2020-2021 Chronological Resources
1 80th anniversary of Benin independence. Dahomey became a French protectorate in 1892 and was absorbed into French West Africa in 1904. In 1948, Dahomey was granted two senators in the French parliament, and an elected Territorial Assembly with some control over the budget by the French constitution. Finally, in 1958, Dahomey became a self-governing entity, and on August 1, 1960, it gained complete independence from French rule. The country was renamed Benin in 1975.
African Voices, an online exhibition of the Smithsonian Institution that examines the diversity and global influence of Africa’s peoples and cultures. Featuring contemporary interviews, literature, prayers, folk tales, and oral epics, the exhibit also includes a section on independence from colonialism. (M, H) https://s.si.edu/2U0fQvp
1 100th anniversary of Marcus Garvey’s First International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World. Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association held its first international convention, the First International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World, in Liberty Hall, New York. Approximately 2,000 delegates from 22 countries were present. Though controversial in many ways, Marcus Garvey’s life, work, and ideas were influential in the formation of other movements such as the Nation of Islam and the Black Power Movement.
Marcus Garvey Lesson Plan, by Stanford History Education Group. Lesson plan on the central historical question: why was Marcus Garvey a controversial figure? Includes links to videos and relevant primary documents. (H) http://stanford.io/2kzWag1
2 120th anniversary of North Carolina law rescinding post-Reconstruction Black suffrage. In 1900, voters in North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment requiring literacy tests and poll taxes as part of voter registration. Both were intended to limit Black suffrage, while poor and illiterate White voters were protected by a “grandfather clause” that allowed men with relatives who voted prior to January 1, 1867 – before Black suffrage was instituted – to vote. By 1904, there were no Black voters registered in North Carolina.
Race and Voting in the Segregated South, by The Constitutional Rights Foundation. This site offers the history of race and voting in the segregated South through the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and describes how “grandfather clauses” disenfranchised Black voters. Ideas for discussion, writing, further reading, and classroom activities are also offered. (H) http://bit.ly/18kxLwd
3 60th anniversary of Niger’s independence from France. Niger, a landlocked state in the Sahel, became a French colony in 1922. Under colonial rule, the people of Niger held limited French citizenship, though all the power was vested in distant colonial governors. In a 1958 referendum the people voted overwhelmingly to cut French ties and become an independent state. The French agreed that Niger’s independence would take effect on August 3, 1960. Seventeen African nations gained independence from colonial powers that year.
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
3 10th anniversary of the Federal Fair Sentencing Act. The Fair Sentencing Act reduced the disparity between the amount of crack cocaine and powder cocaine needed to trigger certain federal drug sentencing guidelines from a 100:1 to 18:1 weight ratio. The law also eliminated the 5-year mandatory sentence for possession of crack. The disparity had disproportionately affected African Americans. Activists continue to call for a 1:1 weight ratio.
The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic. “American politicians are now eager to disown a failed criminal justice system that’s left the US with the largest incarcerated population in the world. But they’ve failed to reckon with history. Fifty years after Moynihan’s report, The Negro Family, tragically helped create the system, it’s time to reclaim its original intent.” (H, TR) http://theatln.tc/1LP0eVD
4 Robert Purvis, writer, orator, and anti-slavery activist, born (1810-1898). Purvis was a free Black man who helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Library Company of Colored People in Philadelphia. He became active in the Underground Railroad, and his home became known as the “Purvis Safehouse.” He also took up the cause of Black suffrage, writing the “Appeal of Forty Thousand Citizens Threatened with Disfranchisement” in 1838. His other political efforts focused on women’s rights, prison reform, and prohibition.
‘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
5 40th anniversary of the founding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). On May 3, 1980, Cari Lightner was killed in a drunk driving accident. Four days later, her mother, Candy Lightner, began mobilizing a grassroots effort to prevent drunk driving, turning to her fellow mothers to help fight for stronger laws against drunk driving. Ultimately these efforts led to the founding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
STOP-DWI Videos and PSAs, by STOP DWI New York. A collection of public service announcements, TV and radio spots, and films related to the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. (H) https://bit.ly/2KebVrL
Materials for Educators, by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. Free, downloadable tools for educators, school counselors, school nurses, and others for guiding conversations around alcohol responsibility. (H) https://bit.ly/2RxZtXR
5 60th anniversary of Burkina Faso’s Independence from France. The region was originally ruled by the Mossi Empire. In 1901 France captured the capital and then took the whole area. After WWII the independence movement helped secure more self-rule until 1960 when France granted complete independence.
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
6 William John Little, doctor and medical researcher, born (1810-1894). Dr. William John Little was the first person to define Cerebral Palsy as a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation at birth. Little’s work on Cerebral Palsy culminated in 1861 when he showed that “abnormal forms of labor,” in which the “child has been partially suffocated,” injures the nervous system and results in spastic rigidity and sometimes paralytic contraction. Little’s 1861 paper also discussed the value of treatment and early intervention.
My Friend Suhana, by Shaila and Aanyah Abdullah. Award-winning author and designer Shaila Abdullah teams up with her 10-year-old daughter Aanyah Abdullah to bring you this heartwarming tale of a little girl who forms a close bond with a child with cerebral palsy. The girl finds that through her art, she can reach her special friend. (E) https://bit.ly/2JYNjmD
7 Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, labor activist and feminist, born (1890-1964). Flynn was an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Communist Party. As a feminist, Flynn supported birth control, women’s suffrage and equal pay for women. She criticized the leadership of trade unions for being male dominated.
Bread and Roses, Too, by Katherine Paterson. With two teenagers as the protagonists of this historical fiction novel, Paterson introduces the reader to the Industrial Workers of the World, major figures such as Big Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, worker solidarity, the role of labor songs, and the various tactics used by the company to undermine the striking workers. (M, H) http://bit.ly/Lhb8PS
7 30th anniversary of US Marine Corporal Jeff Paterson’s refusal to deploy to Desert Storm. Paterson became the first active-duty military resister in the 1991 Gulf War. Having read of US military activities in Central and South America, and seeing firsthand the responses of people in Okinawa, Japan to US occupation there, Paterson said, “I will not be a pawn in America’s power plays for profit and oil in the Middle East.” Public support for Paterson finally led the Marines to discharge him without trial.
Veterans for Peace: Exposing the True Costs of War and Militarism Since 1985. Veterans share their personal stories of why they became Veterans for Peace as a way to educate others on the realities of war. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2eaIYfB
7 90th anniversary of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith. Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith were lynched in Marion, Indiana after a White mob abducted them from the Grant County Courthouse, beat and hanged them with the cooperation of the police. A photographer took a photo of their bodies hanging from a tree, which became an iconic photograph of lynching and inspired the song “Strange Fruit,” made famous by Billie Holiday.
Strange Fruit, by Joel Katz. This documentary explores the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic song “Strange Fruit.” The film examines lynching, the interplay of race, labor and the Left, and popular culture as forces that gave rise to the Civil Rights movement. Site includes a protest music overview and a resource page (“Learn More”) with websites, books, articles, and lesson plans on protest music. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/dm2psW
9 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. In 2010, the United Nations declared August 9 as the day in which Indigenous Peoples would be honored. The annual commemoration is intended to raise awareness of the 370 million people worldwide whose traditions, cultures, and identities have been exploited and violated for centuries.
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 340th anniversary of the Pueblo Revolt. Pueblo Indians (Taos, Picuris, and Tewa) from more than two dozen pueblos in what is now New Mexico simultaneously attacked the Spanish colonists. This revolt is considered the single most successful act of resistance by Native Americans. Even after the Spanish reimposed their authority in 1692, they were forced to respect some Native religious traditions, which enabled the Pueblo to retain much of their native culture.
Archives of the West to 1806, PBS. Part of the PBS program, The West. An account of the Pueblo Revolt, by Don Antonio de Otermin, governor and captain-general of New Mexico (1680). (M, H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/qOY0PG
10 40th anniversary of Shirley Chisholm’s speech on the Equal Rights Amendment. Shirley Chisholm was an outspoken advocate of women’s and civil rights. In 1968 she became the first African American woman elected to Congress. On this day she delivered a speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives urging support for the Equal Rights Amendment.
Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb, by Veronica Chambers. This picture book biography about Shirley Chisholm illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation’s democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Aimed at elementary students, this book will teach them about her childhood, her time in Congress, her presidential bid, and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct. (E) http://bit.ly/37w4WEr
Chisolm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, a POV documentary. This site includes lesson plans and resources for using Chisholm ’72. Also provides access to a lending library where teachers can borrow the video for free. The film is available on Amazon Prime and is streaming for less than $4 from a variety of sites, including YouTube. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2RW7q8z
11 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
11 40th anniversary of the Democratic Party’s stance against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Although LGBTQI Americans had generally supported Democratic candidates for decades, it wasn’t until the 1980 Democratic National Convention, which ran from August 11 to 13, that the Democrats officially incorporated in their platform a plank calling for the end of discrimination based on sexual orientation. These days, that support by the party is considered automatic, but it required a lot of behind the scenes dealing to accomplish it for the first time.
Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality, by Rethinking Schools. A collection of inspiring stories about how to integrate feminist and LGBTQ content into the curriculum, make it part of a vision for social justice, and create classrooms and schools that nurture all children and their families. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1U8zsdF
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
13 60th anniversary of Central African Republic’s (CAR) independence from France. CAR had been a French colony since 1894. As many other French colonies in Africa around 1958, CAR was granted self-rule under Barthelemy Boganda. In 1959, Boganda died and the Central African Republic was granted independence. Boganda’s nephew, David Dacko, was elected president.
14 40th anniversary of Love Canal residents picketing the Democratic National Convention. Love Canal, a housing development in New York, was built on a toxic waste site and the nearby canal was used to dump tens of thousands of toxic chemicals. Residents suffered serious health effects and were outraged by the lack of government action to relocate their families. Picketing the DNC was part of a years-long mass mobilization around the Love Canal disaster. Eventually, the residents were relocated, and a multimillion-dollar settlement was reached with the polluters.
Love Canal Collection, by State University of New York at Buffalo Collection. This part of the New York Heritage Digital Collections presents a webquest that takes students on a journey of researching the Love Canal disaster. (TR) http://bit.ly/2zmADxW
14 350th anniversary of the arrest of William Penn and William Mead. Penn and Mead were preaching outside a padlocked Quaker meeting house in London when arrested on charges of “disturbing the King’s peace.” The jury acquitted them on the trumped-up charges, but the judge disagreed and locked up all 12 men of the jury. The resulting trial, known as Bushel’s (or Bushell’s) Case, established that juries were to be free of coercion from any source.
Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice. Adapted for Young Adults, by Bryan Stevenson. In this book, acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice. (H) https://bit.ly/3a5H6Qf
16 60th anniversary of Cyprus’s independence from Britain. In 1878, Britain gained control of Cyprus, and annexed the island during WWI. In 1925, it became a British Crown colony. Greek Cypriots campaigned for union with Greece, a movement led by Archbishop Makarios. In 1960, the UK negotiated an independence agreement with Greece and Turkey, under which the three powers guaranteed to protect the integrity of Cyprus, which became independent as the Republic of Cyprus. Independence Day is celebrated on October 1.
17 60th anniversary of Gabon’s Independence from France. Gabon was named by Portuguese explorers who landed in the region in the late 15th century. Gabon was a major center of the slave trade. It became a French colony before gaining its independence, along with the other French Equatorial territories, in 1960.
18 30th anniversary of the Ryan White CARE Act. The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, was named for an Indiana teenager with hemophilia, who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion. He died at age 18, a few months before the CARE act was passed. CARE is the largest federally funded program in the US for people living with HIV/AIDS and was created to improve availability of care for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people with AIDS and their families.
The Science of HIV/AIDS: The Virus, the Epidemic, and the World, by BioEd Online. A series of lessons in which students investigate HIV/AIDS and discover how diseases spread. They also learn the structure, function, and replication cycle of HIV virus particles, and act as epidemiologists while using real data to track the spread of HIV/AIDS around the world. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2VqX427
18 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution allows all US citizens the right to vote, regardless of sex. The struggle for women’s suffrage lasted nearly a century and created rifts between civil rights and women’s rights activists. Some suffragists opposed the 15th Amendment, which gave Black men the right to vote, arguing that Black men shouldn’t obtain suffrage before White women. Interestingly, several of the colonies prior to Independence allowed women to vote, but by 1807 every state had rescinded those rights.
Women’s Suffrage, by Teaching Tolerance. Students will explore, using primary and secondary documents, how over a period of 75 years a movement of American women used nonviolent measures to persuade both federal and state governments to allow women to vote. In 1920, the 19th amendment to the Constitution was passed, securing women’s right to vote. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2IOoO9c
20 Muharram begins at sunset 8/20 (Islam). Muharram is the beginning of the first lunar month of the Islamic calendar. It is often considered the second holiest month, after Ramadan.
My Name is Bilal, by Asma Mobin-Uddin. In this book, Bilal feels the need to hide his Muslim religion for fear he will be teased by other students. (E) 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
21 50th anniversary of Huey P. Newton’s publicly supporting gay and women’s rights. In a major departure, Newton, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, outlined the Party’s position on two emerging movements at the time: the women’s liberation and the gay liberation movements. It was the first time a major figure in any Black rights organization openly expressed support for these groups. He called for complete inclusion of women and homosexuals and suggested that it was the Black radicals’ own insecurities that were the problem.
The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements. Text of speech in which Newton stresses the need for solidarity among oppressed groups. (M, H) http://bit.ly/GTLFg
Teaching at the Intersections: Honor and Teach About Your Students’ Multiple Identities, by Monita K. Bell for Teaching Tolerance. This article provides definitions and examples of intersectionality and videos and lesson plans for teaching about intersectionality. It also provides links to how to apply an intersectional lens to student data and school policies, as well as a teaching toolkit. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2Rv2ZCz
22 20th anniversary of McDonald’s letter regarding inhumane treatment of hens. After two years of pressure from animal activist groups, including PETA, McDonald’s Corporation sent a letter to the farmers supplying their eggs, demanding more space for hens, banning certain inhumane practices, and phasing out “de-beaking.”
Chew on This. This book, accompanied by a teacher’s guide, gives a behind the scenes perspective on the fast-food industry and how fast-food companies feed off families and young adults. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2VDfNI5
23 120th anniversary of Booker T. Washington’s National Negro Business League (NNBL). Believing that the solutions to racial discrimination were primarily economic and that African American entrepreneurship was key, Washington founded the NNBL to further the economic development of Black businesses and achieve social equality in American society. The League, which pre-dated the US Chamber of Commerce by 12 years, established chapters in hundreds of cities across the US and included small business owners, farmers, doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, and other professionals.
Database of Lesson Kickstarters, by EntreEd: The National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. Fostering innovation and encouraging a culture of self-startership, EntreEd provides resources for teachers, students, and communities to launch an exploration of entrepreneurship education. This link takes you to lessons and activities for all grade levels and in all content areas, related to entrepreneurship and advancing self-determination. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/2VoDGCZ
23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition. In 1791, enslaved African people 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
25 140th anniversary of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). The first meeting of NAD brought together deaf people from 21 states. From its inception the organization defended the use of American Sign Language and the right of deaf people to become teachers of deaf students. It’s the oldest national disability rights organization in the US that is still active today.
National Association of the Deaf website. This is the official website of NAD. It was designed by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to provide information about deaf-related civil rights legislation. (TR) www.nad.org
25 70th anniversary of President Truman’s ordering military seizure of railroads. Two major unions, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the Order of Railway Conductors, planned a strike, which would have shut down the country’s railroad system. Having just sent troops to North Korea, President Truman issued an executive order putting all railroads under the control of the US Army. With the railways under US Army control, the workers and management continued to work. The “strike” lasted 21 months until a settlement was reached in 1952.
History of Railroad Unions in the U.S. Comprehensive collection of documents, videos, and links about the history of railroad unions in the United States. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1vuka6C
26 Women’s Equality Day. Established in 1971, the date commemorates the day the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution went into effect in 1920, giving US women full voting rights.
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
27 60th anniversary of the “Axe Handle Saturday” attack on NAACP Youth Council sit-in. Sit-ins became a popular technique among youth activists to protest segregation in 1960. A peaceful NAACP youth council sit-in at Woolworth’s was met with more than 200 White people armed with baseball bats and axe handles. When met with non-resistance, the White mob escalated from spitting and racial slurs to physical violence. White police officers joined mob violence, arrested sit-in demonstrators, or did nothing, and local newspapers were not permitted to cover the events.
Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism – from Ferguson to Charleston, by Citizenship for Social Justice. A list created by White people for White people, to engage White Americans in taking responsibility for helping one another to understand privilege and leverage their position to fight alongside those at the forefront of racial justice struggles. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1Hm3Wyk
28 100th anniversary of James Weldon Johnson’s exposé of the American occupation of Haiti in The Nation and the NAACP’s The Crisis. US marines occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. By 1919, a group of about 1,000 Haitian guerilla fighters resisted and were met with a counterinsurgency campaign that razed villages, killed thousands of Haitians, and destroyed the livelihoods of even more. The NAACP opposed the US occupation of Haiti and sent a delegation to investigate conditions there. Weldon’s article exposed the blatant racism and imperialism of US policy
Teaching About Haiti, by Teaching for Change. This page provides resources, lessons, and a link to an extensive booklist with insights into Haiti’s strong history of resistance. It serves as a critical tool in helping students gain an understanding of current issues. (M, H) http://bit.ly/5ONMaQ
29 Charlie Parker, saxophonist, songwriter, born (1920-1955). Charlie Parker was arguably the greatest saxophonist of all time. “Bird,” along with his contemporaries Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell, is considered the founder of “Bebop.” He was a man described as brilliant, seminal, an innovative musician who helped change the shape of jazz as the world knew it. His soaring, intricate improvisations continue to influence musicians today. Unfortunately, alcoholism and heroin addiction led to Parker’s death at just 34 years old.
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, by Chris Raschka. The beloved best-seller by award-winning illustrator Chris Raschka, author and illustrator of YO! YES?, is now in board book format for young children. (E) http://bit.ly/37WDCiO
29 90th anniversary of the first Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) National Convention. The JACL was founded in 1929 and is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the US. The first national convention was held in Seattle, Washington in 1930. By 1945, JACL was operating offices in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. JACL was engaged in cross-racial and ethnic organizing, some of which included joining the March on Washington in 1963 and supporting the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
Asian Americans in the Civil Rights Movement, by Noreen Naseem Rodriguez. This instructional unit about Asian Americans in the Civil Rights Movement is designed for 1st through 8th grades. It integrates social studies content with language arts skills such as reading for comprehension, summarizing, comparing and contrasting, and drawing conclusions. Additional resources are provided to supplement the existing lessons for students/teachers interested in further research. (E, M) bit.ly/34CEet1
29 50th anniversary of the National Chicano Moratorium March. Organized by Chicanx youth, about 25,000 Chicanx community activists gathered in East Los Angeles to protest the Vietnam War, specifically the disproportionate number of poor and working class Latinx killed in the war. Police responded to the peaceful gathering by firing tear gas canisters into the crowd, killing three people, including renowned journalist Ruben Salazar. The Chicanx community continued to organize against war, inequality, and police brutality.
The Chicano Moratorium. This KCET documentary tells the story of young activists who became the voice for the Chicano movement. This site has several videos documenting this antiwar movement, but also about La Raza publications in general. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2SrO9fv
29 50th anniversary of the occupation of Mount Rushmore. The Black Hills of South Dakota were taken from the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation) after gold was discovered there in the 1870s. On August 29, 1970, members of the United Native Americans, who were supported by the American Indian Movement, occupied Mount Rushmore to reclaim the land that had been promised to the Sioux in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, but was soon taken to accommodate White settlement.
1970-1971: Native Occupation of Mount Rushmore, by TeachRock. This website shares the history of how the American Indian Movement re-occupied Mount Rushmore and Alcatraz Island. Includes archival photos and quotes from protestors. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2vS9xTv
30 220th anniversary of Gabriel Prosser’s planned slave insurrection in Virginia. Gabriel, a 24-year-old enslaved blacksmith, and fellow slaves planned to seize control of Richmond by slaying most of the White slaveholders. The plan was betrayed by other enslaved people, and Gabriel and his co-conspirators were caught and hanged. In reaction, Virginia tightened the restrictions on free Blacks and enslaved people.
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
1 10th anniversary of the publication of Eating Animals. Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits – folklore and pop culture, family traditions and national myth, apparent facts and inherent fictions – and how such tales can lull us into a brutal disregard for animals. With a focus on the meat industry, the book also explores the way cows and chickens are treated in the production of our meat and eggs.
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. Eating Animals explores the many stories we use to justify our eating habits – folklore and pop culture, family traditions and national myth, apparent facts and inherent fictions – and how such tales can lull us into a brutal disregard of the facts. With a focus on the meat industry, the book also explores the ways cows and chickens are treated for the production of our milk and eggs. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/32Rc0a; Lesson Plan ideas at http://bit.ly/2vjv737
3 Eduardo Galeano, author and journalist, born (1940-2015). Uruguay-born author Eduardo Galeano has been called the “poet laureate of the Anti-Globalization movement.” He is best known for writing The Open Veins of Latin America, which chronicles the history of European and US exploitation of Latin America’s natural resources. The book was banned by right-wing military governments in Latin America, though it is widely taught in universities across the globe.
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano (translated by Cedric Belfrage, with Foreword by Isabel Allende). This book analyzes the history of Latin America from the European “discovery” of the New World to contemporary times, arguing against European, and later US, economic exploitation and political dominance over the region. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2KbeB9j
5 60th anniversary of Cassius Clay’s (Muhammad Ali) Olympic Gold Medal in boxing. In 1960, despite being only 18 years old, Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) easily won all four of his fights at the Olympic Games in Rome. The photograph of him standing on the podium as light heavyweight champion came to symbolize a shift in an entire social, political, and sporting landscape. Ali went on to beat 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and won 14 unified title bouts in a record that stood unsurpassed for 35 years.
What’s My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the United States, by Dave Zirin. This book examines US history with a focus on racism, sexism, and homophobia in sports, along with the profound connection between sports and patriotic nationalism. Chapter 3 focuses on Muhammad Ali, his critical consciousness and activist spirit. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2yh4xZB
Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born, by Gene Barretta. In this picture book biography of Muhammad Ali, author Gene Barretta and illustrator Frank Morrison tell the unforgettable childhood story of this legendary boxing champion and how one pivotal moment set him on his path to become the Greatest of All Time. (E) https://bit.ly/3d3L7a7
6 150th anniversary of the first woman voter in the US. On Dec. 10, 1869, the Wyoming territory became the first in the nation to guarantee women unconditional suffrage, including the right to vote, hold public office, and serve on a jury – 50 years before the 19th Amendment allowed the same rights throughout the US. Louisa Swain cast her ballot in Laramie, becoming the first woman in the world to cast a ballot under full civic equality with men.
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
6 140th anniversary of deaf education conference that nearly destroyed sign language. During the International Congress of Educators of the Deaf in Milan, members adopted a resolution that oralism was the only acceptable method of deaf education. As a result, many deaf teachers were fired, and ASL was driven underground until the 1960s. The US and Britain were the only delegations to oppose the resolution, and only one of the 164 participants was deaf.
