2022-2023 Chronological Resources
1 50th anniversary of Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia. The families of seven students with disabilities filed suit after the Board refused to provide an adequate education to them. A judge determined that all students with disabilities must be given a public education, regardless of cost. This set a precedent for the provision of education services to children with severe disabilities. It’s worth noting that all seven plaintiffs were Black children, who are more likely to be labeled problematic, disruptive, or unteachable.
Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children with Disabilities: A Dance That Matters, by Janice Fialka. Written from both the parent’s and the professional’s points of view, this book draws upon the metaphor of dance to highlight the essential partnerships among teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents of children with disabilities. (TR) bit.ly/2SOrxDU
2 190th anniversary of the Bad Axe Massacre. The Bad Axe Massacre was the final engagement of the Black Hawk War between White settlers and militia in Illinois and Michigan Territory and the Sauk and Fox tribes under Chief Black Hawk. The massacre, which Andrew Jackson gleefully labeled “a good lesson” for the Native American tribes, resulted in the deaths of more than 400 Sauk and Fox men, women, and children, fighting to repel further encroachment of their land by White settlers.
“All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker. In this book, scholar-activists Dunbar-Ortiz and Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disprove long held and enduring myths. (H, TR) bit.ly/2nS7oyo
3 140th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1882. After the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed earlier the same year, the 1882 Immigration Act added more people to the list of those to be excluded from immigration to the US, such as persons likely to become a “public charge” and those with mental health challenges. New York and Massachusetts had already enacted laws targeting poor immigrants. The public charge proviso was aimed primarily at single women, who were largely refused entry.
Landed, by Milly Lee. Landed tells the story of Sun, a young Chinese man who emigrates to America during the age of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Lee based the story on that of her father-in-law, and provides useful historical background information. (E) bit.ly/2qne0rv
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) to.pbs.org/MQcxL
4 80th anniversary of the Santa Anita internment camp uprising. The uprising by inmates at the Santa Anita internment camp (euphemistically called an “assembly center” by the US government), was the culmination of months of mistreatment and humiliation of the inmates by guards. When guards were seen entering the inmates’ homes and removing personal items as well as anything written or recorded in Japanese, the inmates rebelled. Armed military police broke up the protest with tanks and guns.
We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration, by Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura. In this groundbreaking graphic novel, meet Jim Akutsu, who refuses to be drafted from the camp at Minidoka when classified as an enemy alien; Hiroshi Kashiwagi, who resists government pressure to sign a loyalty oath at Tule Lake; and Mitsuye Endo, a reluctant recruit to a lawsuit contesting her imprisonment. Based upon painstaking research, We Hereby Refuse presents an original vision of America’s past with disturbing links to the American present. (M, H) resisters.com
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, by Amy Lee-Tai. This children’s book tells the story of a young girl and her family’s experience in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Lee-Tai invites the reader to explore the injustices hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans faced. Teacher resources and ideas for activities are included. (E, TR) bit.ly/1mdeKuK
4 80th anniversary of the Bracero Program. The Bracero Program, designed to remedy a US labor shortage during WWII, allowed Mexican men to come to the US to work in the agriculture industry. The program guaranteed workers protections, including a minimum wage, insurance, and safe, free housing. But farm owners frequently failed to live up to these requirements. Housing and food were typically substandard, and wages were not only low but also frequently paid late or not at all.
Bracero History Archive. The “Teaching” section of the Bracero History Archive offers background information about the Bracero Program, which temporarily allowed Mexican workers into the US. The site also contains lesson ideas that include the use of photographs, maps and atlases, and primary source documents. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/P89ynw
5 60th anniversary of the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. Mandela, commander of the militant wing of the African National Congress (ANC), was arrested and sentenced to 5 years in prison for inciting a strike. The following year, he and other ANC leaders were charged with sabotage and other crimes. They were all convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor. Mandela was released after 27 years when the Apartheid government realized the popular leader was more of a threat to them in prison than outside.
Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book, by Umlando Wezithombe, The Nelson Mandela Foundation. A graphic novel about the life and times of Nelson Mandela, produced for school children in South Africa and now available for readers in the US. (E, M) bit.ly/2As17BA
Famous Trials: The Nelson Mandela (Rivonia) Trial. This website provides a wealth of information about the Rivonia Trial, from the indictment to biographies of the accused, as well as Mandela’s speech in which he said that he was prepared to die for the freedom of South Africans from apartheid. (H, TR) famous-trials.com/nelsonmandela
5 10th anniversary of the attack on the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI. Investigators initially refused to categorize the mass shooting attack on worshippers at the Sikh Temple as a hate crime, though the gunman was a White supremacist who opened fire and murdered six people, injured nearly 35, and then took his own life. The attack was yet another example of the widespread White terrorism targeting South Asian, Muslim, and Arab Americans following the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.
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
When Bad Things Happen, by Sean McCollum. This article in Learning for Justice magazine describes one school’s approach to addressing “community violence,” in particular, the aftermath of a White supremacist terror attack on a local Sikh Temple. The piece defines types of community violence, the intersections of such violence and existing trauma in the community, and provides some steps for “psychological first aid.” It also links to a toolkit of resources that support students affected by community violence. (TR) bit.ly/2GkaCV5
Teaching on Days After: Educating for Equity in the Wake of Injustice, by Alyssa Hadley Dunn. What should teachers do on the days after major events, tragedies, and traumas, especially when injustice is involved? This beautifully written book features teacher narratives and youth-authored student spotlights that reveal what classrooms do and can look like in the wake of these critical moments. (TR) bit.ly/3K18G3f
6 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from Britain. Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain in 1494, and it became a Spanish colony in 1509. The local population was enslaved. When they started dying off from overwork and abuse, Africans were brought in for enslavement. Disappointed with the lack of gold, the Spanish mainly used Jamaica as a naval base. A group of British sailors took over the island in 1655, maintaining control until Independence in 1962 when local leaders formed a democratic government.
50 Songs to Celebrate 50 Years of Jamaican Independence, by Various Artists. A playlist of 50 songs that recognize, celebrate, and educate about the independence of Jamaica. (E, M, H) amzn.to/3KTOjpH
6 160th anniversary of Albert Cashier enlisting in the Union Army. Jennie Hodgers, designated female at birth, enlisted in the Union Army under the name Albert Cashier. At this time, women were not allowed in the military. Cashier fought for three years and continued to live as a man after the end of the war. Although his gender identity became known later in life, his former Army comrades, though surprised, made sure he was dressed in full uniform and inscribed his tombstone with his male identity.
Albert D. J. Cashier Lesson Plan, by The Legacy Project. This site includes one of the few online biographies of Albert Cashier that does not misgender him or refer to him as a woman. With free registration, teachers can access a lesson plan with a variety of activities that explore Cashier’s historical contributions as well as critical literacy activities about Cashier’s identity. (H) bit.ly/35xX4GG
6 30th anniversary of the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Captain Joshua Birch filed a human rights complaint when he was discharged from the Canadian military for being gay. He argued that the omission of sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act was discriminatory under the equality rights guarantee in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Federal Justice Minister Kim Campbell announced that the government would take the necessary steps to include sexual orientation in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Ready, Set, Respect! GLSEN’s Elementary Toolkit. This toolkit provides lesson plans and multimedia resources that are aligned to Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, as well as strategies for responding to bullying. This is the type of resource designed to help schools create communities that support students like LaStaysha Myers, a straight student who sued her school district for banning pro-gay T-shirts while allowing anti-gay ones. (E, M, TR) bit.ly/x3Poqe
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
7 180th anniversary of the British General Strike (aka the “Plug Plot”). This was just the beginning of what would become a nationwide movement for improved working conditions and higher wages, as well as a more democratic government. At a meeting near Manchester, organized by the Chartist movement, 18,000 British workers voted to call a general strike for the following day, unifying disparate trade groups. An estimated 500,000 people took part in what would become the longest and largest strike in history.
The Global Nonviolent Action Database, a project of Swarthmore College. The Global Nonviolent Action Database provides free access to information about hundreds of cases of nonviolent action, from all continents and most countries, for learning and for citizen action. Includes case studies for examination. (H, TR) nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu
8 80th anniversary of the Quit India movement. At the All-Indian Congress in Bombay, Mahatma Gandhi launched the “Quit India” movement, demanding an immediate end to British colonial rule. Gandhi and other leaders were arrested the next day, and protests erupted across the country. In addition to general dissatisfaction with the colonization of their country, Indians were outraged that they were being conscripted to fight for England in WWII. It was the beginning of the fight for full independence.
Collection of Books about Gandhi, by Kitaab World. For elementary and middle school readers, a collection of titles to explore the life and activism of Gandhi. (E, M) bit.ly/37emVnG
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.
Cultural Survival Podcast, by Indigenous Rights Radio. Indigenous radio producers from Cultural Survival bring you the latest information on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and how they are being implemented around the world. Listen, download and share their programs for free. The material includes public service announcements, interviews, reports on international rights, and the strategies that Indigenous communities are using to make their rights a reality. (H, TR) rights.culturalsurvival.org
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
14 110th anniversary of the US occupation of Nicaragua. The US intervened in the internal affairs of Nicaragua to prop up US business and strategic interests. The 1912 invasion by US Marines was initially in retaliation for the murder of two US citizens, but it endured because it was rumored that Japan would build a canal there and the US wanted sole rights to do so. Sustained opposition to US involvement and the Great Depression finally led the US to withdraw in 1933.
Inside the Volcano: A Curriculum on Nicaragua, by Bill Bigelow and Jeff Edmundson. From Teaching Central America: A Project of Teaching for Change, this teaching guide includes 14 interactive lessons on land distribution in Nicaragua before the revolution, the Sandinistas, the role of the United States, the literacy campaign, Ben Linder, and the Honduran connection. (H) teachingcentralamerica.org/inside-the-volcano
14 180th anniversary of the end of the Second Seminole War. The Seminoles were an amalgamation of several Native American tribes and escaped slaves seeking freedom. The Second Seminole War, the longest and costliest war the US waged against Native Americans, took place in Florida from 1835 to 1842. It was the most sustained and successful effort by slaves to win their freedom by force of arms. Thousands of Seminoles were forced to move West, though some were allowed to stay in a reservation in Florida.
All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life, by Winona LaDuke. This thoughtful, in-depth account of Native struggles against environmental and cultural degradation features chapters on the Seminoles, the Anishinaabeg, the Innu, the Northern Cheyenne, and the Mohawks, among others. Filled with inspiring testimonies of struggles for survival, each page of this volume speaks forcefully for self-determination and community. (H) bit.ly/2VxGU6f
15 10th anniversary of the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program that allows young people who were brought illegally to the US as children to receive renewable work and education permits to defer deportation. DACA was signed into law by President Obama in June 2012 following the longtime grassroots organizing of United We Dream. The application process commenced on this day despite opposition from the usual suspects, but with the support of some unusual ones.
Areli Is a Dreamer: A True Story, by Areli Morales, a DACA recipient. In the first picture book written by a DACA Dreamer, Areli Morales tells her own powerful and vibrant immigration story. (E) bit.ly/35y5HB2
Resources for Educators and Families about Immigration and DACA, from the Center for Racial Justice. A resource guide to support educators, youth, families, advocates, and all communities affected by Trump’s decision to end DACA. (TR) bit.ly/3DB7Bxz
Eclipse of Dreams: The Undocumented-Led Struggle for Freedom, edited by Marco Saavedra, Claudia Muñoz, Mariela Nuñez-Janes, Stephen Pavey, Fidel Castro Rodriguez, and Pedro Santiago Martinez. This book tells the stories of a new generation of young people, awakened “Dreamers.” Using a collective writing process, as well as testimonials, photography, poetry, and art, the book is an invitation to find another way forward for migrant justice and human dignity, one that might allow us all to recover our global humanity. From direct action to the infiltration of immigrant detention centers, these youth are leading a movement for human liberation. (M, H) bit.ly/3KZ9wi9
16 Wallace Henry Thurman, editor, playwright, and author, born (1902-1934). Thurman, who was active during the Harlem Renaissance, a movement he initially admired, but later came to disdain, started his career in New York as editor of The Messenger, a socialist journal that targeted a Black audience. Thurman also wrote a play entitled Harlem: A Melodrama of Negro Life in Harlem, which briefly appeared on Broadway, and published several novels, including The Blacker the Berry, a fictional story about racism and colorism.
The (Gay) Harlem Renaissance: The History You Didn’t Learn, a short video by TIME. Acknowledging the queer culture and nightlife of the Harlem Renaissance is essential in order to paint a full picture of the time – and to show that there was a thriving LGBTQ+ scene in New York City that long predated the 1969 Stonewall uprising. This 5-minute video looks back at the overlooked queer artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance. (M, H) bit.ly/3Jmou0h
16 10th anniversary of the Marikana massacre in South Africa. After a week of trying unsuccessfully to get support from their Union to go on strike, workers at the Lonmin platinum mine staged a wildcat strike demanding better wages and working conditions. Police and security forces trapped the strikers in an area surrounded by barbed wire and opened fire, killing 34 and injuring 78. Following the attack, 250 miners were arrested. It was the most lethal use of force since apartheid ended.
Miners Shot Down: The Marikana Massacre, a documentary film by Rehad Desai. In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s largest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. This film weaves together the central point of view of three strike leaders, Mambush, Tholakele, and Mzoxolo, with compelling police footage, TV archival coverage, and interviews with lawyers representing the miners in the ensuing commission of inquiry into the massacre. What emerges is a tragedy that arises out of the deep faultlines in South Africa’s nascent democracy, of enduring poverty, and a 20-year-old unfulfilled promise of a better life for all. (H) minersshotdown.co.za
17 160th anniversary of the beginning of the Minnesota Dakota Uprising. For two decades, the Dakota’s hunting lands were stolen, provisions promised by the government rarely arrived, and White settlers surrounded them. The summer of 1862 was brutal, as crops failed, and people were starving. On August 17, four Dakota warriors were caught stealing eggs from a White settlement. Five members of the family were killed. Knowing the US would retaliate, the Dakotas struck first, killing 500 settlers. About 2,000 Dakotas were rounded up; 38 were publicly executed.
Ojibwe-Dakota in Minnesota, by the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale American Indian Education department. This website offers a variety of wonderful, free resources for educators, including extensive classroom lessons, language resources, and systematic guidance in building learning/culture trunks, to engage students in grades K-5 in learning about the Dakota and Ojibwe. (E) ojibwe-dakota-in-mn.com
17 60th anniversary of the opening of the Oahe Dam (ND). The Oahe Dam, creating Lake Oahe, one of the largest reservoirs in the world, was hailed for its hydroelectric power generation, irrigation, and flood control. However, it hasn’t been such a boon to the Native American tribes in the area. The Cheyenne River and Standing Rock reservations lost 65,000 and 56,000 acres, respectively, through eminent domain claims by the government. Those lands were vital to the tribes’ livelihoods and to their traditional way of life.
Lessons from Mother Earth, by Elaine McLeod. Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really being aware of the garden. But today they step outside the door and Tess learns that all of nature can be a garden. If you take care of the plants that are growing, you will always find something to nourish you. This gentle story demonstrates the First Nations tradition of taking care of Mother Earth. (E) bit.ly/1QBznLT
Cheyenne River Tribe Says Oahe Dam Has Caused Problems for Decades, by Chynna Lockett for SDP Radio. A 6-minute public radio segment about the modern-day problems, for farmers and the land, of the opening of the Oahe Dam in the 1960s. (H) bit.ly/35FLuJN
17 10th anniversary of Pussy Riot’s conviction and imprisonment. Three of the 10 members of the punk art performance group Pussy Riot were arrested and held in prison in Moscow on the charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for singing a song criticizing Russian President Putin in a church, raising concerns about Putin’s crackdown on LGBT groups, and civil society dissent. Their arrests sparked worldwide outrage and protests. On August 17, 2012, the detainees were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison.
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. A contemporary classic, Please Kill Me is the definitive oral history of the most nihilistic of all pop movements. Iggy Pop, Richard Hell, the Ramones, and scores of other punk figures lend their voices to this decisive account of that explosive era. This 20th anniversary edition features new photos and an afterword by the authors. (H) Article in VICE magazine about the book here: bit.ly/3MdJVSL
What is Punk? by Eric Morse. A pop-culture primer for children that provides an introduction to the punk revolution, recreated in vivid 3-D clay illustrations and told through rhyming couplets. (E) akpress.org/whatispunk
20 Red Cloud (Mahpiya Luta), Oglala Sioux Chief, born (1822-1909). Red Cloud, chosen as tribal chief over the hereditary heir, was revered for his unparalleled courage in leading his people in battles against US forces. He was the most important field commander among the Sioux and Cheyenne tribes, protecting Native hunting grounds. He and his warriors shut down the Bozeman Trail for two years, cutting off White movement to the West, forcing the US to uncharacteristically adhere to a treaty accepting Sioux territorial claims.
#StandingRockSyllabus, by the NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective. This syllabus project contributes to the already substantial work of the Sacred Stones Camp, Red Warrior Camp, and the Oceti Sakowin Camp to resist the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens traditional and treaty-guaranteed Great Sioux Nation territory. The different sections and articles place what is happening now in a broader historical, political, economic, and social context going back over 500 years to the first expeditions of Columbus. (H, TR) bit.ly/2dQye3P
22 50th anniversary of the expulsion of Rhodesia by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The decision by the IOC to rescind its invitation to Rhodesia to compete in the 1972 games came after a successful organizing effort by African nations and Black athletes in the US and Europe to exclude the country based on its racist policies. Rhodesia, modern-day Zambia and Zimbabwe, was an apartheid state in which the White minority ruled over the Black majority.
Rhodesia’s Dead – But White Supremacists Have Given It New Life Online, by John Ismay for New York Times Magazine. In this longform piece, John Ismay connects a “nostalgia for Rhodesia” to modern-day White supremacists and domestic racial terrorists. The piece explores Rhodesia historically and investigates the ways in which today’s White supremacists are reviving some of the images, symbols, and other aspects of the former country and its apartheid methods of hate and racial animus. (H) nyti.ms/3jRANY0
24 Howard Zinn, historian, author, educator, and civil rights activist, born (1922-2010). Howard Zinn was a Civil Rights and anti-war activist, opposing both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. He was a prolific author, perhaps best known for A People’s History of the United States, which details historical events from the viewpoint of the common American. Among the many awards he received are the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Eugene V. Debs award for his writing and political activism, and the Ridenhour Courage Prize.
The Website of Howard Zinn. This official site includes tributes and links to many of Zinn’s projects, including video clips from The People Speak, print and video interviews, and more. (H) bit.ly/d62in0
Truth Has a Power of Its Own: Conversations About A People’s History, by Howard Zinn, with Ray Suarez. Longtime admirers and a new generation of readers alike will be fascinated to learn about Zinn’s thought processes, rationale, motivations, and approach to his now-iconic historical work. Zinn’s humane (and often humorous) voice – along with his keen moral vision – shine through every one of these lively and thought-provoking conversations. (H, TR) bit.ly/36JNgKw
25 30th anniversary of Animal Enterprise Protection Act. Cloaked in language that seems to protect animals, this law, pushed by organizations that exploit animals, was aimed at animal rights activists. It prohibits people from interfering with “animal enterprise,” which includes organizations that use or sell animals or animal products. It brands protest activities as terrorism, although no one has been killed or seriously injured in the name of animal advocacy. The Act provides severe penalties for nonviolent illegal activities such as civil disobedience.
Ajijaak-Crane, by Cecelia LaPointe. Ajijaak is a bilingual (Ojibwe & English) children’s story about caring for the land and water that features a community resisting pollution by a nearby factory that is causing harm to the animals. (E) bit.ly/38HmaUR. Also find poetry and other publications for all ages by the author at anishinaabekwe.com.
The Lion Queens of India, by Jan Reynolds. Award-winning photojournalist Jan Reynolds offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the world of the endangered Asiatic lions and the female forest rangers who fight to save them. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3JwN52a
27 Mary Anderson, labor leader and women’s rights advocate, born (1872-1964). Anderson, a labor leader who advocated for women in the workplace, was the first director of the Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor and served for five presidents over a 24-year period. Through her efforts, Anderson saw the number of women workers more than double. She was considered one of the most influential women in the federal government.
Women in Labor History, by Zinn Education Project. Brief bios of notable women involved in the labor movement. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2H9V6PP
28 40th anniversary of the first Gay Games in San Francisco. According to their founder, Tom Waddell, the Gay Games were intended as a vehicle for change, activism, and celebration. Unlike the Olympics, almost anyone can participate in the Gay Games – you do not have to be an athlete or even LGBTQ. But activism is encouraged. Overall, the event is for Queer and trans people to gather safely, play sports they love, and declare their right to joy and visibility.
What’s My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the United States, by Dave Zirin. This book examines US history with a focus on racism, sexism, and homophobia in sports, along with the profound connection between sports and patriotic nationalism. (H, TR) bit.ly/3ciCvNG
30 90th anniversary of the beginning of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. In one of the biggest medical scandals of all time, poor, rural Black men infected with syphilis were denied treatment so doctors could study the progression of the disease. The participants thought they were getting free health care from the US government and were not told they had the disease. Twenty-eight men died as a direct result of syphilis; 100 died of related complications; 40 wives were infected; and 19 children were born with congenital syphilis.
Teaching Hard History Podcast, by Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries for Learning for Justice. This podcast provides educators with concrete ways to address “hard history,” from chattel slavery to the victories of and violent responses to the Civil Rights movement, to the present day. In Episode 13 Season 4, “Medical Racism: A Legacy of Malpractice,” award-winning historian Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens details a chronology of medical malpractice and racist misconceptions about health while highlighting lesser-known stories of medical innovations by African Americans. (H, TR) bit.ly/3NPC933
Medical Apartheid: Teaching the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, by Gretchen Kraig-Turner. This essay, from a high school Science teacher for Rethinking Schools, explains how she approaches the teaching of the Tuskegee Syphilis study and of medical apartheid more broadly. (TR) bit.ly/3uocFSO
31 60th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence from Britain. Originally two separate nations, Trinidad and Tobago has a long history of conquer and colonization by the Spanish, French, Dutch, and British. The British, the last colonizers, combined the two in 1888. After two decades of demands for more local control over their affairs, citizens of Trinidad and Tobago were granted the right to vote in 1945, which led to the formation of political parties and finally, after negotiations in London, independence as a democracy.
Independence Day [of Trinidad and Tobago] Address, by Eric Williams. Dr. Eric Williams delivered this speech over the radio on August 31, 1962, the first day of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence from Great Britain. (H) bit.ly/37YFr3F
31 Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, journalist, suffragist, abolitionist, and civil rights advocate, born (1842-1924). As a journalist and publisher, Ruffin founded Women’s Era, the first magazine published by an African American woman. She wrote in support of the women’s suffrage movement and against slavery and racism. She also wrote for numerous other newspapers, magazines, and publications and founded the Women’s Era Club. Ruffin was a founding member of the National Association of Colored Women as well as the Boston branch of the NAACP and the League of Women for Community Service.
Black Women and the Right to Vote, by TIME magazine’s “History You Didn’t Learn” series. This series sheds light on past events that may have been omitted, misleading, or just downright wrong in our History education in school. This 10-minute episode looks at the work of Black voting rights activists throughout history and how they were often sidelined by the mainstream Suffrage movement. (H) bit.ly/3jpJmsH
Citizen: 100 Years of Women’s Voting Rights, by Twin Cities PBS. From leading activists of all races, such as Indigenous politician Gertrude Bonnin, to Black Progressive Era leaders, such as Nellie Griswold Francis, the vote was seen as a mark of fuller citizenship and a tool for change in areas such as healthcare, children, and women’s rights. Celebrate these suffragists with Citizen, a full-length, hour-long documentary on the struggle for voting rights for women. (M, H) bit.ly/3uwhTw1
31 80th anniversary of the Luxembourg general strike. Protesting the conscription of males into the Wehrmacht by the Nazis, Luxembourgers called a general strike that spread quickly throughout the country. Virtually every aspect of the economy came to a halt. Walkouts in the steel industry were particularly crucial as Luxembourg was one of the top 10 steel producers at the time. The Nazi response was brutal and swift, with many executions, deportations to death camps, and children sent to re-education camps in Germany.
Paper Bullets: Two Women Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis, by Jeffrey Jackson. The first book to tell the history of an audacious anti-Nazi campaign undertaken by an unlikely pair: two French women, Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe, who drew on their skills as Parisian avant-garde artists to write and distribute “paper bullets” – wicked insults against Hitler, calls to rebel, and subversive fictional dialogues designed to demoralize Nazi troops occupying their adopted home. A compelling true story about the galvanizing power of art and resistance. (H) Free downloadable book club kit here: jeffreyhjackson.com/book-clubs
31 10th anniversary of the first Pride celebration in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Canada’s Northwest Territory is a vast land with a very small population. With fewer than 42,000 people, more than half of whom are Indigenous Canadians, it’s noteworthy that the Territory held its first Pride celebration. LGBTQI+ people are a part of every community, and being able to demonstrate pride in their authentic selves is worth celebrating.
Canadian Queer Events Historical Timelines, by Queer Events. Queer Events (QE) is a local 2SLGBTQ+ organization committed to working toward a strong, inclusive, and accessible Queer community in Canada. This site includes detailed timelines of historical resistance, marches, firsts, milestones, and more, delineating the history of Queer rights in Canada. (M, H) bit.ly/3x1LuPh
1 100th anniversary of first African Civilization course at a US university. William Leo Hansberry, a historian and anthropologist, believed sophisticated civilizations had existed in Africa, a controversial view in his day. He developed a pioneering and popular African Studies course at Howard University despite pressure from White academics and some of his Black colleagues who were skeptical of his ideas.
10 African-Centered Curriculum for Black Homeschoolers, by Muffy Mendoza for Brown Mamas. Curated by a homeschooling Black mother, this webpage includes a list of rich resources for teaching all content areas, including science and math, with an African-centered approach. (E, M) bit.ly/3jOjBm0
1 50th anniversary of the first national convention of the Raza Unida Party. The Raza Unida Party, organized by Chicano activists in Texas in 1970, sought better housing, job, and educational opportunities for Mexican Americans. The party developed in many other states and held its first national meeting on this date. About half of the estimated 1,500 participants were women, along with a large contingent of senior citizens.
Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, by Galan Incorporated. This four-part documentary series chronicles the struggle for equality and social justice of the Mexican American community in the United States from 1965 to 1975. It features the Chicano land struggle, César Chávez and the UFW, the Los Angeles High School walkouts, and the creation of the political party La Raza Unida. (H) bit.ly/2uDjSSd; related lesson from Facing History and Ourselves: bit.ly/2FQbzqB
1 100th anniversary of the Daugherty Injunction. Railroad workers revolted against a 12% wage cut. Nearly 400,000 workers walked off the job in July 1922. Pennsylvania Railroad president Samuel Rea hired more than 16,000 armed men to break the strike of nearly 20,000 employees at the company’s shops in Altoona, PA. On September 1, Attorney General Harry Daugherty got a federal Judge to issue a sweeping injunction, forbidding all activities encouraging the strike, violating the workers’ First Amendment right to free speech.
Freedom of Speech? A Lesson on Understanding the Protections and Limits of the First Amendment, by the New York Times. A lesson plan that asks students to explore the following questions: Why is freedom of speech an important right? When, if ever, can it be limited? Includes a rich set of relevant activities drawing on modern-day current events familiar to young people. (M, H) nyti.ms/3OmnvRh
1 20th anniversary of Quebec City’s first Pride parade. The Pride parade was the first in Quebec City and was held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Quebec Bill of Rights, which protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Pride in… THE ARTS!, by Emilie Dufresne. Sometimes being who you are can be a hard thing to do. Learn about people from across the LGBTQIA+ community who celebrate who they are and never stop fighting for what they believe in. No matter who you are, inside or out, this book is here to teach you that you can be proud of who you are. (E) akpress.org/the-arts-pride
5 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
5 50th anniversary of the founding of the Red School House. The Red School House, the second AIM-affiliated survival school to be established, after Hearth of the Earth Survival School, was an accredited Indian-controlled school in St. Paul, MN. The school provided culturally-based education programs and support services for Native American children in grades pre-K through 12. Programs were based on needs identified by parents and community members and sought to reverse the trends of Native children failing in the public school system.
Alcatraz Is Not an Island, a film by James Fourtier. This hour-long documentary tells the story of a small group of Native American students and “Urban Indians” who occupied Alcatraz Island in November 1969, and how it forever changed the way Native Americans viewed themselves, their culture, and their sovereign rights. (M, H) bit.ly/2dZjx4I
Red School House Photo Gallery, from the AIM Interpretive Center. Located in the heart of the American Indian Community of Minneapolis, the AIM Interpretive Center holds a legacy of millions of historical records, culture captured on media, radio archives, photographs, and the testimony of living elders who want the story of the American Indian Movement told. Their website includes a historic photo gallery from the Red School House, as well as a comprehensive PDF booklet on the history of the American Indian Movement that includes timelines, linked resources, primary sources, and more. (M, H, TR) aim-ic.org/red-school-house; Related 10-minute documentary on AIM: bit.ly/3ObSzmO
7 100th anniversary of Brazil’s independence from Portugal. Brazil took a circuitous route to independence because of its unusual position as the seat of the United Kingdom of Portugal after the defeat of the French in its attempt to take over Portugal. In 1821, encouraged by the success of the US revolution, an independence movement developed in Brazil, and by January 1822, they presented Portugal with demands for autonomy. Despite resistance from Portugal, Brazil declared its independence as an empire on September 7, 1822.
Along the Tapajós, by Fernando Vilela, translated by Daniel Hahn. Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts, and everyone travels around by boat – even to school! This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River. (E) bit.ly/3vsJ0Y6
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
We Need Diverse Books™, a grassroots campaign. We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. Website includes resources and book lists (TR). weneeddiversebooks.org
Reading, Writing, and Rising Up, by Linda Christensen. This 2nd edition of the Rethinking Schools classic is a completely revised edition full of teaching ideas to integrate literacy and social justice. Offering essays, teaching models, and a remarkable collection of student writing, Christensen builds on her catalog of social justice scholarship with a breathtaking set of tools and wisdom for teachers in the new millennium. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/3J1nrCD
10 Medea Benjamin, economist, nutritionist, feminist, and political activist, born (1952). Benjamin spent many years working as a nutritionist and economist for several entities, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. In 1988, she co-founded Global Exchange in San Francisco, aimed at finding and supporting fair trade alternatives. Benjamin also co-founded the feminist anti-war group Code Pink: Women for Peace.
