U
Lucy Parsons: An American Revolutionary, by Carolyn Ashbaugh. A book on the life and times of Lucy Parsons, who defied all the conventions of her turbulent era as an outspoken woman of Color, radical writer, women’s rights advocate and labor organizer. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1aSojam
23 130th anniversary of “White Slavery in London,” an article about matchgirls’ working conditions. Social activist and radical journalist Annie Besant’s article in The Link denounced the deplorable conditions under which young girls worked in the Bryant & May Matchworks in East London. The article led to a walkout of more than 1,500 workers on July 5th. The strike was settled in the girls’ favor on July 17, and is considered a turning point for unskilled laborers in England.
The Matchgirls Strike, by Spartacus Educational. A brief introduction to radical journalist Annie Besant and the 1888 strike of over 200 teenage matchstick laborers. Includes links to various relevant primary sources, with accompanying questions and explanations. (H) http://bit.ly/1mm4E2I
25 80th anniversary of the signing of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) established minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. It also included provisions for workers with disabilities.
Waging a Living, by PBS. Students will become familiar with the difference between “minimum wage” and “living wage” through classroom discussions and media exposure. (H) http://to.pbs.org/KuBX5v
Fighting for a Living Wage, by NYSUT. A collection of links and resources related to organizing for the “Fight for $15,” a national struggle to increase the minimum wage to $15. Included are find lesson plans and multimedia resources related to the Fight for $15, in the section titled, “Make the fight for a living wage a ‘teachable moment.'” (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2lJEYs9
25 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Flag. The Rainbow Flag is an iconic symbol of pride for the LGBTQ community around the world. At the request of Harvey Milk, the first gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, artist and activist Gilbert Baker designed the flag, which premiered at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1978. Baker died in 2017 at the age of 65.
“The history of the rainbow flag,” by Kelly Grovier. After the tragic events in Orlando, one image has symbolized solidarity. Kelly Grovier looks at the rainbow flag, an emblem “torn from the soul of the people.” (H, TR) http://bbc.in/2iNCJ5K
27 National HIV Testing Day. National HIV Testing Day is an annual campaign encouraging people to “take the test, take control.”
Elbow Is Not a Sexy Word: Approaches to Sex Education, by Jody Sokolower. From Chapter 3 of Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality, by Rethinking Schools. (TR). http://bit.ly/1P5IlwH
28 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Regents of the University of California v Bakke. When Allan Bakke, a White medical school applicant, was denied admission to the University of California, he sued on the grounds of “reverse discrimination.” The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, agreed that the university’s use of strict racial quotas was unconstitutional, but that affirmative action in itself is legal. Several states used this decision as an excuse to outlaw affirmative action in school admissions.
Affirmative Action: How Far Have We Come?, by Tim Wise, NPR. Tim Wise, a leading White, anti-racist writer, discusses affirmative action, with specific mention of the University of Michigan case. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/ctqbSv
2 70th anniversary of Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act. After years of lobbying by the Japanese American Citizens League, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and other individuals, President Truman signed the Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act. The law allowed the US government to settle claims by Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps during WWII. There were so many exemptions to and limitations on claims that no one was truly compensated for this unconstitutional imprisonment of US citizens.
Baseball Saved Us, by Ken Mochizuki. Shorty (a young Japanese American boy) and his family are forced to move to an internment camp during WWII. Shorty’s father builds a baseball field to try to restore normalcy for the children, and they rally around the idea. A summary, link and activities are available on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Ed. Book Blog, which contains an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom. (E) http://bit.ly/1p2VMQM
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi. The first in a new series of middle grade books about civil rights and s/heroes, this book covers how Fred Korematsu first evaded and then fought the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II all the way to the Supreme Court. (E, M) http://nbcnews.to/2jCou1U
Explore the Japanese American Internment through Film and the Internet. This site hosts a vast array of resources for teaching about the internment. Educator section has unit plans and discussion questions. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1qnwUvy
4 Independence Day
Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom, by Bill Bigelow. This lesson introduces students to the numerous and varied ways African Americans resisted enslavement, using the autobiographical narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, published in 1845. It includes a video of Danny Glover reading Douglass’s speech questioning what Independence Day means to African Americans. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/twIr1s
The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, by Frederick Douglass. Full text of a speech delivered by Douglass in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1xt0vT3
5 40th anniversary of the “We will ride!” protests. In Denver’s Atlantis community, a group known as “The Gang of 19” blocked buses in an attempt to publicize the disenfranchisement of the disabled. The group blocked the intersection all day and night, chanting “We will ride!” until representatives of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) agreed to address the absence of wheelchair-accessible buses.
