2021-2022 Chronological Resources
4 Barack Obama, 44th US President, born (1961). Obama was born in Hawaii to a White mother from Kansas and a Black father from Kenya. In law school, Obama became the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review. He later taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He went on to work as a community organizer, then won election to the Illinois State Senate and the US Senate. On November 4, 2008, Obama made history by becoming the first Black President of the United States.
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, by Nikki Grimes. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but through his journeys he found the ability to listen to Hope and become what he was meant to be: a bridge to bring people together. This is the moving story of our 44th President, told by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Bryan Collier, both winners of the Coretta Scott King Award. (E) bit.ly/3laT3LD; printable educator’s guide: bit.ly/2ufyRkV
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by Barack Obama. In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Obama writes a moving tribute to 13 groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. (E, M) bit.ly/2EqAcq0
4 10th anniversary of the Environmental Justice Interagency Memorandum of Understanding (EJ MOU). The EJ MOU encapsulated agency responsibilities outlined in the 1994 Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.” The EO directed Federal agencies to make environmental justice part of its mission and to work with other agencies on environmental justice issues as members of the EJ Interagency Working Group (IWG). The EJ MOU broadened the reach of the EJ IWG and formalized agency commitments to environmental justice.
Analyzing Environmental Justice, by Learning for Justice. This lesson helps students understand how pollution disproportionately affects people who are poor and members of racial and ethnic minorities. It also teaches them how to use a map to locate environmental injustice. (M, H) bit.ly/39AiJN6
5 40th anniversary of Air Traffic Controllers’ strike. On August 3, almost 13,000 air traffic controllers went on strike in response to stalled negotiations with the federal government over demands for increased pay and shortened workweeks. On August 5th, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers, arguing they violated his return-to-work order. This resulted in federal decertification of PATCO and barred striking employees from federal service for life.
1981 Strike Leaves Legacy for American Workers, by Kathleen Schalch for NPR. An informational article about the effects of the 1981 Air Traffic Controllers strike. Also includes a timeline of events related to the strike and “Voices from 1981,” a small collection of firsthand audio recordings. (H, TR) n.pr/3wn6Kwf
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) bit.ly/2SdYmL4
A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story, by Caren Stelson. In this moving nonfiction picture book, award-winning author Caren Stelson tells the story of Sachiko Yasui’s experiences during and survival of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, and brings her message of peace to a young audience. (E, M) carenstelson.com/books/
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) bit.ly/2j9JkW3
10 Muharram begins at sunset 8/10 (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) 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) bit.ly/2C8BsOk
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.
Kids on the March: 15 Stories of Speaking Out, Protesting, and Fighting for Justice, by Michael Long. Long before they could vote, kids have spoken up, walked out, gone on strike, and marched for racial justice, climate protection, gun control, world peace, and more. Kids on the March tells the stories of these protests, from the March of the Mill Children, who walked out of factories in 1903 for a shorter workweek, to 1951’s Strike for a Better School, which helped build the case for Brown v. Board of Education, to the 21st century’s most iconic movements, including March for Our Lives, the Climate Strike, and the Black Lives Matter protests reshaping our nation. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2RtCjVb
No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History, edited by Lindsay Metcalf, Keila Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley. Mari Copeny demanded clean water in Flint. Jazz Jennings insisted, as a transgirl, on playing soccer with the girls’ team. From Viridiana Sanchez Santos’s quinceañera demonstration against anti-immigrant policy to Zach Wahls’s moving declaration that his two moms and he were a family like any other, No Voice Too Small celebrates the young people who know how to be the change they seek. (E, M) bit.ly/3uM5TU9
12 140th anniversary of the founding of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America is one of the largest trade unions in North America. Unlike most trade unions at the time, both Black and White workers were allowed to join from the beginning of the union.
Labor Unions and Working Conditions: United We Stand, a lesson plan by the Library of Congress. Students work with primary source documents from the Library of Congress online collections to study the working conditions of US laborers at the turn of the century and consider the question: “Was there a need for organized labor unions?” (H) bit.ly/3rISYRe
13 60th anniversary of the border closure between East and West Berlin. Following World War II, Germany was divided into four zones. Technically, the Soviets controlled Berlin, but it was split into two parts. Desperate to leave Soviet-controlled East Germany, millions of people escaped to the Western side. In August 1961, East German soldiers began laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between East Berlin and the democratic Western section of the city. Two days later, construction began on the Berlin Wall, which remained in place until 1989.
The Berlin Wall and Beyond: An Online High School Curriculum, by Sarah Tellier. With six units of lesson plans, activities, discussion questions, primary source documents, and analysis worksheets, this website offers the tools that educators need to teach their students about the Berlin Wall, post-World War II Europe, and the Cold War through interactive activities, videos, photos, and other media. (H) bit.ly/3wpHBRx
18 Amelia Boynton, civil rights activist, born (1911-2015). Amelia Boynton was a civil rights pioneer from Alabama, who started her activism through voting rights campaigns and eventually became the first Black woman to run for Congress in Alabama. In 1965, Boynton helped organize and participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, which, because of the brutal attacks by police, came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” She was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Freedom in 1990.
They Dared! by PBS. A collection of short videos (no more than 4 minutes) celebrating strong and determined Alabama women who dared to make a difference, including Amelia Boynton Robinson, Gwendolyn Patton, Hellen Keller, and more. (E, M, H) pbs.org/show/they-dared
18 Carter Camp, Indigenous rights activist and AIM leader, born (1941-2013). Camp was an American Indian Movement (AIM) activist, playing a leading role in the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties and later in the AIM caravan to Washington, DC, where “Red Power” advocates occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs offices. In 1973, he helped lead the Wounded Knee (SD) occupation, which lasted 73 days and resulted in the deaths of two protesters. He later focused on the Keystone Pipeline for its negative impact on tribal lands.
Alcatraz Is Not an Island, by PBS. This PBS website provides lesson plans and resources for teaching about the American Indian Movement. (M, H)bit.ly/2dZjx4I
19 230th anniversary of Benjamin Banneker’s challenging Thomas Jefferson’s support for slavery. Benjamin Banneker was a Black scientist, writer, and farmer who worked to invalidate the belief that White people were intellectually superior to Black people. In a public letter, he confronted Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State at the time, about his pro-slavery stance and how it contradicted the principles of freedom and equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson co-authored.
Created Equal: How Benjamin Banneker Challenged Jefferson on Race and Freedom, by Facing History and Ourselves. A reading on Banneker’s challenge to Jefferson’s pro-slavery stance, with selections from both Banneker’s letter and Jefferson’s response. (H) bit.ly/2PxSsbv
Dear Benjamin Banneker, by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney. Benjamin Banneker was born free when most Black people in the United States were still enslaved. It troubled him that not all Black people were free. An accomplished astronomer and mathematician, he decided to take a stand against slavery by writing to then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. This is the story of their extraordinary correspondence. (E) bit.ly/3sKExgQ
21 190th anniversary of Nat Turner’s rebellion. Nat Turner, an enslaved preacher, led a slave rebellion in Southampton, VA that killed about 55 White slaveholders. Although fewer than 60 people took part in the uprising, White mobs tortured and murdered hundreds of Black people. Southern states passed laws designed to suppress Black rebellion and censor abolitionists, putting an end to the emancipation movement in that region. Turner was captured and executed along with 16 of his followers.
Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker. This graphic novel depicts the evils of slavery in this moving and historically accurate story of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion. Told nearly wordlessly, every image resonates with the reader as the brutal story unfolds. (M, H) bit.ly/3vj6wpu; teaching guides at abramsbooks.com/resources
22 10th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial opening to the public. Although open to the public on the 22nd, the memorial’s official dedication was scheduled for August 28, 2011, to coincide with the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. However, the ceremony was postponed until October because of Hurricane Irene. The memorial is located at 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W., a reference to the year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.
The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream, by Gary Younge. Younge brings to life the fascinating chronicle of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and other events surrounding the March on Washington. The book is short, engaging, accessible and contains thoughtful analyses of race and racism in America in the 50 years since the march. (H, TR) bit.ly/19JfxW2
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 Learning for Justice. 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) bit.ly/2FUocgs
Born on the Water, by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson, the 1619 Project. The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States. A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can trace back only three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by White slave traders. But before that, they had a home, a land, and a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived. (E, M) bit.ly/2RyPhRJ
24 10th anniversary of exposé of NYPD Islamophobic policing. The first in a series of damning exposés of the Islamophobic and illegal practices of the NYPD was published by the Associated Press. Among other outrageous acts, the AP found that hundreds of mosques and student groups were investigated and infiltrated with no evidence of wrongdoing. In addition, the CIA, which is prohibited from operating on US soil, helped set up many of these schemes. The series won a Pulitzer Prize and led to a congressional investigation.
Classroom Resources for Educating about Muslims, by teachingwhilemuslim.org. A compilation of resources, lesson plans, and curriculum guides to help fill the gap in educating about the experiences and history of Muslims all over the world, and to combat Islamophobia in our schools and communities. (TR) bit.ly/2JitGo4
American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear, by Khaled Beydoun. Using his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun captures the many ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. (H, TR) bit.ly/3fRy3Jx
Under My Hijab, by Hena Khan. With cheerful rhyming text and charming illustrations, this picture book provides a friendly introduction to hijabs for all readers and celebrates the many Muslim women and girls who choose to wear them. Free teacher’s guide at this site. (E) leeandlow.com/books/under-my-hijab
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 American 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) bit.ly/bmuSYJ
26 50th anniversary of the First Women’s Equality Day. Established in 1971, the date commemorates the day the 19th Amendment went into effect, giving American women full voting rights in 1920. On August 26, 1970, the National Organization for Women organized a Women’s Strike for Equality. The strike drew national attention to the Women’s movement. The following year, Bella Abzug introduced a bill designating August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.
Women’s Suffrage, by Justice for Education. 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) bit.ly/2IOoO9c
Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, by Martha Jones. In Vanguard, acclaimed historian Martha Jones offers a new history of African American women’s political lives in America. She recounts how they defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. From the earliest days of the republic to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and beyond, Jones excavates the lives and work of Black women–Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Fannie Lou Hamer, and more–who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals. (H) bit.ly/39JVwse
29 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) bit.ly/2VbP1ax
31 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain. More than 10,000 coal miners in West Virginia rose up against mining company owners over low wages and poor working conditions. Armed warfare erupted between mine workers and a force of 3,000 police, deputies, and local militiamen brought in by the anti-union county sheriff, in addition to state police and coal company security. Eventually, federal troops were called in to end one of the largest labor uprisings in US history.
Battle of Blair Mountain, by David Rovics. This song is about the biggest battle in the West Virginia Coal Mine War of 1920-1921. The site includes the lyrics, link to the audio, and a link to the book on which the song is based. (M, H) bit.ly/3eynOJm
Celebrate People’s History: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution,2nd Edition, edited by Josh MacPhee. These posters pay tribute to the longstanding human legacy of revolution, creative activism, and grassroots organizing. In this book, contemporary artists imagine and interpret often overlooked events and figures in movements for racial justice, women’s rights, queer liberation, labor organizing, and environmental conservation. Includes a poster about the Battle of Blair Mountain. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3rXauSo
1 80th anniversary of Nazi decree requiring Jews to wear yellow stars. Singling out Jewish people as “others” wasn’t a new idea by the Nazis. It had been going on as far back as 807 CE. In the Nazi era, local jurisdictions began requiring Jews to wear emblems or badges to identify themselves. An official decree on September 1, 1941, required all Jews in Germany and occupied Poland to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing. Failure to comply could result in beatings or death.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. USHMM provides resources for students and educators. It includes samples of primary documents and suggested lessons and activities for students and teachers. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/A0dotD
1 10th anniversary of Plan EJ 2014. Plan EJ 2014, named in recognition of the 20th anniversary of President Clinton’s executive order 12898, was intended to integrate Environmental Justice into all EPA programs, policies, and activities. Clinton’s order had called on every federal agency to identify and address the disproportionately high adverse effects their programs, policies, and activities had on minority and low-income populations. It seems strange that it took them 20 years to get around to it, but maybe better late than never.
Cast Away: Poems for Our Time, by Naomi Shihab Nye. With poems about food wrappers, lost mittens, plastic straws, refugee children, trashy talk, the environment, connection, community, responsibility to the planet, politics, immigration, time, junk mail, trash collectors, garbage trucks, all that we carry and all that we discard, this is a rich, engaging, moving, and sometimes humorous collection for readers ages 12 to adult. (M, H) bit.ly/2PwZGwz
3 120th anniversary of Alabama’s constitution mandating segregation. Alabama adopted a state constitution that was designed to disenfranchise Black voters. It also prohibited interracial marriages and mandated segregated schools. Because of that pesky 14th Amendment, it had to appear race-neutral, but in reality, registrars were trained to decrease Black registration. Although it has been amended, the constitution and a few of its discriminatory provisions are still in place.
Amend: The Fight for America. In this student-friendly Netflix series, Will Smith hosts an examination of the evolving, often lethal, fight for equal rights in America through the lens of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment. (M, H) bit.ly/3qKZiHs
6 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) 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) bit.ly/VVGMxk
6 Rosh Hashanah begins the evening of 9/6/2021, ends 9/8/2021 (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) bit.ly/2ShDgLT
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.
Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South, by Mike Selby. Although illegal, racial segregation was strictly enforced in a number of American states, and public libraries were not immune. Numerous libraries were desegregated on paper only: there would be no cards given to African Americans, no books for them read, and no furniture for them to use. It was these exact conditions that helped create Freedom Libraries. More than 80 of these parallel libraries appeared in the Deep South, staffed by civil rights voter registration workers. (H) bit.ly/3se9QPV
Little Libraries, Big Heroes, by Miranda Paul. The inspiring story of how the Little Free Library organization brings communities together through books, from founder Todd Bol’s first installation to the creation of more than 75,000 mini-libraries around the world. Includes an author’s note and bibliography. (E) bit.ly/3wUFeGQ
Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson, by Jen Bryant. As a child, August Wilson, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, read soup can labels and cereal boxes. When his mother took him to the library, his whole world opened up. After facing intense prejudice at school from both students and some teachers, August dropped out. However, he continued reading and educating himself independently. Feed Your Mind is told in two acts, revealing how Wilson grew up to be one of the most influential American playwrights. The book includes an author’s note, a timeline of August Wilson’s life, a list of Wilson’s plays, and a bibliography. (M, H) bit.ly/3dWMlG8
9 50th anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising. Inmates at the state prison in Attica, NY were frustrated with chronic overcrowding, censorship of letters, and deplorable and dehumanizing living conditions. In a spontaneous uprising, the inmates went on a rampage and were met with lethal force. 43 people died, including 39 killed by the police and prison guards who fired indiscriminately into an area where hostages were being held. It was the deadliest prison uprising in US history.