Global Exchange Website. The Global Exchange website offers a wealth of resources for learning more about how the global economy works, who are the players, how do they make decisions, who benefits, and who suffers. (E, M, H, TR) globalexchange.org
12 50th anniversary of AIM’s occupation of Oklahoma Department of Education. Approximately 50 Native Americans took over the office of State Education Director Overton James, demanding his resignation for misappropriation of federal funds intended for education programs for Native American children. The occupation continued until a settlement was reached with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which agreed to an audit of Education Department expenditures, as well as allowing more Native input into programs affecting their children.
The American Indian Movement: A Primary Source Set, by Franky Abbott for the Digital Public Library of America. This primary source set uses documents, photographs, videos, and news stories to tell the story of the first decade of the American Indian Movement. There is an associated teaching guide, as well as additional resources for use by teachers. (H) bit.ly/361utdc
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 Latinx people 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 40th anniversary of NC Environmental Justice protest. Officials in North Carolina had selected Warren County, a predominantly low-income African American community, as the site to bury PCB-contaminated soil. When four years of litigation and negotiation failed to halt the project, local citizens marched to the landfill and lay down in front of trucks, launching six weeks of civil disobedience. Although they lost the battle, the protests helped launch a movement that combined the fight for racial and class equality with environmental justice.
The Environmental Justice Movement- Warren County, NDRC Website. This website chronicles the history leading up to and including the six-week protest campaign. (M, H) on.nrdc.org/3DxsBFa
15 Ann Weldy, author and educator, born (1932). Ann Weldy (pen name, Ann Bannon) is an American author and educator, whose early works include The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, a series of six lesbian pulp fiction novels. Her books contributed to the framing of early ideas about lesbian identity at a time when there were few mainstream novels about lesbian relationships.
14 YA Books About LGBTQ People of Color, by John Hansen. While White queer novels have become more popular in YA literature, LGBTQ+ teens of Color continue to be underrepresented. Here’s a list of 14 LGBTQ YA novels featuring protagonists of Color. (M, H) bit.ly/3uKVQ4L
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) bit.ly/1cNPPpp
17 160th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. This battle is often referred to as the bloodiest day in US history: 23,000 men were killed or wounded in a single day. It’s also an important day to remember that the Civil War, like all wars, was a “rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” Most of those killed or wounded were of the poorer classes. The Union victory at Antietam led to the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
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 Thirteenth 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
18 10th anniversary of successful Chicago Teachers Union strike. The 8-day Chicago teachers’ strike showed the importance of teachers using their collective power to demand that all children get the education they deserve. It also served as a model for how future organizers might build alliances among teachers, parents, and community organizations in resisting a pro-corporate, pro-privatization agenda. The strike continues to be a touchstone for organizers today.
Oh, the Things We’re For!, by Innosanto Nagara. By the author of A is for Activist, this rhyming picture book provides young children a vision of the better world that is possible through activism. (E) bit.ly/3O9Z89g
20 60th anniversary of Ed Roberts’ admission to U C Berkeley. Ed Roberts was paralyzed from the neck down and relied on a respirator to breathe. He was accepted to the University of California at Berkeley, but his offer of admission was rescinded when the university realized he was disabled. Roberts fought the decision and won. While at Berkeley, he helped develop the Physically Disabled Students Program and later the Center for Independent Living, which fought for greater inclusion for people with disabilities.
The Collection: Oral Histories/Archives from the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement, hosted by UC-Berkeley. This collection consists of more than 100 oral histories with leaders and shapers of the Disability Rights and Independent Living movement from the 1960s onward, along with an extensive archive of personal papers of activists and records of key organizations. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2iUUKMT
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, by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul. From the Cooperative Children’s Book Center: “A picture book inviting young readers and listeners to consider the concept of “peace,” features a rhyming narrative with statements as welcome as they are sometimes surprising (e.g., “Peace is pronouncing your friend’s name correctly.”). The idea that peace is created by intention gives agency to the book’s audience, providing concrete examples of actions that can matter.” (E) bit.ly/3E17I5s
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
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 the 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
22 30th anniversary of the publication of “Unequal Environmental Protection”. The special report chronicles the double standards and differential treatment of People of Color and Whites in environmental protection. The report showed that White communities received faster cleanup and harsher punishment of polluters than communities of Color, regardless of the socioeconomic makeup of the communities.
Analyzing Environmental Justice, by Learning for Justice. A lesson that helps students understand how pollution disproportionately affects people who are poor and members of racial and ethnic minorities, as well as how to use a map to locate environmental injustice. (M, H) bit.ly/2wQsYw4
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
22 100th anniversary of the Cable Act. In 1907, Congress passed the Expatriation Act, which required women who married non-citizens to lose their US citizenship. However, after women gained suffrage in 1920, Congress passed the Cable Act of 1922, which restored citizenship to women who had lost it under the Expatriation Act of 1907.
When Saying “I Do” Meant Giving Up Your US Citizenship, by Meg Hacker and Prologue. This 6-page brochure includes background about the repatriation efforts of women born in the United States who were forced to give up their citizenship when they married their immigrant husbands. This changed in 1922 with the passage of the Cable Act. This resource includes primary resources such as petitions for naturalization, applications, and photos. (H, TR) bit.ly/3JTLTpX
23 100th anniversary of the Hughes-Peynado Plan. Concerned that Germany would use the Dominican Republic as a military base during WWI, and following unrest after the assassination of the Dominican president, the US began a military and administrative occupation in 1916. Dissatisfied with the ruling government, the US imposed full military control. International criticism finally led to a planned US withdrawal. Dominican negotiator Fernando Peynado and US Secretary of State Charles Hughes signed the Hughes-Peynado Plan to end US occupation by September 1924.
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
25 Cherríe Moraga, poet, playwright, essayist, and publisher, born (1952). Moraga, whose writing focuses on her experiences as a Xicana lesbian, is a founding member of La Red Xicana Indígena, an advocacy network of Xicanas working in education, the arts, spiritual practice, and Indigenous women’s rights. She was awarded the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature, the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lambda Foundation’s “Pioneer” award, among other honors. She has also won several awards for playwrighting.
500 Years of Chicana Women’s History, by Elizabeth Martinez. Stories and photos of Chicana/Mexican American women in politics, labor, art, health and more. (H) bit.ly/2lguk9w
26 Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on 9/25/2021, ends 9/27/2021 (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 guidebook for celebrating the Jewish New Year. Traditional foods and the sequence in which they are eaten are described. Each chapter includes the history of the food, an activity, recipes, and more. (E) bit.ly/2ShDgLT
26 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
26 30th anniversary of the first Critical Mass bike ride in the US. Originally called “Commute Clot,” Critical Mass rides are gatherings of cyclists at a set time to travel through a city or town. In September 1992, a group of 50 riders struck out across San Francisco, disrupting traffic, to protest the lack of safe cycling routes and designated cycling lanes. The ride has political roots and an anarchist reputation, and has since spread to more than 300 locations, with cyclists from all over the world participating.
What is Critical Mass?, by Time’s Up. Gives some history and background of Critical Mass and information about its goals and how to get involved. The Second link is a Wiki for CM rides around the globe. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/1qj1EKX
26 Gloria Anzaldúa, Chicana scholar, poet, writer, educator, and activist, born (1942-2004). Anzaldúa spent her life exploring issues related to feminism, borders, identity, and queer theory. Her writing, which wove together poetry and prose, examined the multiple parts of her identity and the experience of crossing physical and emotional borders. Describing herself as a Chicana/Tejana/lesbian/dyke/feminist/writer/poet/cultural theorist, she looked for ways to build a multicultural, inclusive feminist movement. Anzaldúa was the recipient of the NEA Fiction Award and the Lambda Lesbian Small Press Book Award.
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa. Originally released in 1981, this edited collection is a testimony to Women of Color feminism as it emerged in the last quarter of the 20th century, through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art. (H) bit.ly/3ri6m13
27 60th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring. Rachel Carson was a marine biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Her book, Silent Spring, exposed the hazards of the pesticide DDT and helped launch the environmental movement. Carson saw the interconnectedness of every aspect of nature. She became alarmed when DDT became widely used and recorded the irreparable damage it caused. Despite widespread skepticism, Carson’s reporting was confirmed by independent scientists, leading to new, stricter regulations on industry to protect the environment.
Unit on Silent Spring, by Bill Moyers Journal. This is a lesson plan designed for middle to high school classrooms that focuses on the first chapter of Silent Spring. (M, H, TR) to.pbs.org/tjT0B4
Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement, by Stephanie Roth Sisson. A picture book biography of Rachel Carson, the iconic environmentalist who fought to keep the sounds of nature from going silent. Spring After Spring traces Carson’s journey as a scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement. (E) Lesson plan from The Tiny Activist here: bit.ly/3j0SsvZ
30 60th anniversary of the founding of the National Farm Workers Association. Chicanx activists, led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) – now known as the United Farm Workers – to support and defend the rights of farmworkers to decent working conditions and wages. The NFWA largely acted for change through boycotts, marches, and fasts, and is also known for mobilizing the Chicanx movement in the US.
Introduction to Activism: Closer Look at Dolores Huerta, by Eden McCauslin for The National Women’s History Museum. Using videoclips and speeches, this lesson plan takes a closer look at one of the key activists in the Women’s, Workers’ and Immigrants’ Rights movements in the 20th century. (M, H) bit.ly/2SlWgsN
Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories, by S. Beth Atkins. Now in paperback, this critically acclaimed book features photographs, poems, and interviews with nine children who reveal the hardships and hopes of today’s Mexican American migrant farmworkers and their families. (M, H) bit.ly/2TkzA0C
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.
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
Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want To Know About Fast Food, by Charles Wilson and Eric Schlosser. This book, accompanied by a teacher’s guide, gives a behind-the-scenes perspective on the fast-food industry and how fast-food companies feed off of young families and young adults. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/3iYJuiU
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 60th anniversary of James Meredith’s admission to University of Mississippi. After the NAACP filed a suit against the University of Mississippi for denying Meredith admission based on his race, Meredith was finally admitted. The Governor attempted to block Meredith from attending, but a deal was made between the Governor and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and on October 1, Meredith became the first Black student at the University.
James Meredith: “Still at War” 50 Years After Ending Segregation, by Sol B. River. A BBC Newsnight exclusive interview (8-minutes) with James Meredith on the 50th anniversary of his entrance to Ole Miss. (H) bit.ly/37xsdKR
Integrating Ole Miss: A Civil Rights Milestone, by the JFK Presidential Library. This entire microsite, which includes primary sources, multimedia and other resources, a timeline, and more, is dedicated to the integration of the University of Mississippi in the early 1960s. The site supports students as they explore what created the opportunity for integration, various perspectives on the events, and the aftermath and lasting impact. (H) bit.ly/380esoy
3 90th anniversary of Iraq’s independence from Britain. What is now known as Iraq was under Turkish Ottoman rule for centuries. During WWI, Britain seized control of Iraq from Turkey, and in 1920, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate to govern. A Hashemite monarchy was organized under British protection the following year. Arab resistance movements challenged European imperialism immediately and the Kingdom of Iraq became an independent country in 1932, 12 years after it was created by the British.
20 Children’s Books set in the Middle East & Northern Africa, by Colours of Us. A collection of books ranging in age and subject matter to introduce North Africa and the Middle East to children, starting at a young age. (E, M) bit.ly/37uOn0S
4 Bernice Johnson Reagon, singer, composer, scholar, and activist, born (1942). Reagon has been a major cultural voice for freedom and justice through her work in the Civil Rights movement as well as significant contributions to scholarship, composition, and performance. She is probably best known for founding the a capella group, Sweet Honey In the Rock. Reagon has received numerous awards for her decades of work, including the Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities, The Presidential Medal for Contributions to Humanities, and a MacArthur Fellowship.
Sweet Honey in the Rock Teacher Resource Guide. While this guide was originally designed to accompany a live performance, the K-12 lesson plans and background information can be used with a Sweet Honey in the Rock CD. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3K65yUD
5 Yom Kippur begins at sunset on 10/4/2022 and ends at sunset on 10/5/2022 (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
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) bit.ly/3NJf5De
5 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
6 50th anniversary of the Trail of Broken Treaties protest. American Indian Movement (AIM) activists and members of the Rosebud Sioux organized three caravans, departing from Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, heading for Washington, DC. A fourth caravan set out from Oklahoma and followed the path of the Trail of Tears. An estimated 700 activists representing more than 200 tribes from 25 states took part in the protest. No government officials were willing to meet with the protesters, who had drawn up a 20-point manifesto listing their demands.
Creating a Class Land Acknowledgment Statement, by the Morningside Center for Social Responsibility. In this two-day lesson plan, students learn about the growing effort to acknowledge the Indigenous people whose lands we inhabit – and create their own land acknowledgment statement. (M, H) bit.ly/3x1bFWv
9 60th anniversary of Uganda’s independence from Britain. Great Britain claimed Uganda as a protectorate in 1894, bringing thousands of indentured servants from India to build a railway and later to fill the role of the merchant class, which native Ugandans were prevented from becoming. Over the years, Ugandans pressed for independence and in 1961, British and Ugandan representatives reached an agreement. Formal independence took place on October 9, 1962, with Milton Obote its first elected prime minister.
Sing to the Moon, by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl. Set in Uganda, a young boy and his grandfather spend the day doing such chores as packing peas, clearing wet bamboo leaves from the veranda, and cleaning the tilapia for a fish stew. With every task, Jjajja shares stories about a childhood friend and fishing trips with his father. And after dinner, Jjajja shares his love of books filled with beloved tales of African kingdoms. (E) bit.ly/3uoNFee
9 110th anniversary of the Little Falls (NY) textile strike. A mostly immigrant female workforce (Red Sweater Girls) at two textile mills began a wildcat strike to force their employer to follow a new state law limiting the workweek for women and children to 54 hours. Several thousand workers participated, aided by organizers from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Despite violent police oppression, the workers held out and on January 3, 1913, won the shortened workweek with no reduction in pay.
Birth of a Rank-and-File Organizer, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Writing activity for students to complete the narrative of women workers striking at a glove-making factory, exploring possible outcomes. (H) bit.ly/1BTmt2P
9 10th anniversary of attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai. Women’s rights and education activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she rode the bus on her way home from school in Pakistan. The attack was in retaliation for Malala’s advocacy for the educational rights of girls and women. She miraculously survived the brutal attack and received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2014 for continuing to speak out for women’s rights. She graduated from Oxford University in 2020.
Malala Yousafzai and Girls’ Right to Education: A Booklist, by Kitaab World. A collection of inspiring stories that advocate for girls’ right to education and that show how providing an education to one girl can empower families and make an impact on entire communities. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3DzmGzq
One World Poster: Featuring Malala Yousafzai, by Learning for Justice. Free, printable poster featuring a quote from Malala Yousafzai: “Let us remember: One book, one pen, and one teacher can change the world.” (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/37zFEtM
10 First day of Sukkot begins at sunset 10/9/2021, ends at sunset 10/16/2021 (Judaism). Sukkot is a 7-day harvest holiday that commemorates the 40-year period during which the Jews wandered the desert.
Shanghai Sukkah, by Heidi Smith Hyde. Fleeing the Holocaust in Europe, Marcus moves with his family from Berlin to Shanghai, where he doubts this unfamiliar city will ever feel like home. But with help from his new friend Liang, and the answers to a rabbi’s riddle, Marcus sets out to build a unique sukkah in time for the harvest festival of Sukkot. (E, M) bit.ly/3rjViR5
10 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 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 50th anniversary of the founding of El Centro de la Raza in Seattle, WA. Having lost their community center to budget cuts, about 70 activists occupied the abandoned Beacon Hill Elementary School in Seattle in search of a new home. They demanded attention to a variety of civil rights, social justice, and equality issues. Although initiated by Latinx people, as the name implies, it is a Center for People of All Races with the goals of organizing, empowering, and defending the basic human rights of our most vulnerable populations.
Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States, compiled by Warren Binford. Every day, children in migration are detained at the US-Mexico border. Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz shares the stories of 61 of these children from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Mexico, ranging in age from 5 to 17 – in their own words from actual sworn testimonies. Includes information, questions, and action points. Buying this book benefits Project Amplify, an organization that supports children in migration. (E, M, H) bit.ly/37aHDoH
11 10th anniversary of Day in Solidarity with Honduras. With a massive upswing in violence against human rights defenders, Honduras is considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries. Assassinations of journalists, lawyers, and activists have become commonplace. Women activists are the prime targets for sexual violence, forced evictions, and murder. Day of Solidarity with Honduras mobilized 121 Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) in 10 countries to denounce violence against women and to demonstrate to WHRDs in Honduras that they are not alone.
13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance, by Melissa Cardoza. Feminist author and activist Melissa Cardoza tells 13 stories about women from the Honduran resistance in the aftermath of the coup against President Manuel Zelaya. Cardoza weaves the stories of 13 women together in a way that leaves readers who are unfamiliar with the events surrounding the coup and resistance in Honduras convinced of their fundamental importance to liberation struggles everywhere. (H) bit.ly/3jnhKnY
12 530th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the Caribbean. Christopher Columbus, sailing under the Spanish flag, reached the Caribbean, which he had mistaken for various Asian countries, notably India and Japan. Columbus ordered his crew to take the indigenous Taíno people as slaves, saying, “…they will all be subjected and made to do all that we wish.” He made good on that, treating the Taíno with great brutality, as he and his men did at all their future stops in the New World.
Christopher the Ogre Cologre, It’s Over! by Dr. Oriel Maria Siu. This picture book reimagines Columbus as a monstrous ogre who ravages the Americas. The second link is to a teaching guide created by several ethnic studies scholars to support educators in developing curricula that dismantles the dangerous lies and myths taught in schools about Christopher Columbus and White settler colonialism. (E) bit.ly/3LGXABt; teaching guide: bit.ly/3K80RJM
12 30th anniversary of the first Day of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, Berkeley, CA. The day, formerly celebrated as Columbus Day, was designed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. The aim was to call attention to the atrocities committed by Columbus and his men against the Native peoples as they sought to take over the New World, including death and starvation through diseases, warfare, and massacres, and forced assimilation of the White man’s culture.
Native Writers: Voices of Power, by Kim Sigafus and Lyle Ernst. This compilation features 10 influential Native writers, whose novels, short stories and plays draw from personal experience to create situations and characters that are entertaining and poignant. (M, H) bit.ly/3qZvKsu
14 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. US Intelligence discovered Soviet nuclear missile installations in Cuba, prompting a tense standoff between the two nations, bringing them to the brink of nuclear war. The US formed a naval blockade around Cuba to prevent any additional Soviet munitions from reaching the island nation. The conflict was resolved after the Soviets agreed to remove their weapons in exchange for a promise by the US not to invade Cuba and to remove its missiles from Turkey.
The Cuban Missile Crisis: How to Respond?, by the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy’s advisors discussed many options regarding how they might respond to the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba. In this lesson, students examine primary source documents and recordings to consider some of the options discussed by Kennedy’s advisors during this crisis and the rationale for why the president might have selected the path he chose. (H) bit.ly/3JsJrXa
14 120th anniversary of first Korean married couple immigrating to US. Ahn Chang-ho was a Korean independence activist and leader of the Korean American immigrant community in the US. In 1902, he came to California with his wife, Lee Hye-ryeon, the first Korean married couple to immigrate to the US. They helped establish Pachappa Camp, the first Korean American community in the US in Riverside, CA. Ahn also created the Korean Labor Bureau, which helped Korean laborers, many of whom worked in California’s citrus groves.
The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story, by Tina Cho. A breathtaking picture book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world. Illustrated by Jess X. Snow. (E, M) tinamcho.com/the-ocean-calls
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
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.
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 brought on by industrial development. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/3vfaYFE
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
Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard of the Fight Against GMOs and Corporate Agriculture, edited by Vandana Shiva. In this unique anthology, women from around the world write about the movement to change the current industrial paradigm of how we grow our food. As seed keepers and food producers, as scientists, activists, and scholars, they are dedicated to renewing a food system that is better aligned with ecological processes as well as human health and global social justice. (H) bit.ly/3JwFYa2
16 Leon Sullivan, Baptist pastor, community activist, and civil rights leader, born (1922-2001). Sullivan’s activism was focused largely on creating job opportunities for African Americans, promoting a model of collective self-help. He organized what he called “Selective Patronage” boycotts, urging African Americans not to shop where they could not get a job. He also started a job training center and organized Black people to pool their money to invest in the economic development of their communities.
Leon Sullivan: A Principled Man, a documentary by MotionMasters. Leon Howard Sullivan was a Baptist minister, social activist, and civil rights leader. Narrated by Ossie Davis, this hour-long documentary chronicles Sullivan’s life and work. (H) bit.ly/3Kws210
17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This day promotes the need to eradicate poverty worldwide, especially in the global South.
Income Inequality and the Fight over Wealth Distribution, from the series Issues in Action. This book explores the US history of racism and sexism that has created wealth gaps among demographic groups. The book helps younger readers learn how income inequality originated, why it is a problem, and the ways people are fighting for an equal playing field. (E, M) bit.ly/36Md6gX
Teaching Economics As If People Mattered, by United for a Fair Economy. A collection of lesson plans about economics from a social justice perspective. (H) bit.ly/6AIy7u
18 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. The Water Pollution Control Act, often referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA), is the primary federal law governing water pollution. The act aims at restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. CWA established national programs for the prevention, reduction, and elimination of pollution in navigable water and groundwater. It also set up water quality standards and required permits for discharge and treatment of wastewater and storm water.
Measuring Water with Justice, by Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools. This article discusses several strategies to teach about the costs of producing water, who should have rights to drinking water, and how oil spills affect ecosystems and communities. (E, M, TR) bit.ly/2Hdy6y6
20 80th anniversary of the Durham Manifesto. The Durham Manifesto, issued by the Southern Conference on Race Relations, held in North Carolina in 1942, outlined the demands of Black residents in the southern US. Specifically, they demanded an end to segregation, as well as voting rights and equal pay for Black people. At the time, Black Americans were angry that they were asked to fight overseas in the name of democracy, while they were denied basic civil rights at home.
Teaching Hard History Podcast, by Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries for Learning for Justice. This podcast provides educators with concrete ways to address “hard history,” from chattel slavery, to the victories of and violent responses to the Civil Rights movement, to the present day. In Episode 16: Walking in Their Shoes: Using #BlackLivesMatter to Teach the Civil Rights Movement, historians Shannon King and Nishani Frazier use today’s Black activism to help students understand the movement’s history and the antecedents to the anti-Black racism we see today. (H, TR) bit.ly/3rqRyxx
21 50th anniversary of Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The primary objectives of the MMPA were to prevent marine mammal species and stocks from diminishing to the point that they are no longer a significant functioning part of their ecosystems and to restore diminished species and stocks to their optimum sustainable populations. The law prohibits killing, taking, or harassing any marine mammal without a permit and bans the importation of any nursing marine mammal or its mother.
Oil Spill!, by Melvin Berger. Did you know that an oil spill occurs somewhere in the world almost every day of the year? Oil harms plants and wildlife that make the oceans and coastlines their home. Scientists are learning the best ways to combat oil spills. Learn how you can help, too! This is a clear and appealing science book for early elementary age kids, both at home and in the classroom. (E) bit.ly/366ziC4
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. 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 and examines how it feels to be a human being on all sides of this event. (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
22 120th anniversary of Takuji Yamashita being barred from practicing law. The Washington State Supreme Court decided unanimously that Yamashita, a Japanese immigrant and University of Washington Law School graduate, was not eligible to become a naturalized citizen because he was Japanese and therefore also not eligible to practice law. Yamashita was an activist for Asian American rights, who also challenged the law against Asians owning land. He was posthumously honored as a member of the state bar 99 years later, in 2001.
Anti-Asian Racism in History & in Our Lives, by Liz Young of the Morningside Center for Social Responsibility. In this unit, students learn about one Asian American family, consider some key dates in the history of racism against Asian Americans, and learn about and discuss their own family histories. Lesson includes resources, questions, and homework that links the past and the present. (E, M) bit.ly/3u4iR2a
22 50th anniversary of the founding of SORWUC Vancouver, BC. The Service, Office, and Retail Workers’ Union of Canada was an independent union, established by a Founding Convention of 24 women. Its goal was to represent and organize occupations that were excluded from the traditional trade unions of the time. Most of the workers SORWUC organized were women; their legal battles centered around struggles for equal pay, maternity leave, living wages, legislation against sexual harassment, and gender and race-based discrimination in the workplace.
Working Women’s Workshop, by Rise Up Feminism. This webpage tells the story of the formation of the Vancouver Women’s Caucus to organize working women into a union in the 1970s. The page includes a downloaded book outlining the formation of the Service, Office and Retail Workers Union of Canada (SORWUC), pamphlets, a timeline, posters, fliers, and more. (H, TR) bit.ly/3KOvYKO
23 120th anniversary of the end of the Great Anthracite Coal Strike. The Great Anthracite Coal Strike (from 5/12 to 10/23, 1902) was a work stoppage by 147,000 Pennsylvania coal miners over wages and working conditions and union recognition. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed mediators to arbitrate the negotiations between the coal operators and miners because the strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to all major cities, creating great hardship for American citizens and businesses. The miners achieved a 10% pay increase and a reduction in workday hours.
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/35Y6E5U
23 30th anniversary of Wild Bird Conservation Act. The act banned the importation of 10 bird species whose survival was most threatened by capture for the commercial pet trade. It also directed the Secretary of the Interior to enforce the conservation and humane treatment standards of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), saving hundreds of thousands of exotic birds from unnecessary suffering and death.
Where Have All the Birds Gone?: Nature in Crisis, by Rebecca E. Hirsch. Birds are nature’s essential workers, and they are crucial members of ecosystems around the world. Since 1970, nearly 30 percent of all birds in the United States and Canada have vanished. Scientists are scrambling to figure out what may be causing such a drastic decline. The answer: humans. In this book, discover the vast impacts birds have on ecosystems, food systems, and human communities, and learn more about what scientists are doing to protect them. (H) bit.ly/3LWN09A
23 20th anniversary of the Second People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. Held in Washington, DC, the summit sought to evaluate gains in the Environmental Justice movement and incorporate networks across academics, foundations, agencies, and religious and government institutions since the first summit in 1991. Organizational networks that had been established at the first summit and new participants to the movement came together in a unified effort to continue planning a national strategy and policy to empower, educate, organize, and inform those most affected by environmental racism.
One Earth: People of Color Protecting the Planet, by Anuradha Rao. This book 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 from all around the world. (E, M) bit.ly/2PPwP6q
24 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
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) interactadvocates.org
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 30th anniversary of International Dolphin Conservation Act. This act instituted a global moratorium on tuna fishing that kills dolphins. It imposed embargoes and sanctions against countries failing to abide by the global moratorium and established the United States as a dolphin-safe zone. It also prohibited the sale, purchase, and transport of tuna and tuna products that were not dolphin-safe and provided $3 million a year for research on fishing techniques that do not kill dolphins.
Dolphins in the Media, a lesson plan by Project LookSmart. In this lesson, students analyze a book cover, a magazine cover, a tweet, a poster, a cartoon, a toy, and an advertisement for messages about dolphins and environmental concerns. (E) bit.ly/36KZkv2
27 30th anniversary of the murder of Allen R. Schindler, Jr. Schindler, a Petty Officer in the US Navy, was brutally murdered by his shipmate, Terry M. Helvey, for being gay. Schindler had previously reported being harassed because of his sexuality, but the Navy denied having any knowledge of such instances after his murder. The events led to the passage of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bill. Helvey was sentenced to life in prison. The ship’s captain was simply transferred to another post.
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) to.pbs.org/1vMdTAC
27 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s veto of the Rehabilitation Act. The Rehabilitation Act of 1972 differed greatly from previous attempts to provide assistance to the disabled. Among the differences, it required federal agencies and large government contractors to use affirmative action and non-discrimination practices in hiring the disabled. In addition, it provided funding to the states to train the disabled to live independently. Nixon took advantage of a congressional recess to issue a pocket veto, which could not be overridden.
Abolition and Disability Justice, by the Abolition and Disability Justice Coalition. This site includes a free downloadable booklet, resources, printable materials, and other supportive links to teaching people about alternatives to policing based in a disability justice framework. It focuses on the particular harms of the prison industrial complex on the disabled community. (H, TR) abolitionanddisabilityjustice.com
28 Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, abolitionist, writer, orator, and women’s rights activist, born (1842-1932). Dickinson began public speaking when she was just 13 years old, primarily on the topic of slavery. During the Civil War, she was one of only a few women to speak out against the injustices of slavery, even criticizing President Lincoln for not renouncing slavery. She raised awareness on political topics, including women’s rights, reconstruction, and temperance, and was hired to give campaign speeches for Republican candidates in several states, most of whom won their elections.
The Anna Dickinson Papers, by the Library of Congress. Thousands of primary source documents related to abolitionist and suffragist Anna Dickinson, from 1842 to 1932. Includes the images and texts of several letters written to and by Dickinson, including letters from Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. (H, TR) bit.ly/3vozlSd
29 10th anniversary of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. Sandy began in the Bahamas on October 22 and moved up the east coast of the US, making landfall October 29 near Atlantic City, NJ. The storm left more than $70 billion in property damage and caused more than 150 deaths. The storm hit during a full moon and high tide, maximizing its destructive coastal flooding potential. The storm surge reached a record 13 feet. This event brought into focus the consequences of climate change.