The Preservation of Sign Language, by George W. Veditz. This two-minute film, produced in 1913, features George W. Veditz, onetime president of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), demonstrating in sign language the importance of defending the right of deaf people to their language. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/QTR1IS; Film transcript: http://bit.ly/2dCbCqg
6 10th anniversary of ban on Pulitzer Prize-winning book Slavery by Another Name. Kilby Correctional Center found the book Slavery by Another Name, a history of convict-leasing in the US, “too provocative.” Mark Melvin was denied a copy of the book, sent by his lawyers at the Equal Justice Initiative. He appealed the ban, and prison officials argued the book could incite “violence based on race, religion, sex, creed, or nationality, or disobedience toward law enforcement officials or correctional staff.” The ban was later overturned through civil rights litigation.
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
6 Jane Addams, activist and reformer, born (1860-1935). Jane Addams was one of the most prominent activists, feminists, and reformers of the 19th century. Recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States, Addams co-founded Hull House, providing services for immigrants and impoverished Chicago residents. Addams also was a pacifist and served as the president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom from 1919-1929. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
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
7 Labor Day. Labor Day honors the social and economic achievements of American workers and pays tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and wellbeing of the country.
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
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 110th anniversary of State v. Strasburg. The decision of the Washington State Supreme Court in State v. Strasburg declared that laws eliminating insanity defenses were unconstitutional. The State of Washington had outlawed the insanity defense in criminal cases the previous year. The decision struck down scores of convictions of people who were considered insane or otherwise incapable of understanding the crimes for which they were charged and convicted.
True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality. This film follows 30 years of the Equal Justice Initiative’s work on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Told primarily in his own words, the documentary focuses on Stevenson’s life and career challenging the ways in which the criminal justice system “treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent.” (H) eji.org/projects/true-justice
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 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/
15 190th anniversary of the first National Negro Convention. This convention, which was held in Philadelphia, focused on abolitionism and the idea of developing a movement to encourage the emigration of free Blacks to Canada. The event initiated a trend that would continue for the next three decades, with dozens of local, state, and national conventions held to discuss issues of African American liberty.
The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander. Originally performed for ESPN’s “The Undefeated,” this poem is a love letter to Black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the Civil Rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. (E, M, H) https://bit.ly/3gooFum
15 10th anniversary of new ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Standards for Accessible Design set minimum requirements for newly designed and constructed or newly altered state and local government facilities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL): A Teacher’s Guide, by Allison Posey for Understood. A collection of resources, including videos, background information, one-pagers, and other supports for teachers learning about and working to implement universal design for learning. (TR) https://u.org/3ehL7DH
15 210th anniversary of Mexican Independence Day. Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on the day that Catholic priest, Father Hidalgo, rang the church bells and called for a revolt to gain independence from Spain. Although it took several more years to gain full independence, the Mexican people mark the beginning of the struggle. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day.
Teaching Mexican Independence Day through Authentic Mixed Media in Beginning Spanish Class, by Catharyn Crane. A set of activities and materials designed to engage young people in learning about the Mexican Independence Movement of the 1800s. (M, H) https://bit.ly/36t9QSZ
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
17 390th anniversary of sentencing of White colonial Virginian for interracial relationship. Although no miscegenation bans would be made law for another half-century, the conviction of Hugh Davis is the first recorded censure of interracial relations in colonial America. The Virginia Assembly sentenced Davis “to be soundly whipped, before an assembly of Negroes and others for abusing himself by defiling his body in lying with a Negress.” Various restrictions on interracial relationships continued until Loving v. Virginia in 1967.
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, by Selina Alko. This children’s book depicts the true story of Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, their three children, and the Supreme Court case that allowed them and all other interracial couples to marry. (E) https://bit.ly/3acjD00
18 Rosh Hashanah begins the evening of 9/18/2020, ends 9/20/2020 (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
18 170th anniversary of the second Fugitive Slave Act. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was a response to laws passed in some Northern states weakening the original 1793 act. The 1850 law, intended to defuse tensions between the North and South, required the arrest of suspected runaways and imposed penalties on anyone aiding a runaway slave. Suspected slaves were not allowed to speak in their own defense, which led to the enslavement of many free Blacks. Both acts were repealed in 1864.
The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery, by Dennis Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin. With powerful illustrations and 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/2HmVDKR
18 60th anniversary of the first International Paralympic Games. The games, held in Rome, Italy with the 1960 Summer Olympics, grew out of a 1948 sports competition organized for World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries. Only wheelchair disabilities were included in the first Paralympics. In Toronto in 1976, other disability groups were added and the idea of merging different disability groups for international sports competitions was born. In the same year, the first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Sweden.
International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Site includes info sheets, news, photos, and video footage. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/KVobFy
21 First day of Ally Week. Ally Week is a week of activities designed to encourage students to be allies against anti-LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ students, educating about anti-LGBTQ bias, and advocating for changes in your school. (M, H) http://bit.ly/1swLr3q
21 International Day of Peace. Initiated in 1981, the UN International Day of Peace is an annual commemoration aimed at encouraging all people to play a part in building a peace culture worldwide. Communities across the globe organize their own observances designed to bring people together for world 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
21 10th anniversary of the “It Gets Better” project. The “It Gets Better” project was founded in 1990 by journalist Dan Savage and his partner with the aim of uplifting, empowering, and connecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe. What began as a social media campaign to provide hope and encouragement to young LGBTQ+ people has evolved into a multimedia platform reaching millions of young people every year through a growing network of international affiliates and access to community-based service providers.
It Gets Better Project. This website streams thousands of inspiring stories shared by everyday people. The “Get Help” page links to LGBTQ+ youth support services. The site also has a pledge for a world where all LGBTQ+ young people are free to live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals. (M, H) http://bit.ly/39gjKHN
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
22 10th anniversary of EU Directive on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes. The European Union’s Directive on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes (2010/63/EU) lays down minimum standards for housing and care and regulates the use of animals through a systematic project evaluation requiring assessment of pain, distress, and lasting harm caused to the animals. The revised law requires regular risk-based inspections and improves transparency through measures such as publication of non-technical project summaries and retrospective assessments.
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 for brainstorming potential solutions to a problem that concerns them. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2AbpSC3
22 40th anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War. The Iran-Iraq war, which was instigated by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, was extremely costly in terms of lives lost (500,000-1,000,000 combined) and property destroyed (billions of dollars’ worth), with very little gain by either side. The 8-year war lasted longer than either of the world wars and left both countries in shambles. Both sides used chemical weapons, ballistic missile attacks, and attacks on third-country oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
Iran-Iraq War: A Digital Archive, by Wilson Center. This digital collection includes Iraqi documents (arranged in a timeline), made available by the Conflict Records Research Center. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/3egxt3W
23 70th anniversary of the Internal Security Act. The act, also known as the McCarran Act, required that Communist organizations register with the federal government, barred admission to foreign communists, and established a board to investigate people suspected of engaging in subversive activities. Even though sections of the act were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, some portions remain intact.
Harry Truman’s Speech on the Veto of the Internal Security Act, by Teaching American History. Includes background on the Internal Security Act, and the full text of President Truman’s speech in vetoing it. (H) https://bit.ly/3d4lWo0
27 Yom Kippur begins at sunset on 9/27/2020 and ends at sunset on 9/28/2020 (Judaism). Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is one of two Jewish High Holy Days. It falls 10 days after Rosh Hashana, the first High Holy Day.
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
27 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
29 110th anniversary of the National Urban League. The National Urban League is an interracial civil rights organization that fights racial discrimination and focuses on the economic empowerment of the African American community. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research, and advocacy. It is the oldest and largest community-based organization of its kind in the nation.
AntiRacist Baby, by Ibram X. Kendi. With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, AntiRacist Baby is a board book that introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism, providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations with children at the earliest age. (E) https://bit.ly/2Zt7QZs
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. Lesson plans on disability-related topics for all grade levels are also provided. (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
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
1 110th anniversary of the opening of the Eugenics Record Office. The Eugenics Record Office in Cold Spring Harbor, NY was an important center for eugenics research in the first half of the 20th century. Eugenics is the study and practice of selective breeding applied to humans, with the aim of improving the species. Although the scientific basis was dubious, the eugenics movement led to forced sterilization, institutionalization, restrictions on immigration, and limitations on marriage for the disabled.
From Theory to Classroom: Eugenics and Education, from Facing History and Ourselves. Three 50-minute lessons that invite students to explore the key assumptions of the Eugenics movement, examine their own attitudes and reactions to these ideas, and examine the role of education in furthering Eugenics in both the US and Germany. (H) https://bit.ly/2yAxOPG
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong, a Young Readers’ Edition by James W. Loewen, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. This young readers’ edition is rich in vivid details and quotations from primary sources that poke holes in the textbook versions of history and help students develop a deeper understanding of our world. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2w1hYMl
1 520th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrest on torture charges. During Columbus’s period as governor of the island of Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic and Haiti), he was accused of torture and brutality. Spain appointed a new governor who arrested Columbus and sent him back to Spain in chains. Columbus was quickly pardoned by the monarchy and given funding for another voyage to the Americas.
1493 for Young People: From Columbus’s Voyage to Globalization (For Young People Series), by Charles Mann. In this YA adaptation, Mann tells the gripping story of globalization through travel, trade, colonization, and migration from its beginnings in the 15th century to the present. (M, H) http://bit.ly/31AsSUS
1 60th anniversary of Nigerian independence from Britain. Nigeria became a British colony in 1901. Like many other countries under European rule on the African continent, around WWII a movement began to claim independence. Independence was finally declared on this day in 1960. The largest celebration of Nigerian independence outside of Nigeria occurs in New York City each year.
My Grandfather Is a Magician: Work and Wisdom in an African Village, by Ifeoma Onyefulu. This is the story of a Nigerian boy who doesn’t know what career to pursue when he grows up. His father is a teacher, his mother owns a bakery, Auntie Ngo is a doctor, and another aunt makes pots. But his grandfather seems wiser and more interesting than any of them, for he is a traditional healer who uses the ancient knowledge of plants and trees to help his people. (E) https://amzn.to/2ZwcfL1
2 First day of Sukkot begins at sunset 10/2, ends at sunset 10/9 (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
2 Nat Turner, leader of a slave rebellion, born (1800-1831). Believing he was following God’s command, Nat Turner led a slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831. An estimated 50 White men, women, and children were killed in the uprising. Turner was subsequently captured and executed for his role in what is considered the deadliest uprising in the southern US. The rebellion resulted in severe reprisals against Black people, nearly 200 of whom were killed, and further curtailment of their rights.
Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, by Charles Burnett, director/writer, California Newsreel. This film chronicles the violent confrontation and shows how the story has been continuously retold since 1831. (H) http://bit.ly/d6B1Be
2 50th anniversary of the creation of NOAA. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was created as the government body responsible for monitoring and improving the conditions of the oceans. NOAA is supposed to enforce the sustainable use of resources of coastal and marine ecosystems and supply environmental information to the public. Today, NOAA should be on the frontlines of the fight for #ClimateJustice. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has gutted NOAA, along with the rest of the environmental regulatory apparatus.
Stories from the Climate Crisis: A Mixer, by Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools. A role-play that introduces students to 19 individuals around the world, each of whom is affected differently by climate change. (H) https://bit.ly/3csWUhL
3 John Ross, first elected chief of the Cherokee Nation, born (1790-1866). Ross, a businessman and slaveowner, helped the Cherokee draft a constitution and establish a tribal government. Though only 1/8 Cherokee, he tried to fight the forcible removal of the Cherokee from Georgia to Oklahoma through the courts but was ultimately unsuccessful. His former commander, Andrew Jackson, ordered the forced removal, leading to the “Trail of Tears,” where an estimated 8,000 Cherokee died.
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
A Treacherous Choice and a Treaty Right, a podcast episode by Jess Kung and Shereen Marisol Meraji, NPR’s Code Switch. The Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation told his people to stay strong during this COVID-19 pandemic, and to remember how much they’ve endured over a long history that includes the Trail of Tears. This episode takes a look at the treaty, signed almost 200 years ago, that caused that suffering, and how it’s being used now as a call to action. (H) https://n.pr/3cyJsJh
4 Alan L. Hart, first American to undergo female to male sex change operation, born (1890-1962). Born Alberta Lucille Hart, Alan had his uterus removed in 1917. At the time, this was considered a sex-change operation, legally making him a man. He married a woman in 1918 and spent the rest of his life living as a man, though every time he encountered someone from his past, he felt the need to flee. As a physician and medical researcher, he helped develop and implement TB screening programs that saved thousands of lives.
Your Queer Story: An LGBT Podcast #59: Alan Hart. This podcast covers an amazing individual, Dr. Alan Hart, who has all but been erased from history. While he achieved much academic success starting at a young age, Alan would struggle with his career for decades because of his transition from female to male in the early 1900s. (H) http://bit.ly/38294fw
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.
Teaching When the World is On Fire, edited by Lisa Delpit. An energizing volume that speaks to our contentious world and the necessary conversations we all must have about it, Teaching When the World Is on Fire is sure to inspire teachers to support their students in navigating the current events, cultural shifts, and social dilemmas that shape our communities and our country. (TR) https://bit.ly/2z1VtYZ
5 10th anniversary of the signing of Rosa’s Law. Rosa’s Law removes the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from federal health, education, and labor policy and replaces them with “individual with an intellectual disability” and “intellectual disability.” Although originally a clinical term and introduced with good intentions, the term “mental retardation” and its pejorative form, “retard,” have been used widely in today’s society to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities.
Exploring Diversity Through Understanding Terms Associated with Those with Disabilities, by CATS2FAT. This Teaching Tolerance learning sequence centers on the question of how power and privilege change the way we express and present ourselves. Using a variety of reading materials, students explore how our intersecting identities shape our perspectives and the way we experience the world. (H) http://bit.ly/37fiaVV
5 100th anniversary of the lynching of Ben Givens, Ray Field, Fulton Smith, and Sam Duncan. Jim Givens was charged with the murder of a White man. He fled, and his brother Ben and two other men (Smith and Field) were held for questioning, though they were not implicated in the murder. A White mob overpowered jail officials, seized the three men, and murdered them. Sam Duncan, a Black man unrelated to the events, was murdered in a similar manner. Fearing further violence, the Black residents of the town fled the area.
Lynching in America, by The Equal Justice Initiative. Two units that total 13 lesson plans exploring lynching and racial terror historically, and its ongoing legacy today. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2JsovSt
5 First day of GLSEN’s Solidarity Week. Solidarity Week is a week of activities designed to encourage students to be allies against anti-LGBTQ language, bullying, and harassment in America’s schools.
The NEW Safe Space Kit features the Guide to Being an Ally, which provides concrete strategies for supporting LGBTQ students, educating about anti-LGBTQ bias, and advocating for changes in your school. (M, H) bit.ly/1swLr3q
6 20th anniversary of the Bangalore Declaration of La Via Campesina. La Via Campesina is a movement of rural women, peasants, and small-scale farmers, agriculture workers, and Indigenous peoples’ organizations from across the world. The Bangalore Declaration states: “La Via Campesina is committed to changing the unjust, unsustainable models of production and trade. Peasants and farmers are suffering financial, social, and cultural crises everywhere, north and south. And we are everywhere committed to working in solidarity to build more just, sustainable peasant societies.”
La Via Campesina Official Website. The website of the peasant’s movement includes historical and current information about the movement, what they are fighting for and against. Provides links to global campaigns for farmer, worker, and women’s rights, and resources to learn about the role of capitalism and the WTO in maintaining global poverty. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/39atumG
6 Jazz Jennings, national transgender figure and activist, born (2000). Jennings is the youngest person to become a national transgender figure as well as one of the youngest trans women in history to speak out on issues publicly through her series “I Am Jazz.” Jazz is an honorary co-founder of the Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation and speaks at universities, medical schools, conferences, conventions, and symposia all over the country.
I Am Jazz, a reality television series on TLC about Jazz Jennings. The series features Jazz and her family “dealing with typical teen drama through the lens of a transgender youth. There are currently 6 seasons, with many episodes available for streaming. (M, H) https://bit.ly/34EEVCi
I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. This children’s book, which is based on a true story, is about transgender girl Jazz Jennings. It describes the struggles and obstacles she faces and how her life changes after she visits the doctor and is told she has gender dysphoria. The link is to a video of Jazz reading the book aloud. (E) http://bit.ly/1vjqZrG
7 40th anniversary of the signing of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. The Mental Health Systems Act provided grants to community mental health centers and was considered landmark policy for mental health care. It was largely repealed in 1981 under Ronald Reagan, a move that many in the mental health field called shameful.
Farima’s Collection of Hella COVID-19 Teaching/Learning/Wellness Resources, compiled by Dr. Farima Pour-Khorshid. A collection of curated resources for educators navigating the COVID-19 crisis, with special emphasis on wellness resources to support individual and collective health in all times. (TR) https://bit.ly/2VM9KB4
8 Faith Ringgold, artist, author, and civil rights activist, born (1930). In the 1960s, after teaching in New York public schools, Ringgold began a series of paintings called “American People,” which portrayed the Civil Rights movement from a female perspective. In the 1970s, she created African-style masks and painted political posters. During the 1980s, she began a series of painted story quilts, which are among her best-known works. She later embarked on a successful career as a children’s book author and illustrator.
Faith Ringgold Blog. Short biography of the life of Faith Ringgold, who incorporated story quilts and fabrics into her work and wrote several children’s books. Includes links to the children’s story books that she wrote, her blog and website, historical video excerpts, and media resources of her work. (E, M, TR) bit.ly/xe0Vw2
8 10th anniversary of the passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). The CVAA updates federal communications law to increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications. The CVAA makes sure that accessibility laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s are brought up to date with 21st century technologies, including new digital, broadband, and mobile innovations.
Moving at the Speed of Trust: Disability Justice and Transformative Justice, by Leah Lakshmi Piepzina-Samarasinha and Elliott Fukui. How is anti-ableism essential to transformative justice? How do we start with the shared values of self-determination and the belief that no one is disposable to build capacity for personal and societal transformation? This site includes a recording, slide deck, and full transcript of this online panel event hosted by Barnard College. (H) https://bit.ly/2XNcEb3
9 30th anniversary of the first reparation payments to Japanese American internees. During WWII, President Roosevelt ordered the incarceration of all people of Japanese descent on the US West Coast. About 120,000 men, women, and children were held without trial; nearly 70,000 of them were American citizens. Not a single Japanese American person was ever convicted of any crime against the US. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 enabled compensation to survivors of the camps. The first payments, $20,000 each, were made on October 10, 1990.
How to Make Amends: A Lesson on Reparations, Teaching Activity by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Alex Stegner, Chris Buehler, Angela DiPasquale, and Tom McKenna, Rethinking Schools. Students meet dozens of advocates and recipients of reparations from a variety of historical eras to grapple with the possibility of reparations now and in the future. (H) http://bit.ly/30Li2eh
9 Jody Williams, anti-landmine activist, born (1950). Williams, a teacher and aid worker, was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. As the driving force behind the campaign, Williams helped push for the Ottawa Treaty, a 1997 international treaty banning the use, sale, and stockpiling of anti-personnel landmines. The treaty also contains provisions for clearing existing landmines and providing humanitarian assistance. The US is not a signatory to this treaty.
Teaching Unit on Landmines, by UN CyberSchoolBus. UN site for teaching about landmines. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2ddZA8s
9 Lewis Henry Douglass, Sergeant Major, born (1840-1908). Lewis Henry Douglass, whose parents were abolitionist Frederick Douglass and his wife Mary, who was active in the Underground Railroad, enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He was promoted to Sergeant Major, the highest military rank a Black man could hold at the time. His post-war work included teaching for the Freedman’s Bureau, senior editor for the New National Era, and civil rights activist in Washington, DC.
GLORY: A Learning Guide Menu, by Teaching with Movies. This link takes you to a collection of teaching resources and discussion guides to accompany the movie, GLORY, directed by Edward Zwick, about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the Union Army’s second African American regiment in the American Civil War. (H, TR) http://teachwithmovies.org/glory
10 50th anniversary of Fiji’s independence from Britain. British colonial rule was established in Fiji in 1874 following a period of internal strife caused partly by the activities of European settlers and traders in the eastern regions of the island group. Britain primarily saw Fiji as a strategic, rather than financial, asset. Fiji gained independence from British rule in October 1970 and established a parliamentary democracy.
11 National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day is an annual event that celebrates coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. The goal is to promote a safe world for LGBTQ individuals to live their lives truthfully and openly.
Safe Schools Coalition. An incredible wealth of resources for educators for supporting LGBTQ youth and creating safer school environments. Explore the entire site or use the link for specific resources on coming out. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/9FQkmx
11 20th anniversary of the Martin County sludge spill. The sludge from the coal mine contained arsenic and mercury and was 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill, spilling 12 million gallons. It killed everything in surrounding waterways, contaminating the water supply for more than 27,000 residents. Massey Energy, the owner of the mine, is one of the largest coal producers in the country, with a long record of environmental and safety violations. They are also a major contributor to Mitch McConnell.
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 to think critically about the industry’s motives and goals. (TR) http://bit.ly/2n9WMxu
12 Indigenous Peoples Day (US). 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
13 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first Pride march. South Africa’s first Lesbian and Gay Pride march, held in Johannesburg, was also the first Pride march on the African continent. The march, which was organized by the Gay and Lesbian Organization of the Witwatersrand (GLOW), was part of a broader struggle to decriminalize homosexuality in South African law and to end Apartheid. Many of the marchers, fearing for their safety, wore masks to disguise themselves.
The Unfulfilled Promise of LGBTQ Rights in South Africa, by Kimon de Greef for The Atlantic. This article is part of a series about the Gay Rights movement and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. It speaks to the experiences of refugees fleeing homophobia elsewhere in the world, and finding a hostile environment in South Africa, as well. (H) https://bit.ly/2VgQHzM
14 40th anniversary of the publication of A People’s History of the United States. This groundbreaking popular history by Howard Zinn chronicles American history from the perspective of the least powerful groups in our society. Covering Christopher Columbus’s arrival through President Clinton’s first term, A People’s History of the United States features insightful analyses of the most important events in this country’s history. The book presents US history from the point of view of America’s women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers.
A Young People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, with Rebecca Stefoff. In paperback with illustrations, this is the young adult edition of Howard Zinn’s classic telling of American history. A Young People’s History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, people who are enslaved, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2NLQ2Su
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
15 50th anniversary of the passage of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1970. The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1970 required all new mass transit vehicles to be equipped with wheelchair lifts. The implementation of the regulations would be delayed until 1990.
The Collection: Oral Histories/Archives from the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement, hosted by UC-Berkeley. This collection consists of more than 100 oral histories of leaders and shapers of the Disability Rights and Independent Living movement from the 1960s onward, along with an extensive archive of personal papers of activists and records of key organizations. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2iUUKMT
16 World Food Day. World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization 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
17 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
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
17 40th anniversary of the first Black Lesbian Conference. Becoming Visible – The First Black Lesbian Conference – took place in San Francisco. Although there had been previous conferences supporting both lesbians and gays, the “First Black Lesbian Conference” was the first in the US with the sole focus on supporting Black lesbians. One of the conference goals was to address the specific needs of Black lesbians and “to provide the courage and strength to make those needs felt in places where it becomes necessary.”
