2019-2020 Chronological Resources
3 40th anniversary of the attack on Vietnamese fishermen in Seadrift, Texas. Many Vietnamese refugees settled in Texas, finding work in the Gulf Coast shrimping industry. On August 3, 1979, White fisherman in the town of Seadrift burned Vietnamese boats and firebombed a Vietnamese house. The White vigilante violence continued into 1981, when they were joined by the KKK in a rally against the Vietnamese.
The Refugees, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. A remarkable debut collection of short stories, written over a period of 20 years and set in both Vietnam and America. Nguyen paints a vivid portrait of the experiences of people leading lives between two worlds: their adopted homeland and their country of birth. (H) https://bit.ly/2H5DnJ8
A Different Pond, by Bao Phi and Thui Bui. A powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son – and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2RC7c8i
6 10th anniversary of Sonia Sotomayor’s assuming office on the US Supreme Court. Appointed by President Barack Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is the first Latinx woman to serve on the US Supreme Court. She was appointed to the US District Court in 1992 by President George W. Bush, and the US Court of Appeals in 1997 by President Clinton. Sotomayor has supported the rights of defendants, affirmative action, and health care reform, and has delivered impassioned dissents on issues of race, gender and ethnic identity.
Turning Pages: My Life Story, by Sonia Sotomayor. As the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sotomayor has inspired young people around the world to reach for their dreams. But what inspired her? For young Sonia, the answer was books. In Turning Pages, Justice Sotomayor shares that love of books with a new generation of readers, and inspires them to read, puzzle, and dream for themselves. Available in both English and Spanish. (E) https://bit.ly/2Qo3JWq
50 Empowering Books Starring Latina Mighty Girls, by Mighty Girl. This book list is a curated collection of real-life Latina role models throughout history, as well as fictional stories about Latina girls and women. The list includes many books about Sonia Sotomayor. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2LLK023
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.
Haiku and Hiroshima: Teaching About the Atomic Bomb, by Wayne Au. Lesson for high school students on the bombing of Hiroshima, using haiku and the film Barefoot Gen. (H) http://bit.ly/2SdYmL4
8 Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary, born (1879-1919). Emiliano Zapata was a peasant leader from Morelos who played an important role in the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20. His Liberation Army of the South fought for the return of the ejidos (the former Indian communal system of land ownership) to the poor. He was assassinated by conservative government forces in 1919. Zapata and his Plan of Ayala remain an important inspiration for the current Zapatista Movement based in Chiapas.
The Storm That Swept Mexico Lesson Plan: Revolutionary Leaders, by Latino Public Broadcasting Education Collection. In this lesson, students study key figures from Zapata to Pancho Villa, and discuss what motivated them to take action. Students also look at contemporary revolutionary leaders and the role of social media. (H) http://bit.ly/2Skx1qG
Corridos about the Mexican Revolution, by ArtsEdge. In this lesson, students are introduced to causes of the Mexican Revolution and key revolutionary figures. They gain an understanding of the corrido, a Mexican song form, and its role as a vehicle for communicating the news and other important events. (H) http://bit.ly/2Si1A03
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. It 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
10 Eid al-Adha begins at sunset 8/10 (Islam). Eid al-Adha (“Sacrifice Feast”) is a Muslim holiday commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son to God. 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/2Si2N7B
Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story, by Hena Khan. Yasmeen, a 7-year-old Pakistani American girl, celebrates the Muslim holidays of Ramadan, “The Night of the Moon” (Chaand Raat), and Eid. With lush illustrations that evoke Islamic art, this beautiful story offers a window into modern Muslim culture and the ancient roots from which its traditions have grown. This site includes a podcast about the book. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2sp58Ft
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 encourage 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 that are important to them. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2SlSbVw
12 10th anniversary of President Obama’s posthumously awarding Harvey Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Harvey Milk was an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ civil rights, as well as the rights of other marginalized populations. He was one of the first openly gay people to be elected to public office when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk built coalitions among diverse groups – women, Asian Americans, Latinx, and the disabled. He was assassinated, along with Mayor George Moscone, a year after his inauguration, by a disgruntled former colleague.
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 educator’s guide and lesson plans for the book. (E) https://bit.ly/2FbBGYb
14 50th anniversary of British troops arriving in Northern Ireland to suppress civil rights agitation. Catholic Irish nationalists, favoring unification with the Irish Republic, had been waging a campaign through the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, against Britain and the Loyalist Protestant paramilitaries who supported continued British rule. As a result of British Army repression, elements of the nationalist population, principally led by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), fought an insurgency. The 30-year deadlock was known as “the Troubles.”
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, by Patrick Radden Keefe. A history of The Troubles, a bitter conflict in Northern Ireland, as told through stories of how individuals were affected. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2IpvKND
15 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival. Held on a dairy farm in southern New York, the Woodstock Festival was billed as “Three Days of Peace and Music” and attracted an estimated 500,000 attendees. It was an indication of the strength of the counterculture and the birth of the “youth nation” of creative resistance to war and oppression. The term “Woodstock Nation” would come to be used as a general term to describe the youth counterculture of the 1960s.
The Turbulent 60s: Youth Counterculture and Activism, by Utah Education Network. This unit focuses on the student free speech movements and anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s, linking them to the civil rights movements for people of Color and women’s rights in the 1950s and 1970s. A component of it focuses on the music of Woodstock and the role of music in understanding the times. (H) http://bit.ly/KlPzQb
18 Winona LaDuke, environmental and Indigenous rights activist and author, born (1959). Winona LaDuke, a member of the National Women’s Hall of fame, is an internationally acclaimed author and activist in the areas of sustainable development, renewable energy, and food systems. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in Minnesota. As program director of “Honor the Earth,” LaDuke works nationally and internationally on issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice. She founded the White Earth Project, one of the largest reservation-based nonprofit organizations in the US.
All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life, by Winona LaDuke. This thoughtful, in-depth account of Native struggles against environmental and cultural degradation features chapters on the Seminoles, the Anishinaabeg, the Innu, the Northern Cheyenne, and the Mohawks, among others. Filled with inspiring testimonies of struggles for survival, each page of this volume speaks forcefully for self-determination and community. (H) https://bit.ly/2VxGU6f
19 30th anniversary of protests against segregation on South African beaches. As late as 1989, beaches were racially segregated in South Africa. Bishop Desmond Tutu defied apartheid by leading a march on a Whites-only beach. Although the protests ended in the arrests of several protesters, three months later, the South African government desegregated the beaches.
Movers and Movements: Fighting for Social Justice in South Africa, by Brenda Randolph, published in Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching: A Resource Guide for Classrooms and Communities. Teaching lesson that highlights unsung activists associated with the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1ziLORr
Tutu and Franklin: A Journey Towards Peace. This is a VHS documentary, which is accompanied by a Study Guide. The film is about Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Tutu, and the recently deceased historian and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dr. John Hope Franklin. Set in a former slave port off the coast of Senegal in West Africa, the two discover surprising truths about their personal histories and their nations’ struggles for racial peace. They are joined in these conversations by an international, interracial group of 21 teenagers. This PBS site includes a teacher’s guide. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/Keum86
19 100th anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from Britain. During the mid-19th century Britain attempted to annex Afghanistan, and over the next 80 years three Anglo-Afghan wars were fought. In 1919, King Amānullāh Khan fought for independence from its “protectorate” status and colonial domination. Worn down by World War I, Britain conceded in 1919 and recognized Afghanistan’s independence.
Afghanistan: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, by National Geographic Classroom Resources. Articles, maps, and other resources gathered by The Association for Asian Studies, in partnership with National Geographic. Explores the history, politics, and culture of Afghanistan. (H) https://bit.ly/2Dikr5M
20 400th anniversary of first documented arrival of Africans to British North America. Originally kidnapped from the Ndongo kingdom in west central Africa, a contingent of 20 Africans were brought ashore to Point Comfort, part of today’s Virginia. They were the first Africans on record to be forcibly settled as involuntary laborers in the North American British colonies. This event laid the foundation for years of chattel slavery.
Slavery and the Making of America, by PBS. The website for this documentary includes timelines, multimedia narratives, children’s literature and other resources for teaching about the impact of slavery on the history of America. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2GYa3Ey
21 Thomas Garrett, abolitionist, born (1789-1871). Garrett was a White Quaker abolitionist who defied the authorities in his slave state of Delaware. He helped more than 2,000 fugitives cross into the free state of Pennsylvania and openly admitted so when brought to trial. He stayed in Wilmington during the Civil War, his house guarded by African American volunteers.
‘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
21 60th anniversary of Hawai’i becoming the 50th US state. More than 100 years before becoming a state, Hawai’i was the site of a power struggle between wealthy White businessmen and Native Hawaiians. The Hawaiians organized against annexation by the US, but over the course of this struggle they were stripped of voting rights and Queen Lili’uokalani was forcibly overthrown in a bloodless coup. Hawai’i was annexed by the US in 1898 and made a state in 1959.
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
22 10th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s lifting its ban on gay clergy. The Evangelical Lutheran Church voted to lift its ban on appointing non-celibate gay and lesbian leaders to the clergy. It was the second major Christian denomination to do so in a month, and theologians speculated that other Christian groups would soon do the same.
The God Box, by Alex Sanchez. Paul, a religious teen living in a small conservative town, finds his world turned upside down when he meets Manuel, a young man who says he’s both Christian and gay – two things that Paul didn’t think could coexist in one person. Doesn’t the Bible forbid homosexuality? As Paul struggles with Manuel’s interpretation of the Bible, thoughts that Paul has long tried to bury begin to surface, and he finds himself re-examining his whole life. (H) https://bit.ly/2SMcjAp
23 30th anniversary of the murder of Yusuf Hawkins. Black teenager Yusuf Hawkins was attacked by a White mob and shot to death in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Only one member of the mob was convicted of murder. However, Hawkins’ death led to widespread demonstrations for justice as well as the election of New York City’s first Black mayor.
Responding to Hate and Bias in Schools, by Teaching Tolerance. This guide for school administrators (but also helpful for teachers, staff, counselors, and students), is divided into three sections: Before a Crisis Occurs; When There’s a Crisis; and After the Worst Is Over (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2SksC73
A Storm Over Brooklyn, by Muta’Ali for HBO Films. Set to be released 8/19, this documentary explores the tragic murder of Yusef Hawkins, a Black teenager killed by a White mob in Brooklyn in the 1980s. (H) http://bit.ly/2SdX7eS
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.
Teaching Hard History: A Framework for Teaching American Slavery, by Teaching Tolerance. Most students leave high school without an adequate understanding of the role slavery played in the development of the United States or how its legacies still influence us today. To try to remedy this, Teaching Tolerance developed a comprehensive guide for teaching and learning this critical topic at the middle and high school levels. Includes primary sources, podcasts, webinars and more. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2FUocgs
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
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database and Lesson Plans, by Voyages. A plethora of lesson plans to present the transatlantic slave trade database to students in grades 6-12. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2Sl2nxs
24 Krishna Janmashtami (Hinduism). Krishna is believed to be the eighth incarnation of Vishnu. 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.
The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna, by Demi. The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna tells the enchanting tale of the child Krishna, who is sent by the God Vishnu to aid humanity. Hidden among the poor cowherds, Krishna uses his miraculous powers to fight an evil demon king who has overthrown the peaceful kingdom of Mathura. The story of Krishna, dating to the 8th century BCE, and forming an integral part of Hinduism, is beautifully brought to life by award-winning author and illustrator, Demi. (E) https://bit.ly/2CgLPQv
24 William Wilberforce, British abolitionist and social reformer, born (1759-1833). Wilberforce was a leading figure in the fight to abolish the British slave trade. As a member of the House of Parliament, he led the parliamentary fight against the British slave trade until the eventual passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, though it didn’t affect those who were already enslaved. Finally, in 1833, shortly before Wilberforce died, an act to free enslaved people throughout the British empire was passed.
The Better Hour: The Legacy of William Wilberforce, by Cooke Pictures. This documentary explores the 20-year effort of William Wilberforce to abolish the British slave trade. The film shows how strength of character is harnessed in the service of high and seemingly unattainable goals. (M, H) https://vimeo.com/52426707
26 Women’s Equality Day. Established in 1971, the date commemorates the day the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution went into effect, giving US women full voting rights in 1920.
Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 to 2000. This Teacher’s Corner website offers more than 100 documents and lesson plans for teaching the role of women in American history. (M, H) http://bit.ly/bmuSYJ
26 100th anniversary of the murder of Fannie Sellins. Fannie Sellins was a labor rights organizer who traveled across the country to work with steel, iron, garment, and mine workers. Sellins also collaborated with the wives of workers to build diverse Labor movement coalitions. On August 26, 1919, Sellins participated in a strike against the Allegheny Coal and Coke Company in Pennsylvania. During an encounter with company guards, Sellins was shot and killed while attempting to protect other striking workers and their children.
Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights, by Mary Cronk Farrell. Starting with the murder of early 20th-century labor organizer Fannie Sellins (1872-1919), this book jumps back to trace Sellins’ life organizing garment and mine workers. (M) http://bit.ly/2Sh3mi5
29 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s first nuclear test. The Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test in present-day Kazakhstan, hoping to develop weaponry to deter the US from using atomic weapons as they had done at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The US responded by increasing its own nuclear capabilities and within a few years the nuclear arms race between the two nations had reached a fever pitch. The danger of nuclear war continues today with nine countries possessing nuclear weapons.
The Bomb Factor, by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This site houses three free units about the impact and issues surrounding nuclear weapons, including issues of conflict, Chernobyl, famous whistleblowers, pressure groups, and more. Students investigate a range of arguments. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2SxeebG
30 20th anniversary of East Timor referendum demanding independence from Indonesia. Following Portugal’s decolonization, East Timor was brutally occupied by Indonesia for more than 20 years with tacit support from the West. In 1999 the UN sponsored a ballot in which the East Timorese overwhelmingly voted for independence. East Timor became an independent country in 2002.
Timor Leste: Towards Democracy, by Ashley Weir, Jennifer Stevens, Natalie Milner, and Elleisha Canty. Full unit and lesson plans, including primary source materials, linked resources, and more, to explore East Timor’s referendum and development as a nation from multiple national perspectives. (H) https://bit.ly/2XhGC3y
31 Muharram begins at sunset 8/31 (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) https://bit.ly/2JvurtS
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 as those of other faiths do. (E) https://bit.ly/2C8BsOk
1 50th anniversary of Muammar Gaddafi’s rise to power in Libya. During a bloodless coup, military officers deposed the king of Libya and installed Muammar Gaddafi as prime minister of the new republic. Gaddafi initially pursued Arab and African unity and championed anti-imperialist causes. His government was later criticized as dictatorial and was challenged during the Arab Spring of 2011. US and European intervention led to the overthrow and assassination of Gaddafi and the rise of Islamic fundamentalist forces in Libya.
The Burning Shores: Inside the Battle for the New Libya, by Frederic Wehrey. In a fast-paced narrative that blends frontline reporting, analysis, and history, Frederic Wehrey tells the story of the key actors in Libya and paints vivid portraits of lives upended by a country in turmoil: the once-hopeful activists murdered or exiled, revolutionaries transformed into militia bosses or jihadist recruits, and an aging general who promises salvation from the chaos in exchange for a return to the old authoritarianism. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2CaTwY6
1 80th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland, precipitating World War II. Germany’s Nazi leadership sought to control Europe through aggressive expansion, annexing Austria in 1939 and invading Bohemia and Moravia earlier in 1939. The invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 led Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand to declare war three days later. The war eventually expanded to six continents and caused an estimated 50 million military and civilian deaths, including those of six million Jews and 20 million Soviet citizens.
A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust: Victims, by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida. This site provides information about the victims of Nazi genocidal policy including homosexuals, people with disabilities and more. Additional resources include lesson plans, interactive quizzes, discussion questions and more. (TR) http://bit.ly/2ArVhAa
1 50th anniversary of national “teach-in” on environmental issues. Inspired by the campus activism of the 1960s, Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, hired 25-year-old Denis Hayes to direct a national “teach-in” on environmental issues. Hayes recruited a small group of graduates to come to Washington, DC to begin planning what would eventually become the first Earth Day. While the exact date of his proposal is unknown, he chose April 22 for the Earth Day teach-in because it was between spring break and finals and he wanted to accommodate college students.
I’m Not Too Little to Help the Earth, by W.Y. Taylor. This book teaches young children about things they can do during their everyday routines to help the Earth. 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/u3Nh1k
3 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
The Five Basic Steps to Organizing a Union. Student-friendly step-by-step guide to starting a union from the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America’s website. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/VVGMxk
3 80th anniversary of Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada declaring war on Germany. Two days following Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, Britain declared war on Germany after the German government did not meet a deadline to withdraw. Several hours later France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada followed suit. This would be the start of a multinational resistance to Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich – and the start of World War II.
“The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II, by Studs Terkel. The Good War, for which Terkel won the Pulitzer Prize, is a testament not only to the experience of war but to the extraordinary skill of Terkel as an interviewer. As always, Terkel’s subjects are open and unrelenting in their analyses of themselves and their experiences, producing what People magazine has called “a splendid epic history of World War II.” With this volume Terkel expanded his scope to the global and the historical and the result is a masterpiece of oral history. (H) https://bit.ly/2VR2D99
4 70th anniversary of the Peekskill Riots. Paul Robeson was scheduled to give a concert on August 27, 1949 to benefit the Civil Rights Congress. Anti-Black, anti-communist, and anti-Jewish protesters converged on the venue and beat concert-goers, lynched Robeson in effigy, and burned a cross. The concert was rescheduled for September 4th and 2,500 union members served as guards. Following the concert, a mob attacked concert-goers as police stood by or helped with the beatings. More than 140 people were injured.
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
6 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s arriving in Alameda, California. The completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad had significant impacts on US society, such as connecting economies and settlements across the mainland, increasing westward migration, and accelerating displacement of Indigenous peoples. Thousands of Chinese laborers were recruited to do treacherous labor in constructing the railroad, which involved laying down railroad track and blasting holes through rock using explosives and gun powder.
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. Although this is a story of racism, exploitation and violence, it is also a story of warmth and solidarity. (H) http://bit.ly/2mxipHy
Transcontinental Railroad Recruits Chinese Workers, by PBS Media. This video segment adapted from American Experience, explores archival photos and interviews to explain how large numbers of laborers from China were instrumental in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. (H) https://bit.ly/2SHnxG2
Dragon’s Gate, by Laurence Yep. In 1867, Otter travels from Three Willows Village in China to California – the Land of the Golden Mountain, where he will join his father and uncle. In spite of the presence of family, Otter is a stranger among the other Chinese in this new land. And where he expected to see a land of goldfields, he sees only vast, cold whiteness. (M, H) Teacher’s guide included here: https://bit.ly/2RnVIBs
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 formal education.
Fresh Ink: An Anthology, edited by Lamar Giles. Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes 10 short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in print. This collection addresses topics such as gentrification, acceptance, untimely death, coming out, and poverty, and ranges in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure and romance. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2VbhUEC
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
10 70th anniversary of Syrian women gaining the right to vote. On this day, Syrian women were given the right to vote, but only those who had completed elementary school. In 1953 all Syrians were finally allowed to vote in elections.
Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace, by Bana Alabed. When 7-year-old Bana Alabed took to Twitter to describe the horrors she and her family were experiencing in war-torn Syria, her heartrending messages touched the world and gave a voice to millions of innocent children. In Bana’s own words, and featuring short, affecting chapters by her mother Fatemah, Dear World offers a uniquely intimate, child’s perspective on one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2LUYDAg
14 60th anniversary of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. Following extensive organizing during the Depression and expanded union membership through World War II, labor unions had reached a level of strength that corporations sought to weaken in the 1950s. Citing some cases of union corruption, President Eisenhower signed the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which expanded the regulation of unions and sought to weaken labor militancy.
Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin. This children’s book addresses labor conflict and resolution through the story of a fictional farmer whose cows start making demands. (E) https://bit.ly/2EEskjR
14 90th anniversary of the murder of Ella Mae Wiggins. Ella Mae Wiggins was a labor rights organizer and worker in the garment industry of North Carolina. She wrote the popular labor anthem “Mill Mother’s Lament,” which told the story of mothers working in factory mills. Wiggins was killed by a group of armed men as she was on her way to a union meeting. Today, the Ella May Wiggins Memorial Committee is raising money and awareness to create a monument in honor of this union heroine.
Women in Labor History, by Zinn Education Project. Brief bios of a few noted women involved in the labor movement. (E, M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2H9V6PP
14 Margaret Sanger, women’s health advocate, born (1879-1966). Margaret Sanger, an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, feminist, and nurse, popularized the term “birth control” and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. While Sanger argued that every child should be wanted, she also subscribed to the racist eugenics positions of the progressive movement, positions that promoted “good” breeding and aimed to prevent “poor” breeding.
What is Sex Education? For Educators, by Planned Parenthood. Sex education helps people gain the information, skills and motivation to make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality. Planned Parenthood provides guidelines, resources, standards, and more, for K-12 educators to share with young people. (H) https://bit.ly/2vb0Cao
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 Americans: A Curriculum, by PBS Learning Media. Students in grades 7-12 will unravel complex stories that will take them from colonial California to debates taking place in today’s Congress. Learners explore how Latinx experiences illuminate and challenge the broader narrative of the United States’ commitment to democracy, opportunity and equality. (M, H) https://to.pbs.org/2SnBAjR
Yes! We Are Latinos: Poems and Prose About the Latino Experience, by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. Thirteen young people living in the US 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 about the character’s background and history. (M, H) http://yeswearelatinos.com/
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 130th anniversary of the opening of Hull House in Chicago. Co-founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr, Hull House served a predominantly immigrant population. It provided social and educational courses and services, as well as organizing opportunities, for members of the surrounding neighborhood. Embracing socialist, pacifist, and feminist ideals, they pursued improvement in housing and working conditions, affecting national and international public policy. Jane Addams was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Hull House Museum. This site contains resources to teach and learn more about the history of Hull House and Jane Addams, and includes websites, videos, readings and lesson plans. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/fyfAyl
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. This annual award honors children’s books of literary and artistic merit that invite children to think deeply about peace, social justice, world community, and gender and racial equality. Search the award-winning books here. (E) http://bit.ly/RCje3
19 George Cadbury, social reformer, born (1839-1922). George Cadbury, co-owner of the Cadbury chocolate company, was a Quaker and social reformer. Convinced that bad housing was the root of many workers’ problems, he focused on developing working-class housing with ample green space and improving other social conditions.
The Fair Housing Five and the Haunted House, by New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. This children’s book tells the story of a group of young students who discover that a landlord in their community is discriminating against their friends. The project was developed in response to the wave of housing injustices committed in Southeast Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and serves as a tool not only for empowering children to think of themselves as advocates for justice, but also for reaching their parents with important information about their housing rights. (E) http://fairhousingfive.org/
20 Dalip Singh Saund, US congressman, born (1899-1973). Dalip Singh Saund was the first Asian American member of Congress. In the 1940s he founded the Indian American Association of America, whose efforts led to the passage of the Luce-Cellar Act of 1946, which allowed Indian Americans to become US citizens. He was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives in 1956, serving three terms between 1957 and 1963.
Echoes of Freedom: South Asian Pioneers in California, 1899-1965, by Berkeley Library. A digital library and exhibit on South Asian change-makers in California, including a chapter (chapter 12) devoted entirely to Dalip Singh Saund. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2UJ84up
21 Kwame Nkrumah, first President of Ghana and advocate of pan-Africanism, born (1909-1972). Nkrumah led the struggle against British colonialism in Ghana and became the county’s first president when Ghana gained independence in 1957. He was a fierce advocate of Pan-Africanism, with the aim of uniting the entire continent and promoting solidarity among Africans in the diaspora. Nkrumah, a socialist, was a co-founder of the Non-Aligned movement and a founding member of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). He was overthrown in a military coup in 1966.
Kwame Nkrumah Information Sites. These websites include photos, biographical information and text and audio excerpts from Nkrumah’s speeches. (M, H) http://bit.ly/bewVcy
21 International Day of Peace.
Peace Tools for Teachers. This page on the peaceCENTER website offers a variety of peace teaching resources including lessons, activities, dates, and quotes – all designed with teachers in mind. (E, M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2HmWQSp
22 100th anniversary of the Great Steel Strike. An estimated 350,000 U.S. Steel Corp. workers in 10 states went on strike demanding higher wages, improved working conditions, and the right to unionize. Many steel workers were immigrants, who were intimidated by corporate guards and government enforcers. A series of raids resulted in the deaths of 26 organizers and strikers. The strike ended in January 1920 with the company making no concessions. It would be more than a decade before unions were able to successfully organize the nation’s steel plants.