Rising Seas: Flooding, Climate Change, and Our New World, by Keltie Thomas. This book gives youth an eye-popping view of what the Earth might look like under the rising and falling water levels of climate change. Photographs juxtapose the present-day with that same area’s projected future. The shocking images will help readers understand the urgency for action. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2TvmWLw
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
Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present, by Adrienne Keene. Celebrate the lives, stories, and contributions of Indigenous artists, activists, scientists, athletes, and other changemakers in this beautifully illustrated collection. The book also offers accessible primers on important Indigenous issues, from the legacy of colonialism and cultural appropriation to food sovereignty, land and water rights, and more. An indispensable read for people of all backgrounds seeking to learn about Native American heritage, histories, and cultures. (E, M, H) bit.ly/36JO2qU
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. (M, H) bit.ly/SY3Tx
Vegan Is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action, by Ruby Roth. Roth explores the many opportunities we have to make ethical decisions: refusing products tested on or made from animals; avoiding sea parks, circuses, animal races, and zoos; choosing to buy organic food; and more. Roth’s message is direct but sensitive, bringing into sharp focus what it means to “put our love into action.” (E) Book trailer by the author here: bit.ly/2OjIF8w
1 70th anniversary of the explosion of the first hydrogen bomb. The US detonated the first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb, on Enewetak atoll in the Pacific. The bomb was 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. Opponents of the hydrogen bomb argued that little would be accomplished except an acceleration of the arms race, and they were correct. The Soviet Union exploded a thermonuclear device the following year. By the late 1970s, seven nations had constructed hydrogen bombs.
The Bomb Factor, by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This site houses three free units about the impact of and issues surrounding nuclear weapons. Includes: Concepts about Conflict; Chernobyl; Famous Whistleblowers; and Pressure Groups, among others. Designed for British students but could be adapted to an American classroom. (M, H) bit.ly/2SxeebG
2 El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), begins on 11/1 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 every day 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
2 50th anniversary of Native American protesters’ occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) headquarters. The Trail of Broken Treaties protest aimed at redressing grievances of the Native American population for centuries of ill treatment by the US government. When they arrived in DC and found no government official willing to discuss their 20-point manifesto, the protesters took over the BIA building, occupying it for a week. Government infiltrators incited violence, which resulted in significant damage to the building as well as to the public perception of the Native Americans’ cause.
The American Indian Rights Movement, from the series Movements That Matter. This book shares the resistance of American Indians since the early years of the United States, when the government began stripping American Indians of their rights and forcing them off their lands onto reservations. (E, M) bit.ly/2uwgAAL
3 David Ho, scientist and HIV/AIDS researcher, born (1952). David Ho is a Taiwanese American virologist, physician, and researcher who has made numerous scientific contributions toward the understanding and treatment of HIV infection. Dr. Ho was one of the first scientists to identify the cause of AIDS as a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. In 1996, Dr. Ho combined AIDS medications in a way that stopped the progression of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Dr. David Ho: Person of the Year, by TIME Magazine. In this 5-minute video, TIME Senior Science Reporter Alice Park talks with AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho, the 1996 choice for TIME’s Person of the Year. (M, H) bit.ly/3rB60Tk
3 50th anniversary of New York protests of Rehabilitation Act veto. Activists for disabled citizens blocked traffic in Manhattan to protest President Nixon’s veto of the Rehabilitation Act, which would have provided a wide range of assistance for people with disabilities. One group of protesters gathered outside the Roosevelt Hotel, where the Committee to Re-elect Nixon was located. They entered the building, staging a sit-in, demanding that Nixon debate them on the issue. That didn’t happen. Another group gathered outside the Federal Building.
Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults): 17 First-Person Stories for Today, edited by Alice Wong. Edited by a leading disability activist, this version of Disability Justice adapts the original collection of first-person stories of disability activism for young readers. The collection is designed to educate and inspire young people to understand modern-day disability activism and to engage in it. (M, H) disabilityvisibilityproject.com/book
5 150th anniversary of the first woman on a US Presidential ballot. Victoria Woodhull would not have been 35 by the time of the March inauguration, so she couldn’t have taken office, but ran on the Equal Rights Party ticket with Frederick Douglass against Ulysses S. Grant (Republican) and Horace Greeley (Liberal Republican/Democrat). She was unable to vote for herself as New York voting was restricted to men and she was in jail on Election Day for a story she had published in her newspaper.
A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull, by Kathleen Krull. Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to do many things: the first woman to own a newspaper, to speak before Congress, and to have a seat on the stock exchange. But her boldest act was announcing herself as the first female candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1872 – before women even had the right to vote. (E) bit.ly/3DAhwDg
6 10th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in multiple states. In November 2012, voters in Maine, Maryland, and the District of Columbia passed referenda enabling same-sex couples to legally marry in those states. In Minnesota, voters rejected a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage. These four ballot measures marked the first time that same-sex marriage was approved by the popular vote rather than by legislative or court action. It was a clear sign that the tide had turned in voter sentiment on the issue.
Freedom To Marry. This campaign website provides historic and current information about nationwide efforts to secure equal marriage rights for all couples. Includes ideas for social action. (TR) bit.ly/Bc01l
7 First day of Children’s Book Week (Fall)
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center, by the University of Wisconsin’s School of Education. The website of the CCBC includes many helpful resources related to intellectual freedom and children’s books, including a “Book of the Week” review and feature that alerts educators to the most recently published books for children and young adults centered on representation and social justice. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/3M9VieG
8 Election Day. This is an “off-year” election, meaning the President and Vice President are not up for election. However, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 Senate seats will be contested, as will 36 state and 3 territorial governorships. There are also numerous local government offices up for grabs. Unfortunately, voter turnout tends to be low in off-year elections, but the stakes this year couldn’t be higher. Many states are enacting voter suppression laws that will disproportionately affect the poor and People of Color, and the only way to fight this trend is by voting out those who would deny citizens their right to vote.
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
Why Local Elections Matter, a lesson plan from Learning for Justice. In this lesson, students explore the ways that decisions by local governments affect their lives. They’ll review research and data about a few recent local elections to push back against the myth that a single vote doesn’t matter. They’ll learn how laws in their state encourage or suppress voter engagement. And, in an extension activity, eligible students learn how to register to vote. (M, H) bit.ly/3j7VBtM
8 70th anniversary of the Mayibuye Uprising. As part of the Defiance Campaign led by the African National Congress, the Mayibuye Uprising took place at a beer hall in Kimberley to protest South African apartheid. Thirteen protesters were killed and 78 others were seriously wounded when government security forces opened fire on the protesters. The Defiance Campaign was a series of acts of civil disobedience to protest the apartheid regime, similar to the acts of defiance of Black Americans protesting Jim Crow.
The Apartheid Museum. The Apartheid Museum in South Africa hosts an online exhibition with educational resources for teaching about the history and legacy of apartheid. (M, H) bit.ly/12HQ1jN
9 Elijah Parish Lovejoy, abolitionist, born (1802-1837). Lovejoy, a White Presbyterian minister, was the editor of the St. Louis Observer, an abolitionist, anti-Jacksonian paper. After his printing press had been destroyed for a third time because of his critical opinions on slavery, Lovejoy moved to Alton, IL where he started another abolitionist paper, the Alton Observer. In November 1837, a mob attacked the paper’s warehouse, and Lovejoy was murdered.
Teaching a People’s History of Abolition and the Civil War, a teaching guide edited by Adam Sanchez. Students explore some of the most significant grassroots social movements for abolition 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
11 Veterans Day. Veterans Day (previously called Armistice Day) was originally intended to mark the end of World War I. Now it is a day to celebrate all those who have served in the US Armed Forces.
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, curriculum materials, and poetry. (H, TR) 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) projectyano.org
11 30th anniversary of Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards. This volume of 16 articles, written primarily by scholars of Color, exposes the facts of environmental inequity and its consequences. It is only the second book of its kind following Bullard’s 1990, Dumping in Dixie, which expanded on his 1983 paper, “Solid Waste and the Black Houston Community.”
Just an Environment or a Just Environment? Racial Segregation and Its Impacts, by Hyung Kyu Nam, PBS. This high school lesson plan uses Race – The Power of an Illusion, from PBS, to explore causes of environmental racism and racial segregation. Teaching activity includes a mock tribunal. (H, TR) to.pbs.org/UzNrYQ
13 100th anniversary of Takao Ozawa v. United States. American jingoism reared its ugly head when Takao Ozawa attempted to change his classification from “Japanese” to “White” in order to obtain citizenship. The US Supreme court ruled Ozawa ineligible because he wasn’t “Caucasian.” Ozawa was a graduate of a US college and had lived in the States for 20 years, raising his children and assimilating into American culture. Although otherwise qualified for naturalization and citizenship, his application was rejected solely on the basis of race.
Race: The Power of an Illusion, by California Newsreal. A three-part documentary and companion website on perceptions and notions of race. Rather than focusing on biology, the series focuses on the role race plays in social and economic advantages and disadvantages. (H, TR) bit.ly/YWwm2w
13 40th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Maya Lin, a Chinese American artist, was still a student at Yale when her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. was selected from nearly 1,500 submissions. Lin’s simple V-shaped design was intended to simulate a wound in the earth to symbolize the pain caused by the war and its many casualties. Initially derided by many veterans and others, the memorial soon became one of the most popular public memorials in the country.
Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines, by Jeanne Walker Harvey. The daughter of a clay artist and a poet, Maya Lin grew up with art and learned to think with her hands as well as her mind. From her first experiments with light and lines to the height of her national acclaim, this is the story of an inspiring American artist: the visionary artist-architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (E) bit.ly/2C9PCPa
15 70th anniversary of the founding of ONE, Inc. Founded in Los Angeles, ONE, Inc. published One: The Homosexual Magazine in 1953, the first pro-gay publication sold openly on the streets. The US Postal Service declared the magazine “obscene.” ONE, Inc. sued, and finally won in a landmark Supreme Court case, ONE, Inc. v. Olesen in 1958, in which the Court ruled that writing about homosexuals is not inherently obscene.
Education Initiatives in the LGBTQ+ Community, by the ONE Archives Foundation. This Foundation is a community partner that supports ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries, the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. This website offers educator webinars, history panels, a newsletter to which educators can subscribe, and a repository of lesson plans related to LGBTQ topics and issues. (H, TR) onearchives.org/education
15 100th anniversary of Workers Massacre in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After a 3-day general strike, which left the town without water, electricity, and adequate food, Ecuador’s president and the unions came to an agreement to end the strike and accede to the workers’ demands. Security forces didn’t get the news and opened fire on the unarmed protesters, killing at least 300. The next day, the settlement was signed, but the damage was done and relations among labor, management, and the government were irrevocably broken.
Working Class History: Everyday Acts of Resistance & Rebellion, curated by the Working Class History Project. This handbook of grassroots movements features many hidden histories and untold stories, reinforced with inspiring images, extensive references and further reading. Working Class History presents a distinct selection of people’s history through hundreds of “on this day in history” anniversary remembrances that are as diverse and international as the working class itself. (H) bit.ly/3uuhutW
16 Glenn Burke, baseball player, born (1952-1995). Burke was the first major league baseball player to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality, though he did so after he retired from the game. His sexual orientation had been an open secret among his teammates, coaches, and management, but it would have been career suicide to acknowledge it openly. Once, a coach offered him $75,000 to marry a woman. Another coach introduced him to his new teammates as a 3-letter gay slur. Not much has changed since then.
Changing the Game, a documentary by Michael Barnett. Emmy® award-winning filmmaker Michael Barnett’s urgent and subsuming sports documentary illuminates what many have called the civil rights issue of our time: transgender inclusion in sports. Changing the Game takes viewers into the lives of three transgender high school athletes across the country whose fight to participate in the sports they love has become one of the most controversial cultural touch points. (M, H) Guide to using the film, by Frameline, at this link: bit.ly/3NFwVal
A High Five for Glenn Burke, by Phil Bildner. After researching Glenn Burke, the first major league baseball player to come out as gay, sixth-grader Silas Wade slowly comes out to his best friend Zoey, then his coach, with unexpected consequences. (M) bit.ly/3xkU3F2
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
19 Stephen Soldz, psychologist, public health researcher, and anti-torture activist, born (1952). Soldz has written extensively on the use of psychology as an instrument of torture. He became active in the movement in 2006 when he argued for a ban on professional psychologists participating in interrogating war prisoners. As a result, the American Psychological Association issued a resolution affirming their stance against such interrogation practices. Soldz is a consultant to Physicians for Human Rights and coauthored PHR’s report, “Experiments in Torture,” documenting illegal and unethical CIA research on interrogations.
The Torture Issue, by Alan Shapiro for the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. A student reading includes examples of US treatment of prisoners as revealed in investigations and excerpts from the Geneva Convention and UN Convention Against Torture. A DBQ (document-based question) includes diverse points of view on the efficacy and morality of torture. (H) bit.ly/3M0AOVF
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) 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
21 180th anniversary of George Latimer’s freedom from slavery. George Latimer, a former slave who fled captivity with his pregnant wife, was officially freed on this day. The pair hid on a steamship headed toward Boston but were spotted by a former employer of Latimer’s owner. A large group of abolitionists pressured the local sheriff to declare that he would no longer hold runaway slaves in his jail. Latimer’s lawyers purchased George’s freedom from his owner, and the Latimer children were born into freedom.
‘If There Is No Struggle…’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement, by Bill Bigelow. This role-play puts students in the position of abolitionist groups working together to end slavery. (E, M) bit.ly/QsfVje
23 20th anniversary of the first Native American in space. John Bennett Herrington was designated a Naval Aviator in 1985. He earned an MS in aeronautical engineering in 1995 and was selected as an astronaut candidate the following year. Herrington is a member of the Chickasaw nation and carried its flag on his first mission to space – a 13-day voyage on Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-113 mission. He also took with him a traditional Chickasaw flute. In 2004, he led the NEEMO 6 mission.
Mission to Space, by John Herrington. Astronaut John Herrington shares his passion for space travel and his Chickasaw heritage as he gives children a glimpse into his astronaut training at NASA and his mission to the International Space Station. This unique children’s book is illustrated with photos from Herrington’s training and space travel and includes an English-to-Chickasaw vocabulary list with space-related terms. (E) Video read-aloud here: bit.ly/3Eqm7bT
23 Virginia Prince, transgender rights activist, born (1912-2009). Virginia Prince is remembered and respected as the pioneer of the Transgender movement. She thought it was important to distinguish between transvestites and transsexuals, and founded the first transvestite organization in history, the Foundation for Full Personality Expression. Beginning in 1960, she published the magazine Transvestia, which ran 100 issues between 1960 and 1986. Written for an audience of gender queer and gender flexible individuals, the magazine published articles written largely by its readers.
Trans Educators Network. A support and community-building 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 and/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
24 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
24 10th anniversary of the Tazreen Fashion factory fire in Bangladesh. The fire caused at least 117 deaths and injuries to more than 200 workers, making it the deadliest factory fire in Bangladesh history. More than 4 million Bangladeshi, most of them young women, work in garment factories for $37 a month under extremely unsafe conditions. When fire broke out, managers ordered workers to keep working. The exit doors were locked and the windows on the lower floors had security bars, trapping workers inside.
Fashion’s Problems, by the Clean Clothes Campaign. This organization works to educate people about the labor, economic, and environmental problems related to the production of clothing worldwide. The website includes information about the Tazreen Factory fire at this link: bit.ly/3OhoJ09; and more general educational information about the “problems with fashion” at this link: cleanclothes.org/fashions-problems. (M, H)
25 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
25 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
25 20th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS was established as a panicked response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It got little pushback at the time because people were afraid and looked to the government for protection. This bloated agency employs about 250,000 people and has an annual budget of more than $60 billion. It has proven to be negligent in tracking domestic terrorist threats, focusing on Islamist extremists, and has abused its authority in areas such as immigration and border control.
Arab Stereotypes and American Educators, by Marvin Wingfield and Bushra Karaman. A teacher resource on the impact on students of Arab stereotyping. (TR) bit.ly/3Kw6526
26 Sarah Grimké, abolitionist and women’s rights advocate, born (1792-1873). Sarah Grimké and her sister Angelina rebelled against their father, a North Carolina slaveholder. They were staunch abolitionists and women’s rights advocates, speaking publicly at a time when women rarely did so. The Grimké sisters were the first women to speak before a state legislature as representatives of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Their ideas were anathema to many in their community. Angry mobs protested their speeches, and their writings were burned in protest.
The Abolitionists, by PBS American Experience. Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history, bringing to life the debates of the era. (M, H) to.pbs.org/1fgdrWn
26 110th anniversary of the release of Lawrence Textile Strikers. Joseph James Ettor, Arturo Giovannitti, and Joseph Caruso, who were arrested for the murder of a bystander at the 1912 Lawrence Textile Strike, were released after international groups protested and went on strike. Despite evidence that the men were not present during the killing of Anna LoPizzo, they were accused of murder and kept in metal cages throughout their trial. It is still unknown whether LoPizzo was killed by strikers or police.
Lawrence, 1912: The Singing Strike Teaching Activity PDF, by Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. Through this role play, students explore some of the actual dilemmas faced by strikers in Lawrence, Mass., in 1912. (M, H) bit.ly/suxeJC
29 10th anniversary of the United Nations’ approval of Palestine as an “Observer State.” The UN upgraded Palestine’s status in the international body from “observer” to “observer state.” The adoption of the resolution was timed to coincide with the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The member states that voted for the change did so to express the “urgent need for the resumption and acceleration” of peace negotiations. Among the nine countries voting against the resolution were Canada, the United States, and Israel.
Determined to Stay: Palestinian Youth Fight for Their Village, by Jody Sokolower. Silwan is a Palestinian village located just outside the ancient walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. This book is a moving story of a village and its people. 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 Palestine. (H) bit.ly/3OhX6nO
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.
How To Survive a Plague, a documentary film by David France. From ZinnEd Project’s Films with a Conscience collection: “The riveting and heartbreaking story of the founding and growth of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), a central player in the struggle to pressure drug companies and the US government to aggressively pursue a treatment and cure for AIDS. Through rich and intimate archival material, viewers learn about the people who comprised ACT UP… and see, in real time, how their bold civil disobedience was mobilized at key moments in the struggle.” (H) bit.ly/3uSSfR1
2 70th anniversary of Christine Jorgensen’s sex reassignment surgery becoming public. The New York Times published an article about Christine Jorgensen, a former Army Clerk who had undergone sex reassignment surgery in Denmark. Although she wasn’t a celebrity, her life quickly became fodder for the tabloids. She was publicly ridiculed and shamed. Finally, Jorgensen decided to capitalize on her unsolicited fame, charging the media for interviews and putting together a nightclub act, saying, “If they want to see me, they’ll have to pay for it.”
Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen, by Arin Andrews. Seventeen-year-old Arin shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this first-of-its-kind memoir. This edition includes a reading group guide and an all-new afterword by the author. (M, H) bit.ly/2kHUxPX
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 toward 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) bit.ly/2qk6Nb2
Crip Camp, a film by Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht. A powerful documentary about a summer camp for children with disabilities in the 1970s that traces how the independence and experience of the campers helped them create a loose network that joined and contributed to the Disability Rights movement. Website includes lesson plans. (M, H) cripcamp.com
3 40th anniversary of the UN World Program of Action Concerning the Disabled. The United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 37/52, creating the World Program of Action Concerning the Disabled, which aimed to create a global strategy to equalize opportunities for full participation of people with disabilities in social life and national development. A key element is the call to view disability rights as part and parcel of basic human rights.
One Out of Five: Disability History and Pride Project, by the Washington State Education Ombuds. Designed in partnership with Rooted in Rights and two local educators, Adina Rosenberg and Sarah Arvey, this incredible collection of linked resources, podcasts, book lists, and more to supports educators in teaching with, for, and about disabled people, disability justice, and disability activism, rights, and history. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/3jM5huA
5 80th anniversary of the Manzanar uprising. The Manzanar uprising was one of the most significant acts of resistance in the Japanese internment camps. Tensions were already high in the camp because of mistreatment by the guards and suspected corruption among the administrators. Thousands of prisoners protested after one prisoner was arrested in the beating of another prisoner believed to be informing on prisoners to the administration. Two people were killed and several others injured when guards fired on the protesters.
Manzanar National Historic Site, by U.S. National Park Service. This NPS website offers a wealth of information on the Manzanar War Relocation Center for both teachers and students. Resources include history, multimedia, field trip planning information, and curriculum materials for various levels. (E, M, H, TR) nps.gov/manz/index.htm
So Far from the Sea, by Eve Bunting. This children’s book is about a 7-year-old girl who visits her grandfather’s grave at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, where thousands of Japanese Americans were interned during WWII. (E, M) bit.ly/3vaLYAr
Campu: A Podcast, by Noah and Hana Maruyama. This podcast tells the story of Japanese American incarceration like you’ve never heard it before. Follow along as brother-sister duo Noah and Hana Maruyama weave together the voices of survivors to spin narratives out of the seemingly mundane things that gave shape to the incarceration experience. (M, H) densho.org/campu
5 10th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Oaxaca. Even before the US Supreme Court had decided whether it would hear a case on same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court of Mexico unanimously ruled against a same-sex marriage ban in the state of Oaxaca, helping to make it possible for same-sex marriage to be legalized nationally. Gay marriage had already been legal in Mexico City since 2010, and the Mexican Supreme Court had ruled those marriages must be recognized nationwide.
OutRight Action International. Since 1990, OutRight Action International has worked alongside LGBTIQ activists and organizations, diplomats and policymakers, and other key partners to advance community-focused solutions to create lasting legal and social transformation. Studying the rights of queer people globally, their site offers a collection of their research projects and interviews, reports to the UN, and more. These are all usable teaching resources to educate young people about the state of LGBTQ rights outside the US. (H, TR) bit.ly/3jM5huA
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) 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) bit.ly/2AkWpYp
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 Welfare Institute Quarterly, by AWI. The Animal Welfare Institute publishes a quarterly magazine covering a wide range of animal welfare and humane education topics. The Institute offers a free one-year subscription for teachers and hosts the archive of all their issues online at this site. (E, M, H) bit.ly/2qaSHcK
10 30th anniversary of Rigoberta Menchú Tum’s Nobel Peace Prize. Rigoberta Menchú Tum, a (Quiche) Maya from Guatemala, was awarded the prestigious prize in recognition of her work for social justice and Indigenous people’s rights. Menchú Tum played a key role in bringing about ethnocultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples. The awards committee praised her as a vivid symbol of peace and reconciliation across ethnic, cultural, and social dividing lines in Guatemala and throughout the world.
Rigoberta Menchú, by Learning for Justice. This site offers information about Menchú’s life including a timeline, her story and discussion questions. (H) bit.ly/2JAtCzW
The Girl from Chimel, by Rigoberta Menchú. Before the 36-year war in Guatemala, despite the hardships the Maya people endured, life in their highland villages had a beauty and integrity that were changed forever by the conflict and brutal genocide that were to come. Menchú’s stories of her grandparents and parents, of the natural world that surrounded her as a young girl present a rich, humorous, and engaging picture of that lost world. (E, M) bit.ly/1QM9abk
11 Subramanya Bharathi, Tamil poet, journalist, and political activist, born (1882-1921). Subramanya Bharathi is celebrated as one of India’s greatest poets, often referred to as the National Poet of India. He was also a staunch social reformer, advocating for the rights of women and for the abolition of the caste system. In both his poetry and prose, he helped rally the masses to support the Indian Independence movement in South India. A contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi, Bharathi was exiled from British-held India for his anti-British, pro-independence writings.
We, the Children of India, by Leila Seth. Written by Leila Seth, the first female Chief Justice of an Indian state, the book demystifies the Preamble to the Indian Constitution in language for children. Seth explains terms such as justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity, while sidebars and speech balloons give further background and context. By the end of this slim volume, we learn not only what the Preamble is, but how it was written, the people behind it, when and how it was signed, and how Indians won freedom and found the way forward. (E) bit.ly/37WCtMY
12 Brandon Teena, victim of anti-transgender violence, born (1972-1993). Brandon Teena was an American trans man who chose not to undergo gender reassignment surgery. He lived as a man, not disclosing his assigned gender as female. When two of his (male) friends discovered his birth gender, they brutally raped and murdered him after publicly humiliating him. Teena’s murder helped to amplify the ways in which legal and medical discrimination negatively affects trans Americans and brought into sharper focus the need for hate crimes legislation.
Boys Don’t Cry, directed by Kimberly Peirce. Boys Don’t Cry is a film about Brandon Teena, a transgender man (Hilary Swank), who pursues a relationship with a young woman (Chloë Sevigny) and is beaten, raped and murdered by his male acquaintances after they discover he is anatomically female. The picture explores the themes of freedom, courage, identity, and empowerment. (H) mdb.to/1fy4s4
14 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. 28 people, including 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six teachers and school staff, were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, by a lone gunman who later killed himself. This brutal attack on first-graders prompted renewed calls for gun control legislation and improved mental health services. President Obama sought stricter background checks for gun buyers, but the NRA-controlled Republican Senate refused to bring the legislation to a vote.
Movement Against Gun Violence: What Have Young People Achieved?, by Marieke van Woerkom for Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. A robust lesson plan in which, in small and large groups, students read media quotes and reflect on some of the successes that young people have achieved in building a movement to end gun violence. (H) bit.ly/3LV7fVw
Sandy Hook Lawsuit and Toxic Masculinity, by Mark Engler for Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. In this lesson, students discuss the historic Sandy Hook Families vs. Remington Arms lawsuit and its argument that the company marketed violence to vulnerable young men. (H) bit.ly/3NW1vMX
15 140th anniversary of the formation of the Indian Rights Association. Founded by White men who believed they were “friends of the Indian,” this group was dedicated to assimilating Native Americans into White American society. They advocated for full rights of citizenship for Native Americans, but only if they gave up their identity and culture in favor of Anglo culture. They were especially determined that Native Americans embrace Christianity as their only path to salvation. It was a form of White Christian hegemony practiced worldwide.
As Long as the Rivers Flow, by Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden. In the 1800s, the education of First Nations children was taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures. As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie’s last summer before entering residential school. (E, M) bit.ly/1QBqoKF
16 10th anniversary of the 16 December Revolution in India. 23-year-old Jyoti Singh was beaten, gang-raped, and tortured in a private bus in New Delhi. She died from her injuries 13 days later. This triggered the 16 December Revolution, a protest movement that called out violence against women in India. People in Delhi took to the streets demanding swift justice for the deceased victim and urgent action to guarantee safety for all women.
Drawing the Line! Indian Women Fight Back, edited by Priya Kuriyan, Larissa Bertonasco, and Ludmilla Bartscht. A comics anthology by 14 women illustrating their day-to-day experiences in India. Produced out of a week-long workshop with Indian women artists, both amateur and professional, Drawing the Line is part of a larger national conversation in India around sexual discrimination that emerged in the aftermath of the brutal gang-rape and murder of a young medical student in 2012. (H) akpress.org/drawing-the-line
17 160th anniversary of General Order No. 11. Major-General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, which included the demand that all Jews leave the military district in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Grant wanted to end a black market in Southern cotton, which he believed was largely run by Jewish traders. A huge public outcry ensued, and President Lincoln revoked the order. Grant later apologized for the order, explaining he was only trying to win the war against the Confederacy.
Old Hatred, New Paradigms: Combating Antisemitism in the Twenty-First Century, by Facing History and Ourselves. This collection of resources is designed to help educators integrate the study of traditional and contemporary antisemitism into their efforts at combating prejudices and stereotypes in the classroom. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/3xEjWA7
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) bit.ly/2EH3WzP
18 First day of Hanukkah begins at sunset on 12/18/2022 (Judaism). Hanukkah is an 8-day Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights.
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) bit.ly/2U2iWPg
One Yellow Daffodil: A Hanukkah Story, by David Adler. Morris Kaplan, owner of a flower shop and Holocaust survivor, is invited by two children to their family’s Hanukkah celebration. The celebration evokes memories of Kaplan’s past and his family who perished during the Holocaust. Based on survivor testimonies. Intended for ages 5-8. (E) Author interviews and other teaching resources here: bit.ly/3KPthIN
18 50th anniversary of the Christmas Bombing of Vietnam. Toward the end of the Vietnam War, peace talks began but resulted in a stalemate. In response, Nixon ordered a massive bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong. This 11-day campaign, known as Operation Linebacker II, killed more than 1,500 Vietnamese civilians. It is still unclear whether the bombings had any effect on the timeline of the end of the war.
Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War, Inside A People’s History for the Classroom, by Bill Bigelow. This lesson helps students uncover the historical roots of the Vietnam War to better understand why and in whose interest this war was fought. (M, H) bit.ly/1vqiUBs
20 40th anniversary of Barona Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians v. Duffy. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that gambling operations on Native American reservations are not subject to state law and are therefore allowed to operate. While some may argue that gambling rights are not the most crucial issue for Native Americans, it’s important to remember that virtually every other means of generating revenue has been stolen from them. Casinos have provided significant income for many tribes over the past several decades.
The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book: Revised and Expanded, by Gord Hill. With strong, plain language and evocative illustrations, this expanded and revised edition, now in color, powerfully portrays flashpoints in history when Indigenous peoples have risen up and fought back against colonizers and other oppressors. (M, H) bit.ly/3K95VwZ
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) bit.ly/1TIeAtW
22 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
24 70th anniversary of the McCarran-Walter Act. This act reinforced the racist National Origins quota system established by the Immigration Act of 1924. Annual quotas were set at one-sixth of one percent of each nationality’s population in the US in 1920, ensuring almost all available visas went to northern or western Europeans. While the new law reversed policies preventing immigration from Asia, it imposed a 100-visa annual limit for every Asian country, ensuring Asians would remain a tiny proportion of new immigrants.
Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration, by Ann Bausum. With painstaking research, an unerring eye for just the right illustration, and her unique narrative style, award-winning author Ann Bausum makes the history of immigration in America come alive for young people. Immigration remains one of the critical topics in 21st century America, and how our children learn the lessons of the past will shape all our futures. (H) bit.ly/3jO6Gke
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 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) 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) bit.ly/2VZUGim
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) bit.ly/1QvQJe8
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) bit.ly/3uIdkxq
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: 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) bit.ly/2kL2cup
28 110th anniversary of the first publicly owned mass transit system in the US. The San Francisco Municipal Railway was the first publicly owned and operated transportation system in a major American city. The government-owned system was strongly supported by the public after years of enduring for-profit monopolies that arbitrarily raised fares and mistreated workers. A bond proposal was overwhelmingly passed in 1909 to pay for the system. Other cities, such as Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, offered public transportation, but they were operated by private companies.