We Do This ’til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice, by Mariame Kaba. In this collection of essays and interviews, Kaba reflects on the deep work of abolition and transformative political struggle. The book asks questions about justice beyond the punishment system, transforming how we deal with harm and accountability, and finding hope in collective struggle for abolition. (H, TR) bit.ly/3lfelaV; discussion guide at bit.ly/3fDoUUK
Steps to End Prisons and Policing: A Mixtape on Transformative Justice, by the Just Practice Collaborative. This mixtape is an offering of nourishment and care to the abolitionist community. Learn from some of the people who have been practicing and thinking about and creating organizations around Transformative Justice over the last two decades. (H, TR) bit.ly/3vsjVLb
Attica Prison Uprising 101 – A Short Primer, by Mariame Kaba. This publication about the Attica Prison uprising of 1971 is not intended to be a curriculum guide, but a brief primer for educators and organizers. It includes a timeline of events (with primary sources); testimonies from Attica prisoners; poetry by Attica prisoners; sample activities for youth; and other suggested resources. (H, TR) bit.ly/3sZrIOT
11 40th anniversary of Silver Spring monkey lab raid. An undercover worker from the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alerted police to cruel treatment of monkeys at a research lab in Silver Spring, MD. The lab’s raid led to a groundbreaking investigation resulting in important additions to the Animal Welfare Act and growing public scrutiny of the abuse that animals endure in experimentation.
TeachKind Materials, from PETA. PETA offers FREE classroom kits at both the primary and secondary levels that include comic books, informational leaflets and magazines on Humane Education topics, as well as sticker sheets and other materials. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2H49QM4
11 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people, including more than 400 first responders. In response to the attacks, the US government started a war in Afghanistan that continues today, and enacted measures that infringe on civil liberties in the name of security. There has also been a dramatic increase in hate crimes toward Muslims and anyone appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent.
Teaching Elementary Students in Times of Crisis, by Marieke van Woerkom for Morningside Center for Social Responsibility. Written in 2021, this blog post provides some basic guidelines for opening up discussion on difficult issues with your elementary and middle school students. (E, TR) bit.ly/3cthnV7
Teaching on Days After: Dialogue & Resources for Educating Toward Justice, initiated by Alyssa Haley Dunn. This Facebook group is a space for progressive educators to share resources and support for teaching on “days after” major historical events. (TR) bit.ly/3cv9nTB
Countering Islamophobia, by Learning for Justice. This lesson helps students explore, confront, and deconstruct stereotypes targeted at Muslims. Students will learn about the impact of Islamophobia and create an anti-Islamophobia campaign to display in school. (H) bit.ly/2R8ggDc
Resources for Students and Teachers from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Links to virtual school programs and field trips, lesson plans, and other teaching materials about the events of 9/11 and how the attacks continue to impact our lives. (E, M, H, TR) 911memorial.org/learn/students-and-teachers
A Few Books about 9/11, a blog post by Pernille Ripp. From a practicing classroom teacher, a collection of recommended books for use with younger students about September 11, 2001. (E, M) bit.ly/3wng2bB
We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, by Deepa Iyer. Renowned activist Deepa Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance. Reframing the discussion of race in America, she addresses the complexity and diversity of the South Asian community and provides ideas from the front lines of post-9/11 America. (H) bit.ly/1KtM1pM
12 Pedro Albizu Campos, Puerto Rican independence activist, born (1891-1965). Campos was known as a powerful orator who condemned US imperialism and promoted Puerto Rican independence. He criticized the enslavement of Puerto Ricans to US economic and political interests, including tax breaks given to US corporations, compulsory military service for Puerto Ricans, and the despotism the US employed. He called for racial and national pride, emphasizing the importance of bravery and valor and the power of the human will over tyrannical military might.
War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony, by Nelson A. Denis. The website for this book includes a historical overview of Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence, and a wealth of related resources, including video clips and other multimedia. Includes a section on Albizu Campos. (H, TR) bit.ly/2lOJDVL
13 140th anniversary of Lewis Latimer’s first patent. Latimer, a self-taught Black inventor, worked with Hiram Maxim at U.S. Electric Lighting Company. While working there in 1881, Latimer patented a carbon filament for the incandescent lightbulb, which was safer and more durable than the paper filament invented by Thomas Edison. The invention helped make electric lighting practical and affordable for the average household. Latimer also worked with Alexander Graham Bell on the design of the telephone.
Black Pioneers of Science and Invention, by Louis Haber. A readable, perceptive account of the lives of 14 gifted innovators who have played important roles in scientific and industrial progress. The achievements of Benjamin Banneker, Granville T. Woods, George Washington Carver, and others have made jobs easier, saved countless lives, and in many cases, altered the course of history. (E, M) bit.ly/2PORrf2
Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids, by Kimberly Brown Pellum. Fifteen powerful stories of fearless female scientists who advanced their STEM fields and fought to build a legacy. (E, M) bit.ly/3rJKg55
14 110th anniversary of the Congreso Mexicanista. El Primer Congreso Mexicanista met in Laredo, TX to address social, economic, and education issues affecting Mexicans and Mexican Americans. This convention aimed to discuss and formulate solutions to labor exploitation, segregation, economic disparities, and lynchings perpetrated by Anglo Texans against Mexicans and Mexican Americans. The convention was attended by hundreds of journalists, community activists, and citizens from Mexico and across Texas, forming the largest Mexican American civil rights forum of the time.
Sept. 14, 1911: El Primer Congreso Mexicanista Convenes in Laredo, by the Zinn Education Project. A short description of the first Mexicanist Congress meeting, along with related resources for teaching and learning. (H) www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/jovita-idar
Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico: Portraits of Soldaderas, Saints, and Subversives, edited by Ellen Riojas Clark, Kathy Sosa, and Jennifer Speed. This anthology embraces an expansive definition of the word revolutionary by looking at female role models and subversives from the last century and who stood up for their visions and ideals and continue to stand for them today. Eighteen portraits provide readers with a glimpse into each figure’s life and place in history. (H) bit.ly/31DS51I
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.
Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, by Juan Gonzalez. Featuring family portraits of immigrants, as well as accounts of the events and conditions that compelled them to leave their homelands, this book is for anyone wishing to understand the history and legacy of this increasingly influential group. (H) bit.ly/3dxD2Mi
Dreams from Many Rivers: A Hispanic History of the United States Told in Poems, by Margarita Engle. From Juana Briones and Juan Ponce de León, to 18th century slaves and modern-day 6th graders, the many and varied people depicted in this moving narrative speak to the experiences and contributions of Latinos throughout the history of the United States, from the earliest known stories up to present day. It’s a portrait of a great, enormously varied, and enduring heritage. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3dhGw73
15 Yom Kippur begins at sunset on 9/15/2021 and ends at sunset on 9/16/2021 (Judaism). Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is one of two Jewish High Holy Days. It falls 10 days after Rosh Hashanah, 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) bit.ly/2s3t4uS
Rethinking Holidays in Schools, a blog post by Alex Shevrin Venet. Reflection questions for educators that support schools in making intentional decisions about how to mark and celebrate holidays in classrooms. (TR) bit.ly/2PlSvaz
16 Mexican Independence Day. Otherwise known as El Grito, on this day Mexicans celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain.
El Grito: A Lesson Plan, by Patricia Schwarz. In this elementary-middle school lesson plan, students read a book written by students (El Grito) to learn the story of Mexico’s fight for independence. Vocabulary activities, extension activities, links to build background information, and other resources are included. (TR) http://bit.ly/1cNPPpp
18 170th anniversary of Fort Defiance (AZ). Fort Defiance was established to create a military presence in Diné bikéyah (Navajo territory). Fort Defiance was built on valuable grazing land that the federal government then prohibited the Navajo from using. As a result, there was intense and ongoing fighting between the Diné and the US military.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask: Young Readers Edition, by Anton Treuer. From the acclaimed Ojibwe author and professor Anton Treuer comes an essential book of questions and answers for Native and non-Native young readers alike. This expanded edition includes a new section on social activism. (M, H) bit.ly/31IlJTu
19 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) 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) bit.ly/2Sm6s4x
19 140th anniversary of Tuskegee Institute. In a bid to secure the Black vote in his race for re-election to the Alabama Senate, W.F. Foster agreed to get funding for a school for Black people. Legislation passed for the establishment of the “Negro Normal School of Tuskegee” with an appropriation of $2,000. Booker T. Washington was recruited as the Principal and only teacher. The school that began as a one-room shanty with 30 students has become a 3,000-student university on a sprawling campus.
A Teacher’s Guide to The Souls of Black Folk, by Penguin USA. Several units of lesson plans ranging from DuBois’s disagreements with Booker T. Washington to Jim Crow, to Emancipation and its aftermath. bit.ly/2mh3ajn
20 130th anniversary of the Cotton Pickers’ strike. The strike was an attempt by Black sharecroppers to increase wages for picking cotton. At the time, many White landowners conspired to keep wages miserably low for their Black workers, and local law enforcement often rounded up the workers on vagrancy charges and forced them to work off their fines on select plantations. By the time a White mob put down the strike, at least 15 Black men and one White man had been killed.
20 Henry Stephens Salt, animal rights and social reform activist, born (1851-1939). Salt was an English writer, socialist, pacifist, naturalist, and ethical vegetarian whose book, Animals’ Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress, influenced Mahatma Gandhi’s study of vegetarianism and offered early and explicit concepts of animal rights.
Teaching Youth About Veganism, by Whitney Blomquist, The Vegetarian Resource Group. A brief lesson plan, resources and handouts, activities, and related PowerPoint slides to teach kids the basics of vegetarianism and veganism. (E) bit.ly/3nPFanw
20 40th anniversary of Solidarity Day. An estimated 400,000 people gathered in Washington, DC to protest President Reagan’s budget cuts, tax policies, and his firing of air traffic controllers. The theme of “Jobs and Justice” acted as a point of solidarity among the AFL-CIO, other labor unions, civil rights groups, women’s groups, and peace movements. Organizers were partly inspired by the Polish Solidarity movement, which was organized around workers’ rights and social reform.
Teach Films with a Conscience, by Zinn Education Project. An annotated list of vetted films to support teaching and learning of social justice and critical political issues. The films are organized by themes, including Black Lives Matter, Colonialism, Criminal Justice, Labor Organizing, and many more. (TR) zinnedproject.org/materials/films-with-a-conscience
20 10th anniversary of repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. In 1994, the US adopted the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people serving in the military. The Clinton administration seemed to think this was a reasonable compromise, though it prevented these service members from living their authentic lives while serving. By 2011, the tide of public opinion had turned, however, and President Obama rescinded the policy, enabling openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members to remain in the military.
On “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Debating a Proposed Repeal, by Sarah Kavanagh and Holly Epstein Ojalvo for the Learning Network, NYTimes. From their description: Should gays and lesbians be allowed to serve openly in the military? What issues are at stake in this issue? In this lesson, students consider the law and the arguments for and against repealing it, then engage in a “structured academic controversy” about whether or not the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy should be repealed. (H) nyti.ms/3rMXXQT
20 Arsham Parsi, LGBTQI+ activist, born (1981). Parsi is an Iranian LGBTQ human rights activist living in exile in Canada after being forced to flee Iran where being gay is a crime punishable by death. He is the founder and Executive Director of the International Railroad for Queer Refugees, which helps queer Iranians with asylum applications, housing, and financial assistance. It also files petitions to governments on behalf of Iranian LGBTQ persons facing deportation back to Iran where they face a possible death sentence.
Am I Wrong to Love? by the UN Refugee Agency. A photo essay exhibit and collection featuring portraits and first-person stories of LGBTQI refugees and asylum seekers from around the world who are now living in Canada. (M, H) bit.ly/2PP2Mf6
The Power of Love: Meet the LGBTQI Refugees Finding Love Beyond Borders, by the UN Refugee Agency. Photos and stories of LGBTQI people finding and making home in new countries after forced displacement because of discrimination. (M, H) bit.ly/3oxa5VZ
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) bit.ly/2HmWQSp
Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book for All Ages, by Carol Swartout Klein and Robert O’Neil. A journalist and marketing professional by training, Carol Swartout Klein grew up in Ferguson, MO, and was so inspired by witnessing the spirit of hundreds of volunteers coming together to bring hope to a community in shock that she wanted to capture the story and the art for posterity. Painting for Peace is a coloring book that helps begin conversations with children and inspires adults. (E) bit.ly/3cIZHGw
21 First day of Sukkot begins at sunset 9/21/2021, ends at sunset 9/27 (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) bit.ly/2rZHvQR
21 40th anniversary of Belize’s independence from Britain. A British Crown Colony since 1862, Belize was declared an independent nation on September 21, 1981. Though other Caribbean nations became independent in the early 1960s, Belize remained a British colony because Guatemala claimed a large part of Belize. After many years of diplomatic wrangling, made more difficult because the US took Guatemala’s side, the small island nation finally got its independence.
The Night the Moon Fell: A Maya Myth, by Pat Mora. A whoosh from her grandfather’s blowgun causes Luna, the moon, to tumble from the sky and fall to pieces in the dark ocean. To save herself, she enlists the help of little fish to glue her back together. At last she rises, beautiful and round again, taking her new friends with her to create the Milky Way. Pat Mora and artist Domi have taken the traditional Mopan Maya (Belize) myth in which the moon is a young weaver and the Milky Way a fish and transformed it into a magical story of friendship and imagination. (E) bit.ly/3dt4xqn
21 10th anniversary of the execution of Troy Davis. 42-year-old Black man, Troy Davis, was sentenced to death in 1989 for the fatal shooting of Mark McPhail, a White off-duty police officer. Despite new evidence proving Mr. Davis’s innocence, Georgia’s Board of Pardons and Paroles refused to grant him clemency, and he was executed the day after his hearing.
Death Penalty: What Is It? What Do We Think About It? by Marieke van Woerkom. This lesson was created in 2011 right after Troy Davis was executed. Still relevant today, the lesson involves studying Troy Davis’s case and exploring different perspectives and facts about the death penalty. Resources include facts, readings, video links, and more. (H, TR) bit.ly/3cpIEb7
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice, by Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson’s story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society – the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice. (H) bit.ly/3sO6kg7
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, 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
Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth, by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Using simple language and breathtaking paintings, Bang and Chisholm present a clear, concise explanation of the fossil fuel energy cycle that began with the sun and now runs most of our transportation and energy use in our world. Readers will be mesmerized by this engaging fourth book in the award-winning Sunlight Series by Bang and Chisholm. (E, M) bit.ly/3ucdDia
23 George Jackson, Black Panther Party member, born (1941-1971). At the age of 18, Jackson was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year to life for stealing $70 from a gas station. While in prison, he became a communist and a member of the Black Panther Party. His book, Soledad Brother, is a collection of letters Jackson wrote while in prison. He was later accused of killing a prison guard. Three days before he was to go on trial, he was shot and killed by prison guards, which triggered riots in other prisons.
Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson. A collection of Jackson’s letters from prison, Soledad Brother is a categorical condemnation of the racism of White America and a powerful appraisal of the prison system that eventually took his life but failed to break his spirit. (H) bit.ly/3qNNsfn
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, by Stanley Nelson. The first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for Black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement is derailed. Guide for educators included. (H, TR) pbs.org/1oI7BE6; bit.ly/1ooi5Zk
23 Amzie Moore, civil rights activist, born (1911-1982). Moore was a prominent figure in the Mississippi Civil Rights movement and voter registration campaign. He headed a local chapter of the NAACP and co-founded the Regional Council of Negro Leadership. Moore persuaded Bob Moses, a SNCC leader, to focus on voter registration rather than the usual sit-ins and other direct-action protests. He was instrumental in SNCC’s recruiting campaign in Mississippi, and his grassroots strategies helped SNCC launch a major voter registration drive during Freedom Summer.
