if_we_knew_bannerAuthor Bios

Zinn Education Project’s “If We Knew Our History” series is written by teachers, journalists, and scholars. We thank the authors for their contribution.



Bill Bigelow

Bill Bigelow taught high school social studies in Portland, Ore. for almost 30 years. He is the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools and the co-director of the Zinn Education Project, www.zinnedproject.org. Bigelow is author or co-editor of numerous books, including A People’s History for the Classroom (Rethinking Schools) and The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration (Rethinking Schools).


Jeff Biggers

Jeff Biggers is a journalist and author of The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America (Counterpoint); Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland (Nation Books); and State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream (Nation Books).


Linda Christensen

Linda Christensen has taught high school language arts in Portland, Oregon for almost 40 years. She is the Director of the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College. She currently co-teaches an 11th-grade language arts class at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon, with Dianne Leahy. She is the author of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching about Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word and Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts Classroom, both published by Rethinking Schools.


Emilye Crosby

Emilye Crosby is a professor of history and the coordinator of Black Studies at SUNY Geneseo. She is the author of A Little Taste of Freedom (University of North Carolina Press) and the editor of Civil Rights History from the Ground Up (University of Georgia Press). She is currently a fellow at the National Humanities Center where she is working on a history of women and gender in SNCC. Read more.

Norm Diamond

Norm Diamond is an Oregon Trustee of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association. He was President of Pacific Northwest Labor College. He is co-author of The Power In Our Hands: A Curriculum On the History of Work and Workers in the United States (Monthly Review Press), which includes a chapter on teaching the Bread and Roses strike.


Bill Fletcher Jr.

Bill Fletcher Jr. is a longtime labor, racial justice and international activist. Fletcher is an editorial board member and columnist for BlackCommentator.com and a senior scholar for the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Fletcher is the co-author (with Fernando Gapasin) of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and A New Path Toward Social Justice (University of California Press) and ‘They’re Bankrupting Us!’ And 20 Other Myths about Unions (Beacon Press).

Jesse Hagopian | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian teaches history and is the co-adviser to the Black Student Union at Garfield High School–the site of the historic boycott of the MAP test in 2013. Hagopian an associate editor for the social justice periodical Rethinking Schools and is the editor of More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing. He is founding member of Social Equality Educators (SEE), a recipient of the 2012 Abe Keller Foundation award for “excellence and innovation in peace education,” and won the 2013 “Secondary School Teacher of Year” award and the Special Achievement “Courageous Leadership” award from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.  In 2015, Jesse received the Seattle/King County NAACP Service Award, was named as an Education Fellow to The Progressive magazine, as well as a “Cultural Freedom Fellow” for the Lannan Foundation for his nationally recognized work in promoting critical thinking and opposing high-stakes testing. Read more at www.iamaneducator.com.


Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry is professor of political science at Tulane University and host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry.” She is the author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Yale University Press), which argues that persistent harmful stereotypes profoundly shape black women’s politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly, and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena.


Julian Hipkins III

Julian Hipkins III, Teaching for Change curriculum specialist, is an award-winning high school U.S. history teacher with 15 years of teaching experience.


Sudie Hofmann

Sudie Hofmann is a professor in the Department of Human Relations and Multicultural Education at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

William Loren Katz

William Loren Katz is the author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage, The Lincoln Brigade: A Picture History (with Marc Crawford), and 40 other books on African American history, including many for young adults. His website is www.williamlkatz.com. View books and article by Katz on the Zinn Education Project website.


Alison Kysia

Alison Kysia has taught history at Northern Virginia Community College-Alexandria for six years. She is a Zinn Education Project Program Associate at Teaching for Change. She is the author of “Bashing Howard Zinn: A Critical Look at One of the Critics,” and a history of The Green Feather Movement.


Clarence Lusane

Clarence Lusane is a professor and chairs the Department of Political Science at Howard University and author of The Black History of the White House (City Lights).

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is president and co-founder of 350.org, an international grassroots campaign that aims to mobilize a global climate movement united by a common call to action, and the author of a dozen books, including The End of Nature (Random House) and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (St. Martin’s Griffin).


Deborah Menkart

Deborah Menkart is co-director of the Zinn Education Project, the executive director of Teaching for Change, and co-editor of Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching (Teaching for Change).


Deborah A. Miranda

Deborah A. Miranda is the author of Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (Heyday Books). Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone /Costanoan-Esselen Nation of California, and is also of Chumash and Jewish ancestry. She is a John Lucian Smith Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, and says reading lists for her students include as many books by “bad Indians” as possible. Visit Deborah Miranda’s blog, BAD NDNS.


Richard Rothstein

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law. He is the author of numerous books on education such as Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (Teachers College Press and EPI). His latest book is The Color of Law. Full bio.

Adam Sanchez, Zinn Education Project Organizer and Curriculum Writer | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Adam Sanchez

Adam Sanchez (asanchez@zinnedproject.org) teaches at Harvest Collegiate High School in New York City. He is an editor of Rethinking Schools magazine and the Zinn Education Project organizer and curriculum writer.


Ruth Shagoury

Ruth Shagoury teaches new and veteran teachers at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She collaborates with teacher-researchers who serve largely immigrant populations as they create curriculum to teach for social justice. She has been an active member of Portland Area Rethinking Schools for 15 years, and contributes to the Zinn Education Project and Rethinking Schools magazine, most recently with an article co-authored by Maika Yeigh and Andie Cunningham, “Testing What Matters Least” (Summer 2011). She has written numerous books and articles, including Living the Questions: A Guide for Teacher-Researchers (with Brenda Power, Stenhouse Publishers) and Raising Writers: Understanding and Nurturing Young Children’s Writing Development (Allyn & Bacon). Shagoury holds the Mary Stuart Rogers Chair of Education.


Tim Swinehart

Tim Swinehart teaches at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, and writes regularly for Rethinking Schools magazine, including  “‘Don’t Take Our Voices Away’: A Role Play on the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change.”  A longer version of this article will appear in the winter 2012-13 issue of Rethinking Schools.

Ursula Wolfe-Rocca | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

Ursula Wolfe-Rocca teaches at Lake Oswego High School in Oregon.


Moé Yonamine

Moé Yonamine was born in Okinawa and moved with her family to the United States when she was 7. She teaches in Portland, Oregon and is a Rethinking Schools editorial associate. Yonamine is part of the network of Zinn Education Project teachers developing original curriculum to reflect the diversity of today’s U.S. students and to address gaps in the official curriculum. She wrote “But You Guys Wanted Us Here,” a film review and teaching ideas about the U.S. occupation of Japan.


Dave Zirin

Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Dave Zirin is the sports editor for The Nation magazine. Zirin is a frequent guest on MSNBC, ESPN and Democracy Now! He also hosts his own weekly Sirius XM show, Edge of Sports Radio. His books include What’s My Name Fool? (Haymarket Books), Welcome to the Terrordome (Haymarket Books), A People’s History of Sports in the United States (New Press), Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love (Scribner) and co-author of The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World (Haymarket Books). He wrote the script for the film Not Just a Game: Power, Politics & American Sports. You can find all his work at www.edgeofsports.com.