Project Highlights

Since launching in 2008, the Zinn Education Project has grown exponentially, reaching educators and activists across the United States and around the globe. This page features just a few of the project’s annual highlights. Visit our news page, press coverage, and newsletter archives for more information. To receive monthly updates, please register for the website and you will be added to our email list.

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2016

Charles Duthu's class shows off their new books.

February 2016

Announced five teachers who won class set of A People’s History of the United States from our contest that garnered hundreds of inspiring stories from teachers teaching outside the textbook. Read more.

New Teaching Activities on Civil Rights, Economics, and Foreign Policy | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

March 2016

The Zinn Education Project posted five new articles and activities on Foreign Policy, Civil Rights, and Economics. These include:
Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War by Adam Sanchez
Tè Tremblé: An Unnatural Disaster: A Trial Role Play Probes the Roots of Devastation in Haiti by Adam Sanchez
Our Grandparents’ Civil Rights Era: Family Letters Bring History to Life by Willow McCormick
The History All Around Us: Roosevelt High School and the 1968 Eastside Blowouts by Brian C. Gibbs and
Plotting Inequalities, Building Resistance: High School Students Use Math to Reflect on Social Inequality by Adam Renner, Bridget Brew, and Crystal Proctor

Why We Should Learn About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement (If We Knew Our History) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

March 2016

Our If We Knew Our History article “Why We Should Teach About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement” by By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca was very popular and published on Common Dreams, Huffington Post, Alternet, and Portside. Read article.

Asian Americans and Moments in People’s History | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

May 2016

Launched a new profile series, Asian Americans and Moments in People’s History. Read more.

60,000 Registered Teachers Teaching Outside the Textbook | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's HistoryMay 2016

This month, we reached the milestone of 60,000 teachers teaching outside the textbook. Why are so many teachers signing up to use people’s history lessons from the Zinn Education Project? Here’s just a few of the many reasons we’ve heard. Read more.

 

2015

A march of 15,000 in Harlem in solidarity with the Selma voting rights struggle. World Telegram & Sun photo by Stanley Wolfson. Library of Congress.January 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Ten Things You Should Know About Selma,” is published on Common Dreams. It gains widespread visibility and impacts countless educators’ understanding of the struggle for voting rights on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Read article.

facebook_150KJanuary 2015

Reached 150,000 Facebook Fans

More than 150,000 people are receiving the history they were never taught in school through our popular “This Day in History” posts. Become a fan today!

protest_collage_400pxwJanuary 2015

Commemorated the 5th year anniversary of Howard Zinn’s death. As co-directors Bill Bigelow and Deborah Menkart wrote, “When we remember and honor Howard Zinn, we remember and honor the social movements that he chronicled and joined.” Read letter.

washington_family_byedwardsavageFebruary 2015

We published the article “Time to Tell the Truth About Slavery at Mount Vernon” by educator Sudie Hofmann that creates a buzz on social media networks. Read article.

george_frederic_watts_ejectedfamilyMarch 2015

Our 2012 If We Knew Our History article, “The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools,” by Bill Bigelow is popular once again and republished on Irish Central, “the largest Irish news and culture site in North America.” Read article.

zep_new_lessons_environment_600pxwMarch 2015

We posted four new articles and activities on environmental justice issues:

Mystery of the Three Scary Numbers: A Climate Change Teaching Activity by Bill Bigelow

Paradise Lost: Introducing Students to Climate Change Through Story by Brady Bennon

Coal, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Mountaintop Removal by Bill Bigelow

Dirty Oil and Shovel-Ready Jobs: A Role Play on Tar Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline by Abby Mac Phail

March 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Lying to Children About the California Missions and the Indians,” by Deborah A. Miranda is published on Huffington Post and Indian Country Today. Read article.

CincodeMayo1901_poster_cropMay 2015

We featured the article, “Rethinking Cinco de Mayo,” by Sudie Hoffman in our If We Knew Our History series on the Huffington Post and the Zinn Education Project websites. Read article.

zep_new_activities_displacement3May 2015

The Zinn Education Project posted three new articles and activities on race, housing, and displacement. These include:

Burned Out of Homes and History: Unearthing the Silenced Voices of the Tulsa Race Riot by Linda Christensen

Stealing Home: Eminent Domain, Urban Renewal, and the Loss of Community by Linda Christensen

“Why Is This the Only Place in Portland I See Black People?”: Teaching Young Children About Redlining by Katharine Johnson

vietnam_power_of_protest_250pxhMay 2015

As the Pentagon commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, the Zinn Education Project joined in the Lessons of Vietnam: The Power of Protest event in Washington, D.C. and promoted our teaching resources on Vietnam and anti-war movements. Read more.

registrants_50000June 2015

In June, we reached the milestone of 50,000 teachers registered to download free lessons that bring people’s history into the classroom from the Zinn Education Project. Since our founding in 2008, the Zinn Education Project has grown from 4,000 teachers to 50,000—nearly half of this growth occurring in the last two years.
Read more.