SNCC Digital Gateway, by the SNCC Legacy Project and the Duke Center for Documentary Studies. The SNCC Digital Gateway documentary website provides profiles, stories, a timeline, map, and much more about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This is an invaluable classroom resource on the voting rights struggle and the overall fight for human rights and democracy in the United States. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/2FKYfmM
25 50th anniversary of the repeal of the Emergency Detention Act of 1950. The Japanese American Citizens League won its fight to repeal the Emergency Detention Act of 1950, which gave the government authority to detain suspected subversives without due process. Although the law was very personal to the JACL, they weren’t its only opponents. Passed during the McCarthy era and vetoed by President Truman, it was designed to root out communists and was constitutionally problematic, both for the issues raised by the JACL and for glaring First Amendment violations.
Fish for Jimmy: Inspired by One Family’s Experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp, by Katie Yamasaki. With the family forced to leave their home and go to an internment camp, Jimmy loses his appetite. Older brother Taro takes matters into his own hands and, night after night, sneaks out of the camp and catches fresh fish for Jimmy to help make him strong again. This affecting tale of courage and love is an adaptation of the author’s true family story and includes a letter to readers with more information about the historical background and inspiration. (E, M) bit.ly/3mgFwTB
25 40th anniversary of swearing-in of Sandra Day O’Connor to Supreme Court. Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the Supreme Court. Her appointment was unanimously approved by the Senate. Justice O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the highest court in the land. O’Connor, a conservative, had a record in which she sided with the other conservatives on the court on most cases, but mostly upheld women’s rights to choose in the matter of abortion.
First: Sandra Day O’Connor, by Evan Thomas. A vivid and personal portrait of the life of Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court. (H) bit.ly/3cLpOMR
27 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain. The Mexican War of Independence, a revolutionary civil war, was fought over 14 years. The Treaty of Cordoba on August 24, 1821, officially ended Spanish rule in the territory. But it wasn’t that straightforward. The road to independence was circuitous, involving mixed loyalties, upheavals in Spain, disagreements among the colonized Mexicans and among the Spanish military. Spain would later make attempts at recolonizing Mexico. Mexico finally became a republic in 1824.
Napí, by Antonio Ramirez. Napí is a young Mazateca girl who lives with her family in a little village on the bank of a river in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Each afternoon the family sits beneath the shade of a huge ceiba tree and listens to the grandfather’s stories. As Napí listens dreamily, the afternoons take on different colors in her imagination. The ceiba tree sends Napí dreams every night, and in her favorite one, she becomes a heron, gliding freely along the river. Spanish language edition available. (E) amzn.to/39Ek6KV
28 130th anniversary of Black longshoreman’s strike. 1,500 Black longshoremen walked off their jobs in Savannah, GA, demanding higher wages, guarantees of receiving the overtime pay they were due, and recognition of their union. The strike was well planned and orderly. A war chest of $5,000 had been accumulated, and a public relations blitz garnered full support from the Black community. Eventually, the companies brought in White scabs to replace the strikers, and the strike, ultimately unsuccessful, was called off after five days.
It’s a Mystery – White Workers Against Black Workers, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Teachers are provided with a unit plan depicting the history and social factors that contributed to the racial tensions between workers in the 1920s. (H, TR) bit.ly/1mFmfZV
30 30th anniversary of the military coup in Haiti. The military coup put an end to the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically-elected president, only nine months after he took office. Aristide’s election in December 1990, after nearly 30 years of dictatorship under “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” Duvalier, had brought hope to Haitians with promises of social, political, and economic improvements and an end to human rights abuses. The coup was strongly condemned by the international community.
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 and serves as a critical tool in helping students gain an understanding of current issues. (M, H) bit.ly/5ONMaQ
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) 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) 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) bit.ly/17fyrKa
Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing, by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. More than a cookbook, this book redefines what is meant by “traditional” Mexican food by reaching back through hundreds of years of history to reclaim heritage crops as a source of protection from modern diseases of development. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/3vfaYFE
1 First day of LGBT History Month. LGBT History Month celebrates the lives and achievements of LGBTQI+ people.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Educator Resources. These resources help to ensure that LGBTQI+ 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, TR) bit.ly/2RZG9nF
Welcoming Schools. This 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) bit.ly/bN8CiT
1 170th anniversary of the Jerry Rescue. William Henry, an escaped slave from Missouri who went by the name of Jerry, was arrested in Syracuse, NY under the Fugitive Slave Law. The antislavery Liberty Party was holding its state convention in the city. When word of the arrest spread, several hundred abolitionists broke into the courthouse and set Jerry free. Jerry was taken into hiding and eventually transported to Canada. Nineteen of the rescuers were indicted, but only one was convicted.
I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery, by Cynthia Grady. This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of enslaved people in America. Drawn together through imagery from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective and supplemented by a historical note. (E, M) bit.ly/3fDkpt7
1 Anfesia Shapsnikoff, Aleut leader and educator, born (1901-1973). Shapsnikoff lived in Unalaska, where she served as a nurse, teacher, church member, and community leader. During WWII, Shapsnikoff supervised the burial of most of the Unalaska church treasures, fearing they would be looted or bombed. She spent years traveling throughout Alaska teaching basketry techniques. Shapsnikoff became a vocal critic of the continued presence of the US military in Unalaska, citing lack of respect and care for the land, waters, and people.
Seasons of Alaska Board Books, by Joni Spiess, Carla Snow, Yaari Toolie-Walker, and Angela Y. Gonzalez. Four board books about each of the seasons, all set in Alaska, written by Indigenous authors and including information about the Indigenous peoples of Alaska. (E) bit.ly/3s7ygdU
4 70th anniversary of Burglund HS walkout. In response to the murder of SNCC activist Herbert Lee by a Mississippi state legislator and the expulsion of their classmates from school for holding a sit-in at a Greyhound bus station, students at Burglund High School in McComb, MS organized a walkout. About 115 students participated, and in the weeks following the walkout, students kept up resistance and many were expelled. SNCC set up a temporary school for the expelled students.
Teaching SNCC: The Organization at the Heart of the Civil Rights Revolution, Teaching Activity by Adam Sanchez. In this series of role plays, students explore the history and evolution of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, including freedom rides and voter registration. Click “download to read in full” and register for a free account to access full lesson. (H) bit.ly/3bJnpC1
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) bit.ly/2z1VtYZ
Teachers Unions and Social Justice: Organizing for the Schools and Communities Our Students Deserve, edited by Michael Charney, Jesse Hagopian, and Bob Peterson. An anthology of more than 60 articles documenting the history and the methods of social justice unionism. Together, they describe the growing movement to forge multiracial alliances with communities to defend and transform public education. (TR) rethinkingschools.org/books/teacher-unions-and-social-justice
5 40th anniversary of Seminole Tribe v. Butterworth. In Seminole Tribe v. Butterworth, the 5th Circuit Court ruled that tribes have a right to create gambling enterprises on their land, a case that significantly influenced the development of modern Indian Gaming laws. Because of the decision, the Seminole Tribe was able to build and operate the nation’s first tribally owned high-stakes bingo parlor on their reservation in Florida, even though bingo for profit was illegal under Florida law at the time.
She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribe Leader, by Jan Godown Annino. The compelling and inspiring story of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, one of modern America’s first female elected tribal leaders. With its lyrical, poetic text, and rich, vibrant illustration, this biographical book will charm and amaze young readers. (E, M) bit.ly/2QVWKd6
6 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) bit.ly/2D23VXI
7 20th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. A US-led coalition attacked Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with an intense bombing campaign. The invasion of Afghanistan was the opening salvo in the US “war on terror” and a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, DC by al-Qaida militants. “Operation Enduring Freedom” was intended to target terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization and the Taliban government that had ruled most of the country since 1996. The war continues today.
Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan – Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations, Illustrated Edition, by Iraq Veterans Against the War. In spring 2008, inspired by the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier hearings, Iraq Veterans Against the War gathered veterans to expose war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are the powerful words, images, and documents of this historic gathering, which show the reality of life in Afghanistan and Iraq. (H) bit.ly/3ucc1oC
Teaching with the News: The United States in Afghanistan: Analyzing Political Cartoons, by The Choices Program. This lesson enables students to analyze a series of political cartoons to understand different viewpoints on US involvement in Afghanistan. (M, H) bit.ly/9EeGIe
8 Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader, Baptist minister, and politician, born (1941). Jesse Jackson is a prominent civil rights leader and minister, known for his partnership with Martin Luther King, Jr., his leadership in SCLC and Operation PUSH, as well as for running for President of the United States and popularizing the term African American. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.
“I am Somebody,” by Jesse Jackson. Full audio of Jesse Jackson’s 1971 speech entitled, “I am Somebody,” in which he affirms the dignity of Black people. (E, M, H) Original speech here: bit.ly/39Ftbmu; Version of the speech that he delivered on an episode of Sesame Street for young children here: bit.ly/3udW1lU
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 LGBTQI+ individuals to live their lives truthfully and openly.
When a Student Comes Out to You…Today or Any Day! by GLSEN. This blog post provides suggestions for how to respond when a student comes out to you. The post comes from GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit available on their site. (TR) bit.ly/2Q1uwgI
King and The Dragonflies, by Kacen Callender. In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard to learn that there is no right way to be yourself. (M, H) kacencallender.com/books
11 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) 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) 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) 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) bit.ly/2ULxJ5B
11 20th anniversary of California Senate Bill 828. Approved by Governor Gray Davis, the law required all offices within the California EPA to refine their environmental hazard strategies to identify and address gaps in existing programs, policies, and activities that impede the achievement of environmental justice. Protecting the health and property values of poor and minority neighborhoods has long been neglected. This law and other similar efforts at the federal level were meant to tackle those issues.
As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock, by Dina Gilio-Whitaker. Through the unique lens of “Indigenized environmental justice,” Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. (H) bit.ly/3mlDxgF
12 110th anniversary of Society of American Indians. The Society of American Indians was formed by about 50 Native American men and women at Ohio State University. They chose this date – October 12 – because it is “Columbus Day,” and this meeting was meant to represent a new start for American Indians. The Society’s goals were to raise awareness of the achievements of Native Americans and their contributions to society, as well as to discuss problems faced by Native Americans and possible solutions.
We Are Still Here: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know, by Traci Sorell. Twelve Native American kids present historical and contemporary laws, policies, struggles, and victories in Native life, each with a powerful refrain: We are still here! Precise, lyrical writing presents topics including forced assimilation, land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination, relocation, self-determination, Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development, Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood. (E, M) tracisorell.com/we-are-still-here
13 100th anniversary of the founding of the Order of the Sons of America. The Order of the Sons of America was a civic organization formed by Mexican American citizens in San Antonio, TX. The organization spread to several other cities in Texas with the goal of protecting and promoting the interests of Mexican American US citizens and their communities and to fight discrimination against them. The group was primarily comprised of attorneys, teachers, and entrepreneurs.
They Call Me Guero: A Border Kid’s Poems, by David Bowles. Twelve-year-old Guero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He’s starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. (E, M) bit.ly/3rMhpNx
14 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) bit.ly/2GiZAC0
15 White Cane Safety Day. White Cane Safety Day celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and emphasizes 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) bit.ly/2s4hwaV
15 170th anniversary of The Second National Woman’s Rights Convention. Held one year after the First National Woman’s Rights Convention, the 1851 meeting drew a larger audience than the first. Although women’s suffrage was a key element of the conference, many issues were raised, including education, job training, and women’s place in the field of medicine. Citing the Declaration of Independence, the convention passed a resolution protesting the injustice done to women by depriving them of liberty and equality.
Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box, by Evette Dionne. An eye-opening book that tells the important, overlooked story of Black women as a force in the Suffrage movement when fellow suffragists did not accept them as equal partners in the struggle. (M, H) bit.ly/2PY7Yx9
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 (FAO) 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) bit.ly/2s02Rxk
Multicultural Collection of Early Childhood Education Books About Food and Farming, by Ready to Grow. This list of recommended books, primarily featuring BIPOC characters and written by BIPOC authors, features stories about food and farming locally and internationally. (E) pareadysetgrow.org/book-list
16 130th anniversary of the death of Sarah Winnemucca, Paiute writer and activist (1844-1891). Known for her book Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, a memoir and ethnohistory of the first 40 years of Paiute contact with European Americans, Winnemucca worked as an interpreter and scout for the US Army but later became an outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights. Controversial for exaggerating her social status (daughter of a Paiute chief) and advocating assimilation of Natives to White culture, she is admired for her social work and activism.
How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America, edited by Sara Sinclair. A collection of narrators’ voices describing the ways in which their lives have been shaped by loss, injustice, and resilience, and by the struggle of how to share space with settler nations whose essential aim is to take all that is Indigenous. (H) bit.ly/2PW6SSI
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) 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. bit.ly/6AIy7u
17 Vernon Bellecourt, American Indian Movement activist, born (1931-2007). Bellecourt, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, and a founding member of the American Indian Movement, was a leader in the fight for the human rights of Indigenous peoples, the restoration of Native American lands, and the preservation of Indigenous cultures and languages. He was especially noted for his ardent campaign against the use of Native names, images, and mascots by sports teams.
Interview with Vernon Bellecourt about the American Indian Movement. Bellecourt speaks about the state of nations and the demands being made in the American Indian Movement. (H, TR) bit.ly/9qBLCK
What’s in a Mascot? by Pamela Gasway, Learning for Justice. A 9th grade English unit helps students analyze the legacy behind Native American mascots. (H, TR) bit.ly/3h3R5g8
17 150th anniversary of President Grant’s declaring martial law over KKK violence in SC. The Ku Klux Klan formed in 1865 to resist Reconstruction in the South and to terrorize Black people. Despite warnings from the federal government, they continued to terrorize Black South Carolinians. President U.S. Grant declared martial law in nine counties and suspended the writ of habeas corpus so that KKK members could be arrested without going before a judge where they were not likely to be held accountable by White judges.
They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This is the story of how a secret terrorist group took root in America’s democracy. Filled with chilling and vivid personal accounts unearthed from oral histories, congressional documents, and diaries, this account from Newbery Honor-winning author Susan Campbell Bartoletti is a book to read and remember. A YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist. (M, H) bit.ly/3rN2DGk
22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation has been mobilizing annually to expose the epidemic of police brutality. The coalition asks that we wear black on this day to honor those whose lives have been stolen by police brutality. http://www.october22.org
The Day Tajon Got Shot, by T’Asia, J’yona, Reiyanna, Jonae, Makiya, Rose, Najae, Serenity, Jeanet, and Temil (the Teen Writers of Beacon House). In March 2015, 10 teenage girls from Beacon House in Washington, DC started writing a novel during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. They began with one central question: What really happens in a community when a Black youth is the victim of violence by police? How are those lives affected? Each writer takes on the perspective of a central character – the victim, the police officer, the witness, the parent, the friend, the officer’s kids – and examines how it feels to be a human being on all sides of this event. Their stories thoughtfully explore issues of race, violence, loyalty, and justice in a community torn apart but seeking connection. (E, M) bit.ly/2PArMXC
We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility, by Marc Lamont Hill. In this urgent and incisive collection of new interviews bookended by two new essays, Marc Lamont Hill critically examines the “pre-existing conditions” that have led us to this moment of crisis and upheaval, guiding us through both the perils and possibilities, and helping us imagine an abolitionist future. (H) bit.ly/3sTMZua
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, by Andrea Ritchie. A timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and other Women of Color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. (H) bit.ly/3sUMYGr
24 150th anniversary of the Chinese Massacre of 1871. A mob of nearly 500 White people attacked and dragged Chinese Americans out of their homes while others built gallows to hang the victims. This happened after a police officer was shot and a civilian killed, allegedly by a Chinese American. The police stood by while the mob, including women and children, attacked innocent Chinese people. Eighteen of them were murdered in the largest mass lynching in US history. Only 10 people were tried; none went to jail.
Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit: From the organizers: “This toolkit represents the work and thinking of 15 grassroots organizations with Asian American bases living in the most precarious margins of power: low-income tenants, youth, undocumented immigrants, low-wage workers, refugees, women and girls, and queer and trans people. It reflects their experiences with criminalization, deportation, homophobia, xenophobia and Islamo-racism, war, gender violence, poverty, and worker exploitation. All of the modules are designed to begin with people’s lived experiences, and to build structural awareness of why those experiences are happening, and how they are tied to the oppression of others.” (TR) asianamtoolkit.org
Humanizing Asian Americans in the Classroom Through Children’s Literature, by Monisha Bajaj, Learning for Justice. Too often, Asian American stories are absent from classroom libraries. In this article, one educator explains why this gap is so harmful and recommends ways to fix it. (TR) bit.ly/31Oas43
24 30th anniversary of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Conference. Black, Latinx, Native, and Asian Americans from all 50 states joined delegates from Puerto Rico, Canada, Central and South America, and the Marshall Islands for the first National People of Color Environmental Leadership Conference. The goal was to reaffirm their traditional connection to and respect for the natural world and to speak for themselves on some of the most critical issues of our times. Delegates adopted 17 “Principles of Environmental Justice” to outline core beliefs and guide their activism.
One Earth: People of Color Protecting the Planet, by Anuradha Rao. One Earth profiles Black, Indigenous and other People of Color who live and work as environmental defenders. Through their individual stories, the book shows that the intersection of environment and ethnicity is an asset to achieving environmental goals. The 20 short biographies introduce readers to diverse activists from all around the world. (E, M) bit.ly/2PPwP6q
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) bit.ly/1KUOkJN
Intersex Stories, Not Surgeries, by Pidgeon. A YouTube channel by non-binary, intersex youth, Pidgeon is a humorous and humanizing way to learn more about intersex experiences from their perspectives. (M, H) bit.ly/2s2tcLq
26 20th anniversary of the Patriot Act. Under the guise of national security, the Patriot Act was passed just 45 days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was the first of many changes to surveillance laws, making it easier for the government to spy on American citizens by monitoring phone and electronic communications, collecting bank records, and tracking internet use. It also relaxed criteria for executing search warrants, violating Fourth Amendment protections.
Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties, a film by Nonny de la Peña. A 70-minute documentary that investigates the ways in which the civil liberties of US citizens and immigrants have been rolled back since 9/11/2001 and the passage of the Patriot Act. (H) zinnedproject.org/materials/unconstitutional
27 Nawal El Saadawi (Arabic: نوال السعداوي) Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician, and psychiatrist, born (1931-2021). Nawal El Saadawi graduated from medical school and worked as a psychiatrist and university lecturer. She published nearly 50 plays, novels, and short story collections over her long and distinguished career. Her writings focus on the subject of women in Egypt, refusing to shy away from controversial issues such as prostitution, domestic violence, and religious fundamentalism. She founded the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founded the Arab Association for Human Rights.
An Interview with Nawal El Saadawi: “Do you Feel You Are Liberated? I Feel I Am Not.” by Rachel Cooke for The Guardian. Video clips from a rich interview with Egyptian revolutionary Nawal El Saadawi with relevance to the issues of today. (H) bit.ly/3daNZ7J
31 130th anniversary of the Coal Creek War. The Coal Creek War was a protracted labor battle between miners and mining companies to stop the practice of convict leasing – bringing in primarily Black prisoners to replace White laborers in an effort to undermine labor organizing. On October 31, 1891, about 1,000 armed miners took control of the mine, set the convicts free, and burned down the stockades where the convicts were being kept. Eventually, convict leasing was outlawed.
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) to.pbs.org/zZnn6p
31 120th anniversary of Silas Esters’ lynching. Silas Esters, a Black man awaiting trial on a charge of coercion, was kidnapped by a mob of White men from LaRue County Jail in Hodgenville, KY. The police officers handed over their keys to the mob, but Esters slipped free and ran 100 yards before he was shot dead. His corpse was hung at the courthouse, and nobody was charged with a crime following his murder.
The Legacy Museum and Curriculum. Opened in 2018, the Legacy Museum memorializes the enslavement of African Americans, the evolution of racial terror lynching, legalized racial segregation, and racial hierarchy in America. This museum explores the history of racial inequality and its relationship to a range of contemporary issues from mass incarceration to police violence. The 2nd link is to the museum’s curriculum on the “Legacy of Lynching.” (H, TR) bit.ly/3rP2l2t; bit.ly/3lgrQrd
31 El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), begins on 10/31 and ends on 11/2. 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) bit.ly/2LH9zBu
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 everyday or festive activities – came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) 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. (E) bit.ly/2FKOXak
What Do Halloween Costumes Say? by Learning for Justice. This lesson, adaptable across grades, can help students think critically about the ways Halloween costumes are marketed and how certain costumes perpetuate stereotypes. For school Halloween celebrations, the activity can be used to develop guidelines for acceptable costumes. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3mQOVBD
1 First day of National American Indian Heritage Month. National American Indian Heritage Month recognizes the significant contributions of American Indians, also referred to as Native Americans.
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) 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) bit.ly/2H64BOK
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) bit.ly/2Xc7hSp
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 190th anniversary of the beginning of the Choctaw removal. The Choctaw began the long journey from their native lands in the Southeast to Oklahoma, forced by President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act. About 13,000 would be relocated between 1831 and 1833. Thousands died on the journey. As they reached Little Rock, a Choctaw chief was quoted in the Arkansas Gazette that the removal thus far had been a “trail of tears and death,” a phrase that would later become associated with the 1838 Cherokee Removal.
Mary and the Trail of Tears: A Cherokee Removal Survival Story, by Andrea Rogers. Twelve-year-old Mary and her Cherokee family are forced out of their home in Georgia by US soldiers in May 1838. Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, this story explores the tragedy of forced removals following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. (E, M) bit.ly/3dEGJjl
1 40th anniversary of Antigua’s and Barbuda’s independence from Britain. Antigua was colonized by the British in 1632, followed in 1678 by nearby Barbuda. In 1967, Antigua became an “associated state” to Great Britain, meaning they controlled their own internal affairs, while the UK controlled external affairs and defense. By the 1970s, an independence movement began on the islands. Barbuda had been a dependency of Antigua but wanted to secede. Finally, both islands achieved independence as separate nations in November 1981.
2 Election Day
One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters are Treated Equally (Young Adult Edition), by Carol Anderson. Complete with a discussion guide, photographs, and information about getting involved with elections in teens’ own communities, this is an essential explanation of the history of voting rights and a call to action for a better future. (H) bit.ly/3fRMTjd
The Voting Booth, by Brandy Colbert. From the Zinn Ed Project: “The Voting Booth, a novel for ages 12+, lives up to its dedication to Fannie Lou Hamer. Two storylines sweep readers along – one about contemporary challenges of voting on election day and the other a budding love story.” (M, H) brandycolbert.com/book-inner
4 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) 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) bit.ly/2HY9NAU
7 90th anniversary of the deaths of Black women after Georgia hospital refused care. Dean Juliette Derricotte, of Fisk University, and three of her students were seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident. Hamilton Memorial Hospital in Dalton, GA refused to treat the women because they were Black. Ms. Derricotte and one of her students, Nina Johnson, were critically injured, and by the time they reached a hospital that would treat them, 35 miles away, both were dead.
A Black Women’s History of the United States, by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross. This book reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase the complexity of Black women’s lives throughout history. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. (H, TR) bit.ly/3exil5r
7 180th anniversary of The Creole Revolt. The Creole was a ship transporting slaves between Virginia and New Orleans when some of the slaves revolted and ordered the ship be taken to the Bahamas, a British colony where slavery had been abolished. The Creole Revolt ignited a fierce debate about slavery in the US and a diplomatic crisis between the US and Britain. Most of the slaves were freed by the British government. The leaders of the rebellion were arrested and later freed.
Teaching A People’s History of Abolition and the Civil War, by Adam Sanchez, Rethinking Schools. A collection of 10 classroom-tested lessons on one of the most transformative periods in US history. These lessons encourage students to take a critical look at the popular narrative that focuses on Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator and ignores the resistance of abolitionists and enslaved people. (TR) bit.ly/2RrqHSG
7 60th anniversary of the first openly gay person to run for public office. Jose Sarria was a drag performer, politician, and community leader who ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – the first openly LGBTQ+ person to run for public office in the US. Though unsuccessful, he garnered 6,000 votes and paved the way for future Board of Supervisors member Harvey Milk. Sarria was active in the Gay Rights movement, helping to establish the League of Civil Education and the Society for Individual Rights.
Queer History of the United States for Young People, by Michael Bronski and Richie Chevat. 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, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers of all identities to feel pride in the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future. (M, H) bit.ly/3aVl0S3; teacher’s guide: bit.ly/3br8hXB
7 210th anniversary of the Battle of Tippecanoe. Tecumseh was the leader of Native American allied resistance to US expansion. In his absence, his brother led an attack on a US military force led by William Henry Harrison near Prophetstown at the junction of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers. The Natives were badly outnumbered and outgunned. After the battle, Harrison burned Prophetstown to the ground, a setback for Tecumseh and his allies, who subsequently sided with the British in the War of 1812.
Tecumseh’s Speech to the Osages (Winter 1811-12). Tecumseh, a Shawnee leader, sought to persuade all Indian tribes to unify against the growing White incursion into Indian lands. Links lead to primary text and Brian Jones’s video re-enactment of the speech. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/3tEIRht
Tecumseh, by James Laxer. Two hundred years after his death, the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh is still considered one of the greatest leaders of North America’s First Peoples. This richly illustrated biography tells the story of his remarkable life, culminating in the War of 1812. The book includes an epilogue, a timeline, a glossary, and maps. (M) bit.ly/2R2K4RU
7 Daylight Saving Time Ends
10 Samuel Gridley Howe, abolitionist, and educator of blind people, born (1801-1876). Howe, a physician, had a novel approach to teaching blind people, treating them with confidence, not pity. He developed many innovative methods and helped establish the Perkins Institution in Massachusetts, one of the oldest schools for blind people in the US. He was also an ardent social reformer and was active in the antislavery movement, serving as chairman of a group opposed to the Fugitive Slave Law.
Resources from The Abolition and Disability Justice Coalition. Guiding principles, shareables, and other resources related to alternatives to policing based in disability justice. (H, TR) abolitionanddisabilityjustice.com
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
Project YANO – The Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities. Celebrate Veterans 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) www.projectyano.org
11 190th anniversary of Nat Turner’s execution. Nat Turner, an enslaved Black man, was convicted of leading a rebellion of about 75 enslaved people in Southampton, VA, which resulted in the deaths of 55 White people. White reaction was swift and brutal. At least 200 Black people were murdered, though Turner escaped. Six weeks later, he was captured and hanged, along with 16 other men, in a public show of strength by White authorities wanting to make an example of Turner.
Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, by director/writer Charles Burnett, California Newsreel. This film chronicles the violent confrontation of Nat Turner’s Rebellion and shows how the story has been continuously re-told since 1831. (H) bit.ly/d6B1Be
11 140th anniversary of George Frederick Keller’s “A Statue for Our Harbor.” Magazines and newspapers in the 19th century spread racist images of Chinese immigrants. An example is a disgusting cartoon captioned, “A Statue for Our Harbor,” depicting a Chinese person standing in the middle of the harbor, wearing tattered clothes, and smoking an opium pipe, with rats around the pedestal. The rays of light around him say, “filth,” “immorality,” “diseases,” and “ruin to White labor,” suggesting that this is what Chinese immigrants bring.
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, by Joanna Ho. A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from those of her peers. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages. (E) bit.ly/3fJq68X
After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History, by Elizabeth Kleinrock for Learning for Justice. One elementary classroom teacher shares the conversation she started with students the day after the attacks in Atlanta and recommends resources anyone can use to teach about Asian American history and identity. (TR) bit.ly/3dzuG77
Asian/Asian American Children’s Books, Lee & Low Books. A collection of titles from Lee and Low publishers that highlight the diversity of Asian and Asian American identities. (E, TR) leeandlow.com/cultures/asian-asian-american-interest
Coolies, by Yin. Shek marvels at the new world as he and his brother, Little Wong, arrive in California. Along with hundreds of other workers, the brothers are going to build a great railroad across the West. Inspired by actual events, this story reveals the harsh truth about life for the Chinese railroad workers in 1865, while celebrating their perseverance and bravery. (E, M) bit.ly/2Rc5En1; lesson plans to accompany the book at yinauthorvisits.com
12 Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, writer and advocate for women’s rights, born (1651-1695). Cruz, a Catholic nun from Mexico, was a self-taught scholar and writer during the Latin American colonial period. She wrote masterful poetry, plays, and essays. Her works were controversial and revolutionary for their time, espousing the idea of the inherent rights of women. Her book, Respuesta a Sor Filotea, defending women’s right to education, is considered the first feminist publication in the New World.
500 Years of Chicana Women’s History, by Elizabeth Martinez. This bilingual text, along with hundreds of photos and other images, ranges from female-centered stories of pre-Columbian Mexico to profiles of contemporary social justice activists, labor leaders, youth organizers, artists, and environmentalists, among others. (H) bit.ly/3ba7sEh
¡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) amzn.to/XhUqfa
13 30th anniversary of Audre Lorde’s being named Poet Laureate of New York. Lorde described herself as a “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” She dedicated her life and talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. She was highly respected for her contributions to feminist theory, critical race studies, and queer theory, as articulated in both prose and poetry form. She was a co-founder of The Kitchen Table Women of Color Press and an editor of the lesbian journal Chrysalis.
A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, a film by Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson. This documentary explores the life of an activist whose work was entrenched in the Civil Rights movement, the Feminist/Womanist movement, and the Lesbian and Gay Rights movement. (H, TR) to.pbs.org/3ezIeBN
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 140th anniversary of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions was a precursor to the American Federation of Labor. It combined several different unions representing a variety of trades. The FOTLU worked to educate the public on labor issues and lobbied the US Congress to pass laws supporting the rights of workers.