“I was there…”, by Barbara Toomer, ADAPT.org. Barbara Toomer, a disability rights activist and member of ADAPT, writes about her experiences protesting and raising awareness for accessible transportation. A link to audio of Toomer reading her narrative is also included. The second link here is to the ADAPT website. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/Vo2Sr2 and http://bit.ly/QU0LDE
7 120th anniversary of the colonization and annexation of Hawaii. Against the wishes of native Hawaiians, a group of White businessmen overthrew the sovereign Hawaiian government in 1893. The Hawaiian Patriotic League successfully thwarted their efforts to annex the islands to the US, but the February 1898 attack on the USS Maine served as a pretext for US annexation. President McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution on July 7, 1898, making Hawaii a US territory – a status it maintained until 1959 when Hawaii became the 50th state.
Teaching with Documents: The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii. This lesson plan uses original documents about the Native Hawaiians who organized against the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. (H) http://1.usa.gov/12DDOR
Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation. A comprehensive documentary that focuses on the events surrounding the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. Through archival photographs, government documents, films, political cartoons and dramatic reenactments, Act of War explores colonialism and the conquest of a Pacific Island nation by western missionaries and capitalists. (H) http://bit.ly/uetbEK
9 150th anniversary of ratification of the 14th Amendment. This amendment was ratified following the Civil War to give all people born in America full citizenship and equal protection under the law. This hotly-contested law was adopted specifically for the newly freed slaves, but it is also relevant today.
Reconstructing the South: A Role-Play, by the Zinn Education Project. This role-play lesson engages students in thinking about what freed people needed in order to achieve – and sustain – real freedom following the Civil War. It’s followed by a chapter from the book Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution on what would happen to the land in the South after slavery ended. (H)http://bit.ly/2j6MTLE
13 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This is the oldest surviving wildlife statute. Its purpose was to stop the unregulated hunting of migratory birds, especially those whose feathers were coveted in the feather trade.
Animal Rights Weekend Warrior, by Ingrid E. Newkirk. Created by the co-founder of PETA, this set of cards offers 52 projects that help animals. Each card describes a different way children can improve the life of an animal, or to effect change for thousands of animals – whether it’s cheering up a lonely “backyard dog,” “veganizing” a cafeteria, educating your neighbors or providing your local birds with a bath. (E, M) http://amzn.to/vzuuJ8
17 10th anniversary of the murder of Angie Zapata. Eighteen-year old Angie Zapata, a transgender woman, was beaten to death in Greeley, Colorado. Her killer was the first person to be convicted of a hate crime against a transgender victim.
A Trans* and Gender Non-conforming Reading List for All Ages, by The Booklist Reader. The list highlights books by and about the trans*/GNC community for all ages. For non-trans readers with family members, friends or colleagues who are trans*/GNC – actually, for all readers with open minds and hearts – these books can lead the way toward becoming well-informed allies. (E, M, H, TR)http://bit.ly/2oxQCnU
Resources for Transgender/GNC People, compiled by Ahya Simone. From sexual health and reproductive resources to gender affirmation strategies for young folks, this document includes links to a variety of materials, including multimedia resources for classroom use. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2nWWcDs
18 Nelson Mandela, revolutionary, anti-apartheid activist and global advocate for human rights, born (1918-2013). Nelson Mandela fought against the oppressive, racially segregated South African regime in the 1940s through the early 1960s, and spent 27 years at hard labor in prison. When he was released, he helped to negotiate the end of apartheid, becoming a leading world advocate for human rights. He served as the first Black President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the human rights abuses of apartheid.
Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book, by Umlando Wezithombe, The Nelson Mandela Foundation. A graphic novel about the life and times of Nelson Mandela, produced for school children in South Africa and now available for readers in the US. (E, M) http://bit.ly/NMcns4
19 170th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. The Seneca Falls Convention was the first convention in the US organized by women with the sole purpose of discussing women’s rights. The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, which was drafted at the convention, demanded equal civil, social and political rights for women, including the right to vote. This marked the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement.
The Day the Women Got the Vote: A Photo History of the Women’s Rights Movement, by George Sullivan. A photographic record of the Women’s Movement from Seneca Falls to the present. Photographs and reproductions present a wide range of both well-known individuals and informal shots of unknowns. (E, M) http://bit.ly/KB5XwT
Seneca Falls, 1848: Women Organize for Equality, by Zinn Education Project. A role-play that allows students to examine issues of race and class when exploring both the accomplishments and the limitations of the Seneca Falls Convention. (H) http://bit.ly/2jltmIj
20 50th anniversary of the first International Special Olympics Summer Games. The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago. About 1,000 people with intellectual disabilities from 26 states and Canada competed in track and field, swimming and floor hockey.
Assessing Access: Early Grades Activity, by Teaching Tolerance. A resource and lesson plan that can be used to analyze how individuals and groups with disabilities in American society have struggled for equal rights that the principles of American democracy promise. (E) http://bit.ly/J389NK
21 140th anniversary of the publication of “Eight Hours”. “Eight Hours,” written by Reverend Jesse H. Jones and I.G. Blanchard, was the most popular labor song until “Solidarity Forever” was published by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1915.
Bread and Roses, Too, by Katherine Paterson. With two teenagers as the protagonists of this historical fiction novel, Paterson introduces the reader to the Industrial Workers of the World, major figures such as Big Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, worker solidarity, the role of labor songs, and the various tactics used by the company to undermine the strike. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Lhb8PS
26 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9981. Spurred on by protests led by Civil Rights icon A. Philip Randolph, and the need for Black votes in the upcoming Presidential election, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 on July 26, 1948, officially abolishing racial discrimination in the armed forces. This decision established equality of treatment and opportunity in the military for people of all races, religions or national origins.
- Philip Randolph Exhibit, by the George Meany Memorial Archives. This online exhibit includes photographs, articles, a bibliography and classroom activities about labor rights activist and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph. (H) http://bit.ly/IDxZnP
27 90th anniversary of the publication of The Well of Loneliness. This lesbian novel by Radclyffe Hall was banned in the UK after the Prime Minister got a doctor to declare that it would lead to “a social and national disaster.” Hall was charged with criminal obscenity, and all copies of the book were ordered destroyed. The book was finally released in the UK in 1949, after Hall’s death.
Ready, Set, Respect! GLSEN’s Elementary Toolkit. This toolkit provides lesson plans and multimedia resources that are aligned to Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, as well as strategies for responding to bullying. This is the type of resource designed to help schools create communities that support students like LaStaysha Myers, a straight student who sued her school district for banning pro-gay T-shirts while allowing anti-gay ones. (E, M, TR) http://bit.ly/x3Poqe
28 150th anniversary of the Burlingame-Seward Treaty between China and the US. The treaty was intended to promote free immigration and trade between the two countries and ensured protections for Chinese citizens in the US. However, anti-Chinese sentiment in the US was so virulent that a much more restrictive treaty was signed in 1880, leading to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which repealed the immigration clauses.
The Chinese Experience in 19th Century America, developed by Roberta Kugell Gumport and Marcella M. Smith, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This unit focuses on the Chinese immigrant experience. Their arrival raised issues of social and cultural diversity, discrimination and national identity – issues that are still debated today. One section focuses on the process of exclusion, including immigration laws. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/KnPSNz