Black Queer Hoe, by Britteney Black Rose Kapri. In this powerful debut and poetry collection, Britteney Black Rose Kapri lends her unmistakable voice to fraught questions of identity, sexuality, reclamation, and power in a world that denies Black Queer women permission to define their own lives and boundaries. (H) https://bit.ly/2VxNmet
17 50th anniversary of the publication of The Female Eunuch. The Female Eunuch, by Germaine Greer, was a wakeup call to women to cast off the shackles imposed on them by male supremacist society. Greer argued that women have been robbed of their essential productive energy by being cast as little more than domestic servants and sexual objects. She called for women to become the architects of their own lives, reject the traditional gender norms, and take responsibility for their own liberation.
Feminist Freedom Warriors: Genealogies, Justice, Politics, and Hope, edited by Linda Carty and Chandra Talpade Mohanty. Feminist Freedom Warriors tells the stories of Women of Color from the Global South, weaving together cross-generational histories of feminist activism across national borders. These engaging interviews with sister comrades will inform, inspire, and activate the imagination to explore what a just world might look like. (H) https://bit.ly/2xAaAIW
19 John Woolman, abolitionist and peace activist, born (1720-1772). Woolman was a White Quaker preacher who believed that slaveholding was inconsistent with Christianity. He spent much of his life traveling, observing, and advocating against slavery. He refused to wear dyed clothing because slaves were used in the making of dyes. When visiting the home of a slaveholder, he paid slaves for their work in attending him. His anti-slavery arguments helped persuade the Quakers to outlaw slavery among its members.
Considerations for Early Childhood and Elementary Educators on Slavery and Resistance, by Teaching for Change. Essay full of resources on the “do’s and don’ts” of books for young children on the topic of slavery. Includes a link to a list of more than 50 recommended books for young people of all ages. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/1Kvu9MA
19 Cassius Marcellus Clay, anti-slavery activist and politician, born (1810-1903). Clay, a White southern aristocrat turned anti-slavery activist in Kentucky, liberated his own slaves and published an anti-slavery newspaper, True American. He prodded Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, though it is said he was critical of the post-Civil War policy of Reconstruction. Berea College, built in 1855 on land donated by Clay, was the first interracial, coeducational college in the South.
Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War, by Ira Berlin, Barbara Fields, Steven Miller, Joseph Reidy, and Leslie Rowland. Free at Last brings together some of the most remarkable correspondence ever written by Americans. These letters, personal testimonies, official transcripts, and other records convey the struggle of Black men and women to overthrow the slave system, to aid the Union cause, and to give meaning to their newly-won freedom in a war-torn nation. (H) thenewpress.com/books/free-last
19 150th anniversary of the first African Americans elected to the House of Representatives. Republicans Joseph H. Rainey, Robert C. De Large, and Robert B. Elliott were the first African Americans elected to the House of Representatives, winning three out of four congressional seats in South Carolina. They were elected during Reconstruction, when Black self-determination and revolutionary democracy became possible for formerly enslaved people. All three focused on civil rights legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1875, as well as fighting the Ku Klux Klan.
The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy, a teaching guide by Facing History and Ourselves. A collection of lessons, videos, and primary sources to teach about Reconstruction. (H) https://bit.ly/2Vj15H9
19 60th anniversary of Atlanta department store sit-in. The Committee on Appeal for Human Rights, a coalition of Black student leaders in Atlanta, planned a sit-in at Rich’s Department Store after desegregation negotiations had stalled. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was invited to participate. A recent law made refusing to leave private property a misdemeanor offense; King was ultimately arrested, along with 51 other protesters. The publicity led to 2,000 protesters shutting down 16 Atlanta lunch counters in the next few days.
Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South, edited by William Chafe, Raymond Gavins, and Robert Korstad. In vivid, compelling accounts, people from all walks of life tell how their day-to-day lives were subjected to profound and unrelenting racial oppression. At the same time, Remembering Jim Crow is a testament to how Black Southerners fought back against the system, raising children, building churches and schools, running businesses, and struggling for respect in a society that denied them the most basic rights. (H) https://bit.ly/3eskJrF
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) http://bit.ly/1oV3uV9
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 230th anniversary of the Battle of Pumpkin Fields. The battle, led by Josiah Harmar, was an attempt by the US to subdue Native Americans in the Northwest Territory (present-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan) during the Northwest Indian War. The US Army ambushed the Native Americans, burning entire villages, but the Native Americans regrouped and soundly defeated the invading army. This battle was one of the most significant Native American military victories against the US.
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
23 170th anniversary of the First National Woman’s Rights Convention. The aim of this first in an annual series of meetings was to determine whether there was enough national support for a political movement around women’s equality. More than 1,000 people attended, including Sojourner Truth and William Lloyd Garrison. The event was derided in many national newspapers, though some writers, including Horace Greeley, took it seriously, and drew widespread attention to the cause.
Crusade for the Vote: Resources Connect Students to the Suffrage Story, by The National Women’s History Museum. Online exhibits, lesson plans, multimedia resources, and more for teaching about women’s suffrage in the US. (M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/2H1NQnU
24 80th anniversary of the 40-hour work week. Thanks to decades of work on the part of labor unions and other workers’ rights advocates, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, requiring employers to pay overtime to all employees who worked more than 44 hours in a week. They amended the act two years later to reduce the workweek to 40 hours, and in 1940, the 40-hour workweek became US law.
The Power in Our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States, by Bill Bigelow and Norman Diamond. This celebrated book provides entertaining, easy-to-use lesson plans for teaching labor history. (M, H, TR) https://bit.ly/1z7k2eJl
24 50th anniversary of Salvador Allende’s election as President of Chile. Salvador Allende became president of Chile and immediately worked to expand access to healthcare and education, raise the minimum wage, and encourage voter participation. The US Government opposed Allende’s election and funded a CIA-led coup that resulted in both his death and the rise of a brutal dictator, Augusto Pinochet, who was later charged with genocide and terrorism.
Salvador Allende Killed, by Zinn Education Project. On Sept. 11, 1973 a US-backed coup in Chile, led by General Augusto Pinochet, ousted and killed Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. What followed was a brutal 17-year dictatorship by Pinochet. Listen to author Ariel Dorfman describe those events in a Democracy Now! interview and an interview with an Allende advisor. (H) https://bit.ly/2RQsspK
25 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
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 Maxine Hong Kingston, writer, born (1940). Kingston, a teacher and award-winning author, is best known for The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, based on her experiences growing up in a Chinese American immigrant family. She has written several other books, focusing on immigration, ethnicity, and feminism. Kingston is a frequent commentator and guest speaker at academic conferences and cultural events across the country.
A Conversation with Maxine Hong Kingston, by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. A recording of an intimate conversation with Kingston hosted by NYU. (H) https://bit.ly/2KjRo4Z
30 20th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA ensures that all children with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living. Prior to IDEA, more than 4 million children with disabilities were denied appropriate access to public education, often placed in segregated classrooms or denied support for their special needs.
Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People, a digital download book by Sins Invalid. The second edition of Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People (digital version) is available now! This disability justice primer, based on the work of Patty Berne and Sins Invalid, offers concrete suggestions for moving beyond the socialization of ableism, such as mobilizing against police violence, how to commit to mixed ability organizing, and access suggestions for events. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2ypCyHl
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, a documentary film by James LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham. A groundbreaking summer camp galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality. (H) https://bit.ly/2RKf0DZ
30 30th anniversary of the Native American Languages Act. The 1990 Native American Languages Act, which went into effect in 1992, recognized that “the status of the cultures and languages of Native Americans is unique and the United States has the responsibility to act together with Native Americans to ensure [their] survival.” A key effect of this legislation was to affirm the use of Native languages as languages of instruction in schools.
Bilingual Books: American Indian Heritage, compliled by Colorin Colorado. List of bilingual books that present stories told in English and American Indian languages such as Diné (Navajo), Hopi, and Lakota. Whether you are looking for books to supplement a heritage language program or a social studies unit, the stories and vocabulary included will be a valuable addition to the classroom and school library. (E, M) bit.ly/2KfFuZE
31 140th anniversary of the Denver Chinatown riot. Riding a wave of anti-Chinese violence, a White mob of about 3,000 people attacked and destroyed Denver’s Chinatown following an argument between White and Chinese men in a saloon. What started as drunken brawl quickly escalated. By nightfall, a full-fledged riot had erupted, as the mob attacked every Chinese person and business in sight. In the end, one Chinese man was hanged, several others were brutally beaten, and almost all of the Chinese properties were destroyed.
A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America (For Young People Series),
by Ronald Takaki and Rebecca Stefoff. Based on Takaki’s award-winning book, this version has been adapted to share the multicultural history book with younger readers. Drawing on Takaki’s vast array of primary sources, this book 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/2C3lwPF
\When Xenophobia Spreads Like a Virus, a podcast episode by Natalie Escobar, NPR’s Code Switch. The global response to COVID-19 has made clear that the fear of contracting disease has an ugly cousin: xenophobia. As the coronavirus has spread from China to other countries, anti-Asian discrimination has followed closely behind. This podcast features the voices of those who have experienced this violence firsthand. (M, H) https://n.pr/2VkxdKx
31 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. In response to growing research on the importance and impact of women’s involvement in peace-building in times of war, the UN adopted Security Council Resolution 1325. This resolution recognized the key impact that women play in preventing violence and conflict, as well as in building peace in response to violence and conflict. It also recognizes the distinct impact that violence and conflict can have on women.
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
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 Daylight Saving Time ends
1 First day of National American Indian Heritage Month. National American Indian Heritage Month recognizes the significant contributions of American Indians.
At the Mountain’s Base, by Traci Sorell. A family, separated by duty and distance, waits for a loved one to return home in this lyrical picture book celebrating the bonds of a Cherokee family and the bravery of history-making women pilots. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2Xc7hSp
We Shall Remain. This PBS miniseries and multimedia project 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
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 130th anniversary of Mississippi’s new constitution to disenfranchise African Americans. In 1890 there were more Black people than White people who were eligible to vote in Mississippi. In that year, a constitutional convention was held to adopt a new state constitution, which established a poll tax and literacy tests for new voters aimed at preventing Black people from registering. Other southern states adopted similar tactics.
One Person, No Vote: How All Voters Are Not Treated Equally: A Young Adult Adaptation, by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden. In this YA book, Anderson chronicles the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (M, H) http://bit.ly/38eYjqo
1 110th anniversary of The Crisis magazine. The Crisis magazine was founded by W.E.B. DuBois as the official magazine of the NAACP. In its heyday, it was both a literary magazine of the Harlem Renaissance and a civil rights advocacy journal. DuBois wrote that the magazine would “show the danger of race prejudice, particularly as manifested today toward colored people.” The Crisis was a huge success and, by the end of its first decade, had achieved a monthly circulation of 100,000 copies.
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance, by Nikki Grimes. In this collection of poetry, Grimes takes a new look at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using “The Golden Shovel” poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking. Original artwork in full color from some of today’s most exciting African American illustrators is also included. (E, M, H) http://amzn.to/2jK1j5x
1 20th anniversary of the signing of the Great Ape Conservation Bill. The Great Ape Conservation Bill set aside $5 million each year to protect great apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, and bonobos) in their natural habitats.
The Third Chimpanzee (For Young People): On the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (For Young People Series), by Jared Diamond, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. Adapted for younger audiences, this book offers provocative views of evolution, adaptation, cultural diffusion, sexuality, genocide, race, mass extinctions of the past and present, the roots of drug abuse and language, and even the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2vjMRuQ
2 100th anniversary of the California Alien Land Law. The 1920 law was designed to close loopholes in the 1913 Alien Land Law. This law added more stringent requirements on Asian immigrants’ ability to own and lease land in California. Other Western states enacted similar laws, the product of growing anti-immigrant and racist sentiment.
Know Your Rights, by Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Know Your Rights resources and materials on various current topics affecting the Asian American community, including citizenship clinics, language, voting rights, and more. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/37xBNZv
Asian Americans, a documentary series by PBS. This five-hour film series delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. As America becomes more diverse, and more divided while facing unimaginable challenges, how do we move forward together? Told through intimate personal stories, the series casts a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played. (M, H) pbs.org/show/asian-americans; Link to supplementary materials complied by N. Rodriguez, C. Goulding, A. Osborne, F. Lin, R. Radhakrishnan, and C. Yeh: bit.ly/2Yh3hiO.
2 100th Anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre. Ku Klux Klansmen terrorized two Black neighborhoods in Ocoee, FL the night before election day in 1920. Black voters still attempted to vote but were turned away from polling places through threats of violence and being told they were not on voter registration rolls. When African Americans continued to attempt to exercise their legal right to vote, they were met with Klan violence, leading to the massacre of at least 50 people.
Who Gets to Vote? Teaching About the Struggle for Voting Rights in the United States, by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Zinn Education Project. Unit with three lessons on voting rights, including the history of the struggle against voter suppression in the United States. Includes a mix of people who have had their votes denied and struggled for their rights. (H) http://bit.ly/2Sc58n2
3 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
3 50th anniversary of the “Dirty Dozen” election. This was the first election cycle following the first Earth Day. Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day, and fellow activists, organized a movement to unseat “The Dirty Dozen,” a list of 12 members of Congress with terrible environmental records. While the movement successfully removed only seven of the 12 incumbents, it was an important wakeup call for politicians: voters cared about the environment and were ready to bring their concerns to the ballot box.
The Story of Cap & Trade, by Annie Leonard. This online video looks at “Cap & Trade,” the leading climate solution policy. It introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals that the devil is in the details: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets, and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1rs6JDk
3 20th anniversary of Alabama voters annulling ban on interracial marriage. Although Loving v. Virginia rendered state constitutional bans on interracial marriage unenforceable, voters were still responsible for removing language from state constitutions. Alabama was the final state to invalidate its ban in 2000 with Amendment 667, 53 years after Loving.
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, by Selina Alko. This children’s book depicts the true story of Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, their three children, and the Supreme Court case that allowed them and all other interracial couples to marry. (E) http://bit.ly/1U8s2nR
5 80th anniversary of the closing of Angel Island immigration station. The last group of about 200 immigrants were transferred from Angel Island three months after a fire destroyed the administration building. The station, located on an island off the coast of California, processed approximately one million immigrants, many of whom were from Asia. But it was primarily a detention center for immigrants.
Angel Island Immigrant Journeys: A Curriculum Guide, by the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. This site provides free resources, book recommendations, and information on how to order a $15 curriculum guide for teaching about Angel Island. (E, M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/2SzfPOl
5 10th anniversary of sentencing of BART officer for fatal shooting of Oscar Grant. On New Year’s Day 2009, a young Black father, Oscar Grant, was dragged from his BART (train) car after an altercation, pinned face-down on the floor, and shot in the back by the officer attempting to cuff him. The officer, Johannes Mehserle, was charged with murder, but eventually was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to two years in prison with credit for time served. Mehserle’s sentencing sparked waves of outrage and protest.
Fruitvale Station, film directed by Ryan Coogler. This Sundance Film Festival award-winner follows the true events of a 22-year-old loving father and beloved son on the last day of his life before being fatally shot by police on New Year’s Day 2009. (H) https://amzn.to/2RNkwFc
Something Happened in Our Town, by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard. follows two families—one White, one Black—as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives. (E, M) This link includes sample pages and discussion guide: https://bit.ly/3dgftqi
8 10th anniversary of the murder of Derrick Jones by Oakland police. 37-year-old unarmed barber Derrick Jones was shot and killed by Officers Omar Daza-Quiroz and Eriberto Perez-Angeles. They were later acquitted of criminal charges; however, a jury awarded damages to his family in a civil suit.
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) http://bit.ly/2TRQvXd
8 10th anniversary of Australia’s announcement of referendum on Indigenous peoples’ inclusion in Constitution. In a 1967 referendum, more than 90% of Australian voters agreed to change the Constitution to give Parliament the power to make laws in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people and to allow for both groups to be included in the census. But this referendum did not recognize them as “First Peoples.” In 2010, Australia’s Prime Minister announced plans for a new referendum, but it had not passed as of 2020.
Rabbit-Proof Fence. The film, while based in Australia, sheds light on the experience and determination of Indigenous children in the face of forced deculturalization. The site includes lessons to accompany the film. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/LiFste
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
11 70th anniversary of the founding of the Mattachine Society. Founded by Harry Hay, a leading gay rights activist, the Mattachine Society was one of the earliest gay rights organizations in the US. The name, from a French medieval group, implies that gay people were “masked, unknown, and anonymous.” The group’s purpose was to redefine the meaning of being gay in America through characterizing homosexuals as an oppressed minority. Internal clashes over the years eventually led to the Mattachine Society’s dissolution in 1961.
Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay. This documentary follows the life of Harry Hay, one of the founders of the Mattachine Society. The website provides information regarding Hay’s life and details on purchasing the film. (H) http://www.harryhay.com/
12 40th anniversary of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The Act designated certain public lands in Alaska as units of the National Park, National Wildlife Refuge, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Wilderness Preservation, and National Forest Systems, resulting in general expansion of all systems. It was the largest land protection bill ever passed by Congress, and nearly doubled the size of the National Park System.
Heroes of the Environment, by Harriet Rohmer. A summary of the children’s book aimed at educating children about the ways in which young people have made a difference in improving the environment in their communities. Ideas for activities and teacher resources are also included. (E, TR) https://bit.ly/3cvZHXn
13 10th anniversary of first transgender man to play for a college women’s basketball team. With the full support of his coach and teammates at George Washington University, Kye Allums became the first openly transgender man to play for a Division I college women’s basketball team. The NCAA ruled that Kye was allowed to play on the women’s team as long as he did not take hormones.
An Ally’s Guide to Talking About Transgender-Inclusive Non-Discrimination Laws, by Movement Advancement Project. As cities and states extend vital non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people, anti-LGBTQ groups have attacked these laws through false, fear-based claims about safety in public restrooms. This 4-page guide offers an approach to countering these attacks and ways to support young people in learning to do so. (H, TR) https://bit.ly/2GpsbFW
A People’s History of Sports in the United States, by Dave Zirin. A chronicle of larger-than-life athletes and dramatic contests and what amounts to an alternative history of the United States as seen through the games its people played. (H) https://bit.ly/3eyDnOy
13 20th anniversary of the first Climate Justice Summit. International environmental justice activists and members of frontline communities gathered for the first Climate Justice Summit. Conference organizer, Amit Srivastava, said, “When taken together, the efforts of these communities to protect their human, cultural, and environmental rights by preventing oil exploration and production constitutes a major grassroots initiative to reduce production of carbon dioxide – the major global warming gas.”
The (Young) People’s Climate Conference: Teaching Global Warming to 3rd Graders, Teaching Activity by Rowan Shafer, Rethinking Schools. A teacher adapts the “Climate Change Mixer” designed for older students as a springboard for a unit on global warming and climate justice. She asks, “How could I bring up an issue so big and abstract, so gloom and doom, with 3rd graders? How could I not?” (E) http://bit.ly/30Pj8WG
14 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
14 60th anniversary of Gomillion v. Lightfoot. In a case that helped lead to the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Gomillion v. Lightfoot that city officials in Tuskegee, Alabama had unconstitutionally redrawn city boundaries to ensure White candidates were elected in city political races. Ruled to be in violation of the 15th Amendment, this attempt was made in response to increases in African Americans registering to vote following WWII.
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, by Jonah Winter. As Lillian, a 100-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky – she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the 15th Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. (E) http://amzn.to/2mhWp45
14 60th anniversary of Ruby Bridges integrating public school. Ruby Bridges became the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South. Despite the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, the South continued to enforce segregation in schools. Ruby and her mother were escorted to school every day by US Marshalls because of the vicious White mobs that tormented her every day. Only one teacher in the school agreed to teach her, and Ruby was the only student in her class.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, by PBS. Interview with Ruby Bridges as an adult focusing on her historic integration. Footage from the protests on her first day of elementary school. Warning: use of the “N-word” by a White protester. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2TOsTmd
Through My Eyes, by Ruby Bridges. Ruby Bridges recounts her experience as a first-grader integrating an all-White school in New Orleans in 1963, including how it affected the rest of her life. (E, M) http://bit.ly/3aBTsRO
15 190th anniversary of North Carolina’s attempt to curtail anti-slavery publication. Black abolitionist and activist David Walker’s “An Appeal to Coloured Citizens of the World” advocated immediate, uncompensated emancipation – by rebellion if necessary. North Carolina responded by passing the Act to Prevent the Circulation of Seditious Publications, which banned “any publication with the tendency to inspire revolution or resistance among enslaved or free Black people,” and punished repeat offenders with death. Other legislation criminalized teaching enslaved people to read or write.
David Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Walker calls for the immediate abolition of slavery and equal rights for Black people. This was a revolutionary notion for a Black man to espouse publicly at that time. This website includes the full text of this primary document, along with a plethora of other resources about Walker’s life. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2SmAp4e
15 30th anniversary of the Clean Air Amendments of 1990. The Clean Air Amendments aimed at improving ozone protection, acid rain reduction, and general air quality improvement. They included incorporating the roles of science and technology, as well as the roles of state, local, tribal, and federal governments, public participation in the development and implementation of clean air standards, flexibility and accountability for industry to monitor and reduce emissions, and understanding the reciprocal relationship between clean air and the economy.
The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act, by Environmental Protection Agency. Written for high school students, this booklet provides a brief introduction to the 1990 Clean Air Act. (H) http://bit.ly/2Dg2DFC
15 10th anniversary of James Bonard Fowler’s guilty plea in death of Jimmie Lee Jackson. In 1965, Alabama state troopers attacked a peaceful civil rights protest. Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot multiple times while attempting to flee police violence and protect his family. The shooter, Trooper James Bonard Fowler, was not indicted in 1965, and Jackson’s death catalyzed the Selma to Montgomery marches. The case was reopened in 2004; in 2010, Fowler pleaded guilty to misdemeanor manslaughter.
Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay. Selma is a 2014 historical drama based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lewis. Available for streaming online. Link is to lesson plans from Teaching with Movies. (M, H) http://bit.ly/3aRvQZi
Selma, Lord, Selma. This is the true story about a young girl’s desire to actively participate in the Selma, Alabama Civil Rights movement because she was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (E, M) amzn.to/vh5WBl
16 Chinua Achebe, author, educator, and publisher, born (1930-2013). Often called the “Patriarch of African Literature,” novelist and poet Achebe’s works explore the impact of European culture on African society. He is best known for his novel, Things Fall Apart, which was translated into more than 50 languages and sold more than 20 million copies. Achebe taught for decades at various US universities and was the director of two international publishing houses.
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: Teaching Through the Novel. This unit by EDSITEment introduces students to Achebe’s first novel, Things Fall Apart, and to his views on the role of the writer in society. Guiding questions include “To what extent is Things Fall Apart successful in communicating an alternative narrative to the dominant Western history of missionaries in Africa and other colonized societies?” (H, TR) bit.ly/37ztDzR
16 80th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind. The NFB is one of the oldest disability advocacy organizations in the US, founded on the principles that blind people have an inalienable right to independence; that blind people have equal capacity; and that only blind people themselves can legitimately speak for the blind community. The NSB has successfully fought for equal pay for blind people and the right to rehabilitation services, among other things.
Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village, by Sunny Seki. Yuko-chan lived in a small village in Japan. She didn’t have much, and her eyesight was severely limited, but she knew that she had more than many others. Her desire to help the less fortunate is the story behind the creation of the famous Daruma Dolls. (E) https://bit.ly/2yrHKdM
Ten Principles of Disability Justice, by Sins Invalid. If you’re looking for a good introduction to disability justice, Sins Invalid lays out some of the basics for how to grow our movements to hold ourselves and each other more tenderly and effectively. This page also includes access suggestions for public events and mobilizations. (E, M, H, TR) https://www.sinsinvalid.org/curriculum
16 30th anniversary of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act. The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act requires that museums and other institutions that own the remains of Native Americans take inventory and publish lists of their collections, making them available to Native American tribes.
This Land, a podcast by Rebecca Nagle. An 1839 assassination of a Cherokee leader and a 1999 murder case – two crimes nearly two centuries apart – provide the backbone to a Supreme Court decision that will determine the fate of five tribes and nearly half the land in Oklahoma. This 8-series podcast tells the story. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2VK3vxm
16 120th anniversary of the lynching of Preston “John” Porter, Jr. 16-year-old Preston “John” Porter, Jr. was arrested on suspicion of murder, along with his father and brother. John confessed, hoping to spare his family. More than 300 White people waited for the teenager when he was brought back to Limon. John prayed aloud for his attackers as they tied him to a railroad stake and burned him to death. The cruelty of the lynching led to the reinstatement of the death penalty in Colorado.
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden. Adapted from Anderson’s bestselling White Rage (2016), this book summons young people to bear witness to the devastatingly expansive strategies White citizens have taken up to preserve the racialized violence that has existed since the founding of the nation. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2w1AiVE
17 International Students’ Day. An international observance and celebration of student community, multiculturalism, and inclusivity. Originally intended to commemorate 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
17 RuPaul Charles, drag queen, performer, and LGBTQ+ activist, born (1960). Best known simply as RuPaul, the world’s best-known drag queen has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights throughout his career. He was the first drag queen to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the first openly gay national television host (The RuPaul Show, 1996). He was also the first face of M.A.C. Cosmetics and, as its spokesperson, has helped raise more than $400 million for AIDs awareness and research.
Drag Queen Story Hour. Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like – drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. This link supports you in finding a story hour near you or organizing one yourself. (E) dragqueenstoryhour.org/
17 140th anniversary of the Angell Treaty. This treaty was one of several measures implemented in response to rising anti-Chinese sentiment in the western US. It limited Chinese immigration to the United States, though didn’t prohibit it entirely, and separated US trade interests from the immigration issue. It also provided an avenue for anti-Chinese lobbyists to push for an exclusion law. Most of the protections that the treaty secured for Chinese immigrants were reversed by the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Chinese Immigrants in America: An Interactive History Adventure, by Kelley Hunsicker. This book describes the experiences and perspectives of Chinese immigrants in the US in 1850. The book enables readers to interact with history by allowing them to choose what they would do next. By making choices, readers uncover historical details about the lives of Chinese immigrants who worked as gold miners, railroad workers, and more. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2w31PGb
18 Howard Thurman, theologian, author, and civil rights leader, born (1900-1981). Thurman was an ordained Baptist minister. In San Francisco in 1944 this African American preacher founded the first integrated church. Five years later he wrote Jesus and the Disinherited, which laid out the theological foundation for a nonviolent Civil Rights movement and influenced movement leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bible, Breakfast, and Better Me: Jamila Lyiscott on Social Justice and Self-Care, a podcast by Free Minds Free People. In this episode of the FMFP podcast, community-engaged scholar and poet Jamila Lyiscott reflects on the role of Black Liberation Theology and Christianity in her own life, work, and self-care. (H, TR) apple.co/3bpbTt0
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 students about what it means to be a transgender Person of Color. Written by an Oakland, CA elementary teacher who uses gender non-binary pronouns, they were inspired to write this book to support their students in understanding gender identity. (E) http://bit.ly/2SBFRQ
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 Pauli Murray, civil rights lawyer and women’s rights activist, born (1910-1985). Murray, the first African American to earn a JSD from Yale, was active in the Civil Rights movement, contributing to the NAACP’s litigation strategy in Brown v. Board of Education. She also helped found the National Organization for Women and the Congress of Racial Equality. Her legal work and activism highlighted what she called “Jane Crow” laws, urging other activists to see the intersection between race and gender when protesting.\
Jane Crow: The Little-Known Story of Pauli Murray, Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes. A short documentary about the intersectional activist commitments of the multidimensionally successful Pauli Murray. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/2S9aYFC
20 110th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. The revolution of 1910 overthrew the elitist dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and led to the establishment of a constitutional republic. The Mexican Revolution pushed Mexican political refugees into the US between 1910 and 1917.
The Storm that Swept Mexico: Revolutionary Leaders, a lesson plan 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
23 60th anniversary of Guy Gabaldon’s Navy Cross. Guy Gabaldon, a Mexican American, received the Navy Cross for his actions in Saipan during WWII. Called the “Pied Piper of Saipan,” Gabaldon, age 18, persuaded the outnumbered Japanese soldiers to surrender, using the Japanese language skills he had picked up while living with a Japanese American foster family as a teenager. He is credited with capturing more than 1,500 Japanese soldiers and saving countless lives. Meanwhile, Gabaldon’s foster family was sent to an internment camp.
Children of the Camps: WWII Internment Timeline. This documentary website includes historical documents, photos, a timeline, and detailed information about WWII internment camps. (M, H) to.pbs.org/2SkfQFJ
Guy Gabaldon, by PBS Latino Americans. A 6-minute clip featuring the life of Guy Gabaldon, a Mexican American US marine. (M, H) https://to.pbs.org/3cteToa
26 50th anniversary of the National Day of Mourning. 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,” and was intended as a commemoration of the genocide of the Native American peoples by the White settlers. 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 real-life depiction of 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
26 50th anniversary of American Indian occupation of Plymouth Rock. Members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied Plymouth Rock to commemorate the National Day of Mourning (Thanksgiving) after the Commonwealth of Massachusetts government officials censored a speech that activist Frank James (Wamsutta) was to give, saying the speech was too controversial.
The American Indian Rights Movement, from the series Movements that Matter. This book describes the resistance of American Indians since the early years of the United States, when the government began stripping American Indians of their rights and forcing them off their lands onto reservations. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2uwgAAL
26 Thanksgiving (Day of Mourning)
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 reading 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
27 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
27 #NotOneDime. #NotOneDime is a nationwide economic boycott focused on racial justice. The campaign was launched in the aftermath of the Ferguson non-indictment decision. #NotOneDime calls for a moratorium on all non-essential shopping from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday and reclaiming Black Friday as a national day of action and service.
Teaching #Ferguson: Connecting with Resources, by Art Museum Teaching. List of resources – all hyperlinked and annotated – related to teaching #Ferguson in K-12 classrooms and beyond. (TR) http://bit.ly/1VLFEWu
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) bit.ly/1nuzw9i
29 10th anniversary of the protest of DKNY by animal rights activists. Thirteen animal rights activists took over designer DKNY’s website to protest their use of rabbit fur. To make their point, they changed their Facebook profiles to block letters and posted in quick succession to spell out “DK Bunny Butcher.” The act brought visibility to their cause.
Humane Education Toolkit, from the Humane Education Coalition. From professional development to lesson plans to funding opportunities, you’ll find everything you need to get started in humane education. (TR) hecoalition.org/toolkit.html
30 10th anniversary of Brown v. Plata. In Brown v. Plata, the state of California defended its prison conditions and argued that offenders should not be released to ease overcrowding. A lower federal court had ruled that conditions were dangerous, and that lower-level offenders should be released to make space and improve conditions, stating that state prisons violated the 8th Amendment ban on “cruel and unusual punishment.” The Supreme Court eventually agreed.
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
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
1 170th anniversary of first rescue mission by Harriet Tubman. Abolitionist and suffragist Harriet Tubman organized her first rescue mission as a conductor of the Underground Railroad. After finding out that her niece Kessiah Jolley and Jolley’s children were to be auctioned off, Tubman went to Baltimore to liberate Jolley with the help of her free husband, John Bowley. Tubman is credited with leading 70 people to freedom across 17 rescue missions.
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, by Michael J Martin. This book explores Harriet Tubman’s journey through slavery and her involvement in the Underground Railroad. It is a graphic novel that is divided into four chapters: Growing Up a Slave; Heading for the Promised Land; The First Rescue; and Conductor on the Railroad. (E) http://amzn.to/2C5LiDu
1 10th anniversary of “Right on Crime.” Marc Levin, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, started this public relations campaign with the goal of saving taxpayer money. The initiative has allied with both conservative and progressive groups to focus on prison reform, reducing incarceration and recidivism rates, and decreasing penalties for nonviolent drug possession. The common goal is making the criminal justice system fairer and more cost effective.
The Knotted Line, by Evan Bissell. This is an interactive, hands-on laboratory for exploring the historical relationship between freedom and confinement in the United States. With miniature paintings of more than 50 historical moments from 1495 to 2025, The Knotted Line asks: how is freedom measured? It also imagines a new world through the work of grassroots movements for self-determination. Curriculum guide for teachers included. (M, H, TR) http://bit.ly/1QO2Zc3
2 50th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The purpose of the EPA was to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting, and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. Through the years the agency made great progress in decreasing air and water pollution through regulations on corporations that were destroying the environment. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is quickly undoing all that progress by easing regulations and denying the science behind those restrictions.
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
2 40th anniversary of Americans murdered by US-backed National Guard in El Salvador. Three American nuns, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, and Dorothy Kazel, and one lay worker, Jean Donovan, were abducted, raped, and murdered by members of the US-backed National Guard in El Salvador. President Reagan’s administration blamed the nuns for their murder, as his UN Ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick, blamed their political activism, labeling them communist sympathizers. These women were targeted for their solidarity with the poor and organizing against the military regime.
A People’s History of American Empire, by Howard Zinn. This is a general source for discussing the century-long history of the US’s actions in the world. Zinn specifically looks at US involvement in Latin America. (M, H) http://bit.ly/ih2QiV
3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Launched by the UN in 1992, International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote an understanding of issues faced by people with disabilities with a view towards ensuring the dignity, rights, and well-being of this often marginalized group.
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 multiple marginalized identities.” (H, TR) goo.gl/uwGIB0
3 50th anniversary of the incarceration of César Chávez. After conflict between the Farm Workers Union in Salinas Valley and the Teamsters Union, Chávez organized a strike. Farms retaliated by firing hundreds of Latinx farmworkers and targeting them with violence. Chávez called for a lettuce boycott against the growers, but a judge granted the farmers an anti-boycott injunction. When Chávez refused to call off the boycott, he was imprisoned for contempt of court. The conviction was later overturned, and the anti-boycott injunction was found unconstitutional.
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
4 Jeanne Manford, schoolteacher and co-founder of PFLAG, born (1920-2013). After Manford’s son was assaulted for being gay and received very little support from the police to find and punish the offenders, she and her husband began to think of ways to create a support system for families of gay and lesbian children. Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) began as a local effort, but soon grew to a nationwide movement.
PFLAG Website. PFLAG is the United States’ first and largest organization uniting parents, families, and allies with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The website offers resources for all people looking to create safe and inclusive environments. (TR) https://pflag.org/
5 60th anniversary of Boynton v. Virginia, outlawing segregated bus terminals. Bruce Boynton, a Black law student traveling by bus, sat in a Virginia bus terminal restaurant’s Whites-only section and refused to leave. He was arrested and convicted and appealed his conviction. Because the Interstate Commerce Act prohibits “any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person,” the Supreme Court ruled in Boynton’s favor. However, the ruling was not enforced by the federal government, which led to the Congress of Racial Equality’s Freedom Rides.
Freedom Riders: A Primary Source Exploration of the Struggle for Racial Justice, by Heather E. Schwartz. This children’s book shares the points of view of the Freedom Riders and the people who opposed them through powerful primary sources and historical photos. (E, M) http://bit.ly/377lrWj
6 60th anniversary of the inaugural march by Tocsin. 40 student activists at Harvard gathered at the inaugural event for Tocsin, a student organization that would become active in the call for nuclear disarmament in the early 1960s. The goal of the “walk” was to engage fellow students in intellectual discussions of the issues, rather than simply staging a protest. Tocsin dissolved only four years after its founding, but the organization’s efforts marked the beginning of student activism at Harvard.
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 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
10 International Human Rights Day. This day celebrates the UN’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
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) 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
10 First day of Hanukkah begins at sunset on 12/10 (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 the holiday, Grampa has an inspiration. (E) Resources for the book included here: https://bit.ly/2U0a0tn
10 10th anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo in recognition of his continued nonviolent fight for fundamental human rights in China. He participated in the Tiananmen Square protests and helped draft “Charter 08,” a document calling for greater political freedom for Chinese citizens. He was imprisoned numerous times and received the Nobel Prize while in prison.
15 130th anniversary of Sitting Bull’s death. Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull), a Hunkpapa Lakota chief and religious leader, resisted US government encroachment for decades, fighting many battles against US soldiers, including the Battle of Little Bighorn. He also was a leader in the Ghost Dance movement, a spiritual form of resistance to US imperialism. Lakota police were ordered by federal agents to arrest Sitting Bull. When his people resisted, the police shot and killed him, along with 12 of his tribesmen.
Reimagining Sitting Bull, Tatanka Iyotake, a podcast from On Being with Krista Tippet. In this episode, Ernie Lapointe, Sitting Bull’s great-grandson and author of Sitting Bull: His Life and Legacy, and Cedric Good House discuss the legacy of Tatanka Iyotake. (H) http://bit.ly/2ujlfGp
17 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring. Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, beginning a series of protests that would become known as the Arab Spring. Less than a month later, President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia and the Tunisian government was overthrown, in part because of the role young people played in sparking protest movements across the Middle East and North Africa. An unprecedented revolution spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, and other Middle Eastern countries.
Lesson Plan: Writing About the Arab Spring, by Pulitzer Center. This collection of lesson plans draws on videos, articles, political cartoons, and other materials to engage young people in exploring the events of the Arab Spring. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2H07Sgd
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
19 Mary Livermore, journalist and activist, born (1820-1905). Livermore, a teacher and writer, was active in almost every progressive movement of the 19th century, including abolitionism, the struggle for women’s rights, and the Temperance movement. She organized Chicago’s first women’s rights convention and founded her own newspaper, The Agitator, which soon merged with Woman’s Journal, of which she was editor. She served as president of the Association for the Advancement of Women, and later, the American Woman Suffrage Association.
My Story of the War: The Civil War Memoirs of the Famous Nurse, Relief Organizer, and Suffragette, by Mary Livermore. This autobiographical account details Livermore’s life during the Civil War years and shows the value of women during this time of national turmoil. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2tESzHm
21 Winter Solstice (Northern Hemisphere). The Winter Solstice 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) bit.ly/2n7lqep
22 10th anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” This policy was considered a compromise between those who wanted to bar LGBTQ people from serving in the military and those who believed they should be allowed to serve without constraints. Under the policy, LGBTQ people could serve as long as they kept their sexuality a secret. Growing opposition to the policy led to its repeal in 2010, allowing LGBTQ servicemembers to serve openly. President Trump announced a ban on transgender servicemembers via Twitter in 2017.
Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Takes Effect, by PBS Newshour. This PBS news footage of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” provides an article and downloadable video clip, along with warm-up and discussion questions. (H, TR) http://to.pbs.org/1vMdTAC
25 Christmas. Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus, who is believed by Christians to be the son of God.
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 Second day of Kwanzaa (Kujichagulia = Self-determination)
The Story of Kwanzaa, by Donna Washington. Light the candles on the kinara (candelabrum)! Fly the bendera (flag or banner) 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 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
29 130th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre. A Lakota encampment on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was violently attacked by the US Army, resulting in the murder of almost 300 Native Americans near Wounded Knee Creak, SD. 83 years later, there was a 71-day standoff between the American Indian Movement and US federal law enforcement officials at Wounded Knee.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the series of battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them and their people demoralized and all but destroyed. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity. (H) https://bit.ly/3bpR40j
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) to.pbs.org/2TMDvCg
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) http://bit.ly/vNc77L
31 New Year’s Eve
31 Sixth day of Kwanzaa (Kuumba = Creativity)
31 Odetta Holmes, singer and activist, born (1930-2008). Described by Martin Luther King, Jr. as “the queen of the American folk song,” Odetta Holmes, known simply as Odetta, influenced a generation of musicians. Although trained as a classical singer, Odetta was drawn to folk music and learned to play the guitar, singing traditional songs in her own individual style. She used her music and her platform to advance the fight for social justice and she became an important figure in the Civil Rights movement.
Odetta Speaks About Her Life as an Activist. YouTube video of Holmes reflecting on her life. (M, H) bit.ly/Jg8RER
1 Seventh day of Kwanzaa (Imani = Faith)
1 190th anniversary of the publication of The Liberator. Advocating the “immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves” in the US, The Liberator was an abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp. Appealing to readers on moral rather than political grounds, the newspaper sought to change minds and hearts on the issue of slavery. It faced harsh resistance and attempts at censorship throughout its 35 years of publication.
The Liberator Files. This site hosts a wealth of articles that appeared in The Liberator between 1831 and 1865. (H) http://bit.ly/7SjkKZ
1 10th anniversary of the launching of Athlete Ally. Athlete Ally was founded by Hudson Taylor, a straight athlete who wanted to use his privilege to change athletic culture for the better. Athlete Ally educates athletic communities about the importance of inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in sports and advocates for athlete activism.
Athlete Ally Website. The resources on this website call attention to how LGTBQ athletes are systematically excluded from sports. Athlete Ally believes that everyone should have equal access, opportunity, and experience in sports. Includes a link to “Champions of Inclusion: An Online Course for Coaches and Athletic Leaders on LGBTQ Inclusion in Athletics.” (TR) http://bit.ly/3aEmAHR
1 50th anniversary of the publication of Animals, Men, and Morals. Animals, Men, and Morals: An Inquiry into the Treatment of Non-Humans, by Stanley Godlovitch, Roslind Godlovitch, and John Harris, eds. The essays in this collection departed from the anthropomorphism popular at the time and argued that humans have a moral and philosophical responsibility to refrain from eating or abusing animals. One essay in the collection introduced the term “speciesism,” which was likened to racism. Philosopher Peter Singer declared the book “a manifesto for animal liberation,” thereby coining the phrase.
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
1 50th anniversary of the publication of Diet for a Small Planet. Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe, was the first book (part research, part recipe book) to elucidate the environmental cost of meat production. The book offers simple rules for a healthy diet of protein-rich meals without meat. Lappe offers guidelines on how to change the world by changing the way we eat.
Teaching Youth about Veganism, by Whitney Blomquist and the Vegetarian Resource Group. Brief lesson plans, PowerPoint slides, and tips on teaching children the basics of vegetarianism and veganism. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2nZZ7cN
2 Robert Marshall, co-founder of the Wilderness Society, born (1901-1939). Marshall was an advocate of wilderness protection whose work helped shape the US Forest Service’s policy on wilderness designation and management. He wrote several books on a range of issues related to conservation and preservation and was the first to advocate for the preservation of large tracts in Alaska. When the Wilderness Act was signed into law in 1964, one of the first places to be protected in the National Wilderness Preservation System was named the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana.
The Earth Book, by Todd Parr. This book features vibrantly colored cartoons and offers simple activities followed by clear explanations of how these actions can have a large impact on the health of our planet. 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/11T5MI9
4 C.L.R. James, athlete, teacher, historian, author, and activist, born (1901-1989). James was a leading writer and theorist in the anti-colonialist movement and was involved in Pan-African and socialist organizations. One of his best-known books, The Black Jacobins, published in 1938, is a historical account and analysis of the Haitian revolution of 1791-1804. Born in Trinidad, James spent much of his adult life in England and the US, but he returned to Trinidad for the final years of his life.
C.L.R. James Archive. This website provides access to many of James’s works on Marxism and Black studies. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/uLDXG
5 Alvin Ailey, dancer and choreographer, born (1931-1989). Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York in 1958 and is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African American participation in 20th century dance. He became a noted Broadway dancer and a choreographer of works that explored a wide range of the Black experience. Ailey’s nearly 80 original ballets draw from his memories of the Black churches and honky-tonk bars he knew as a child and include powerful social protest dances.
Alvin Ailey, by Andrea Pinkney. This is an illustrated children’s book about African American choreographer and activist Alvin Ailey. (E) https://bit.ly/2MVECtY
5 90th anniversary of the Lemon Grove Incident. Children of Mexican immigrants were blocked from attending their San Diego County, CA elementary school; they were required to attend school in a separate building. Their parents successfully sued the school district in California Superior Court, becoming the first successful school desegregation court decision in the US. This was a precedent-setting case for the more famous Mendez v. Westminster and Brown v. Board of Education decisions.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, by Duncan Tonatiuh. This book recounts the Mendez v. Westminster desegregation case in California, in which Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end segregated education almost 10 years before Brown v. Board of Education. (E, TR) http://bit.ly/30Nxqa5; Educator’s Guide: https://bit.ly/2pAKmyQ
For All the Children (Para Todos los Niños). This film documents the life of Sylvia Mendez, who was a third-grader in 1943. When she and her siblings were banned from attending the segregated all-White school near their Orange County home, the Mendez family fought back. (E, M, H, TR) The following is a link to a radio interview with Mendez: http://bit.ly/KfnMn1 and a resource from Teaching Tolerance: http://bit.ly/LN3Ohv
6 Charles Sumner, abolitionist, civil rights activist, US Senator, born (1811-1874). Known for his deep commitment to the cause of civil rights, Sumner emerged as an antislavery leader in the late 1840s. The Harvard-educated lawyer had engaged in disarmament efforts and prison and school reforms, arguing for integrated schools in Massachusetts. After the Civil War, Sumner, a Senator from Massachusetts, was a leader in the efforts to establish equal civil and voting rights for the Freedmen and to block ex-Confederates from power.
Sarah’s Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America, by Stephen Kendrick and Paul Kendrick. Benjamin Roberts filed the first school desegregation suit after his daughter Sarah was barred from a White school in Boston, Mass. The plaintiff’s attorneys were Charles Sumner and Robert Morris, one of the country’s first African American lawyers. This was the first trial case about school segregation. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/38cH215
6 80th anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech. In a 1941 address to Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an effort to move the country away from its isolationist policies, introduced the “Four Freedoms”: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. He said that all people were entitled to these freedoms and that the US should act immediately to rid the world of the perils of Nazism, which was spreading throughout Europe.
Full Transcript of FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech. Read the full text of Franklin Roosevelt’s speech to Congress. (H) https://bit.ly/3ak78Q6
7 Zora Neale Hurston, author and anthropologist, born (1891-1960). Hurston was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. She wrote novels, the most famous of which was Their Eyes Were Watching God, and short stories that celebrated African American rural life. She was also an outstanding folklorist and anthropologist who recorded cultural history. Some Black authors criticized her writing, saying she pandered to White readers. Later in life she was criticized for opposing the effort to desegregate schools and for supporting conservative politicians.
Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree, by William Miller, Cornelius Van Wright, and Ying-Hwa Hu. Based on the autobiographical writings of acclaimed novelist Zora Neale Hurston, this book tells the “poignant saga of how one of our most significant storytellers learned to dream.” (E) bit.ly/Jun2Yn; Teacher’s Guide: bit.ly/2ekve4K
8 140th anniversary of the German Coast Slave Uprising. Between 200 and 500 slaves gathered to form the largest slave revolt in American history in what is now Louisiana. During their 2-day march over 20 miles, they burned five plantation houses. The revolt was suppressed by a local militia and resulted in the deaths of almost 100 slaves.
No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance, by Doreen Rappaport. Using true accounts, author Doreen Rappaport puts readers in the shoes of 11 extraordinary individuals and documents the many forms of slave resistance: subversion, uprisings, escape, poetry, religion, and song. (E, M) https://bit.ly/2ufG7xj
9 Joan Baez, musician and activist, born (1941). Joan Baez is an American folksinger and songwriter who used her music to express her social and political views. In the 1960s she became an established, revered folk artist who used her voice to push for widespread change. Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of nonviolence and social change, Baez channeled her career as a musician to highlight key civil rights issues and to protest the Vietnam war.
Joan Baez: The Life and Times of the Songwriter and Activist – In Pictures, The Guardian. This site shares photos of Baez singing songs of protest and justice over the course of her career. (M, H) bit.ly/2uw4mbl
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) 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 participants and opponents of these alleged practices and use hidden camera techniques to delve into the gritty world of cocoa plantations. (H) bit.ly/2HogD3E
11 60th anniversary of the integration of the University of Georgia. African American students Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes started classes on this day after a US District Court ordered the university to integrate. In response, an angry White mob gathered outside Hunter’s dormitory, causing extensive property damage. The controversy surrounding the ruling ultimately led state legislators to repeal earlier legislation that had prohibited state funding for integrated schools.
Legendary Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault Reflects on the Day She Desegregated the U. of Georgia. Democracy Now interview with renowned journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Includes video footage of her first day at college. (H) http://bit.ly/2RjwE1m
12 20th anniversary of the Roadless Rule. The 2001 Roadless Rule established prohibitions on road construction and timber harvesting on 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas on National Forest System lands. The intent of the 2001 Roadless Rule was to provide lasting protection for inventoried roadless areas. Under the Trump administration, there has been a rollback of the rule, threatening old growth forests in Alaska.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest. The magical inhabitants of a rainforest called FernGully fight to save their home that is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus. (E) amzn.to/11T5Jfw
12 90th anniversary of the lynching of Raymond Gunn. On January 12, 1931, Raymond Gunn, a Black man, was lynched by a mob of 2,000 White residents of Maryville, Missouri. Gunn was accused of killing a White school teacher and had been arrested and moved multiple times because of threats of lynching. The mob kidnapped Gunn on the morning of his arraignment and burned him to death on the roof of the schoolhouse. The Black residents fled the town in fear for their lives.
Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, by The Equal Justice Initiative. This report, which can be used as a textbook in the study of American lynching, documents EJI’s multiyear investigation into lynchings in 12 Southern states during the period between Reconstruction and World War II. The report explores the ways in which lynching profoundly affected race relations in this country and shaped the contemporary geographic, political, social, and economic conditions of African Americans. (H, TR) bit.ly/2yDBvyY
15 30th anniversary of Supreme Court order resegregating Oklahoma City schools. In 1972, a Federal court ordered the Oklahoma City Board of Education to adopt a federal busing program to desegregate the schools in compliance with Brown v. Board of Education. In 1984, the school board adopted a new school assignment plan that reduced busing and resegregated the city. In 1989, the Court of Appeals reinstituted the decree; the school board appealed to the Supreme Court, which declared the federal busing decrees were meant to be temporary and thus allowed for the reinstitution of school segregation.
Timeline: From Brown v. Board to Segregation Now, by Amanda Zamora, Christie Thompson, and Nikole Hannah-Jones for ProPublica. This interactive timeline provides the history of integration to resegregation in education. Part of an ongoing series on the site called “Segregation Now” about the reality of current resegregation. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/2uuCWTm
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) 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 Pablo Manlapit, labor organizer, born (1891-1969). Manlapit, born in the Philippines, emigrated to Hawaii as a plantation laborer. In 1914 he published Hawaii’s first Filipino newspaper Ang Sandaka. He went on to become a lawyer – the first Filipino lawyer in Hawaii – and labor activist. He helped found the Filipino Labor Union and was a key organizer in several major strikes, one of which resulted in the Hanapepe Massacre, in which 16 strikers and four policemen were killed and many others seriously wounded.
Blood in the Fields: The Hanapepe Massacre and the 1924 Filipino Strike, by Dean Alegado. This article offers a critical examination of the historical and social context of the Hanapepe Massacre. Alegado, a professor of ethnic studies, explores the relationship between labor, capital, and race in Hawaii during the 1900s. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1geg9Kq
17 30th anniversary of US involvement in the First Gulf War. Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. A US-led coalition of two dozen nations had positioned approximately 750,000 troops in the region. After a UN-declared deadline for withdrawal passed on January 15, coalition forces began a 5-week bombardment of Iraqi targets from air and sea, and eventually the ground. President George H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire on February 28, ending the war, though a second Gulf War would ensue 12 years later after years of unrest in the region.
Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War, Teaching Activity by Adam Sanchez, Rethinking Schools. A role-play investigating the economic consequences of the US occupation of Iraq. Inspired by Naomi Klein’s groundbreaking article, “Baghdad Year Zero,” this role-play examines the economic dimensions of the Iraq war. (H) bit.ly/2v6ZJEC
17 60th anniversary of the murder of Patrice Lumumba. Lumumba was elected Prime Minister after he helped win the Democratic Republic of Congo’s independence from Belgium. Shortly after, Lumumba’s government was overthrown in a coup, and he was imprisoned and assassinated. Many believe the governments of Belgium and the US were linked to his assassination.
Lumumba, a film directed by Raoul Peck. This film centers on Patrice Lumumba in the months before and after Congo-Léopoldville achieved independence from Belgium in June 1960. Can be streamed online from various sources. (H) https://amzn.to/2S9tzRZ
18 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 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) bit.ly/1iv4HhU
20 130th anniversary of the publication of “Nuestra América,” by José Martí. “Nuestra América,” by José Martí was published in El Partido Liberal in Mexico City (originally published 1/1/1891 in Revista Ilustrada in New York). Martí wrote about racism in the US and Cuba and advocated for Cuban independence from Spain. Martí co-founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party and wrote its manifesto. His political ideas about Latin America were influential, and “Nuestra América” is considered a landmark essay in its call for a pan-Latin American identity.
Cuando Los Grandes Eran Pequeños. José Martí (Spanish Edition), by Georgina Lazaro. This Spanish language picture book tells the story of young José Martí who became famous throughout the Americas as a writer and as the hero of Cuban independence. (E) bit.ly/31zTTba
20 60th anniversary of Marian Anderson singing at JFK’s inauguration. Marian Anderson was an African American singer whose 1939 Easter concert at the Lincoln Memorial brought her talents to the attention of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Ms Roosevelt invited Anderson to perform at the White House several times. The two women challenged racial segregation practices that barred Black artists from performing in public venues that served Whites only. Anderson performed the national anthem at President Kennedy’s inauguration and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 1963.
When Marian Sang, by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Brian Selznik. This post on the 6 Elements of Social Justice Education blog, an annotated list of children’s literature for the elementary classroom, summarizes the book that tells the story of Marian Anderson’s life, including the injustices she faced as a Black performer. (E) bit.ly/18moWrZ
21 190th anniversary of Portsmouth, Ohio’s banishing Black people. The banishment of Black residents from Portsmouth took place in response to Ohio’s “Black Laws,” which prohibited any Black person from living in the state of Ohio unless they had a certificate from the clerk of court declaring that they were free and not enslaved. A subsequent law barred Black people from testifying in court against White people and stated that Black people must provide a $500 bond “for good behavior and against becoming a township charge.”
The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery, by Dennis Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin. With powerful illustrations and 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) bit.ly/2HmVDKR
22 30th anniversary of the worst oil spill in history. The horrors of war are usually calculated in loss of life. But environmental destruction is always part of the bloody equation. During the Gulf War, the Iraqi army, retreating from the US military, destroyed tankers, oil terminals, and oil wells, setting many on fire. The fighting and sabotage caused the discharge of approximately 1.25 million tons of oil, the worst oil spill in history.
A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis, edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart, 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) bit.ly/1VKElav
25 80th Anniversary of A. Philip Randolph’s proposed March on Washington. Randolph’s purpose in proposing the march was to pressure President Franklin Roosevelt to integrate the military and provide equal access to defense industry jobs. A week before the march, Roosevelt established by executive order the Fair Employment Practices Committee, which prohibited racial discrimination in the national defense industry. Although the law did not address integration of the military, the march was canceled.
10,000 Black Men Named George, film by Robert Townsend. The story of the attempt to establish the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a union of the Black railway porters working for the Pullman Company, with the assistance of journalist and political activist Asa Philip Randolph. The title derives from the fact that all Black porters were referred to as George because they worked for owner George Pullman. (M, H) bit.ly/2tLpsCb
25 50th anniversary of Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corporation. The Supreme Court ruled that private employers cannot refuse to hire women simply because they have preschool-age children. It was the first sex discrimination case of its kind under Title VII to reach the Supreme Court. In 1966, Martin Marietta Corporation told Ida Phillips that they would not accept job applications from women with preschool-age children, though the company employed men with children of the same age.
When a Chief Justice Declared that Women Make Better Secretaries, by Gillian Thomas, The Guardian. An article that describes the details of Phillips v. Martin Marietta, the Supreme Court case that established that gender could not be the deciding factor in most hiring. (H, TR) bit.ly/2StPORF
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 describes 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 50th anniversary of the “Winter Soldier” investigation of US war crimes in Vietnam. Vietnam Veterans Against the War sponsored this 3-day event in which veterans gave testimony about war crimes. The investigation saw vet after vet describe his own personal participation in war crimes – atrocities that became normal in Vietnam where government policy demanded a body count but didn’t care whose bodies were counted. It inspired a similar event by veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008.
Sir! No Sir!, by David Zeiger, Displaced Films. Sir! No Sir! tells the story of the GI movement to end the war in Vietnam. Website includes links to materials on the current antiwar movement within the military. (M, H) bit.ly/6hUsRu
1 First day of African American History Month. Since 1976, February has been designated African American (or Black) History Month. The idea dates back to 1915 with the establishment of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Headed by historian Carter Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland, the organization sponsored the first Negro History Week in 1926 with the goal of celebrating the contributions of Black people to American history, society, and culture.
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 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) 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 Elizabeth Blackwell, doctor and women’s rights advocate, born (1821-1910). Overcoming blatant discrimination as a woman in a “man’s profession,” Blackwell graduated first in her medical school class. Despite her credentials, no hospital or clinic would hire her, so she opened her own clinic, the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, catering to the needs of poor women. Blackwell also trained nurses for Union hospitals during the Civil War. She later opened a medical college in New York and was active in women’s rights issues.
Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone. This is the true story of the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell. She was determined to get into medical school at a time when NO women were allowed entry. See how her perseverance paid off! (E) Second link is to a teachers’ guide: bit.ly/2liGYW7; bit.ly/2BInzoG
4 Betty Friedan, feminist, activist, and author, born (1921-2006). Betty Friedan was a force for change in redefining gender norms and engaging women in the political process. She wrote the groundbreaking book, The Feminine Mystique, co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW), and founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (now NARAL Pro-Choice America). She, along with Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem, helped create the National Women’s Political Caucus.
Media Construction of Social Justice, by Project Look Sharp. Unit 5, “Women’s Liberation,” looks at the second wave of feminism through a media literacy lens, starting with the publication of The Feminine Mystique. Lesson one asks students to analyze the messages on the book’s cover. (M, H) bit.ly/37n2rnl
6 40th anniversary of United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons. UN General Assembly resolution 31/123, of 1976, declared 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP). It called for national, regional, and international action plans to equalize opportunities, rehabilitation, and prevention of disabilities. The theme of IYDP was “full participation and equality,” and defined the rights of persons with disabilities as the same as all other citizens, calling for the dissolution of barriers to full participation in social and economic development for all.
Inclusion on the Bookshelf, by 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) bit.ly/2wNUxpo
6 60th anniversary of “Jail, No Bail” in Rock Hill, SC sit-ins. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sent four volunteers to Rock Hill, SC to sit-in following the arrests of Black students for demanding service at a segregated lunch counter. The four were arrested and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Though not the first time this tactic was used, activists refused to post bail, demanding jail time, employing a “Jail, No Bail” tactic in order to dramatize the injustice, while also asserting that paying fines proved adherence to an immoral system.
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
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) bit.ly/2ARmRHa
12 120th anniversary of Delaware’s ratification of the 13th Amendment. Delaware became one of the last states to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, ending slavery, beating out only Kentucky and Mississippi. Delaware has quite a checkered past regarding slavery and post-slavery policies, including legitimizing segregated education in its Constitution and a slew of discriminatory housing and employment practices. Delaware citizens were part of the contingent who filed suit in the Brown v. Board case, which ruled that separate educational facilities were unconstitutional.
Slavery and Resistance: A recommended book list from Teaching for Change. More than 60 recommended books for the classroom and as background reading for parents and teachers on the history of slavery and resistance in the United States. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/1oP0MB9
12 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) bit.ly/2SkTYJp
Teaching About the Lunar New Year Through Postage Stamps, by the Smithsonian Institution. 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.
12 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 include people 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) bit.ly/9Q1L0r
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) bit.ly/tFAlAq
14 10th anniversary of Wisconsin Workers’ Strike. The first in a series of demonstrations by protesters opposing Act 10, the Wisconsin governor’s effort to weaken public workers’ collective bargaining rights. 100,000 protesters descended on the state capitol, unsuccessfully demanding the return of union rights to public employees. Similar labor fights have been waged in other states across the country since.
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) activistpedagogy.com
15 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 enslaved people working under the blistering sun for hours a day under grueling conditions. (E) bit.ly/2l9NTSD
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) bit.ly/svqysP
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) bit.ly/2IIILOC
15 LaDonna Harris, Comanche activist, born (1931). Harris, an enrolled citizen of the Comanche Nation, is founder and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity, a national advocacy organization that draws on traditional Indigenous philosophies. She has also been influential in the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Environmental, and World Peace movements, and frequently speaks out against poverty and for social justice. She was the 1980 Vice Presidential candidate on the Citizens Party ticket.
LaDonna Harris: INDIAN 101. A documentary film about Comanche activist LaDonna Harris, who spent many years pursuing Native American political and social activism, and is now passing on her traditional cultural and leadership values to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders. Site includes a trailer for the film. (M, H) bit.ly/1uNC6FF
15 170th anniversary of the liberation of Shadrach Minkins, a fugitive slave. Black abolitionists broke into a Boston courtroom and rescued Shadrach Minkins, who had escaped slavery the previous year and was the first person detained under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. The abolitionists helped Minkins escape to Canada using the Underground Railroad.
Poetry of Defiance: How the Enslaved Resisted, Teaching Activity by Adam Sanchez, Rethinking Schools.
Through a mixer activity, students are introduced to the various ways that enslaved people resisted the brutal exploitation of slavery. The lesson culminates in a collective class poem highlighting the defiance of the enslaved. (M, H) bit.ly/2O5TEPu
15 160th anniversary of the Treaty of Fort Wise. On February 15, 1861, Cheyenne and Arapahoe leaders signed the Treaty of Fort Wise, ceding eastern Colorado and parts of Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming to the United States. The land that was ceded had been protected by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie.
This Place: 150 Years Retold, published by Portage & Main Press. Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since contact. (H) bit.ly/2S0eB04
15 10th anniversary of Maya Angelou’s receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Barak Obama awarded Maya Angelou the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, at a White House ceremony. Angelou was the first woman to recite poetry at a presidential inauguration when she recited “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993. She was a prolific writer and poet and was an outspoken civil rights activist.
Maya Angelou, a PBS documentary by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack. With unprecedented access, filmmakers trace Dr. Angelou’s incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos, and her own words. Debuted Feb. 21, 2017, and free to stream. (H) to.pbs.org/2jwY8gZ
17 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) https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/
18 Toni Morrison, author, scholar, and literary editor, born (1931-2019). Morrison’s novels are known for their epic themes, exquisite language, and richly detailed African American characters who are central to their narratives. Her novel Beloved, published in 1987, earned her a Pulitzer Prize. In 1993, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African American woman to earn the title. In 2012, Morrison received the Presidential Medal of freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
Remember: The Journey to School Integration, by Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison has collected a treasure trove of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. (E, M) bit.ly/1wldwAY
Toni Morrison – The Nobel Prize in Literature 1993 Acceptance Speech. Her speech is available here both in text and audio form. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/10GTcB
18 50th anniversary of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) was organized to preserve language and history and to advance social, political, economic, and environmental justice for Canada’s indigenous Inuit people. The Inuit people have occupied their homeland (Inuit Nunangat) for millennia. These territories, spread across Canada, comprise 35% of Canada’s landmass and 50% of its coastline. The goal of ITK is to promote the prosperity of Canada’s Inuit population through unity and self-determination.
Children’s Books about the Inuit, by Strong Nations. A collection of children’s titles that feature the Inuit people and culture. (E) bit.ly/2GvQJh8
18 150th anniversary of the “Chinese Question” cartoon in Harper’s Weekly. The editorial cartoon highlighted the anti-Chinese hysteria and resentment rising among White laborers and policymakers during the late 1800s. During this period, railroad companies were recruiting Chinese laborers to build the US’s first transcontinental railroad and work in hazardous conditions with little pay. Several of cartoonist Thomas Nast’s editorial cartoons decried the mistreatment of Chinese laborers.
Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America, by David H.T. Wong. Told as the history of the Wong family, this accessible volume offers readers both a panoramic and intimate look at the Chinese experience in North America. No doubt, this is a story of racism, exploitation, and violence, but it is also a story of warmth and solidarity. (H) bit.ly/2mxipHy
19 70th anniversary of the storming of the Egyptian parliament. 1,500 Egyptian women, led by Doria Shafik, stormed the all-male Egyptian parliament with a set of demands aimed at creating a more feminist-oriented parliament in Egypt. For four hours, these activists pushed the parliament to consider their demands, ultimately leading to the commitment to allow women to vote and hold office in Egypt.
Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, by Mona Eltahawy. Seizing upon the energy of the #MeToo movement, Egyptian feminist activist Mona Eltahawy advocates a muscular, out-loud approach to teaching women and girls to harness their power through what she calls the “seven necessary sins” that women and girls are not supposed to commit: to be angry, ambitious, profane, violent, attention-seeking, lustful, and powerful. (H) bit.ly/2S4kSYN
20 Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian musician, singer-songwriter, social activist, born (1941). Sainte-Marie, a Canadian First Nations singer-songwriter and social justice activist, was highly influential in the 1960s. She founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project, which aims to raise self-identity in present and future generations of Indigenous children by introducing them to enriching, accurate information about Native American people and cultures. Her anti-Vietnam War anthem, “Universal Soldier,” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of fame in 2005.
The Cradleboard Teaching Project Website focuses on Native American culture and comes out of Indian country and reaches far beyond. Backed by lesson plans, children learn with and through their long-distance peers using new technology alongside standard tools, delivering the truth to children with the help of several American Indian colleges. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3aNgK7n
21 20th anniversary of National Disabled Students Union. The National Disabled Students Union is a national cross-disability student organization. It was formed in response to a Supreme Court decision in Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama et al v. Garrett et al, which limits the enforcement of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Although the Garrett decision still requires the states to treat disabled and non-disabled employees equally, it makes enforcement more difficult.
Picturing Accessibility: Art, Activism and Physical Disabilities, by Teaching Tolerance. The four lessons in this series focus on public design and accessibility. Students will learn about the interaction between art and activism. They will use language and literacy skills to understand what ableism is and why it is important to fight it. (E) bit.ly/2OpNLwA
21 20th anniversary of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day. The day was established to celebrate and promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The commemoration honors the Language Movement of Bangladesh, which sought to have the Bangla language recognized as an official language after the formation of Pakistan and the declaration of Urdu as the only recognized language.
En Comunidad: Lessons for Centering the Voices and Experiences of Bilingual Latinx Students, by Carla España and Luz Yadira Herrera. En Comunidad brings bilingual Latinx students’ perspectives to the center of our classrooms and offers classroom-ready lessons that amplify the varied stories and identities of Latinx children. (TR) bit.ly/2Vyy22c
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) bit.ly/2njKRdr
24 190th anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Originally signed in September 1830, this was the first land exchange under the Indian Removal Act. Eleven million acres of the Choctaw Nation, in what is now Mississippi, was ceded in exchange for 15 million acres in present-day Oklahoma. It was characterized as a “voluntary exchange,” though the Native Americans really had little choice in the matter, and the majority of Choctaw communities protested the agreement.
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 displacement. (H, TR) bit.ly/vXUZzQ
25 190th anniversary of federal penitentiary in the District of Columbia. This prison was the precursor to the Federal Prison System, which was authorized 60 years later. The prison comprised a 20-foot wall, guard towers, and shops for making brooms and shoes. There were 150 cells for men and 64 cells for women. It was closed in 1862 when a nearby military base was expanded for use in the Civil War.
Race to Incarcerate, by Marc Mauer, Sabrina Jones, and 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) bit.ly/2s0coV9
25 80th anniversary of the general strike in Amsterdam. A general strike in Amsterdam protested Nazi persecution of Jews after hundreds of Jews were imprisoned. 300,000 people from different faiths, political backgrounds, and workplaces came together to bring the city to a standstill for days – the first and largest direct action taken in the war against fascism in Europe. The February Strike is still celebrated in the Netherlands.
One Survivor Remembers, by Teaching Tolerance. This documentary tells the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein’s six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. The free teaching kit includes the film and lesson plans. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/17OwOL
26 90th anniversary of the La Placita Raid. In an era of nationwide job shortages and intense anti-immigrant sentiment, federal agents raided La Placita Park in Los Angeles and pulled 400 men and women into vans for deportation. The raids instilled fear in the Mexican American community. Illegal deportations continued in the years that followed, affecting nearly 1.8 million people, many of whom were US citizens.
Deportations on Trial: Mexican Americans During the Great Depression, Teaching Activity by Ursula Wolfe-Rocco, Zinn Education Project. In this role-play students analyze who is to blame for the illegal mass deportations of Mexican Americans and immigrants during the Great Depression. Originally published in Rethinking Schools. (H) bit.ly/3aCiqAg
26 Purim begins at sunset on 3/9 (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://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/cakes-and-miracles-a-purim-tale
27 Dominican Republic Independence Day. Hispañola (now the Dominican Republic) was a battleground as French, Spanish, and Haitian troops fought over the land for centuries. In 1838 Juan Pablo Duarte, along with other Dominicans, formed La Trinitaria, whose goal was independence from foreign domination. On February 27, 1844, independence was finally declared, and the Dominican Republic flag was flown for the first time.