Collection of Oral Histories on the Great Steel Strike of 1919, from the Pennsylvania State Archives. Nine recorded interviews with organizers and strikers involved in the 1919 Great Steel Strike. Includes both audio recordings and transcripts. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2FjRyrV
22 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.
Dear Banned Author, by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week, readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2SsnG0d
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/2Sm6s4x
22 World Car-Free Day. Each year, people around the world organize events to showcase alternatives to the automobile. The day was created in 2000 by Car Busters.
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
23 50th anniversary of the first day of the Chicago Eight trial. At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, anti-Vietnam War protesters who were denied permits for demonstrations were attacked by the Chicago police. The US government then brought eight activists to trial in an effort to place blame on them. The sole Black defendant, Bobby Seale, had his trial severed after denouncing the judge and was convicted of contempt and sentenced to four years in prison. After a raucous trial, filled with confrontations and resistance, the other seven were convicted, but their convictions were eventually reversed on appeal.
The Chicago Seven (Eight) Trial, by Douglass Linder. This website has several primary resources about the trial of the Chicago Eight, including biographies, audio testimonies, trial transcripts and more. (H) http://bit.ly/2Sy9nHl
23 First day of Ally Week. Ally Week is 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
24 Zainab Salbi, humanitarian, women’s rights activist, and author, born (1969). Iraqi American Zainab Salbi founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization dedicated to serving women survivors of wars and genocide. During Salbi’s tenure as CEO, the organization grew from helping 30 women in 1993 to 400,000 in eight conflict areas in 2011. It has also distributed more than $100 million in direct aid and micro-loans. Salbi is currently the editor-at-large for Women in the World, in association with the New York Times.
Women, Wartime and the Dream of Peace, by Zainab Salbi. In this TED Talk, Salbi discusses how most coverage of war focuses on soldiers and combat. Instead, Salbi tells powerful stories of women behind the headlines who keep everyday life going during conflicts. She calls for women to have a place at the negotiating table once fighting is over. (H) http://bit.ly/2SBBOEq
25 40th anniversary of the exemption of the Tellico Dam from the Endangered Species Act. This exemption granted by Congress put a small fish species at risk during construction of the Tellico Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The snail darter fish was relocated to the Hiwassee River. This exception set a precedent that allowed future projects to be excluded from the Endangered Species Act, creating a loophole destructive to the environment.
Endangered Species, by Sox Sperry with Project Look Sharp. A 185-page kit with 40 slides offering a historical overview of American representations of endangered species, from the slaughter of the American buffalo to palm plantations in Sumatra. The kit includes a teacher’s guide for each image, student readings, and both print and video case study lessons. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/NnSSoq
25 230th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights. The original Constitution included very few individual rights guarantees, as the framers’ primary focus was on establishing an effective federal government. After much heated debate, James Madison submitted 17 amendments, which the House of Representatives approved. The Senate adopted 12 of these amendments, which were sent to the states for ratification. Ultimately, 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified by the states in 1791.
Youth Bill of Rights Websites. Local groups of young people are organizing across the country to draft a National Student Bill of Rights for All Youth (NSBR) that will become a unifying document for youth nationwide and a driving force for youth movement building. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/aBgw26
28 190th anniversary of David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World. David Walker, an African American abolitionist, published his Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, an anti-slavery pamphlet, denouncing the hypocrisy of slavery and calling for the enslaved to revolt. It also underlined the duplicity of the North, where racial discrimination continued to take its toll on Black citizens. Denounced by some White abolitionists for its call for revolt, Walker’s pamphlet was widely smuggled throughout the South, instilling pride and hope in its Black readers.
David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World. Walker calls for the immediate abolition of slavery and equal rights for Black people. This website includes the full text of this primary document along with a plethora of other resources about Walker’s life. (M H, TR) http://bit.ly/2SmAp4e
29 Rosh Hashanah begins the evening of 9/29, ends 10/1 (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 guideline 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/2ShDgLT
29 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 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) https://bit.ly/2D23VXI
30 100th anniversary of the Elaine Massacre. A small group of Black sharecroppers met at a local church in Elaine, Arkansas, seeking better wages for their work on White-owned plantations. A mob of about 1,000 Whites, including members of law enforcement, went on a rampage, massacring more than 200 people. Twelve Black men were tried before all-White juries and sentenced to death. No Whites were charged. The NAACP took up their cases, and eventually prevailed before the US Supreme Court in the landmark Moore v. Dempsey decision.
It’s a Mystery – White Workers Against Black Workers, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Teachers are provided with a unit plan depicting the history and social factors that contributed to the racial tensions between workers in the 1920s. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1mFmfZV
1 John Russwurm, abolitionist, born (1799-1851). Russwurm was a Jamaica-born abolitionist who exposed the ways the ruling class used media to create and perpetuate destructive stereotypes of the powerless. In response, he co-founded the first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal. Disgusted with racial oppression in the US, he relocated to Liberia in 1829, seeking to build an African republic.
“We Wish to Plead Our Own Case”: A Lesson Plan, by Mapping the African American Past, Teachers College. A lesson that draws on excerpts from Freedom’s Journal, the first Black newspaper, to explore the ways in which acts of resistance shape African American cultural heritage and community. (H) https://bit.ly/2Cgeaq5
1 100th anniversary of the first International Labor Organization conference. The International Labor Organization (ILO) was created in 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I. The ILO focused on fair working hours, women’s rights in the workplace, and regulations of child/youth labor. Since 1946, the ILO has been an agency of the United Nations.
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) https://bit.ly/2kEsn73
1 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. China’s Communist Party had fought against the invading Japanese military and the Western-backed Kuomintang forces. Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China, expropriating the wealth of the old aristocracy, rich landowners, and industrialists. Pursuing policies of state ownership and mass mobilization of labor, the People’s Republic lifted millions of people from abject poverty.
Lesson Plans on China, by National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. Linkable lesson plans on topics including art and architecture, culture, economics, geography, history, language, and more. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2IBlnWq
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 kickoff for Vegetarian Awareness Month. The goal is to make a difference by 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 myths, apparent facts and inherent fictions – and how such tales can lull us into a brutal disregard for the facts. With a focus on the meat industry, the book also explores the ways cows and chickens are treated in the production of our milk and eggs. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/32Rc0a
1 First day of LGBT History Month. LGBT History 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 intersection 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
LGBTQ Inclusive Children’s Books, by Welcoming Schools. Several elementary book lists to help children better understand gender, support transgender and non-binary youth, prevent bullying, and embrace family diversity. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2Shp1Xy
2 Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi, activist and leader of Indian Independence movement, born (1869-1948). Gandhi is the most widely recognized leader of the Indian Independence movement. In his early years, he was a lawyer and activist for the rights of Indians in South Africa. In India, he led successful boycotts of foreign goods and British taxation and used civil disobedience to advocate for the rights of India’s lowest caste. He was instrumental in helping India achieve independence from Britain in 1947. Gandhi was assassinated in January 1948.
Collection of Books about Gandhi, by Kitaab World. For elementary and middle school readers, a collection of titles to explore the life and activism of Gandhi. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2GoySIm
5 10th anniversary of President Obama’s signing Executive Order 13514. The central purpose of this order (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance) was to make federal government facilities more sustainable, ensuring that the federal government would be a leader in using resources more efficiently, using renewable resources, reducing carbon emissions, and recycling.
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/13GCrhY
5 Maya Ying Lin, designer, architect, artist, and environmental advocate, born (1959). Maya Lin is a second-generation Chinese American woman architect and artist who achieved national attention when, at the age of 21, she won the national competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, a display that avoids hero worship in favor of a sober and regretful reflection on the war. She later designed the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. Lin raises awareness of environmental issues and the relationship between people and their environments.
Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines, by Jeanne Walker Harvey. The daughter of a clay artist and a poet, Maya Lin grew up with art and learned to think with her hands as well as her mind. From her first experiments with light and lines to the height of her success nationwide, this is the story of an inspiring American artist: the visionary artist-architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (E) https://bit.ly/2C9PCPa
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
6 140th anniversary of the opening of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Carlisle was the first boarding school created for Native Americans. It sought to forcibly assimilate Native American children into European American values. It was founded by Richard Henry Pratt, who was reputed to have said, “Kill the Indian and save the man,” a phrase that captures the violence of their mission.
Home to Medicine Mountain, by Chiori Santiago. Although the boarding schools for Native peoples would pay for the students’ train fare to school, they would not pay for their trip back home. Unfortunately, many families could not afford to pay for the trip back. This story is about the struggle, determination and longing of two boys trying to get home on their own. (E) http://bit.ly/1uCfwAQ
Shi-shi-etko, by Nicola I. Campbell. In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school. Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss – a loss that Native people have endured for generations because of the residential schools system. (E) http://bit.ly/1pekjec
I Am Not a Number, by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer. When 8-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2IYfDrC
The Spirit Survives: The American Indian Boarding School Experience: Then and Now. This site provides lesson plans with audio downloads of women storytellers. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2dZmAtz
Carlisle Indian Industrial School History Websites. These web collections of the history of Carlisle include “before and after” photographs of students. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2e70Dps http://bit.ly/2e70GBr
7 Leon Trotsky, Communist revolutionary, born (1879-1940). Leon Trotsky was a leading Bolshevik in Russia’s 1917 revolution. He was in charge of the Red Army during the 5-year Civil War against the Whites and western interventionists. A conflict emerged over the direction of the Soviet Union, with Joseph Stalin arguing for the defense of “socialism in one country” and Trotsky arguing for “permanent revolution.” Trotsky went into exile in 1929, generating the founding of anti-Soviet socialist parties around the world. He was assassinated by a Stalinist in Mexico in 1940.
Teaching the Russian Revolution with The New York Times, by Michael Gonchar. A range of activities that use materials from the current New York Times and its archives to explore the significance of the Russian Revolution. (H) https://nyti.ms/2sueuwZ
8 50th anniversary of the Days of Rage. The Days of Rage protests in Chicago were a series of violent actions against the Vietnam War organized by the Weathermen, one of three factions that emerged from the Students for a Democratic Society. The slogan for this event was “Bring the war home,” as a way to move the resistance to more militant action. Turnout was disappointingly low, and the plan was criticized by many in the anti-war movement, leading the Weathermen to reevaluate their tactics.
Chicago 10, by Brett Morgan. Chicago 10 uses motion-capture animation to portray actual events from the Chicago Seven Days of Rage trial, recreating courtroom dramas based on transcripts and interviews. The site includes lesson plans. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/JXpfJE
8 Yom Kippur begins at sunset on 10/8/19 (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.
Holiday Inclusion Guide, by Tanenbaum. A planning sheet for educators to think ahead about how to include diverse holidays in the classroom. (TR) http://bit.ly/2s3t4uS
8 Dussehra (Hinduism). Dussehra is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over Demon King Ravana, or good over evil.
Religions in My Neighborhood, by Tanenbaum. A collection of recommended readings, multimedia, and lesson plans to explore religious tolerance. (E) https://bit.ly/2GiZAC0
12 Carolee Schneemann, artist, feminist, born (1939). Carolee Schneemann, an American painter, photographer, performance and video artist, is a leading feminist artist. She explores women’s sensuality in connection with the possibilities of political and personal liberation from oppressive social and aesthetic conventions.
40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Female Artists, by Colors of Us. In this list of vetted multicultural children’s books, “artist” is used in a broad sense to include not only painters, sculptors and performing artists, but also architects, a fashion designer, and more. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2OENzqG
12 40th anniversary of the first national Third World Gay and Lesbian Conference in Washington, DC. Convened by the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, the conference brought together more than 600 Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian, and White LGBT people and allies. Filipinx American activist Trinity Ordona described the gathering as the birth of “a seminal Asian gay and lesbian movement.” LGBT activists worked together to address the unique experiences of their communities and to fight homophobia within their communities and beyond.
In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology, by Joseph F. Beam. An anthology of writings collected by Beam to show gay African American men in a positive light in the media. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2TBFh5G
13 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, grassroots activist, politician, born (1989). Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district, defeating incumbent Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, in what has been described as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm-election season. Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, has called for Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges, criminal justice reform, and the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Socialism… Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation, by Danny Katch. A funny and accessible introduction to socialism. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2UqhTIv
13 Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Day. Also known as the Mooncake and Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes its name from the fact that the moon is at its 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.
13 First day of Sukkot begins at sunset 10/13, ends at sunset 10/20 (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/2rZHvQR
14 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.
All My Relations: A Podcast, by Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Keene. From the creators: “All My Relations is a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore our relationships – relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another. Each episode invites guests to delve into a different topic facing Native peoples today as we keep it real, play games, laugh a lot, and even cry sometimes.” (H) allmyrelationspodcast.com
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 her human friends. He also makes the point that history is influenced by the culture of the storyteller. (E) http://bit.ly/1RyuKQl
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese. The original academic text is fully adapted by renowned curriculum experts Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza for middle-grade and young adult readers to include discussion topics, archival images, original maps, recommendations for further reading, and other materials to encourage students, teachers, and general readers to think critically about their own place in history. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2ULxJ5B
14 40th anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The first of many national marches on Washington to demand equal civil rights and the passage of protective civil rights legislation, the march drew about 200,000 protesters. It followed the assassination of Harvey Milk and connected groups from around the country. It accompanied three days of workshops featuring artistic events, strategy sessions, focus groups on specific issues of women and People of Color within the LGBT community, consciousness-raising, local organization, religion and other 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 20th century. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2kKgIp8
15 50th anniversary of the Vietnam Moratorium. During this anti-war demonstration staged in cities and towns across the US, more than a million people participated in various forms of protest – walkouts, rallies, demonstrations, vigils, sit-ins. These decentralized demonstrations were a prelude to the March on Washington a month later.
Anti-Vietnam War Movement, by Stanford History Education Group. What made the Vietnam War so contentious? In this lesson, students investigate images of the war, study a timeline of opposition to it, and read anti-war speeches to determine why so many Americans opposed the war in Vietnam. (H) http://stanford.io/2p4sICA
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/2s4hwaV
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/2s02Rxk
16 160th anniversary of the raid on Harpers Ferry. Abolitionist John Brown believed that armed insurrection was necessary to abolish slavery. He and his followers mounted a raid on a US armory in Harpers Ferry, VA, seeking to amass weapons to start a liberation movement among enslaved people. The raid did not achieve its goals, and several raiders, including two of Brown’s sons, were killed. However, his example inspired resistance and support for abolition. John Brown was hanged in December 1859.
The Abolitionists, by PBS American Experience. Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history, bringing to life the debates of the era. (M, H) https://to.pbs.org/1fgdrWn
17 40th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa was a nun and teacher who lived in India among Calcutta’s poor. She worked to build hospices for the terminally ill and homes for orphans and lepers. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in India.
Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta, by Mother Teresa, compiled by Brian Kolodiejchuk. This book brings together letters Mother Teresa wrote to her spiritual advisors over decades. A moving chronicle of her spiritual journey – including moments, indeed years, of utter desolation – these letters reveal the secrets she shared only with her closest confidants. (H) https://bit.ly/2AHNnTw
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, by Francine Bay. Regardless of a person’s race or religion, Saint Teresa of Calcutta reached out with unconditional love to everyone God placed in her path. This lavishly illustrated book for children 9 years and up tells the inspiring story of Mother Teresa’s life and how this one small, simple woman, with deep faith and love, made a huge impact on the world for good. (E) https://bit.ly/2H96XOd
17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This day promotes the need to eradicate poverty worldwide, especially in the global South.
Finding Solutions to Hunger, by Kids Can Make a Difference. This 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 Abdullah al-Baradouni, activist and poet, born (1929-1999). Al-Baradouni was one of the most celebrated Yemeni poets, known for his advocacy for democracy and women’s rights. His writings led to his imprisonment for his critiques of religious extremism and militarism. Al-Baradouni’s work has been published in many languages and continues to influence people in Yemen and elsewhere. He wrote, “Even on its own soil (my country) suffers the alienation of exile.”
The Flag of Childhood: Poems from the Middle East, by Naomi Shihab Nye. In this stirring anthology of 60 poems from the Middle East, honored anthologist Naomi Shihab Nye welcomes us to this lush, vivid world and beckons us to explore. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2IGxWMV
20 John Dewey, educational reformer and philosopher, born (1859-1952). John Dewey was an educator and philosopher who espoused pragmatism and positivism, key ideas in the progressive movement in education. After studying child psychology, he developed a theory of pedagogy centered on engaging learners through their own experiences and development. He advocated equitable education as a model of democracy.
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/
Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame, by The Moral Courage Project. A multiplatform, multimedia storytelling initiative based on original interviews collected in Ferguson, Missouri in 2016. In addition to this website, Ferguson Voices is an exhibit and a podcast, ideal for direct use with students. (H) http://bit.ly/2SqRnyJ
#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)
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, by Andrea Ritchie. A timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, other Women of Color and queer and trans women experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. An accompanying study guide is intended for use by individuals, classrooms, book clubs, and organizations, breaking down key concepts and offering reflection questions, exercises, and self-care tips. (H, TR) http://invisiblenomorebook.com/study-guide
22 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/2Se2dYy
24 Paula Gunn Allen, poet, literary critic, activist, professor, and novelist, born (1939-2008). As a woman of European, Indigenous, and Arab descent, Allen investigated her own Laguna Pueblo culture. She drew from its oral traditions for her fiction and poetry and for her nonfiction essays. In 1986 she published a major study on the role of women in American Indian traditions, arguing that Europeans had de-emphasized the role of women in their accounts of Native life because of their own patriarchal societies.
#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale. Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous girls and women across North America resound in this book. In the same visual style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. (H) https://bit.ly/2BXoKAj
25 190th anniversary of the opening of Eastern State Penitentiary. Although intended as a model of prison reform, Eastern State Penitentiary was designed as a “house of repentance,” where prisoners could reflect on their crimes and undergo rehabilitation. Cells were equipped with modern conveniences to replace the squalor of typical prisons, but every prisoner was in solitary confinement, which many considered to be psychological torture. Eventually the prison structure was modified into group housing. The prison fell into disrepair and was closed in 1971.
Visiting Day, by Jacqueline Woodson. In this moving picture book from multi-award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, a young girl and her grandmother prepare for a very special day – the one day a month they get to visit the girl’s father in prison. (E) http://bit.ly/2s1leCf
Missing Daddy, by Mariame Kaba. In this picture book for readers ages 4-8, a little girl who misses her father because he’s away in prison shares how his absence affects different parts of her life. Her greatest excitement comes on the days when she gets to visit her beloved father. With gorgeous illustrations, this book depicts a little girl’s love for her father from whom she is separated because of incarceration. (E) Resources and discussion questions included at this site: www.missingdaddy.net
Race to Incarcerate, by Marc Mauer, Sabrina Jones, Michelle Alexander. This graphic novel helps students understand the exponential growth of the US prison system and its impact on communities of Color. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2s0coV9
26 40th anniversary of Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management, Inc. The Bean v. Southwestern Waste lawsuit was a key environmental justice case of citizens fighting the placement of public waste facilities, which were often located in low-income, inner-city, ethnic neighborhoods. This case set a precedent for challenging the location of a waste facility under civil rights law, an early effort of the environmental justice movement.
Heroes of the Environment, by Harriet Rohmer. A summary of the children’s book aimed at educating children on how young people have made a difference in improving the environment in their communities. Ideas for activities and teacher resources are also included. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1lSjLIN
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 papers and news articles to human rights rulings and policy statements related to intersex awareness and advocacy. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1KUOkJN
Intersex Stories, Not Surgeries, by Pidgeon. This YouTube channel by non-binary, intersex youth Pidgeon is a humorous and humanizing way to learn more about intersex experiences from their perspective. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2s2tcLq
27 Diwali (Deepavali), Indian Festival of Lights (Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism). Diwali (Festival of Lights) is an annual festival of lights that commemorates the return of Lord Rama from exile.
Lights for Gita, by Rachna Gilmore. This book introduces readers to Diwali, one of the most important holidays observed by Hindus all over the world, through the eyes of Gita, a young immigrant girl. (E) http://bit.ly/2rYz5Jm
Diwali: A Cultural Adventure, by Sana Sood. This book offers young readers a bright, beautiful introduction to Diwali and how and why it is celebrated. (E) https://bit.ly/2HY9NAU
27 40th anniversary of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ independence from Britain. Saint Vincent had been under British colonial rule until it became its own state in 1969. Ten years later, Saint Vincent gained its full independence from Britain and officially became Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The islands were known as a site where Carib Indians and escaped Africans built resistance communities until the 19th century. Its economy in the British empire was based on slave labor.
The Caribs of St. Vincent and Indigenous Resistance During the Age of Revolutions, by Julie Chun Kim. A freely available journal essay examining the history of the Caribs of St. Vincent, more commonly known as the Black Caribs, and their role in resisting British colonization of their island. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2XnJWdq
27 150th anniversary of the founding of Claflin University. Claflin University, in Orangeburg, South Carolina, was founded by Methodist social reformers during Reconstruction, with funds from Boston philanthropists. The school was set up for the training of freed Africans with “the only admission requirements for prospective students being the possession of good moral character and a conscientious desire to learn.” It banned discrimination and offered higher education for men and women “regardless of race, complexion, or religious opinion.”
Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom, by Heather Andrea Williams. In this previously untold story of African American self-education, Williams examines African Americans’ relationship to literacy during slavery, the Civil War, and in the first decades of freedom. She traces the historical antecedents to freed people’s intense desire to become literate and demonstrates how the visions of enslaved African Americans emerged into plans and action once slavery ended. (H) https://bit.ly/2PiQAih
28 Luisa Capetillo, Puerto Rican labor organizer, author, feminist, born (1879-1922). Luisa Capetillo was a labor organizer, leading strikes in the sugar, tobacco, and agriculture industries. She advocated for women’s suffrage, free love, and workers’ control of the means of production. Capetillo joined the Federation of Free Workers, becoming a reporter for the organization’s newspaper. In 1910 she founded her own newspaper, La Mujer, which focused on women’s issues. For several years she traveled to the US and Cuba, giving lectures, writing articles, and organizing workers.
Luisa Capetillo: Feminism and Labor in Puerto Rico, by Hanna Cho, Backstory Radio. A short biography of Capetillo and her work as a labor rights organizer in Puerto Rico. (H) https://bit.ly/2UJ6j07
29 90th anniversary of the start of the Great Depression. The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in history, lasting from 1929 to 1939. It began after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a tailspin, wiping out millions of investors. Consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and rampant unemployment. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its lowest point, about 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country’s banks had failed.
Deportations on Trial: Mexican Americans During the Great Depression, by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca. In this role-play, students analyze who is to blame for the illegal mass deportations of Mexican Americans during the Great Depression. (H) https://bit.ly/2Qr53fa
The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But it’s 1936 and the Great Depression has hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for Black men. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2H7kXrz
Tough Times, by Milton Meltzer. A historical novel about a child of immigrants during the Great Depression, including his participation in the Bonus March. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2QEAj6v
31 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/2LH9zBu
Teaching About El Día de los Muertos, by Vamos a Leer. An incredible roundup of lesson plans, fiction and nonfiction books, and other online resources that help teachers explore this holiday with their students. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2G7wfar
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, by Duncan Tonatiuh. Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras – skeletons performing various activities – came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913). In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. The book includes an author’s note, bibliography, glossary, and index. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2FKOXak; educators’ guide here: https://bit.ly/2W2WhUw
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 engages children in helping to 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. The chocolate bars are accompanied by informational cards explaining the problems of the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade offers 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. 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) https://to.pbs.org/2SvdUu2
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) https://bit.ly/2H64BOK
The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Told in the rhythms of traditional oral narrative, this powerful telling of the history of the Native/Indigenous peoples of North America recounts their story from Creation to the invasion and usurpation of Native lands. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2FTMush
1 World Vegan Day. Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.
The Vegan Society. The Vegan Society is an educational charity that promotes and supports the vegan lifestyle. The Society was formed in 1944 by a group of vegetarians who recognized the ethical compromises of eating eggs and dairy products. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/SY3Tx
1 10th anniversary of the Environmental Justice Showcase Communities Project. The EPA announced a national initiative to address and study environmental justice challenges in 10 communities. The EPA committed $1 million over the subsequent two years toward the initiative. The communities involved used collaborative and community-based solutions to improve the environment and public health. The EPA funding helped communities that had disproportionate exposure to environmental and health risks.