Rights in Transit: Public Transportation and the Right to the City in California’s East Bay, by Kafui Ablode Attoh. Drawing on a detailed case study of the various struggles that have come to define public transportation in California’s East Bay, Rights in Transit offers a direct challenge to contemporary scholarship on transportation equity. Rather than focusing on civil rights alone, Rights in Transit argues for engaging the more radical notion of the right to the city. (H) Find an audio recording with the author here: bit.ly/3vr1Rmi
28 150th anniversary of the Skeleton Cave Massacre. US army troops surrounded and attacked the Yavapai people at Skeleton Cave, where they were hiding out, trying to avoid being forced back to the reservation. Unaware that the Army had surrounded them, the Native Americans left the cave and were ambushed. The US army attacked the group of 100 adults and children using boulders and rifles. A few weeks later, the survivors surrendered at Camp Verde.
WHEREAS: Poems, by Layli Long Soldier. A book of poems that examines the language of the US government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Indigenous peoples and tribes to explore histories, landscapes, Soldier’s own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. (H) bit.ly/3jQrdo8
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) bit.ly/ekaidO
30 Fifth day of Kwanzaa (Nia = Purpose)
Seven Principles, by Sweet Honey in the Rock. This is a song that teaches the seven principles of Kwanzaa. (E, M, H) bit.ly/vNc77L
31 New Year’s Eve
Freedom Soup, by Tami Charles. Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian Revolution. This year, Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make the soup – Freedom Soup – just like she was taught when she was a little girl. Together, they dance and clap as they prepare the holiday feast, and Ti Gran tells Belle about the history of the soup, the history of Belle’s family, and the history of Haiti, where Belle’s family is from. (E) bit.ly/3mCzUTI
31 Sixth day of Kwanzaa (Kuumba = Creativity)
What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada. This story is about a child who one day discovers he has an idea. He wonders where the idea came from, but he is afraid to tell others about it because they might think it’s silly. Instead of giving up, the child decides to nurture and feed the idea. Something magical happens – the idea bursts out into the world, bringing with it a miraculous change. (E) Find a read-aloud video and guidelines for a philosophical discussion from the Prindle Institute here: bit.ly/39YUmJg
31 160th anniversary of Watch Night. African Americans, both free and enslaved, gathered together (many secretly) to sing, dance, and pray that the Emancipation Proclamation, signed in September by President Abraham Lincoln, would become the law of the land, as promised, on January 1, 1863. Watch Night, also known as Freedom’s Eve, continues to be observed in many Black churches.
The People Remember, by Ibi Zoboi. This book tells the journey of African descendants in America by connecting their history to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. This is a lyrical narrative that tells the story of survival, as well as the many moments of joy, celebration, and innovation of Black people in America. (E) bit.ly/3OfGcpV
31 50th anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s death. After an earthquake struck Nicaragua, MLB superstar Roberto Clemente collected relief supplies in his native Puerto Rico to take to the disaster-ravaged country. Clemente was known for his humanitarian activities. He was unaware that the pilot he hired was not qualified and the plane was defective. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing everyone onboard. The MLB established the Roberto Clemente Humanitarian award, given annually to the player who best exemplifies Clemente’s commitment to service.
Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente, by the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibit. In this “classroom” section of the Smithsonian website, the developers include an entire unit of activities that encourage middle school-aged students to explore the life of famed baseball player and humanitarian Roberto Clemente. Students use history, visual arts, drama, and language to celebrate the rich culture of Puerto Rico and Clemente’s life and legacy. (M, H) s.si.edu/3E01TVZ
Roberto Clemente, a documentary film by PBS American Experience. An in-depth look at an exceptional baseball player and committed humanitarian who challenged racial discrimination to become baseball’s first Latinx superstar. The documentary presents an intimate and revealing portrait of a man whose passion and grace made him a legend. (H) to.pbs.org/3KvuYev
1 Seventh day of Kwanzaa (Imani = Faith)
A Question of Faith: Books and Resources to Help Us Talk to Our Kids About Religion and Spirituality, by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. How do we help our children process the messages they receive from media sources about religion and faith, its connections to conflict, history, and culture? Helpful tips, books, and other resources to support educators and families in talking to kids about multicultural faiths and spirituality. (E, M) bit.ly/3dRpITo
1 130th anniversary of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS). A group of Philadelphians formed the American Anti-Vivisection Society, inspired by the success of animal rights advocates in Great Britain, particularly Frances Power Cobbe and her Victoria Street Society. They were largely responsible for the world’s first Cruelty to Animals Act in 1876. Initially, the AAVS’s goal was to regulate the use of animals in scientific experimentation; now the goal is the complete elimination of animal experimentation in the US.
American Anti-Vivisection Society. The organization’s website with current issues and campaigns to protect animals. (H, TR) bit.ly/1iCtTL
1 160th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation’s becoming law. Abraham Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation,” issued in September 1862, became law on January 1, 1863. The Proclamation, however, freed only the slaves in the Confederate states because Lincoln was wary of antagonizing those Southern states that had remained loyal to the Union. Lincoln was morally opposed to slavery but questioned the constitutionality of abolishing it outright. Eventually, he came around, and paved the way for the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery throughout the US.
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/3uT0mNt
1 30th anniversary of the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The UN General Assembly passed the proclamation in an effort to encourage a new relationship between member nations and Indigenous Peoples, based on mutual respect and understanding. The designation had been requested by Indigenous Peoples worldwide as a means of securing their cultural integrity and rights into the 21st century.
Living on Stolen Land, by Ambelin Kwaymullina. A prose-style look at our colonial-settler “present.” This book is the first of its kind to address and educate a broad audience about the colonial contextual history of Australia, but it speaks to many First Nations’ truths: stolen lands, sovereignties, time, decolonization, First Nations perspectives, systemic bias and other constructs that inform present discussions. (M, H) bit.ly/3OlMHYa
3 Lucretia Mott, women’s rights activist and abolitionist, born (1793-1880). Mott was a White activist in the Women’s Rights and Abolitionist movements. Offended by the exclusion of women from the anti-slavery movement, she helped organize the Seneca Falls Convention to address women’s rights and abolition. She later became the first president of the American Equal Rights Association, an organization aimed at achieving equality for African Americans and women.
Discourse on Women, by Lucretia Mott. Mott raised awareness of the unfair treatment of women in the US through her pamphlet, “Discourse on Women,” in which she details examples of restrictions on women and the role placed on women by American society. The link leads to the text of the speech that led to the pamphlet. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/bc8NkW
3 10th anniversary of Tammy Duckworth’s election to Congress. Duckworth became the first Thai American woman and the first woman with a disability to be elected to the US House of Representatives. She advocated for working families and job creation and sponsored the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act to ensure new mothers have access to safe, clean, and accessible lactation rooms in airports. She was also instrumental in passing laws to boost efforts to track and reduce Veteran suicides. She is now a US Senator.
A Class of Their Own: The New Women of Congress Claim Their Space, a short documentary by the Washington Post. 2018 was a record-breaking year for women winning political office; in 2019, they began to make their mark. In an original 25-minute documentary, The Washington Post goes behind the scenes with two newly elected women as they take their place in the 116th Congress: Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress, and Ayanna Pressley, the first African American woman to represent Massachusetts. (M, H) bit.ly/3E2yGKa
3 60th anniversary of Daniel K. Inouye’s election as the first Japanese American in the US Senate. Daniel Inouye (1924-2012) served in the army during WWII and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He practiced law in his native Hawai’i until his election as one of the state’s first representatives in the US Congress. He successfully ran for a Senate seat in 1963. In 2013, Inouye was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, becoming the only senator to receive both the Medal of Freedom and the Medal of Honor.
Model Majority Podcast, by Tony Nagatani and Kevin Xu. Started and hosted by two Asian American former staffers of several political campaigns and the Obama White House, this podcast covers issues related to Asian American and Pacific Islanders in politics, organizing, and other political activism. (H, TR) modelmajoritypodcast.com
5 120th anniversary of Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock. Kiowa Chief Lone Wolf sued Secretary of the Interior Hitchcock, claiming that the Native American tribes that had been forced onto reservations under the Medicine Lodge Treaty had been defrauded of their land by acts of Congress in violation of the treaty. In a shocking decision, the Supreme Court held that Congress could unilaterally nullify treaties between the US and Native tribes. The consequences were predictably devastating for the tribes.
Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Leatherdale. Whether discussing the transformative power of art or music, the lasting trauma of residential schools, growing up poor, or achieving success, the contributors to this remarkable anthology all have something in common: a rich Native heritage that has informed who they are. (M, H) bit.ly/2lbgT9m
5 100th anniversary of the Rosewood Massacre. After a White woman wrongfully accused Jesse Hunter, a Black man, of assault, local White men launched a manhunt and lynched another Black man, Sam Carter, for allegedly assisting Hunter’s escape. After several nights of tension and violence between the Black and White residents of Rosewood (FL), on January 5th, a mob of 200-300 White men went on a rampage, killing 30-40 Black men, women, and children, and burned the town to the ground.
Rosewood Heritage and VR Project, by Edward Gonzalez-Tennant. This website explores the history of Rosewood, Florida – a majority African American town destroyed during a 1923 race riot. Black feminist thought and intersectionality guide the interpretive aspects of this project. This includes discussing the ways interpersonal, structural, and symbolic violence connect historical events such as race riots to modern forms of social inequality in the US. The site includes lesson plans for high school and undergraduate students, updated 3D/VR experiences, and an hour-long documentary for PBS. (H, TR) virtualrosewood.com
7 Sadako Sasaki, victim of the bombing of Hiroshima, born (1943-1955). Sasaki was two years old when an atomic bomb was dropped near her home in Hiroshima, Japan during WWII. Sasaki, who developed leukemia 10 years later, was inspired by a Japanese legend that if a sick person folds 1,000 origami cranes, they will get well. Sadako folded well over 1,000 cranes, but she died in 1955. The Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima honors her memory and those of all child victims of the atomic bomb.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr. This is a children’s book about Sadako, a young Japanese girl who contracted leukemia as a result of the atom bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. The second link is to a compilation of lessons and resources that can be used with the book. (E) bit.ly/3xg0cm4; bit.ly/t7UJux
11 National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The goal of this day is to raise awareness of 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/3DyCxya
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 Alan Stewart Paton, South African author and anti-apartheid activist, born (1903-1988). Paton was a White anti-apartheid activist who wrote Cry, the Beloved Country, a novel that was banned in South Africa because it criticized the country’s social inequalities. Paton was a teacher for 10 years before becoming a fulltime author. He also helped found the Liberal Party of South Africa as an alternative to the ruling party’s apartheid policies. His passport was confiscated by the South African government because of his anti-apartheid writings and activities.
Movers and Movements: Fighting for Social Justice in South Africa, by Brenda Randolph, published in Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching: A Resource Guide for Classrooms and Communities. Teaching lesson that highlights unsung activists associated with the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/1ziLORr
13 Charlotte Charke, actor, playwright, and novelist, born (1713-1760). Charke was an English actor, playwright, and novelist. They began acting at a young age, often taking male-identified roles, and assumed the name “Charles Brown” later in life. A biography of Charke described them as “an individual who rejected a fixed definition of [their] sexuality and gender, testing the permeability of the cultural line that supposedly separates women from men.” Charke/Brown was no crusader for queer or transgender rights and lived life on their own terms.
Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes, by Elise Gravel and Mykaell Blais. Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? In this kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping. (E) bit.ly/3rBSTBH
15 20th anniversary of the European Union ban on animal testing for cosmetics. The European Union began its initiative to ban the use of animals for the testing of cosmetic products in 1993, but the measure was repeatedly delayed because of the lack of an alternative form of testing. In 2003, a directive was passed that allowed for a phased-in ban on animal testing, with a 2013 deadline. Phase 1: finished products; Phase 2: cosmetic ingredients; Phase 3: marketing finished products; Phase 4: marketing cosmetic ingredients.
What Price Beauty?, a lesson plan by the Institute for Humane Education. This activity encourages students to explore and think critically about the impacts of the ingredients in the personal care products they use on themselves, other people, animals, and the environment, as well as how branding and marketing play into our choices. (H) bit.ly/3JfVVl7
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 officially 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) bit.ly/d0WqIg
Respecting Atheists and Nonreligious People, by Learning for Justice. 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) bit.ly/nonrelig
16 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, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968. 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) stanford.io/3LTEMzp
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/3DxwfPv
17 130th anniversary of the American overthrow of Queen Lili`uokalani. Hawai’i was an independent kingdom, led by Queen Lili’uokalani. Recognizing the strategic and economic value of Hawai’i, a group of Americans and US-born Hawai’ian citizens staged a coup and established a provisional government with Sanford B. Dole as its president. US President Cleveland tried to restore the Queen to power but stopped short of overthrowing the illegal Dole government. Hawai’i was officially annexed to the US in 1898 and became the 50th US state in 1959.
Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation. A comprehensive documentary that focuses on the events surrounding the overthrow of the Hawai’ian monarchy in 1893. Through archival photographs, government documents, films, political cartoons and dramatic reenactments, Act of War explores colonialism and the conquest of a Pacific Island nation by western missionaries and capitalists. (H) bit.ly/uetbEK
Teaching with Documents: The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii. This lesson plan uses original documents about the Native Hawai’ians who organized against the annexation of Hawai’i by the United States. (H) bit.ly/37b6nNF
18 80th anniversary of the first Jewish Uprising in Warsaw Ghetto. The German military entered the Warsaw Ghetto, planning to deport a portion of the population. The residents of the Ghetto believed the Germans were planning to deport everyone in the area. In the past the Jewish residents submitted to German command, but this time the Germans were met with armed resistance. This first urban uprising in German-occupied Europe resulted in a new sense of hope for the Warsaw Jewish population and sparked rebellions elsewhere.
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, by Facing History and Ourselves. A collection of 10 readings with connections to broader themes at the end of each reading. (H) bit.ly/3O1vHGz
20 30th anniversary of Judith Heumann’s appointment as Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. President Bill Clinton appointed Heumann to the post because of her lifelong advocacy for Disability Rights. She co-founded the Center for Independent Living in California in the 1970s and the World Institute on Disability in 1983. She also served as the World Bank Group’s first Special Advisor on Disability and Development, and later was appointed by President Obama as the State Department’s first Special Advisor on International Disability Rights.
Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, by Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner. One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human. (H) bit.ly/3DCEDx5
Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution, by Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner. In this Young Readers’ Edition of Being Heumann, Judy shares her journey of battling for equal access in an unequal world. She is a leading disability justice leader who was also featured in the documentary film, Crip Camp. (E) bit.ly/3K0Al54
21 20th anniversary of the US Census report indicating Latinx are the largest minority group in the US. Based on the 2000 Census, the Census Bureau announced that more than 37 million Latinx people reside in the US, surpassing African Americans as the largest minority group. The Latinx population had increased 4.7 percent since the last Census. The foreign-born population in the US had increased from 9.6 million in 1970 to 31.1 million in 2000. Mexico accounted for 29 percent of immigrants, while other Latin American countries accounted for a further 22 percent.
Latino Americans: A Curriculum, by PBS Learning Media. Students in grades 7-12 unravel complex stories that take them from colonial California to debates taking place recently in Congress. Learners explore how the experiences of Latinx people illuminate and challenge the broader narrative of the United States with regard to its growth and its struggle to live out its commitments to democracy, opportunity, and equality. (M, H) to.pbs.org/2FV1NAW
22 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.
Going Home, Coming Home, by Truong Tran. This summer, Ami Chi is taking a trip to Vietnam, where the streets are crowded with zipping scooters and fruit is shaped like dragons and stars. To her parents, Vietnam is still home – a home they haven’t seen since they left during the war. But all this talk of going back home leaves Ami Chi confused. How can you go back home to a place you’ve never been? (E) bit.ly/3g8fiS3
22 Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year is the beginning of the year according to the Lunar Calendar. It is celebrated throughout the world, particularly in Asia.
Lunar New Year, books reviewed by The Asian American Curriculum Project. A review of children’s books from several Asian cultures about the Lunar New Year. (E) bit.ly/aabooks
22 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This landmark US Supreme Court decision determined that women had a constitutional right to an abortion. Nearly every state outlawed abortion except in limited circumstances, leading more than a million women each year to seek illegal, unsafe procedures. The justices drew on the 1st, 4th, 9th, and 14th amendments in making their decision, which has been at the center of an ongoing debate about a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.
Fired Up About Reproductive Rights, by Jane Kirby. Part of a series intended for young adults (ages 16+), this accessible and engaging book shows the many ways our reproductive lives remain subject to state control. Engaging with the reproductive justice framework advanced by Women of Color, the book presents the fight for reproductive rights as contingent with other social justice issues, and forces us to grapple with the weaknesses of the feminist and reproductive rights movement as it exists. (H) bit.ly/3xywKrC
Comics for Choice, edited by Hazel Newlevant and Whit Taylor. Comics for Choice is an anthology of comics about abortion. As this fundamental reproductive right continues to be stigmatized and jeopardized, over sixty artists and writers have created comics that boldly share their own experiences, and educate readers on the history of abortion, current political struggles, activism, and more. (H) akpress.org/comicsforchoice
22 140th anniversary of the Supreme Court striking down The Force Act. The Force Act, commonly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act or the Civil Rights Act of 1871, sought to extend federal protections to African Americans in states where racial terror and violence ran rampant. The Act was applied to indict Sheriff R. G. Harris and 19 accomplices for the unprovoked beating of four Black men. The Court’s decision struck down the Force Act, leaving Black Americans unprotected from pervasive racial terrorism in the South.
“Domestic Terror:” Understanding Lynching During the Era of Jim Crow, by PBS and The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. Terror and violence were used to sustain the Jim Crow system throughout its bloody history. Many of the stories and images contained in the series depict disturbing scenes of terror that need to be discussed in the classroom. This unit considers violence in the struggle for civil rights: when and why violence was employed. (H) to.pbs.org/1RyOW4x
23 60th anniversary of the arrest of Patricia Stephens Due. Patricia Stephens Due was arrested for setting foot in the Whites-only section of the Florida Theater in Tallahassee, FL. She began fighting segregation laws at a young age and participated in many student protests throughout her early life. At one protest in Tallahassee, Stephens Due was teargassed in the eyes by police, causing permanent damage to her sight. Stephens Due continued her fight for social justice and civil rights throughout her life.
Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, by Patricia Stevens Due and Tananarive Due. Together, in alternating chapters, these women have written a paean to the Civil Rights movement – its hardships, its nameless foot soldiers, and its achievements – and an incisive examination of the future of justice in this country. Their mother-daughter journey spanning two generations of struggles is an unforgettable story. (H) Audio interview with the authors on NPR here: n.pr/3vvcbtx
25 30th anniversary of Puerto Rico redesignating English its second official language. Before Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain in the 15th century, most people spoke Taíno, an Arawakan language spoken by the Taíno people. After centuries of colonization, Spanish became the dominant language. When the US acquired Puerto Rico from Spain, English became a requirement for elites, but was not spoken by a majority of the population. English was declared one of two official languages in 1902, but was dropped in 1991, only to be restored in 1993.
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar. This picture book is a biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, who came to New York in 1921. Belpré championed bilingual literacy and storytelling as a strategy for maintaining and sharing her culture. (E) bit.ly/3jOx4uf
26 160th anniversary of the authorization to recruit Black troops to the Union Army. Prior to January 1863, Black troops, both free and enslaved, were not permitted to fight for the Union Army. Shortly after Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, the governor of Massachusetts was given permission by the US War Department to recruit Black troops. However, while Black troops began to form new regiments for the Union Army, they were consistently led by White officers.
Fighting for Freedom: African Americans in the Civil War, by the Chicago Historical Society. A comprehensive unit plan on African American involvement in the Civil War, their contributions and hardships, and government policy and propaganda. (H) bit.ly/3K0aqto
27 50th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords. The Paris Peace Accords, signed by the US, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Viet Cong, marked the formal end of the Vietnam war and US military involvement in the region. US troops did begin to withdraw; however, the war continued until 1975. More than 58,000 American troops died in Vietnam. It is estimated that 1- 2.5 million Vietnamese died during the war, along with hundreds of thousands of Cambodians and Laotians.
Rethinking the Teaching of the Vietnam War, by Bill Bigelow. This role-playing activity exposes students to a side of the Vietnam War that is left out of traditional textbooks. This lesson helps students uncover the historical roots of the Vietnam War to better understand why and in whose interest this war was fought. (H) bit.ly/16FZE3i
28 60th anniversary of Harvey Gantt’s enrollment at Clemson University. In 1961, Harvey Gantt, a Black student at Iowa State University, applied to Clemson University in his home state of South Carolina. Like most southern states, South Carolina resisted the integration of its schools. Gantt sued Clemson when they delayed his admission. The US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Clemson to admit him. In January 1963, Gantt entered Clemson as its first Black student.
The Education of Harvey Gantt, by Carolina Stories, PBS. This 26-minute film tells the story of a talented African American student from Charleston, Harvey Gantt, who graduated from high school and decided to become an architect. Clemson College was the only school in South Carolina that offered a degree in his chosen field. In January of 1963, with the help of NAACP lawyer Matthew J. Perry, Gantt won a lawsuit against Clemson and was peacefully admitted to the college. (H) to.pbs.org/3MhcqyS
28 José Martí, Cuban poet, philosopher, and freedom fighter, born (1853-1895). Martí was a poet and philosopher who fought for Cuba’s independence from Spain. He also argued against the threat of US expansionism into Cuba. In 1869, Martí founded the newspaper, La Patria Libre, where he published many of his poems. He was arrested in Havana and deported to Spain where he published the pamphlet, Political Imprisonment in Cuba. In 1895, he returned to Cuba to fight for its independence and died on the battlefield.
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
29 140th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s upholding anti-miscegenation laws. Tony Pace, a Black man, and Mary Cox, a White woman, were convicted under Alabama’s criminal code outlawing “fornication” and “adultery” between persons of different races. They were sentenced to two years in prison and subsequently sued the state. On January 29, 1883, in Pace v. Alabama, the US Supreme Court unanimously upheld the convictions, calling the anti-miscegenation statute non-discriminatory and not in violation of the 14th Amendment.
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, by Selina Alko. This children’s book depicts the true story of Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, their three children, and the Supreme Court case that allowed them and all other interracial couples to marry. (E) bit.ly/3acjD00
The Loving Story: A Teacher’s Guide, by Learning for Justice. This comprehensive curriculum plan for grades 6-12 accompanies the film, The Loving Story, by Nancy Buirski and Elisabeth Haviland James, which explores the struggle for interracial marriage. This teaching guide includes four lessons to support students in understanding the historical context of the Lovings’ fight by exploring the time period and the sociopolitical environment. (M, H) bit.ly/3jVilO0
29 160th anniversary of the Bear River Massacre. US volunteer soldiers attacked a Shoshoni village on the pretext that they had attacked White settlers in the area. In fact, the settlers had stolen all the land and water from the Native Americans. Initially, the destitute Shoshoni were able to hold off the soldiers, but the battle soon devolved into a massacre with mostly unarmed men, women, and children being slaughtered indiscriminately. The Shoshoni death toll has been estimated at 300-400; 14 US soldiers lost their lives.
Northwestern Shoshone Fish Song, a lesson plan by the BYU School of Education in partnership with and approved by the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation Cultural Specialist, Patty Timbimboo-Madsen, and by Paula Watkins, library consultant to the tribal nation. In this lesson plan, children sign a Northwestern Shoshone song, write a narrative story about an experience in nature, and create music compositions patterned after the song. A great lesson for music classrooms. Please note that special permission was granted for non-Shoshone children to sing this song. (E) bit.ly/3OqmyqY
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith. From the Cooperative Children’s Book Center: “A bustling anthology of 16 short stories framed by opening and closing poems all connect to the annual intertribal powwow in Ann Arbor, MI. Readers are immersed in the sights, sounds, energy, and emotions of a powwow experience as diverse Native protagonists, most older children and young teens (and one rez dog), prepare for, travel to, and converge on the event for a variety of reasons.” (E, M) bit.ly/3JtwkVS
31 160th anniversary of the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Regiment. Shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation allowed Black men to enlist in the military, segregated units began to form. The 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored), composed of formerly enslaved men who had escaped bondage in South Carolina and Florida, was one of the first. Commanded by a White man, the regiment saw some battles, though no major action, in the war.
What Was Black America’s Double War?, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for The Root. A longform piece about African American soldiers throughout history and the “Double V” campaign, “a national campaign that urged Black people to give their all for the war effort, while at the same time calling on the government to do all it could to make the rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence and the equal rights amendments to the Constitution real for every citizen, regardless of race.” (H) to.pbs.org/3jQghqE
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 Pastor 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.
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) bit.ly/37a0XCj
The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander. Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem (in the form of a picture book illustrated by Kadir Nelson) is a love letter to Black life in the United States. (E) bit.ly/2PNXDEB
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) bit.ly/1O0CvTj
1 120th anniversary of the publication of The Story of My Life, the autobiography of Helen Keller. Helen Keller lost her vision and hearing as a young child. Through hard work and the determination of her devoted teacher, Anne Sullivan, Keller learned to read, write, and speak, becoming the first deaf-blind person to earn a university degree. She was an ardent advocate for the rights of the disabled, writing several books and giving lectures worldwide, demanding access and opportunities for the disabled, particularly the blind and deaf.
The Truth About Helen Keller, by Ruth Shagoury. The article encourages readers to learn about Keller’s life beyond her teen years. It includes a review of children’s books about Keller that reveals the omission of her active role in key social movements of the 20th century. (H, TR) bit.ly/17jr4Ml
The Story of My Life, by Helen Keller. This PDF of Helen Keller’s autobiography includes her own letters (1887-1901) and supplementary accounts of her education, including passages from her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, and editor John Albert Macy. (H, TR) bit.ly/3KcPcK0
4 Rosa Parks, civil rights activist, born (1913-2005). Parks, an African American, refused to give up her seat to a White person on a public bus, helping to launch the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation, though she was a social justice activist long before this incident, serving as secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP more than a decade before this event took place.
Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni. This tribute to Mrs. Rosa Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed. Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni’s evocative text combines with Bryan Collier’s striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective. (E) bit.ly/1nhgzqs
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Young Readers Edition, by Jeanne Theoharis and Brandy Colbert. This biography of Rosa Parks accessibly examines her six decades of activism, challenging young readers’ perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the Civil Rights movement. (E, M) link to lessons by Bill Bigelow of Rethinking Schools: bit.ly/3LB535d
5 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed to provide workers up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave for medical or family reasons. The law is gender-neutral and aims to protect women from gender-based discrimination in the workplace. The US is by far the worst in regard to leave time, with no mandated paid leave, which disproportionately hurts people in low-paying jobs, particularly POC.
Queer Families Still Struggle to Access Leave, by Sabia Prescott in Slate magazine. This 2018 article describes how a disproportionate number of LGBT people fall through the cracks of the Family and Medical Leave Act. This article was part of a 5-article series entitled, “Taking Leave,” published on the 25th anniversary of the FMLA, exploring the state of fair leave policies in the United States. (H) bit.ly/3Onuqd6
6 First day of the annual Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. During this national week of action, educators throughout 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: An Uprising for Educational Justice, by Denisha Jones and Jesse Hagopian. This book succinctly generalizes lessons from successful challenges to institutional racism that have been won through the Black Lives Matter at School movement. (TR) bit.ly/3qJs773
What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book, by Laleña Garcia and Caryn Davidson. Created by two teacher activists, the book presents the 13 guiding principles of BLM Week of Action in down-to-earth, child-friendly language, with each principle accompanied by writing prompts, space for children or adults to create their own reflections, and a coloring page. Supporting materials guide adults in sharing the principles with children and encourage kids to dream big and take action within their communities. (E) bit.ly/3vnbiCg
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
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 and eradicate HIV.
Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems, by Danez Smith. These poems by nonbinary poet Danez Smith come from a place of too many funerals and too few 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
10 260th anniversary of the treaty ending the French and Indian War. The French and Indian War pitted France – and several Native American tribes – against Britain and several other Native American tribes allied with them. For the European powers, the object was colonial control of North America. For the Native combatants, the object was to secure their best chance at continued sovereignty. The victory of the British in the war meant the arrival of more settlers – and more danger for Native nations in the West.
The French and Indian War, by Christopher Gill for the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. In this unit, students develop their knowledge of the French and Indian War through analyses of several primary documents. These documents teach the students about specific aspects of the French and Indian War and the complex nature of this major event in colonial and Indigenous history. (M, H) bit.ly/3xDTeHz
11 120th anniversary of the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association. Japanese and Mexican workers united to protest labor exploitation in Oxnard, CA. They were paid less than they had been promised and were forced to subcontract through a company rather than receive direct wages. The union would go on to win the Oxnard Sugar Beet Workers’ strike against the landowners.
How Japanese and Mexican American Farm Workers Formed an Alliance that Made History, by Densho. This article delineates the historical solidarity as well as division between Japanese American and Mexican American workers, including the creation of the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association (JMLA). (H) bit.ly/3OkW36v
Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin. This children’s book addresses labor conflict and resolution through the story of a fictional farmer whose cows start making demands. (E) bit.ly/2EEskjR
12 230th anniversary of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was the first law intended to enforce the Constitution’s acceptance of the enslavement of Black people in the United States. Like the Constitution itself, the Act does not use the word “slave,” but rather “persons escaping from the service of their masters.” It authorized the arrest, search, and seizure of fugitives, and fined any person who aided an escaped enslaved person $500.