Dominican Republic Booklist, by Teaching for Change. A collection of books and interdisciplinary teaching aids on the history, politics, and culture of the Dominican Republic. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2RW7hSH
1 First day of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month, which grew out of a week-long 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, accompanied by charming illustrations, of African American women who helped shape history. It was an instant New York Times bestseller when it debuted in December 2017. (E) bit.ly/2p5UijE
1 100th anniversary of Idaho’s enhanced ban on interracial marriage. Idaho amended its anti-miscegenation law to include additional restrictions on interracial marriage. The 1921 amendment banned marriage between White people and “Mongolians, Negroes, and Mulattoes.” It was repealed in 1959. This was part of a wider trend in the 1920s in response to “social Darwinism” in which elites tried to maintain the “purity” of the White race.
This Book is Antiracist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, by Tiffany Jewell. In this activity book for young people (and everyone), users gain a deeper understanding of our anti-racist selves as we progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give us the courage and power to undo it. All you need is a pen and paper. This link also includes teacher’s guides for the book. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2VcBWxG
2 120th anniversary of the Platt Amendment. The Platt Amendment gave the US the right to intervene in Cuba for the purported purpose of ensuring individual liberty for Cubans, but essentially denied Cuban independence and allowed the US to maintain naval stations in Cuba. Cuba ratified the amendment later that year as the only alternative to continued American occupation. These events are directly related to the US presence in Guantanamo Bay.
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
2 30th anniversary of Iraqi suppression of Kurdish uprising. When the uprising confronted Saddam Hussein’s regime with the most serious internal challenge it had ever faced, government forces responded with atrocities on a massive scale, indiscriminately killing people in the streets and using helicopters to attack unarmed civilians as they fled. An estimated 50,000 Kurds and Shi’a Muslims were killed, and an estimated one million Kurds escaped to Turkey and Iran. The human rights repercussions continue to be felt to this day.
Teaching While Muslim, founded by Nagla Bedir. A website, blog series, and collection of resources devoted to supporting educators to challenge anti-Muslim racism and discrimination in and out of schools. Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and at this site. (TR) teachingwhilemuslim.org
3 30th anniversary of the Rodney King beating by LAPD. Caught on camera, Rodney King’s brutal beating by LA police officers caused public outrage that increased anger over police brutality and social inequalities in the African American community. The four LAPD officers were indicted on numerous charges but were acquitted by a jury that included no Black members (10 Whites, and one each Latinx and Asian). The public response was swift and violent, sparking what came to be known as the LA riots.
Abolition of Policing: A Workshop, by Critical Resistance. Included in the workshop is a facilitator’s guide, definitions, a digital “Origins of Policing Timeline,” and resources that Critical Resistance hands out at the end of the workshop. (H, TR) bit.ly/2yo1OxQ
3 150th anniversary of the Indian Appropriation Act of 1871. In 1871, Congress ended formal treaty-making with Indians, obliterating a nearly 100-year-old diplomatic tradition in which the United States recognized tribes as nations. Congress agreed to honor the approximately 368 Indian treaties that had been ratified from 1778 to 1868. Speaking without apparent irony, one congressman said the US should not be making treaties with other nations “on our own soil,” apparently “forgetting” that that soil belonged to the Native Americans in the first place.
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
3 170th anniversary of the California Land Claims Act of 1851. Although the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo guaranteed rights for Mexican citizens, after the Mexican American War, Mexican American landowners in the newly-held US territory were often stripped of their rights to their land. This act made it difficult for anyone but wealthy ranchers to be able to protect their land because the process was very expensive and complex, sometimes taking as long as 25 years to be settled.
¡Viva la Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History, by the Southwest Organizing Project and Collision Course Video Productions. Based on the book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martínez, this two-part video in English offers a compelling introduction to the history of Mexican American people. (M, H) http://amzn.to/XhUqfa
3 130th anniversary of the Three Prisons Act. The act established the federal prison system. The first three prisons – USP Leavenworth, USP Atlanta, and USP McNeil Island – were operated with limited oversight by the Department of Justice. Initial groundbreaking didn’t take place until six years later because of delays in funding. The Bureau of Prisons was established in 1930.
The Abolitionist Toolkit, by Critical Resistance. This toolkit provides an introduction to 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
4 Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores, Indigenous rights and environmental activist, born (1971-2016). Cáceres founded the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) to fight environmental destruction caused by plantations and dams. One of her grassroots campaigns, which led to her winning the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, resulted in the world’s largest dam builder pulling out of a project. In 2016, Cáceres was assassinated in her home by corporate interests seeking to silence her.
Remembering Berta Cáceres, Assassinated Honduras Indigenous and Environmental Leader, by Democracy Now. In this reporting from DN, we hear about her accomplishments, along with an archived interview with Cáceres speaking to her nephew, Silvio Carrillo, and her longtime friend Beverly Bell. (H) bit.ly/2SlqVaP
6 50th anniversary of the exposure of the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI broke into an FBI office in Philadelphia, removing documents that revealed the existence of COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program), which operated from 1956 to 1971. The program aimed at infiltrating and disrupting “subversive” organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, and Martin Luther King, Jr., among others. The program was discontinued only because it had been publicly exposed.
COINTELPRO: Teaching the FBI’s War on the Black Freedom Movement, a teaching activity by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Rethinking Schools. Through examining FBI documents, students learn the scope of the FBI’s COINTELPRO campaign to spy on, infiltrate, discredit, and disrupt all corners of the Black Freedom movement. (H) http://bit.ly/2GbgQrl
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) bit.ly/1Lu1St4
11 210th anniversary of the first of the Luddite protests against mechanization. The Luddites were a movement of British weavers and textile workers who protested the mechanization of their industries, often by destroying mechanized looms, which they feared would put them out of work. The British government struck back, deploying troops to factories and imposing the death penalty for breaking machinery. The Luddite movement died out by 1813. The word Luddite has come to refer to anyone who is opposed to or fears new technology.
Writings of the Luddites, by Kevin Binfield. Though famous for their violent protests, the Luddites also engaged in literary resistance in the form of poems, proclamations, petitions, songs, and letters. In Writings of the Luddites, Kevin Binfield collects complete texts written by Luddites or Luddite sympathizers between 1811 and 1816, adds detailed notes, and organizes the documents by the three primary regions of origin: The Midlands, Northwestern England, and Yorkshire. (H) bit.ly/3cwqSRU
11 10th anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The catastrophe was triggered by an earthquake and 50-foot tsunami that knocked out vital cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Three of the six reactors melted down. The meltdown resulted in massive evacuations, contaminated natural resources, and put frontline workers at risk. It is considered the second-worst nuclear disaster in history. So far, only one death has been directly attributed to radiation, though at least 18,500 people died from the earthquake and tsunami.
Investigating Nuclear Accidents, by TeachNuclear. How can we learn from nuclear accidents to make power plants safer? This lesson engages students in identifying the causes and effects of two major power plant accidents and proposing recommendations to minimize the chances of such accidents occurring. (H) bit.ly/2uIRPRl
11 160th anniversary of the adoption of the Confederate Constitution. The Constitution adopted by the seceding Southern states contained substantial differences from the US Constitution in its protection of slavery. One article explicitly banned any Confederate state from making slavery illegal, yet people continue to argue that the Civil War was not about slavery.
A War to Free the Slaves? Teaching Activity PDF, by Bill Bigelow. In this activity, students examine excerpts from Lincoln’s first inaugural address, the rarely mentioned original 13th Amendment to the Constitution that Lincoln promised to support, and the Emancipation Proclamation, to explore some of the myths about the Civil War. (H) bit.ly/fE29mG
11 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) bit.ly/2TQIG17
12 50th anniversary of Wyatt v. Stickney. In Wyatt v. Stickney, a federal court in Alabama ruled that people involuntarily committed to state institutions because of mental illness or developmental disabilities have the right to treatment that gives them a realistic opportunity to return to society.
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
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) 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) bit.ly/U73AW2
Raising Deaf Kids: A Book List. A compilation of children’s books about hearing loss and deafness. (E, M) bit.ly/2ds3xCR
14 130th anniversary of the lynching of 11 Italians in New Orleans. A mob of White people impassioned by anti-immigrant sentiment – particularly toward Italians, who often refused to follow Jim Crow laws – brutally murdered 11 Italian Americans in response to the death of the New Orleans police chief and the acquittal at trial of the Italians.
How Italians Became “White,” by Brent Staples, NYT Magazine. This in-depth opinion piece in the Times tells the story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to White Americans in good standing in the 20th. It offers a window into how race is socially constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change. (H) nyti.ms/2VfAV8f
14 Daylight Saving Time begins
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 film 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) to.pbs.org/1cNyCMD
17 170th anniversary of dubious “discovery” of “Drapetomania” (Runaway Slave Syndrome). Dr. Samuel Cartwright shared his “scientific” findings of “Drapetomania” at the Louisiana Medical Association annual meeting. The term combines the Greek words for runaway slave and crazy and describes a curable disorder that afflicts only Black people. The “cure” for this disorder was whipping and amputation of the toes. Cartwright claimed that Black people were different from White people by their smaller brains, underdeveloped nervous system, and more sensitive skin.
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) bit.ly/2TERcDP
17 100th anniversary of the Mothers’ Clinic. Marie Stopes and her husband, Humphrey Roe, founded the Mothers’ Clinic, Britain’s first birth control clinic. The aim was to provide poor women with the latest contraceptive methods and to demonstrate its effect on their health and marital relations. Stopes and Roe funded the clinic personally and created the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress to maintain it.
Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!): The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls, by Sonya Renee Taylor. Positive, judgment-free, and medically accurate, this book discusses puberty in a way that young girls can understand. Using current, accessible medical information, this book offers a fresh take that will leave girls feeling informed, empowered, and ready for the changes that lie ahead. (E, M, H) http://bit.ly/31ELiDT
18 William H. Johnson, artist, born (1901-1970). Johnson produced hundreds of works in a career that spanned several decades. It is only recently that his work has begun to receive the attention it deserves. He attended the prestigious National Academy of Design, working several jobs to pay for it. After several years in Europe, he returned to the US where he focused on African American folk art. More than 1,000 paintings by Johnson are now part of the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson, by Richard J. Powell. A fully illustrated monograph on Johnson, this book gives attention to his life and work. Images and text trace Johnson’s path from Expressionism to a highly original, folk-inspired style depicting the Black experience. (M, H) http://bit.ly/37qpgXD
18 120th anniversary of Li Sing v. United States. Li Sing was a Chinese man who was a lawful resident of New Jersey. After a brief trip to China, he was granted re-entry, but was later arrested and charged with unlawful entry, despite having a certificate of entry from the Chinese consulate. During this period of rampant anti-Chinese sentiment, he was found guilty. Upon appeal, the court upheld the previous conviction and Li Sing was deported.
Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, PBS curriculum and documentary. This documentary describes the ways the first arrivals from China in the 1840s, their descendants, and recent immigrants have “become American.” Facing History offers a teaching unit to accompany the film. (E, M, TR) http://to.pbs.org/MQcxL
18 190th anniversary of Cherokee Nation v. Georgia. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the Supreme Court ruled that the Cherokee Nation was not a “foreign nation,” so the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to hear its claims. The Court stated that Native Americans were “domestic dependent nations” and concluded that Indigenous peoples could not bring suit in American court. The refusal of treaties left the Cherokee vulnerable to the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in their forcible removal a year later.
The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role-Play. This role-play encourages students to explore from the inside the dynamics that led to Native American forced relocation. As students portray individuals in some of the groups that shaped these historical episodes, the aim is for them to see not only what happened, but why it happened – and to consider whether there were alternatives available. (M, H) http://bit.ly/vT0KrP
19 80th anniversary of the Tuskegee Air Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen). In 1941, President Roosevelt and Congress directed the War Department to form an all-Black flying unit. Benjamin O. Davis became the first African American to fly solo in an Army Air Corps aircraft. He trained and got his wings and was inducted as first squadron leader of the Tuskegee Air Squadron. Nearly 1,000 Tuskegee Airmen followed his lead. Their leadership and excellence are credited with the eventual integration of the US Armed Forces.
Red Tails, a film by George Lucas and Anthony Hemingway. Red Tails tells the story of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, inspired by true events from the Second World War. The film depicts the heroic exploits of the elite African American fighter pilots who proved their worth in the skies over Europe. Starring Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, and Ne-Yo. (H) amzn.to/2vKgRQT
19 110th anniversary of the inaugural International Women’s Day. Inspired by the US’s National Women’s Day in 1909, women’s rights activists at the International Socialists Women’s Conference began to plan an International Women’s Day. On March 19, 1911, more than a million people marked the first International Women’s Day, with more than 300 demonstrations in the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone. Today, International Women’s Day is an official holiday in 27 countries.
24 Printable Coloring Sheets that Celebrate Girl Power, by Emily McCombs. Printable coloring sheets for the youngest ones, depicting historic and modern-day badass women. (E) huff.to/2oZ6zVM
Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History, by Blair Imani. With a radical and inclusive approach to history, Modern HERstory profiles and celebrates 70 women and nonbinary champions of progressive social change in a bold, colorful, illustrated format for all ages. All of these trailblazers come from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally overlooked and under-celebrated. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3d0AiWy
21 50th anniversary of KKK lynching of Michael Donald. In response to a mistrial of a White cop’s murder, allegedly by a Black man, two Klansmen from Mobile, Alabama killed Michael Donald. Both Klansmen and an accomplice were charged and went to prison; one was executed. Donald’s mother sued the United Klans of America and was awarded $7 million, which bankrupted the organization.
Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You, a young people’s remix of the National Book Award-winning book, Stamped from the Beginning. The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of the original book reveals the history of racist ideas in America and inspires hope for an anti-racist future. (H) bit.ly/2TWqyWC; Teacher’s Guide by Sonja Cherry Paul: bit.ly/StampedGuide
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) 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) bit.ly/2Agvf2C
22 World Water Day. This observance is held annually to highlight water issues and to advocate for universal access to sustainable freshwater 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) 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) bit.ly/2LJg0nr
We Are Water Protectors, by Carole Lindstrom. Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption – a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade. (E) bit.ly/2AeJ2tH
22 120th anniversary of the arrest of a Black man and White woman for walking together. A White woman and a Black man were arrested in Atlanta for walking together. After the arrest, the woman did not challenge the law, but denied the accusation, saying she had just smiled at the man. The man also denied speaking to the woman. The reintroduction of the Black Codes in Georgia after Reconstruction was designed to keep White supremacy and racial hierarchy in place.
Different Differenter: An Activity Book About Skin Color, by Jyoti Gupta. Different Differenter is an activity book that introduces skin color to children in a healthy way. When young children begin to observe differences in skin color, their questions on the subject demand simple yet accurate responses. Jyoti’s arts-and-crafts-based book takes you on a playful and creative discovery to find answers that work for you and your family, while thoughtfully introducing facts of history and 15-plus new words. (E) jyotigupta.org
23 40th anniversary of Kirchberg v. Feenstra. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned state laws designating a husband as “head and master.” A Louisiana law gave sole rights to marital property to the husband. Joan Feenstra filed a lawsuit arguing that such a law was unconstitutional, and she prevailed. During the oral arguments of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 (the same-sex marriage case), Justice Ginsburg cited the case, arguing that “we have changed our views on marriage over time.”
Sexism: From Identification to Activism, by Teaching Tolerance. Students will identify ways in which sexism is manifested in personal and institutional beliefs, behaviors, use of language, and policies. Use this lesson to develop plans of action against bias. (M, H) bit.ly/36XRrfE
25 110th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City killed 146 workers, mainly young immigrant women. Many of the deaths came from workers jumping out of windows or falling down elevator shafts. The factory’s owners were tried and acquitted of manslaughter in the deaths. 100,000 people marched in a memorial parade, which increased public awareness about unethical labor conditions in factories. This event sparked sweeping changes in labor safety laws.
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
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Disasters in History), by Jessica Sarah Gunderson. This graphic novel depicts the labor conditions, the fire, and the ensuing movement for labor rights. (E) bit.ly/36z36kH
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Online Exhibition, by The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives. This web exhibit presents original documents and secondary sources on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. (H) http://bit.ly/1qNSgeG
25 90th anniversary of the Scottsboro Nine. Nine African American teenagers were falsely accused of raping two White women in Alabama. Eight were sentenced to death by an all-White jury, but their convictions were overturned four years later by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the Scottsboro Nine collectively served more than 100 years in prison. The racial injustice they faced helped fuel the Civil Rights movement.
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy. This PBS documentary and companion website offer insights into the Scottsboro tragedy using primary resources, a timeline, and testimonials. (H) https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/scottsboro/
27 First day of Passover begins at sunset on 3/27 (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) bit.ly/2RVTNZ6
29 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 Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal. Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from the bestselling mother/son duo. (E) bit.ly/2KO5Ipt
29 70th anniversary of the Rosenberg trial verdict. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were charged with and convicted of espionage amid an anti-Communism frenzy. Both Rosenbergs were members of the Communist Party, but there was no direct evidence implicating them in the plot to provide top-secret information to the Russians. They were offered a plea deal, but turned it down, proclaiming their innocence. Despite worldwide protests, they were both sentenced to death and were executed in 1953.
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 anti-communism to a fever pitch, and how he later fell into disrepute. (M, H) bit.ly/2Y1yJDc
31 César Chávez Day. This day marks the birthday of César Chávez, an American farmworker, labor leader, and civil rights activist. Chávez co-founded 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) bit.ly/2qkxOfj; link to Teacher’s Guide: 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) 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) 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, opinions, and videos 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) 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
Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice, by Mahogany Browne with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood. Historically, poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflect the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3gnx3KI
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 60th anniversary of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in India. India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act prohibits any person from inflicting, causing, or permitting unnecessary pain or suffering on any animal. The Act makes it a crime to beat, kick, torture, mutilate, administer a harmful substance, or cruelly kill an animal. It is also illegal to excessively ride, drive, load, or work an unfit animal.
The Camel in the Sun, by Griffin Ondaatje. Inspired by a retelling of a traditional Muslim hadith, this is the story of a camel whose cruel owner only realizes what suffering he has caused when the Prophet appears and shows love to the animal. (E) bit.ly/1LRpzOP; Educator Guide: bit.ly/1R7EIOm
2 Good Friday (Christianity). Good Friday occurs two days before Easter and commemorates the death of Jesus.
2 50th anniversary of the founding of Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University. In November 1970, American Indians occupied a 650-acre former Army communications center in Northern California demanding that it be turned over so they could open an all-Native university. Following the law requiring excess federal land to be returned to Native Americans, the government awarded the property to the university organizers who opened D-Q University in 1971.
Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale. Emerging and established Native artists contribute thoughtful and heartfelt pieces on their experiences growing up Indigenous, expressing them through various media, including art, food, the written word, sport, dance, and fashion. Whether addressing the effects of residential schools, calling out bullies through personal manifestos, or simply citing hopes for the future, Dreaming in Indian refuses to shy away from difficult topics. (H) bit.ly/2Kqv1uL
2 90th anniversary of a teenage female pitcher striking out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. 17-year-old Jackie Mitchell, one of the first women to pitch in the minor leagues and be signed to an all-male team, pitched an exhibition game against the New York Yankees and struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. It is rumored that the next day, the Baseball Commissioner voided her contract, claiming baseball was too strenuous for women, though there is no proof that this occurred.
The Baseball Adventure of Jackie Mitchell, Girl Pitcher vs. Babe Ruth, by Jean L. S. Patrick. This book tells the story of Jackie Mitchell, the woman who struck out Babe Ruth. (E, M) bit.ly/2O7BWv6
3 170th anniversary of the capture of Thomas Sims, a fugitive from slavery. Thomas Sims fled slavery in Georgia, ending up in Boston, where US Marshals and the police arrested him. The Fugitive Slave Act had been passed a year earlier, forcing Northerners to apprehend those “fleeing enslavement.” Sims was returned to enslavement and received 39 lashes as punishment. He managed to escape again, and many years later was appointed to a position in the US Department of Justice.
Teaching A People’s History of Abolition and the Civil War, (Teaching Guide), by Adam Sanchez, ed., for Rethinking Schools. Students will discover the real abolition story, one about some of the most significant grassroots social movements in US history. The book is a collection of 10 classroom-tested lessons encouraging students to take a critical look at the popular narrative that centers Abraham Lincoln as the “great emancipator” and ignores the resistance of abolitionists and enslaved people. (H, TR) bit.ly/3aRUwkD
3 110th anniversary of the founding of the Society of American Indians. At Ohio State University, six American Indian intellectuals met to form the first Pan-American Indian organization. The Society of American Indians existed until 1923 and most members had attended East Coast Indian residential schools. Among other issues, the Society worked to obtain US citizenship for American Indians.
Creating Indigenous-Themed Lessons, by OISE, University of Toronto. This guide is designed to help teachers find materials that center First Nations, Métis, and Inuit worldviews, experiences, and knowledge for teaching in the K-12 classroom. Includes links to educator toolkits, curriculum collections, art lessons, levelled readers, and more. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/2Haf5ew
4 10th anniversary of the California Public Safety Realignment Act. Responding to numerous court rulings related to dangerously overcrowded prisons, California enacted AB 109, which shifted incarceration and supervision for many lower level felonies to county level sheriff’s and probation facilities, a major policy change.
Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators, by Mariame Kaba and Shira Hassan. This workbook includes reflection questions, skill assessments, facilitation tips, helpful definitions, activities, and hard-learned lessons intended to support people who have taken on the coordination and facilitation of formal community accountability processes to address interpersonal harm and violence. (H, TR) https://www.akpress.org/fumbling-towards-repair.html
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) bit.ly/2s1leCf
4 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
5 100th anniversary of a White man’s trial for killing Black sharecroppers. In an unusual occurrence, John Williams, a White plantation owner in Georgia, stood trial for killing 11 Black sharecroppers whom he held in debt bondage. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Williams had been suspected of continuing debt bondage and, in order to hide this crime, he killed 11 of those people who had been working for him under horrific and illegal conditions.
Sharecropping: A Lesson Plan, by Stanford History Education Group. After the end of the Civil War, the limited economic opportunities for Freedmen led many to become sharecroppers working for former slave owners. Although sharecroppers were technically contracted employees, their contracts were frequently unfair and exploitative. In this lesson, students critically evaluate their classroom textbook’s account of sharecropping by comparing it to a sharecropping contract from 1882. (H) stanford.io/2KGfNSB
7 Yom HaShoa – Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sundown on 4/07 (Judaism).
Children’s Books About the Holocaust, by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. An annotated bibliography intended to guide parents, educators, and young readers to children’s books about the Holocaust and related subjects. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/2ImkJJH
7 World Health Day. World Health Day is observed annually to commemorate the establishment of the World Health Organization (WHO) 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. President trump has decided unilaterally to withdraw the US from the WHO.
Critical Condition and other films about healthcare. Films about healthcare from P.O.V. and Media That Matters. (H) http://to.pbs.org/sGen3S
8 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 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
8 10th anniversary of the release of the documentary Born to Be Wild. Born to Be Wild, a documentary about orphaned orangutans and elephants, was released to great acclaim. In March 2012, it won the Genesis Award for Best Documentary Feature from The Humane Society of the United States “for its celebration of the people rehabilitating baby elephants and orangutans orphaned by poaching and habitat encroachment.”