The US Labor Movement Mixer, by Rethinking Schools. A “mixer” activity designed to engage students in playing the part of a worker during a particular period in US labor history. Includes role sheets with descriptions, clear instructions for the teacher, and pages of additional books and resources for teaching about US labor history. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2BBthKU
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) bit.ly/2llxdp8
17 60th anniversary of the Albany Movement. The Albany Movement was a coalition in Albany, GA fighting all forms of racial discrimination. They succeeded in mobilizing the majority of the Black community in the city to participate in boycotts and demonstrations. Although the movement achieved few of its goals, it is credited with helping refine tactics and strategies for the Civil Rights movement, including peaceful demonstrations, jail-ins, sit-ins, boycotts, and legal fights.
The Albany Movement: A Collection of Papers and Resources, from the MLK, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University. Shining light on the lesser known Albany Movement coalition, this collection of information, resources, and primary source documents includes Dr. King’s diary entries from an Albany jail, an “Albany Manifesto,” and other key documents. (H, TR) kinginstitute.stanford.edu/mlk-topic/albany-movement
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
Just Like You: A 60 Second Text, by Ki Gross, Woke Kindergarten. In 1-minute narrated images, Ki Gross translates “big concepts for little people.” Designed for early childhood, this particular 60-second text features the important and beautiful lives of Black transgender people, and the ways in which these human beings are “just like you.” (E) wokekindergarten.org/60secondtexts
Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools, by the ACLU. This guide highlights best practices while offering strategies for building upon and aligning them with each school’s culture. (TR) bit.ly/3dwMEak
The Trans Educators Network (TEN) is a support and community-building focused organization for trans and other PK-12 educators who don’t always fit neatly into systems of gender at school. The Network is open to trans educators or anyone whose gender exists outside prescribed lines of male and female, and who works with youth in PK-12 schools. TEN is firmly committed to trans justice, racial justice, and anti-oppression work in education. (TR) transeducators.com
23 Mamie Till Mobley, educator, activist, and mother of Emmett Till, born (1921-2003). Mamie was born in Mississippi, moving to Chicago at an early age. It was here that her son Emmett was born. After Emmett’s brutal murder in Mississippi by White supremacists in 1955, Mamie chose to hold an open-casket funeral for her son to let the world know how he had been brutalized. After the acquittal of two of Emmet’s murderers, she continued to fight for justice and civil rights for Black people.
Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case, by Chris Crowe. Although the two White men who murdered Emmett Till were tried and acquitted by an all-White jury, they later bragged publicly about the crime. It was a galvanizing moment for Black leaders and ordinary citizens, including activists such as Rosa Parks. In clear, vivid detail accessible to high school students, Chris Crowe investigates the before-and-aftermath of the crime, as well as the dramatic court trial, and places it in the context of the nascent Civil Rights movement. (H) zinnedproject.org/materials/getting-away-with-murder
24 Arundhati Roy, Indian author and activist, born (1961). An award-winning writer and activist, Roy has written novels, screenplays, and essays covering topics including war, imperialism, nuclear weapons, environmental issues, democracy, race, genocide, and capitalism. She was awarded the 1997 Man Booker Prize for The God of Small Things, which has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide. She has also written several nonfiction books. In 2002, she received the Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.
Arundhati Roy: A Digital Collection of Interviews and Conversations, assembled by Alternative Radio: Audio Energy for Democracy. An amazing audio collection of interviews and other conversations with Roy, all linked for easy access. The first program linked is a conversation between Arundhati Roy and Howard Zinn recorded in 2002. Other topics include “Confronting Empire,” “A Writer’s Place in Politics,” “Surviving the Future,” and many more. (H) alternativeradio.org/speaker/arundhati-roy
25 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) bit.ly/2o3fJAp
25 110th anniversary of the Plan de Ayala. Emiliano Zapata’s Plan de Ayala called for the return to Mexicans land that had been lost through expropriation by the Spanish hacienda system. This document represents the basis for the Mexican Revolution. The Plan de Ayala was designed to explain Zapata’s philosophy and generate support from other peasant groups. After its publication, disenfranchised peons from southern Mexico flocked to join Zapata’s army and movement.
An Educator’s Guide to the Mexican Revolution, by University of New Mexico’s Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII). This curriculum guide is inspired by, although it stands apart from, an exhibit of photos of the Mexican Revolution – many never published before. This guide provides K-12 educators resources for exploring the Mexican Revolution and offers suggestions for how to incorporate the topic into their classrooms. (M, H) bit.ly/3bIodHe
26 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: bit.ly/vXj7EC; Reading Guide: 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) bit.ly/Vo6GIQ
26 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
26 160th anniversary of the state of West Virginia. After Virginia joined the Confederacy in the Civil War, western delegates who disagreed with the decision formed West Virginia. Although it didn’t immediately abolish slavery, the state authorized gradual abolition, meaning most enslaved children would be freed when they turned 21, and others immediately if born after July 4th, 1863. West Virginia ultimately abolished slavery in 1865, shortly before passage of the 13th Amendment.
How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, by Clint Smith. Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks – those that are honest about the past and those that are not – that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history and ourselves. (H) bit.ly/3sS7448
26 Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer and civil rights activist, born (1911-1972). Jackson’s first major hit, “Move On Up a Little Higher,” was released in 1948 and became the biggest selling gospel single at the time. Jackson quickly became well known in the US and abroad. She was also a strong supporter of the Civil Rights movement and was friends with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She performed at the March on Washington as well as at King’s funeral.
Mahalia, a film produced by Robin Roberts. A Lifetime Channel biopic featuring the life and accomplishments of Mahalia Jackson, starring Danielle Brooks. (M, H) bit.ly/3rL2OTr
Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens, by Nina Nolan. Accompanied by John Holyfield’s gorgeous illustrations, debut author Nina Nolan’s narrative wonderfully captures the amazing story of how Mahalia Jackson became the Queen of Gospel in this fascinating picture book biography for young children. (E) bit.ly/3wyo2XA
28 First day of Hanukkah begins at sunset on 11/28/2021 (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) bit.ly/2U0xkr3
29 Wendell Phillips, abolitionist and activist, born (1811-1884). Wendell Phillips, a White lawyer from Boston, was the foremost orator in the Abolitionist movement and a passionate advocate for the rights of Native Americans. He was horrified to learn that many of his friends and acquaintances supported slavery, so he quit his law practice and devoted all his energy to abolition. After passage of the 15th Amendment, he worked on behalf of women’s rights, universal suffrage, and the Labor movement.
White Anti-Racist Biographies: Early Grades, by Learning for Justice. For young White students, explorations of fair and unfair, just and unjust can go a long way in advancing anti-racist White identity. Purposeful use of literature and basic study of White anti-racists are among the ways educators can advance such aims. Learning for Justice presents four short biographies for early grades classrooms, with activity ideas. (E) bit.ly/3rSpLn0
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 30th anniversary of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) of the AFL-CIO is the first national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers. APALA works to ensure civil rights and economic justice for Asian American and Pacific Islander workers.
Picture Books with Asian Characters, by No Time for Flash Cards. This annotated elementary book list was created in response to the rise in anti-Asian violence in 2021 as a way to support teachers in ensuring representation as one step in anti-bias education. (E) bit.ly/3vMDJdh
2 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 late 20th and early 21st centuries, 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) 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
2 Eid al-Fitr begins at sunset on 5/2 (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, a 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) bit.ly/2ShV61l
2 Mabel Hampton, dancer, domestic worker, and lesbian activist, born (1902-1989). Hampton, a pioneering lesbian activist, was a dancer, domestic worker, and a philanthropist for Black and LGBTQ causes. The Harlem Renaissance introduced Hampton to dancers, artists, and a whole community of gay men and lesbians. Cleaning homes for prosperous White families became her longest career and where she met Joan Nestle, the daughter of one of these families, who became a lifelong friend and co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City.
An Audiovisual Collection on Mabel Hampton, by the Lesbian Herstory Archives. A collection of recordings of interviews and other source material by and from Mabel Hampton, highlighting her work as a champion for lesbian rights, and her career as a domestic worker and dancer. (H) bit.ly/3dpTmju
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) bit.ly/3eSbgKo
Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2021, edited by Mickey Huff, Andy Lee Roth, and Matt Taibbi. This edition offers a succinct and comprehensive survey of the most important but underreported news stories of 2020. It also offers a comparative analysis of the current state of corporate and independent news media and its effect on democracy. State of the Free Press 2021 gives readers the critical thinking and media literacy skills required to hold the corporate media to account for distorting or censoring news coverage, with the aim of revitalizing our democracy. (H) bit.ly/3sdAecQ
3 National Teachers’ Day. A day set aside to honor teachers for their contributions to learning, child development, and the community.
55 Strong: Inside the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike, edited by Elizabeth Catte, Emily Hilliard, and Jessica Salfia. What compelled West Virginia’s teachers to strike? How did they organize? What were teachers and allies doing during the strike? And how is the West Virginia labor movement celebrating its victory? 55 Strong: Inside the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike answers these questions and offers unique, on-the-ground insights into this historic strike. The book includes essays by teachers from around the state, organizing documents, images from the picket lines, and material on the history of the Labor movement in West Virginia. (H, TR) bit.ly/2RoEoSe
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) 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) bit.ly/2SFfXvSp
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) 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) bit.ly/2IJAKJf
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 140th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. As Chinese immigrants were recruited to work in the mining and railroad construction industries in the late 1800s, White laborers and politicians felt threatened and imposed xenophobic, racist tactics to control and oppress them. This was the first immigration-related legislation that excluded a specific racial-ethnic group from the US. The Chinese Exclusion Act set the stage for future immigration exclusion acts against virtually every Asian ethnic group until the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965 was passed.
Amend: The Fight for America. In this Netflix series, Will Smith hosts this documentary that examines the evolving, often lethal, fight for equal rights in America through the lens of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Episode 4 focuses on immigration with a long segment on the Chinese Exclusion act. (M, H) bit.ly/3qKZiHs
Remembering 1882: Fighting for Civil Rights in the Shadow of the Chinese Exclusion Act, by the Chinese Historical Society of America. Multimedia resources, timeline, notable quotes, and images that support teaching and learning about the Chinese Exclusion Act. (E, M, H) civilrightssuite.org/1882
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) bit.ly/163FXqn
8 Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that celebrates mothers, motherhood, and the influence of mothers and mother figures 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) bit.ly/eT5sy
9 10th anniversary of Manal al-Sharif’s Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent. Manal al-Sharif is an advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. She was the first Saudi woman to specialize in Information Security, starting her career in 2002 with Saudi Aramco. In 2011, al-Sharif co-founded the #Women2Drive movement, challenging the ban on women driving in her country. She was arrested and imprisoned for “driving while female.” She is also active in other women’s causes, especially domestic violence, earning her the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.
A TED Talk by Manal-al Sharif. In this TED Talk from June 2013, Manal al-Sharif advocates for women’s right to drive, male guardianship annulment, and family protection in Saudi Arabia. (M, H) ted.com/speakers/manal_al_sharif
9 190th anniversary of the Treaty of Payne’s Landing. Signed in secret negotiations with unauthorized representatives, this treaty called for the removal of the Seminole Tribe from Florida, along with the Creeks, to territory that is now Arkansas. It also required the return of all runaway slaves who were being sheltered by the tribe. The removal was to take place within three years, but resistance grew, leading to the Second Seminole War (1835-1842).
The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People, by Kenneth Porter. A book chronicling the lives of fugitive slaves who aligned themselves with the Seminole Indians in Florida beginning in the 1800s, fought in solidarity with them in the Second Seminole War, and were removed, along with them to Indian Territory, where they struggled to remain free. (H) bit.ly/3tFoPEh
10 150th anniversary of Victoria Woodhull’s becoming the first woman nominated for president. Woodhull was a women’s rights activist, newspaper publisher, and the first woman to operate a Wall Street brokerage firm. Her success on Wall Street enabled Woodhull to focus on matters that really mattered to her: women’s rights, labor issues, and social reform. Nominated by the Equal Rights Party, Woodhull’s presidential campaign platform included universal gender and racial equality, civil service and taxation reform, and opposition to land grants given to railroads and other corporations.
A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull, by Kathleen Krull. A revolutionary woman in American history, Victoria Woodhull was many years ahead of her time, breaking boundaries. But her presidential campaign, and the backlash it sparked, left her in political ruin and bankruptcy. Acclaimed biographer Kathleen Krull and beloved illustrator Jane Dyer combine their talents to bring her story to life for young readers. (E, M) Teacher’s guide: bit.ly/3x1yJC1
11 50th anniversary of César Chávez’s hunger strike. Chávez fasted for 25 days in protest of an Arizona law banning the right of farm workers to strike, boycott, or organize. The fast and the resulting UFW-sponsored grassroots campaign transformed politics in the heavily Latinx state, leading to the election of Latinx governors and legislative representatives. It was through this campaign that the phrase “¡Si Se Puede!” was first used as a rallying cry.
Viva La Causa, film kit by Learning for Justice. A 39-minute documentary film, Viva La Causa focuses on one of the seminal events in the march for human rights – the grape strike and boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. Viva la Causa shows how thousands of people from across the nation joined in a struggle for justice for the most exploited people in our country – the workers who put food on our tables. (E, M) bit.ly/3hmif27
12 120th anniversary of the Anthracite Coal Strike. Miners in eastern Pennsylvania went on strike for higher wages, shorter workdays, and the recognition of their union. The strike went on for many months and was ended only when President Theodore Roosevelt got involved. Neither side got everything they wanted, but both felt they got enough to end the strike and resume business. Roosevelt considered it the defining moment of his presidency.
Growing Up in Coal Country, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This book offers firsthand accounts and compelling facts about the lives of coal miners and their families in northeastern Pennsylvania at the dawn of the 20th century. Bartoletti has also written a children’s literature fictional account of the same time period and people, A Coal Miner’s Bride. (E, M) bit.ly/3mUJOjL
13 20th anniversary of amendment to Animal Welfare Act limiting the definition of “animal.” The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was amended to redefine “animal” by excluding birds specifically bred for research, rats, and mice, all of which constitute the vast majority of animals used in scientific research. By changing this term, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not have the authority to regulate animals excluded by the new definition. The US is the only country in the developed world that excludes these animals from its animal protection statutes.
Knowing Animals, a podcast by UNSW Australia. Knowing Animals is a weekly podcast about all things related to animals and ethics; animals and the law; animals and politics; and animal advocacy. It features interviews with Animal Studies scholars and animal advocates. (M, H) knowinganimals.libsyn.com
14 World Fair Trade Day. The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) draws on support from a membership of 350 Fair Trade organizations in 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) 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) bit.ly/1Slrigj
15 International Conscientious Objectors Day. A day to celebrate those who resist war on moral grounds, especially by refusing to participate in military activities.
Essays on Nonviolence, by the Center on Conscience and War. Essays and statements by historical figures on nonviolence and conscientious objection. (M, H) centeronconscience.org/essays-on-nonviolence
15 80th anniversary of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp (WAC). As WWII loomed, Representative Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts introduced a bill for the creation of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. After seeing the treatment of women in WWI, Rogers wanted to ensure that American women who served in support of the Army had all the rights and benefits afforded to soldiers. Congress approved the creation of WAAC (later WAC) on May 14, 1942, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill into law the following day.