The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up To Slavery, by Dennis Fradin & 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
Key Concepts of the Teaching Hard History Framework, by Learning for Justice. In these short videos, scholars and historians explore the key concepts teachers should understand when discussing slavery’s impact on the lives of enslaved people and the development of the United States. (TR) bit.ly/3NMoDNR
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson. A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back 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) Teacher’s Guide from Penguin Random House at this link: bit.ly/3rir0yp
12 Nabil Shaban, actor, writer, and disability rights activist, born (1953). Shaban was born in Jordan. His family moved to the UK when he was 3 so he could undergo treatment for osteogenesis imperfecta, sometimes referred to as brittle bone disease. In 1980, he co-founded Graeae, a pioneering theater company of disabled performers, whose goal was to dispel the many misconceptions and prejudices associated with disabled people. The groundbreaking company has provided countless performers access to work in the theater previously unavailable to them.
Disability Visibility Podcast, hosted by Alice Wong. A podcast about life from the lens of disabled, mostly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color: “If you’re interested in disability rights, social justice, and intersectionality, this show is for you. It’s time to hear more disabled people in podcasting and radio.” At this site you can find a free downloadable resource guide for the 100 episodes of the podcast. (M, H) disabilityvisibilityproject.com/podcast-2
13 10th anniversary of Keystone Pipeline protest at the White House. A large group of environmental activists gathered at the White House to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. If approved, the pipeline would carry oil from Alberta, Canada to several areas on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The protesters, concerned about the environmental damage and greenhouse gas footprint the pipeline could leave, called on President Obama to oppose the project. The project was terminated in 2021.
How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other, by Naomi Klein and adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. This adapted book from award-winning journalist 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 this fight to protect and reshape the planet they will inherit. (M, H) bit.ly/3DyyToc
13 110th anniversary of Mother Jones’s arrest. At 84, workers’ rights activist Mother Jones was arrested in Charleston, WV for inciting a riot and conspiracy to commit murder (for reading the Declaration of Independence) under martial law imposed to suppress a coal miners’ strike. She was court-martialed and sentenced to 20 years but was released and pardoned by the governor after 85 days. Following her release, she testified before Congress on the abysmal working conditions in the coal industry.
Mother Jones: Labor Leader (Graphic Biographies series). This graphic novel tells the story of Mary “Mother” Jones, a leading labor union and child labor activist in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (E, M) bit.ly/3K7C2hg
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 240th anniversary of Belinda Sutton’s petition for slavery reparations. Belinda Sutton, a woman born in Africa and eventually enslaved by the Royall family in Massachusetts, was the first known person to receive financial reparations for her enslavement. Sutton requested that she be given a pension paid out of the Royall family estate. Though she did receive a sum of money, Belinda was required to repeatedly renew her pension request.
Repair: Students Design a Reparations Bill, a teaching activity by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca. In this activity, students take on the role of activist-experts to improve upon a Congressional bill for reparations for Black people. They talk back to Congress’ flimsy legislation and design a more robust alternative. (H) bit.ly/3J9U0hI
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.
The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, by the Dalai Lama. With simple, powerful text, the Dalai Lama shares the universalist teachings of treating one another with compassion, which Bao Luu illustrates beautifully in vibrant color. In an increasingly confusing world, the book offers guidance and encouragement on how we all might bring more kindness to it. (E) Video trailer for the book here: bit.ly/3uPqwlu
15 20th anniversary of global anti-war protests. Coordinated protests opposing the then-imminent Iraq War took place in nearly 800 cities all over the world on the weekend of February 15-16, 2003. The Guinness Book of World Records said 12-14 million people came out that day, the largest protest in the history of the world. The New York Times called the mass mobilization that had isolated the US and the UK in their quest for buy-in, the “second super-power.”
Media Construction of Peace, by Project Look Sharp. Unit 8 (near the bottom of the link) focuses on the 2003 anti-war protest and helps students critically analyze media representations of the war and the anti-war movement. This unit is part of a larger kit that explores how anti-war movements have been perceived and how the media has influenced that public perception. (M, H) bit.ly/tO06hU
16 60th anniversary of the publication of “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” by Hannah Arendt, was first published in the New Yorker, and later developed into a book (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil), which has become a touchstone for scholars examining how totalitarian regimes are organized and maintained. Arendt held that the architects of the Holocaust were not fanatics or extraordinary, but average functionaries maintaining the status quo and justifying their actions by parroting the narratives of the powerful.
To Harm or Be Harmed? A Disciplinary Literacy Lesson Via the Writings of Hannah Arendt, by Matt Earhart for Learning for Justice. Drawing on two sources authored by Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (1961) and Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship (1964), these lessons invite students to explore the qualities of those who participated (actively or passively) in the Holocaust, and those who resisted the policies of Nazi Germany. (H) bit.ly/3vu7cZU
18 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
19 60th anniversary of the publication of The Feminine Mystique. The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, gave voice to millions of American women’s frustrations with their limited gender roles and helped spark widespread public activism for gender equality. This influential work is widely credited with sparking the beginning of a second wave of feminism in the US. Although she raised awareness of the plight of suburban women, she was criticized for focusing primarily on White, middle-class, educated, heterosexual women.
Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood, by Brittney Cooper, Susana Morris, and Chanel Craft Tanner. In this YA book, the authors tackle intersectional topics such as colorism, romance, sexual violence, and code switching to provide girls a guide to adolescence through a feminist lens. (M, H) bit.ly/3L5HvFy
19 100th anniversary of United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind. Just a year after the US Supreme Court ruled in Ozawa v United States, the Court ruled that Thind, who was of South Asian descent and had served in the US military during WWI, could not be considered White because of the “common man’s” idea of what constituted “Whiteness.” This decision legally barred all Indians from becoming US citizens and resulted in the denaturalization of dozens of South Asian Americans.
Who Can Belong in America? Understanding Citizenship for Asian Americans and Asian Immigrants, a guest blog by Emma Ito for The American Civil War Museum. In this blog post, Ito briefly reviews the citizenship struggles of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants in the United States, specifically exploring the impact of xenophobia on citizenship policies. (H) bit.ly/3jLMj7a
19 100th anniversary of Moore v. Dempsey. Twelve Black farmers from Arkansas were convicted of the murder of five White men while the courthouse was surrounded by a mob shouting that if they were not sentenced to death, the mob would lynch them. The NAACP appealed the convictions to the Supreme Court, which ruled that a trial held with a mob threatening violence violated the defendants’ right to a fair trial.
Due Process and Fair Trials, by the Bill of Rights Institute. In these lessons, students evaluate contradictory viewpoints concerning liberty and security. They evaluate Supreme Court decisions regarding fair trials, due process, and the war on terror, and evaluate whether the Constitution takes on different meanings during wartime. (H) bit.ly/3KRRLRO
20 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
Presidents and the Enslaved: Helping Students Find 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/3J178pu
20 110th anniversary of The Sun Dance Opera. Zitkála-Šá (Lakota for Red Bird), known also by her missionary and married name of Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, collaborated with musician William F. Hanson to create the first American Indian opera, The Sun Dance Opera. Zitkála-Šá was a writer, editor, translator, musician, educator, and political activist who co-founded the National Council of American Indians in 1926 and was its president until her death in 1938.
Zitkála-Šá: Trailblazing American Indian Composer, by American Masters, PBS. A 12-minute video biography on the life and legacy of Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, that includes the context of Native genocide, Indian Boarding Schools, and more. (M, H) bit.ly/38ZfFNj
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
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 Nina Simone, musician, singer, and civil rights activist, born (1933-2003). Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, Nina Simone, the “High Priestess of Soul,” wrote, arranged and performed music in a variety of styles including gospel, pop, and blues. During the Civil Rights movement she began to perform and record more songs with protest and cultural pride themes, such as “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” and “Mississippi Goddamn.” She eventually moved to Barbados and other countries to avoid paying taxes in the US as a protest of the war in Vietnam and to escape the pervasive racism in the US.
Nina: A Story of Nina Simone, by Traci Todd. An award-winning biography for children about the remarkable and inspiring story of acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy. (E) Interview with the author from the School Library Journal here: bit.ly/3Okf60v
22 Ash Wednesday/first day of Lent (Christianity). Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a 40-day period of penitence and reflection in preparation for Easter for most Western Christians.
5 Books to Read Together During Lent, by Théa from Little Book, Big Story. Just as the title suggests, this is a short list of books for use with children, in homes or in classrooms, during the season of Lent. (E) bit.ly/3rBPi6x
22 80th anniversary of the Execution of White Rose members. During World War II, a group called White Rose, made up primarily of youth at the University of Munich, condemned the actions of the Nazis and called their fellow Germans to action. Members of White Rose were arrested for their nonviolent resistance to Hitler and Nazism including creating and distributing pamphlets. Sophie Scholl was just one member of the White Rose group who was executed at the age of 21 for her Nazi resistance work.
Protests in Germany, a reading and discussion questions from Facing History and Ourselves. With a focus on the role students and student protest played in challenging the atrocities of the Nazi, this short reading and associated questions includes primary sources, quotes, and images from these protests. (H) bit.ly/3LHeQGL
23 260th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion. Berbice was a Dutch colony in what is today Guyana. Enslaved people were tortured by the small White minority, overworked, underfed, and regularly exposed to disease and sexual violence. In February 1763, the enslaved on four plantations rose up, murdered Europeans, set fires, and took over stores of food and ammunition. The revolt spread to other plantations over the coming weeks and lasted for more than a year. Ultimately, it ended in failure.
Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast, by Marjoleine Kars. In February 1763, thousands of slaves in the Dutch colony of Berbice – in present-day Guyana – launched a rebellion that came amazingly close to succeeding. Winner of several book awards and named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Blood on the River is the explosive story of this little-known revolution, one that almost changed the face of the Americas. (H) bit.ly/390PfL6
27 80th anniversary of the Rosenstrasse Protest. Jewish men working at forced labor factories in Berlin, Germany, were rounded up to be sent to the death camps, but their non-Jewish wives and others gathered at the welfare office where they were being held on Rosenstrasse. This was the only mass public nonviolent protest of the deportation of Jews and was successful in saving these workers, though it had no effect on the Nazi’s plans to exterminate the Jewish population.
Children’s Books about the Holocaust, by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. An annotated bibliography compiled to guide parents, educators, and young readers toward children’s books about the Holocaust and related subjects. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/2ImkJJH
27 50th anniversary of AIM’s occupation of the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre. The American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied the Pine Ridge Reservation near Wounded Knee (SD) to protest the federal government’s policies toward Native Americans. The standoff between federal authorities and Aim lasted 71 days. On May 5, the two sides reached an agreement to disarm. Three days later the siege ended, the town was evacuated, and the government took control of the town. During the incident, a Cherokee and an Oglala Lakota were killed by the FBI.
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
Surviving Wounded Knee, a lesson plan by Facing History and Ourselves. Featuring photographs by Danny Wilcox Frazier, this lesson plan invites students to observe six images from the “aftermath” of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It asks students to consider the role that a single image can play in an attempt to communicate a very complicated historical narrative. (H) bit.ly/3LypmQA
1 First day of Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month, which grew out of a week-long celebration in California, is designed to highlight 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) bit.ly/2i1PIRG
Abolition. Feminism. Now., by Angela Davis, Gina Dent, Erica Meiners, and Beth Richie. In this remarkable collaborative work, leading scholar-activists Angela Y. Davis, Gina Dent, Erica R. Meiners, and Beth E. Richie surface the often unrecognized genealogies of queer, anti-capitalist, internationalist, grassroots, and Women-of-Color-led feminist movements, struggles, and organizations that have helped to define abolition and feminism in the 21st century. (H) bit.ly/3LEV5Qa
Women and Girls Are Changemakers, created by Shay InLak’Ech. An exceptional collection of picture books on powerful women throughout history, each linked to a YouTube read-aloud of the book. (E) bit.ly/390Wz6C
The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives, by Eloise Greenfield. This book for children highlights important aspects of the training and work of African American midwives and the ways in which they have helped, and continue to help, so many families by “catching” their babies at birth. (E, M) bit.ly/3wMGICZ
3 110th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage procession in Washington, DC. Organized by the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), thousands of women marched in front of the White House the day before President Wilson’s inauguration to illustrate women’s exclusion from the democratic process. The procession was carefully choreographed by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, the newly appointed chairs of NAWSA’s Congressional Committee, which sought to win passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1878, giving women the right to vote.
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
3 150th anniversary of the Conscription Act. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Conscription Act (also known as the Enrollment Act) requiring the enrollment of male citizens between the ages of 20 and 45, the first national conscription (the Confederacy had instituted a similar policy a year earlier). However, the rich could pay to avoid military service. The draft prompted considerable backlash and led to the New York Draft Riots (see July 13).
Northern Racism and the New York City Draft Riots of 1863, by Kevin Kelly for UMBC Center for History Education. In this lesson plan, students analyze primary sources and personal accounts of the NYC Draft riots, which will help them draw conclusions about the existence and power of Northern racism toward African Americans. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/vSyy8j
3 William Green, labor leader, politician, and AFL president, born (1873-1952). Starting out as a coal miner and an officer in the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), Green successfully ran for the Ohio state senate where he introduced a model Workers’ Compensation bill and other labor-friendly legislation. He returned to the Union, becoming AFL president from 1924 to 1952, advocating for labor-management cooperation, workers’ rights, and wage and benefit protections. He helped pass the 1935 National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
Why Are Unions Popular with Young People?, by Mark Engler of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. In this lesson, students discuss the historical role of unions in the US, and how a younger generation of workers is seeking to build unions that address their needs. This lesson consists of two readings that consider the relevance of unions for people entering today’s workforce with questions for discussion following each reading. (M, H) bit.ly/3iYk1pN
3 120th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1903 (Anarchist Exclusion Act). This law restricted immigration to the US based on political views and beliefs, profession, and criminal background, excluding “anarchists, beggars, epileptics, and importers of prostitutes.” It was enacted partly as a response to a suspected anarchist’s assassination of President McKinley and the rising Labor movement. The law also allowed the deportation of any immigrants within two years of entry to the US based on political views, beliefs, profession, or criminal background.
Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchists in America, edited by Paul Avrich. The interviewees represented in this book were active between the 1880s and the 1930s and represent all schools of anarchism. Each of the six thematic sections begins with an explanatory essay, and each interview with a biographical note. (H) akpress.org/anarchistvoices
4 90th anniversary of Frances Perkins’ appointment as Secretary of Labor. Frances Perkins was the first woman cabinet member and was the architect of many of FDR’s New Deal advances, including Social Security and the Fair Labor Standards Act. She was staunchly committed to social reform, implementing policies in unemployment relief and public works aimed at recovery from the Great Depression. Perkins was one of only two cabinet members to serve the entire length of Roosevelt’s term in office. She resigned following his death in 1945.
Primary and Secondary Source Material on Frances Perkins, by the Frances Perkins Center. Oral histories, reports and other documents authored by Perkins, and audio files of addresses by Perkins on topics including the Triangle Factory Fire, Social Security, and the New Deal. (H, TR) bit.ly/2E4lcz1
Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights, by Deborah Hopkinson. An engaging picture book biography of Frances Perkins, the first woman cabinet member and activist who created the Social Security program. (E) Discussion guide from The Tiny Activist here: bit.ly/3NLVy4T
6 80th anniversary of Carlos Bulosan’s “Freedom from Want”. Filipino American novelist, poet, and labor activist, Carlos Bulosan, was commissioned by the The Saturday Evening Post to write one of four essays it would publish on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms”: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Bulosan addressed “Freedom from Want” from the angle of labor exploitation, saying, “We are not really free…so long as the fruit of our labor is denied us.”
America is in the Heart, by Carlos Bulosan. First published in 1943, this classic memoir by acclaimed Filipino poet Carlos Bulosan describes his boyhood in the Philippines, his voyage to America, and his years of hardship and despair as an itinerant laborer following the harvest trail in the rural West. (H) bit.ly/2ScoJ7w
7 Purim begins at sunset on 3/6/2023 (Judaism). Purim celebrates the defeat of a plot to exterminate Jews living in Persia (estimated to have occurred in the 4th century BCE). It is one of the most joyous holidays of the Jewish faith.
11 Books About Purim, by Feminist Books for Kids. The celebration of Purim commemorates Queen Esther and her boldness, which saved the Hebrew people from Haman’s plan to eliminate them. Here is a list of 11 children’s books related to this important holiday for Jewish people. (E) bit.ly/3jMCqpN
7 10th anniversary of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which expanded federal protections to gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals, Native Americans, and immigrants. Originally signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was designed to offer remedies to victims of domestic violence, stalking, dating violence, and sexual assault. Conservatives generally oppose the law, which lapsed in 2019 under President Trump and the Republican Senate majority. Some abolitionist organizers argue for addressing the root and systemic causes of interpersonal harm by investing in community-based approaches to domestic violence prevention and response, rather than in carceral responses supported by the VAWA, which further invest in policing and prisons.
Creative Interventions: A Practical Guide to Stop Interpersonal Violence, by Creative Interventions. This toolkit provides basic information about interpersonal violence; advice for survivors of violence and people who have caused harm; guides for people who want to help; a framework to confront and transform violence; and stories from people who have used community-based interventions. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/37s1aRH
The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, edited by Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. This watershed collection breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the “secret” of intimate violence within social justice circles. Just as importantly, it provides practical strategies for dealing with abuse and creating safety without relying on the coercive power of the state. It offers life-saving alternatives for survivors, while building a movement where no one is left behind. (H) akpress.org/revolutionstartsathome
8 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
10 120th anniversary of the Streetcar Segregation Protest. The Arkansas Streetcar Segregation Act of 1903 required that separate sections of coaches on streetcars be designated for Black and White passengers. A group of Black leaders assembled at the First Baptist Church in Little Rock to discuss a protest and decided to call a boycott of the streetcars in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and Hot Springs. Black ridership declined significantly, but it did nothing to affect the law, which remained in effect for decades.
Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson, by Blair L.M. Kelley. This award-winning book chronicles the litigation and local organizing against segregated rails that led to the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896 and the streetcar boycott movement waged in 25 southern cities from 1900 to 1907. Kelley tells the stories of the brave but little-known men and women who faced down the violence of lynching and urban race riots to contest segregation. (H) bit.ly/3McQJQz
11 10th anniversary of the EU ban on sale of cosmetics tested on animals. In response to the development of cosmetic testing methods that did not involve animals, the EU restricted the sale of any cosmetics tested on animals. This extended a previous ban passed in the U.K. This measure was the continuation of the EU’s ban on animal testing in 2003 when a deadline of 2013 was enacted to completely do away with the practice.
Cosmetics and Household-Product Animal Testing, by PETA. Information from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about the realities of animal testing and alternatives to it, including a “Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide.” (M, H) bit.ly/axbwyw
12 Clara Fraser, feminist and political activist, born (1923-1998). Fraser, who lived in Seattle, was active in a wide range of political issues. She organized strikes, advocated for abortion rights, and opposed the Vietnam war. She also co-founded and led the Freedom Socialist Party and the Radical Women, which trains women to be leaders in the movements for social and economic justice. She was a staunch advocate for workers and for Native American, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, and women’s rights.
Badass Womxn in the Pacific Northwest, by UWB Zine Queenz. This zine, which features a biography of Clara Fraser, is a collection of biographies and portraits of badass womxn in the Pacific Northwest. Undergraduate students collaborated to create this resource that fuses multilingual poetry, art, and writing to celebrate and honor some of the strongest people you might not have heard of. It was created in an interdisciplinary Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies classroom led by Professor Julie Shayne, librarians Penelope Wood and Denise Hattwig, and peer facilitator Nicole Carter. (H) bit.ly/3MdIYtP
12 Daylight Saving Time begins
13 First Day of Deaf History Month. Deaf History Month celebrates the contributions of deaf Americans to US society and culture and promotes awareness of Deaf culture in America.
Observing Deaf History Month, by Alexandra Gomez. This article provides 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
Raising Deaf Kids: A Book List. A compilation of children’s books about hearing loss and deafness. (E, M) bit.ly/2ds3xCR
All He Knew, by Helen Frost. A novel in verse about a young deaf boy during World War II, the sister who loves him, and the conscientious objector who helps him. Inspired by true events. (M, H) bit.ly/39HC4vZ
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.
Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Toolkit for Educators, by the Education for Liberation Network/Critical Resistance Editorial Collective. Lessons in Liberation offers entry points to build critical and intentional bridges between educational practice and the growing movement for abolition. Designed for educators, parents, and young people, this toolkit shines a light on innovative abolitionist projects, particularly in Pre-K–12 learning contexts. (E, M, H, TR) akpress.org/lessonsinliberation
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
No More Police: A Case for Abolition, by Mariame Kaba and Andrea Ritchie. Centering survivors of state, interpersonal, and community-based violence, and highlighting uprisings, local campaigns, and community-based projects, No More Police makes a compelling case for a world where the tools required to prevent, interrupt, and transform conditions fueling violence in all its forms are abundant. (H) bit.ly/3rx8pOs
#SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of State Violence and Public Silence, edited by Kimberle Crenshaw. #SayHerName provides an analytical framework for understanding Black women’s susceptibility to police brutality and state-sanctioned violence, and explains how – through Black feminist storytelling and ritual – we can effectively mobilize communities and empower them to advocate for racial justice. (H) bit.ly/3K3Bt7T
16 20th anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie. Rachel Corrie, an American and active member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), went to Gaza during her final year in college to protest the destruction of Palestinian homes by the Israeli government. While she was attempting to protect a Palestinian house, she was run over by a military bulldozer. Israeli sources claimed her death was an accident, but Corrie’s parents and other activist groups disputed that finding.
Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire, edited by Jehad Abusalim, Jennifer Bing, and Mike Merryman-Lotze. Light in Gaza brings together a wide array of political essays, economic analyses, personal narratives and poetry written by Palestinians. An urgent and moving intervention, this collection shows how the Israeli blockade will make the city unlivable, and asks what it would mean for Gaza and Palestine to be free. (H) bit.ly/3wXmed1
Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, by Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick. This book 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 well-being 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 antisemitism and hatred of Israel. (H) bit.ly/3rBNevn
18 60th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright. Clarence Earl Gideon was charged with breaking and entering. Gideon could not afford a lawyer and requested that the judge appoint one for him. His request was denied, and he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Gideon petitioned the US Supreme Court, citing the judge’s refusal to appoint an attorney. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that state courts must provide attorneys for those who cannot afford to hire their own.
Abolition for the People: The Movement for a Future Without Police or Prisons, edited by Colin Kaeparnick. With some of the most powerful voices and names in today’s movement to end the prison-industrial complex, this anthology of 30 essays provides a blueprint and vision for creating an abolitionist future where communities can be safe, valued, and truly free. (H) kaepernickpublishing.com
19 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, commencing the Iraq War. The US and its coalition partners, mainly the UK, launched an air attack on 3/19; on 3/20, the ground war began. President G.W. Bush justified the invasion with claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though none were ever found. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein immediately went into hiding, and coalition forces took control of the country in a matter of weeks. Despite the apparent victory, insurgents have continued to fight a guerilla war, resulting in countless deaths.
Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War, a teaching activity by Adam Sanchez for 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
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). IVAW was founded by Iraq War veterans to give a voice to the large number of active-duty service people and veterans who are against this war but are under various pressures to remain silent. (H) ivaw.org
20 50th anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Clemente, a native of Puerto Rico, spent his entire MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, leading them to the World Series twice, earning the NL batting championship four times, 12 consecutive Gold Gloves, and 15 All-Star appearances. Clemente was killed in a tragic plane accident as he was taking emergency supplies to Nicaragua following an earthquake. He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame a few months later – the first Latinx player to achieve that honor. (See Dec 31)
Clemente!, by Bryan Collier and Willie Perdomo. A little boy named Clemente learns about his namesake, the great baseball player Roberto Clemente. (E, M) bit.ly/3LDb8Ot
21 World Down Syndrome Day. This day is dedicated to raising public awareness and advocating for the rights, inclusion, and well-being of people with Down Syndrome. It has been officially recognized by the UN since 2012.
My Friend Isabelle, by Eliza Woloson. This 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
21 50th anniversary of the Mental Patients Union (UK). Mental health patients organized to protect their rights and to advocate for themselves and other psychiatric patients. The movement can be described as a political movement, a human rights movement, and part of the Disability Rights movement. The organizers saw it as a way for mental patients to fight the oppression and social control of the psychiatric community that imposed sometimes terrifying treatments on unwitting patients.
We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health: Stories and Research Challenging the Biomedical Model, edited by L.D. Green and Kelechi Ubozoh. While much has been written about the systemic problems of our mental healthcare system, this book gives voice to those with personal experience of psychiatric ill-treatment often excluded from the discussion, such as People of Color and LGBTQ+ communities. It is dedicated to finding working alternatives to the “Mental Health Industrial Complex” and shifting the conversation from mental illness to mental health. (H) wevebeentoopatient.org
21 50th anniversary of San Antonio ISD v. Rodriguez. Demetrio Rodriguez sued the San Antonio Independent School District on behalf of minority (predominantly Mexican) students whose per pupil funds were found to be nearly $400 less than that of their White counterparts. In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that Texas had not deprived students of equal access to education, and that there is no constitutional right to education. This is often cited as one of the worst decisions ever made by SCOTUS.
Quality Education as a Constitutional Right: Creating a Grassroots Movement to Transform Public Schools, edited by Theresa Perry, Robert P. Moses, Ernesto Cortes Jr., Lisa Delpit, and Joan T. Wynne. In 2005, Bob Moses invited 100 prominent African American and Latinx intellectuals and activists to meet to discuss a proposal for a campaign to guarantee a quality education for all children as a constitutional right. This book, which emerged directly from that effort, reports on what has happened since and calls for a new scale of organizing, legal initiatives, and public definitions of what a quality education is. (H, TR) bit.ly/383SFwe
22 World Water Day. This observance is held annually to highlight water issues and to advocate for universal access to sustainable freshwater resources.
Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation, by Candy Cooper and Marc Aronson. Based on original reporting by a Pulitzer Prize finalist and an industry veteran, this is the first book for young adults about the Flint water crisis. The book shows not only how the crisis unfolded in 2014, but also the history of racism and segregation that led up to it, the beliefs and attitudes that fueled it, and how the people of Flint fought – and are still fighting – for clean water and healthy lives. (M, H) bit.ly/3fDy8QT
We Are Water Protectors, by Carole Lindstrom. Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, this bold and lyrical picture book issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption. (E) bit.ly/3qXcr2Z
23 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). It begins on the evening of March 22.
How Teachers Can Support Students During Ramadan, by Rusul Alrubail. Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims observe fasting from sunrise to sunset. It can be a difficult month for many to get through, especially students who have to go through a normal school day without eating or drinking. For schools, it’s important to provide an environment for students where they feel safe to practice their religion, but maybe more important, one that ensures their well-being during the school day. (TR) to.pbs.org/3ujLfuC
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story, by Reem Faruqi. Lailah’s hesitation about her faith and traditions is 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) bit.ly/2kFmPLM; Interview with author: bit.ly/2kzsP6e
Ramadan Moon, by Na’ima Bint Robert. This lyrical and inspiring picture book captures the wonder and joy of Ramadan from the perspective of a child. Written and illustrated by Muslim people, this is a book for all children who celebrate Ramadan and those in the wider communities who want to understand why this is such a special experience for Muslim people. (E) bit.ly/39F2vCA
Ramadan Lesson Plans, by Teaching While Muslim. This online resource offers K-12 lesson plans, book links, graphic organizers, and more designed to fill the gap in educating about the experiences and history of Muslims all over the world. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3iXGlQ7
23 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico. On March 23, 1873, the Spanish National Assembly abolished slavery in Puerto Rico. This was thanks largely to the strong anti-slavery movement in Spain. To offset the new labor costs slave owners would incur, previously enslaved people were required to continue to work their owners’ lands for three more years and were denied any political rights for five years after they were freed. In addition, slave owners were compensated 35 million pesetas per slave.
Afro-Latinx Revolution: Puerto Rico, a documentary by Natasha S. Alford for The Grio. This 36-minute documentary, filmed in 2019 in Puerto Rico, explores questions and issues around Afro-Puerto Rican identity. Given the legacy of slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean, the film asks what it means to be a descendent of those Africans today, in a world where more voices are calling out racism in Latin America? (H) on.thegrio.com/36yFLpC
24 170th anniversary of the first newspaper published by a Black woman in North America. The Provincial Freeman was an abolitionist newspaper published in Canada and circulated throughout the northern US. Its publisher and chief editor, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, was a free Black woman from Delaware who became an abolitionist, writer, and newspaperwoman after teaching in Black schools for more than a decade. The paper, which advocated for temperance, social reform, and African American emigration to Canada, where slavery was abolished in 1833, continued publication until 1860.
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
25 80th anniversary of antifascist strike by Dutch doctors. When the Occupation Nazi regime attempted to impose a new government agency on physicians in the Netherlands, registering and following its guidelines would have meant participating in the Third Reich’s program of eugenics. More than 6,200 doctors went on strike in protest. In spite of hundreds of arrests, the strike continued for weeks, until the Nazis rescinded the order.
From Theory to Classroom: Eugenics and Education, by Facing History. This 3-period lesson allows students to make connections between the American Eugenics movement and the emergence of Nazi race science during the 1920s and 1930s. The lessons explore how social and political policymakers brought their ideology to bear upon American and German citizens. (H) bit.ly/37oW9JO
26 100th anniversary of You Chung Hong becoming the first Chinese American to practice law in California. Hong was the first Chinese American to graduate from USC Law School and the first Chinese American lawyer in California. As a specialist in Immigration Law, Hong devoted his practice to advocating for the rights of Chinese Americans, working to repeal the Chinese Exclusion Act, and helping to rebuild Los Angeles’ Chinatown. He was a highly respected member of the community and was elected president of the LA chapter of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.
Us vs. Them: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, by The National Museum of American History. This lesson plan is a case study that establishes what “exclusion” in immigration law looked like, particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Students will understand the selective and racist nature of quotas and their impact on US demographics. Reading arguments made in Congress and reflected in political cartoons, students analyze the attitudes and beliefs about “others” undergirding restrictive immigration policies. (M, H) s.si.edu/3eYohog
27 50th anniversary of McClanahan v. Arizona State Tax Commission. Rosalind McClanahan, a Navajo woman who worked in a casino on the reservation, demanded a full refund when $16.20 was withheld from her paycheck. The state refused and several lower courts declined to hear the case. The US Supreme Court took the case and decided for McClanahan, saying the state has no jurisdiction to impose a tax on the income of Navajo people residing on the reservation and whose income is wholly derived from reservation sources.