This Changes Everything, directed by Avi Lewis and inspired by Naomi Klein’s bestseller, This Changes Everything. This film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. (H) http://bit.ly/2AtsZVX
3 40th anniversary of Assata Shakur’s escape from prison. Assata Shakur, described by some as “the soul of the Black Liberation Army,” escaped from a New Jersey prison where she was serving a life term for the 1973 slaying of a state trooper. A United Nations panel declared her a political prisoner, casting doubt on the case against her by citing FBI misconduct, spurious prosecution, and “cruel and unusual punishment” in prison. She has lived in Cuba since 1984.
Assata Teach-In, from the Black Youth Project. A compilation of resources, curricula, templates, and writings by and about Assata Shakur for use in classrooms or teach-ins. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2soYnR3
3 40th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre. Five protesters were killed by Klansmen and neo-Nazis during an anti-Klan rally planned by the Communist Workers Party as part of their effort to organize Black industrial workers. Years later, the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported that local police, who were actively surveilling the CWP, had ignored the likelihood of violence at the rally. The six men charged with the murders were acquitted by an all-White jury.
Greensboro: Closer to the Truth. A documentary that reconnects the widowed and wounded survivors, along with their attackers, of the Greensboro massacre 25 years after the event. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/JG8rIo
3 180th anniversary of the first Opium War between China and Britain. As opium smuggled by British ships into China caused an addiction epidemic, Chinese efforts to stop it outraged the merchants who were profiting from the trade. The British took the controversy as an opening to pursue imperial interests, instigating a naval war. When the war ended, the Treaty of Nanjing forced China to open its major ports to British interests, including the opium trade and Christian missionaries.
The Opium Wars in China, by Asia Pacific Curriculum. A curriculum unit that includes teacher resources, audio and other multimedia sources to support the teaching of the Opium Wars in China. (H, TR) https://asiapacificcurriculum.ca/learning-module/opium-wars-china
3 Daylight Saving Time ends
4 40th anniversary of the US embassy hostage crisis in Iran. Iranian students stormed the US embassy in Tehran, taking the Americans inside hostage. The students were protesting American interference in Iranian affairs and its refusal to extradite the recently-deposed Shah, who was to stand trial for crimes against the Iranian people. 52 American hostages were held for 444 days.
The Iran Hostage Crisis, by Kenneth Bechtel, UMBC Center for History Education. In this lesson, students examine primary source documents from the crisis in an attempt to reconstruct the event. The lesson includes background, vocabulary, procedures, resources, and primary source annotations. (H) https://bit.ly/2IH34Pr
5 Election Day
Expanding Voting Rights, a series of five lessons by Teaching Tolerance. For several decades, voting in most states was limited to White male landowners, called freeholders. Gradually, the franchise, or right to vote, expanded to include others. This series of lessons covers the following topics: The Early Republic; African Americans Face and Fight Obstacles to Voting; The Voting Rights Act; Women’s Suffrage; and the 26th Amendment. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2DkIsGD
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 10th anniversary of the Okinawa protest against US military bases. An estimated 21,000 protesters gathered in Okinawa to demand the removal of a US military base. US bases take up almost one-fifth of the land in Okinawa, a formerly independent kingdom that was annexed by Japan in 1878. Protesters argued that mainland Japan does not house its share of military bases, unfairly burdening Okinawa’s environment and disregarding the will of its people. The issue remains unresolved, and protests continue intermittently.
A People’s History of American Empire: A Graphic Adaptation, by Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle. This book aims to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People’s History: the centuries-long story of America’s actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of US expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I and II, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2M9XR2h
9 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On the heels of revolutions in nearby Eastern European nations, the East German government announced that its citizens could travel freely across the Berlin Wall into West Germany. Two million people crossed the border that weekend, and crowds chipped away at the wall with hammers and picks in what has been called “the greatest street party in the history of the world.”
Talking Walls, by Margy Burns Knight. The award-winning Talking Walls and its sequel, Talking Walls: The Stories Continue, introduce young readers to different cultures and different issues around the world by telling the stories of walls and how they can hold a community together or separate it. (E) http://bit.ly/JEqfTH
10 Andrea Evangelina Rodríguez Perozo, Dominican doctor and activist, born (1879-1947). Perozo, the first Dominican woman to earn a medical degree, did groundbreaking work in prenatal care, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. She published stories and essays in support of women’s suffrage and other social reforms. She was imprisoned and tortured for her criticism of the repressive Trujillo regime, which accused her of attempting to instigate a workers’ uprising.
The Dominican Republic, by Anne Callin, Ruth Glasser, and Jocelyn Santana. A collection of essays, oral histories, poetry, fiction, analyses, interviews, primary documents, timelines, maps and interactive and interdisciplinary teaching aids on the history, politics, and culture of the fourth largest Latinx community in the United States. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2FzbpmG
10 Russell Charles Means, Oglala Lakota activist, political activist, actor, writer and musician, born (1939-2012). A prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), Means organized protests that attracted international media coverage. Among them was the 1973 occupation of the town of Wounded Knee, the site of an 1890 massacre of Lakota people by the US cavalry. A 10-week armed standoff with police, it was the longest-lasting incident of “civil disorder” in US history. Means and other leaders were cleared of criminal charges.
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
Wounded Knee Museum. This is an online exhibit about the Wounded Knee Massacre. (M, H) http://bit.ly/c813gP
11 Emma González, gun control activist, born (1999). Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, González gained notoriety for her impassioned refrain, “We call B.S.,” criticizing the US government and the NRA for their complacency in the face of gun violence. She was among the students who organized the national March for Our Lives and the #NeverAgain movement, which Desmond Tutu called “one of the most significant youth-led mass movements in living memory.”
March for Our Lives speech, by Emma González. Parkland shooting survivor and gun reform activist, Emma González, took to the stage at the Washington, DC March for Our Lives protest for six minutes and 20 seconds, much of that in silence. She says it was the amount of time it took a shooter to kill 17 people at her school. (H) http://bit.ly/2s31LAZ
How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation, edited by Maureen Johnson. A collection of essays, songs, illustrations, and interviews about activism and hope for young people, this collection features an all-star group of contributors. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2Vb3qoc
11 Veterans Day
Voices in Wartime, by YES! Magazine 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, encouraging students to imagine and create a less violent world. The site includes the film’s trailer, curricular materials and poetry. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1uCgCMY
12 20th anniversary of Ryan Taylor’s being allowed to play soccer with a walker. Ryan Taylor, a 9-year-old with cerebral palsy, won the right to play soccer using his walker. The league opposed him, citing safety concerns, and suggested that he instead be carried by a “buddy.” Many, including US District Court Judge David Russell, found the idea demeaning and inadequate. Judge Russell directed the league to allow Ryan to play, setting a precedent that expanded the rights of people with disabilities to include access to sports.
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) https://bit.ly/2SSh3V9
13 110th anniversary of the Cherry Mine Disaster. On November 13, 1909 a fire broke out in the Cherry, Illinois coal mine, considered to be among the safest and most modern mines in the country. 259 men and boys lost their lives as a result of the fire. Ultimately, it led to the creation of stricter safety regulations and passage of the Illinois Workmen’s Compensation Act.
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
14 Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Independence leader, born (1889-1964). Jawaharlal Nehru was active in the Indian Home Rule movement led by Mohandas Gandhi. He was imprisoned multiple times by the British for nonviolent civil disobedience. Widely seen as Gandhi’s successor, he helped negotiate Indian independence from Britain and served as the first prime minister of the newly decolonized country.
Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biographical Video, by Biography. A 2-minute video on the life and work of Nehru. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2IHk8F2
15 50th anniversary of the second Anti-War Moratorium. An estimated two million Americans participated in demonstrations calling for an end to the war in Vietnam. They wore black armbands to pay tribute to the war dead and signal their dissent. It was the largest protest in US history until the Women’s March of 2017.
Anti-Vietnam War Movement, by Stanford History Education Group. What made the Vietnam War so contentious? In this lesson, students investigate images of the war, study a timeline of opposition to it, and read anti-war speeches to determine why so many Americans opposed the war in Vietnam. (H) http://stanford.io/2p4sICA
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
19 Lolita Lebrón, Puerto Rican nationalist, born (1919-2010). Two years after Puerto Rico became a commonwealth, which Puerto Rican nationalists considered colonization by another name, Lebrón led an attack on the US House of Representatives. From the balcony, she and three others unfurled a Puerto Rican flag, shouted ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre! and began shooting, injuring five. Lebrón remained in prison until President Carter pardoned her in 1979. Her legacy remains controversial in Puerto Rico.
Shots that Haunted 3 Generations; A Family’s Struggles in the Aftermath of an Attack on Congress, by Mirta Ojito, New York Times Archives. An essay featuring news of the publication of a “memoir of family secrets” by Irene Vilar, the granddaughter of Puerto Rican nationalist, Lolita Lebrón. Tells the story of Lebrón’s political work and its impact on her own family. (H) https://nyti.ms/2VdU5fi
20 60th anniversary of the United Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The UN General Assembly enumerated children’s rights in 10 principles, which include the right to education, to play, to a nationality, and to remain with their family of origin, among others. The intention was to ratify the notion that humanity “owes to the Child the best that it has to give.” An expansion of the 1924 Geneva Declaration, the 1959 declaration would itself be expanded in 1989 and ratified by all member nations except the United States, South Sudan, and Somalia.
I Have the Right to Be a Child. This picture book introduces the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It takes the key articles of the Convention and translates them into language children can relate to with full-page artwork, offering ways for teachers to open discussions about our rights. Topics include food and water, healthcare, housing, gender, the environment, race, education, poverty, disability, citizenship, family, war, and freedom of speech. (E) http://bit.ly/1QO5J9r
20 Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day is set aside to memorialize those who were killed because of anti-transgender hatred.
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
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) https://amzn.to/2qijKD6
They Call Me Mix/Me Llaman Maestre, by Lourdes Rivas. This bilingual (English and Spanish) children’s book is geared toward Kindergarten-2nd grade-age students about what it means to be a transgender Person of Color. Written by an Oakland elementary teacher who uses gender non-binary pronouns, they were inspired to write this book to support their students to understand gender identity. (E) http://bit.ly/2SBFRQP
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
20 50th anniversary of the Alcatraz Occupation. Indians of All Tribes (IAT) began a 14-month occupation of Alcatraz Island off the California coast. Members issued the “Alcatraz Proclamation,” offering to buy the island in exchange for glass beads and cloth (parodying the legendary purchase of Manhattan by the Dutch) and to civilize White Americans. The occupation ended when US officials forcibly removed the last 15 members of IAT from the island. The occupation marked the beginning of an era of Indian activism.
Alcatraz Is Not an Island, by PBS. The PBS website provides lesson plans and resources for teaching about the American Indian Movement. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2dZjx4I
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
20 50th anniversary of the gradual phase-out of DDT. After nearly a decade of activism, beginning with Wisconsin birdwatchers and ecologists who first noticed the disastrous effects of the pesticide DDT, and who were galvanized by Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring, the Nixon administration announced the start of a gradual phase-out of the use of the chemical.
The DDT Story, by The Pesticide Action Network. This website addresses the dangers of DDT and the campaign to ban it. The site would be useful for science and social studies classes and offers a wealth of information about other pesticides and how to take action. (H) http://bit.ly/2AvZrXN
21 30th anniversary of a bill to enable reparation payments to Japanese American internment camp survivors. A plan to compensate survivors of Japanese American internment camps with $20,000 each and a formal letter of apology was written into the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 but was not funded until the appropriation bill was signed on this day. The act was passed after a decade of activism organized by the Japanese American Citizens League; the letter and payments were issued in 1991.
Children of the Camps, a documentary film by Dr. Satsuki Ina. This film documents the experiences of six Japanese American children who were held in internment campus during WWII. The film’s website includes teaching resources that explore the historical context of internment, as well as its effects on the children and communities involved. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1gevpqr, http://bit.ly/tUcc4
Fish for Jimmy, by Katie Yamasaki. For two boys in a Japanese American family, everything changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States went to war. With the family forced to leave their home and go to an internment camp, Jimmy loses his appetite. Older brother Taro takes matters into his own hands and, night after night, sneaks out of the camp and catches fresh fish for Jimmy to help make him strong again. (E) https://bit.ly/2IyTHCi
22 100th anniversary of the Bogalusa Labor Massacre. In response to the attempted lynching of a Black labor organizer by agents of the Great Southern Lumber company, White labor leaders stepped in to protect him, escorting him through town and into their fortified union headquarters. When company agents attacked the headquarters, four White workers were killed. Because union-busters had long sown racial division among workers in order to control them, such interracial labor solidarity was rare and viewed by companies as dangerous.
Bogalusa Labor Massacre, by Zinn Education Project. Information and links to related resources about the Bogalusa Massacre, “an example of the violence interracial labor organizing experienced from racist, anti-labor forces in the early 20th century.” (H) https://bit.ly/2ssaXyT
24 110th anniversary of the Uprising of 20,000 (the Shirtwaist Strike). After months of advocating to change the low pay, long hours, and unsafe conditions at garment factories, and being harassed, beaten and arrested by a corrupt police force, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union declared a strike. After two months, many factories granted the women’s demands. It was the largest and most successful work stoppage in US history, proving that women could be labor organizers, and laid the groundwork for a powerfully unionized garment industry.
Brave Girl, by Michelle Markel. This is the story of Clara Lemlich, an immigrant who traveled to America with her family and became an organizer against the horrific conditions of garment factory workers. Clara leads a general citywide strike, which begins the largest walkout of women workers in United States history. (E) http://bit.ly/1B78ZQu
28 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.
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, by Traci Sorell. Otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is a word that Cherokee people use to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the Cherokee New Year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this nonfiction look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2FArZmd
A Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving for Educators and Families, by Border Crossers. This guide includes a wealth of teaching approaches, lesson plans, study guides, resources for families, a book list, and more. All vetted resources are categorized and hyperlinked. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2o3fJAp
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
Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths and Misgivings, by Vera L. Stenhouse, Rethinking Schools. As a teacher educator, Stenhouse discusses some of the ways by which classroom educators can demystify the first Thanksgiving. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/2z77Ov
29 Pearl Primus, dancer, born (1919-1994). Primus, a Trinidadian American dancer, choreographer and anthropologist, helped establish the importance of African American dance in American culture. She often focused on issues of racism, oppression and violence in her work.
Pearl Primus’s Strange Fruit. This is a performance of Pearl Primus’s “Strange Fruit,” performed to Lewis Allan’s poem about two black men being lynched. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2e0S9hh
29 30th anniversary of the Communist Party stepping down from power in Czechoslovakia. Officials of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party announced an end to the country’s one-party political system after weeks of student demonstrations. Dissident playwright Vaclav Havel was later elected president in what would come to be called The Velvet Revolution.
The Velvet Revolution, by Czech Radio. Background information, timeline, and photo galleries to support the teaching of the Velvet Revolution, the overthrow of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. (H) https://bit.ly/2FtxMuU
29 30th anniversary of the passing of HR 2461 (The National Defense Authorization Act). The National Defense Authorization Act allowed the Department of Defense to transfer surplus military equipment, such as assault rifles and armored vehicles, to police agencies for use in the “war on drugs.” Although the details of the transfers are not available to the public, military-grade equipment has been prominent in police responses to demonstrations such as the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, Missouri.
Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance, a collection by Truthout. This collection of reports and essays explores police violence against Black, Brown, Indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures. It also makes a compelling and provocative argument against calling the police. (H) https://bit.ly/2SVGFQV
29 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. A 20-minute, free downloadable video that explores consumption and exposes the connections between various 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. A follow-up video to The Story of Stuff, The Story of Change asks if shopping can save the world, urging 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
29 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.
Amos’s Sweater, by Janet Lunn. Amos the sheep is old and cold and tired of giving up all his wool. But despite his noisy objections, Aunt Hattie shears Amos once again and knits his wool into a brightly colored sweater for Uncle Henry. Poor Amos decides that this time he has had enough and he sets out to reclaim what is rightfully his. (E) http://bit.ly/1nuzw9i
30 20th anniversary of protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle. Also known as the “Battle of Seattle,” a series of demonstrations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) conference aimed to disrupt the meeting of some of the world’s most powerful trade regulators. The movement consisted of a diverse coalition, including labor unions, environmentalists, consumer protection groups, and international workers’ rights groups. It was one of the first movements coordinated largely online, and it succeeded in shutting down the WTO conference after five days.
WTO History Project Website. This site includes photographs, interviews with protesters, timelines and more to better understand this complex historical event. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/JpwLQj
Rethinking Globalization. A collection of lesson plans that help to introduce students to the issues of corporate power, wealth distribution and global infrastructures. One sample lesson has cookies representing wealth distributed to students who represent the global population – some students receive more cookies than others. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/uvPb0p
1 50th anniversary of the International Labor Organization’s Nobel Peace Prize. The ILO was awarded the prize on the 50th anniversary of its founding as part of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. The organization was founded on the belief that decent working conditions and expanded rights of workers advance the cause of peace. Today the ILO continues to advocate for social justice reforms in the workplace and serves as an advocate for employees around the world.
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
1 150th anniversary of the Colored National Labor Union. At a time when White labor unions were striking to petition for the termination of their Black colleagues, efforts of the National Labor Union to include Black workers fell short and led to the establishment of the first national union dedicated to the needs of Black workers. The CNLU was established as a people’s assembly and included all workers – not just those in industrial trades, as was the practice of many unions at the time.
Proceedings of the Colored National Labor Convention, from Colored Conventions: Bringing 19th century Black Organizing to Digital Life. A rich primary source document, this is the full text of the proceedings from the Colored National Labor Convention held in Washington, DC in December 1869. (H) https://bit.ly/2VNvtYi
1 60th anniversary of Antarctica’s designation as a science preserve. The United States and 11 other nations signed a pact setting aside Antarctica as a science preserve, reserving an entire continent for peace and science. The signatories agreed that Antarctica would be used for peaceful purposes only and that scientific research would be available to all. This treaty has led to widespread protection of wildlife and the environment and new insights into climate change.
Antarctica: A Year on Ice, a documentary directed by Anthony Powell. A visually stunning journey to the end of the world with the devoted people who live there year-round. A close-knit international population of scientists, technicians and craftsmen isolated from the rest of the world, enduring months of unending darkness followed by periods when the sun never sets, Antarctica residents experience firsthand the beauty and brutality of the most severe environment on Earth. (M, H) The 92-minute film can be streamed for free here: https://bit.ly/2MdFTvZ
Dec. 1, 1959: Antarctica is Set Aside as a Scientific Preserve, by The Learning Network, The New York Times. Short informational piece about the designation of Antarctica as a scientific preserve, along with a link to a fascinating “Scientist at Work” blog that features posts by isotope geochemistry professors and researchers describing their expeditions in Antarctica in December 2010 and January 2011. (H) https://nyti.ms/2FyAo9W
1 World AIDS Day. The United Nations has designated this day to honor AIDS victims, focus attention on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, and 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
2 70th anniversary of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. This convention, approved by the UN General Assembly, requires countries to punish people who conduct human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution. 82 countries have ratified the convention and an additional 13 have signed but not ratified it. Some countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Greece, and Turkey, have not signed it because prostitution is a legal occupation.
Trafficking in Humans, by Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, PBS. A lesson plan that includes background, linked multimedia resources including videos, and extension activities to teach young people about human trafficking. (H) https://to.pbs.org/2KOVbdI
Human Trafficking, by David McKay Wilson, Teaching Tolerance. Slavery never went away, and students need to know how it affects today’s world. This presentation includes teaching tips and examples of curricular choices teachers can make to support young people to learn about and take action against human trafficking. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2r3tnF2
Student Engagement Toolkit, by National Human Trafficking Hotline. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) Student Toolkit is designed to provide students with resources to identify and raise awareness of human trafficking in their community. This site also includes links to support educator awareness of human trafficking and the economics of the underground commercial sex industry. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2Gk4kVV
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) https://bit.ly/2qk6Nb2
Disability Justice in the Age of Mass Incarceration: Perspectives on Race, Disability, Law, and Accountability, by TL Lewis. The syllabus of a course that explores the “nexus between race, disability, and structural inequality, focusing in particular on people with multiply marginalized identities.” (H, TR) goo.gl/uwGIB0
4 170th anniversary of Roberts v. City of Boston. Five-year-old Sarah Roberts was barred from her local primary school because she was Black, forcing her to travel a great distance to get to a Black school. Her father sued the city of Boston in the first court case challenging school segregation. The case was heard by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Dec. 4, 1849. Eventually, the court ruled that school segregation was constitutional.
Separate Is Not Equal, by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center. This site showcases the history of how Brown v. Board of Education reached the Supreme Court through the fearless efforts of lawyers, community activists, parents, and students. Demonstrating the complexity and incremental decisions that led to this monumental case, this site shows how everyday people chipped away to create change. (M, H) https://s.si.edu/2s39HSH
The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial, by Susan E. Goodman. This picture book is an inspiring look at the first lawsuit to demand desegregation – long before the American Civil Rights movement, even before the Civil War. Link also includes a variety of teaching activities for the book. (E) http://bit.ly/2s3Ruo1
4 110th anniversary of New York’s Amsterdam News. One of the oldest and largest Black newspapers in the country, the Amsterdam News began by publishing news of the Black community in Harlem, and by the 1940s had gained national prominence. In addition to expanding its coverage, the paper began advocating for racial justice, and published editorials by figures including W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, and Malcolm X.
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, by PBS. This film provides a historical account of the pioneering men and women of the Black press who gave voice to Black America. The website includes an education section with a study guide and lesson plans. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/J1WKIT Lesson Plans: http://bit.ly/KRptAB
4 50th anniversary of the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, both members of the Black Panther Party, were murdered by police while asleep in their Chicago apartment. The raid was linked to the FBI’s efforts to neutralize the Black Power movement, targeting Hampton because he was viewed as a potentially powerful leader. Despite substantial evidence of police misconduct, all charges were dismissed against the officers involved.
The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971). An unprecedented documentary on the slain leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. The unsettling footage the filmmakers captured was later used to contradict news reports and police testimony in what many believe to be Hampton’s assassination. (H) Link to film: available to rent at http://amzn.to/2D4qnNk
6 30th anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre. In Canada’s most deadly mass shooting, Marc Lépine shot 24 women and four men, killing 14 women, in an anti-feminist rage. Since this shooting, December 6 has been commemorated as Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
Early Childhood Resources on Domestic Violence, by the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition. This site 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
8 50th Anniversary of Black Panthers Raid by Los Angeles police. Just four days after the police murder of two Black Panthers in Chicago, Black Panthers facilities in Los Angeles were raided by a force of 300 officers who were part of a newly-formed SWAT team. The raid, part of a nationwide violent crackdown on the party, resulted in an hours-long gun battle between the Panthers and the police.
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 is derailed. Guide for educators included. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1oI7BE6; http://bit.ly/1ooi5Zk
9 50th anniversary of the Chicano student walkouts in Crystal City, Texas. Despite constituting the majority in local schools, Chicano students were prohibited from speaking Spanish in school and were often excluded from athletic teams. They organized a walkout, demanding bilingual and bicultural programs and more Latinx staff and faculty. Within a month, the school board approved all of the students’ demands; within two years, district personnel and the school board reflected the Mexican American majority of the student population.
Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, by Galan Incorporated. This four-part documentary series chronicles the struggle for equality and social justice of the Mexican American community in the United States from 1965 to 1975. It features the Chicano land struggle, Cesar Chavez and the UFW, the Los Angeles high school walkouts and the creation of the political party La Raza Unida. (H) https://bit.ly/2uDjSSd; related lesson from Facing History and Ourselves: https://bit.ly/2FQbzqB
10 150th anniversary of the first women’s suffrage law. The governor of Wyoming territory signed the first law in the US granting women the right to vote. The law was passed without an amendment that would have extended the franchise to Women of Color. It was repealed by the same legislature two years later, though it remained in effect thanks to the governor’s veto.
