As Howard Zinn’s daughter, I want to share with you how excited I am to know that more and more students across the country are learning people’s history in school, thanks to their teachers and the Zinn Education Project.
Eight years ago my father and a former student founded the Zinn Education Project (ZEP), together with two leading voices of progressive education, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. What began as a simple act of distributing copies of A People’s History of the United States to teachers became a project that provides free downloadable teaching materials and creative, well-researched “people’s history” curricula to teachers across the country.
In times like these, ZEP is more important than ever. It provides invaluable support to teachers who want to give their students a more complete view of history, and make vital connections between the past and what’s happening in our country today. ZEP recently recorded its 65,000th teacher registration and the website had 763,000 visitors last year. My father would have been heartened to see that so many K-12 educators are “teaching outside the textbook.”
ZEP also has a robust presence on Facebook, with 262,000 Facebook fans, which has become an active focal point for the exchange of ideas and materials. In addition, ZEP’s ongoing series, “If We Knew Our History” and “This Day in History,” feature specific struggles and transformative moments in history that don’t appear in traditional history texts.
It’s been a real privilege for me to work with the ZEP team and to see how teachers and people all across the country are informed and transformed by this invaluable resource. ZEP has a small staff and a very large reach. All their resources and people’s history curricula are free, so they truly depend on donations to continue the work they are doing and to be able to broaden their reach and create new programs.
I urge you to join me in supporting the essential work that ZEP is doing to ensure that young people understand the full history of their country—learning from the voices and experiences of ordinary people engaged in struggles and movements that have contributed to creating positive change and furthering social justice.
As my father said: “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
With all best wishes,