Born to Be Wild, a documentary film by Drew Fellman and David Lickley. This heartwarming film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them, saving endangered species one life at a time. Available to stream online https://amzn.to/2vTQt7d
8 110th anniversary of the Banner Mine explosion. An explosion at the Banner Coal Mine in Alabama killed 128 men. More than half of the casualties were African American prisoners of the state. After the Civil War, Southern states passed new laws for minor offenses, and prisoners were leased for profit. The explosion brought attention to their poor working conditions, yet did little to address the problem of the convict lease system.
Justice in America: A Podcast, hosted by Clint Smith and Josie Duffy Rice. Each episode explains a specific criminal justice issue and features conversations with experts and advocates. (H) https://bit.ly/2KquZ69
9 30th anniversary of Georgia’s independence from the Soviet Union. In February 1921, the Soviet Army invaded Georgia, occupying the capital city of Tbilisi. Almost immediately the resistance of the Georgian people to Soviet Russian rule resulted in numerous popular insurrections and demonstrations. The constant theme of these events was a demand for self-determination and an end to Soviet occupation. Finally, in 1991, Georgia became the second country, after Lithuania, to declare independence from Russia.
9 70th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s reversal of the “Groveland Four” convictions. Four Black men – Ernest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd, and Walter Irvin – were falsely accused of raping a White woman. Thomas was killed by Sheriff Willis McCall during the search for the suspects, while Irvin, Shepherd, and Greenlee were charged and convicted by an all-White jury. The Supreme Court tossed the convictions, but the men were retried and found guilty again. The sheriff shot Shepherd and Irvin while in custody; Irvin survived. In 2019, the Governor of Florida posthumously pardoned all four men.
The Groveland Four, a film special by PBS. This film follows the story of The Groveland Four – young Black men wrongly accused of rape – and the major civil rights case that ensued. (H) pbs.org/show/groveland-four
The Sol of Black Folk, an album by SOL Development. SOL Development (Source of Light), mirrors Nina Simone’s quintessential words: “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.” The band offers music to illuminate today’s cultural and political climate, matching it with a sound that allows the listener to feel empowered in finding their own activism and healing. The eleven tracks on this album provide lyrical poetry ideal for use in classrooms. (E, M, H) bit.ly/SOLdevelopment
11 150th anniversary of the founding of Spelman College. Spelman College, a historically Black college for women, was founded as a seminary by two teachers in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. After a donation from oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, the school was moved to its current grounds and named after Laura Spelman Rockefeller, the daughter of anti-slavery activists and wife of Rockefeller. Although started as a teachers’ college, Spelman now offers a full Liberal Arts curriculum.
We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, by Bettina Love. Drawing on her life’s work of teaching and research in urban schools, Love argues that educators must teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements. (TR) bettinalove.com
11 60th anniversary of the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann, often called “the architect of the Holocaust,” assisted Hitler in sending millions of Jews to concentration camps and subsequently to their deaths. After being captured at the end of WWII, Eichmann escaped to Argentina. The Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, captured him and took him to Israel where he stood trial on multiple counts of war crimes. He was convicted and sentenced to death – the only time in its history that Israel has carried out the death penalty.
Adolf Eichmann Trial, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This website provides teachers with primary resources to learn more about the role that Eichmann played in the Holocaust and his trial for those crimes. (H) bit.ly/2O7Aj0s
12 First Day of Ramadan (Islam). 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 wakeup 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 only 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
12 160th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Fort Sumter. The battle of Fort Sumter, located in Charleston Harbor, SC, marked the beginning of the US Civil War. When President Lincoln announced plans to resupply the unfinished fort following South Carolina’s secession from the Union in 1861, Confederate militias attacked, forcing the outmanned Union soldiers to surrender. The Confederates occupied the fort until General Sherman captured Charleston in 1865.
Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution: An Inquiry Into the Civil War and Reconstruction, by William Friedheim and Joshua Brown, American Social History Project. This text, with illustrations and photos, examines the ways that “ordinary” people experienced and helped shape events during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The vital role of African Americans is especially highlighted. (M, H, TR) 4-Page background: bit.ly/J4wzqm; book: bit.ly/1lmeXKY
13 Vaisakhi (Sikhism). Vaisakhi is a festival that celebrates the founding of the Sikh community.
8 Ways to Include Vaisakhi in Classrooms, by Navjot Kaur and Saffron Press. Background information on the holiday, as well as eight meaningful activities for children, are included at this site. (E, M) bit.ly/2AqVjen
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) bit.ly/3cgyvvp; Teacher’s Guide: 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 40th anniversary of Poe v. Lynchburg Training School and Hospital. The ACLU filed suit on behalf of 8,000 women who had been involuntarily sterilized as part of a eugenics program at a state mental institution in Virginia. The US District Court ruled that the sterilization did not violate the women’s constitutional rights, and that though the statute on sterilization of “mental defectives” had been repealed, it had been upheld previously in Buck v. Bell.
Mind Freedom. Mind Freedom is an activist group dedicated to winning and protecting human rights in the mental health system. This website contains information about the organization as well as personal stories of psychiatric survivors. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/UH3YE
14 B.R. Ambedkar, Indian jurist, social reformer, and activist, born (1891-1956). Ambedkar was born into a Dalit Mahar (Untouchable) family and suffered discrimination throughout his childhood. He studied at universities in the US, UK, and Germany, and became a lawyer. After Independence, Ambedkar became India’s Law Minister and was the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, outlawing discrimination against “untouchables.” In 1956 he renounced Hinduism because of its doctrine on untouchability and converted to Buddhism.
11 Books to Read If You Want to Understand Caste in India, by S. Shankar. A recommended reading list to introduce the concept of “caste” to students. (H) https://bit.ly/2Vwvodj
Recommended Children’s Books About South Asia, by Teaching for Change. Social Justice Books, a Teaching for Change project, carefully selects the best multicultural and justice books for children, young adults, and educators. Their recommended list of books related to South Asia, categorized by age group, can be found here. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2KsI3b3
17 60th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion. In an attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro, the CIA launched what its leaders believed would be the definitive strike: a full-scale invasion of Cuba by 1,400 American-trained Cubans who had fled their homes when Castro took over. However, the invasion did not go well. The invaders were badly outnumbered by Castro’s troops, and they surrendered after less than 24 hours of fighting.
Reform and Resistance: The Cuban Revolution Part II, by Open Ended Social Studies. Lesson plans on reform and repression in Cuba, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, and the role of the US in the oppression of Cubans. (H) https://bit.ly/2DQufkV
Fidel in the Cuban Socialist Revolution, by Fidel Castro, edited by Jose Bell Lara. a selection of speeches and television appearances by Fidel Castro during the first two years of the Cuban Revolution. (H) https://bit.ly/2K9KFdJ
20 150th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Congress followed the Civil Rights Act of 1870 with an 1871 law aimed at enforcing the provisions of the 14th Amendment. The law became known as the Second Enforcement Act, or the Second Ku Klux Klan Act, and was designed to protect African Americans from Klan violence during Reconstruction, giving those deprived of a constitutional right by someone acting under color of law the right to seek relief in a federal district or circuit court.
Race and Voting in the Segregated South, by The Constitutional Rights Foundation. This site offers the history of race and voting in the segregated South through the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and describes how “grandfather clauses” disenfranchised Black voters. Ideas for discussion, writing, further reading, and classroom activities are also offered. (H) bit.ly/36yiA8F
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
23 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
23 70th anniversary of student strike led by 16-year-old Barbara Johns. Johns persuaded her school’s all-Black student body to walk out and not return until they had a school comparable to those of Whites. Johns’ strike ultimately became one of five court cases consolidated into Brown v. Board of Education, in which racial segregation in schools was ruled unconstitutional. Hers was the only lawsuit that originated with students.
Overlooked No More: Barbara Johns, Who Defied Segregation in Schools, by The New York Times. Article about Barbara Johns and the strike she led as a 16-year-old that ultimately became one of five court cases consolidated into Brown v. Board of Education. Article gives a fascinating moment-by-moment account of her heroic actions. (M, H) https://nyti.ms/37R6I3g
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 50th anniversary of anti-Vietnam War protests in Washington, DC and San Francisco. Hundreds of thousands of people peacefully demonstrated on the National Mall in Washington, DC against the Vietnam War. An additional 150,000 people marched at a rally in San Francisco on the same day. Massive civil disobedience occurred in the weeks that followed.
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
25 20th anniversary of the first successful lawsuit brought against Monsanto. Residents of the largely low-income community of Anniston, Alabama sued Monsanto for decades-old pollution caused by a chemical plant. Contamination was caused by polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), a once-common electrical insulator banned in the 1970s amid health concerns. The toxin causes a plethora of diseases, including cancer and brain damage.
The World According to Monsanto. A French documentary that looks at the domination of the agriculture industry by one of the world’s most powerful companies. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/37hc1Zi
Millions Against Monsanto Campaign, by the Organic Consumer Organization. This site hosts petitions, resources, and articles that uncover Monsanto’s impact on agriculture, health, and the environment. (H, TR) bit.ly/ZICLm
27 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) bit.ly/KntMvy
27 20th anniversary of UN Commission on Human Rights declaration on the right to live free of pollution. The UN Commission on Human Rights declared that everyone has the right to live in a world free from toxic pollution and environmental degradation. The successful implementation of international environmental treaties on biodiversity, climate change, desertification, and chemicals can make a major contribution in protecting human rights. It concludes that those who destroy the natural environment are violating basic human rights.
Analyzing Environmental Justice, by Teaching Tolerance. A lesson that helps students understand how pollution disproportionately affects people who are poor and members of racial and ethnic minorities. It also provides instructions on using maps to locate environmental injustice. (M, H) https://bit.ly/2wQsYw4
28 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since its establishment, OSHA and its state partners, along with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions, and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety. Fatality and injury rates have dropped markedly. The rate of reported serious workplace injuries and illnesses has declined from 11 per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.8 per 100 workers in 2018. OSHA safety and health standards have prevented countless work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson. When Lyddie and her younger brother are hired out as servants to help pay off their family farm’s debts, Lyddie is determined to find a way to reunite her family once again. Hearing about all the money a girl can make working in the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, she makes her way there, only to find that her dreams of returning home may never come true. (M, H) katherinepaterson.com/books/lyddie
30 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) bit.ly/2Vb1Keo
30 150th anniversary of the Camp Grant Massacre. A band of heavily armed Whites, Mexicans, and Papagos Indians raided a peaceful settlement of Apache Indians – mostly women and children – who were living near Camp Grant in Arizona. While the Apaches slept, the marauders slaughtered eight men and 110 women and children. They also kidnapped 28 Apache babies to be sold into slavery. Although 104 of the attackers were indicted and tried, they were all acquitted in less than 20 minutes.
The Shadows at Dawn. This website utilizes the rich array of primary sources generated by a single, troubling event– the Camp Grant Massacre of 1871– to illuminate the world of the mid-19th century US-Mexico borderlands. Includes primary documents and lesson plan links. (H, TR) bit.ly/31ihywp
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 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, 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 Prafulla Samantara, environmental activist, born (1951). Samantara discovered that the Niyamgiri Hills in India’s eastern Odisha state were being sold to build a massive, open-pit mine that would destroy 1,660 acres of forest land. He helped organize the local population to resist the project’s approval. Their direct action, in combination with legal challenges that lasted more than a decade, was successful in stopping the mine and protecting the land.
Prafulla Samantara, by Goldman Environmental Prize. A short documentary about the iconic leader of social justice movements in India, who led a historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills from a massive open-pit aluminum ore mine. (M, H) bit.ly/36oJZtK
3 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) bit.ly/b3u2eC
3 World Press Freedom Day. World Press Freedom Day is a UNESCO-sponsored event that serves as a reminder to governments throughout the world of their obligation to respect and protect the freedom of the press. This is especially important at this time because of constant threats against the press from those in power. This day is also one of remembrance of journalists who have lost their lives in the pursuit of keeping the public informed.
The Importance of a Free Press, by Facing History and Ourselves. What is the role of the press in a democracy, and how does the First Amendment protect that role in the United States? How can press freedoms come into conflict with other societal needs and priorities? This lesson from the larger unit, Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age, invites young people to tackle these questions. (H) https://bit.ly/3eSbgKo
4 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
4 60th anniversary of the start of the Freedom Rides. Leaving from Washington, DC, a racially integrated group of activists, called the Freedom Riders, rode buses through the American South with the mission of testing the government’s willingness to enforce a court ruling declaring segregation on interstate buses illegal. Along the way, they faced incidents of violence and angry mobs who eventually burned their buses and attempted to impede progress. The rides resumed under police escort on May 20th and drew international attention to the Civil Rights movement.
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) to.pbs.org/2FTgmnh
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.
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) bit.ly/13VTKtX
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
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 90th anniversary of armed confrontation between deputies and striking Kentucky coal miners. Coal miners in Harlan County, Kentucky struck to protest unsafe working conditions and low wages and demand the right to unionize. The striking miners were met by armed deputies and hired thugs. A battle ensued leaving four people dead and many seriously wounded. After nearly a decade, the federal government finally granted the miners the right to form unions. The strike inspired the Florence Reece song, “Which Side Are You On?”
Harlan County, USA, by Barbara Kopple. This Oscar-winning documentary about the coal miners’ strike uses archival footage, Appalachian coal mining songs, and intimate footage from the picket lines and union meeting rooms to give voice to the miners and their wives who stood up against the company owners and violent scabs. (M, H) http://bit.ly/2RiLB44
Which Side Are You On?: The Story of a Song, by George Ella Lyon. This is the history behind the classic union song that was written in 1931 by Florence Reece in the midst of a union strike. It has been sung by people fighting for their rights all over the world. (E) http://bit.ly/2SmbLkq
5 Dorothy Louise Taliaferro “Del” Martin, feminist, LGBTQ activist, and writer, born (1921-2008). In 1955 Martin, a lesbian rights activist, co-founded Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first social and political organization for lesbians in the US, with her partner (later, wife) Phyllis Lyon. The two women founded The Ladder, the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the US, and served as editors until 1963 when they joined the National Organization for Women – the first lesbian couple to do so.
No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lewis, directed by JEB. This 57-minute film about the founders of the lesbian rights movement reveals their inspiring public activism as well as their charming and very funny private relationship. A review and clip of the film is available on the site. (H) vimeo.com/1668004
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
The Body Is Not an Apology, by Sonya Renee Taylor. This book uses a framework of radical self-love to heal the wounds inflicted by violent systems such as patriarchy, White supremacy, and capitalism. She examines how our indoctrinated body shame is connected to systems of oppression and discusses ways to eliminate oppression against all bodies. (H) bit.ly/2tDnzHU
6 60th anniversary of the White Revolution. May 6, 1961 began what would later become known as the White Revolution. On this date, Reza Shah Pahlavi suspended Iran’s constitution and dissolved the legislature. This began a series of policies that included voting rights for women and abolition of sharecropping.
Teaching about Iran, by Portland State University’s Middle East Teaching Tools. A collection of teaching materials, including film, first-person accounts, lesson plans, and more, exploring Iranian history and culture through multiple perspectives. (M, H) bit.ly/2qcWd5y
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 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
9 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.
Asha’s Mums, by Rosamund Elwin and Michelle Paulse. When Asha needs a signature for the permission slip for her school trip to the Science Center, she is questioned about which name on the form was her mom’s. Asha undergoes the experience of teaching her fellow classmates and her teacher that she and her brother have two moms and they are both number one. (E) bit.ly/2KjEynm
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 also offers the opportunity to send an e-card to an incarcerated or detained mama. (E, M, H) www.mamasday.org
Free Black Mamas: National Bail Out. This organization works to reunite families, create a national community of leaders who have experienced incarceration, and work with groups across the country to transform harmful systems to keep Black people safe and free. (TR) nationalbailout.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
12 Eid al-Fitr begins at sunset on 5/12 (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.
Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices, edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed. A collection of short stories that showcase 15 brilliant Muslim voices sharing tales about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid! The anthology also includes a poem, graphic-novel chapter, and spot illustrations. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2TAkYrO
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
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) bit.ly/2qlAetg
15 70th anniversary of the first British trans woman to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Roberta Cowell was a race car driver and WWII fighter pilot. Throughout much of her life, Cowell knew she did not identify as male and decided to undergo sex reassignment surgery. In 1950, a doctor illegally removed the testicles. A year later, renowned plastic surgeon Sir Harold Gillies performed a vaginoplasty, enabling Cowell to become the first British trans woman to undergo this type of surgery.
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 often 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
16 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
17 International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). IDAHOBIT is a day set aside to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, the public, and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQI people. Originally called International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), Transphobia was added in 2009 and Biphobia in 2015.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) Website. Resources about LGBTQI injustices around the world and ways to contribute to campaigns fighting for LGBTQI justice. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/1i0e5IG
Hope in a Box. A nonprofit that designed a primer in LGBTQ 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 help purchase copies for the full classroom for teachers looking to include an LGBTQ 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
18 30th anniversary of Estelle v. Smith. In Estelle v. Smith, the Supreme Court held that the state may not force a defendant to undergo psychiatric evaluation solely for the purpose of sentencing. Any such examination violates the defendant’s 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, as well as the 6th Amendment right to counsel, and is therefore inadmissible at sentencing.
Restorative Posters: Representing Justice Visually, organized by Mariame Kaba. A collection of posters featuring simple, usable, powerful questions to use in the context of restorative circles and community accountability efforts. (E, M, H) rjposters.com
19 Yuri Kochiyama, human rights activist, born (1921-2014). Kochiyama was a political activist who dedicated her life to social change through her participation in social justice and human rights movements. As a Japanese American, she and her family were interned during World War II. She fought for human rights for all people and was one of Malcolm X’s closest political allies. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
The People Speak: Sandra Oh reads Yuri Kochiyama. YouTube video of Actress Sandra Oh reading a speech by Yuri Kochiyama based on her experience in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. (M, H) http://bit.ly/48LIkZ
19 100th anniversary of the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921. Responding to anti-immigrant sentiment, Congress set an annual maximum for immigrants and limited immigration from a specific nation to three percent of that nation’s population living in the US at the time of the 1910 census. It had the effect of drastically reducing immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. This act was the first to include any quantitative restrictions on immigration and led the way to even stricter controls.
Learning About U.S. Immigration with The New York Times, by Sarah Kavanagh and Katherine Schulten, The Learning Network. This site provides teachers with ideas about ways to teach about immigration and offers lesson plans on immigration-related issues. The site also provides links to other useful topics and resources on the web. (TR) http://nyti.ms/RN5Fa4
21 140th anniversary of the founding of the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross, a nonprofit charitable organization, receives its funding through public donations. It was the brainchild of Clara Barton, who served as a nurse during the US Civil War and lobbied for an American version of the International Red Cross. She also advocated for the US to sign the Geneva Convention, which it did in 1882. Barton served as the first president of the organization and held that position for 23 years.
Clara Barton to the Rescue, by Learning to Give. This lesson explores the contributions made by Clara Barton as a nurse and founder of the American Red Cross. (M) http://bit.ly/Mk7CrY
21 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s song, “What’s Going On?” Obie Benson, one of The Four Tops, had the original idea for “What’s Going On?” Fellow Motown star Marvin Gaye picked up on it, added lyrics, innovative arrangements, and a first-class set of session musicians, and a classic was born. Barry Gordy, President of Motown, tried to block the album from being released because he felt that Motown wasn’t the place for social commentary, but it fell through the cracks, hit the airwaves, and became an instant hit.
Sounds of Change, Lessons by Teaching Tolerance. This lesson challenges students to analyze and reflect on messages presented in songs and to express their own views about important issues addressed in some songs. Songs include Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” (M, H) bit.ly/2Uc6qQt
21 60th anniversary of White attacks on Black supporters of Freedom Riders. 1,000 Black residents and civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., attended a service in support of the Freedom Riders at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. A White mob surrounded the church and vandalized cars. At King’s request, Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent US Marshalls to break up the mob. With the help of local police, they finally dispersed the crowd, but not before they shot into buildings and threw firebombs.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson, historian and professor. In this video, Anderson discusses her book in which she chronicles where Black progress in history has been met by what she calls “White rage.” (H) http://bit.ly/36ey6Xj
21 140th anniversary of Blanche K. Bruce becoming Register of the Treasury. Born into slavery, Bruce was appointed Register of the Treasury, which placed his name on all US currency. Before that post, he was the first African American to serve a full term in the US Senate, representing the state of Mississippi. He was an outspoken advocate for the rights of African Americans, Native Americans, and Chinese Americans.
When the Impossible Suddenly Became Possible: A Reconstruction Mixer Teaching Activity, by Adam Sanchez and Nqobile Mthethwa, Zinn Education Project. This mixer introduces students to individuals in the various social movements, including the Labor movement, Women’s Rights, and Voting Rights movements, that followed the Civil War and their attempts to build alliances with one another. (H) bit.ly/39pCrZL
22 20th anniversary of the international treaty to ban “dirty dozen” toxic chemicals. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty signed by the United States and more than 150 other nations that called for the elimination of 12 highly toxic chemicals such as DDT and other pesticides. The listed chemical compounds have been found to be responsible for a range of serious, often deadly, medical issues in humans, including cancer, central nervous system damage, immune system disruptions, and reproductive disorders.
Chemicals in the Environment, by Sox Sperry, Project Look Sharp. Classroom-ready teacher’s guides, student handouts, overviews, and assessments for an in-depth study of the use of chemicals in our environment. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/RnnnLR
24 20th anniversary of ESPN.com writer and editor Bill Konigsberg’s coming out. In an article he penned himself, ESPN.com writer and editor Bill Konigsberg came out as gay. Konigsberg went on to become a critically acclaimed author focusing on Queer issues through young adult fiction.
Bill Konigsberg Website. This official website has links to all of Konigsberg’s young adult queer novels. The site also includes information about his life with his husband and their dogs, his writing, a place to ask him questions, and links to his social media. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/36r4rKl
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) 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) 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) bit.ly/1Qd8Uk4
26 National Sorry Day (Australia). First commemorated in 1998, National Sorry Day in Australia honors the memories of those Aboriginal people who were victims of all forms of genocide (including cultural genocide) at the hands of the Australian government.
Recommended Indigenous Australian Children’s Books, by Readings: Australia’s Own Since 1969. An annotated list of children’s books, topic cards, symbol flashcards, and more, featuring the Indigenous Peoples of Australia. (E, M) bit.ly/3fWEB75
26 Sally Ride, astronaut and physicist, born (1951-2012). In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard the space shuttle Challenger. After working for NASA for two more space flights, Ride left NASA to become the director of the California Space Institute at UC San Diego. Ride founded her own company, Sally Ride Science, which prioritized supporting young girls interested in science and math.
Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman Astronaut, by Tam O’Shaughnessy. This photobiography of Ride’s pioneering life documents her childhood, tennis career, and education. The book shows how Sally continued to break ground as an inspirational advocate for space exploration, public policy, and science education, who fought gender stereotypes and opened doors for girls and women in all fields during the second half of the 20th century. (E, M) bit.ly/2uVI6re
28 60th anniversary of the publication of “The Forgotten Prisoners.” British lawyer Peter Benenson launched a worldwide campaign, “Appeal for Amnesty 1961,” with the publication of an article, “The Forgotten Prisoners,” in The Observer. He was inspired to write it after reading about two Portuguese students imprisoned for toasting freedom. This campaign led to the founding of Amnesty International.
Amnesty International Website. Students can use this website to research human rights violations by topic or country. They can also join ongoing campaigns against abuses worldwide. (H, TR) amnesty.org/en
28 50th anniversary of the First National Conference of La Raza Women. An estimated 600 women from 23 states attended the 3-day Conferencia de Mujeres por la Raza in Houston, TX. Topics included Education and Employment; Sex and Birth Control; Marriage and Childcare; and Religion. About half of the delegates walked out, criticizing the conference organizers for not focusing more on racism and supporting poor and working-class women.
Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, by Galan Incorporated. This 4-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, the work of the UFW, the Los Angeles high school walkouts, and the creation of the political party La Raza Unida. (H) bit.ly/2uDjSSd; related lesson from Facing History and Ourselves: bit.ly/2FQbzqB
29 20th anniversary of PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin. In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld two lower courts’ decisions requiring the Professional Golf Association (PGA) to allow Casey Martin, a golfer with a degenerative disorder, to use a golf cart, contrary to the PGA’s rules. Martin had filed suit under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The court held that allowing Martin to use a cart would not fundamentally alter the nature of PGA tournaments.
Resources for Inclusion in Physical Education, by NCHPAD: Building Healthy, Inclusive Communities. This page for educators includes toolkits, articles, and other resources related to inclusion and accommodation in physical education settings. Topics include Universal Design for Learning in Physical Education; Inclusive PE Stations; Disability Awareness in Physical Education; Adapted Yoga for Kids; and more. (TR) nchpad.org/Educators
29 170th anniversary of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech. At the Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, OH, Sojourner Truth delivered her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, named for its often-repeated question. This speech worked to highlight the stark differences in the experiences of Black women and White women, emphasizing that intersectionality should be considered when discussing women’s rights.
Compare the Two Speeches, by the Sojourner Truth Project. This site puts two different transcriptions of the famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech side by side to see the differences. The better-known transcription was written by a White abolitionist who changed the words and used a stereotypical “Southern Black slave accent,” rather than Sojourner’s distinct upper New York State low-Dutch accent. (M, H) http://bit.ly/379zwCY
Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, by Andrea Pinkney and Brian Pinkney. Step-Stomp Stride tells the story of Sojourner Truth, one of the most extraordinary and courageous women in American history. (E) http://bit.ly/3aOHKTI
30 60th anniversary of the assassination of Rafael Trujillo. For 31 years Trujillo remained in absolute control of the Dominican Republic, primarily through his command of the army, which aggressively protected him. The CIA had been plotting to assassinate Trujillo but had second thoughts. President Kennedy ordered the CIA to stand down, but it was too late. The only US representative in the Dominican Republic had supplied weapons to a group of dissidents. Trujillo was gunned down in the street by four assassins.
Women and Revolution: In the Time of the Butterflies, a lesson plan. Set in the Dominican Republic during the rule of Rafael Trujillo, In the Time of the Butterflies fictionalizes historical figures (four Mirabal sisters, their parents, Trujillo himself, and his subordinates) in order to dramatize the Dominican people’s heroic efforts to overthrow this dictator’s brutal regime. (H) Lesson plan: bit.ly/2ZSeFDY
31 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 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
31 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial. Arrested for robbery and murder, Sacco and Vanzetti’s trial was widely condemned as unfair and biased against the defendants because they were immigrants and anarchists. Both men were convicted and executed, despite multiple appeals and international protests. In 1977, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation that stopped short of exoneration, but said the men should have been granted a retrial.
The Meaning of Sacco and Vanzetti, by Howard Zinn. On November 7, 2008, Howard Zinn gave a 35-minute lecture on “The Meaning of Sacco and Vanzetti” at the Dante Alighieri Society Italian Cultural Center in Cambridge, MA. In his lecture, Zinn explained the relevance of the Sacco and Vanzetti case for America today. (M, H, TR) Download the video from the Zinn Education Project site: bit.ly/2iMMHo8
31 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre. What started with the false accusation of sexual assault by a Black man in Tulsa, OK, became one of the worst incidents of racial violence in US history. A White mob brutally attacked Black people and destroyed their property. Hundreds were murdered and thousands were left homeless. Subsequently, segregation in the city increased, Oklahoma’s branch of the KKK grew, and the truth about the Tulsa Massacre was deliberately suppressed.
Burned Out of Homes and History: Unearthing the Silenced Voices of the Tulsa Race Riot, Teaching Activity by Linda Christensen, Rethinking Schools. Teaching about racist patterns of murder, theft, displacement, and wealth inequality through the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. (H) http://bit.ly/37iNlzR
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 Latina 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) 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) 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 LGBTQ 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) bit.ly/1qA6uVK
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Curriculum. This resource helps to ensure that LGBTQ 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) bit.ly/2RZG9nF
2 Gilbert Baker, designer of the rainbow LGBT pride flag, born (1951-2017). Gilbert Baker was an artist and gay rights activist who designed the rainbow flag in 1978 at the request of Harvey Milk. Baker, known in the LGBT community as “the gay Betsy Ross,” never trademarked his creation so the flag could be freely reproduced all over the world. Baker was also an accomplished tailor, creating a wide range of drag ensembles for what he called performative activism.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, by Rob Sanders. In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning the globe and its role in today’s world. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride. (E) bit.ly/2IGxFt8
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 10th anniversary of the “Say Yes” demonstrations in Australia. The “Say Yes” demonstrations were a series of simultaneous political rallies held across Australia to coincide with World Environment Day. The gatherings were some of the first organized demonstrations calling for government action on climate change in Australia. Protesters called for investment in renewable energy, decommissioning of fossil fuel power stations, and curtailing industrial pollution. An estimated 30,000 people participated.
Blockadia: Teaching How the Movement Against Fossil Fuels Is Changing the World. Teaching Activity, by Bill Bigelow, Adam Sanchez, and Tim Swinehart. This role-play activity engages students in building solidarity among different groups and organizations fighting fossil fuels and searching for alternatives. (H) bit.ly/30KSluj
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
13 50th anniversary of the publication of The Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers refer to a US government report about the military’s involvement in Vietnam that was leaked to the New York Times by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg. The papers revealed much more extensive military activity than the government had claimed and showed that every administration dating back to Truman had lied to the American people about US involvement in Indochina, fomenting war and creating instability in the region.
The Post, a film directed by Steven Spielberg. This film depicts the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to publish The Pentagon Papers, classified documents regarding the 20-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War. Available across a variety of streaming services. This link is to a curriculum guide for the film. (H) bit.ly/37vO9RH
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, film by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, 2009. The riveting story of how a Pentagon official risked life in prison by leaking 7,000 pages of a top-secret report to the New York Times to help stop the Vietnam War. Includes link to teaching activities to be used with the film. (H) bit.ly/2GpxhjF
Rethinking What We Know About the Vietnam War, by Zinn Education Project. Two lessons to introduce key facts about the Vietnam War and The Pentagon Papers, documents that provide essential history that is often omitted from textbooks. (H) bit.ly/3aPY8nk
14 20th anniversary of US agreement to end bombing exercises in Vieques, Puerto Rico. After decades of protesting the US Naval presence on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rican activists succeeded in getting President Bush to announce an end to the Navy bombing exercises there. More than 60 years of bombing exercises had a devastating effect on the island, rendering it virtually uninhabitable. The US finally shut down the base in 2003, but Puerto Rico continues to demand that the site be cleaned up and restored.
Ismael Guadalupe Ortiz’s Testimony on Vieques, Puerto Rico, from Voices of a People’s History of the United States. A speech by Ismael Guadalupe Ortiz, an activist against US occupation of Vieques. The speech is read by Mario Murillo. (M, H) http://www.bit.ly/skT9ly
14 Harriet Beecher Stowe, social reformer, abolitionist, and author, born (1811-1896). Harriet Beecher Stowe grew up in a family dedicated to social reform and the abolition of slavery. Her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, captured the nation’s attention for its depiction of slavery and the devastating impact it had on families and children. Admired in the North, Stowe was reviled in the South. Some even claimed she was the cause of the Civil War. Stowe continued to write and champion social and political causes throughout her life.
The Abolitionists, by American Experience, PBS. 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) to.pbs.org/1fgdrWn
15 10th anniversary of Paula Kahumbu’s National Geographic Society/Buffet Award for Leadership in African Conservation. After earning a Ph.D. in ecology from Princeton University, Paula Kuhumbu became the executive director of both WildlifeDirect and the Kenya Land Conservation Trust. She was named a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and received the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation. Kahumbu is one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife conservationists; her “Hands Off Our Elephants!” campaign is credited with creating awareness and mobilizing action around the crisis facing elephants in Africa.
Hands Off Our Elephants! Website dedicated to the conservation campaign started by Paula Kahumbu aimed at ending poaching in Kenya. Includes video, resources, and information to learn more about the campaign and to take action. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/37Q4KQt
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
17 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s “War on Drugs.” Nixon announced that drugs were public enemy #1 and introduced policies that shifted the conversation from the causes of crime to the criminal. These policies were aimed at Black and Brown communities as well as anti-Vietnam war activists, and led to mass incarceration for mostly nonviolent crimes, which persists today. Nixon’s policy chief later admitted that the whole purpose of the War on Drugs was to get Nixon re-elected by demonizing his most vocal opposition.
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. Also includes assessments and supplementary resources. (H, TR) http://bit.ly/1tjWsXL
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 children on the autism spectrum often experience, and the life-changing impact each of us can have when we reach out and embrace them. (E) 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) bit.ly/2kI0mNa
Temple Grandin. This movie was broadcast 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) http://itsh.bo/bmNqNc
18 James Weldon Johnson, artist, lawyer, educator, poet, and civil rights activist, born (1871-1938). Johnson had an eclectic career that included school principal, lawyer, author, Broadway songwriter, newspaper editor, and organizer for the NAACP. He wrote the lyrics for “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which later became known as the Negro National Anthem. In 1920, he was sent by the NAACP to investigate the US occupation of Haiti, where he wrote a series of articles in The Nation magazine criticizing US policies there.
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) bit.ly/JzNNbp
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 control of the state and enforce the emancipation of its enslaved people, 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 20th anniversary of Black-Brown coalition-building at the Juneteenth celebration in Raleigh, NC. Jointly organized by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Black Workers for Justice, and the United Electrical Workers Local 150, the event was intended to “celebrate the end of chattel slavery and celebrate unity among Black and Latino workers in the new movement for justice in the South.” The demands included ending racial profiling, amnesty for undocumented workers, and reparations for African Americans, Black farmers, and Mexican Braceros.
An African American and Latinx History of the United States, by Paul Ortiz. This book, in the tradition of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, brings together the history of Black and Brown solidarity against White supremacy and imperialism. (H, TR) bit.ly/31vkgip; Teacher’s Guide: bit.ly/3boYdys
19 60th anniversary of Kuwait’s independence from British rule. In 1899, Kuwait made an agreement with Britain making Kuwait an informal British protectorate. Britain controlled Kuwait’s foreign policy and agreed to protect the sheikdom from the Ottomans and Germans. In the 1920s and 1930s the Kuwaiti economy fell apart – until oil was discovered in 1938, promising enormous wealth. Britain then took full control over both Kuwait and Iraq until June 1961 when Kuwait demanded independence.
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) 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) bit.ly/2DlV6Yu
20 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: bit.ly/2meuhNi
21 Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere). The Summer Solstice is when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky. It is the longest day and shortest night of the year.
Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun, by Deb Vanasse. When the midnight sun is shining, people and animals stay active even at night. This sweet poetic narrative showcases the many pleasures of this unique time as a little girl dances, fishes, plays games, watches moose and foxes, and communes with family and nature. (E) bit.ly/3bWZV9q
21 20th anniversary of the discovery of the body of two-spirit Native American teen Fred Martinez. 16-year-old Fred Martinez was bludgeoned to death by a straight, White teenager. Martinez identified as nádleehí, or “two-spirited,” a Navajo term that implies a masculine spirit and a feminine spirit living in the same body. The documentary Two Spirits: Sexuality, Gender, and the Murder of Fred Martinez examines the crime and its impact, as well as the Navajo tradition of honoring the entire spectrum of gender and sexual expression.
Safe and Caring Schools for Two-Spirit Youth: A Guide for Teachers and Students, by the Society for Safe & Caring Schools & Communities. This resource hopes to provide a brief but informative window into the challenges that many Two-Spirit students face within educational settings as well as to contribute practical suggestions that teachers can use to begin addressing these multi-layered issues. (TR) bit.ly/2AuadAT
23 50th anniversary of the passage of the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act. The AbilityOne Program was originally enacted in 1938 and amended and expanded in 1971 by the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act. It requires federal agencies to purchase certain services or supplies from nonprofits that employ blind people or those with severe disabilities. It is the largest US employer of people who are blind or severely disabled. All federal agencies are bound by this legislation unless they can prove that compliance would disrupt their services or functions.
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 refuse to let him join their team, they learn to work together to respect Davey’s unique abilities. (E) https://www.tilburyhouse.com/product-page/keep-your-ear-on-the-ball
24 200th anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo. The Battle of Carabobo, led by Simón Bolívar, was a key victory against Spanish forces that ensured the independence of Venezuela from Spanish rule. The rebel forces far outnumbered the Spanish and were augmented by volunteers from Ireland, Wales, and England. Bolívar’s decisive victory at Carabobo led to the independence of Venezuela and the establishment of the Republic of Gran Colombia with Bolívar as its first president.
24 10th anniversary of the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in New York. New Yorkers United for Marriage, the coalition to legalize same-sex marriage, was launched in April 2011. In June, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation to enact freedom to marry, and later that month the New York legislature passed the bill, making New York the seventh – and largest – jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage. Four years later, the US Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land.
How Did Marriage Equality Become Law in New York State?, by Julie Weiss. After learning that New York made gay marriage legal, students explore how the bill came to be passed, including the strategies and personal experiences that influenced legislators’ decisions. (H) http://bit.ly/2OfRInt
25 Crystal Eastman, lawyer and human rights activist, born (1881-1928). Eastman campaigned throughout her life for peace, equal rights, and civil liberties. She was one of only a few women lawyers in the US in the early 20th century. In one of her first jobs she drafted the country’s first workers’ compensation law, which became a model for similar legislation nationwide. Eastman also worked tirelessly for women’s rights, serving as co-author of the Equal Rights Amendment, and was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Crystal Eastman: A Revolutionary Life. This first full-length biography tells the compelling story of a woman who attained rare political influence and left a thought-provoking legacy in ongoing struggles. (H) bit.ly/2AYWceH
25 Lois Gibbs, environmental activist, born (1951). In 1978, Gibbs discovered that her son’s elementary school in Niagara Falls, NY was built on a toxic waste dump. In fact, her entire neighborhood, Love Canal, was constructed on top of tens of thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals. Lois organized her neighbors into a grassroots movement and battled for years against the state and federal government. Her activism led to the eventual passage of Superfund legislation, earning her the title “Mother of Superfund.”
A Fierce Green Fire: Love Canal: Children and Toxic Waste, film by American Masters, PBS. This one-hour documentary chronicles one of the largest movements of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st. A Fierce Green Fire spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism from the 1960s to 2009 and connects the major causes of environmentalism, from conservation to climate change. Site includes clips from the film. (H) https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/a-fierce-green-fire-love-canal-children-and-toxic-waste/2929/; Teacher Resources: bit.ly/2u1FHvk
26 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 1997 to proclaim June 26 the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Torture is a crime under international law, yet thousands of people are tortured every year throughout the world.
Constitution, War Crimes, and Guantanamo Justice, by Alan Shapiro, Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. Release of a Justice Department memo raises the issue of how the US treats “terrorist suspects.” Two student readings are followed by discussion questions and other student activities. (H) bit.ly/3cidbpb
26 50th anniversary of the Scottish Union of Mental Patients (SUMP). SUMP was the first union of mental patients in the UK and was founded to address grievances and improve conditions at Hartwood Hospital, a mental health facility. SUMP was based on a sense of solidarity among a small group of patients detained in locked wards. This was the first Mental Patients Union to be formed in the UK, predating the Mental Patients’ Union founded in London in 1973.
A Crusade for Dignity: Andrew Roberts Recalls his Involvement in the Foundation of the Mental Patients Union, by The Guardian. A short, first-person essay and reflection by one of the founding members of the first mental patients’ union. (M, H) https://bit.ly/3d1Kq17
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 20th anniversary of the end of PETA’s successful “Murder King” campaign. After more than 800 protest rallies, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called off its “Murder King” campaign when the Burger King fast-food chain announced new guidelines for its meat and egg suppliers, including extra water, wing room, and fresh air for egg-laying hens, and mandatory stunning of pigs and cattle prior to slaughter. Since the campaign ended, Burger King has continued to lead the fast-food industry in improving animal welfare.
Voices for Animal Liberation: Inspirational Accounts by Animal Rights Activists, by Brittany Michelson. This collection depicts the full spectrum of animal rights activism that is currently at work to create change. It offers the words of both new and established influential voices in the movement today, with the intention of inspiring and educating those who are sparked by the vision of a more ethical world. (H) bit.ly/2WZHqgo
29 Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), civil rights activist, born (1941-1998). A civil rights leader, antiwar activist, and Pan-African revolutionary, Carmichael rose to prominence as a member and later the chairman of SNCC, working with Martin Luther King, Jr. and others to stage protests. Carmichael later lost faith in the tactic of nonviolence, promoting “Black Power” and allying himself with the militant Black Panther Party. He left the US for Guinea in 1969, where he changed his name to Kwame Ture. He remained there until his death in 1998.
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 is included. (H, TR) to.pbs.org/1oI7BE6; bit.ly/1ooi5Zk
30 50th anniversary of the founding of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin, Jr., the SPLC is renowned for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. They also started the Teaching Tolerance program, which produces teaching materials that promote tolerance and respect in schools. SPLC sued the United Klans of America on behalf of Beulah Mae Donald, whose son was lynched by Klan members. They won a judgment of $7 million, bankrupting the UKA and forcing them to turn over their headquarters to Donald.
Southern Poverty Law Center and Teaching Tolerance. These links to SPLC and Teaching Tolerance both provide a wealth of information about racial justice and anti-bias work. (H, TR) splcenter.org and tolerance.org
30 30th anniversary of the repeal of South Africa’s Native Land Act. The Native Land Act was one of many laws that insured the economic dominance of White South Africans over Black South Africans. While much of the land had already been usurped through colonialism and previous laws, this act legally supported the notion that Black South Africans did not belong in much of their own country.
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) bit.ly/1ziLORr
1 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment. The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Debate on the issue began during WWII and intensified during the Vietnam war when young men were drafted to fight for their country but were denied the right to vote. The slogan “Old enough to fight, Old enough to vote” became a rallying cry for change. With overwhelming bipartisan support, a constitutional amendment passed both houses of Congress, and the states ratified it in record time.
Thank You for Voting: A Young Readers’ Edition, by Erin Geiger Smith. This young readers’ edition presents the history of America’s voting, acknowledging that voting is a privilege and a right, but it hasn’t always been for many people. From the founding fathers to Jim Crow to women’s suffrage to gerrymandering, students will look at the complex history of voting in the US. (H) bit.ly/39nHolt
1 40th anniversary of the first publication of the Lakota Times. On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the Lakota Times, which was wholly owned and operated by the Lakota people, was first published on July 1, 1981 with the motto “Serving the Lakota Nation and All Indian Country.” For the first time in the history of the state an Indian-owned newspaper began to take a close look at the lives of the Native people. It soon became South Dakota’s largest weekly newspaper and ran until 1992.
An Indigenous People’s History of the United States for Young People, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans actively resisted expansion of the US empire for centuries. (M, H) bit.ly/31EZLQA; Teacher’s Guide: bit.ly/2UzuFYZ
2 Sylvia Rivera, transgender activist, born (1951-2002). Rivera was a Latinx drag queen who became one of the most radical gay and transgender activists of the 1960s and 70s. As co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front, Rivera participated in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and established the political organization STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with friend and fellow drag queen Marsh P. Johnson. Rivera is the only transgender person included in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution.
Queer History of the United States for Young People, by Michael Bronski and Richie Chevat. Queer history didn’t start with Stonewall. This book explores how LGBTQ people have always been a part of our national identity, contributing to the country and culture for more than 400 years. Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, and poems, the book encourages young readers of all identities to feel pride at the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future. (H) bit.ly/3aVl0S3; Teacher’s Guide: bit.ly/3br8hXB
4 US Independence Day. On July 4, 1776 the 13 American colonies formally declared independence from Britain, though the resolution to form an independent nation was passed by the Continental Congress two days earlier.
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
14 10th anniversary of the FAIR Education Act. California’s Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act became the first law that required public schools to teach the contributions made throughout history by a wide range of groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, to economic, political and social development. It also included previously excluded groups such as Mexican Americans, Native Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities.
UC Berkeley Curriculum Project. UC Berkeley maintains a rich database of resources for educators to teach inclusive US history and social studies. It includes lesson plans, videos, strategies, and frameworks aimed at supporting teachers in telling the stories of those previously left out of the K-12 curriculum. (TR) ucbhssp.berkeley.edu/
19 Eid al-Adha begins at sunset 7/19 (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 Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family, by Ibtihaj Muhammad. Faizah admires older sister Asiya’s new, strikingly blue and beautiful first-day-hijab, finding inner strength and pride when facing bullies at school who make fun of it. (E) https://bit.ly/3d0n2RL
I Am the Night Sky & Other Reflections by Muslim American Youth, by the teen artists and writers of Next Wave Muslim Initiative. Ten Muslim American teenagers come together to explore what it means to be young and Muslim in America today. These teens represent the tremendous diversity within the American Muslim community, and their book, like them, contains multitudes. (M, H) shoutmousepress.org/nwmi
20 10th anniversary of the Coal River Mountain protest. Two protesters associated with the Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS) Campaign disrupted blasting on a portion of the Bee Tree surface mine on Coal River Mountain, WV by staging a tree sit-in. Becks Kolins sat for 14 days, while Catherine-Ann MacDougal sat for 30 days in an effort to call attention to the environmental harm caused by surface 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) bit.ly/1xPHOeh
28 60th anniversary of Illinois’ rescinding anti-sodomy laws. In 1961, Illinois became the first state to legalize consensual adult same-sex relationships, the only state to do so until Connecticut followed suit 10 years later. Although the law seemed to legalize consensual adult same-sex relationships, the change in the state’s criminal code offered few practical benefits for the state’s LGBTQ population, as police raids and harassment on other pretexts (or no pretext) would continue for another two decades.
LGBTQ Inclusive Children’s Books, by Welcoming Schools. Several elementary book lists to help children understand gender, support transgender and non-binary youth, prevent bullying, and embrace family diversity. (E, M) http://bit.ly/2Shp1Xy