Women’s Suffrage: Why the West First?, by EDSITEment. This lesson focuses on efforts in support of women’s suffrage in Western states. It can be used either as a stand-alone unit or as a more specialized sequel to the EDSITEment lesson, Voting Rights for Women: Pro- and Anti-Suffrage, which covers the Suffrage movement in general. (H) http://bit.ly/2LL77Ko
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 topics: Environment; Poverty; Discrimination; Children’s Rights to Education and Health; and Law and Justice. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2mObd9C
Toolkit for Schools to Become Human Rights-Friendly, by Amnesty International. Human rights-friendly schools are founded on the principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination, and participation. They are communities where human rights are learned, taught, practiced, respected, protected and promoted. The Human Rights-Friendly Schools package contains a toolkit, pamphlets for students, schools, teachers, communities, and families, as well as a poster. (E, M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2AkWpYp
We Are All Born Free, 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) https://bit.ly/2v27NGj
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) http://bit.ly/2m0xO49
11 Tom Hayden, social and political activist, born (1939-2016). Hayden was an anti-Vietnam War activist, civil rights activist, intellectual, and politician. He was the primary author of the Port Huron Statement, a manifesto calling for participatory democracy, disarmament, and support of the Civil Rights movement. Hayden was heavily involved in anti-Vietnam War protests and was one of the infamous “Chicago Seven.” He later served as a state representative and state senator in California.
The Limits of Power: The United States in Vietnam, by The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that examines key decision points marking US involvement in the Vietnam War. Materials include lesson plans, web links, and other resources. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/uqeFYu
12 Vincent DaCosta Smith, artist, born (1929-2003). Known as a chronicler of Black life, Smith used his experiences and artistic talent to showcase everyday Black life in the 1950s through his paintings. From there he focused on the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Later he traveled to many African countries where he gained new insights and inspiration for his work. He is considered one of the most important Black artists of the 20th century.
Black Art History: 10 Children’s Books Illuminate the Lives of Important African American Artists and Photographers, by Victoria Valentine. A collection of recommended books on African American artists and their stories. (E) https://bit.ly/2UmPeV4
14 John. M. Langston, civil rights activist, born (1829-1897). Langston was the first African American to earn a law degree and to be elected to a public office in Ohio, where he was active in the Underground Railroad. He also helped John Brown plan his attack on Harpers Ferry and recruited Black soldiers to the Union Army. He later founded the law school at Howard University and went on to serve in the US House of Representatives. The town of Langston, Oklahoma is named after him.
Teaching with Documents: The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War, by the National Archives. Lesson plan using original documents about Black soldiers during the Civil War. (H) http://1.usa.gov/9aBJZm
15 30th anniversary of protests that brought down Romanian dictator Ceausescu. Following relatively peaceful pro-democracy movements across eastern Europe, the people of Romania initiated protests that called for the ousting of President Nicolae Ceausescu. Two days later, Ceausescu ordered troops to shoot the protesters, killing numerous civilians and precipitating a violent coup d’etat. Despite officially ending the one-party system, Romanian government officials did not begin democratic reforms until a decade later.
Nicolae Ceausescu’s Last Speech. Listen to Ceausescu’s final speech, subtitled in English. (H) https://bit.ly/2pIxXZ0
16 50th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in Britain. After an experimental suspension of the death penalty, Britain’s parliament voted to permanently abolish capital punishment. The US is the only Western country, and one of only a few “developed” countries, to maintain this form of punishment.
A Matter of Life and Death, by Amnesty International. A Matter of Life and Death is a collection of lessons, assembly ideas, and films for students to explore the issues surrounding the use of the death penalty, one of Amnesty International’s oldest campaigns. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1dQdsOg
Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice (Adapted for Young Adults), by Bryan Stevenson. In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestseller Just Mercy, Stevenson delves deep into the broken US justice system, detailing from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America’s most rejected and marginalized people. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2Pk0IHG
17 20th anniversary of the passage of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA). The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) aimed to expand options for people with disabilities who were receiving federal assistance. In addition to job placement, workplace modifications and transportation assistance, the act allows participants to engage in paid work without losing their medical benefits.
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
18 International Migrants Day. There are an estimated 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.
Things Are Good Now, by Djamila Ibrahim. In the pages of this collection of short stories, men, women and children who have crossed continents in search of a better life find themselves struggling with the chaos of displacement and the religious and cultural clashes they face in their new homes. (H) https://bit.ly/2EH3WzP
Talking and Teaching About the Fall 2018 Migrant Caravan, by UCLA Reimagining Migration. This collection encourages educators to explore the migrant caravan and the questions that it raises about migration, law, and ethics through the lens of current events and civic education. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2LGhAGD
20 20th anniversary of Baker v. Vermont. The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that gay couples have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, mandating that the state provide a mechanism for “civil unions.” In previous years, after similar rulings, voters in Hawaii and Alaska approved constitutional amendments defining marriage as heterosexual rather than establishing such a mechanism. Vermont was the first state not to take that step and passed a civil union law several months after the ruling.
That’s a Family!, by Groundspark. This documentary helps children understand the different shapes families take today. The site includes a teacher’s guide. Look for other Groundspark films: It’s Elementary and Straightlaced. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1lRfsQ
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen. This picture book is about a little girl who is not worried about her gay uncle’s wedding; rather, she is worried that she might not be as special to him once it’s over. (E) http://bit.ly/2LMreI8
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 partygoers 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 honor the return of the sun after winter and to celebrate 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 depict the changing seasons and daily activities in a Hopi village. (E) http://bit.ly/2n7lqep
22 First day of Hanukkah begins at sunset on 12/22 (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) https://bit.ly/2U0xkr3
Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas, by Pamela Ehrenberg. In this sweet and humorous picture book, a multicultural family celebrates Hanukkah while incorporating traditional Indian food. Instead of latkes, this family celebrates Hanukkah with tasty Indian dosas. (E) https://bit.ly/2U2iWPg
The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco. Trisha loves the eight days of Hanukkah, when her mother stays home from work, her Babushka makes delicious potato latkes, and her Grampa carves wonderful animals out of wood as gifts for Trisha and her brother. In the middle of her family’s preparation for the Festival of Lights, Trisha visits her closest neighbors, and finds they are all bedridden with scarlet fever. Impossible to enjoy their Hanukkah feast when they know that their neighbors won’t be able to celebrate their holiday, Grampa has an inspiration. (E) Resources for the book included here: https://bit.ly/2U0a0tn
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
The Christmas Gift/El Regalo de Navidad, by Francisco Jiménez. With honesty and grace, Jiménez shares his most poignant Christmas memory in this beautifully illustrated picture book. As Christmas approaches, Panchito can’t wait to see what present he gets. But on Christmas Day, he is disappointed when all he gets is a bag of candy, until he sees the gift his father gives his mother. Panchito then realizes that gifts of the heart are the most precious of all. (E) https://bit.ly/2Veahtj
Let the Faithful Come, by Zetta Elliott. This lyrical retelling of the traditional Christmas story serves as a plea for greater compassion and unity in our contemporary world. Peace and goodwill are values celebrated during the holidays, but they should also be applied to the daily struggle of those traveling over land and sea in search of hope and sanctuary. This simple nativity narrative urges readers to recognize the value of every child, and to respect our shared responsibility for all the members of our global community. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2VZUGim
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 Sound of Kwanzaa, by Dimitrea Tokunbo. Hear the words, sing the songs, dance to the beat, and shout “Harambee!” as you jump into this joyful celebration of the sounds of Kwanzaa! The sound is Umoja – bringing us together. The sound is Kuumba – the songs of our ancestors. The sound is Kwanzaa! Lively verse and colorful illustrations guide you through the seven principles of this festive holiday. (E) https://bit.ly/2AMDX9l
27 70th anniversary of Indonesian sovereignty. Following a four-year war of independence after 350 years of Dutch colonization, Indonesia’s sovereignty was formally recognized by the international community. While the transfer of power occurred in November, it was on this day that the Dutch freed the last Indonesian political prisoners and independence was officially celebrated.
Forgotten Bird of Paradise, by Dominic Brown. Filmed undercover in West Papua, this documentary provides a rare and moving insight into the ongoing struggle for freedom being fought by the Indigenous people against Indonesian colonial rule. (H) https://bit.ly/2DR3CMM
Letters of a Javanese Princess, by Raden Adjeng Kartini. After Indonesian feminist Raden Adjeng Kartini died, the letters Kartini had sent to her friends in Europe were published in this collection. Their publication attracted great interest in the Netherlands and Kartini’s ideas began to change the way the Dutch viewed Native women in Java. Her ideas also provided inspiration for prominent figures in the fight for independence. (H) https://amzn.to/2uJdtVB
27 Second day of Kwanzaa (Kujichagulia = Self-determination)
The Story of Kwanzaa, by Donna Washington. Light the candles on the kinara! Fly the bendera and tell stories from Africa! The festival of Kwanzaa was originated by Dr. Maulana Karenga to honor the customs and history of African Americans. (E) This site includes an author essay: https://bit.ly/2DjGv0a
28 150th anniversary of the founding of the Knights of Labor. The Knights of Labor began as a secret coalition of labor rights advocates and workers, unusual in that it accepted members regardless of trade or skill level. Premised on a belief in workers’ collectives as an alternative to capitalism, the organization soon went public and focused on labor strikes. After a bomb exploded at a Chicago rally in 1886, a nationwide crackdown led to the union’s disbandment.
Workers United: The Knights of Labor, by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Through exploration of the preamble to the constitution for the Knights of Labor and the preface and other segments of Terence Powderly’s book Thirty Years of Labor, students study the goals and objectives of America’s largest union in the late 19th century and consider its impact on modern society. (H) https://bit.ly/2FJv4R9
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 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. This is a song that teaches the seven principles of Kwanzaa. (E, M, H)
31 New Year’s Eve
31 Sixth day of Kwanzaa (Kuumba = Creativity)
1 Seventh day of Kwanzaa (Imani = Faith)
1 50th anniversary of the signing of the National Environmental Policy Act. The first environmental law in the US, NEPA requires the government to research the potential impact of building projects on the environment and nearby communities. The law was most recently used to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline pending additional environmental impact research.
Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines, by Paul Fleischman. Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting them. Extensive back matter, including a glossary, bibliography, and index, as well as numerous references to websites, provides further resources. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2MjCA6r
1 60th anniversary of Cameroon’s Independence from France. In 1960, seventeen African nations gained independence from colonial rule, beginning with Cameroon. The country was officially liberated from French colonial rule after four years of armed rebellion. Cameroon was originally colonized by Germany, and was divided between France and England in treaties ending World War I.
The Forgotten Cameroon War, by Thomas Deltombe. An essay telling the story of France’s colonial rule in Cameroon. From the author: “French officials like to project a sunny view of their country’s colonial past. Tens of thousands dead in Cameroon would tell a different story.” (H) https://bit.ly/2UHr10m
1 130th anniversary of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ strike. After years of demanding an 8-hour workday, this carpenters’ strike, sponsored by the American Federation of Labor, finally tipped the scale in favor of workers. It was led by Peter J. McGuire, whose fight for the 8-hour workday included organizing demonstrations that would come to be known as Labor Day and May Day. It remains among the most important victories for organized labor.
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 60th anniversary of the Agricultural Workers Association. The Agricultural Workers Association was founded by Dolores Huerta on January 1, 1960 in California. The AWA fought for the rights of primarily Filipinx, Chicano/a, and Black farm workers. The AWA was successful in community organizing for higher wages and better working conditions for farm workers. The AWA joined Larry Itliong’s Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and César Chávez’s National Farm Workers Association to create the United Farm Workers of America.
Viva La Causa: The Story of César Chávez and a Great Movement for Social Justice, 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
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) https://bit.ly/2v0YmH4
1 90th anniversary of Imperial Valley, California Farmworkers’ Strike. Filipinx and Mexican laborers went on strike to protest low wages and poor conditions on lettuce farms in California’s Imperial Valley. Government authorities backed the farm owners, arresting and beating strike leaders, blocking shipments of food to the strikers, and threatening deportation. They ultimately broke the strike without conceding anything to the workers, but the strike launched a period of activism that would continue for decades, with numerous victories for the workers.
Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong, by Dawn B. Mabalon with Gayle Romasanta. This book tells the story of Larry Itliong’s lifelong fight for a farmworkers union, and the birth of one of the most significant American social movements of all time, the farmworker’s struggle, and its most enduring union, the United Farm Workers. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2SyRYCA
The Untold History of Filipino Farmworkers in California, by Noreen Naseem Rodriguez. A collection of lesson plans for grades 1-8, developed by a former teacher, about the critical role of Filipinx farmworkers in American history. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2RBQ7fv
Grapes of Wrath: The Forgotten Filipinos Who Led a Farmworker Revolution, by Lisa Morehouse, NPR. A short (5 minute) feature on the historic workers’ strike in the vineyards of California’s Central Valley, and the particular role of Filipinx people in that struggle. (M, H) https://n.pr/2T4JKOr
Filipino Farmworkers’ 1965 Strike a Pivotal Moment in California, by Dorian Merina. This article discusses the key role that Filipino farmworkers played in the Delano Grape Strike. An audio version of the story is also available. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1ls1Beq
1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is signed into law. NEPA created a national environmental policy that required executive federal agencies to report environmental assessments and impact statements. NEPA also created the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which coordinates federal environmental agency work. The passing of NEPA is mostly due to a response to public outcry as a result of the Santa Barbara oil spill the year before.
Oil Spills & Wildlife, by TeacherVision. These resources will help you teach students about oil as a natural resource and why oil spills can be earth-altering accidents that kill animals, destroy habitats, and damage ecosystems. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/1WR9IAg
2 Bodhi Day (Buddhism). Bodhi Day commemorates the day that Buddha reached enlightenment.
Under the Bodhi Tree, by Shi Jin Rou, 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) https://bit.ly/2MhVfQh
6 Penny Lernoux, journalist, author, born (1940-1989). Lernoux was an investigative journalist who wrote many articles and books criticizing the role of the US and local governments, business leaders, and the Catholic Church in maintaining vast social and economic inequality in Latin America. Her best-known work is Cry of the People, which chronicled the struggle for human rights in Central and South America.
Journalism 101: Kids’ Books About Reporters and the Role of the Press, by Devon Corneal. A few books to help kids understand the goals and ideals of good journalism, and the intrepid reporters who made significant contributions to the development of modern reporting. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2vdRung
7 10th anniversary of scientific study calling for the end of mountaintop mining. A study published in the journal Science presented clear-cut results that called for an end to mountaintop coal mining in an unprecedented paper bringing together scientists from fields including forest science, ecosystems, hydrology, environmental science, biology, chemistry, toxicology, and public health. Though the Obama administration said that policy should follow science, the science in this study was largely ignored. In 2017 the Trump administration halted further study of the health effects of mountaintop mining.
Coal, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Mountaintop Removal, by Bill Bigelow. This lesson examines the motives, goals, and environmental consequences of the coal mining industry. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1xPHOeh
10 100th anniversary of the founding of the League of Nations. The League of Nations, established in concurrence with the Treaty of Versailles, which marked the end of World War I, was designed as a forum for peacefully resolving global conflicts. The US never joined, and other world powers openly defied the League’s authority, rendering it too weak to prevent World War II. Despite its failure, the League of Nations is considered an important forerunner of the United Nations.
League of Nations, by Stanford History Education Group. Lesson plan on Woodrow Wilson’s attempt to establish a League of Nations, a cornerstone of his vision for lasting peace following World War I. (H) https://stanford.io/2VZiHG5
11 National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The goal of this day is to raise awareness and vigilance for the millions of human trafficking victims around the globe with the aim of eradicating this insidious crime.
What Is Modern Slavery? Investigating Human Trafficking, by Holly Epstein Ojalvo. In this lesson, students learn about human trafficking, also known as modern slavery. Using coverage of human trafficking by Nicholas D. Kristof, a New York Times columnist, they explore the causes of trafficking and the consequences for victims and traffickers, the role of globalization and ways to respond effectively. (M, H) http://nyti.ms/XG0Z3n
The Dark Side of Chocolate, by Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano. A team of journalists investigate how human trafficking and child labor in the Ivory Coast fuels the worldwide chocolate industry. The crew interview both proponents and opponents of these alleged practices, and use hidden camera techniques to delve into the gritty world of cocoa plantations. (H) https://bit.ly/2HogD3E
12 James Farmer, civil rights activist, born (1920-1999). Farmer co-founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which evolved out of a study group formed to read Gandhi’s work on nonviolent direct action. In 1942, he organized what may have been the first lunch counter sit-in at a Chicago coffee shop. He led the first group of Freedom Riders in 1961 and helped plan the 1963 March on Washington. On the day of the march, he was in a Louisiana jail for protesting police brutality.
James Farmer and the Freedom Rides, by PBS Learning Media. This video interview with civil rights leader James Farmer recalls the Freedom Rides of 1961, when an interracial group rode two buses through the South to test enforcement of recent Supreme Court rulings that banned segregated seating on interstate buses and trains. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2RAJzOv
The Freedom Riders, a Stanley Nelson film. The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South. (M, H) https://to.pbs.org/2FTgmnh
15 Makar Sankranti (Hinduism). Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival that celebrates the day when the Sun God begins its ascent into the Northern Hemisphere.
King for a Day, by Rukhsana Khan. This lively, contemporary story introduces readers to a centuries-old festival and the traditional sport of kite fighting, and to a spirited, determined young boy who masters the sport while finding his own way to face and overcome life’s challenges. (E) Teachers’ guide by the author here: https://bit.ly/2RZBodK
15 Julian Bond, civil rights activist, born (1940-2015). Bond, then a student at Morehouse College, co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As communications director, he successfully ended the “media blackout” of anti-Black violence, garnering national attention for the Civil Rights movement. At age 25, he won a race for Georgia state legislature, but it took a Supreme Court ruling to gain his seat over the opposition of other representatives. He also served as chairman of the NAACP and president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Julian Bond, Presente! by Teaching for Change. An article, with a number of hyperlinked resources, about the work of longtime activist, professor, politician, and writer Julian Bond. Includes links to interviews with Bond, as well as many of his speeches. (TR) http://bit.ly/1TPnANk
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) https://bit.ly/2IIR7Wp
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 Atheists and 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
17 50th anniversary of the founding of the Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida (Raza Unida Party). One month after the Chicano student walkout – and just down the road from the high school where it began – several hundred Mexican Americans met to form a new political party that would be dedicated to increasing their economic and political status in southern Texas, where they constituted a majority in many towns. They won city council and mayoral elections, and fielded candidates for the Texas governorship, as well as positions in California and Colorado.
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
Raza Unida Party Records, 1969-1979, by Texas Archival Resources Online. Rich primary source materials on the Raza Unida Party include correspondence, directives, agendas, reports, memorabilia, photographs, and other materials documenting their history and activities. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2CrURKc
17 50th anniversary of Asian Americans for Peace rally for an end to the Vietnam War. Two hundred young Asian Americans marched in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. The concept of “Asian American” marked a new political identity, formed by groups previously divided across lines of national origin, ethnicity and language. The coalition recognized shared histories of US imperialism, migration, and racism as well as opposition to the war and a desire to push back on anti-Asian propaganda and stereotypes in the US.
Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanha Lai. For all the ten years of her life, Ha has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by, and the beauty of her very own papaya tree. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. Discussion guide for the book included at this site. (M) http://bit.ly/2FyAkYT
19 100th anniversary of the Founding of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU’s aim is to protect and defend the constitutional rights and civil liberties of every individual in the United States, regardless of creed, race, religion or other labeling. Since 1920, the ACLU has litigated countless cases in an effort to protect constitutional rights, but since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the organization has played a particularly high-profile role in countering government threats to human rights.
Know Your Rights, by the ACLU. These easy-to-use resources were created by the ACLU to provide people with information about our rights on a wide variety of topics such as LGBT, Immigrant, Disability rights and many more. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2SyiM1r
19 100th anniversary of the Oahu Sugar Strike. Filipinx workers walked off the cane fields to demand higher pay and were soon followed by Portuguese, Puerto Rican, and later Japanese laborers. Although sugar workers had protested before, this was the first multi-ethnic coalition after years of plantation owners’ pitting the groups against each other. The strike ultimately involved more than 8,500 workers from eight ethnic groups and lasted six months, ending in negotiations that included a wage increase.
The Not-So-Sweet Story of How Filipino Workers Tried to Take on Big Sugar in Hawaii, by Shoshi Parks. An informational article about the plantation strikes of Filipino and Japanese sugar plantation workers in the 1920s. (H) https://bit.ly/2PheaMs
19 90th anniversary of the Watsonville Riots. This was the first of four days of anti-Filipinx violence by White mobs, angered by labor competition and “racial mixing.” They raided a dance hall where White women were seen dancing with Filipino men and destroyed a Filipinx neighborhood, beating residents and killing Fermin Tovera. Similar anti-Filipinx sentiments led the US, three years later, to grant the Phillipines independence in part so that Filipinx could be classified as aliens and their immigration could be restricted.
America is in the Heart, by Carlos Bulosan. First published in 1943, this classic memoir by well-known Filipino poet Carlos Bulosan describes his boyhood in the Philippines, his voyage to America, and his years of hardship and despair as an itinerant laborer following the harvest trail in the rural West. (H) https://bit.ly/2ScoJ7w
20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Observed). 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 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. The 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) https://bit.ly/1iv4HhU
21 110th anniversary of Angel Island Immigration Station. Opened in anticipation of European immigrants arriving via the Panama Canal, this island in the San Francisco Bay ultimately served as a detention center for Chinese immigrants. While others were released in a matter of hours or days, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 resulted in Chinese immigrants being separated from family members, interrogated, and deported or detained for months and even years. Today, it is a National Historical Landmark and state park where visitors can learn about the stories of immigrants who passed through and were held at Angel Island Immigration Station.
Angel Island Immigrant Journeys: A Curriculum Guide, by the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. This site provides free resources, book recommendations and information as to how to order a $15 curriculum guide for teaching about Angel Island. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2SzfPOl
25 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.
Bringing in the New Year!, by Grace Lin. This exuberant story follows a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. Each member of the family lends a hand as they sweep out the dust of the old year, hang decorations, and make dumplings. (E) https://bit.ly/2SkTYJp
Teaching about the Lunar New Year through Postage Stamps, by the Smithsonian. Using the postage stamps that commemorate the Lunar New Year each year, these lessons (divided into grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12) engage young people in learning some of the most important symbols of the holiday. The youngest students build their vocabulary by describing what they see on the stamps while older students read the book, My Chinatown: One Year in Poems, to deepen their understanding.
25 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: Lessons in American History, by Teaching Tolerance. This curriculum guide sheds light on the complexities of the Vietnamese American experience. (M, H) http://bit.ly/9Q1L0r
25 130th anniversary of the founding of the United Mine Workers of America. Miners affiliated with the Knights of Labor and the National Progressive Union formed a coalition to create the United Mine Workers of America. The union demanded and won an 8-hour workday, an end to child labor, increased safety standards, and higher wages. Mary Harris “Mother” Jones would soon become one of the union’s most effective recruiters and be labeled by some “the most dangerous woman in America.”
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) https://bit.ly/2taWBn3
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
30 Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. The first US holiday to be named after an Asian American was established to commemorate Korematsu’s birthday in 1919. Korematsu defied the 1942 order requiring Americans of Japanese descent to report to internment camps. After being arrested and convicted, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. The court ruled against him at the time, but the ruling was overturned 40 years later upon discovery of evidence that the government had concealed at the time of the trial.
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
31 60th anniversary of the premiere of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Premiering in 1960, Revelations was a radical work, particularly in the world of concert dance. Drawing on his memories and what he called one of the nation’s “richest treasures,” Ailey’s celebration of African American history, music and spirituality has been continuously performed around the world since then, becoming one of the best-known works of modern dance.
