The Zinn Education Project has engaged more people than ever with quality, thought-provoking people’s history lessons for students and stimulating articles that challenge myths about our history. With your continued support, we can reach more classrooms.
We bring you a quick snapshot of 2015 so far.
Since January 2015, more than 5,000 teachers have signed up to access lessons to teach outside the textbook, bringing us to 49,500 registered teachers. This is more than the teacher membership in the national organization for social studies teachers. Our Facebook page has gained 34,000 new fans, bringing our total to 184,000.
Our If We Knew Our History articles expose the myths in textbooks and share examples of how teachers are introducing students to people’s history. The four articles we shared this spring have been wildly popular with circulation in the hundreds of thousands through our network, as well as through Common Dreams, Huffington Post, and more.
10 Things to Know About Selma Before You See the Film
Published for the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the release of the film Selma, this quickly became the most widely read article on the grassroots history of the voting rights struggle. We highlighted the untold roles of women, teachers, and students—and the fact that the movement began long before iconic leaders came to town. Read article.
The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools
Our annual St. Patrick’s Day article, exposing the fact that food was exported from Ireland during the so-called potato famine, reached a new audience this year when it topped the charts on IrishCentral, the largest Irish site in North America. Read article.
Lying to Children About the California Missions and the Indians
Believe it or not, 4th graders in California are still required to construct a diorama of a Mission. Our article, circulated by the Indian Country Today Media Network, provoked lots of discussion about the brutal treatment of Native Americans that is hidden in this romanticized Mission project. Read article.
Rethinking Cinco de Mayo
Another annual favorite, this article helped teachers across the country rethink how they commemorate Latino/a history and culture. In addition to reprints on news outlets, it generated a Twitter storm. Read article.
This spring we added four new lessons on the climate crisis. As you know, the stakes are higher than ever for the future of our planet, and we must help students understand why and consider ways to respond. The new lessons help students explore environmental justice issues by stepping into the shoes of the people most affected and by questioning industry talking points. View online.
“The Pentagon lost the war in Vietnam, but now they are trying to win on the battlefield of memory,” explained Tom Hayden at a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the peace movement called Vietnam: The Power of Protest. Many of the speakers, including Daniel Ellsberg, Barbara Lee, Ron Dellums, and Staughton Lynd, spoke about the need to teach the next generation the truth about the war. We were pleased to alert all the participants to the Zinn Education Project lessons and resources for teaching about the Vietnam War with colorful bookmarks. Hayden concluded his remarks with signs of hope, including the vital role of the Zinn Education Project.
Thank you for all you do to support the Zinn Education Project so that we can set the historical record straight for new generations and create a future of peace with justice.
Deborah Menkart Bill Bigelow
Zinn Education Project co-director Zinn Education Project co-director
for Teaching for Change for Rethinking Schools
P.S. Look out for more information about an organizing project to bring Zinn Education Project teachers together in their local communities.