The Women’s Army Corps: Female Soldiers in WWII, by National Women’s History Museum. A multimedia slideshow that includes video clips, photographs, and other primary source documents about the Woman’s Auxiliary Army Corps. (M, H) bit.ly/3srS4sK
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
Queer America Podcast, by Learning for Justice. Without LGBTQ history, there is no American history. From Learning Justice and hosts Leila Rupp and John D’Emilio, Queer America takes listeners on a journey that spans from Harlem to the Frontier West, revealing stories of LGBTQ life we should have learned in school. (E, M, H) learningforjustice.org/podcasts/queer-america
18 170th anniversary of the first state compulsory education law. Massachusetts was the first state to enact a compulsory education law. They had already passed a similar law in 1647 when it was still a British colony. Under the law, every city and town had to offer primary education, and parents who refused to send their children to school were fined or even stripped of their parental rights. Other states gradually followed suit, with Mississippi being the last to establish compulsory education in 1917.
The Unschooling Movement: Letting Children Lead Their Learning, an audio interview by On Point, WBUR Radio. Three guests talk about the “unschooling movement” on this 45-minute show for WBUR: Maleka Diggs, founder of Eclectic Learning Network, a secular Black and Brown-centered home education network; Peter Gray, psychology professor at Boston College; and Michael Apple, professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (H) wbur.fm/32qg4BY
20 160th anniversary of the Homestead Act. The Homestead Act of 1862 accelerated the White settlement of the Western Territory by granting adult heads of families 160 acres of surveyed public land for a minimal filing fee and five years of continuous residence on that land. Passed after Secession and the absence of the Southern legislators who opposed it, the Act encouraged thousands of squatters who took over land that was inhabited by Native tribes and Mexicans.
The Homestead Acts: A Primary Source Set, by Hillary Brady for the Digital Public Library of America. Primary source images, maps, and documents, additional resources, and accompanying teaching guide on the Homestead Acts. (H) bit.ly/2QCQLJX
20 180th anniversary of the Seneca Treaty of Buffalo Creek. US efforts to remove the Seneca from their lands resulted in the Treaty of Buffalo Creek in 1838, which called for the sale of four reservations: Buffalo, Tonawanda, Cattaraugus, and Allegany. The Seneca were to be removed to Kansas. They protested this outrageous deal, and in 1842, a new agreement was struck, leaving the Seneca with Cattaraugus and Allegany – comprising about one-third of their previous land.
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) bit.ly/2ShQWGx
20 120th anniversary of end of US occupation of Cuba. After US and Cuban troops defeated Spain in 1898, US forces occupied Cuba until 1902, when a new Cuban government took full control. As a condition of independence, the US insisted on maintaining the right to intervene in Cuba’s foreign and domestic affairs in accordance with the Platt Amendment, which also allowed the US to maintain a naval base on the island. The Platt Amendment was repealed in 1934.
Spanish-American War, teaching materials from the Stanford History Education Group. Although the sinking of the USS Maine provided an immediate trigger for the Spanish-American War, long-term US military and economic interests provide a more nuanced context for the US invasion of Cuba. In this lesson, students watch a documentary video, read a telegram describing Spanish treatment of Cubans, and examine an American campaign speech to explore the long-term reasons for the US invasion of Cuba in 1898. (H) stanford.io/2QfQBsn
21 90th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s transatlantic solo flight. Pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart set off from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada on May 20, 1932. She arrived in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 15 hours later on May 21, becoming the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo.
Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World, by Cynthia Chin-Lee and Megan Halsey. Detailed collages and illustrations draw from various events of both hardship and triumph in the lives of 26 amazing women. (E, M) bit.ly/2EAyiCo
22 150th anniversary of the Amnesty Act of 1872. President Ulysses Grant signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law, allowing Confederate leaders and officials who fought against the Union to hold office. After Reconstruction ended and federal troops left the South, the people who had fought to suppress the civil rights of Black people could control their state governments and further deny Black people’s rights.
Monumental: Oscar Dunn and His Radical Fight in Reconstruction Louisiana, by Brian Mitchell, Barrington Edwards, and Nick Weldon. The incredible story of Oscar James Dunn, a New Orleanian born into slavery who became America’s first Black lieutenant governor and acting governor. A graphic history informed by newly discovered primary sources, Monumental resurrects in vivid detail Louisiana and New Orleans after the Civil War, and presents an iconic American life that never should have been forgotten. Contextual essays and a map and timeline add layers of depth to the narrative. (H) bit.ly/3fJsKvB
22 20th anniversary of the conviction of Bobby Cherry. Bobby Cherry, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, along with three other Klansmen, bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL in 1963. Four young Black girls, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, were killed in the bombing. Cherry lived free for nearly 40 years before being tried and convicted of four counts of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison but died two years after his conviction.
16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, by Zinn Education Project. Background information and a useful curated list of multimedia resources, categorized by grade level, for teaching about the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3mYxK0N
23 William Ellsworth (“Dummy”) Hoy, deaf major league baseball player, born (1862-1961). Hoy was a centerfielder for several different teams in Major League Baseball from 1888 to 1903. He is noted for being the most accomplished deaf player in major league history and is credited by some with creating the hand signals umpires use for calling balls, strikes, safe, and out. That claim is disputed, but it’s not important. He managed to play a very difficult sport at the professional level despite being aurally and vocally challenged.
The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game, by Nancy Churnin. All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder, eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires’ calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. This account may not be entirely accurate, but it makes an interesting story. (E, M) nancychurnin.com/readme
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 Learning for Justice. 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 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
27 130th anniversary of White mob destroying Memphis office of Ida B. Wells’ newspaper. Black journalist Ida B. Wells used her newspapers, The Free Speech and Headlight, to document lynching in the South. While Wells was visiting Philadelphia, a White mob destroyed the newspaper’s office in Memphis, TN and threatened to harm her if she returned. She ended up moving her operations to Chicago, where she continued fighting for racial justice and working to end the racial terrorism of lynching.
Before Rosa Parks: Ida B. Wells, by Learning for Justice. The title “Before Rosa Parks” loosely links a number of lessons that discuss African American women who were active in the fight for civil rights before the 1950s. (M, H) bit.ly/2J75lBk
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 130th anniversary of the founding of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded in San Francisco, CA by conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The club’s original mission was to protect the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but it is now a leading voice in a wide range of environmental issues, especially climate change.
No Planet B: A Teen Vogue Guide to the Climate Crisis, edited by Lucy Diavolo. An urgent call for climate justice from Teen Vogue, one of this generation’s leading voices, using an intersectional lens – with critical feminist, Indigenous, antiracist and internationalist perspectives. As the political classes watch our world burn, a new movement of young people is rising to meet the challenge of climate catastrophe. This book is a guide, a toolkit, a warning, and a cause for hope. (M, H) bit.ly/3mnvAHQ
29 80th anniversary of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council. Eleanor Roosevelt played a key role in the formation of the NJASRC, working with university presidents, her Quaker friend Clarence Pickett, and various government officials to help Japanese American students leave internment camps and continue their education. It was a bureaucratic and logistical nightmare to get all the necessary clearances and funding, but ultimately, 3,613 students were placed in 680 universities across the nation.
Gaijin: American Prisoner of War, by Matt Faulkner. With a White mother and a Japanese father, Koji Miyamoto quickly realizes that his home in San Francisco is no longer a welcoming one after Pearl Harbor is attacked. And once he’s sent to an internment camp, he learns that being half White at the camp is just as difficult as being half Japanese on the streets of an American city during WWII. Koji’s story is based on true events from the author’s family. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3dMxPAA
29 30th anniversary of the EPA report “Reducing Risk for All Communities.” The EPA’s Environmental Equity Workgroup published its report, “Reducing Risks in All Communities,” which found that racial minorities and low-income populations are disproportionately exposed to hazardous toxins and environmental pollutants, increasing public health risks within these communities. The report also made recommendations for remedying the problems, as well as recommending the establishment of an office designated to address these inequities.
One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet, by Anuradha Rao. One Earth profiles Black, Indigenous and People of Color who live and work as environmental defenders. Through their individual stories, the book shows that the intersection of environment and ethnicity is an asset to achieving environmental goals. The 20 short biographies introduce readers to diverse activists of all ages and ethnicities from all around the world. (M, H) bit.ly/2PVZ4jP
What is Environmental Justice? by Learning for Justice. In this lesson plan for young children, students explore the concept of environmental racism and learn about various environmental hazards that disproportionately affect communities of Color. (E) bit.ly/3lkpDuH
29 Laverne Cox, transgender actor, born (1972). Laverne Cox is a transgender actress. She has been nominated for an Emmy award, produced a documentary, and is an ardent equal rights activist. She encourages people to move past the gender binary, believing that this will allow people to live more authentically.
Toolkit for “Being There for Nonbinary Youth,” by Learning for Justice. This toolkit synthesizes the key tips and takeaways from a related article entitled, “Being There for Nonbinary Youth” and offers online resources for supporting transgender students. (TR) bit.ly/3sqIXbz
29 10th anniversary of Dolores Huerta’s Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dolores Huerta is a prominent labor activist who worked closely with César Chávez and co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later evolved into the United Farm Workers. She believes in nonviolence as a way to enact change. She is also an advocate for immigrant and Latinx rights. In 2012, President Obama awarded Huerta the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her activism and social justice work.
Introduction to Activism: A Closer Look at Dolores Huerta, a lesson by Eden McCauslin for The National Women’s History Museum. Using videoclips and speeches, this lesson plan takes a closer look at one of the key activists in the Women’s, Workers’ and Immigrants’ Rights movements in the 20th century. (M, H) bit.ly/2SlWgsN
30 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.
A Day for Rememberin’: Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day, by Leah Henderson. Inspired by true events and told through the eyes of a young boy, this is the deeply moving story about what is regarded as the first Memorial Day on May 1, 1865. Eli dresses up in his best clothes, Mama gathers the mayflowers, Papa straightens his hat, and together they join the crowds filling the streets of Charleston, SC, with bouquets, crosses, and wreaths. Abolitionists, missionaries, teachers, military officers, and a sea of faces Black, Brown, and White, they march as one and sing for all those who gave their lives fighting for freedom during the Civil War. (E) bit.ly/3a6LC3R
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) bit.ly/2jUKLWX
30 80th anniversary of the arrest of Fred Korematsu. When Fred Korematsu, an American citizen, refused to evacuate during the internment of Japanese Americans, he was arrested and convicted. The Northern California ACLU represented Korematsu in challenging the constitutionality of Japanese American incarceration, but the Ninth Circuit Court and the US Supreme Court ruled against him. Law professor Peter Irons helped reopen the case and, in 1983, a federal judge reversed Korematsu’s conviction. Six states now celebrate Fred Korematsu Day on his birthday.
Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi. The first in a new series of middle grade books about civil rights and s/heroes, this book covers how Fred Korematsu first evaded and then fought the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II all the way to the Supreme Court. (E, M) bit.ly/30Ly0Wx
1 First day of Caribbean American Heritage Month. Caribbean American Heritage Month is intended as a period 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) bit.ly/1Bz0sVN; Teacher’s Guide: 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 and Marsha Start a Revolution!: The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made LGBTQ+ History, by Joy Ellison. This book introduces children to the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, two transgender Women of Color who helped kickstart the Stonewall Riots and dedicated their lives to fighting for LGBTQ+ equality. It introduces issues surrounding gender identity and diversity, accompanied by a reading guide and teaching materials to further the conversation. (E) bit.ly/38A7dkj
Two Spirits, film directed by Lydia Nibley. This film 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
3 30th anniversary of the Earth Summit. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Earth Summit,” was a major UN conference in which delegates from 179 countries discussed issues pertaining to environmental protection and socioeconomic development. When it was proposed that the Earth Summit consider the effects of the military on environmental degradation, the US delegation objected, and the proposal was defeated.
Meet the Children of Rio, from Reframing Rio. These lessons were designed to introduce young people to the UN Rio Earth Summits and the concept of sustainable development. The lessons focus on the films in the Zero Ten Twenty series which followed 11 children in 10 different countries over 20 years. How have their lives changed over the 20 years since the original Earth Summit? What is it like growing up in the 21st century? How have their lives been affected by environmental, economic, and social changes? Explore these issues in the eight lesson plans. (E, M, H) bit.ly/32tH1Ew
4 Shavuot begins at sunset on 6/4 (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) bit.ly/2RX0IB3
4 UN Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. Appalled by the large number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children who have been victims of Israel’s acts of aggression, in 1982 the United Nations General Assembly designated 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) bit.ly/2JC3zZf
4 110th anniversary of first Minimum Wage law in the US. The state of Massachusetts enacted the first law in the US requiring a minimum wage, but it only covered women and children. There also were no enforcement provisions, so it had little real effect. It wasn’t until the 1938 passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act that a Federal minimum wage was established. However, severe disparities remain among workers’ rights and wages based on race and immigration status.
The Minimum Wage and the Value of a Billion, a lesson plan by Rob Lerman for the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. While the minimum wage has been losing value, the income of the wealthiest Americans has risen steeply in the past decade. This lesson invites students to grapple with that reality. (M, H) bit.ly/3mXv83u
4 50th anniversary of Angela Davis’s acquittal in Jonathan Jackson case. Angela Davis is a prominent civil rights and social justice activist. In 1970, she was accused of supplying weapons to Jonathan Jackson, who burst into a courtroom in an attempt to free his brother George Jackson. A shootout ensued, resulting in the deaths of four people, including Jonathan Jackson. Davis was charged as an accessory, but there was scant evidence to support the charge. The case drew international attention and Davis was acquitted of all charges.
Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Toolkit for Educators, by the Education for Liberation Network and Critical Resistance Editorial Collective. The movement for abolition is expanding. Born from Black and Women of Color feminism, disability justice, and environmental movements, the call to end our reliance on imprisonment, policing, and surveillance and to imagine a safer future has a new terrain of struggle. This toolkit for educators, parents, and youth, shines a light on innovative abolitionist projects, particularly in the K–12 teaching and learning contexts. (TR) bit.ly/2ROijgp
5 Christy Brown, painter and poet, born (1932-1981). Known mainly for his “left foot,” Irish author, poet, and artist Christy Brown was so much more. Born with cerebral palsy, Christy was able to control only the muscles in his left foot. He learned to write and paint using three toes. He produced hundreds of paintings, four novels, and four books of poetry. He related his life story in his autobiography, My Left Foot, which was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1989.
My Left Foot, a film by Jim Sheridan. Christy Brown was born with cerebral palsy to a large, poor Irish family. His mother recognized the intelligence and humanity in the boy everyone else regarded as a “vegetable.” Eventually, Christy matured into a cantankerous artist who used his dexterous left foot to write and paint. Daniel Day Lewis won an Oscar for his portrayal of Brown in this film. (M, H) Streamable on HBOMax or Amazon: amzn.to/3x38Txr
130th anniversary of the arrest of Homer Plessy. In 1892, Plessy deliberately got himself arrested for refusing to sit in the “Colored” train car, in violation of an 1890 law requiring separate accommodations for Whites and Blacks. He was convicted of breaking the law and took his case all the way to the US Supreme Court. In 1896, in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court ruled that requiring separate accommodations, as long as they are equal in quality, is not unconstitutional.