Alvin Ailey, by Andrea and Brian Pinkney. This is an illustrated children’s book about African American choreographer and activist Alvin Ailey. (E) https://bit.ly/2MVECtY
1 First day of African American History Month
The HistoryMakers: The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection. An easy-to-use online database of video oral history interviews with thousands of African Americans from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. The HistoryMakers Digital Archive provides high-quality video content and fully searchable transcripts. Interviews are separated into 15 categories – Art, Civics, Education, STEM, etc. – and the corpus is searchable by subject and keyword. (E, M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2HZSrsg
Tell All the Children Our Story, by Tonya Bolden. From the first recorded birth of a Black child in Jamestown all the way up to the present day, this is African American history from the perspective of the children who lived through it. A scrapbook of letters, photos, artwork, testimonials, and more, this is the history that didn’t make it into the original history books – the agonies and the sweet victories of African American children. (M) Discussion guide included here: https://bit.ly/2US1hKv
The Black Radical Tradition: A Compilation of Essential Texts. A free PDF of 500+ pages of the most essential critical texts about Black Power, African American history, and civil rights. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/1O0CvTj
1 50th anniversary of the Greensboro Student Sit-In. Motivated by the murder of Emmet Till, the Freedom Rides, and principles of nonviolent direct action, four Black college students staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter at Woolworth’s. The actions of the “Greensboro Four” sparked similar sit-ins across the South where more than 1,500 Black demonstrators were arrested by the end of the school year. These, along with wade-ins in segregated pools and pray-ins in all-White churches, drew attention to the horrors of Jim Crow.
February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four. This is a PBS film and website on the Greensboro sit-in. The link includes lesson plans for high school classrooms. (E, M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/JB5gBE
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins, by Carole Boston Weatherford. This site includes lesson plans to be used with the picture book Freedom on the Menu, which helps students explore how segregation affected everyday life. The book includes suggestions for responding to injustice and discrimination. (E) http://bit.ly/2SlZtIA
2 40th anniversary of the New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot. The riot that occurred at the New Mexico State Penitentiary, the most brutal in US penal history, was the result of prison overcrowding, inferior services, the cancellation of educational, recreational, and other rehabilitative programs, and administrative resistance to prison reform. Over 36 hours, an estimated 33 inmates died and more than 200 were injured.
Prison Abolition and Restorative Justice, by Mark Engler, Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. Should we abolish prisons? Students learn about and discuss the history of calls for prison abolition and consider alternative approaches, including restorative justice. (H) https://bit.ly/2TKAxvn
3 First day of the annual Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. During this national week of action, educators around the US commit to teaching lessons about structural racism, intersectional Black identities, Black history, and anti-racist movements to affirm the lives of Black students, teachers, and families.
Teaching for Black Lives, by Rethinking Schools. From the editors’ introduction: “Teaching for Black Lives grows directly out of the movement for Black lives. We recognize that anti-Black racism constructs Black people, and Blackness generally, as not counting as human life. The chapters here push back directly against this construct by providing educators with critical perspectives on the role of schools in perpetuating anti-Blackness, and by offering educators concrete examples of what it looks like to humanize Black people in curriculum, teaching, and policy.” (TR) https://www.teachingforblacklives.org/
Black Lives Matter at School Website, by a national coalition of organizers. A comprehensive website for #BLMatSchool that includes the demands, the principles, and a ton of lesson plans, posters, and classroom resources to support your planning for this annual week of action affirming the lives of Black students and Black people in general. (TR) blacklivesmatteratschool.com
3 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th Amendment. The third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments, the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits federal and state governments from denying citizens the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The Supreme Court’s interpretation, as well as new constitutions and laws in southern states, impeded voter registration through poll taxes, discriminatory literacy tests, and other barriers targeting Black voters. Resistance to intimidation and efforts to suppress participation continue today.
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by Jonah Winter. While on her way to vote, an elderly African American woman remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book published in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (E) https://bit.ly/2SBlLtu
6 200th anniversary of the first emigration of Black Americans to Africa. On this day the ship Elizabeth, nicknamed, “the Mayflower of Liberia,” set sail for Sierra Leone with 88 freed African Americans. This is one of the first documented, organized emigrations of a group of Black Americans from the United States to the continent of Africa, beginning an effort of the American Colonization Society and the eventual purchase of land that came to be known as Liberia.
Destination Africa Lesson Plan: The Colonization of Liberia. African American Emigration Experience. This WebQuest introduces students to the repatriation of freed slaves and freeborn African Americans to the continent of Africa. (H) http://bit.ly/YNve18
7 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. According to the CDC, in 2016, African Americans accounted for 44% of HIV diagnoses, despite comprising only 12% of the US population. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment among Black people in the US. HIV diagnoses among African Americans have declined in recent years. However, more work is needed to reduce HIV.
Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems, by Danez Smith. These poems by nonbinary poet Smith come from a place of too many funerals and not enough miracles. Touching on topics from police brutality toward African Americans to the realities of an HIV diagnosis, this is a heartrending collection. (H) https://bit.ly/2ARmRHa
9 70th anniversary of Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s “Wheeling Speech.” Senator Joseph McCarthy gave a now-famous speech in which he claimed to have the names of more than 200 known communists working in the State Department. Although he lacked supporting evidence, McCarthy’s speech sparked paranoia across the US, leading to unfounded allegations and investigations resulting in damaged careers and reputations. The ensuing “Red Scare,” or “McCarthyism,” also damaged the growing Civil Rights movement and pro-civil rights organizations.
The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy, by EDSITEment. In this lesson students will learn about McCarthy’s crusade against communism, from his bombshell pronouncements in 1950 to his ultimate censure and disgrace in 1954. Through an examination of documents and political cartoons, students will study key points in McCarthy’s career, with an eye to understanding how his efforts brought American anticommunism to fever pitch, and then how he fell into disrepute. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/RUyRa2
10 240th anniversary of Paul Cuffe’s petitioning Massachusetts for the right to vote. As a young man, Paul Cuffe petitioned the colonial council of Bristol County Massachusetts for the right to vote, arguing that he should not be taxed if he did not have representation, even if he was Black. The petition was denied, but the lawsuit was one of the reasons the legislature chose to grant voting rights to all free male citizens of the state in 1783. Later Cuffe became known for his vision of freed people starting a colony in Africa.
Black Abolitionists, profiles by Zinn Education Project. Textbooks and state curricula devote little attention to the Abolition movement, let alone to Black abolitionists. To counter the invisibility of Black abolitionists who were central to the Abolition movement and the ending of slavery, the Zinn Ed Project team features two dozen Black abolitionists here. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2Bq4ABl
11 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from prison after serving 27 years of a life sentence. He was imprisoned for standing up to a government that had institutionalized White supremacy and committed shocking human rights abuses against Black South Africans. Mandela led the way for apartheid’s abolition and was elected as South Africa’s first Black president in 1994.
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/2As17BA
12 120th anniversary of the first performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was a poem written by James Weldon Johnson. On this date in 1900, 500 school children performed the poem in Jacksonville, FL, to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The poem was set to music by John Rosamond Johnson, James Weldon Johnson’s brother, and adopted by the NAACP as its official song; it is considered the Black National Anthem.
Lift Every Voice and Sing, by the Kennedy Center. This lesson explores the origins of The Black National Anthem and complements the Scholastic Book Color Me Dark. This lesson can stand individually and may be taught without referencing the book or the Kennedy Center play. (E, M) http://bit.ly/JzNNbp
12 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Utah Territory. Women in the Utah Territory became the first women to vote in a national election thanks to the support of those who believed that extending the vote to Utah’s women would be a blow to the practice of polygamy. Congress revoked their right to vote in 1887, which prompted many women, Mormon and non-Mormon, to become active in the National Woman Suffrage Association.
Crusade for the Vote: Resources Connect Students to the Suffrage Story, by The National Women’s History Museum. Online exhibits, lesson plans, and multimedia resources for teaching about women’s suffrage in the US. (M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2H1NQnU
13 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League. The NNL was the first Black baseball league to last more than one season. During this time, Black players were not allowed to join White teams. The league provided a formal opportunity for skilled Black players to play professional baseball and increased their notoriety among White spectators.
Heroes of the Negro Leagues (with free DVD): Only the Ball Was White. First published as trading cards in 1990, this book includes watercolor images with text about the legendary Negro League and the role it played in Black history. The publication of these cards marked the first time most of these players ever appeared on baseball cards. Comes with a free DVD on the topic. (E, M, H) http://amzn.to/K9XueW
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, by Kadir Nelson. This picture book shares the story of the Negro Leagues. For too long, students have learned only about Jackie Robinson integrating the White leagues, but not about the leagues organized by African Americans, where Jackie Robinson was one of many outstanding players. (E) http://bit.ly/aUvEyV
14 100th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters. The League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt six months before the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote. Originally designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities, the nonpartisan League continues today as a grassroots activist organization that encourages its members to play an active role in democracy.
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
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
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) https://bit.ly/2IIILOC
15 Susan B. Anthony, women’s rights activist, born (1820-1906). Susan B. Anthony, cofounder of the National Woman Suffrage Association, advocated for women’s rights in general, not just voting, and was a staunch abolitionist. Anthony opposed the 15th Amendment, giving Black men the right to vote because she wanted women to be included. This caused a rift in the Women’s movement. She remained active in the movement until her death in 1906, 14 years before passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes. This film shows the struggle and development of women’s rights and Anthony’s and Stanton’s contributions to the movement. (E, M, H) http://to.pbs.org/XICld
The People Speak. A reenactment of Susan B. Anthony’s rousing speech that she gave at her trial for illegally voting as a woman. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1pMflSQ
16 Al Robles, Filipino American poet and community activist, born (1930-1990). Al Robles, based in the San Francisco area, was a committed member of Kearny Street Workshop, the nation’s oldest Asian-Pacific American multidisciplinary arts organization and the original center of the San Francisco Asian American literary scene in the 1970s. Robles also played a key role in the fight to stop the demolition of the International Hotel, a low-income residential hotel that became a community hub for Filipinx Americans and Asian Americans.
Badass Asian Americans: #NotYourModelMinority, by Joy Sales and her students. A blog created by students in Joy Sales’ course, “Asian American Activism,” at Grinnell College. A collection of photos and biographies of Asian American activists and revolutionaries throughout history and today. (M, H) This page takes you directly to the feature on Al Robles: https://bit.ly/2UQRNiC
17 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.
Brick by Brick, by Charles R. Smith, Jr. This story opens with America becoming a new country and our first president, George Washington, needing a home. It then describes how enslaved Africans were put to work to build the White House. Through text and illustrations, Brick by Brick tells the story of how enslaved people worked under the blistering sun for hours a day under grueling conditions. (E) http://bit.ly/2l9NTSD
Confronting White Nationalism in Schools Toolkit, by Western States Center. In this toolkit, find strategies to counter White nationalist organizing through sample scenarios that schools frequently encounter. Whether a student has been found passing out White nationalist flyers or buttons on school property, or more actively advocating for a “White pride” student group, the toolkit offers advice for parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and the wider community. (TR) https://bit.ly/2I2FVsh
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 5th 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
17 10th anniversary of the AFL-CIO’s call for amnesty for undocumented workers. In the 1980s, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) publicly endorsed sanctions on companies that hired undocumented workers and supported stricter immigration laws. Years later, after other unions and immigrant rights groups put pressure on the AFL-CIO, the union’s executive council changed its tune and on February 17th, 2000, publicly called for amnesty for all undocumented workers. This public support marked a significant victory for undocumented workers.
Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight, by Duncan Tonatiuh. Undocumented is the story of immigrant workers who have come to the United States without papers. Every day these men and women join the workforce and contribute positively to society. The uniquely formatted story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex – accordion fold – format. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2Sw1ORr
20 30th anniversary of the end of the UMWA strike against the Pittston Company. On April 5, 1989, the United Mine Workers Union (UMWA) went on strike against the Pittston Company in Virginia. The UMWA worked without contracts for over a year as they demanded improvements to health and retirement packages. Reverend Jesse Jackson, César Chávez, Daughters of Mother Jones, and Freedom Fighters all supported UMWA in their call for equitable working conditions. On February 20, 1990, UMWA and the Pittston Company agreed to a contract that would restore full health and retirement benefits.
A History of America in Ten Strikes, by Erik Loomis. Powerful and accessible, this book challenges contemporary assumptions around labor, unions, and American workers. Labor historian Erik Loomis recounts 10 critical workers’ strikes in American labor history that everyone needs to know about. He also includes an index comprised of an annotated list of the 150 most important moments in American labor history. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2PB4VWQ
21 International Mother Language Day. International Mother Language Day is observed yearly to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
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
21 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.
Hinduism, by The Pluralism Project, Harvard University. A comprehensive collection of essays and resources related to topics such as Introduction to Hinduism; The Hindu Experience; and Current Issues for Hindus in America. The site also includes resources for “America’s Many Religions.” (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2TQIG17
22 160th anniversary of the Great Shoemakers’ Strike. The Great Shoemakers’ Strike of 1860 was slowly brewing for years, as the invention of the sewing machine pushed artisan shoemakers out of their jobs. In 1859, shoemakers in Lynn, Massachusetts formed the Mechanist Association, and on February 22, 1860, they went on strike for increased wages and better hours. By April 1860, many laborers went back to work as demands from the strike were met.
The US Labor Movement Mixer, by Rethinking Schools. A “mixer” activity designed to engage students in playing the part of a worker during a particular period in US labor history. Includes role sheets with descriptions, clear instructions for the teacher, and pages of additional books and resources for teaching about US labor history. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2BBthKU
25 150th anniversary of Hiram R. Revels’ election to Congress. Revels was the first African American elected to the US Senate. A Republican from Mississippi, he had previously served as a state senator. At a time when African Americans had only just been allowed to serve in this role, this election was considered a major victory for civil rights.
The Fifteenth Amendment in Flesh and Blood: The Symbolic Generation of Black Americans in Congress, 1870-1887, by History, Art & Archives, US House of Representatives. In this set of activities, students learn more about the Black Americans who served in Congress from 1870-1887. They analyze the role these representatives played during this era, as well as the ways in which they changed Congress as an institution. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2Gzcxaz
26 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
27 Mabel K. Staupers, nurse and healthcare activist, born (1890-1989). Staupers was a pioneering nurse who advocated for racial equality within the profession, as well as for improved healthcare for Black people. She helped establish Harlem’s first in-patient facility for Black TB patients, one of the few hospitals where Black physicians were permitted to treat patients. She led the movement to achieve full integration of Black nurses in the armed forces and professional nursing organizations. Staupers was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP in 1951.
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
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, ways in which you can change your school policy, and where to find help. (TR) http://bit.ly/2i1PIRG
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison. This 96-page book features 40 biographies of African American women who helped shape history, with charming illustrations. It was an instant New York Times bestseller when it debuted in December 2017. (E) http://bit.ly/2p5UijE
24 Printable Coloring Sheets that Celebrate Girl Power, by Emily McCombs. Printable coloring sheets of historic and modern-day badass women – intended for the youngest students. (E) http://huff.to/2oZ6zVM
3 Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt (Chief Joseph), leader of the Nez Perce, born (1840-1904). Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt was the leader of the Nez Perce in what is now Oregon. He is best known for taking on the US military in a daring and skillful 1,400-mile escape toward the Canadian border. Though they eventually had to surrender, 200 warriors among 700 Nez Perce who fled held off more than 2,000 US soldiers for four months. Chief Joseph strongly criticized the government as he and the Nez Perce were forcibly moved to Kansas and then Oklahoma.
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 the Nez Perce’s lands in the 1870s, read by Q’Orianka Kilcher. (H) http://bit.ly/2iG44X0
4 60th anniversary of Houston’s first sit-in. Inspired by the sit-ins in Greensboro, NC, 17 Texas Southern University students, calling themselves the Progressive Youth Association, met on TSU’s campus and marched to a supermarket with the goal of being served at the shop’s lunch counter. More students joined them, and they sat for hours, but were never served. Undeterred, they continued to stage sit-ins throughout Houston. Under pressure, supermarkets, hotels and drugstores had quietly desegregated their facilities by August that year.
Sit-ins in Houston: An Oral History Interview with Peggy Fontenette-Yates, by Civil Rights in Black and White Oral History Project. A 3-minute interview with one of the students involved in the first of Houston’s sit-ins. This website includes oral history interviews of thousands of Black and Brown people with stories to tell about civil rights in Texas. (M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2EaYFSc
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Poetic, powerful prose tells the story of four young men who dared to sit at the “Whites only” Woolworth’s lunch counter. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1T6EMxN
5 50th anniversary of the Ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The largest disarmament agreement in the world, the NPT is the only binding commitment to disarmament signed by all of the nuclear weapons-producing states. To date, a total of 191 nations have signed on to the treaty.
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) https://bit.ly/2Ex69w5
8 International Women’s Day. In 1909, 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.
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, such as Chinese feminist Qiu Jin, Japanese mountain climber Junko Tabei, and Nazi resister Sophie Scholl. From ancient heroines to contemporary figures, the book spans centuries and continents. (E, M) http://bit.ly/1Lu1St4
8 Daylight Saving Time begins
8 50th anniversary of the siege of Fort Lawton by the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. Calling attention to the abysmal treatment of Native Americans, a group calling itself the United Indians of All Tribes scaled the walls of Fort Lawton in Washington state to reclaim the land for the purpose of creating an Indigenous American cultural center. The group occupied the fort until forcibly and violently removed by military police and support troops from Fort Lewis. Outside the fort, demonstrators erected “Resurrection City,” which remained in place for three weeks.
News Coverage 1970-1977: United Indians of All Tribes Fight for Fort Lawton, by Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project. A digital database of the news coverage that accompanied the Fort Lawton struggle. All fully readable, primary source articles that appeared in various outlets in Seattle. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2BBTgSL
9 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.
Festival of Colors, by Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal. Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from the bestselling mother/son duo. (E) https://bit.ly/2KO5Ipt
9 Purim begins at sunset on 3/20 (Judaism). Purim celebrates the defeat of a plot to exterminate Jews living in Persia (estimated to have occurred in the 4th century BC). It is one of the most joyous holidays of the Jewish faith.
Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale, by Barbara Diamond Goldin. Purim is approaching and Hershel, the only blind boy in the village, wishes he could help his mother prepare hamantashen (a traditional pastry) for the holiday. With new courage, Hershel creates something more beautiful than anyone in the village can imagine. An Author’s Note about Purim is also included. Reading guide included at this site. (E) https://bit.ly/2DCZ7XS
11 30th anniversary of Lithuania’s Restoration of Independence Day. Although Lithuania declared independence from Russia during World War I, the country lost that independence to the Soviet Union after World War II. Following peaceful demonstrations alongside people from Latvia and Estonia, the Lithuanian Parliament declared this day in 1990 as the Restoration of Independence Day.
12 30th anniversary of Wheels of Justice Protest. The Wheels of Justice Protest for disability rights occurred in Washington DC when 475 wheelchair-bound protesters gathered in front of the White House. In what came to be known as the “Capitol Crawl,” 60 protesters crawled up the 78 steps to the Capitol to illustrate the struggles of disabled people and to demand passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. At the time, it was the largest disability demonstration of its kind.
Wings to Fly, by Sowmya Rajendran. This picture book follows disabled athlete Malathi Holla as a child. The colorful illustrations are full of warmth and cheer. (E) http://bit.ly/2SArMmP
12 90th anniversary of the Salt March. Mohandas Gandhi led a 240-mile march to Dandi on the Arabian Sea, with the intention of making their own salt in defiance of Britain’s oppressive Salt Tax. By the time they reached Dandi, the march had grown from a handful of people to tens of thousands. The peaceful protesters were met with violence by British-led police; thousands, including Gandhi, were arrested. The Salt March drew widespread international attention to the Independence movement in India.
Gandhi’s Salt March, A Simulation, by Quetzal Aztlan Roura, Ahimsa Center K-12 Teacher Institute. Students engage in a historical simulation, re-enacting the spirit of revolution on the eve of Gandhi’s famous Salt March. Students will take on the identity of contending factions within the Indian National Congress, and present arguments for how the INC should respond to the Salt Tax laws. After voting on the outcome, students will see the real story by viewing a film and writing short-answer responses. (H) https://bit.ly/2Y1F7qN
A Taste of Freedom, by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. This picture book shares the events leading up to Gandhi’s Dandi March to protest the British Salt Tax. A great read to discuss forms of nonviolent protests with children and tie it into discussions of more recent movements around the world. (E) http://bit.ly/2SuZ6LY
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 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
History Through Deaf Eyes, by Gallaudet University. The DEAF EYES project at Gallaudet University was established to bring Deaf history to the public and expand our understanding of United States history. It includes an online exhibition, a book, and a documentary film. (M, H) http://bit.ly/U73AW2
Raising Deaf Kids: A Book List. A compilation of children’s books about hearing loss and deafness. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2ds3xCR
15 David Ruggles, abolitionist, journalist, and businessman, born (1810-1849). David Ruggles was an active member of the Underground Railroad network, working tirelessly to free humans from slavery. As a member of the New York Vigilance Committee, Ruggles was involved in hundreds of court cases of fugitive slaves who had fled to the North, most notably a Maryland slave named Frederick Washington Bailey, who later changed his name to Frederick Douglass. Ruggles is also credited with opening the first Black-owned bookstore.
The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery, by Dennis Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin. With powerful illustrations and a historically accurate narrative, The Price of Freedom tells the story of townspeople in mid-19th century Ohio who resisted the inhumane Fugitive Slave Law. (E) https://bit.ly/2XkOEJG
15 International Day Against Police Brutality. Police brutality is not limited to the US. Police worldwide have abused their power for centuries and continue to this day. In 1997, a joint effort by the Montreal-based Collective Opposed to Police Brutality and the Switzerland-based Black Flag group established March 15 as International Day Against Police Brutality. It is marked by protests worldwide – which are often met with a brutal police response.
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 actions that students can take. (H) http://to.pbs.org/1cNyCMD
17 10th anniversary of the Symposium on the Science of Disproportionate Environmental Health Impacts. The symposium provided a forum to discuss the state of scientific knowledge about factors identified by the EPA that contribute to higher burdens of environmental exposure or risk in racial/ethnic minorities and low-income populations. Discussions were also held on how environmental justice considerations may be integrated into the EPA’s analytical and decision-making frameworks and on research needs for advancing the integration of environmental justice into environmental policymaking.
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
17 40th anniversary of the United States Refugee Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-212). This act was the first comprehensive amendment of US immigration law, which historically had been shaped by xenophobic and anti-Asian political agendas. In using the United Nations definition of “refugee,” the Refugee Act of 1980 introduced a standardized resettlement system that provides the legal basis for today’s US Refugee Admissions Program. The current administration is seeking to undermine these provisions, though it remains to be seen if they will succeed.
The New Americans, by PBS. This film follows a diverse group of immigrants and refugees as they leave their homes and families behind and learn what it means to be “New Americans” in the 21st century. Accompanying lessons trace the history of immigration and question the fairness of immigration policies. Film available on iTunes. (H) http://to.pbs.org/d8tEdW
17 100th anniversary of Sikh Americans marching in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. India and Ireland are two countries that fought for and won independence from British colonial rule. As a sign of solidarity and connection across the diaspora and within a common struggle for unconditional independence, Sikh Americans marched in the 1920 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, wearing green turbans and carrying signs that read, “300,000,000 of India with Ireland to the last.”
Sikhism: An Educator’s Guide, by the Sikh Coalition. Resources for all grade levels on how to teach about Sikhism. (TR) http://bit.ly/1edL3DS
18 50th anniversary of the US Postal Workers’ Strike. Demanding higher wages, letter carriers in New York walked off their jobs, causing the first mass work stoppage in the 195-year history of the US Postal Service. Nearly a third of postal employees across the country joined the strike, paralyzing mail service. President Nixon declared a state of emergency and assigned military units to New York City post offices. The stand-off ended one week later and resulted in the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, which guaranteed collective bargaining rights.
When the Mailmen Rebelled, by Paul Prescod. Accessible, informational article in Jacobin written by a middle school social studies teacher for use with young people learning about the US Postal Workers’ Strike of 1970. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2Nag7cH
18 150th anniversary of Lake Merritt as a wildlife refuge. Lake Merritt, in Oakland, California, was the first government-owned wildlife refuge in the US. Established by the state of California in 1870, Lake Merritt still exists in the heart of downtown Oakland as a migratory waterfowl rest stop on the Pacific Flyway.
The End of the Wild, by Nicole Helget. Eleven-year-old Fern doesn’t have the easiest life. The woods near their home is her only refuge, where she finds food and plays with her neighbor’s dog. But when a fracking company rolls into town, her special grove could be ripped away, and no one else seems to care. With no one on her side, how can she save the forest that has protected her for so long? (M) https://bit.ly/2I3LlhQ
19 Linda Sarsour, Palestinian American activist, born (1980). Linda Sarsour is a controversial Palestinian American activist who gained national prominence as a co-chair of the national Women’s March against the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017. Sarsour is an outspoken anti-Israel activist and has promoted numerous anti-Israel policies. She has been an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and has protested with environmentalists and Native Americans against domestic energy production.