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The Zinn Education Project was one of three progressive groups selected for the July 2015 CREDO donations ballot, resulting in a donation of $60,000. Read more.

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July 2015

Reached 200,000 Facebook Fans

In just 6 months, we gained another 50,000 fans, totaling more than 200,000 people who are receiving the history they were never taught in school through our popular “This Day in History” posts. Become a fan today!

corettascottking_dagmarwilson_cropJuly 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “W. E. B. Du Bois to Malcolm X: The Untold History of the Movement to Ban the Bomb,” by Vincent J. Intondi is published on Huffington Post and Common Dreams. Read article.

 

radical_teacher_500pxwJuly 2015

“Bringing Climate Into the Classroom,” an article describing the This Changes Everything writing retreat is published in the summer issue of Radical Teacher. Read article.

votingrights_10things_50annivAugust 2015

Posted the article “The Voting Rights Act: Ten Things You Should Know” by Emilye Crosby and Judy Richardson to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law. Read article.

howdyshell_articleAugust 2015

“Climate Change and School in a Yup’ik Fishing Village” by Jill Howdyshell is published by a This Changes Everything retreat participant in Rethinking Schools. Read article.

columbus_protest_uw-madison October 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Time to Abolish Columbus Day” by Bill Bigelow, is published on Common Dreams, Huffington Post, and Alternet. Read article.

This article had unprecedented reach with a combined 140,000+ Likes on Common Dreams and the Huffington Post. It was referenced in national news media, including MSNBC, The Washington Post, Nonprofit Quarterly, and Common Dreams, and was posted on AlterNet. Read more.

ourfavoriteteacher_mixediconOctober 2015

Received and posted more “Our Favorite Teacher” stories from former students of Howard Zinn. Read collection.

organizer_transformteaching_donate November 2015

Received generous donation from a retired teacher for a “People’s History Organizer for People’s History Teachers.” Launched campaign to fully fund the campaign. Read more.

win_classsetNovember 2015

Thanks to a donation from HarperCollins, we launched a month-long contest for teachers to win a class set of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Read more.

Impact: Growth of teacher registrations | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

December 2015

Reached a milestone: 11,000 new registered teachers in 2015. We now have more than 55,700 teachers using our materials, teaching outside the textbook.

 

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2014

vistors_download_comboJanuary 2014

We reached two milestones: 100,000 lessons downloaded and 1,000,000 all-time visitors to the website. Read more about our impact.

black-abolitionists-greenFebruary 2014

Launched a new series, “How Many Black Abolitionists Can You Name?” Read more.

A shackled group of enslaved people passing the Capitol grounds. Image: Library of Congress.February 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Missing from President’s Day: The People They Enslaved” by Clarence Lusane was very popular and shared widely. Read article.

March 2014

Thanks to our donors, we posted 16 new labor lessons from The Power In Our Hands. Read more.

March 2014

Launched a new series, “Women in Labor History.” Read more.

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March 2014

Posted four of our of most popular lessons in Spanish. Read more.

american_educator_collageMarch 2014

The American Federation of Teachers journal included our letter to the editor in response to the attack they published a year earlier on Howard Zinn and A People’s History. They continue to refuse to publish our full critique, and only published the 150-word letter to the editor after some AFT members launched a campaign on the fourth anniversary of Zinn’s death. Read more.

suvey_graphic2Spring 2014

A survey team, led by Zinn Education Project fellow and assistant professor Katy Swalwell, surveyed more than 800 people in the Zinn Education Project network. A full summary is in process. Read a few of the hundreds of survey comments.

phofmuslims_collage_homepage2 April 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article, “A People’s History of Muslims in the United States” by Alison Kysia was very popular and published on the Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Portside, and Informed Comment. Read article.

zinn_symposium_collageApril 2014

Participated in a symposium at New York University to dedicate Howard Zinn’s papers. We were honored to have author and activist Alice Walker give opening remarks and participate actively in our session. Read more.

facebook_100KMay 2014

Reached 100,000 Facebook Fans

More than 100,000 people are receiving the history they were never taught in school through our popular “This Day in History” posts. Become a fan today!

moe_interviewedJune 2014

A Japanese TV network interviewed Zinn Education Project teacher Moé Yonamine who wrote about the hidden history of Japanese Latin American internment in the United States. Read more.

Indiana_SNCCVisitJuly 2014

Connected Civil Rights Movement veterans with high school students to share their experiences through virtual “visits.” Read more.

thischangeseverything_250pxhAugust 2014

Partnered with the This Changes Everything project (based on the book by Naomi Klein and film by Avi Lewis) to convene a group of teachers to develop curriculum. Read more.