Plessy v. Ferguson: The Organizing History of the Case, an article by Keith Medley for Zinn Education Project. An excerpt from an article by Keith W. Medley (author of We as Freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson) about the organizing by the Comité des Citoyens that led to Plessy v. Ferguson. It is a powerful story of organizing, fundraising, the use of the media, legal strategies, and more. Additional related teaching resources follow the article. (H) zinnedproject.org/materials/plessy-v-ferguson
8 10th anniversary of Razan Ghazzawi’s Human Rights Defenders at Risk award. After repeated threats, Razan Ghazzawi was arrested by Syrian authorities for her human rights activism. She is an outspoken critic of the Syrian regime and advocates for LGBTQIA+ and Palestinian rights. She is also a staunch defender of freedom of expression and a free media throughout the Arab world. She was the recipient of the 2012 Human Rights Defenders at Risk award by the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders Foundation.
Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, by Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick. Except for Palestine deftly argues that progressives and liberals who oppose regressive policies on immigration, racial justice, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and other issues must extend these core principles to the oppression of Palestinians. In doing so, the authors take seriously the political concerns and wellbeing of both Israelis and Palestinians, demonstrating the extent to which US policy has made peace harder to attain. They also unravel the conflation of advocacy for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel. (H, TR) thenewpress.com/books/except-for-palestine
The Teach Palestine Project, by the Middle East Children’s Alliance. The Teach Palestine Project website is a resource by and for K-12 teachers and teacher educators focused on bringing Palestine into our classrooms and schools. (TR) teachpalestine.org
Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village, by Jody Sokolower. As Silwani youth and community members share their lives with us, their village becomes an easily accessible way to understand Palestinian history and current reality. Written with young people in mind, the richly illustrated text stresses connections between the lives of youth in the US and in Palestine: criminalization of youth, forced relocation, the impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities, efforts to bury history, and inspiring examples of resistance and resilience. (H) bit.ly/3410jSD
10 200th anniversary of Martin’s Act. Richard Martin, an Irish politician known as “Humanity Dick,” helped pass the world’s first major piece of animal protection legislation, “The Ill Treatment of Horses and Cattle Bill,” or Martin’s Act; other countries followed suit. In the first known conviction for animal cruelty under this law, Martin himself prosecuted a man for beating a donkey. He made the trial memorable by bringing the donkey into the courtroom.
Teaching Resources from the Animal Welfare Institute. Recommended book titles categorized by age group and grade level, along with linked lesson plans and teaching guides to accompany each title. (E, M, H, TR) awionline.org/content/teaching-resources
10 150th anniversary of the 8-hour workday victory celebration. A movement for the 8-hour workday began among working people after the Civil War, helped by the formation of the first national federation of unions, the National Labor Union. A 3-month strike of 100,000 workers in New York won the 8-hour day, and at a victory celebration in June 1872, 150,000 workers paraded through the city.
A History of America in Ten Strikes, by Erik Loomis. Powerful and accessible, this book challenges contemporary assumptions around labor, unions, and American workers. Labor historian Erik Loomis recounts 10 critical workers’ strikes in American labor history that everyone needs to know about. He also provides an appendix with an annotated list of the 150 most important moments in American labor history. (H, TR) bit.ly/2PB4VWQ
11 20th anniversary of the Bari and Cherney decision. In 1990 on the eve of Redwood Summer, a nonviolent protest of logging in California, a car bomb seriously injured Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in Oakland, CA. Oakland police and the FBI accused Bari and Cherney of planting the bomb themselves. The case was full of obvious misrepresentations and planted evidence. In a June 2002 civil lawsuit, a jury found for the plaintiffs, Bari and Cherney, who were awarded $4.4 million.
The Feminization of Earth First! By Judi Bari. Firsthand account by Judi Bari, a feminist, union organizer, and environmental activist, about her experience organizing with men for environmental change, and the role of toxic masculinity, misogyny, and violence in social action work. This essay is part of a tremendous collection of first-person writing by activists, available at a site called History Is a Weapon. (H) bit.ly/2FRb8wq
11 20th anniversary of CCN’s victory over Shell Oil Corp. Shell Oil built a chemical plant in the 1950s in the predominantly Black town of Diamond, LA. After residents got sick and two were killed in explosions, Margie Richard founded Concerned Citizens of Norco (CCN). The organization drew attention to the environmental injustice, and in 2002, won their fight with Shell, which was ordered to pay for the relocation of the town’s residents.
How One Woman Fought One of the World’s Biggest Oil Companies and Won, a story recorded for Living on Earth by Reid Frazier and Jared Goyette. A 2015 audio profile and interview with Margie Richard, the former middle school teacher who founded Concerned Citizens of Norco in 2002, suing Shell Oil for issues related to environmental racism. (M, H) bit.ly/3n1gRCS
12 World Day Against Child Labor. The World Day Against Child Labor is intended to raise awareness and promote activism to prevent the use of 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) 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) 1.usa.gov/3qo8vl
12 40th anniversary of the Anti-Nuclear Proliferation Demonstration in Central Park. Nearly one million people demonstrated in New York City’s Central Park against nuclear weapons and for an end to the cold war arms race. It was the largest anti-nuclear protest and the largest political demonstration in American history. Although nuclear disarmament was the main focus of the rally, many expressed their enthusiasm for the intersectionality of the demonstration, illuminating the fact that the issue of nuclear weapons is linked to other social justice issues.
African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement, by Vincent Intondi. Some of the earliest and strongest protests against nuclear weapons came from activists in the Black Freedom movement. Intondi’s research reveals that decades ago, Black activists recognized the convergence of domestic and foreign policy issues. (H) bit.ly/3mXcKHK
15 60th anniversary of SDS Port Huron Statement. Growing frustration with the Cold War, economic inequality, and other socioeconomic issues motivated college students in Michigan to come together to form the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). On June 15, 1962, they finalized “The Port Huron Statement,” which outlined their concerns and hopes, and would go on to become the ideological basis of the New Left.
The Port Huron Statement, from Resistance and Revolution: The Anti-Vietnam War Movement at the University of Michigan. This page captures an exhibit of primary source documents, interviews, and other multimedia teaching resources related to the Port Huron Statement written by the Students for a Democratic Society in the early 1960s. (H) bit.ly/32nhQ6z
15 40th anniversary of Plyler v. Doe. In Plyler v. Doe, which grew out of a dispute in Texas, the Court, citing the 14th Amendment, determined that states cannot withhold public education from children simply because they are undocumented. Over the past 40 years, some states and local school districts have tried, unsuccessfully, to find a way around this ruling. As anti-immigrant sentiment grows, it can be assumed they will continue to search for ways to deny children an education.
Lesson Plan on Plyer v. Doe: Can States Deny Public Benefits to Illegal Immigrants? By the Constitutional Rights Foundation. This lesson focuses on the 1982 Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe on whether a state may deny public education to the children of illegal immigrants. It gives the background on the case and the arguments for both sides. In the activity, students take part in a mock hearing before the Supreme Court on this case. [Note that unfortunately this resource uses the phrase “illegal immigrants” instead of “undocumented people.” Consider noting this in discussion with students.] (H) bit.ly/3eaTDpG
Una Jornada Hacia La Esperanza/A Journey Toward Hope, Spanish Edition, by Victor Hinojosa and Coert Voorhees. Four unaccompanied migrant children come together along the arduous journey north through Mexico to the United States border in this ode to the power of hope and connection even in the face of uncertainty and fear. (E, M) sixfootpress.com/a-journey-toward-hope
15 Anthony Coelho, Congressman and disability rights advocate, born (1942). Coelho, who has epilepsy, is a former US Congressman from California and the primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Coelho was elected to the House six times but resigned during his sixth term over alleged campaign finance improprieties. The passage of the ADA was the most significant achievement of his tenure in office. He served as the Democratic Whip, the first Latinx to hold a high-level leadership position in Congress.
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the 21st Century, edited by Alice Wong. From original pieces by up-and-coming authors such as Keah Brown and Haben Girma, to blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, testimonies before Congress, and beyond, this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It challenges readers to question their own assumptions and understandings of disabilities and people with disabilities. (M, H) Discussion guide also included here: disabilityvisibilityproject.com/book
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) bit.ly/2IF1iyr
16 100th anniversary of the Cable Act. After women gained the right to vote in 1920, Congress passed the Cable Act, which was intended to redress the discriminatory Expatriation Act of 1907, which conferred on women the citizenship of their husbands. The Cable Act restored citizenship to US-born women who had lost their citizenship by marrying non-citizen men. The new law, however, did not apply to women who married “aliens ineligible for citizenship.” Its main victims were Asian American women.
When Saying “I Do” Meant Giving Up Your US Citizenship, by Meg Hacker for the National Archives. Short, accessible background reading on the Cable Act of 1922, with primary source documents interwoven throughout. (H) bit.ly/2PwFoDr
17 70th anniversary of the signing of Decree 900 in Guatemala. Decree 900 redistributed large plots of unused land held in private hands to local peasants. The law was unpopular with US businesses in Guatemala. In addition to the US’s obsession with Communism, the law helped prompt intervention by the US government. Two years later, the CIA organized a coup that overthrew the democratically elected Guatemalan government.
Teaching Central America, by Teaching for Change. More than four million Central Americans reside in the United States today, yet the lack of resources in most schools on Central American heritage make the rich history and literature of the region invisible. Teaching for Change launched a campaign to encourage and support teaching about Central America, with collected lessons, book lists, biographies of noted historical figures, and readings for free use by classroom teachers. (E, M, H, TR) teachingcentralamerica.org
17 50th anniversary of the Watergate burglary. Five burglars, carrying wiretapping and photo equipment, were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, DC. An investigation revealed that the burglars were linked to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign. Although he initially denied involvement, when it became clear that the House of Representatives was likely to impeach him, Nixon resigned.
Lesson Plan: Watergate and the Limits of Presidential Power, by PBS NewsHour Extra. A rich lesson plan and related resources to support students in exploring the events of the Watergate scandal and its lasting impact on the American presidency. (M, H) to.pbs.org/3vwKDSZ
18 Autistic Pride Day. Not to be confused with Autism Awareness Day (April 2), Autistic Pride Day recognizes the innate potential of all people, including autistic people. The celebratory day was initiated by Aspies for Freedom and is now a global event that seeks to empower autistic people worldwide. 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) itsh.bo/bmNqNc
18 210th anniversary of the start of War of 1812. The US declared war on Britain in part to expand its territory into Canada, which was still part of the British empire, and into territories held by Native Americans, who were supported by the British. When Britain and the US signed a peace treaty in 1814, the principal losers in the war were Native Americans who lost both land and the possibility of a semi-independent sanctuary promised by the British.
Multiple Perspectives of the War of 1812, by PBS Learning Media. This lesson plan, to be used in conjunction with the program The War of 1812, gives students background information about the diverse perspectives of those groups involved in the war: Americans, British, Canadian Colonists, and First Nations people. (M, H) bit.ly/3gZi7p9
18 200th anniversary of the arrest of Denmark Vesey. Vesey, a former slave in South Carolina who bought his freedom, was accused of planning a major slave rebellion involving as many as 9,000 people. He was betrayed by a fellow conspirator and was arrested before he was able to carry out the plan. He was executed along with 35 of his collaborators. Vesey became a hero for many abolitionists who, despite his failure, praised his leadership and ingenuity in striking a blow for freedom.
The Story of Denmark Vesey, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson for The Atlantic. A compelling article about the powerful impact of Denmark Vesey’s attempted slave rebellion, from the June 1861 issue of The Atlantic. (H) bit.ly/3vlcIwi
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, TX 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) bit.ly/2RWOokf; Curriculum guide here: 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 prepares to celebrate Juneteenth. (E) 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 all about. It’s Juneteenth, and the town is holding its annual Juneteenth Jamboree. (E) Teacher’s guide by Lee and Low here: 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) bit.ly/1Uiqrjw
19 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) bit.ly/2qlJkHq
In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, by 12 African American poets, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, Lee & Low Books, 2013. 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
Missing Daddy, by Mariame Kaba. In this picture book for readers ages 4-8, a little girl who misses her father because he’s away in prison shares how his absence affects different parts of her life. She is most excited on the days when she gets to visit her beloved father. With gorgeous illustrations, this book depicts a little girl’s love for her father from whom she is separated because of incarceration. (E) Resources and discussion questions here: missingdaddy.net
19 40th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin. As Japanese automakers began to challenge the US auto industry’s hold on US markets, rising unemployment stirred anti-Japanese bigotry, especially among US autoworkers. Vincent Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese American, was murdered in Detroit in an unprovoked attack by two White autoworkers who thought he was Japanese. The killers were found guilty of manslaughter and received a modest fine, but no jail time. The (White) judge said, “These aren’t the kind of men you send to jail.”
From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement, by Paula Yoo. This book examines the outrage from the Asian American community after Chin’s murderers received only a $3,000 fine and three years of probation. A suspenseful portrait of a pivotal moment in civil rights history, and of a man who became a symbol against hatred and racism. (H) bit.ly/3c0UQ34
A Day for Vincent Chin and Me, by Jacqueline Turner Banks. A chapter book for young readers about a Japanese American child’s efforts to slow down the traffic on a residential street in Kentucky, while his mother organizes the Asian American community to draw attention to the death of Vincent Chin, whom his murderers blamed for Detroit’s declining car sales and soaring unemployment. (E) bit.ly/30JtdoS
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
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
22 250th anniversary of the Somerset ruling. James Somerset was an enslaved person taken to England by the Boston customs official who claimed him as property. After two years, he escaped but was recaptured and forced onto a ship bound for Jamaica to be sold as a slave. Lord Chief Justice Mansfield ordered the ship’s captain to produce Somerset in court. Mansfield ruled that no man in England could be sold as a slave, and Somerset won his freedom. Britain abolished the Atlantic slave trade in 1807, though slavery was permitted until 1833.
The Tools of the Abolitionists, by Mike Kaye for the BBC. The campaign to abolish the slave trade in Britain launched the use of many advocacy tools that we now take for granted, including investigative research, parliamentary lobbying, media work, consumer boycotts, judicial challenges, the single-issue campaign, branding, and merchandising. This gallery explores some of the tools used by the abolitionists to gain public support for the anti-slavery movement in the 1780s and how they are still used today. (H) bbc.in/3t5Hd7P
23 50th anniversary of Title IX. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on gender. Under Title IX, any school that receives any federal money from the elementary to university level must provide fair and equal treatment of the sexes in all areas, including athletics. Title IX is credited with decreasing girls’ high school dropout rates and increasing the number of women who enroll in and complete college.
Title IX at 40, by Carrie Kilman for Teaching for Justice. An essay exploring the ways in which Title IX was never just about sports, and how it radically changed everything about education for girls and women. (M, H) bit.ly/3sWhi2p
Mamie on the Mound: A Woman in Baseball’s Negro Leagues, by Lean Henderson. Mamie “Peanut” Johnson had one dream: to play professional baseball. She was a talented player, but she wasn’t welcome in the segregated All-American Girls Pro Baseball League because of the color of her skin. However, a greater opportunity came her way in 1953 when Johnson signed to play for the Indianapolis Clowns, a Negro Leagues team, becoming the first female pitcher to play on a men’s professional team. During the three years she pitched for the Clowns, her record was an impressive 33-8. But more important, she broke ground for other female athletes and for women everywhere. (E, M) bit.ly/3eCiva1
24 40th anniversary of ILGWU strike in New York’s Chinatown. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) organized the largest strike in the history of New York’s Chinatown. About 20,000 Chinatown garment workers, mostly Chinese immigrant women, rallied for better wages, working conditions, and benefits. This strike and another rally in July resulted in increased benefits, including bilingual union staff and resources, English classes, immigration paralegal services, health benefits, and the establishment of a childcare center in Chinatown.