Americans Who Tell the Truth, by Robert Shetterly. Portraits, biographies, and narratives highlight citizens who courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness. By combining art and other media, this project offers resources to inspire a new generation of engaged Americans who will act for the common good, our communities, and the Earth. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2kkLTJk
21 30th anniversary of Namibia’s independence from South Africa. Germany controlled Namibia until the end of World War I, when the League of Nations handed it over to South Africa. After World War II, the UN denied South Africa’s petition to have the territory fully incorporated into South Africa. South Africa defied the UN, imposing apartheid and other egregious human rights atrocities, including a massacre at a Namibian refugee camp. Finally, after a protracted guerrilla war, Namibia achieved independence in 1990.
Colonization and Independence in Africa, from the Choices Program, Brown University. African experiences of colonialism were diverse. Nevertheless, there are common themes within the continent’s colonial history. This resource from the Choices Program explores these themes generally, as well as specifically through four country case studies: Ghana, Algeria, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The readings and activities help students consider the perspectives of Africans and the ways in which they responded to European colonialism. (H) http://bit.ly/1jiHVZr
21 World Down Syndrome Day. This day is dedicated to raising public awareness and advocating for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down Syndrome. It has been officially recognized by the UN since 2012.
My Friend Isabelle, by Eliza Woloson. This is a story about Charlie and Isabelle’s friendship. At first, Charlie sees only the differences between him and Isabelle, who has Down Syndrome, but in the end, he recognizes all 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.
The White Supremacy and Me Workbook, by Layla Saad. A text and a process for those holding white privilege to examine and dismantle their complicity in white supremacy. (TR) http://bit.ly/2Agvf2C
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
A Tale of Two Cities, by The Story of Stuff Project. This film tells the story of citizens from two very different Michigan communities – picturesque, small town Evart, and gritty, industrial Flint – that have found their futures inextricably linked by a threat to the one thing that all life requires: water. This short documentary explores the growing threat of water privatization and what happens when government runs a critical function, like providing clean drinking water, as if it were a business. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2LJg0nr
Our Water, Our Future, by The Story of Stuff Project. This film looks at what happened in Cascade Locks, Oregon when Nestlé came to town with a proposal to bottle their water. Residents launched an all-out effort to protect their water. Our Water, Our Future tells the story of these unlikely activists and their advice for communities around the world that are facing water grabs. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2LH0mJg
24 40th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Romero. Óscar Arnulfo Romero, a Salvadoran archbishop who regularly spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture, was assassinated while saying Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence. Though no one was ever convicted of the crime, investigations by the UN-created Truth Commission for El Salvador concluded that extreme-right wing politician and death squad leader Roberto D’Aubuisson, backed by the US government, had given the order.
El Salvador Monografía, by Roque Dalton. This is the classic history of El Salvador, written by one of its most famous literary figures. With poetic illumination, Roque Dalton describes his homeland’s national heroes and its great social struggles against oppression and imperialist domination, always hopeful of a better future. (H) https://bit.ly/2GMN1i8
26 230th anniversary of the Naturalization Act of 1790. This act granted US citizenship to “free White persons” only. This act is one of many examples of legislation that connected social constructs of race and citizenship in the United States. Amendments to the US Constitution and social movements in the 20th century fought against these original ideas of citizenship as limited to White men.
Race – The Power of an Illusion, by California Newsreel. This documentary series attempts to clear away the biological arguments about race and leave starkly visible the underlying social, economic and political conditions that disproportionately channel advantages and opportunities to White people. The site includes a teacher’s guide. While the series can be ordered from PBS, many parts are available on YouTube. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/109nn
An Educator’s Guide to the Immigration Debate, by Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance. What you need to know to facilitate classroom conversations about this controversial topic, including a toolkit with reading and writing exercises for classroom use. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2V0DLe8
27 Julia Alvarez, Dominican American poet, novelist, and essayist, born (1950). Julia Alvarez is a celebrated and dynamic author and poet who often writes about her experiences as a bilingual and bicultural woman in the US. Some of her best-known works include her novel How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), and more recently, her semi-autobiographical book Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA (2007).
In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez. The novel can be used to address themes about loyalty, death and loss, Marxism, and political domination. The overarching theme in the novel is the empowerment of women and the role of women in society. The website listed gives many useful ideas for how to use the novel in a high school setting. (H) http://bit.ly/2SyiS9t
30 20th anniversary of the Justice Department lawsuit against the state of Louisiana and Wackenhut Corrections Corporation. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit over abhorrent conditions at a private for-profit juvenile prison in Jena, Louisiana. An investigation revealed that, within a two-month period, a quarter of the 276 juveniles in the Jena facility suffered some form of traumatic abuse, many at the hands of prison guards. DOJ investigators found a disturbing shortage of necessities such as underwear, blankets, shoes, mattresses, and food.
The Abolitionist Toolkit, by Critical Resistance. This toolkit introduces the basic ideas of prison abolition, including informational sheets and frameworks, tools for developing abolitionist arguments, abolitionist steps and alternative practices, keywords, etc. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2snbjrx
13th Critical Viewing Guide, by Graduate Students 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. 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
31 César Chávez Day. This day marks the birthday of César Chávez, an American farmworker, labor leader and civil rights activist. Chávez cofounded the National Farm Workers Association (later known as United Farm Workers of America), which achieved unprecedented gains for farmworkers.
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) https://bit.ly/2qkxOfj; link to teacher’s guide: 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 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.
How My Third-Graders and I Address Consent, by Elizabeth Kleinrock. In the wake of #MeToo and the Kavanaugh hearings, Ms. Kleinrock shares her strategies for addressing consent with elementary students. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/2RQL8XV
The Reckoning: Teaching About the #MeToo Moment and Sexual Harassment with Resources from The New York Times, by the NYTimes Learning Network. In this unit, NYTimes staff pull together a wealth of Times reporting, opinion and video, to suggest several ways to begin confronting the questions and issues the #MeToo movement raises. Christopher Pepper, a health educator in the San Francisco Unified School District, who helped design the district’s high school sex education curriculum, co-wrote this piece with the Learning Network staff. (H) http://nyti.ms/2DD6eyi
Rights, Respect, Responsibility: A K-12 Sexuality Curriculum, by 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/2HnHGjv
NO! The Rape Documentary. 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 people as they learn to navigate the challenging terrain of sexuality without violence. (H) http://bit.ly/2RXJUKi
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.
40 Books to Celebrate National Poetry Month, by Black Children’s Books and Authors. Forty powerful poetry books by Black writers, which can be used during National Poetry Month and year-round. (E) https://bit.ly/2Ei0lXa
The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic, edited by Mahogany Browne, Idrissa Simmonds, and Jamila Woods. Black Girl Magic continues and deepens the work of the first BreakBeat Poets anthology by focusing on some of the most exciting Black women writing today. This anthology breaks up the myth of Hip-Hop as a boys’ club and asserts the truth that the cypher is a feminine form. (H) https://bit.ly/2OTRCkg
Thanku: Poems of Gratitude, edited by Miranda Paul. An anthology exploring themes of thankfulness and gratitude through poetry written mostly by Black, Indigenous, and poets of Color. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2Fh30CM
1 Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, born (1940-2011). Maathai was the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She is known for founding the Green Belt Movement, an environmental organization that motivated thousands to plant trees across Kenya. She authored four books: The Green Belt Movement; Unbowed: A Memoir; The Challenge for Africa; and Replenishing the Earth.
Picture Books about Wangari and Her Trees. Three popular children’s books about Maathai’s revolutionary achievements are featured on this blog of children’s literature: Wangari’s Trees of Peace; Planting the Seeds of Kenya; and Seeds of Change. Links and activities are included. (E) http://bit.ly/2AjwdLJ
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai. This film tells the story of Maathai and Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, a grassroots organization encouraging rural women and families to plant trees in community groups. The website also hosts multiple lesson plans and resources for taking action. (M, H) http://to.pbs.org/evKpG
1 60th anniversary of the Mexican American Political Association. The Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) is a nonpartisan grassroots organization. MAPA was founded by 150 activists in Fresno, California, with the goal of electing Mexican Americans to political office. The organization quickly saw great success in getting Latinx politicians into various offices. MAPA also played an important role in supporting César Chávez and the United Farm Workers as they organized for a fair contract.
El Acto: Studying the Mexican American Experience Through Farmworkers’ Theater, edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray, and Jenice L. View. This unit in the book, Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching, uses the Delano Grape Strike organized by the UFW as an entry point into understanding theater as political action. It provides scenes and context for student groups to act out various elements of the event as well as tools for evaluation of student work. (M, H, TR)
1 30th anniversary of the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice. The Network was formed to support the work of local organizations and empower communities to shape local, state, regional, national, and international policies on environmental and economic justice issues. The group specifically aims to study the impact of these issues within the community of People of Color in the Southwest US and along the border with Mexico.
Analyzing Environmental Justice, by Teaching Tolerance. This lesson helps students understand how pollution disproportionately affects people who are poor and members of racial and ethnic minorities. Students also learn to use a map to locate environmental injustice. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2wQsYw4
2 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
2 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 texts that represent their journey of learning. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1cqVvVc
3 International Jazz Day. Established in November 2011, International Jazz Day is an official UNESCO designation that celebrates the role Jazz plays in uniting people throughout the world. Each year this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.
18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Jazz, by Colours of Us. These fun books will inspire your kids (from babies to teenagers) to clap, sing, dance, and play their own Jazz! (E) https://bit.ly/2Vb1Keo
4 60th anniversary of Senegal’s independence from France. Senegal occupies a strategic position on Africa’s west coast and was contested by England, France, Portugal, and the Netherlands, before ultimately coming under French control in the late 19th century. It remained a colony of France until 1960, when, under the leadership of poet and statesman Léopold Senghor, Senegal gained its independence – first as part of the Mali Federation and then as a wholly sovereign state.
Senegal, by Exploring Africa. This website includes a wealth of resources related to teaching about Africa, including modules that focus on individual countries. This one explores the history and culture of Senegal, while also addressing two key issues in contemporary Senegal: the role of Islam and the legacy of the first president and the Négritude movement. (H) https://bit.ly/2Sh8x0H
5 Franklin Chang-Díaz, Costa Rican Chinese American mechanical engineer, physicist, and NASA astronaut, born (1950). Franklin Chang-Díaz moved to the US at the age of 18 to pursue his education. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Connecticut and eventually went on to earn his PhD in applied plasma physics at MIT. Chang-Díaz joined NASA in 1980, becoming the first Latinx immigrant to go into space. He logged more than 1,600 hours in space and was inducted into the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2012.
Franklin Chang-Díaz: Propulsion Pioneer for Future Generations of Astronauts, by VisionLearning. This module traces Chang-Diaz’s life and career from his boyhood in Costa Rica where he built his own mini-rockets, to his emigration and studies of plasma physics in the US, through his career as an astronaut, and beyond. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2GCvY3d
5 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 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
7 World Health Day. 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)
8 First day of Passover begins at sunset on 4/8 (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/2RVTNZ6
8 Hanuman Jayanti (Hinduism). Hanuman Jayanti commemorates the birth of Hanuman, the Vānara god.
Hanuman Jayanti. This is a religious website that tells the story of the life of Hanuman. Illustrations and links to other festivals and related topics are available on this site. (M, H) http://bit.ly/KntMvy
8 Day of 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 Vesak 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 (Vesak) and how it is celebrated today with special foods, clothing, songs, and rituals. (E) http://amzn.to/VAg7CL
10 Good Friday (Christianity). Good Friday occurs two days before Easter and commemorates the death of Jesus.
10 Dolores Huerta, cofounder of United Farm Workers, born (1930). Dolores Huerta is a community organizer and grassroots labor activist. She founded the Agricultural Workers Association in 1960, which led to her collaborative efforts with César Chávez in the National Farm Workers Association. Huerta has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of farming and migrant workers, as well as for women’s rights. She was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Introduction to Activism: A Closer Look at Dolores Huerta, by Eden McCauslin for The National Women’s History Museum. Using videoclips and speeches, this lesson plan takes a closer look at one of the key activists in the Women’s, Labor, and Immigrants’ Rights movements in the 20th century. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2SlWgsN
Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and César Chávez, by Monica Brown and Joe Cepeda. This picture book pairs the stories of Huerta and Chávez. Each double-page spread features text in both Spanish and English, with Huerta’s story on the left and Chávez’s on the right. (E) https://bit.ly/2NcFlao
10 Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, women’s and children’s rights activist, born (1880-1965). Frances Perkins was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor, becoming the first woman to hold a cabinet position. Perkins was one of the key developers of the New Deal, which led the US out of the Great Depression. She was a fierce advocate for the rights of women and young girls and spent her lifetime fighting for labor rights, equitable employment opportunities, and social welfare.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: The Story of Immigrants, Factory Girls, Labor Unions, and a Deadly Fire that Changed History, by Leah Jerome. Students will use primary and secondary sources to gain a richer understanding of women’s activism and how the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire led to changes in labor and safety regulations in America. Unit includes a focus on the role of Frances Perkins in investigating conditions that led to the fire. (H) https://bit.ly/2NhhMx7
Primary and Secondary Source Material on Frances Perkins, by the Frances Perkins Center. Oral histories, reports, and other documents authored by Perkins, and audio files of addresses by Perkins on topics including the Triangle Factory Fire, Social Security, and the New Deal. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2E4lcz1
12 Easter (Christianity). 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
12 Florence Reece, labor organizer and songwriter, born (1900-1986). An activist, poet and songwriter, Reece grew up in a coal mining community. She married a union organizer for the United Mine Workers, which was engaged in industrial action in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1931. After a violent altercation with deputies hired by the mining company, Reece wrote the song “Which Side Are You On?” which has become an anthem of the Labor movement.
Which Side Are You On?: The Story of A Song, by George Ella Lyon. Tells the story of the classic union song that was written in 1931 by Florence Reece during a Kentucky mineworkers’ strike. It has been sung by people fighting for their rights all over the world. (E) http://bit.ly/2SmbLkq
Using Songs to Teach Labor History, by the American Labor Studies Center. The American Labor movement has a long and rich heritage of song. The selective use of labor songs can help students develop an appreciation of the struggle of American workers to find dignity in the workplace. They can also help students develop a sense of empathy with those workers and understand the powerful role music can play in protest movements. Resources for teaching labor songs are included. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2H2UdY5
13 Vaisakhi (Sikhism). Vaisakhi is a festival that celebrates the founding of the Sikh community.
Countdown to Vaisakhi, by Navjot Kaur. A teacher’s guide for recognizing 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 Sing. The Sikh faith, the world’s 5th largest religion, began with the teachings of Guru Nanak in the 15th century and evolved with the nine gurus who followed him. He grew up to be a great spiritual teacher, revolutionary for his time, declaring that there is no difference between Hindus and Muslims, that men and women are equal, and that caste is irrelevant. This biography, exquisitely illustrated in the Indian miniature-painting tradition, tells the story of his life. (E) http://amzn.to/1qMWw5Q
13 170th anniversary of the signing of the Foreign Miners’ Tax Act of 1850. The Foreign Miners’ Tax Act of 1850 was a California law that imposed a $20/month tax on “foreign” miners, which mainly affected Chinese and Mexican miners. On the heels of the California Gold Rush, the state of California sought to favor White miners and exclude/discourage immigrant workers from mining the limited land. Protests led to the repeal of the Act within a year; it was later replaced with a $4/month tax.
Golden Lands, Working Hands, by Fred Glass for the California Federation of Teachers. This 10- part film series brings the hidden history of working people in California to light, from the Gold Rush through the present. (H) https://bit.ly/2tx9uIr
15 60th anniversary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, formed to give young Black people a voice in the Civil Rights movement, played a major role in the sit-ins and Freedom Rides, voter registration drives, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in the 1960s. Frustrated with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nonviolent philosophy, SNCC later shifted its focus to Black Power and became known as the “shock troops of the revolution.”
SNCC Digital Gateway, by the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies. The SNCC Digital Gateway documentary website provides profiles, stories, a timeline, map, and much more about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This is an invaluable classroom resource on the voting rights struggle and the overall fight for human rights and democracy in the United States. (M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2FKYfmM
18 60th anniversary of Dusky v. United States. Dusky v. United States established that a defendant has the right to have a competency evaluation before standing trial. Milton Dusky suffered from schizophrenia when he was charged with a crime, but was forced to stand trial, despite not being able to fully understand the charges. Although competency standards vary from state to state, Dusky v. United States set two standards: defendants must understand the charges and they must be able to aid their attorney in their own defense.
America’s Largest Mental Hospital Is a Jail, by Matt Ford for The Atlantic. At Cook County (Chicago), where a third of those incarcerated suffer from psychological disorders, officials are looking for ways to treat inmates more like patients than prisoners. (H) https://bit.ly/2sMb8DH
18 40th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain. Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was a British colony. Britain demanded Black majority rule as a condition of independence. In 1965 White segregationist Ian Smith made a Universal Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain, but it was rejected by most of the world’s nations. After a protracted and bloody guerilla war, Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union claimed victory and held national elections. Mugabe was elected Prime Minister and later, president of an independent Zimbabwe.
African Voices, an online exhibition of the Smithsonian. African Voices examines the diversity and global influence of Africa’s peoples and cultures. Featuring contemporary interviews, literature, prayers, folk tales, and oral epics, it also includes a section on independence from colonialism. (M, H) https://s.si.edu/2U0fQvp
19 Arnita Young Boswell, social worker and activist, born (1920-2002). Born in Detroit, MI, Boswell was raised in a family of activist educators. She was a professor of social work at the University of Chicago from 1960 to 1980. In 1974, she founded National Hook-Up of Black Women, an organization that advocates for the economic and political status of Black women. Boswell also served as the first national director of Project Head Start.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi. Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today, Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2GujLMv
20 20th anniversary of United States v. Stevens. In 1999, Public Law 106-152 was passed, making the commercial production, sale, or possession of depictions of cruelty to animals illegal. In 2004 Robert J. Stevens was indicted on charges of selling videos depicting animal cruelty, including two that recorded dogfights. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the law was too broad and violated individuals’ First Amendment rights. The ruling narrowed the law to include only “animal crush videos.”
Becoming a Solutionary, by the Institute for Humane Education. This activity explores skills and processes needed to address problems of concern to students and to develop meaningful solutions. In this activity, students will practice critical-, creative-, strategic-, and systems-thinking skills in order to brainstorm potential solutions to a problem that concerns them. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2AbpSC3
The Nonhuman Rights Project. This organization is working toward legal rights for nonhuman animals. The website includes a blog, a breakdown of state-by-state legal action on behalf of nonhuman animals, and current news stories featuring animals. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/eEsNCS
20 10th anniversary of the student protest of SB 1070 in Arizona. Arizona passed a strict and discriminatory law (SB 1070) giving police the right to detain anyone they suspected of being undocumented. Recognizing this law as racist and violent, hundreds of students staged a protest outside the capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. Nine Latinx students were arrested after chaining themselves to the doors of the capitol to demand justice. This protest is celebrated in Francisco X. Alarcón’s poem, “Para Los Nueve del Capitolio” (For the Capitol Nine).
Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, edited by Francisco X. Alarcón and Odilia Galván Rodríguez. After nine Latinx students chained themselves to the Arizona State Capitol in an act of civil disobedience to protest Arizona’s SB 1070, Francisco X. Alarcón responded by writing a poem in Spanish and English, which he dedicated to the students. The poem sparked a poetry revolution on Facebook with more than 3,000 uploads. This anthology is made from a selection of these submissions and powerfully articulates the need for change and the primacy of basic human rights. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2AimoxL
22 Earth Day. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated in 175 countries to raise awareness about environmental issues. According to the Earth Day Network, it is the largest secular civic event in the world.
Don’t Take Our Voices Away: A Role Play on the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change, by Julie Treick O’Neill and Tim Swinehart. A role-play on the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change asks students to develop a list of demands to present to the rest of the world at a mock climate change meeting. (H) http://bit.ly/2l5qxg2
A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis, edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart. 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
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
22 50th anniversary of the first celebration of Earth Day. 20 million Americans gathered in areas around the country to celebrate the first Earth Day. The first Earth Day was the largest organized demonstration in American history.
Lessons from Mother Earth, by Elaine McLeod. Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really noticing the garden. But today they step outside, 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
22 Emily Davies, British feminist, educator, and suffragist, born (1830-1921). Emily Davies was a pioneer in campaigning for university education for women. Frustrated at her own unequal educational opportunities, Davies organized for change for women’s rights, including voting rights. She was instrumental in gaining the first enrollment of women at University College, London in 1878, and played a key role in the founding of Girton College, Britain’s first women’s college, in 1873.
The Women’s Suffrage Movement, by Deidrah Scott. This unit plan helps students explore the history of the Women’s Suffrage movement, women’s rights, and Women’s History Month. It also provides links to relevant resources, such as documents from the Library of Congress, PBS webisodes, and DVDs from the History Channel. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/sE6ovu
23 First Day of the Month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month of fasting and prayer in the Islam faith. It is the 9th 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 are 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 of her librarian and teacher, she gains confidence among her peers. (E) http://bit.ly/2kFmPLM; Interview with author here: http://bit.ly/2kzsP6e
Drummer Girl, by Hiba Masood. Young Najma loved Ramadan and had a secret dream. She longed to beat the drum that traditional male musaharati drummers use during the wake-up call for the pre-dawn meal. Supported by her loving family, Najma realizes her long-cherished dream and pushes the boundaries of what girls can accomplish. (E) https://bit.ly/2pDcQHq
Halal If You Hear Me, edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo. A BreakBeat Poets anthology of writings by Muslims who are women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, or trans. The collected poems dispel the notion that there is one correct way to be a Muslim by holding space for multiple, intersecting identities while celebrating and protecting those identities. (H) https://bit.ly/2vdWYym
24 220th anniversary of the Library of Congress’ move to Washington DC. Established by President John Adams, the Library of Congress (LOC) was first housed in New York and Philadelphia until 1800, when it was moved to Washington, DC. The LOC today is a repository for American art and literature in many forms. Teachers and students can use NPR’s “StoryCorps” app to submit audio interviews that tell your personal stories of life in America to be housed in the LOC.
StoryCorps Education, by StoryCorps. Lesson plans and resources designed to support students in recording their own stories and those of others. Lesson topics include: Why Stories Matter; Tips for Effective Interviews; The Power of Active Listening, among others. (E, M, H, TR) storycorps.org/discover/education
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.
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
24 National Day of Silence. During the National Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), students organize protests against LGBTQ harassment in schools.
Day of Silence Website. This site includes information about the history of the Day of Silence, as well as FAQs, reproducible materials, an organizing manual for students, and more. (M, H) http://bit.ly/3SF54f
26 20th anniversary of Vermont’s recognition of civil unions. Pursuant to a suit filed by three same-sex couples, Vermont’s legislature passed the first law in the US recognizing same-sex unions. Despite considerable opposition, in 2009, Vermont became the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the first to do so by legislation rather than court order.
Freedom to Marry. This campaign website provides historic and current information about nationwide efforts to secure equal marriage rights for all couples. Includes ideas for social action. (TR) http://bit.ly/Bc01l
27 60th anniversary of Togo’s independence from France. In the late 19th century, Germany took control of Togoland by force and essentially enslaved the native population to work its plantations. After World War I, Germany ceded the territory to the League of Nations, which divided the country between France and Britain. The French side is what is now known as Togo. In 1956 Togo became an autonomous republic, and in 1960 it gained full independence.
Africa Is Not a Country, by Margy Burns Knight, Mark Melnicove, and Anne Sibley O’Brien. Rather than treating Africa as a homogenous setting, this book follows children from several diverse countries on the continent. (E) http://bit.ly/J9WWfD
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, by Teaching for Change. An extensive catalog of books compiled by Social Justice Books. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2RV6cwq
Different Mirror for Young People: A Young Peoples’ History of Multicultural America,
by Ronald Takaki and Rebecca Stefoff. Drawing on Takaki’s vast array of primary sources, and staying true to his own words whenever possible, A Different Mirror for Young People brings ethnic history alive through the words of people, including teenagers, who recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and poems. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2S3p3pa
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 8-hour day, killing several demonstrators.