#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale. Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous girls and women across North America resound in this book. In the same visual style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. (H) bit.ly/3kbL69D
27 90th anniversary of the Madison Square Garden Protest. The American Jewish Congress assembled in New York City to call out the horrific antisemitism of Nazi Germany. Approximately 23,000 people crowded into the arena, while another 30,000 listened outside. In addition to condemning the Nazi regime, they called for an American boycott of German goods. The protesters also called on President Roosevelt to loosen immigration laws to enable German Jews to enter the country.
Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Youth, a lesson from Facing History and Ourselves. This lesson explores antisemitism among youth. It draws on recent research on antisemitism and focuses on two examples: a student who spoke up against antisemitism at the University of Birmingham (UK) and then was attacked online, and a young man in Sweden who is committed to standing up against antisemitism and xenophobia. (H) bit.ly/3NKuDXb
29 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of US troops from South Vietnam. This day marks the end of eight years of direct American intervention in the Vietnam War. The last remaining US troops were removed from South Vietnam and American prisoners of war were freed. As many Americans became increasingly opposed to the war because of high casualties and an increased awareness of US involvement in war crimes, this was an important turning point in US history.
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) stanford.io/2p4sICA
Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanha Lai. For all the 10 years of her life, Ha has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by, and the beauty of her very own papaya tree. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. Discussion guide for the book included at this site. (M, H) bit.ly/36TeVsn
A Revolution of Values, by Zinn Education Project. This teaching activity contains excerpts from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech titled “Beyond Vietnam,” and a PDF for classroom use and teaching ideas. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/1HXdpSN
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
Viva La Causa: The Story of César Chávez and a Great Movement for Social Justice, by Learning for Justice. This short documentary film explores the grape strike and boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. The free teaching kit includes a 39-minute film on DVD and a teacher’s guide. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/ffoc4E
31 70th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Political Rights of Women. Sparked by feedback and input from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, this convention was drafted at the 409th plenary session of the UN and fully enacted on this date. The Convention contains three articles that assert the rights of women to vote, to be eligible for election, and to hold public office “all on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.”
Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All, by Latoya Council, Carolyn Choi, and Chelsea Johnson. Written by three Women-of-Color sociologists, this picture book introduces children to intersectional feminism. The nine interconnected characters describe themselves and their backgrounds, offering an opportunity to take pride in a personal story and connect to collective struggle for justice. (E) bit.ly/2Q2iVOs
1 First day of Arab American Heritage Month. The US Department of State published a proclamation on April 1, 2021 recognizing April as National Arab Heritage Month. The month offers the opportunity to celebrate the richness and complexity of Arab American heritage and culture. Previous attempts by various members of Congress to designate a month as Arab American Heritage Month have not been successful.
Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month, by Learning for Justice. A rich collection of resources, articles, lesson plans, and more to help educators celebrate Arab identity, counter negative stereotypes, teach about Arab history and cultures, and ensure an inclusive environment that supports Arab American students this month and throughout the year. (TR) bit.ly/3aO9wkX
Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month, by Beatrice Alvarez for PBS. A collection of short films representing some of the millions of voices and diverse experiences of Arab Americans. (M, H) to.pbs.org/3iZKiDW
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.
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) 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) bit.ly/2RXJUKi
Yes! No! A First Conversation About Consent, by Megan Madison, Jessica Ralli, and Isabel Roxas. Developed by experts in the fields of early childhood development and activism against injustice, this book offers clear, concrete language and imagery to introduce the concept of consent. It also serves to normalize and celebrate the experience of asking for and being asked for permission to do something involving one’s body. (E) bit.ly/3NMWG8o
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) 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) bit.ly/2Fh30CM
1 190th anniversary of the Canterbury Female Boarding School. When the Canterbury Female Boarding School in Connecticut admitted its first Black student, the White families removed their daughters from the school. In response, the headmistress, Prudence Crandall, decided to admit only African American girls, prompting the Connecticut legislature to ban out-of-state Black students from enrolling in Connecticut schools. In defiance, Crandall continued to run her school. White townspeople sabotaged the school, finally setting it on fire, leaving Crandall no choice but to close.
A Whole-Souled Woman: Prudence Crandall and the Education of Black Women, by Susan Strane. In this book, the author tells the story of Prudence Crandall and her efforts to provide education spaces for Black women. (H, TR) bit.ly/wholesoulwomen
1 20th anniversary of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. Fed up with years of a senseless and bloody civil war, a group of Liberian Christian and Muslim women gathered in Monrovia to demand an end to the fighting. The group became known as Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. Although it would take months for their actions to result in countrywide change, this initial protest started a movement that would result in the resignation of Liberia’s president and an end to the war.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell, directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail E. Disney. This film tells the story of a group of Liberian women who joined together to end the bloody civil war in their country. The women came together to pray for peace and organized a silent protest outside the presidential palace. Their actions were critical in reaching an agreement during the stalled peace talks. (H, TR) bit.ly/ULXWrQ
1 40th anniversary of the “Solid Waste and the Black Houston Community” report. This was the first comprehensive account of environmental racism in the US. Dr. Robert Bullard, known as the Father of Environmental Justice, documented that although Black people comprised only 25 percent of Houston’s population, all five city-owned garbage dumps, 80 percent of city-owned garbage incinerators, and 75 percent of privately owned landfills were located in Black neighborhoods, exposing these populations to toxic waste and fumes and making them more vulnerable to serious health issues.
10 Examples of Environmental Racism and How It Works, by Ivana Ramirez. Short, accessible article to serve as a primer for young people working to understand environmental racism. (M, H) bit.ly/3NHduOd
2 World Autism Awareness Day. The United Nations General Assembly declared the observance of World Autism Awareness Day to “highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.”
A New Frame of Mind, by Sean McCollum for Learning for Justice. This magazine feature captures what some autistic students wish teachers knew about who they are and how they learn. It includes a helpful glossary of autism-related terms, and a toolkit with essential questions, additional linked resources, and recommended books and publications related to the education of people with autism. (TR) bit.ly/3LJUa0P
2 160th anniversary of the Richmond Bread Riots. In the second year of the Civil War, hundreds of women stormed the governor’s mansion in Richmond, Virginia, demanding action on the scarcity of food for civilians in the city. The women looted and ransacked food stores, warehouses, and businesses. Union commanders viewed the riot as a victory, a sign that the Confederate war was increasingly unpopular even among White people in the South.
Soaring Bread Prices Could Cause Civil Unrest, Like in the Past, by Business Insider. This article educates readers about the ways in which Russia’s attack on Ukraine is driving up the cost of wheat to a degree that could cause food insecurity and large-scale civil unrest. The article connects today’s threat to multiple historical examples of food riots, instability, and mass movement caused by food shortages and inflation. (H) bit.ly/3OqfpqP
3 110th anniversary of Emmeline Pankhurst’s final prison sentence. British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who founded the Women’s Franchise League and the militant Women’s Social and Political Union, received her final prison sentence of three years’ penal servitude for “inciting to the malicious destruction of property” for planning to plant an explosive device in a building. Pankhurst believed attacks on property were a legitimate tactic in the cause of universal suffrage. She was released a few days into her sentence after staging a hunger strike.
How to Teach … The Suffragettes, by The Guardian. The Guardian created lesson ideas from role plays and protest songs to educate students about the British movement for women’s suffrage. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/38WIvhb
5 First day of Passover begins at sunset on 4/5 (Judaism). Passover is an 8-day festival that commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
The Story of Passover, by David Adler. One of the most significant holidays in Jewish tradition, Passover commemorates Moses leading his people out of slavery in Egypt. The Story of Passover recounts the major events of the story in dramatic but accessible language, from Jacob settling in Egypt to the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. The text and images have been vetted for accuracy by a rabbinical authority, and the book includes an author’s note about the modern Passover celebration, the seder, and how the different parts of the meal symbolize elements of the story. (E, M) bit.ly/3e8UtTS
The Passover Guest, by Susan Kusel. It’s the Spring of 1933 in Washington D.C., and the Great Depression is hitting young Muriel’s family hard. Muriel assumes her family is too poor to hold a Passover Seder this year– but an act of kindness and a mysterious magician change everything. (E, M) bit.ly/3Kf44r6
5 Hanuman Jayanti (Hinduism). Hanuman Jayanti commemorates the birth of Hanuman, the Vanara god.
Hanuman Jayanti. This is a religious website that tells the story of the life of Hanuman. Illustrations and links to other festivals and related topics are available on this site. (M, H) bit.ly/KntMvy
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 decided unilaterally to withdraw the US from the WHO, but President Biden rescinded that order in 2021.
Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, by PBS. This seven-part series exploring race and socioeconomic disparities in health investigates how the social circumstances in which we are born, live, and work can get under our skin and disrupt our physiology as much as germs and viruses. The website includes a classroom section, discussion guide, and video clips. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/eSKw
7 Good Friday (Christianity). Good Friday occurs 2 days before Easter and commemorates the death of Jesus.
8 30th anniversary of Ellen Ochua’s first space flight. Ellen Ochua became the first Latinx woman in space when she joined the Discovery space shuttle launch as a mission specialist studying the sun’s impact on the Earth’s ozone layer. Ochua took part in three other space flights and eventually became the director of the Johnson Space Center, the first Latinx person to hold that position.
Women at NASA, by NASA. A Twitter account (@WomenNASA) and accompanying website sharing the perspectives, stories, and accomplishments of the incredible women who are making history at NASA every day. (E, M, H) twitter.com/WomenNASA
9 60th anniversary of the arrest and beating of Fannie Lou Hamer in Mississippi. Hamer and other civil rights activists rode in the “White” section of a Greyhound bus from South Carolina to Mississippi and sat at the “Whites-only” lunch counter at the Winona, MS bus depot, prompting the local police chief to arrest them. White officers at the jail ordered Black inmates to beat Hamer with loaded blackjacks. She never fully recovered from the attack, losing vision in one eye and suffering permanent kidney damage.
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, by Carole Boston Weatherford. This is the story of Fannie Lou Hamer, in poetic form. It is infused with Hamer’s own quotes and colloquial style that defined her skill as a leader and speaker for the Civil Rights movement. This book charts Fannie Lou Hamer’s life from her family beginnings as a sharecropper to her run for the Mississippi State Senate. (E, M) bit.ly/2k8N4Ht
9 Easter (Christianity). Easter is a holiday in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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
11 30th anniversary of the Lucasville Prison Uprising. Hundreds of prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Lucasville) took over the prison in a rebellion sparked by overcrowding, poor conditions, and for some, the fear that tuberculosis vaccinations would become mandatory. On the first day, five inmates were killed by the rioters. Four more inmates were killed over the next several days. One guard was also killed. On April 21st, when officials finally agreed to review the prisoners’ 21 demands, the prisoners surrendered.
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) bit.ly/2snbjrx
12 60th anniversary of the arrest of Dr. King and peaceful protesters. Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor, a notorious segregationist with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, commanded patrolmen to surround a large crowd of peaceful civil rights marchers and ordered violent mass arrests. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along with 55 other protesters marching for freedom, was jailed for several days on emergency injunctions forbidding “racial protests” in Birmingham.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail: The Power of Nonviolent Direct Action. A lesson plan by Liberation Curriculum that encourages students to reflect on nonviolence as an instrument to change unjust laws. Within this six-part lesson, students will participate in a role play about the planning strategies, observe the courageous activism of young people, and examine Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” (H) stanford.io/3LJssBH
13 150th anniversary of the Colfax Massacre. Enraged that a Republican with strong support of Black voters had won election as governor, a mob of 300 White supremacists stormed the county courthouse where Black state militia members stood guard. An all-out attack on Black men, many of whom hadn’t even been present at the courthouse, ensued. An estimated 150 Black men were murdered. About 100 White men were arrested and charged, but only three were convicted; their convictions were overturned two years later.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson. In this video, Anderson discusses her book in which she chronicles where Black progress in history has been met by what she calls “White rage.” (H) bit.ly/36ey6Xj
14 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) bit.ly/3SF54f
14 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 on 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 Singh. 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) amzn.to/1qMWw5Q
16 50th anniversary of Miami-Dade County designating Spanish the second official language. The Dade County Commission unanimously passed a resolution from Miami’s Mayor Jack Orr to make Spanish the city’s second official language and to create a department of bilingual and bicultural affairs. The area is home to more than 350,000 Cubans who fled the Castro regime over the previous 15 years.
Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States, by Lori Marie Carlson and Oscar Hijuelos. This collection of bilingual poems celebrates families, communities, and children in the US who live their lives bilingually. These poems can be used not only to teach language arts, but also to honor the fight for educational opportunities for bilingual children and their families. (E, M) bit.ly/2HlBSDp
16 Nonbinary Parents Day. Celebrated on the third Sunday of each April, this day recognizes and celebrates nonbinary caregivers and parents.
Beyond the Gender Binary, by Alok Vaid-Menon. Alok Vaid-Menon is a poet, artist, and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate who deconstructs, demystifies, and reimagines the gender binary in this short yet powerful book. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/3MaKCwb
Celebrating Nonbinary Parents Day, by Family Equality. This website shares the founding of Nonbinary Parents Day and has an adorable printable coloring book for children to honor their nonbinary loved ones. (E) bit.ly/3rxcKSg
18 Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sundown on 4/17/2023 (Judaism).
Six Resources that Honor Jewish Voices on Yom HaShoah, from Facing History and Ourselves. While Yom HaShoah affords us the opportunity to honor the memory of those we lost during the Holocaust, it’s also a time to commemorate and celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the lives and communities decimated during this dark moment in history. Jewish life existed before the war. To honor all these voices during Yom HaShoah, this blog post includes six resources to use inside the classroom and out. (M, H) bit.ly/3DBfm6m
18 James McCune Smith, abolitionist, antiracism activist, orator, medical doctor, and pharmacist, born (1813-1865). Dr. Smith, the first African American doctor, was one of the most gifted Black intellectuals and activists in antebellum America. After completing high school, he was rejected by American universities, but was accepted by the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he earned bachelor’s, master’s, and medical degrees. After completing an internship in Paris, Smith returned to New York, where he opened a medical practice and pharmacy. He later accepted a professorship in anthropology at Wilberforce College in Ohio.
Rediscovering the Life and Legacy of James McCune Smith, by the New York Historical Society. A six-minute video about Smith, the first university-trained African American physician in the United States, who was also an abolitionist who worked with Frederick Douglass and other prominent Americans of his day to fight against slavery. (M, H) bit.ly/3vwfEbo
18 40th anniversary of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize for The Color Purple. Alice Walker was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award in 1983 for her novel, The Color Purple. The book was later adapted for the screen by Steven Spielberg, earning 11 Academy Award nominations. A Color Purple, set in Georgia, is a book about female empowerment, race, gender, and violence. The Pulitzer Committee praised it for the depth of its female characters and its powerful use of Black English vernacular.
The Color Purple: Alice Walker, by PBS American Masters. Alice Walker chose to write The Color Purple as a series of letters in the spoken vernacular of the characters. This 5-minute video from Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth explores the significance of her decision to use this form and style of writing to convey the realities of African American life in the South in the first half of the 20th century. (H) bit.ly/3MkwAYZ
19 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II fought back against the Nazis’ efforts to transport the remaining ghetto population to the Treblinka extermination camp. The resisters managed to hold off the stronger, much better equipped Nazis for nearly a month. An estimated 7,000 Jews died in the battle; the remaining 50,000 were deported to Treblinka to be murdered. It was the largest revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust.
A Day in Warsaw, from Facing History and Ourselves. This short documentary captures the spirit of Jewish life in Warsaw, Poland, before World War II. (M, H) bit.ly/3x15OR6
Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, a lesson plan from Facing History and Ourselves. Students learn about the different ways that the Jews resisted the Nazis, both within and outside the camps, in an effort to preserve their lives, dignity, and culture, which the Nazis were intent on destroying. Students will start by defining the term resistance; then they will review the different forms of resistance during the Holocaust, both physical and spiritual. (H) bit.ly/3u57bfq
21 40th anniversary of the Triana, AL legal settlement. The EPA, the Department of Justice, and the Olin Corporation settled a $24 million lawsuit filed by residents of Triana, AL. The small African American community was contaminated with DDT, a toxic chemical, from a nearby Army Base used by Olin. The settlement covered cleanup costs and medical expenses, marking the first time an EPA enforcement action provided health care for an affected community.
The DDT Story, by The Pesticide Action Network. This website tells the journey of efforts to expose the dangers of DDT and the activist campaign to ban it. The site would be useful for science and social studies classes and includes a wealth of information about other pesticides and how to take action in stopping their use. (H) bit.ly/2AvZrXN
22 Eid al-Fitr begins at sunset on 4/21 (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
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. This 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) bit.ly/2l5qxg2
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 are available for purchase. (H, TR) bit.ly/1r0QFKy
23 60th anniversary of the murder of William Lewis Moore. William Moore, a postal worker, attempted to walk 400 miles to protest racial injustice. The activist hoped to deliver a letter to Governor Ross Barnett of Mississippi at the end of his march. However, he was murdered and left by the side of the road before he made it to his destination. No one was charged for his murder, but Floyd Simpson, a member of the KKK, was a suspect.
“A Postman’s 1963 Walk For Justice, Cut Short On An Alabama Road,” by Miles Johnson for NPR. A short reading, including primary sources and interviews with historical scholars, that tells the story of William Moore, a postal worker who was murdered while marching to deliver a letter against racial injustice to the Governor of Mississippi in 1963. (M, H) n.pr/3uaMijk
25 90th anniversary of law barring Jewish students in German schools. The “Law Against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities” set a strict quota on the number of Jewish children who could enroll in each public school. This law was one among many that increasingly formalized the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Schools became important sites for Fascist propaganda, teaching obedience to state authority, militarism, racism, and antisemitism.
Holocaust Resource Collection, Facing History and Ourselves. A comprehensive collection of resources for engaging students of all ages in examining the history of the Holocaust and developing their skills of ethical reasoning, critical thinking, tolerance, and empathy. There is also a link to the organization’s genocide resource collection. (M, H, TR) facinghistory.org/topics/holocaust
27 70th anniversary of Executive Order 10450. Executive Order 10450 gave the heads of federal agencies the power to investigate whether federal employees posed a “security risk.” One consequence of this was that the federal government was able to ban the employment of LGBTQ people. With the excuse that a federal employee could be blackmailed because of their sexuality, the federal government targeted gays and lesbians in what became known as the “Lavender Scare.”
The Lavender Scare: Gay and Lesbian Life in Post-WWII America, a video by Facing History and Ourselves. Learn about the attempts to purge the US military and federal government of gay and lesbian employees during the Cold War and decades later. (H) bit.ly/37buXOb
29 10th anniversary of Jason Collins coming out publicly. Jason Collins came out as gay in an article published in Sports Illustrated, becoming the first openly gay, active male professional athlete of a major sport in the US. The culture in the “Big 4” professional sports leagues – NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL – is fueled by toxic masculinity. Homophobic slurs are a regular part of the language on the field and in the locker room. Collins retired from the NBA shortly after the article appeared, as no team offered him a contract.
Gender Bias and Homophobia in Sports, a lesson plan from Learning Justice. This lesson discusses common characteristics and stereotypes that are associated with athletes. (E) bit.ly/3J48teY
30 220th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. The United States paid France about $15 million for a vast stretch of land from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains that eventually became 15 US states. President Thomas Jefferson allowed slavery in the acquired territory, which later ended up fueling the Civil War. As the land was settled, more and more territory was taken from Native Americans through forced displacement, enabling further expansion west.
Standardizing Indigenous Erasure, with Leilani Sabzalian, Sarah Shear, and Jimmy Snyder, from the Visions of Education Podcast by Daniel Krutka and Michael Milton. In this podcast episode, Sabzalian, Shear, and Snyder talk about their new publication in Theory & Research in Social Education titled, “Standardizing Indigenous erasure: A TribalCrit and QuantCrit analysis of K–12 US civics and government standards.” They talk about the erasure of Indigenous peoples in state standards. (TR) bit.ly/3NRCenc
30 60th anniversary of Bristol Bus Boycott. The Bristol Omnibus Company in Bristol, England, refused to employ Black bus drivers despite the labor shortage at the time. This discrimination sparked a boycott of the bus company, led and organized by a group of West Indians. Though the 4-month boycott did not end racial tensions or discrimination, the group was successful in getting the company to reverse its hiring policy in August 1963.
Protesting Discrimination in Bristol, by Facing History. This lesson, part of a broader unit on “Standing Up for Democracy,” explores the strategies used in the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott and how we can apply them to make changes in our schools and local communities. (H) bit.ly/3uYUdRc
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. A lovely collection of picture books about jazz and legendary Black jazz artists. (E) bit.ly/2Vb1Keo
1 First day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May is designated as a month to celebrate the history, traditions, and culture of Asian Pacific Americans. It was officially signed into law in 1992.
Asian American Books, by Teaching for Change. An extensive catalog of books compiled by Social Justice Books. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/2RV6cwq
A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America (For Young People Series), by Ronald Takaki and Rebecca Stefoff. Drawing on Takaki’s vast array of primary sources, and staying true to his own words whenever possible, A Different Mirror for Young People brings ethnic history alive through the words of people, including teenagers, who recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and poems. (M, H) bit.ly/2S3p3pa
1 International Workers’ Day/May Day. International Workers’ Day, or May Day, recognizes the social and economic achievements of the International Labor movement. It also commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, in which Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the 8-hour day, killing several demonstrators.
Fighting for a Living Wage, by NYSUT. A collection of links and resources related to organizing for the “Fight for $15,” a national struggle to increase the minimum wage to $15. In the section titled, “Make the Fight for a Living Wage a Teachable Moment,” are lesson plans and multimedia resources related to the “Fight for $15.” (H, TR) bit.ly/2lJEYs9
1 First day of Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Awareness Month was initiated in the US in 1949 by the National Association for Mental Health (now known as Mental Health America). The aim is not only to raise awareness about mental health issues, but to reduce the stigma associated with mental health struggles. The organization provides support, educates the public through media campaigns, organizes local events, and offers mental health screenings.
Supporting Students this Mental Health Month, by Learning for Justice. These resources, including an article introducing the Crisis Text Line, recommend practices that can be used at the district, school, or classroom level. (TR) bit.ly/33KFieF
1 First day of National Bike Month. Spearheaded by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), May has been designated National Bike Month since 1956. The LAB has been instrumental in promoting biking in communities across the country. National Bike Month offers an opportunity to highlight the many benefits of cycling, including fun, fitness, connecting communities, and creating a healthier planet. LAB offers a range of resources to help plan local events with the goal of expanding cycling nationwide.
Have Wheels, Will Travel, by YES! Magazine. A visual learning exercise that introduces students to bamboo bicycles. (E, M, H) bit.ly/ca96cb
1 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.
Online African American Children’s Stories, by Sankofa Read Aloud. An amazing YouTube channel of short (5-7 minutes) read-alouds for children of some of the best African American children’s literature. New stories are added nearly every day. (E) bit.ly/3DEh5bf
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
1 20th anniversary of the US Navy closure of Camp Garcia firing zone in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Following years of protests, the US Navy finally withdrew from Vieques, Puerto Rico, after 60 years of using the island as a testing site for bombs, Agent Orange, napalm, and other deadly weapons. People living on the island were exposed to toxic chemicals that contaminated the land and water, leaving many of them seriously ill. Vieques was bombed an average of 180 days per year, resulting in significantly high incidences of cancer and infant mortality.
Vieques: Worth Every Bit of Struggle. In this film, Puerto Ricans recount the grim story of the “occupation” of Vieques, including the health impacts, the protest movement, and the eventual exit of the US military. (H) vimeo.com/171229279
1 20th anniversary of President Bush declaring victory in Iraq. Standing on an aircraft carrier in front of a “Mission Accomplished” sign, President George W. Bush declared the US had achieved victory in Iraq. This victory dance was widely condemned as the war in Iraq continued for many years afterward. Since 2004, thousands of combatants on both sides and an estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Furthermore, the country is less stable now than it was before the US invasion in 2003.
A Global Controversy: The US Invasion of Iraq, by The Choices Program. This site contains supplemental materials to a unit that draws students into the debate on the US decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Materials include readings, activities, videos, maps, poetry, web links, and more. (H, TR) Unfortunately, this curriculum is now only available for purchase. (H) bit.ly/3uTx29E
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq, by Jeanette Winter. Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For 14 years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library – along with the 30,000 books within it – will be destroyed forever. (E) bit.ly/3JesW0F
1 160th anniversary of the Confederacy authorizing the enslavement or execution of Black Union troops. Incensed that Black troops were fighting alongside Union soldiers, a joint resolution adopted by the Confederate Congress and signed by President Jefferson Davis declared that all “negroes or mulattoes, slave or free, taken in arms should be turned over to the authorities… and tried by Confederate military tribunals for inciting insurrection and be subject, at the discretion of the court and the President, to the death penalty.” Apparently, Black-fired bullets are extra painful to racists.
The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship, by Deborah Willis. This book explores the crucial role of photography in (re)telling and shaping African American narratives of the Civil War. With more than 70 images, supplemented with handwritten captions, letters, and other personal materials, the book contains a huge breadth of primary and archival materials. Willis also includes stories of other African Americans involved with the struggle, from left-behind family members to female spies. (M, H) bit.ly/3uRBZRk
2 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? This book 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
2 60th anniversary of the Children’s Crusade. As the Civil Rights movement in Alabama began to lose momentum, an idea was hatched to involve children in the fight. Dubbed the “Children’s Crusade,” approximately 1,000 students marched from Sixth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Bull Connor and local police responded with brutality and violence, outraging national news audiences and President Kennedy. Later that year, an agreement was made between Civil Rights leaders and the city of Birmingham to end segregation in public accommodations.
Mighty Times: The Children’s March, a film with teaching guide by Learning for Justice. This 40-minute documentary film tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama, braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. Their heroism complements discussions about the ability of today’s young people to be catalysts for positive social change. Free film and accompanying teaching guide. (M, H) bit.ly/2dikRy9
The Young Crusaders: The Untold Story of the Children and Teenagers Who Galvanized the Civil Rights Movement, by V.P. Franklin. Understanding the role of children and teenagers transforms how we understand the Civil Rights movement and the broader part young people have played in shepherding social and educational progress. It also serves as a model for the youth-led “reparatory justice” campaigns seen today mounted by Black Lives Matter, March for Our Lives, and the Sunrise Movement. (H) akpress.org/the-young-crusaders
Selma, Lord, Selma, by Sheyann Webb-Christburg and Rachel West Nelson. Selma, Lord, Selma is the true story of a young girl’s desire to actively participate in the Selma, Alabama Civil Rights movement because she was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The book was adapted into a TV movie in 1999. (E, M) bit.ly/16BptWY
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 110th anniversary of California’s Alien Land Law. In an effort to curtail Japanese immigration, California passed the Alien Land Law in 1913, preventing Asian immigrants from owning land. Because of its many loopholes, the law failed to achieve its purpose, and Japanese immigration increased significantly. The law was amended in 1920 and 1923, barring the leasing of land and land ownership by American-born children of Asian immigrants as well as by corporations that were controlled by Asian immigrants.
Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit: “This toolkit represents the work and thinking of 15 grassroots organizations with Asian American bases living in the most precarious margins of power… and reflecting 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
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
5 UN Vesak Day (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) amzn.to/VAg7CL
5 80th anniversary of California’s requiring marriage licenses to indicate race. Like many other states, California banned interracial marriage. To reinforce this statute, which had been in effect since the state joined the Union, a new law was passed requiring that marriage licenses indicate the race of both parties to the marriage. In 1948, in Perez v. Sharp, the California Supreme Court struck down the law, as well as the ban on interracial marriage.
Multiracial Families in Recent Picture Books, by Diverse BookFinder. This booklist provides summaries and analyses of recent children’s books that represent multiracial families. (E) bit.ly/3K4SOwM
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. The author 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 90th anniversary of the Nazi raid on the Institut fur Sexualwissenschaft (Institute for Sexual Sciences). Magnus Hirschfeld was a German pioneer in the study of sexuality and gender. He wrote and lectured widely, treated and advised patients, and promoted the rights of those who did not conform to existing gender or sexual norms. In 1933, Nazi soldiers and students raided Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Sciences, ransacked the place and burned more than 42,000 books, articles, and photos. Hirschfeld escaped to France where he lived until his death in 1935.
You Know, Sex: Bodies, Gender, Puberty, and Other Things!, by Cory Silverberg. In a bright graphic format featuring four dynamic middle schoolers, You Know, Sex grounds sex education in social justice, covering not only the big three of puberty – hormones, reproduction, and development – but also power, pleasure, and how to be a decent human being. (M) akpress.org/you-know-sex
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) bit.ly/163FXqn
7 180th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrant to the United States. On May 7, 1843, 14-year-old fisherman Manjiro became the first official Japanese immigrant to the US. The captain of an American whaling ship, William Whitfield, helped rescue Manjiro and his crew after a shipwreck 300 miles from Japan’s coast, then later adopted him. In 1992, May was chosen as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month in part to mark the arrival of Manjiro as the first Japanese immigrant to the United States.
Are You An Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, by Misuzu Kaneko. Kaneko’s empathetic children’s poetry was lost for decades. Now, this color-illustrated, bilingual volume presents her biography and most beloved poems. The first half interweaves Kaneko’s biography with poems; the latter half features 25 new translations of her poetry alongside the Japanese originals. Every page is filled with beautiful color illustrations by Japanese artist Toshikado Hajiri. (E, M) Guide to using the book here: bit.ly/3xCPfLm
7 260th anniversary of Pontiac’s Rebellion. Pontiac, the Chief of the Ottawa tribe, organized a rebellion against British forces in Detroit. The Wyandot, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi tribes joined forces with Pontiac to oust the British who had taken over the territory after the French and Indian War. Pontiac’s allies in New York, Maryland, and Virginia waged similar uprisings against British military garrisons.