The FDP brought this car to Atlantic City to show the delegates and press at the Democratic Convention how Mississippi blacks were treated when they tried to register to vote. Image: Jo Freeman.August 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article by Julian Hipkins III and Deborah Menkart commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Read more.

colorado_walkout_collageSeptember 2014

Gave more visibility to the student-led walk out in Colorado protesting curriculum changes to “downplay social strife” and emphasize “patriotism” and the “free enterprise system.” Read more.

koch_brothers_protest_byPeterMarshall_600pxwcropNovember 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article by Bill Bigelow, “The Koch Brothers Sneak into School,” exposed how the Koch brothers funnel millions of dollars every year to shape the social studies curriculum. Read more.

ncss_boston_boothNovember 2014

Thanks to the generosity of two donors, we were able to expand our presence from one to three booths at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Boston.

At the conference, we organized a (silent) protest of the Bill of Rights Institute, a Koch Foundation funded organization. Read more.

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thischangeseverything_retreatgroup

December 2014

Convened 20 teachers for the Zinn Education Project/This Changes Everything writing retreat weekend near Portland, Oregon, led by Rethinking Schools editors Linda Christensen and Bill Bigelow. Stay tuned for new curriculum and articles in the new year.

2014_44500_registrations

December 2014

Reached a milestone: 10,000 new registered teachers in 2014. We now have more than 44,500 teachers using our materials, teaching outside the textbook.

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2013

zep_homepage_new_032713March 2013

New, improved, and enhanced version of the Zinn Education Project website launched. Read more.

April 2013

Partnered with StoryCorps to promote the animated short “Facundo the Great” with resources for teaching the politics of naming. Read more.

registered-30000

June 2013

Reached 30,000 registered users for the website.

banned_peopleshistory_300pxhJuly 2013

Gave national visibility to the attempt to censor Howard Zinn in public schools by Mitch Daniels with the publication of “Indiana’s Anti-Howard Zinn Witch Hunt” by Bill Bigelow.

ourfavoriteteacher_collage2August 2013

Launched “Howard Zinn, Our Favorite Teacher” series of tributes and remembrances by former students from Boston University and Spelman College.

August 2013

Facebook fans reach 50,000.

October 2013

Revitalized the McCarthy anti-censorship era Green Feather Movement campaign, this time in defense of people’s history, with buttons, stickers, and postcards distributed at Howard Zinn Read-Ins, Indiana teacher conferences, and the National Council for the Social Studies.

american_educator_collage

December 2013

Responded to the American Educator attack on Howard Zinn and A People’s History with the review “Bashing Howard Zinn: A Critical Look at One of the Critics” by Alison Kysia.

December 2013

Facebook fans reach 60,000.


More highlights from 2013.

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2012

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March 2012

Launched the If We Knew Our History series on Huffington Post, Alternet, and Common Dreams.

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April 2012

The first-ever Myles Horton Education Award for Teaching a People’s History is awarded to Sean Arce, co-founder and director of the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, Ariz. Read more.

registered_20000_webmelody_schneider_20000Melody Schneider, the 20,000 registered teacher, explains why she registered, “My students and I are looking for truth in history, something real that they can connect to.

May 2012

Reached the milestone of 20,000 teachers registered for the Zinn Education Project. Read more.

June 2012

Partnered with Democracy Now! at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) on a workshop titled “Teaching a People’s History, Teaching Democracy Now!: Role Play on the Climate Crisis and Online Resources for Critical Media Literacy.”

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September 2012

Partnered with the Children’s Defense Fund on the Youth Advocate Leadership Training at the 2012 Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Community and Youth Empowerment Conference.

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November 2012

Sean Arce awarded the Myles Horton Education Award for Teaching a People’s History at National Council for the Social Studies Conference. Read more.

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2011

January 2011

One of 40 progressive organizations selected for the 2011 CREDO/Working Assets donations ballot. Read more.

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Summer 2011

Selected as a national partner for the Storycorps National Teacher Initiative. Listen to conversations here.

September 2011

The dedication of the Zinn Room at Busboys and Poets with keynote speakers Cornel West, Beverly Daniel Tatum, and many more, was a fundraiser for the Zinn Education Project. Read more.

More highlights from 2011.

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2010


Author on Air log

January 2010

Conducted an Author on Air interview with Howard Zinn based on questions submitted by teachers from across the country.

Students and their teacher, Chris Lewis, in El Monte, California with their Teaching Outside the Textbook class set.

Spring 2010

Began the Teaching Outside the Textbook campaign by soliciting stories from teachers about how they teach a people’s history. Essays were submitted by 88 teachers. Sent A People’s History of the United States class sets to 21 teachers.

Summer 2010

At the request of the filmmakers, produced the teaching guide for The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

More highlights from 2010.

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2009

zep-homepage(apr2011)December 2009

Launched new website, with over 75 free downloadable teaching activities and hundreds of books, films, and posters.

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2008

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June 2008

Distributed 4,000 free teaching people’s history packets to educators across the United States and its territories. The packet included the DVD Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, a copy of A People’s History of the United States, and a teaching guide developed especially for this project. (Report on the distribution of the 4,000 packets.)

In 2008, Zinn spoke to teachers at the National Council for Social Studies conference. Video and transcript available online.

November 2008

Helped to coordinate the keynote presentation by Howard Zinn at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference and gave a copy of the Teaching a People’s History teaching guide to 800 attendees.

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