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. In the section titled, “Make the Fight for Living Wage a Teachable Moment” are lesson plans and multimedia resources related to the “Fight for $15.” (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2lJEYs9
1 Raya Dunayevskaya, founder of Marxist Humanism in the US, born (1910-1987). Raya Dunayevskaya was active in the freedom movements of workers, women, civil rights, and youth. Her study of the Russian economy and Marx’s early writings led to her analysis that not only was Russia a state-capitalist society, but that state-capitalism was a New World stage. This led to the development of the movement known as Marxist-Humanism. In 1955 she founded the organization News and Letters Committees and the newspaper News & Letters.
A Marxist Education, by Wayne Au. A critical analysis of the state of public education under capitalism and the prospects for radical pedagogy and reform. (TR) https://bit.ly/2TZuYZP
1 50th anniversary of the National Student Strike against the Vietnam War. Following President Nixon’s decision to expand the Vietnam War into Cambodia, millions of American students protested. Their week-long strike temporarily closed more than 900 campuses nationwide. It was the largest anti-war protest by students in US history.
Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War, by Bill Bigelow. This role-playing activity exposes students to a side of the Vietnam War that is left out of traditional textbooks. (H) http://bit.ly/16FZE3i
1 120th anniversary of the Scofield Mine Disaster in Utah. An explosion at the Winter Quarters Mine in Utah killed more than 200 mineworkers. One of the worst mine disasters in US history, this event and miners’ activism afterward led to a miners’ strike the following year, which resulted in several new safety and working conditions regulations in the mining industry.
Classroom Resources on Mining Disasters, The Learning Network, NYTimes. Resources and activities for classroom use to talk or teach about recent disasters in mining and mining health and safety in general. (H, TR) https://nyti.ms/2NhfaPy
1 50th anniversary of the Lavender Menace. The Lavender Menace was one of the groups created as a backlash to the exclusion of lesbians and lesbian issues in the US Women’s Liberation movement. The group formed in 1970 and disrupted the Second Congress to Unite Women, sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW). The group issued a manifesto called “The Woman-Identified Woman,” paving the way for the inclusion of lesbians in the movement.
GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens, by Kelly Huegel and Free Press Publishing. First published in 2003, GLBTQ became an indispensable resource for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens. This new edition includes the same straightforward information and practical advice while providing a contemporary look at society and its growing acceptance of people who are GLBTQ. (M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2BNTUMN
Grl2grl: Short Fictions, by Julie Anne Peters. The complexities of love, romance, and dating for gay teenage girls are explored in this collection of short stories. (H) https://bit.ly/2NjZCKW
2 70th anniversary of Gwendolyn Brooks’ Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Brooks was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize, which she received for Annie Allen, a book of poetry. Brooks is one of the best-known and most highly regarded poets of the modern era. Her work has consistently addressed the issues of racial equity and justice in the US.
Bronzeville Boys and Girls, by Gwendolyn Brooks and illustrated by Faith Ringgold. This collection of poems about a Chicago neighborhood celebrates the joy, beauty, imagination, and freedom of childhood. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2Aiaxzv
“We Real Cool,” by Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall, for Manuel Cinema and the Poetry Foundation. Using simple, illuminative paper-cut puppetry, this enchanting video imagines the moment of witness that inspired Gwendolyn Brooks to write her landmark poem, “We Real Cool.” Created by Manual Cinema in association with Crescendo Literary, with story by Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall, and music by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2GEjJDk
4 50th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre. Four college students were killed and nine were wounded by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University during a protest against the bombing of Cambodia by US military forces. Hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the US in response to a nationwide strike of 4 million students. The event sparked shock and outrage and galvanized negative public opinion about the Vietnam War.
May 4 Collection, Kent State University. This site is designed to serve as a memorial to the four students killed at Kent State University. Visitors will find transcripts of interviews and other primary resources about the event. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/arJycI
4 First day 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.
The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games, by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas. A provocative exploration of race in popular youth and young adult speculative fiction. Grounded in her experiences as a YA novelist, fanfiction writer, and scholar, Thomas considers four Black girl protagonists from some of the most popular stories of the early 21st century, analyzing their narratives and audience reactions to them to reveal how these characters mirror the violence against Black and Brown people in our own world. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2BJY6gQ
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 and action on ideas of identity, stereotyping and discrimination. (E, M) http://bit.ly/b3u2eC
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.
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 Latinx 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/2SFfXvSp
5 National Teachers’ Day. A day set aside to honor teachers for their contributions to learning, child development, and the community.
Educator Grants, from Teaching Tolerance. These grants, ranging from $500 to $10,000, support projects that promote affirming school climates and educating youth to thrive in a diverse democracy. (TR) Eligibility and application guidelines here: https://bit.ly/2uUX3Ez
6 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1960. The Civil Rights Act of 1960 did not introduce a new law but was aimed at strengthening and closing loopholes in the Civil Rights Act of 1957. This law focused mainly on voting rights for Black Americans and the enforcement of school integration requirements. Although this act failed to enforce the law, it pushed the federal government to work with civil rights organizations to end discrimination and segregation, leading to stronger legislation in the next few years.
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by Dee Romito. Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out in Montgomery after Rosa Parks was arrested, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to raise funds for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. (E) https://bit.ly/2E7Odd9
Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders, by Joan Sadoff, Robert Sadoff, and Laura Lipson. This award-winning documentary chronicles the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in the 50s and 60s from the perspectives of the women who lived it. The film has historical footage and original interviews with Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Devine, Unita Blackwell, Mae Bertha Carter, Victoria Gray Adams, among others. These women fought for the right to vote, equal education, and desegregation. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1edggGz
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, which engages students in considering the question: “What would Barbie look like if she were as big as you?” (M, H) https://bit.ly/2IJAKJf
Good Enough: A Novel, by Jen Petro-Roy. Written by an eating disorder survivor and activist, Good Enough is a realistic depiction of inpatient eating disorder treatment, and a moving story about a girl who must fight herself to survive. (M) https://bit.ly/2GYlnig
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 Naomi Klein, social activist and writer, born (1970). Naomi Klein is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and capitalism. She has written several international bestsellers, primarily focusing on climate change. In 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Sydney Peace Prize in Australia for her work in championing transformative change and social justice.
The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes On the Disaster Capitalists, by Naomi Klein. In the rubble of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans and ultrarich “Puertopians” are locked in a pitched struggle over how to remake the island. In this vital and startling investigation, bestselling author and activist Naomi Klein uncovers how the forces of shock politics and disaster capitalism seek to undermine the nation’s radical, resilient vision for a “just recovery.” (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2JtddQN
9 John Brown, abolitionist, born (1800-1859). John Brown believed in the violent overthrow of the slavery system. He led attacks on pro-slavery residents in Kansas, becoming a hero to many Northern sympathizers. In 1859, Brown and 21 of his followers attacked and occupied the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, VA. Their goal was to seize supplies and use them to arm a slave rebellion. He was captured and hanged for treason, cementing his status as an icon of the antislavery movement.
John Brown & Harpers Ferry, by Phil Nast. Lessons, resources, and activities exploring events leading to the American Civil War. Includes discussion and writing activities that engage students in examining various perspectives on John Brown. (H) https://bit.ly/2E8i3yb
John Brown’s Last Speech, by Voices of a People’s History. Abolitionist John Brown delivered his last speech in a courtroom in Charles Town, West Virginia on November 2, 1859. The speech, given one month before his execution, defended his role in the action at Harpers Ferry. Full text of the speech included here, as well as a film clip of a reading of the speech. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2VebHnE
9 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
For a Better World, website by Fair World Project. Campaign information, resources, and publications related to understanding and teaching fair trade. (TR) http://bit.ly/1Slrigj
10 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.
Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio, by Rigoberto Gonzalez. Antonio knows that words have the power to express feelings such as 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-spattered overalls. Now Antonio must decide whether or how to express his connection to both of the special women in his life. (E) https://bit.ly/2IKw59L
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 offers the opportunity to send an e-card to an incarcerated or detained mama. (E, M, H) www.mamasday.org
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 60th anniversary of “Black Friday” demonstrations against the House Un-American Activities Committee. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) held hearings in San Francisco to investigate alleged “communist subversion.” Black Friday was the second day of hearings by the subcommittee, which had been holding public investigations into Communist infiltration of unions, the film industry, and the teaching profession. College students and teachers disrupted the hearings through peaceful protest and were met with police water hoses and clubs. The event ignited student protests across campuses nationwide.
Lesson Plan: The House Un-American Activities Committee, by EDSITEment! This lesson examines the operations of HUAC in the late 1940s and asks students to address one fundamental question that is still relevant today: What constitutes an “un-American” activity? (H) https://bit.ly/2VcIPfF
14 60th anniversary of San Francisco’s protest against the House Un-American Activities Committee. An estimated 5,000 protesters against the House Un-American Activities Committee gathered at the San Francisco City Hall and were met with a police riot squad and firehoses after two days of protest.
The Hollywood Ten, by Ironweed Films. Who were the Hollywood Ten? This 1950 documentary gives us a closer look at the 10 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
14 Federal Bureau of Prisons is established. The Bureau of Prisons was established by the US Congress. By the end of 1930 it had 14 institutions with 13,000 inmates, up from 11 federal prisons already in operation. The prison industry has only grown since then with about 225,000 people incarcerated in federal prisons alone.
Slavery by Another Name, directed by Sam Pollard. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Douglas A. Blackmon’s Slavery by Another Name, this 90-minute documentary challenges the view that slavery ended with the 13th Amendment in 1865. The PBS site includes video clips and links to other useful resources. (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/zZnn6p
Teaching “The New Jim Crow,” by Teaching Tolerance and Michelle Alexander. This comprehensive teacher’s guide includes links to 10 lessons that accompany Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The guide also includes assessments and supplementary resources. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1tjWsXL
15 50th anniversary of Jackson State College anti-war protest. Two Black students at Jackson State College in Mississippi were killed and 12 people were wounded when police opened fire during student protests against the US invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The violence occurred just 11 days after shootings at Kent State, a predominantly White university, which received extensive media coverage. Most people remained unaware of the tragedy at Jackson State, a historically Black college.
Jackson State: A Tragedy Widely Forgotten, by Whitney Blair Wyckoff, NPR. A 2010 article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the shootings at Jackson State University, which left two dead, one of whom was a high school student, and 12 others wounded. The senseless murder of unarmed students went largely unnoticed, presumably because the victims were Black. (M, H) http://n.pr/bVH1PH
15 International Conscientious Objectors Day. A day to celebrate those who resist war on moral grounds, especially by refusing to participate in military activities.
DMZ: A Guide to Taking Your School Back from the Military, by The War Resisters League. DMZ is a comprehensive organizing manual and toolkit for youth activists and their allies for keeping military recruiters out of schools. (H) https://bit.ly/2qlAetg
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 LGBTQI people.
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) Website. Resources about LGBTQI injustices around the world and ways to contribute to campaigns fighting for LGBTQI justice. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1i0e5IG
Hope in a Box. A nonprofit that designed a primer in LGBT literature for young adults and now donates this set of 50 books to middle and high schools free of charge. They provide curriculum guides for selected texts, and they help purchase copies for the full classroom for teachers looking to include an LGBT book in a lesson plan. (M, H, TR) hopeinabox.org
20 Must-Read LGBTQIA+ Children’s Books, by The Conscious Kid. This list consists of 21 recommended books that can be used across all age groups to provide early and diverse LGBTQIA+ representation. (E) http://bit.ly/2RV7Zl8
17 40th anniversary of the Miami Uprising (Arthur McDuffie Riots). Violence that claimed 18 lives exploded in Miami after an all-White jury acquitted four police officers of fatally beating Black motorist Arthur McDuffie. The Miami Uprising of 1980 was the first major race-based uprising since the late 1960s and highlighted the frustration of a younger generation of African American youth with the strategies of an older generation of Black leadership.
Smoldering Liberty City: Remembering the McDuffie Riots, by Wilson Sayre. Photographs, video, and oral history interviews with three Miamians who witnessed the riots following the acquittal of the police officers who murdered Arthur McDuffie. (H) https://bit.ly/2VfZQW7
17 20th anniversary of the arrest of KKK members for the Birmingham church bombing. Thirty-seven years after their horrendous crime, two former Ku Klux Klansmen were finally charged with murder in the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four Black girls. Outrage over the brutal deaths of these children helped strengthen widespread support for the call to end segregation and intensify pressure for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement, by Carolyn McKinstry and Denise George. When a Klan-planted bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, 14-year-old Carolyn Maull was just a few feet away from the explosion. This gripping eyewitness account is of the bombing, but also of life in the Jim Crow South more broadly. (H) https://bit.ly/2SkFRDV
19 Lorraine Hansberry, playwright, writer, and civil rights activist, born (1930-1965). Lorraine Hansberry, the first Black female author to have a play performed on Broadway, is best known for A Raisin in the Sun, which depicts the lives of Black Americans enduring racial segregation in Chicago. Hansberry was an outspoken advocate for peace and social justice and worked for Paul Robeson at his Pan-Africanist newspaper, Freedom. Her promising career as a playwright was cut short by cancer at the age of 34.
Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, by Imani Perry. A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, Black artists and intellectuals of the 20th century. (H) https://bit.ly/2Ivad5J
Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, by PBS American Masters. This documentary is the first in-depth presentation of Hansberry’s complex life, using her personal papers and archives, including home movies and rare photos, as source material. The film explores the influences that shaped Hansberry’s childhood, future art, and activism. Requires a ‘PBS Passport’ for streaming. (H, TR) https://to.pbs.org/2SlG1vL
22 30th anniversary of the unification of Yemen. Following the implosion of the Soviet Bloc, Northern (conservative) and Southern (Marxist) Yemen became one country after decades of failed attempts to unify. This unification was supposed to signal the start of a more democratic government. However, fighting for political power and influence continues to this day.
Crisis in Yemen, by Oxfam Education. Yemen is entrenched in a bloody conflict which has led to more than 22 million people needing humanitarian assistance. This resource gives an insight into the crisis in Yemen through background notes for the teacher, workshop activities, writing tasks, and a guide for taking action. (H) https://bit.ly/2TccMPw
22 Harvey Milk, gay rights activist, born (1930-1978). The first openly gay elected official in a major US city, Harvey Milk, a popular community leader and gay rights activist, served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was assassinated in 1978, along with the Mayor of San Francisco, by a former colleague on the Board of Supervisors who was angry at having lost his job.
Milk, directed by Gus Van Sant. Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. (H) http://amzn.to/2BswOcy
23 Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). CRIPA gives the Department of Justice the ability to investigate and prosecute civil rights violations against people living in public institutions such as prisons, mental health facilities, nursing homes, or residency programs for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. CRIPA was an important step toward protecting the rights of institutionalized people.
Mental Health Books for Children, Teens, and Their Parents, compiled by the National Alliance on Mental Health. List of books related to mental health issues for children and teens, organized by topic area. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2K80H5n
23 Eid al-fitr begins at sunset on 5/23 (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
Muslim Booklist, by Teaching for Change. Teaching for Change carefully selects the best multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators. This list includes many titles about the Muslim holidays and experience. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2ShV61l
24 30th anniversary of the bombing of Judi Bari’s car. Judi Bari, a feminist, union organizer, and environmental activist, was permanently disabled when a bomb exploded under the seat in her car. She had received death threats from people in the timber industry, but the FBI alleged that Bari had built the bomb herself, charging her with eco-terrorism, despite clear evidence to the contrary. Bari’s estate (she died in 1997) and her passenger in the car sued the FBI and the Oakland Police Department, eventually winning a $4.5 million judgment.
The Feminization of Earth First!, by Judi Bari. Firsthand account by Judi Bari, a feminist, union organizer, and environmental activist, about her experience organizing with men for environmental change, and the role of toxic masculinity, misogyny, and violence in social action work. This essay is part of a tremendous collection of first-person writing by activists, gathered at a site called History Is a Weapon. (H) https://bit.ly/2FRb8wq
24 40th anniversary of the attempt to occupy Seabrook Nuclear Power Station. During the attempted occupation of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts, the friends of an arrested activist held bake sales to raise money for legal costs. This small operation grew to become “Food Not Bombs,” an international organization that works to end hunger, supports actions to stop the globalization of the economy, and advocates for an end to the exploitation and destruction of the earth.
Seabrook 1977: The Seminal Protest of 1970s Environmental Activism, a film directed by Robbie Leppzer and Phyllis Joffe. This 80-minute documentary chronicles the events that made world headlines and sparked the creation of a grassroots anti-nuclear power movement across the United States. Scenes of the nonviolent demonstration and subsequent internment are interwoven with interviews with participants on all sides of the event. (H) https://bit.ly/2TgFtL8
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.
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 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. This 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
25 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 of a strike that took place in Chicago on Memorial Day in 1937 and the brutal police response to it. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2jUKLWX
25 50th anniversary of the May 25 Memorandum Regarding English Language Learners. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued a memorandum that said that schools could not use a student’s mother tongue as a reason to deny access to educational programs. Prior to this, the Office for Civil Rights found that schools were denying access to educational programs and opportunities to students whose first language was not English, particularly Spanish-speaking students.
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
26 20th anniversary of the signing of the Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000. This act helped 45,000 Hmong and ethnic Laotian veterans become US citizens. During the Vietnam War, the US recruited Hmong people to fight against Communist forces. More than 30,000 Hmong soldiers fought alongside US forces, but the death rate for Hmong soldiers was 10 times higher than that of US soldiers. The Vietnam War’s destruction caused many Hmong to become refugees in their own homelands, and many Hmong people left refugee camps in Thailand to relocate to the US.
America’s Secret War, by Minnesota Remembers Vietnam and PBS. In the shadows of the Vietnam War, the CIA conducted a secret war in Laos that relied on Hmong soldiers to prevent Communism from spreading deeper into Southeast Asia. Tens of thousands died, both in the fight and in the escape. This documentary explores the untold, turbulent history. (H) https://bit.ly/2tzVKwj
Hmong and American: From Refugees to Citizens, edited by Vincent Her and Mary Buley-Meissner. Insightful, accessible, and eye-opening essays consider the life journeys of Hmong American individuals, families, and communities as they participate in creating the ethnic and social fabric of the US. (H) https://bit.ly/2E8U3uz
28 190th anniversary of the Indian Removal Act. President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which forced American Indians to move west of the Mississippi. The law required the government to negotiate removal treaties fairly, voluntarily, and peacefully. It did not permit the president or anyone else to coerce Native nations into giving up their land. However, Jackson and his government ignored the letter of the law and forced Native Americans to vacate lands they had lived on for generations.
Andrew Jackson and the “Children of the Forest,” By Bill Bigelow, Zinn Education Project. This lesson supports students in developing critical literacy skills by responding to Andrew Jackson’s speech on “Indian Removal.” (H) http://bit.ly/2ShQWGx
How I Feel as a Native Woman When Trump Idolizes Andrew Jackson, by Adrienne Keene. In this piece, Cherokee Nation citizen, scholar, and writer Adrienne Keene talks about how history, and Donald Trump, have been too kind to Andrew Jackson. (H) https://bit.ly/2GVkvuK
Indian Removal Act, by Lessonplanet.com. This site provides links to hundreds of lesson plans on the Trail of Tears. We have not vetted them, so use with caution. (E, M, H, TR)
Indian Removal, Teaching Activity PDF, by Gayle Olson-Raymer. This downloadable teaching guide provides ideas for Chapter 7 of Voices of a People’s History of the United States on the American policy of “Manifest Destiny” and Native American resistance to their own displacement. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/vXUZzQ
28 Shavuot begins at sunset on 5/28 (Judaism). Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, is the second of three major festivals that have both agricultural and historical significance. It celebrates the time when the first fruits are harvested and brought to the temple and commemorates 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/2RX0IB3
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.
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) https://bit.ly/2JF664T
Haiti: My Country, illustrated by Rogé and written by Haitian teenagers. Stunning portraits of Haitian children, accompanied by poems written by Haitian teenagers before the earthquake of 2010. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2Sgl0ln
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) https://bit.ly/1Bz0sVN; Teacher’s Guide: https://bit.ly/2G0IqKf
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 and police brutality. It also aims to raise awareness about issues surrounding the civil rights of LGBT Americans.
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)
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Curriculum. This resource helps to ensure that LGBT students see themselves reflected in lessons and creates opportunities for all students to gain a more complex and authentic understanding of the world around them. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2RZG9nF
3 120th anniversary of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (IGLWU) was the largest female-led union in the US. The ILGWU was instrumental in achieving labor rights within the clothing industry and was responsible for collectively organizing women and immigrant workers who had been pushed out of the Labor movement. Eventually, off-shore manufacturing and cheaper imports led to a sharp decline in membership. The union was dissolved in 1995 when it merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union.
Where’s Your Shirt From? Second Graders Use Data to Change the World, by Mary Cowhey. This narrative account of an exploration of clothing done by second-graders offers teachers of young children tools to explore labor issues in the garment industry, incorporating geography and math along the way. (E) http://bit.ly/1aMolRW
4 50th anniversary of Tonga’s independence from Great Britain. Although Tonga had never been a colony, the country’s king had agreed to a treaty of friendship with Britain that ran from 1900 to 1970, when Tonga became fully independent. In 2010 the nation, comprising 170 islands, voted to elect its first parliamentary government, ending 165 years of feudal rule. In 2015 it elected its first Prime Minister who was not a member of the royal family.
4 UN Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. Appalled by the large number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression, in 1982 the United Nations General Assembly decided to designate 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 that there is an urgent need to protect the rights of children.
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) https://bit.ly/2JC3zZf
5 70th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Sweatt v. Painter. Heman Marion Sweatt, a Black man, applied for admission to the all-White University of Texas Law School. Sweatt’s application was rejected strictly on the basis of race. When Sweatt asked the state courts to order his admission, the university attempted to provide “separate but equal” facilities by creating Texas State University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University). Supported by the NAACP, Sweatt filed a lawsuit; in 1950 the US Supreme Court ruled in his favor.
Before Brown: Heman Marion Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall, and the Long Road to Justice, by Gary Lavergne. The inspiring story of the Houston mailman whose struggle to attend the University of Texas School of Law provided the precedent for the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that ended segregation in public education. (H) https://bit.ly/2SUloLq
5 80th anniversary of the founding of the American Negro Theatre (ANT). ANT was founded in Harlem to train Black actors and produce works about contemporary Black life. The program was divided into three categories: stage production, training, and a weekly radio program. In its nine years of existence, ANT trained many influential actors, including Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, and Earle Hyman.
Remembering Our American Negro Theatre, by the Schomburg Collection. A 5-minute video that includes the voices of the co-founders and other key people in the American Negro Theatre. (E, M, H) https://on.nypl.org/2EqpFxg
The Theatre of Black Americans: A Collection of Critical Essays, by Errol Hill. From the origins of the Negro spiritual and the birth of the Harlem Renaissance to the emergence of a national Black theatre movement The Theatre of Black Americans offers a penetrating look at a Black art form that has exploded into an American cultural institution. (H) https://amzn.to/2SksrYH
5 60th anniversary of McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents. George McLaurin, a Black man and retired university professor, was admitted to the University of Oklahoma’s graduate school, but only on a segregated basis. He filed suit on the grounds that these conditions denied him the same learning experience as that of his White colleagues. In a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that a public institution of higher learning could not provide differential treatment to students solely on the basis of race.
Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise, by PBS. An educator site that includes lesson plans and activities developed for grades 6-12 on a wide range of cases and other events leading up to the Brown decision. (M, H) https://to.pbs.org/2EpSWYM
5 100th anniversary of the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. The US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau was created to establish guidelines and policies for women in the workplace. The Women’s Bureau has the power to investigate and report on issues related to the welfare of working women. It is the only federal department that represents wage-earning women in the development of public policy. Mary Anderson was the first director of the Women’s Bureau and spent her lifetime actively involved in the Labor Rights movement.
Women’s Bureau Resources Page, by the US Department of Labor. Organized by topics including Equal Pay; Pregnancy and Breastfeeding; Sexual Harassment, Women of Color, Paid Leave; and more, this website is a wealth of infographics, reports, and related materials on women’s rights in the workplace. (H, TR) dol.gov/wb/resources
11 Jeannette Rankin, American politician and women’s rights advocate, born (1880-1973). Jeannette Rankin, a Republican representative from Montana, was the first woman to serve in Congress. A committed pacifist, she was the only member of Congress to vote against US participation in both World War I and World War II. During her time in Congress, Rankin worked tirelessly for legislation to protect working women, mothers, and children.
Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin: Her Voice and Legacy, by Patrick Sprinkle for The National Women’s History Museum. This lesson explores the life and political activism of Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, one of the most overlooked activists in American history. Starting in the Progressive Age, students will also examine her votes during WWI and WWII, and her opposition to the Vietnam War. (H) http://bit.ly/2AgJiFH
12 Sonia Manzano, American actress, screenwriter, author, speaker and singer-songwriter, born (1950). Sonia Manzano is best known for her role as Maria on “Sesame Street.” She also performed in The Vagina Monologues, has written several children’s books, and advocates for children’s literacy and access to books. Manzano is the recipient of many awards, including the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education, the Groundbreaking Latina Lifetime Achievement Award, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award, and 15 Emmy Awards for scriptwriting.
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, by Sonia Manzano. Set in New York’s El Barrio in 1969, this novel focuses on the emergence of the Young Lords, as Evelyn learns important truths about her heritage. (H) http://bit.ly/2SzZTeB; Educator’s Guide here: https://bit.ly/2Gks52g
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/2S2GyWi
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 industrial development of the United States. (M, H) http://1.usa.gov/3qo8vl
16 International Day of the African Child. The International Day of the African Child was established by the Organization of African Unity in 1991 with the aim of raising awareness of the situation of children in Africa and the need for continuing improvement in education. June 16 was chosen in honor of the children of Soweto, South Africa who, on that day in 1976, marched to demand a better education. Many of those children were shot and killed by South African police.
Freedom in Our Lifetime: South Africa’s Struggle, by The Choices Program, Brown University. A full curriculum that explores the dilemma faced by Black South Africans in the early 1960s of how best to battle racial discrimination imposed by the apartheid system. Lessons include Poetry and Politics; The Soweto Uprising Through Primary Sources; Steve Biko and Black Consciousness; and more. (H) https://bit.ly/2IF1iyr
18 Autistic Pride Day. Not to be confused with Autism Awareness Day (April 2), Autism Pride Day recognizes the innate potential of all people, including autistic people. It was originally started by Aspies for Freedom and is now a global event that seeks to empower autistic people. The rainbow infinity symbol represents Autistic Pride Day and signifies “diversity with infinite variations and infinite possibilities.”
I’m Here, by Peter Reynolds and Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC). 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
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/2kI0mNa
Temple Grandin. This movie was shown on HBO as a miniseries. It chronicles the life of Temple Grandin, a woman with autism, who revolutionized livestock handling in the US and has written several books about her life with autism. (M, H)
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.
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, by Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis. Through the eyes of one little girl, this is the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. (E) http://bit.ly/2RWOokf; Curriculum guide here: https://bit.ly/1mZlDK6
Juneteenth for Mazie, by Floyd Cooper. Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history – the day her ancestors were no longer enslaved. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth. (E) https://bit.ly/2Sltd7Q
Juneteenth Jamboree, by Carole Boston Weatherford. Cassandra wonders what makes June 19th so important. It isn’t until Cassandra and her family arrive downtown that she discovers what the commotion is about. It’s Juneteenth, and the town is holding its annual Juneteenth Jamboree. (E) Teacher’s guide by Lee and Low here: https://bit.ly/2tBICqK
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) https://bit.ly/1Uiqrjw
19 50th anniversary of Judith Heumann’s receiving her teaching license. Confined to a wheelchair since childhood, Heumann graduated from Long Island University, but was denied a teaching license because the New York School Board said she would be unable to get her students out of the classroom in an emergency. She sued the Board and won. She went on to become a leading proponent of disability rights, co-founding the World Institute on Disability, and serving in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, as well as the World Bank.
Susan Laughs, by Jeanne Willis. This book features few words and relies on beautiful illustrations to tell readers about Susan, a little girl who does typical childhood things. On the final page of the book, it is revealed that Susan is in a wheelchair. (E) http://bit.ly/2RWOKaz
20 World Refugee Day. For many years several African countries celebrated June 20 as “Refugee Day.” In 2000, as an expression of solidarity with Africa, which hosts the most refugees, the UN declared June 20 “World Refugee Day.”
Books to Help Kids Understand What It’s Like to Be a Refugee, by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. From the author of this annotated book list: “Stories can facilitate dialogue about refugees and promote healthy communication, help to foster empathy and understanding, and even inspire young readers to take action to ensure safe and welcoming environments in their own communities. Here are a few titles that can help.” (E, M) https://bit.ly/2k3Djgv
Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga. A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2DlV6Yu
20 Summer Solstice
21 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.
Daddy, Papa, and Me, by Lesléa Newman. Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with his daddies. (E) https://bit.ly/2qlJkHq
In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, by various poets. The 12 poems in this book deliver an important message to all readers about the powerful bonds between fathers, children, and grandchildren. Exuberance, grace, honor, pain, and humor all have their place in these intergenerational works. The poems reflect the contributions of both new and established African American writers whose outlooks on fatherhood vary widely. (E, M) Teacher’s Guide: https://bit.ly/2meuhNi
23 Wilma Rudolph, teacher, coach, and Olympic athlete, born (1940-1994). Wilma Rudolph barely survived bouts of polio and scarlet fever as a child and was told she would never walk again. Taking this as a challenge, she not only recovered, she became a star athlete in multiple sports. She gravitated toward track and field and soon became an elite runner. In 1960 she won three Olympic gold medals and broke three world records, earning her the title “The Fastest Woman in the World.”
Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman, by Kathleen Krull. Despite being paralyzed by polio as a child, Wilma refused to stay still. Not only did she walk again, she became the first American woman to earn three gold medals in a single Olympiad. (E) http://bit.ly/2SFql6Q
24 40th anniversary of the two-day general strike in El Salvador. Protesting the violence of the US-backed military dictatorship, the citizens of El Salvador began a 2-day general strike that paralyzed 85% of the country’s economy. 80,000 people took to the streets to protest the “death squads” whose repression, torture, and murder of dissidents were ordered by dictators installed and supported by the US government.
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
Journey of the Sparrows, by Fran Leeper Buss. Nailed into a crate in the back of a truck, 15-year-old Maria, her older sister Julia, their little brother Oscar, and a boy named Tomas endure a terrifying and torturous journey across the US border and then north to Chicago. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2EpzTOl
25 60th anniversary of the Broadway closing of A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. The Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier, closed on June 25, 1960, after 530 performances. Hansberry’s inspiration for the play was her parents’ legal battle against housing discrimination in Chicago when she was growing up. Hansberry became the fifth woman and the youngest playwright to win the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. The play was translated into 35 languages and has been produced in theaters worldwide.
Quest for the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun. This lesson explores how the play A Raisin in the Sun mirrors the social, educational, political, and economic climate of the 1950s. It asks how the play illustrates the impact this climate had on African Americans’ quest for “The American Dream.” (H) http://1.usa.gov/IUMB60
25 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War (1950-1953). The Korean War, often called the “Forgotten War” because of the lack of public attention in Western media, was primarily between South Korea’s US-backed capitalist government and North Korea’s Soviet Union-backed communist government. Historian Bruce Cumings also described the Korean War as “a civil war, fought over issues [going] back to Korea’s colonial experience.” The Korean War has not officially ended because of its armistice agreement and the continued division of the Korean peninsula.
The Korean War, a lesson from the Stanford Education History Group. Textbooks from different countries often present different accounts of the same historical events. How do we reconcile such conflicting narratives? In this lesson, students read excerpts from a South Korean textbook and a North Korean textbook to try to determine which country started the Korean War. (H) https://stanford.io/2E2ZaMZ
Korean War: The Untold Story, by AIMS Multimedia. A module that explores America’s military role in the Korean War. It addresses the physical and emotional effects of the war, as well as the events that led to a truce. Important military figures involved in the Korean conflict and major strategic events are also discussed. (H) https://bit.ly/2Vc9N73
26 60th anniversary of Madagascar’s independence from France. The Kingdom of Madagascar had been ruled by nobles until 1897, when France took over the island as part of its colonial empire. After World War II, Madagascans rose up in revolt, demanding independence. Years of bloodshed followed, culminating in the establishment of a constitution in 1959 and the first democratic elections. Independence was achieved the following year.
Online Resources from the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A rich list of links to resources for teaching about Africa for all grade levels. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1oj0DgL
27 Helen Keller, political activist, educator, and author, born (1880-1968). Deaf and blind from an early age, Helen Keller became a strong advocate for the disabled. She graduated cum laude from Radcliffe, the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree. She was a member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, and she was one of the first members of the ACLU. Keller campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, and the rights of the disabled in the US and abroad.
Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit, by Laurie Lawlor. This biography introduces young readers to a side of Keller that they don’t often hear about. It sheds light on her rebellious and mischievous nature and unveils her high-spirited, opinionated nature. (M) http://bit.ly/2AgGJn5
The Truth About Helen Keller, by Ruth Shagoury. This article encourages readers to learn about Keller’s life beyond her teen years. It includes a review of children’s books about Keller that reveals the omission of her active role in key social movements of the 20th century. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/17jr4Ml
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 50th anniversary of the first Gay Pride Parade. The first LGBTQ pride parades took place in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The parades commemorated the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a series of violent demonstrations that occurred after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York. Believing they didn’t really have any power, organizers decided instead to emphasize pride in the gay community, marking the start of a nationwide movement.
This Day in June, by Gayle E. Pitman. This Day in June is an easy-to-read picture book about a Pride parade. Each page features illustrated examples of what one might see at a Pride parade: “banners swaying, children playing, fancy dresses, flowing tresses, all invited, all excited.” The end pages provide detailed descriptions for parents or teachers on the significance of the traditions featured throughout the book. There are also guidelines for talking with young children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways. (E) http://bit.ly/2SyLTlh
29 80th anniversary of the Alien Registration Act. The Alien Registration Act (the Smith Act) made it illegal for anyone in the United States to advocate, abet, or teach the desirability of overthrowing the government. The law also required all alien residents in the United States over 14 years of age to file a comprehensive statement of their personal and occupational status and a record of their political beliefs. This law was intended to target the Communist Party and other left-wing political organizations.
The Smith Act: Alien Registration Act of 1940, by The Jack Miller Center. This includes a summary, commentary, and primary source documents to support teaching about the Smith Act, a law intended to target left-wing political groups and the Communist Party. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2IUYW07
The Alien Registration Act of 1940, a lesson plan by the Bill of Rights Institute. Students read excerpts from the Alien Registration Act (also known as the Smith Act) and consider whether the Act’s prohibition violated the First Amendment. (H) https://bit.ly/2XHZAl1
29 200th anniversary of The Antelope’s landing in Savannah, Georgia. The Antelope, a slave ship illegally commandeered by Spain and holding 280 Africans, was captured by the United States. The import of slaves was prohibited at the time, but because no clear laws were in place to enforce the prohibition, the Africans were subject to seven years of legal battles rather than being freed. The US Supreme Court eventually ruled that the remaining free Africans should be sent to Liberia; 120 died while awaiting the decision.
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, M) https://bit.ly/2TERcDP
30 60th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s independence from Belgium. After two decades of brutal rule by Belgium’s King Leopold II, resulting in the deaths of millions of Congolese, the Belgian government took over the “Belgian Congo.” Although less brutal than Leopold, Belgium continued to exploit the country and did little to educate the population. A nationalist uprising in 1959 eventually led to the rise of the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC), which won the parliamentary elections in 1960. One month later, the Democratic Republic of Congo gained its full independence.
Congo, Coltan, and Cell Phones: A People’s History, by Alison Kysia for Zinn Education Project. In this lesson, students learn about the colonial history of Congo, debate responsibility for crimes against humanity, and investigate the connection, past and present, between the exploitation of natural resources and violence. (H) https://bit.ly/2ECDxDF
1 10th anniversary of the EPA-issued interim Environmental Justice Rulemaking Guide. The environmental justice rulemaking guide was created to ensure EPA rule writers and policy makers consider environmental justice issues during all phases of development of an environmental rule, from development through implementation. This was an interim guide. The final Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of a Regulatory Action was issued in 2017.
Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, edited by Melissa Tuckey. A gathering of poetry at the intersection of culture, social justice, and the environment. (H) https://bit.ly/2HjAKSA
1 60th anniversary of Somalia’s independence. In 1887, Britain proclaimed Somalia a British protectorate, naming it British Somaliland. Italy also staked a claim on the land but relinquished its hold to the UN after World War II. In 1950 the UN declared that Somalia must be granted independence within 10 years. In 1960 the British and former Italian portions of Somalia united in an independent Somali Republic.
The Somali Literacy Project. This website was developed by researchers and community activists in support of the Somali diasporic community. It includes reviews of picture books that feature Somali characters and families, and links to hundreds of research reports and other resources to support educators serving Somali youth and families. (TR) https://bit.ly/2H2H4yv
1 10th anniversary of the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Passed by the New York Legislature, this bill was the first in the country to include domestic workers in all major labor laws that protected other workers’ rights. Several community organizations, including those that serve Nepali and Filipinx communities in New York, worked with the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) to organize efforts to pass this bill.
The First-Ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Was Just Unveiled, and It’s a Game Changer, by Rebecca Stoner for Truthout. Helpful, accessible article about the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, including several links to Truthout’s ongoing coverage of justice issues related to domestic workers. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2EbQLJR
Publications by the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Reports, which are accessible to high school students, published by the National Domestic Workers Alliance on topics including the human trafficking of domestic workers in the United States, the particular challenges facing domestic workers on the Texas-Mexico border, and more. These reports include the voices of domestic workers. (H) https://bit.ly/2VJHeOP
1 30th anniversary of the creation of the Environmental Equity Work Group. Created by EPA Administrator William K. Reilly, the work group was formed in response to issues surrounding the implications that racial minority and low-income populations are exposed to a higher environmental risk burden than the general population.
Editorial Cartoons: Poverty/Environmental Justice, by Teaching Tolerance. Through analysis of a political cartoon, students will understand the impact of inequality on environmental justice. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2NKH5Yw
2 130th anniversary of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Sherman Antitrust Act outlawed monopolies and cartels that were considered a threat to economic competitiveness. With the goal of regulating interstate commerce, the law is a broad and sweeping measure to address the use of trusts as a tool for placing the control of key industries in the hands of a limited number of individuals in a deliberate attempt to dominate the marketplace. The law primarily targeted big corporations operating in multiple states.
A Question of Trust, by the Foundation for Teaching Economics. This three-part activity series simulates three stages in 19th century US economic history and three different efforts by business to escape the constraints of competition. (H) https://bit.ly/2EDbV1e
3 60th anniversary of Public Law 600. This US law granted Puerto Ricans the right to create a constitution and establish a republican form of government. For some Puerto Ricans the intention was to approve commonwealth status as a step toward independence. The commonwealth status was established in 1952 and continues to this day, placing Puerto Rico politically somewhere between independence and statehood.
The Puerto Rico Syllabus Project, by Y. Bonilla, M. LeBron, S. Molinari, I. Tamargo, and S. Castro. This syllabus provides a list of resources for teaching and learning about the roots of the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico. Each topic has a few key texts along with some primary documents and multimedia and suggestions for further reading. (H, TR) https://puertoricosyllabus.com/
Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico, by Teaching for Change. Curriculum that introduces students to the history, geography, identity, government, economy, environment, and culture of Puerto Rico through essays, poetry, and fiction. In light of the current crisis on the island after Hurricane Maria, TFC placed the book online for free download by classroom teachers. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2GleszW
3 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author and feminist, born (1860-1935). Gilman was a leading feminist intellectual, sociologist and author who advocated for communal childcare and kitchens to replace private housekeeping. Although best known for her fiction, particularly the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” scholars consider her nonfiction works, especially Women and Economics, as instrumental in cementing her place as a sociologist, philosopher, ethicist, and social critic. In 1915 Gilman co-founded the Women’s Peace Party.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” – Writing Women, by EDSITEment! An integrated social studies and English Language Arts series of two lessons that invite students to explore the rapidly changing roles of American women in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and to analyze how the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” represents Gilman’s definitions of feminism. (H) https://bit.ly/2gmGsI0
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
3 30th anniversary of the end of the Silver Spring Monkey case. Between October 1981 and July 1990, Alex Pacheco and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaigned to protect 17 wild-born macaque monkeys being kept in the Institute of Behavioral Research. The monkeys were routinely used for experiments that caused them mental and physical harm. Although PETA ultimately lost their fight to gain custody of the monkeys, the case resulted in arrests for animal cruelty and launched decades of animal rights activism.
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 in which children can improve the life of an animal or 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
4 110th anniversary of Jack Johnson’s defeating James J. Jeffries in “The Battle of the Century.” In a boxing stadium that was constructed specifically for this fight, African American boxer Jack Johnson defeated White boxer James J. Jeffries and became the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World. In the days following Johnson’s win, race riots and attacks took place in multiple cities throughout the US, leading Johnson to eventually resign as champion. One newspaper credited Jeffries’ “lack of skill,” rather than Johnson’s talent, as the reason for Jeffries’ defeat.
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, directed by Ken Burns. This award-winning documentary follows Jack Johnson’s journey from his beginnings as the son of former enslaved people, to his entry into the brutal world of professional boxing where he became the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World. PBS website includes a teacher’s section with lesson plans and resources. (H) http://to.pbs.org/2D4EodM and https://to.pbs.org/2SzEJgN
4 US 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
9 50th anniversary of reorganization plan leading to the establishment of the EPA. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established to consolidate in one agency a wide range of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure a clean, livable environment. The agency was proposed in July 1970 and went into effect in December 1970. The Trump administration has worked tirelessly to dismantle many of the protections the EPA has enforced over the past 50 years.
Rising Seas: Flooding, Climate Change, and Our New World, by Keltie Thomas. This book gives an eye-popping view of what the Earth might look like under the rising and falling water levels of climate change. Photographs juxtapose the present-day with that same area’s projected future. The shocking images will help students understand the urgency for action. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2TvmWLw
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) https://bit.ly/2TnjL9o
11 60th anniversary of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, was released at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Lee used fiction to express her deep, complicated love for the South and to put a personal spin on tense racial issues. Translated into 40 different languages, an estimated 40 million copies of To Kill a Mockingbird have been sold since its release.
#DisruptTexts, by Tricia Ebarvia, Lorena German, Kim Parker, and Julia Torres. Disrupt Texts is a crowdsourced, grassroots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum that our students deserve. Its mission is to aid and develop teachers committed to anti-racist/anti-biased teaching pedagogy and practices. The website includes ideas and resources for pairing books in the “traditional canon” with texts that challenge the centrality of Whiteness. (H, TR) disrupttexts.org
14 50th anniversary of the Young Lords’ occupation of Lincoln Hospital. Lincoln Hospital, built as a segregated hospital for People of Color, was known for its unsanitary and dangerous conditions. On July 14, 1970, the Young Lords, a group of Puerto Rican activists, occupied the hospital for 24 hours. Although healthcare disparities continue to this day, the Young Lords worked with hospital employees to fight for humane conditions for workers and patients, and eventually won construction of a new Lincoln Medical Center, completed in 1976.
Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, by Iris Morales. This documentary features interviews with former members of the Young Lords, along with footage from their organizing activities. The website provides information about the Young Lords and links for further resources. (H) http://palante.org/
14 150th anniversary of the Naturalization Act of 1870. The Naturalization Act of 1870 opened US citizenship to White immigrants and African Americans, while excluding Native Americans and Asian immigrants. Although a boon for Black Americans, who could finally claim US citizenship, it continued the anti-Asian sentiment that had characterized US immigration policy. Those policies would be further solidified in 1882 with the Chinese Exclusion Act.
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 she provides useful historical background information. (E) https://bit.ly/2qne0rv
20 210th anniversary of Colombia’s independence from Spain. In 1808 Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain, imprisoned the king, and installed his brother as king. In 1810, the people of Colombia, angered by these developments, began protesting in Bogotá. Under pressure, the Spanish Viceroy agreed to allow Colombia to become independent. It wasn’t quite that simple, though. A fierce battle in 1819, in which local forces led by Simon Bolivar defeated the Spanish forces, finally led to full independence in the country now known as Colombia.
Voices Sin Fronteras: Our Stories, Our Truth, by the Latino Youth Leadership Council of LYAC. During a time of heated immigration debate and unrest, this book offers an opportunity to hear directly from youth who are often in the headlines but whose stories don’t get told in full. Sixteen young people from Washington, DC came together to tell their own stories of immigration and transformation in comics form. The result is this side-by-side bilingual collection of graphic memoirs that not only builds connections across languages, but also breaks down barriers and expands hope. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2DVq0YM
23 130th anniversary of F.M.B “Marsh” Cook’s murder. In Jasper County, Mississippi, six men murdered “Marsh” Cook, a White Republican, for his opposition to the Mississippi Constitutional Convention and the likelihood that it would disenfranchise Black voters. The day after Cook gave a speech denouncing discrimination and encouraging Black people to organize for voting rights, Cook’s buckshot-riddled body was found. No one was ever arrested or charged for his murder.
Mississippi: Subversion of the Right to Vote, by SNCC. A booklet published by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee documenting efforts at voter suppression in Mississippi, including its 1890 constitution. (H) Primary source document here: https://bit.ly/2tRhBiT
24 40th anniversary of the Global 2000 Report. In the context of growing environmental activism and sustainable energy concerns, President Carter commissioned this study, which used scientific data to study a 20-year projection of issues related to environmental impact. Along with a previous report, “Limits to Growth,” this report stimulated discussions on global warming, species extinction, and overpopulation as they relate to diminished natural resources.
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
24 Bella Abzug, American politician, lawyer, women’s rights activist, born (1920-1998). Bella Abzug was an American feminist, civil rights advocate, and politician who served as a Democratic congresswoman from New York between 1971 and 1977. Known for her outspokenness and her refusal to be marginalized in the male-dominated Congress, Abzug became a leading voice in the Women’s Liberation movement, inspiring an entire generation of women to enter politics or public service.
Bella Abzug, by The Jewish Women’s Association. A collection of oral interviews, speeches, and more on Bella Abzug, the women’s rights activist who became a leading voice in the Women’s Liberation movement. Find more primary source documents on the accomplishments of 16 trailblazing Jewish women in this collection. (H) https://jwa.org/womenofvalor
26 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the civil rights of disabled people by prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment, public services, public accommodation, transportation, and telecommunications. The ADA is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, and brought together hundreds of organizations, federal and state agencies, and legislators in developing it.
Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. A groundbreaking anthology of disability poetry, essays on disability, and writings on the poetics of both. (H) https://bit.ly/2pFmGcG
Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children with Disabilities: A Dance That Matters, by Janice Fialka. Written from both the parent’s and the professional’s points of view, this book draws upon the metaphor of dance to highlight the essential partnership between teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents of children with disabilities. (TR) https://bit.ly/2SOrxDU
Inclusion on the Bookshelf, by Camille Jackson for Teaching Tolerance. An article about the importance of using children’s books that include characters with disabilities. Includes a list of recommended books. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2wNUxpo
29 50th anniversary of the first United Farm Workers’ union contract. The United Farm Workers in California signed its first collective bargaining agreement, affecting more than 10,000 farmworkers. Led primarily by two Mexican American labor organizers and civil rights advocates, César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, farmworkers in Delano’s grape fields led nonviolent direct actions (boycotts, marches, strikes) against unsafe and unfair working conditions. The contract signed on July 29th marked a significant victory for migrant labor organizers.
Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories, by S. Beth Atkins. Now in paperback, this critically acclaimed book features photographs, poems, and interviews with nine children who reveal the hardships and hopes of today’s Mexican American migrant farmworkers and their families. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2TkzA0C
Migrant Farmworker Families: Books for Kids, by Colorin Colorado. The selected books offer a rich opportunity to discuss the experiences of children who have worked as young laborers, as well as a lens through which children of migrant families can see their struggles and triumphs reflected. Also includes links to other classroom resources to support teaching about farmworkers. (E, TR) https://bit.ly/2NMXfR5
30 40th anniversary of Vanuatu’s independence from France and Britain. The Islands of Vanuatu were inhabited as early as 500 BC. In the early 17th century, European sailors began arriving, and in the late 18th century, took it upon themselves to rename the islands New Hebrides. By the early 20th century, the French and British established separate administrations on the islands. Finally, in 1974, the British and French agreed to hold elections, paving the way for independence, which was ultimately achieved in 1980.