The People Shall Continue, by Simon Ortiz. Told in the rhythms of traditional oral narrative, this powerful telling of the history of the Native/Indigenous peoples of North America recounts their story from Creation to the invasion and usurpation of Native lands. (E, M) bit.ly/2FTMush
8 Kevin Jennings, LGBTQ activist, educator, author, and founder of GLSEN, born (1963). Jennings’ contributions to the LGBTQ movement began in 1988, when he helped students create the first Gay-Straight Alliance. He went on to found the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). President Obama appointed Jennings Assistant Secretary of Education. He subsequently led the Arcus Foundation, the world’s largest foundation for LGBTQ rights organizations. He has been honored for his work by national and international organizations and is an award-winning author and documentarian.
One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium: LGBT Educators Speak Out About What’s Gotten Better… and What Hasn’t, by Kevin Jennings. From the director of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) comes this revised edition of his original collection of accounts by openly gay and lesbian teachers. Voices left out of the first two editions, including transgender people, People of Color, teachers working in rural districts, and educators from outside the United States, are featured prominently in this new collection. (TR) bit.ly/3O1rCSq
9 Kiyoshi Kuromiya, author, civil rights, LGBTQ, and HIV/AIDS activist, born (1943-2000). Japanese American Kuromiya was born in a Japanese internment camp. He was active in the Civil Rights and LGBTQ Rights movements and was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. He worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and participated with the Gay Pioneers, serving as an openly gay delegate to the Black Panthers Convention that endorsed Gay Liberation. He had a prominent role in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, particularly among the most vulnerable populations.
Love Your Asian Body: AIDS Activism in Los Angeles, by Eric Wat. The AIDS crisis reshaped life in Los Angeles and radicalized a new generation of queer Asian Americans with a broad vision of health equity and sexual freedom. A community memoir, Love Your Asian Body connects the deeply personal with the uncompromisingly political in telling the stories of more than 30 Asian American AIDS activists. In those early years of the epidemic, these activists became caregivers, social workers, nurses, researchers, and advocates for those living with HIV. (H) bit.ly/3JSsiXb
11 50th anniversary of the dismissal of charges against Daniel Ellsberg. Daniel Ellsberg was a leading Vietnam War strategist. While studying top-secret documents, he concluded that America’s involvement in Vietnam was based on decades of lies. In an act of conscience, Ellsberg copied the documents – the “Pentagon Papers” – and leaked them to members of Congress and the New York Times. Ellsberg was charged with espionage, conspiracy, and theft, and faced a 115-year prison sentence. At trial, all charges were dismissed on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, a film by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith. The riveting story of how a Pentagon official risked life in prison by leaking 7,000 pages of a top-secret report to the New York Times to help stop the Vietnam War. Includes link to teaching activities to be used with the film (94 minutes). (H) bit.ly/2GpxhjF
11 80th anniversary of the Battle of Attu. The Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska in June 1942, occupying the islands until they were defeated nearly a year later. Although they were part of the US territory, the US didn’t attempt to take back the islands until May 1943. The 40 Indigenous inhabitants of Attu were taken to Japan as prisoners of war. About half of them died from disease. The survivors were relocated to another Alaskan island when the war ended.
Remembering the Battle of Attu, by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. An 8-minute video describing the Battle of Attu, in which the Alaskan island was attacked by Japan and the Attuan people were taken as prisoners in internment camps. The video, which includes archival footage from the National Archives, is a useful tool for educating young people about the only land battle of World War II fought on American soil. (H) bit.ly/3rxbrmk
12 90th anniversary of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Large agricultural surpluses during the 1920s had caused prices for farm products to drop steadily, leaving millions of farmers, tenants, and sharecroppers destitute and hundreds of thousands of farms abandoned. The AAA was intended to limit crop production, reduce stock numbers, and offer more favorable mortgages to struggling farmers. Although the AAA boosted US agriculture, it favored larger, more productive farms, eliminating small farms, tenant farms, and sharecropping, leading to mass migration to urban areas.
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he’s as tall as his truck. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can’t see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot in Milwaukee he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. In 2008, the MacArthur Foundation named Allen a genius for his innovative urban farming methods, including aquaponics and hydroponics. (E, M) Curriculum guides and other resources for the book here: bit.ly/3OiNJUH
13 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
14 110th anniversary of the Philadelphia Dockworkers’ strike. Reflecting Philadelphia’s diversity, the city’s 5,000 longshoremen were about one-third Black and two-thirds White. Employers assumed racism and xenophobia would tear them apart. Instead, they were unified, joining the IWW, and going on strike for higher wages and better working conditions. After a successful 2-week strike, led by Black dockworker, Ben Fletcher, the new Local 8 of the IWW was the most racially and ethnically integrated union local in the US at the time.
100 Years Ago: The Philadelphia Dockers Strike and Local 8 of the IWW, by libcom.org. A free text published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of an important strike launched by the IWW on the Philadelphia docks, analyzing both the strengths and weaknesses of the IWW at the time. (H) bit.ly/37XuYFQ
14 10th anniversary of Brazil’s legalizing same-sex marriage. A Federal Court in Brazil ruled that the government cannot discriminate against LGBTQ people when issuing marriage licenses, effectively making same-sex marriage legal. Brazil joined other predominantly Catholic Latin American countries in recognizing same-sex marriage as legal and protected.
Global Landscape of the Freedom to Marry, from Freedom to Marry Global. This site includes pages of reports, background information, and resources related to same-sex marriage around the world. This page takes you to an overview of the status of the right to marry in various countries. (M, H) bit.ly/3uPHeBb
14 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) 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
See You Soon, by Mariame Kaba. A poignant, beautifully illustrated story of a little girl’s worries when her Mama goes to jail, and the love that bridges the distance between them. (E) bit.ly/3uVBKUa
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 130th anniversary of Fong Yue Ting v. US. In response to the 1892 Geary Act, which renewed the Chinese Exclusion Act and added the requirement that Chinese people in the US carry identification, Fong Yue Ting and others sued the US on the grounds that being singled out on the basis of national origin was unconstitutional. However, the US Supreme Court upheld the Geary Act, finding that the requirements are not unconstitutional.
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
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
17 10th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Rights rally in Tbilisi, Georgia. LGBTQ rights activists gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia to hold their first rally in favor of the rights of LGBTQ people on International Day Against Homophobia. The sparsely attended rally was broken up by a violent crowd of Orthodox priests and thousands of anti-gay demonstrators shouting homophobic slurs. The former Soviet bloc is infamous for its brutal anti-gay policies and attitudes.
Gender Variance Around the World Over Time: It’s Nothing New, by Lucy Diavolo for Teen Vogue. Teen Vogue offers a collection of lesson plans and articles on several major topic areas, including LGBTQ+ rights and struggle. As part of that collection, this article focuses on the existence of transgender and nonbinary people in various countries and cultures, tracing back thousands of years. (H) bit.ly/3vwv0N0
17 Lena Levine, author, woman’s rights and anti-poverty activist, born (1903-1965). Levine, a psychiatrist and gynecologist, advocated for free access to birth control, as well as women’s rights to sexual enjoyment and sex education. She was also an anti-poverty activist, promoting the empowerment of married women. Through her work with Margaret Sanger, planned parenthood and marriage counseling became the focus of Levine’s life, serving as medical secretary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, edited by Daisy Hernández and Bushra Rehman. In this anthology, a diverse, lively group of emerging writers speak to the strength of community and the influence of color, to borders and divisions, and to the critical issues that need to be addressed to finally reach an era of racial freedom. (H) bit.ly/3EkLwUg
19 310th anniversary of the Boston Bread Riot. Food shortages were common in Boston, where grain had to be imported. Merchants hoarded grain or sold it to foreign markets for huge profits, exacerbating food shortages. For the third time in four years, hundreds of people rioted on Boston Common over the high price of bread. The riots helped persuade the colonial legislature to pass regulations designed to manage food shortages. Despite these laws, hoarding and food riots continued throughout the 18th century.
What Food Riots Can Teach Us About Creating Political Change, by Suzanne Cope. A commentary that connects historic labor struggles such as the Boston Bread Riot to modern-day political movements also fueled by food protests. This piece supports young people in making connections across time and across social and political movements to see common threads among them. (H) wbur.fm/3xAFVb8
20 60th anniversary of Medgar Evers’ speech on racism. In a nationally televised speech, civil rights activist, Medgar Evers, a US Army veteran, spoke out against racism in the South. He spoke of his frustration that even after honorably serving his country, he was treated differently because of his skin color. He also mentioned that even in Jackson, MS, where Black residents made up 40% of the population, they could not serve as police officers, clerks, or firefighters, nor could they vote. Within a month, Evers was murdered.
Medgar Evers: A Profile, by Dernoral Davis for Zinn Ed Project. Featured on the Zinn Education Project website, this link includes a profile of the life of Medgar Evers, along with associated classroom lessons, films, linked resources and events, primary source interviews, and more. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/3jsD0sH
22 180th anniversary of the start of the “Great Emigration” on the Oregon Trail. The notion of “Manifest Destiny” – the idea that God had ordained that White America should expand as far west as possible – was a major driver of the so-called “Great Emigration” along the Oregon trail. It was used as justification for brutally seizing lands inhabited by Native Americans, Mexicans, and other non-Europeans. Thousands of White settlers died in their quest to enrich themselves at the expense of those who had long before established their homelands there.
Teaching Critically About Lewis and Clark: Challenging Dominant Narratives in K-12 Curriculum, by Alison Schmitke, Leilani Sabzalian, and Jeff Edmundson. This book challenges dominant narratives and packaged curricula about Lewis and Clark to support more responsible social studies instruction. The authors provide a conceptual framework, ready-to-use lesson plans, and teaching resources to address oversimplified versions of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Indigenous perspectives, along with contemporary issues, are embedded in each lesson. (TR) bit.ly/36QxhdE
22 120th anniversary of the Platt Amendment (US-Cuba Treaty). Although presented as a treaty to protect Cuba’s independence, the Platt Amendment to the Cuban Constitution, ending five years of US occupation of Cuba, was seen by many Cubans as an infringement on their sovereignty. It gave the US the right to interfere in Cuban affairs if it felt US interests were endangered and established a US naval base at Guantanamo. In 1934, President Roosevelt repealed the terms of the amendment, except the naval base.
American Imperialism, by the History Teaching Institute at The Ohio State University. Students are asked to analyze and evaluate editorial cartoons pertaining to late 19th and early 20th century American imperialism, and work to determine the perspective of the artists. (H) bit.ly/3uYoBLq
24 40th anniversary of the World Institute on Disability (WID). WID was founded by Disability Rights activists, Ed Roberts, Judy Heumann, and Joan Leon. It was one of the first global disability rights organizations that was founded and has been led since its inception by people with disabilities. Its mission is to advance the rights and opportunities of the more than one billion disabled people worldwide through accessibility solutions, housing and employment advocacy, and technological adaptations.
We Move Together, by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire. A bold and colorful exploration of all the ways that people navigate through the spaces around them and a celebration of the relationships we build along the way. We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community. A perfect tool for families, schools, and libraries to facilitate conversations about disability, accessibility, social justice, and community building. Includes a kid-friendly glossary (for ages 6–9). (E) akpress.org/we-move-together
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
25 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity. Leaders of 32 independent African nations met in Ethiopia to discuss common issues and goals. They formed the Organization of African Unity with the primary goal of decolonizing the rest of Africa and ending White rule in the southern part of the continent. The OAU’s basic principles included promotion of solidarity among African states, improved quality of life for Africans, and a promise to defend the sovereignty of African states.
Teaching about Africa: Where to Start?, by the African Studies Center at Boston University. The K-16 Education Program offers a wide variety of grade level-specific and topic-specific lesson plans, resource guides, and learning activities for teaching Africa in the classroom. Find tips, articles, podcasts, videos, and other resources specific to individual countries as well as generalized to the continent, organized by theme and grade level. (E, M, H, TR) bit.ly/3rzRuLG
25 80th anniversary of White riot at the Alabama Dry Dock Shipping Company. After 12 Black workers were promoted to higher positions at the Alabama Dry Dock Shipping Company, White workers became incensed. The promotions were in response to President Roosevelt’s directives to elevate African Americans to skilled positions, as well as years of pressure from local Black leaders and the NAACP. A mob of 4,000 heavily armed White shipyard workers and community members attacked Black employees. More than 50 people were severely injured in the attacks.
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden. Adapted from Anderson’s bestselling White Rage (2016), this book summons young people to bear witness to the devastatingly expansive strategies White citizens have taken up to preserve the racialized violence that emerged from the founding of the nation. (M, H) bit.ly/2w1AiVE
26 Shavuot begins at sunset on 5/25/23 (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
28 60th anniversary of Woolworth’s Sit-in. Citing “local customs,” Woolworth’s, a national chain of discount stores, refused to serve Black customers in its southern stores. Students in Jackson, MS staged a sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter and were immediately beset by White assailants throwing food, hot coffee, syrup, mustard, and other objects at the nonviolent protesters. The incident made national news, and the Kennedy administration intervened, though nothing changed until the Civil Rights bill passed in 1964.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney. This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing Civil Rights movement. (E, M) bit.ly/3j0FqOR
29 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. 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
29 80th anniversary of “Rosie the Riveter” on the Saturday Evening Post. Norman Rockwell’s image of “Rosie the Riveter” has become a cultural icon, representing American women who began working in factories while men were overseas fighting during WWII. It was the first time women were depicted as strong, capable contributors to the economy. Rosie’s image is often used as a symbol of feminism and women’s economic power. The irony is that most of those women lost their jobs when the men returned from the war.
Beyond Rosie the Riveter: Women’s Contributions During WWII, by Sean Irwin. In this lesson, students use primary, secondary, and multimedia resources such as the “We Can Do It” poster to explore the many ways in which American women contributed to the war effort during WWII and how their efforts marked political, economic and military changes. (H) bit.ly/1sINWQi
30 50th anniversary of Crystal Lee Sutton’s dismissal from J.P. Stevens. In the South, unions were almost nonexistent. The Textile Workers Union of America tried unsuccessfully to organize the textile industry. Crystal Sutton had worked at the Stevens textile mill for a decade, earning about $2.80 per hour. She finally realized unionizing was the only way to make meaningful changes. When management got wind of her pro-union stance, Sutton was fired. The 1979 film, Norma Rae, starring Sally Fields, is roughly based on Sutton’s organizing efforts.
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
30 James Earl “J.E.” Chaney, civil rights activist, born (1943-1964). Chaney was an activist in the Civil Rights movement. He joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in 1963 and was part of a campaign for voter registration and desegregation known as the 1964 Freedom Summer Project. On June 21, Chaney and two other volunteers were arrested without cause. On their release, they were murdered by Klan members, who had been tipped off by the police. Their bodies were discovered 6 weeks later.
Freedom Summer Project, by Wisconsin Historical Society. The Wisconsin Historical Society site encourages teachers, writers, historians and others to use its more than 100 manuscript collections about the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964. Documents include official records of student organizations, personal papers of movement leaders and activists, internal memos, and more. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/1iipaSJ
30 80th anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots. In Los Angeles, CA, White soldiers targeted Latinx youth in a series of violent attacks that became known as the Zoot Suit Riots. White sailors and soldiers spread throughout Los Angeles attacking any Latinx youth wearing zoot suits, beating them with belt buckles and ropes, and stripping them of their clothes. The animosity was fueled by an influx of Latinx immigrants into Los Angeles following World War II, who became scapegoats for a rise in crime.
Zoot Suit Riots: Los Angeles Erupts in Violence, an episode of PBS’ The American Experience. This 50-min episode streaming on the PBS website explores the 10-night terrorization of young Mexican men by White US soldiers in Los Angeles. (H) to.pbs.org/3J402Ao
Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots, by Margarita Engle. From the Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle comes a searing novel in verse about the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. This site includes a “reading group guide” with activities, questions, and other supports for teachers. (M, H) bit.ly/3v6Zjts
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, written by Haitian teenagers and illustrated by Rogé. 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
1 180th anniversary of Sojourner Truth renaming herself. Formerly enslaved, Isabelle Baumfree chose Pentecost Sunday to rechristen herself with a name that reflected the calling she got from God: to go preach the truth. Sojourner Truth traveled for many years as an outspoken advocate for abolition, temperance, and for civil and women’s rights. Although she was associated with several luminaries of her time, including Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, she eventually broke with them over philosophical differences.
Compare the Two Speeches, by the Sojouner Truth Project. This site puts two different transcriptions of the famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech side by side to see the differences. The better-known transcription was written by a White abolitionist who changed the words and used a stereotypical “Southern Black slave accent” rather than Sojourner’s distinct upper New York State low-Dutch accent. (M, H) bit.ly/379zwCY
Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth, by R. Gregory Christie and Anne Rockwell. A powerful picture book biography of one of the Abolition movement’s most compelling voices. (E) bit.ly/OnlyPassingThru
1 150th anniversary of the Cypress Hills Massacre. A group of American hunters in Saskatchewan, Canada, attacked and slaughtered members of the Assiniboine tribe, claiming, despite a total lack of evidence, that the Native people had stolen some of their horses. They brutally killed defenseless and impoverished tribal elders, women, children, and warriors. The Canadian Mounted Police were dispatched to the scene, but the attackers were long gone, and justice was never served.
Sioux Legends of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Indians, by G.W. Mullins and C.L. Hause. Native American mythology began long before the European settlers arrived on North American soil. Included in this anthology are collected works from the Sioux, a confederacy of several tribes that speak three different dialects, the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota. The Sioux, a proud people with a rich heritage, have recorded a much of their history through storytelling. (E, M) bit.ly/3JQZxdp
1 90th anniversary of the El Monte’s Berry Strike. A strike was called over low wages and poor working conditions. It was one of the largest organized labor strikes to date in the Southern California agriculture industry. It took a few weeks to gain traction, but eventually more than 7,000 workers joined the strike. The workers got a small wage increase, but the strike coalesced the power of Japanese growers and White government officials, who threatened workers with deportation and withdrawal of welfare benefits.
Bittersweet Fruit: El Monte’s Berry Strike of 1933, by Melquiades Fernandez and the South El Monte Arts Posse. This essay provides background information and photographs about the historic labor struggle involving the Cannery and Agricultural Workers’ International Union (CAWIU), local Mexican workers, Japanese growers, White elected officials with a vested economic interest, and the Mexican consular office that provided the fuel that ignited subsequent labor strikes throughout California. (H, TR) bit.ly/3uMm4DY
1 40th anniversary of GAO report on Siting of Hazardous Waste Landfills. Following a 1982 Warren County, NC, sit-in, the US General Accounting Office (GAO) issued the report, “Siting of Hazardous Waste Landfills and Their Correlation with Racial and Economic Status of Surrounding Communities.” The report revealed that three out of four hazardous waste landfills were located in communities where People of Color and those with incomes below the poverty line comprised at least 26% of the population. This provided empirical support for claims of environmental racism.
Environmental Justice: Opposing a Toxic Landfill, by PBS Learning Media. A clip from Earthkeeping: Toxic Racism introduces the beginning of the Environmental Justice movement, the opposition to a toxic landfill in Warren, SC, and how those protests led to wider awareness of and dialogue about the environment and communities of Color. (M, H) bit.ly/PEn2Fw
2 160th anniversary of the Combahee (SC) Ferry Raid. Through her work on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman became an expert at clandestine operations. During the Civil War, she became the first woman to lead an armed military operation when she guided three gunboats in a raid against Confederate forces in South Carolina. More than 700 slaves were rescued and millions of dollars’ worth of Confederate supplies were destroyed. Although praised for her heroism, Tubman wasn’t paid for her work because she was a woman.
Before She was Harriet, by Lesa Cline-Ransome. We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman she was a Union spy. As Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together in this children’s book to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life. (E) bit.ly/3K8EB2n
2 Cornel West, philosopher, critic, educator, civil rights activist, and author, born (1953). West is best known for his contributions to the post-1960s Civil Rights movement. A professor at Princeton University, his work focuses on the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their “radical conditionedness.” He has written 20 books and has edited 13 others. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters.
Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life, by bell hooks and Cornel West. In this provocative and captivating dialogue, bell hooks and Cornel West come together to discuss the dilemmas, contradictions, and joys of Black intellectual life. (H, TR) bit.ly/3KQzpAQ
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 60th anniversary of movie theaters restoring segregation in Savannah, GA. Less than 24 hours after desegregating movie theaters and opening their doors to all patrons, owners restored segregation under pressure from White protesters marching to city hall. Two of the three theaters completely banned Black people from attending movie showings, while the third restricted Black customers to balcony seats. Savannah Mayor Malcolm MacLean condoned the continued racist policies, stating that private businesses were free to do whatever they chose with regard to racial segregation.
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, by Tiffany Jewell. This activity book guides the reader through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism, and provides tools to undo it. This link also includes teacher’s guides for using the book. (M, H) bit.ly/2uurXcA
6 10th anniversary of EU Protection Order. This European Union regulation ensures that victims of sexual violence, sex-trafficking, and domestic abuse will have protection orders enforced in all EU member states. The new regulation complements the 2011 European protection order, extending its application from criminal to civil matters, guaranteeing that victims of domestic violence can rely on restraint or protection orders issued against the perpetrator in their own country when they travel or move to another EU country.
Human Trafficking, by David McKay Wilson for Learning for Justice. Slavery never went away, and students need to know how it affects today’s world. This essay is accompanied by teaching tips and examples of curricular choices teachers have made to support young people in learning about and taking action against modern-day human trafficking. (M, H) bit.ly/2r3tnF2
7 20th anniversary of V. Gene Robinson’s election as an Episcopal bishop. V. Gene Robinson was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, making him the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination in the US. Robinson is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. His election caused a rift in the Episcopal/Anglican Church, and he was subjected to a constant barrage of death threats and homophobic slurs. He retired from his post in 2013.
LGBTQ in the Church, by The Episcopal Church. A host of resources, including historical background as well as videos, organizing information, and liturgical resources for today, focused on the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church. (H, TR) bit.ly/3jMCTbz
8 70th anniversary of District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co. In an attempt to challenge segregation practices in DC restaurants, 86-year-old Mary Terrell, who was African American, and her colleagues went to Thompson Restaurant for lunch. When refused service, Terrell contacted the DC police and prosecutor, who did nothing. Terrell targeted other restaurants using tactics such as boycotts, picketing, and sit-ins. Finally, the prosecutor sued Thompson, and the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously that segregation in eating places was unconstitutional.
Women and the American Story: Mary Church Terrell, Championing Suffrage and Civil Rights, by the New-York Historical Society’s Women and the American Story curriculum. This two-minute animated video highlights the life and achievements of Mary Church Terrell. The video was produced by the New York Historical Society’s Teen Leaders interns in collaboration with the Untold Project, and includes links to further resources. (E) bit.ly/3EkBySK
8 Malcolm Boyd, Episcopal priest, civil and gay rights advocate, anti-war activist, and author, born (1923-2015). Boyd was the first openly gay clergyman in a mainstream Christian denomination. He took a circuitous route to his social justice and anti-war activism, starting out as a Hollywood producer. Boyd was a prominent voice in the Civil Rights movement and a strong proponent of the ordination of women and openly gay people in the Episcopal Church and for programs to help growing legions of homeless people and AIDS victims.
Pride: An Inspirational Story of the LGBTQ+ Movement, by Stella Caldwell. In this beautifully designed dynamic book, young readers will learn about groundbreaking events, including historic pushes for equality and the legalization of same-sex marriages across the world. For ages 10+. (E, M) akpress.org/pride
10 60th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. This federal law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 with the aim of abolishing wage disparity based on gender. The law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex by paying wages at a lower rate than that paid to employees of another sex for doing similar jobs. Most employees across both the public and private sectors are covered.
Examining the Equal Pay Act of 1963, by the JFK Presidential Library. Gender pay equity is still a major issue in the workplace. In this lesson plan, students will discuss the issue and examine the Equal Pay Act of 1963 for its strengths and weaknesses. (H) bit.ly/3rB5nJw
10 50th anniversary of the New York City Gravediggers’ strike. A strike that began in April at three cemeteries, expanded to include workers at 44 more cemeteries in the greater New York City area, demanding wage increases and employer-funded pensions. During the strike, some bodies, including those of people in certain religious groups that require speedy burials, were buried by relatives and volunteers. However, when the strike ended on July 6, at least 1,400 bodies remained unburied.
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
10 20th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Ontario. Michael Leshner and Michael Stark were married in Toronto, Ontario, becoming the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Canada. In 2003, Ontario and British Columbia were the first two provinces to legalize the licensing of same-sex marriage. On July 20, 2005, the federal Civil Marriage Act came into force, making same-sex marriage legal across Canada. Seven additional provinces and one territory also legalized same-sex marriage during that time period.
Stella Brings the Family, by Miriam Schiffer. Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but what’s a girl with two daddies to do? Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family. (E) Find an educator discussion guide, as well as a parent/caregiver discussion guide by the Anti-Defamation League, at this link: bit.ly/3OeRLO2
11 60th anniversary of University of Alabama standoff. Diehard segregationist Governor George Wallace attempted to block two Black students, Vivian Malone and James A. Hood, from registering at the University of Alabama. Governor Wallace stood in the doorway until the National Guard was sent to campus by President John F. Kennedy to escort the students into the building. Wallace had been elected Governor on the basis of his segregationist stance.
Stepping Through: A Look at the Past 50 Years of Desegregation at the University of Alabama, by Mark Hammontree for the Crimson White. This short article features Stepping Through, an 18-minute film edited by Crimson White Video Editor Daniel Roth. The film tells the story of the last 50 years of (de)segregation at the University of Alabama through the eyes of those who lived it, including the CW editor-in-chief during the official integration, the first Black athlete to receive a scholarship, among others. (H) bit.ly/36pIwt7
12 World Day Against Child Labor. The World Day Against Child Labor is intended to raise awareness and promote activism to prevent the exploitation 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 development of the industrial United States. (M, H) 1.usa.gov/3qo8vl
12 60th anniversary of the assassination of Medgar Evers. Evers was an African American civil rights activist who fought to end segregation in his home state of Mississippi, organizing boycotts against segregated facilities. He became active in the Civil Rights movement after returning from overseas service in WWII and led the NAACP in Mississippi. Evers was fatally shot by the KKK in front of his home.
Medgar Evers: A Profile, by Dernoral Davis for Zinn Ed Project. Featured on the Zinn Education Project website, this link includes a profile of the life of Medgar Evers, along with associated classroom lessons, films, linked resources and events, primary source interviews, and more. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/3rChgir
14 80th anniversary of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. The West Virginia Board of Education required public schools to include salutes to the flag by teachers and students as a part of daily school activities. When the children of a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses were suspended and the parents threatened with criminal charges, they sued the district. In a 6-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court, citing the First Amendment, held that compelling public schoolchildren to salute the flag was unconstitutional.
Lesson of the Day: “We Know the Pledge. Its Author, Maybe Not,” by Erica Ackerberg and Michael Gonchar. More than a century after a Baptist minister from upstate New York took credit for writing the Pledge of Allegiance, new evidence suggests the possibility of a very different story – that a 13-year-old schoolboy in Kansas might actually have been the author. In this lesson, students read about the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, and then consider whether students should be required to recite it in school. (M, H) nyti.ms/3va2pwD
15 210th anniversary of the Venezuela independence movement led by Simón Bolívar. Bolivar issued his Proclamation, addressed to the people of South America, vowing to fight to the death to rid the continent of the Spanish overlords. He called for all Americans to unite, and even offered clemency to Spaniards who lay down their arms and fight against Spain. Bolivar hoped to unite all South American countries into one nation. Although that didn’t happen, his leadership helped establish Colombia, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela.
Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano. This book analyzes the history of Latin America from the European “discovery” of the New World to contemporary times, arguing against European and later US economic exploitation and political dominance over the region. (H, TR) bit.ly/3vqeVsb; consider using alongside this article about how the author has disavowed the canonical work: nyti.ms/3OghkOC
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.
The Red Pencil, by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Life in Amira’s peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind and all kinds of possibilities. (M, H) bit.ly/3jsgct3
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah. In this book adapted for young readers, Noah shares his personal story and the injustices he faced while growing up half Black, half White in South Africa under and after apartheid. (M, H) bit.ly/3K84KOO
16 90th anniversary of the National Industrial Recovery Act. The National Industrial Recovery Act was intended to dig the economy out of the Great Depression. It called for an alliance of industries, which would operate under “codes of fair competition,” fixing prices and wages, which would be subject to public hearings. It also required protections for consumers, competitors, and employers. Employees were given the right to organize and bargain collectively and could not be penalized for joining or not joining a union.
Lesson of the Day: “How Two Best Friends Beat Amazon,” by Nicole Daniels. In this lesson plan from the New York Times Learning Network, students learn about one of the biggest victories for organized labor in a generation: the victory of a unionized Amazon warehouse. Then they consider the role of unions in general, as well as the possibilities of a local student union. (H) nyti.ms/362EHKd
16 70th anniversary of the East German Uprising. In East Berlin, workers took to the streets to protest what they considered unreasonable Soviet productivity policies. An estimated 50,000 people, including antigovernment dissidents, joined the protest, calling for a general strike, the resignation of the East German government, and free elections. The Soviet response was quick and brutal as armed soldiers, supported by tanks and armored vehicles, attacked the crowd. About 20 protesters were killed and many more were injured.
It’s Imperialism: How the Textbooks Get the Cold War Wrong, by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca for Rethinking Schools. Part essay, part lesson plan, this piece explains the ways in which the Cold War is problematically represented in History textbooks and traditional History teaching, and encourages educators to consider a different and more accurate focus on imperialism. (H) bit.ly/3Eq5D3j
17 60th anniversary of Abington Township School District v. Schempp. The US Supreme Court declared school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools to be unconstitutional. The Court combined two cases – one from Pennsylvania and another from Maryland – in which school children were required to read from the Bible and recite “The Lord’s Prayer” every morning. The Court ruled that both requirements violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which prohibits the government’s imposition of religion on citizens.