Memories of the 1982 ILGWU Strike in New York’s Chinatown, a firsthand account by Katie Quan. An essay by a labor organizer who participated in the largest strike in the history of New York’s Chinatown, with accompanying images and related links for further reading. (H) bit.ly/3eDl3Vw
25 60th anniversary of Engel v. Vitale. The State Board of Regents in New York, concerned about what they saw as a moral decline in public schools, composed a prayer for students to recite every morning, though they could opt out if they wanted. In Engel v. Vitale the Supreme Court determined that this practice, even with an opt-out clause, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. It was the first case to make such a determination.
Engel v. Vitale: Recordings of the Oral Arguments, by Oyez. The New York State Board of Regents authorized a prayer for recitation at the start of each school day. A group of organizations joined forces to challenge the prayer, claiming that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The New York Court of Appeals rejected their arguments. The case and the oral arguments presented here are ripe with opportunities to teach and learn about children’s rights related to flag salutes and other recitations required in public schools. Hear recordings of each side’s oral arguments here. (H) oyez.org/cases/1961/468
25 50th anniversary of openly gay William Johnson’s ordination as a Christian minister. Johnson was ordained in the Community United Church of Christ in California. He faced an uphill battle after surprising himself by coming out in 1970 at an assembly of seminary students and faculty, church leaders from throughout the Bay Area, and LGBT community members. When he first applied for ordination, he was turned down, despite support from his local church. Later, a vote was put before the Ecclesiastical Council, and he was approved by a 62-34 vote.
The God Box, by Alex Sanchez. Paul, a religious teen living in a small conservative town, finds his world turned upside down when he meets Manuel, a young man who says he’s both Christian and gay – two things that Paul didn’t think could coexist in one person. Doesn’t the Bible forbid homosexuality? As Paul struggles with Manuel’s interpretation of the Bible, thoughts that Paul has long tried to bury begin to surface, and he finds himself re-examining his whole life. (H) bit.ly/2SMcjAp
25 40th anniversary of Island Trees Board of Education v. Pico. A New York school board tried to remove books from the school library, claiming the books were “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and just plain filthy.” Among them were The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers and Slaughterhouse Five. In Island Trees Board of Education v. Pico, the Court ruled that, under the First Amendment, school boards cannot remove books from school libraries simply because they dislike the ideas contained in the books.
Resources for Banned Books Week, by Lisa Fink for NCTE. The National Council for Teachers of English, through its Intellectual Freedom Center, offers advice, helpful documents, and other support to teachers and schools faced with challenges to texts (e.g., literary works, films and videos, drama productions) or teaching methods used in their classrooms and schools. (TR) bit.ly/3aN0PHC
25 190th anniversary of the Battle of Velasco. In the Battle of Velasco, a prelude to the Texas Revolution, Henry Smith and John Austin led a group of Texans to Brazoria to secure a cannon for use against the Mexican forces at Anahuac. They encountered Domingo de Ugartechea, commander of the Mexican fort at Velasco, who tried to prevent the passage of the vessel carrying the cannon. The Mexicans ran out of ammunition and were forced to surrender.
Texas Revolution: A Lesson Plan, by the Stanford History Education Group. Why did Texans revolt against the Mexican government? In this lesson, students read the Texas Declaration of Independence, military commanders’ letters, and an abolitionist pamphlet to explore causes of the Texas Revolution. (H) stanford.io/2RblRbV
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 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) bit.ly/1P5IlwH
27 70th anniversary of the McCarran-Walter Act. Before World War II, American immigration policy was designed specifically to exclude all Asians and Peoples of Color, restrict Southern and Eastern European immigration, and encourage the arrival of Western Europeans. The McCarran-Walter Act eliminated exclusion laws against Asian countries but maintained preference for Western Europeans. It also shifted the focus of immigration law to denying people based on their ideological views, a response to the growing fear of Communism.
This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration, by Linda Barrett Osborne. This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout US history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. The book concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue. Includes an author’s note, bibliography, and index. [Note: Teachers may want to discuss with students the use of the phrase “this land is our land,” from the perspective of Indigenous peoples.] (M, H) bit.ly/3dXKDW7
27 Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet and author, born (1872-1906). Paul Laurence Dunbar was the first African American poet to garner national critical acclaim. Many of his poems and essays address issues of racial equality. In his poetry, he wrote in both dialectic and traditional styles. Dunbar’s literary body, including novels, short stories, and poetry, is regarded as an impressive representation of Black life in turn-of-the-century America. His standard-English poems are now prized as some of his greatest achievements in verse.
Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar, by Sally Derby. From his childhood in poverty and his early promise as a poet to his immense fame and his untimely death, Dunbar’s story is one of triumph and tragedy. But his legacy remains in his much-beloved poetry – told in both Standard English and in dialect – which continues to delight and inspire readers today. More than two dozen of Dunbar’s poems are woven throughout this volume, illuminating the phases of his life and serving as examples of dialect, imagery, and tone. (E, M) bit.ly/3mIhyAN
29 Henry Gerber, gay rights activist, born (1892-1972). Gerber was born in Bavaria and immigrated to Chicago as a young man. He served in the US Army in Germany during World War I, where he saw the persecution of gay men and lesbians. In response, he, along with several friends, formed an organization that became The Society for Human Rights, a nonprofit corporation in Chicago. The organization published a newsletter, Friendship and Freedom, which was distributed to its small membership.
Travels In a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans, by Philip Gambone. In addition to interviews with David Sedaris, George Takei, Barney Frank, and Tammy Baldwin, Travels in a Gay Nation brings us lesser-known voices – a retired Naval officer, a transgender scholar and “drag king,” a Princeton philosopher, two opera sopranos who happen to be lovers, an Indie Rock musician, the founder of a gay frat house, and a pair of Vermont garden designers. In this age when contemporary gay America is still coming under attack, Gambone captures the humanity of each individual. (H) uwpress.wisc.edu/books/4771.htm
1 David Ross Brower, environmentalist, born (1912-2000). Brower was a prominent environmentalist and the founder of many environmental organizations, including Friends of the Earth and the Earth Island Institute. He was also the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, transforming it from a regional to a national organization. Described as a principled and uncompromising advocate of wilderness and ecological values, he is considered the most influential environmental activist of the 20th century.
How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other, by Naomi Klein, adapted for young readers by Rebecca Stefoff. Full of empowering stories of young leaders all over the world, this information-packed book from award-winning journalist and one of the foremost voices for climate justice, Naomi Klein, offers young readers a comprehensive look at the state of the climate today and how we got here, while also providing the tools they need to join the fight to protect and reshape the planet they will inherit. (H) bit.ly/2S19nnJ
1 60th anniversary of Rwanda’s and Burundi’s independence from Belgium. The countries now known as Rwanda and Burundi were once a single territory Ruanda-Urundi, which was colonized by Germany. After World War I, Belgium acquired the territory. Belgium’s divide-and-conquer policy pitted the largest tribes – the Tutsi and Hutu – against each other, enabling Belgium to maintain control. That tribal animosity remains today. An Independence movement began in the 1950s, culminating in the split of the territory into Rwanda and Burundi as two independent nations in 1962.
Forsaken Cries: The Story of Rwanda, by The Video Project, Facing History and Ourselves. A 35-minute documentary that explores the roots of the conflict in Rwanda that led to the genocide of nearly one million Tutsi people by Hutu military extremists beginning in April 1994. Forsaken Cries incorporates historical footage from the nation’s colonial period with recent survivor interviews. Among the issues the video explores are international genocide laws, the failure of the international community to intervene in the genocide, the refugee crisis, and the War Crimes Tribunal. (H) bit.ly/3u10Tvb
1 10th anniversary of the publication of The Wrong Complexion for Protection. Subtitled: How the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities, this text was written by Dr. Robert D. Bullard, known as the Father of Environmental Justice. Bullard says one’s ZIP code is the most potent predictor of health and wellbeing. The top priority of the Environmental Justice movement is the eradication of environmental, health, economic, and racial disparities.
Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, by Vandana Shiva. World-renowned environmental activist and physicist Vandana Shiva calls for a radical shift in the values that govern democracies, condemning the role that unrestricted capitalism has played in the destruction of environments and livelihoods. (H) bit.ly/3vr7zCT
1 120th anniversary of the Land Allotment Acts. The 1830 General Removal Act provided for reservation land belonging in common to each tribe. The Choctaw and Chickasaw Land Allotment Act and the Cherokee Land Allotment Act allowed the government to break up reservation land into small allotments to be parceled out to individuals and force the sale of “surplus land” in their territories to non-Indians. The “surplus land” happened to be the richest in mineral resources, depriving the Natives of their wealth.
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith. This collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers, bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. (E, M) bit.ly/3vlobfk
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) bit.ly/twIr1s
The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, by Frederick Douglass. Full text of a speech delivered by Douglass in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. (M, H) bit.ly/1xt0vT3
4 60th anniversary of Algerian independence, granting women’s right to vote and stand for election. Algerian women gained the right to vote and stand for election when Algeria gained independence. Eligibility requirements for voting and running for office are the same for men and women. Women have been both appointed and elected to local and legislative positions. In theory, there are no restrictions on the participation of Algerian women in politics, but women who attempt to gain positions of higher power within political parties often face resistance from male members.
Key Facts About Women’s Suffrage Around the World, by Katherine Schaeffer for Pew Research. Perfect for use in mathematics and/or social studies classes, a close look at the history of women’s suffrage around the world. Data and analyses focus on when women in various countries won the right to vote in national elections. (H) pewrsr.ch/3u5K4zg
6 130th anniversary of the Homestead Strike. In a bitter battle between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers and the Carnegie Steel Company, workers were first locked out and then went on strike. Carnegie brought in the Pinkertons to infiltrate the union and a battle ensued, with seven Pinkertons and nine union members dead. Pennsylvania’s governor called in the National Guard, shocking the town. More than 100 strikers were arrested; the strike continued until November with no concessions and the union destroyed.
The Homestead Strike, a Teaching Activity by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond for the Zinn Education Project. This role play activity on the notorious 1892 Homestead Strike explores the possibility of solidarity among workers of very different backgrounds and at different levels in the workplace hierarchy. This activity is one of the 16 labor history lessons available for free download from The Power in Our Hands. (H) bit.ly/2OjiXRD
7 10th anniversary of Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness. A prominent group of international scientists declared in Cambridge, UK, that evidence shows nonhuman animals, including all mammals, birds, and many other creatures, are conscious beings that are aware of and experience what happens to them. They argued that the capacity to have positive and negative experiences is what makes a being capable of being harmed, which warrants moral and ethical consideration.
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) bit.ly/eEsNCS
9 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 beautiful blue first-day hijab, finding inner strength and pride when facing bullies at school who make fun of it. (E) bit.ly/3d0n2RL
11 130th anniversary of Coeur d’Alene miners’ strike. Miners in Coeur d’Alene, ID, went on strike to protest reduced wages. Mine owners called in agents from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to infiltrate the union. Union officers were arrested. The Idaho Governor instituted martial law, and the National Guard was called in to suppress strikers. The strike inspired workers to start the Western Federation of Miners Union in 1893.
Fire in the Hole! by Mary Cronk Farrell. Based on the true story of a silver miners’ strike in Coeur d’Alene, ID, this book of historical fiction shows the desperate conditions of miners’ lives and how the striking miners were detained illegally in a late-19th century version of Guantanamo. (H) zinnedproject.org/materials/fire-in-the-hole
15 160th anniversary of the Battle of Apache Pass. In the Apache’s continued resistance to Anglo settlements, Cochise and Mangas Coloradas, his father-in-law, led a group of 500 Apache warriors in an ambush of the California Column as it rode east through Apache Pass in the Chiricahua Mountains. Using heavy artillery, the US soldiers routed the Apache from their fortified positions overlooking the area. Sixty-six Apache were killed and only five Americans died. The army subsequently built Fort Bowie to prevent future attacks.
Apache Children and Elders Talk Together, by the Library of Intergenerational Learning: Native Americans. Many of us have heard of Geronimo, who fought for the freedom of the Apache. Some of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren relate their family history and the Apache culture as it has evolved through American history. (E, M) bit.ly/3e0tqez
16 Ida B. Wells, educator, journalist, and activist, born (1862-1931). Wells was born as an enslaved person in Mississippi. She is best known for her work as a journalist, women’s rights advocate, suffragist, and anti-lynching crusader. She often clashed with White suffragists for ignoring the plight of Black people, especially victims of White violence. In 1896, she co-founded the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). Wells was present in Niagara Falls when the NAACP was founded, but her name was excluded from the list of charter members.
Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told, by Walter Dean Myers. In this picture book, Myers highlights Wells’ courage and persistence by using her own words and writings to chronicle how she refused to accept discrimination and raised her voice for justice. (E, M) bit.ly/3teCtNR
23 70th anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution. Feeling he had abandoned them during the disastrous 1948 Arab-Israeli war, a group of Egyptian army officers, calling themselves “The Free Officers,” overthrew King Farouk with the goals of abolishing the monarchy, establishing a republic, and ending British colonialism in Egypt and Sudan. Despite its many shortcomings, the Egyptian revolution inspired other Arab and African states to overthrow existing monarchies and declare independence from colonial powers.
Egyptian Streets: The Podcast, by Noran Morsi. Featuring Egyptians around the world who fuel creative social change and their journeys that brought them there, from the intersection of Egyptian identity and creative social change, are stories from street to sound. (M, H) egyptianstreets.com/category/the-podcast
24 50th anniversary of Tuskegee syphilis experiment exposé. Beginning in 1932, the United States Public Health Service worked with the Tuskegee Institute to study untreated syphilis in Macon County, AL. 600 Black men, most of them impoverished, participated in the study, even after a cure for the disease was found. 128 of these test subjects died because their syphilis went untreated. The Washington Star newspaper exposed the unethical treatment of these men, resulting in a public outcry and the end of the experiment in 1972.
Medical Apartheid: Teaching the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, by Gretchen Kraig-Turner for Rethinking Schools. Essay and lesson plan from a high school science teacher about medical apartheid and the Tuskegee Syphilis study. (H, TR) rethinkingschools.org/articles/medical-apartheid
28 90th anniversary of attack on Bonus Army. World War I veterans who did not receive the wartime bonuses they were promised formed the Bonus Expeditionary Force, or “Bonus Army,” and marched on Washington DC. Black and White veterans camped together in “Hoovervilles,” named after President Herbert Hoover. Hoover called on troops led by Generals Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who attacked the veterans with tear gas, tanks, and bayonets.
The Bonus Army, by Mickey Z. for the Zinn Education Project. This short article about the history of the 1932 Bonus Expeditionary Force (BEF), or Bonus Army, includes video clips, books for children and teens, and other multimedia resources related to teaching about the WWI veterans who fought for the wartime bonuses they were promised. (H, TR) zinnedproject.org/materials/bonus-army