Your Right to Religious Freedom, from the American Civil Liberties Union. Educate young people on their rights to practice freedom of religion in the context of public schools with this helpful, accessible resource from the ACLU. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3E3r7CP
17 150th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony v. United States of America. Anthony was arrested for voting in the state of New York in the 1872 election. She was tried and convicted for voting illegally because she was a woman and fined $100. She refused to pay because she wasn’t allowed to give testimony and the judge made his ruling without giving the jury a chance to deliberate. Publicity from the trial, such as it was, gave Anthony a stronger platform for the cause of women’s suffrage.
Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes. This film shows the struggle and development of women’s rights and Anthony’s and Stanton’s contributions to the movement. (E, M, H) to.pbs.org/XICld
The People Speak. A re-enactment of Susan B. Anthony’s rousing speech at her trial for illegally voting as a woman. (M, H) bit.ly/3uY7ZSW
18 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 4-8-year-olds, 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
Bibi, a streaming classroom film from Learning for Justice. This 20-minute film tells the story of a Latinx father and son who can talk about anything – but only in writing, in the letters they pass back and forth when conversation seems too much. After Ben, affectionately called “Bibi” by his father, hands his father a letter that reads “I’m gay,” the two don’t talk at all. Based on the experiences of the filmmakers behind the project, the 18-minute film explores intersectionality in a powerful way, illustrating the beauty and conflict that can arise as we move between languages, places, and societal expectations. (M, H) Film and full unit plan and teaching guide: bit.ly/35DObeG
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 make 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 shown on HBO as a mini-series. It chronicles the life of Temple Grandin, a woman with autism, who revolutionized livestock handling in the USA and has written several books about her life with autism. (M, H) itsh.bo/bmNqNc
18 60th anniversary of Black students “stay-away” from Boston public schools. An estimated 5,000-8,000 Black students staged a “stay-away” from Boston public schools to protest the city’s de facto segregation. Instead of going to their public school classes, students, their families, and friends attended Freedom Schools where they participated in workshops on social justice and Black history. The event provided a template for the rest of the country for how to organize and create coalitions to challenge institutional racism.
Freedom Stay-Out Days, by Boston Before Busing. This website includes archival photos and fliers from “Freedom Stay-Out” Day. Organized by the Mass Freedom Movement, and headed by James Breeden and Noel Day, 8,000 children stayed out of school to protest de facto segregation. (M, H) bit.ly/3NDFyC2
18 40th anniversary of Sally Ride’s space launch. Sally Ride became the first American woman astronaut in space. Ride was part of the NASA class of 1978, which included the first six women to be chosen to be part of the astronaut program. Ride was an accomplished physicist and contributed much to the NASA space program, though at the time, many considered her a novelty. Fully half of the most recent astronaut class are women, including Women of Color.
Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman Astronaut, by Tam O’Shaughnessy. Documenting Sally Ride’s childhood, tennis career, and education, this photobiography book shows how she continued to break ground as an inspirational advocate for space exploration, public policy, and science education, and how she fought gender stereotypes and opened doors for girls and women in all fields during the second half of the 20th century. (E, M) bit.ly/2uVI6re
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
Juneteenth: Why Is It Important to America? by the Morningside Center for Social Responsibility. In this lesson plan, students are asked to consider why Juneteenth is being talked about in the news and why it is important in light of becoming a federal holiday. Students learn the history of the holiday through a short video by The Root and accompanying discussion questions. (M, H) bit.ly/375OYWdd
20 World Refugee Day. For many years, several African countries celebrated June 20 as Refugee Day. In 2000, as an expression of solidarity with Africa, which hosts the most refugees, the UN declared June 20 World Refugee Day.
Books to Help Kids Understand What It’s Like to Be a Refugee, by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. From the author of this annotated book list: “Stories can facilitate dialogue about refugees and promote healthy communication, help to foster empathy and understanding, and even inspire young readers to take action to ensure safe and welcoming environments in their own communities. Here are a few titles that can help.” (E, M) bit.ly/2k3Djgv
Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga. A gorgeously written, hopeful middle-grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States. (M, H) bit.ly/2DlV6Yu
20 130th anniversary of the American Railway Union. The American Railway Union, one of the largest labor unions at the time, was founded during the economic crisis of 1893. It was led by Eugene V. Debs who sought to unite all railway workers. It was an unusual, but popular, move to form a single union representing all crafts of railroad employees. Within a year, the ARU had 125 locals as thousands rushed to join.
Eugene Debs Speaks, by Eugene Debs. Speeches by the pioneer American socialist agitator and labor leader, jailed for opposing Washington’s imperialist aims in World War I. Debs speaks out on capitalism and socialism, anti-immigrant chauvinism, how anti-Black racism weakens the Labor movement, Rockefeller’s massacre of striking miners at Ludlow, Colorado, and more. (H) bit.ly/3uugOVi
20 80th anniversary of the Detroit Uprising. Thousands of Black Americans migrated to Detroit for manufacturing jobs. The jobs were plentiful, but thanks to racist redlining, housing was scarce, and tensions ran high between Black and White residents. On June 20, 1943, unsubstantiated rumors led to rampages by people of both races, though Black people were far outnumbered. None of the nine White deaths were at the hands of police, while 17 of the 25 Black fatalities were attributed to the police.
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, a documentary film by Grace Lee. As she wrestles with a Detroit in transition, contradictions of violence and nonviolence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience – the ability to transform oneself to transform the world. Includes a classroom discussion guide and toolkit for dialogue-based screening. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/1U2m4aJ
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
23 20th anniversary of Grutter v. Bollinger. A White woman was declined admission to the University of Michigan Law School. She sued the university on the grounds that Affirmative Action was the primary reason for her denial, which she claimed violated her 14th Amendment right to equal protection. The Supreme Court ruled that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges because diversity has educational benefits, rather than that Affirmative Action was a tool for correcting historical racial discrimination.
(Divorcing) White Supremacy Culture: Coming Home to Who We Really Are, by Tema Okun. This site includes revisions to the 1999 article about characteristics of White Supremacy Culture and includes poetry, artwork, contributions of several activists and scholars, stories, and links to other resources. (H, TR) whitesupremacyculture.info
23 120th anniversary of the murder of George White. Accused of sexual assault by a White woman, George White, who adamantly denied any involvement in the attack, never got to stand trial because he was burned to death by a mob of more than 4,000 White people in Wilmington, DE. Though thousands of known residents were complicit in the lynching, no one was ever held responsible, as was the case in most of the 4,400 lynchings that took place between 1877 and 1950.
Lynching in America, by The Equal Justice Initiative. Two units that total 13 lesson plans exploring lynching and racial terror historically, and its ongoing legacy today. (H) bit.ly/2JsovSt
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 multi-year investigation into lynching 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
24 50th anniversary of the UpStairs Lounge Massacre. One of the largest LGBTQ+ massacres in history took place on this date in New Orleans, LA. Members of the gay church, Metropolitan Community, were gathered at the UpStairs Lounge on the last day of Pride Weekend. An attacker started a fire in the building and covered the stairs with lighter fluid. Thirty-two people died in the massacre.
Upstairs Inferno, a documentary film by Robert Camina. A 96-minute film about the historic 1973 New Orleans fire that resulted in one of the largest mass murders of gay people in the US. This film contains disturbing images and should be used with care and pre-screened before sharing it with young people. (H) bit.ly/3O18vbq
24 80th anniversary of the Battle of Bamber Bridge. Black American troops stationed in the town of Bamber Bridge (UK) faced off against White US Army military police. The Army was still segregated and the MP’s objected to the Black soldiers being at a pub with White British locals. The confrontation escalated and gunfire broke out, causing the death of one US private and injury to several others. 32 African American soldiers were convicted of mutiny and other crimes related to the incident.
“They treated us royally?”: Black Americans in Britain During WW2, by the Imperial War Museum. An article that includes several primary source interviews and voice recordings detailing the discriminatory treatment of Black American soldiers in Britain during World War II. (H) bit.ly/3jlOn5D
24 110th anniversary of Belle LaFollette’s Senate testimony on Women’s Suffrage. Belle LaFollette, a prominent suffragist and the first woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, traveled the country speaking on behalf of women’s voting rights. Belle was married to Wisconsin Senator Robert LaFollette, who urged her to testify before the Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage in support of the constitutional amendment.
Crusade for the Vote: Resources Connect Students to the Suffrage Story, by The National Women’s History Museum. Online exhibits, lesson plans, multimedia resources, and more for teaching about women’s suffrage in the US. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/2H1NQnU
25 James Meredith, civil rights activist, born (1933). Meredith, who is African American, applied to the segregated University of Mississippi. After he was denied twice, the NAACP took up his case. The US Supreme Court ruled that he had the right to be admitted, and he became the first African American student at the University of Mississippi, an event that was a flashpoint in the Civil Rights movement.
The Legacy of James Meredith, by Ole Miss News. A short (8-minute) documentary that tells the story of James Meredith’s desegregation of the University of Mississippi, placing it in the contentious context of civil rights in Mississippi. (M, H) bit.ly/3DU8xgC
James Meredith’s Convocation Speech at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A 26-minute video recording of the 2013 convocation speech delivered by James Meredith, who desegregated the University of Mississippi during the civil rights era. (M, H) bit.ly/3xkYLTz
25 10th anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder. Shelby v. Holder is known as the Supreme Court’s first blatant attack on the 1965 Voting Rights Law. The issue in question was Section 5, which required counties to get pre-clearance from the Justice Department before making any changes to voting laws. Alabama sued the US Attorney General (Holder) and the Court agreed. The result has been draconian changes in some jurisdictions, making it more difficult for poor and minority citizens to exercise their right to vote.
Who Gets to Vote? Teaching About the Struggle for Voting Rights in the United States, by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca for Zinn Education Project. Unit with three lessons on voting rights, including the history of the struggle against voter suppression in the US. Includes a mixer activity exploring groups who have had their votes denied and struggled for their voting rights. (H) bit.ly/2Sc58n2
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 20th anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas. Prior to 2003, several states criminalized sexual intimacy between two consenting adults of the same sex. Two men in Texas were charged with deviant sexual behavior for having sex in the privacy of their own home. They were convicted and were denied appeals in the higher state courts. In a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court held that intimate consensual sexual conduct is protected under the 14th Amendment, nullifying all state laws criminalizing same-sex intimacy.
This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us, edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby. The first LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by queer authors. (M, H) bit.ly/3jonAFG
26 10th anniversary of United States v. Windsor. Edith Windsor and her wife were legally married in Canada in 2009, and their marriage was recognized in New York where they lived. When her wife died, Windsor was charged nearly $400,000 in estate taxes because the federal government did not recognize same-sex marriage. She sued on the grounds that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court held that DOMA was unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of Due Process.
Courage in the Face of Hate, a documentary by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust. The first Canadian documentary to focus on the human impact of hate crimes, violence, and bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and two-spirited Canadians, this 30-minute film shows the perspectives of LGBT people from across Canada. (M, H) bit.ly/38qIKks
27 National HIV Testing Day. National HIV Testing Day is an annual campaign encouraging people to “Take the test. Take control.”
Elbow Is Not a Sexy Word: Approaches to Sex Education, by Jody Sokolower. From Chapter 3 of Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality, by Rethinking Schools. (TR) bit.ly/1P5IlwH
29 Eid al-Adha begins at sunset 6/28 (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.
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) bit.ly/2vdWYym
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
30 10th anniversary of Zhongji Pile factory executive “kidnapping.” In an unusual move, more than 200 workers at a factory in Huizhou (Guangdong Province, China) surrounded the company offices, trapping executives inside. The executives tried several tactics to escape but were unsuccessful. The workers’ demands for unpaid wages and protection from layoffs were met four days later as the executives finally gave in.
Chinese Labor Divided, by William Hurst for Dissent Magazine. China’s recent uptick in labor unrest has given leftists hope that the world’s largest working class is building a labor movement to match its scale. But Chinese workers are still far from having a national voice. This 2015 article explores the issue and its relevance to global and domestic labor struggles. (H) bit.ly/3KRM0U5
30 10th anniversary of Egyptian protests of Morsi regime. The Arab Spring aroused a sense of power in Egypt’s students and poor working class. They successfully ousted the dictator Hosni Mubarak and elected Mohammed Morsi in his place, promising reforms to the corruption that pervaded Mubarak’s regime. Instead, he ran the economy into the ground and instituted strict Islamic law. Millions of protesters throughout Egypt flooded the streets, demanding his resignation and a return to a secular state. Morsi was ousted in a military coup.
“Ten Years After the Arab Spring, Democracy Remains Elusive in Egypt,” a video from PBS News Hour. With Nick Schifrin reporting, a 7-minute video about the aftermath of the Arab Spring in Egypt, 10 years after the ousting of President Mubarak. (H) bit.ly/3umKymW
Egypt: Revolution Interrupted, a film by the International Center of Nonviolent Conflict. In 2011 Egyptians rose up against their president. They removed him, but they didn’t get what they expected. This film traces the revolution in Egypt and its aftermath. Drawing on extensive interviews of activists, organizers, and others who were active on the ground, it offers lessons on political transitions, dictatorship, and democratic change. Stream it for free. (H) bit.ly/3EzcW91
“10 years after Arab Spring protests, Egyptians grapple with the fallout of a failed revolution,” by Nahlah Ayed for CBC News. A comprehensive article including linked videos, resources, and other materials, for discussing the aftermath of the Arab Spring for the people of Egypt. (H, TR) bit.ly/3600kLm
7 Books to Understand the Arab Spring, by Laila Al-Ammar. Laila Al-Ammar, author of Silence Is a Sense, recommends books about life in the aftermath of revolution and civil war in the Arab world. (H, TR) bit.ly/3ref803
30 30th Anniversary of Canada (A.G.) v. Ward. In Canada (A.G.) v. Ward, the Supreme Court of Canada defined LGBT/GSM status as a “social group” within the context of determining refugee status. This ruling allowed migrants to claim refugee status in Canada based on discrimination in their country-of-origin related to their gender or sexual orientation.
Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children, by Hollis Kurman. A compassionate counting book that captures the power of a welcoming community. This book helps teach children about refugees and how each kindness can help them find a new home. (E) Video by Sankofa Read-Aloud: bit.ly/3DXI15L
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 actor 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
6 Leonard P. Matlovich, Vietnam War veteran and advocate for gay rights, born (1943-1988). Matlovich was an Air Force sergeant and a Vietnam War hero. While he was in the military, he finally came to terms with his homosexuality. At that time, gay people were not allowed in the US military, but Matlovich came out to his commanding office, in part to challenge the system. He was discharged from the Air Force and sued to be reinstated. He won his case, but accepted a monetary settlement to leave with an honorable discharge.
How a Closeted Air Force Sergeant Became the Face of Gay Rights, by Lily Rothman for TIME Magazine. A 2015 look back at the 1975 TIME Magazine cover, which featured Leonard Matlovich, a gay Air Force sergeant who became an icon for gay rights. This article features links to primary source documents, a link to the original TIME Magazine story published in 1975, along with the letters readers sent in response to the story, and more. (H) bit.ly/3LTiltS
6 40th anniversary of the repeal of the last racial classification law. Louisiana Governor David Treen signed into law a bill repealing a Louisiana statute that established a mathematical formula to determine if a person is Black. Previously, the Louisiana law, the last racial classification law in the US, held that a Black person was defined as one having 1/32 “Negro blood.” The impetus for the change was a woman whose birth certificate identified her as “Colored.” She wanted to change that designation to “White.”
High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice, edited by Robert Berry, Basil Conway, Brian Lawler, and John Staley. A bestseller for Corwin Press, the lessons in this book explain how to teach mathematics for self- and community-empowerment. It walks teachers step-by-step through the process of using mathematics as a tool to explore, understand, and respond to issues of social injustice. Versions of the book also now exist for early and upper elementary, as well as for middle school. (E, M, H, TR) All can be found by searching the Corwin website: bit.ly/3NWyXCR
7 120th anniversary of March of the Mill Children. Mary Harris “Mother” Jones began a 3-week march from Philadelphia to New York to bring public attention to child labor. The march was organized alongside striking child and adult textile workers. The goal was to limit the work week to 55 hours and ban night work for women and children. At the time, it was the largest strike in Philadelphia history.
Mother Jones: Marching with the Mill Children, by Hannah Doyle and Zachary Matson. This website, which appears to be a well-researched student project, includes primary resources, photos, links, and historical context about Mother Jones and the 300+ children who marched more than 90 miles to protest the exploitation of child labor. (E, M, H) motherjonesnhd.weebly.com
On Our Way to Oyster Bay: Mother Jones and Her March for Children’s Rights, by Monica Kulling. This picture book uses an entertaining story about fictitious characters to bring a real event in history to vivid life. The actual march for children’s rights raised awareness across North America and contributed to the passage of the first child labor laws. It offers an excellent model for how ordinary people, including children, can make a difference by standing up for what’s right. For lesson planning, there’s more about Mother Jones, the march, and child labor laws at the end of the book. There’s also information about child labor today and concrete suggestions for getting involved and helping, making this book perfect for discussions about social justice, activism, and citizenship. (E) bit.ly/3uTpVyX
10 50th anniversary of the Bahamas independence from Britain. After more than 300 years of colonial rule – first by Spain, then the US, and finally by Great Britain – the Bahamas attained full independence. It was a peaceful transfer of power, though a group of Britons did form a political party and ran unsuccessfully in the election to form a government. The Bahamas chose to remain a part of the British Commonwealth, so the Queen is still the head of state, but only as a figurehead.
“Report from the Bahamas”: The Legacies of Colonialism and White Supremacy, by Amelia Moore for Black Perspectives. Reflecting on June Jordan’s 1982 essay on vacationing as a Black woman in the postcolonial Caribbean, Moore explores her own perspective as a Black woman on the history and present-day conditions of the Bahamas, in light of its colonial history. (H) bit.ly/3OdrLm9
10 130th anniversary of the first open heart surgery by a Black cardiologist. Daniel Hale Williams became the second doctor in the United States to perform an open-heart surgery on a patient who survived. Because of the systemic racism of the time, Black patients were not admitted to hospitals and Black doctors were not allowed to treat White patients. So Williams opened Provident Hospital in Chicago, the country’s first hospital with a training school for nurses and the first hospital that had a racially integrated staff.
Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, by Damon Tweedy. In this bestselling memoir, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting Black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by Black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care. (H) bit.ly/3xvPXub
10 Zoe Dunning, Navy Commander and gay rights activist, born (1963). Zoe Dunning graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1985. In 1993, while in graduate school, she came out publicly as a lesbian. As a result, she was honorably discharged from the Navy. She fought this decision and won. Although “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” continued for many years, her case is one of several that led to its repeal in 2010. Since retiring, Dunning organized a group of veterans to protect BLM protesters from police brutality.
The End of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, by Katherine Shulten. Lessons in which students work to utilize New York Times articles to answer questions about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and its repeal. (M, H) nyti.ms/qriooE
12 10th anniversary of Malala Yousafzai’s United Nations address. Malala became a symbol of the right of all girls to an education when she was shot by Taliban terrorists at point-blank range for speaking publicly on the issue. On her 16th birthday, Malala addressed the UN. This was her first public appearance at the UN. Her voice resonated internationally and her quote, “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world,” became a rallying cry for equal access to education.
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition), by Malala Yousafzai. In this Young Readers Edition of Malala’s bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world, and did. (M, H) Teaching guide by GWU’s Global Women’s Initiative here: malala.gwu.edu
Malala’s Magic Pencil, by Malala Yousafzai. In this picture book by Malala herself, she tells her story for young children and shows them the worldview that allowed her to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times. (E) bit.ly/3qXLSuk
13 160th anniversary of the New York Draft Riots. An uprising by primarily Irish immigrants to protest the Conscription Act of 1863, which allowed the rich to pay $300 ($5,800 in current value) to avoid military service, turned into an explosion of anti-Black rage. Over three days, up to 1,200 were killed, and the city’s orphanage for Black children was burned to the ground. An estimated 3,000 Black people were left homeless. By every measure, it remains the worst riot in US history.
Riot, by Walter Dean Myers. This historical YA novel about the 1863 draft riots in New York tells the history through the lens of 15-year-old Claire, the daughter of a Black father and Irish mother who finds herself torn between the two warring sides. (M, H) bit.ly/3KehgfY
The Draft Riot Mystery, by Bill Bigelow, Zinn Education Project. In this teaching activity, students are invited to use historical clues to solve a mystery about the real story of the 1863 New York Draft Riots. (E, M, TR) bit.ly/owsaN0
13 10th anniversary of #BlackLivesMatter. Three Black women, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, created the social media hashtag in response to the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The movement grew nationally in 2014 with the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York and has continued to grow with the mission “to build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
When They Call You a Terrorist (Young Adult Edition): A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World, by Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele. From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. (M, H) bit.ly/2Q6vOHr
13 Mary Emma Woolley, educator, peace activist, and women’s suffragist, born (1863-1947). Woolley was the first woman to attend Brown University. She was appointed president of Mount Holyoke College at age 38, serving in that capacity from 1900 to 1937, turning it into a widely respected institute of higher learning. Woolley was also the vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union and president of the American Association of University Women. She worked closely with Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt on women’s issues and pacifism.
Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women, by Kate Schatz. In Rad Girls Can, you’ll learn about a diverse group of young women (under the age of 20) who are living rad lives, whether excelling in male-dominated sports such as boxing, rock climbing, or skateboarding; speaking out against injustice and discrimination; expressing themselves through dance, writing, and music; or advocating for girls around the world. (E, M, H) radgirlscan.com
14 80th anniversary of the George Washington Carver National Monument. George Washington Carver was born enslaved during the Civil War. Following emancipation, Carver became an expert on agricultural and plant sciences. At the Tuskegee Institute, he taught farmers and led research on an experimental farm, where he developed more than 300 new foods from crops such as sweet potatoes and peanuts. The George Washington Carver National Monument, in Diamond, MO, was the first national monument established to honor the contributions of an African American.
The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver, by Gene Barretta. Gene Barretta’s moving words and Frank Morrison’s beautiful paintings tell the inspiring life and history of George Washington Carver, from a baby born into slavery to celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor. His passion and determination are the seeds to this lasting story about triumph over hardship – a tale that begins in a secret garden. (E) bit.ly/3vpRvDg
17 10th anniversary of IFAW’s habitat for elephants. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) signed a 5-year agreement with the local community in Amboseli (Kenya), including leases with 1,600 landowners, to safeguard 16,000 acres of an elephant passage between Amboseli and Kilimanjaro National Parks in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. Working with private sector partners, IFAW developed a sustainable facility to promote elephant tourism in the region. This new source of tourism opportunities created a new stream of revenue for the local community.
Hands Off Our Elephants! by the Whitley Fund for Nature. This website is dedicated to the conservation campaign started by Paula Kahumba aimed at ending poaching in Kenya. Includes video, resources, and information to learn more about the campaign and to take action. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/37Q4KQt
19 10th anniversary of the release of Blackfish. The release of the documentary Blackfish stirred widespread outrage over the treatment of animals at SeaWorld. The film focuses on Tilikum, an orca kept in captivity at SeaWorld, and highlights conservation and animal rights issues around the use of orcas for entertainment. It also addresses the dangers animal trainers face. Within a year of Blackfish’s release, SeaWorld’s stock price fell 33% and the company announced it was discontinuing its orca breeding program.
Blackfish Study Guide, by Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project. This website is a comprehensive resource dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. It hosts videos, campaigns, and teaching guides, including a series of lesson plans to accompany the documentary films Blackfish and The Cove. (E, M, H) bit.ly/3x39pOv
20 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress. Three years after women won the right to vote, the ERA was introduced in Congress by Senator Curtis and Representative Anthony, both Republicans. It was authored by Alice Paul, head of the National Women’s Party, who led the suffrage campaign. She had first introduced the amendment in Seneca Falls at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Woman’s Rights Convention. Not surprisingly, it’s still not the law of the land.
She Takes a Stand: 16 Fearless Activists Who Have Changed the World, by Michael Elsohn Ross. A source of inspiration for young women with strong social convictions, She Takes a Stand highlights 16 extraordinary women who have fought for human rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, reproductive/sexual rights, and world peace. Included are historic heroes such as anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and suffragist Alice Paul, along with contemporary figures such as Malala Yousafzai and Sampat Pal Devi. (M, H) bit.ly/3DTyfBV
21 110th anniversary of the Oakley Farm fire. Through convict leasing, Southern states continued to profit from the free labor of incarcerated Black people, who were subjected to horrific living conditions and brutal physical work requirements. At Oakley Farm, a prison camp in Mississippi, Black men were incarcerated in a dilapidated building with no fire escape. When fire broke out, 35 men were trapped on the second floor; all of them perished.
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
13th Critical Viewing Guide, by Graduate Students in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College and Dr. Leigh Patel. Ava DuVernay’s film, 13th, provides a history of the establishment and maintenance of the prison industrial complex as an extension of chattel slavery in a racist, profit-driven society. This guide seeks to further elucidate several important themes not sufficiently covered in the documentary, but that undergird projects of racist capitalism. The guide provides questions for reflection, readings, videos, infographics, and other materials, and aims to facilitate a more critical engagement with the film. (H, TR) bit.ly/2n1BZt8
23 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s refusal to release White House tapes in the Watergate investigation. The Watergate Scandal refers to a web of illegal and anti-democratic actions taken by President Nixon and his allies and aides to target and harass his political opposition, and their efforts to cover up those actions. The Nixon administration was ultimately forced to hand over the tapes of White House conversations, which included several incriminating pieces of evidence. Nixon eventually resigned the presidency rather than face certain impeachment.
Watergate Video Lesson, by Newseum ED. This 30-minute video and accompanying lesson plan tells the story of the Watergate scandal and coverage of it through primary source news footage. (H) bit.ly/3KSWgeU
Nixon and Watergate, from the History Teaching Institute at Ohio State University. In this lesson, students use editorial cartoons dealing with the Nixon and Watergate to understand the role of executive privilege. (H) bit.ly/3805oA2
24 100th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Chile. Enslaved Africans were first brought to the Spanish colony that is modern-day Chile in 1536. Because Chile did not have large-scale cash crop plantations, most enslaved Africans in Chile were forced to work as household domestics or as gold and silver miners. Many Black people participated in Chile’s war of independence against Spain, which led to the ban on slavery in 1823. Chile was the second country in the Americas, after Haiti, to abolish slavery.
How Afro-Chileans Are Fighting to Be Recognized In Chile, by Parker Diakite. An informative article published this year (2022) about how, after decades of fighting to be seen, activists achieved a major milestone when the Chilean Congress signed a new bill into law in 2019. The law honors Afro-Chileans as tribal people, recognizing them formally as aboriginals and affording them associated rights. (H) bit.ly/3Mn9yRs
27 90th anniversary of the Havana bus drivers’ strike. This strike, begun by Havana bus drivers, quickly grew to include workers and students in a general strike encompassing the entire country. Police and the military attacked the unarmed protesters, killing several and injuring many more. This only served to further galvanize them. In less than two weeks, the military had turned against the brutal dictator, Gerardo Machado, and his regime collapsed.
A Force More Powerful, a film by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. This Emmy-nominated documentary educates viewers about successful nonviolent civil resistance campaigns in six different countries. (H) bit.ly/3EzcW91
29 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. The 26th of July Movement began with an attack on Cuba’s second largest military garrison at Santiago de Cuba with the goal of overthrowing dictator Fulgencio Batista. Though the effort failed, it sparked increased demands for an end to the Batista regime and brought attention to Fidel Castro, the architect of the July 26 action. In 1959, Castro successfully overthrew Batista, igniting renewed tensions with the US, which continues to impose harsh economic sanctions against Cuba.
Fidel: An Illustrated Biography of Fidel Castro, by Nestor Kohan. While the subject of great debate, this graphic novel about Fidel Castro is presented as a leader inspired by Marxist thinking who stood up to the United States and fought to free his country. (M, H, TR) bit.ly/38RdVW9
30 110th anniversary of the Barcelona textile workers’ strike. 20,000 workers, mostly women and children, went on strike against low wages and long hours, particularly night shifts. A union had been formed, but its leadership were all men who dismissed the women and their issues. The strike inspired new levels of consciousness among working-class women. One journalist reported, “The spirit of women has spoken with enough eloquence to launch the entire working population.” The strike continued until September 15 when the Catalan governor introduced a 60-hour workweek.
Working Class History. This group hosts a useful podcast for educational purposes. They post “On This Day in History” content related to global labor struggles to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as other platforms in other languages. They also offer an online store with books and other resources and are working on a website with browsable timelines and maps of all their events. (H) twitter.com/wrkclasshistory
31 60th anniversary of the University of North Alabama denying admission to a Black student on the basis of race. The University of North Alabama, known at the time as Florence State College, denied admission to Wendell Gunn, a Black applicant, based solely on his race. Gunn filed suit in federal court and a judge forced the university to admit Mr. Gunn for the fall term. He faced such widespread hostility and harassment that the university had to hold a special after-hours enrollment session for him after the White students had left campus.
Me and White Supremacy: Young Readers’ Edition, by Layla Saad. Saad provides approachable and applicable content for those with and without White privilege. Using accessible language appropriate for young people, this edition explores topics such as racism, White supremacy, White privilege, White fragility, and more. (M, H) bit.ly/3rx5Zjg
31 260th anniversary of the Battle of Bloody Run. Following Chief Pontiac’s rebellion three months earlier, in which the Ottawa and allied tribes attacked and held captive the British fort in Detroit, British relief troops arrived, but were repelled by the Native forces. Pontiac’s allies in other locations succeeded in capturing eight forts, defeating the British troops, and destroying the nearby White settlements.
Pontiac’s Rebellion, a lesson plan by the Detroit Historical Society. Who was Chief Pontiac, and how does his rebellion show a change in the relationship between Europeans and Native Americans? This lesson helps upper elementary and middle school students understand the life and culture in Detroit during the British occupation between 1760 and 1796. The lesson includes a comprehensive background essay, a list of additional resources, and copies of worksheets and primary sources. Students learn about Chief Pontiac and the Native Americans who fought to protect their homelands. (M) bit.ly/3jtK6wV