Teaching for Change

Teaching for Change has a 25-plus year history of promoting education that provides students the skills, knowledge and inspiration to be agents of change for a better world. Awarded Organization of the Year by the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) in 2004, Teaching for Change provides its key constituents—parents and teachers—with social justice focused professional development and resources. With its office in Washington, D.C., Teaching for Change is a national organization with a hands-on commitment to its local community.

1980-01-01 00:00:00

Network of Educators Committees on Central America in 11 US cities

Concerned about the needs of the growing Central American student population, and about US involvement in the region, teachers in eleven major cities formed action committees. During the 1980s, these local committees coordinated tours to and from Central America, raised funds for schools in Central America and teachers' unions, established sister schools and sister unions, offered courses and workshops, and developed curricula. Some of the curricula are still distributed today such as Wilfredo: A Boy from El Salvador and Of Secret Wars and Roses.

1986-02-04 16:59:06

NECCA

Representatives from committees of teachers working on Central American issues met in Los Angeles. They formed the Network of Educators Committees on Central America (NECCA) to improve communication and to coordinate joint projects. The Seattle and Boston committee coordinators served as volunteer national co-coordinators.

1989-05-12 16:59:06

Donald Graves Visits Teaching for Change

We invited internationally recognized scholar on the teaching of writing, Donald Graves, to serve as an advisor to our our Books Project. Graves replied enthusiastically that not only would he be willing to advise the project, but that he would also like to visit and learn more about working in language diverse classrooms. His schedule was busy for the next few years, but he did have an opening in a few weeks. A fish bowl session was held at GWU. He held a writing workshop with about six ESL students from a fifth grade class at Marie Reed ES while a group of classroom teachers and some professors sat around the edge of the room. After the students left, Graves debriefed with the teacher observers. That evening a reception was held at a room reserved (at no-cost) at the Organization of American States. Two students read their books and then Graves gave a talk to a packed room about language and literacy. (This was the day that the US increased troops in Panama, so we almost lost the room to an emergency meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean countries.)

1989-12-15 16:59:06

Incorporated

Teaching for Change was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia in December of 1989. Originally called NECCA, the name later became Teaching for Change. Because the incorporation was at the very end of 1989, we celebrate the 20 year anniversary in 2010.

1990-06-30 18:16:21

Curriculum on Nicaragua Published

We published the only curriculum for students in the United States on Nicaragua. The book, called Inside the Volcano, was edited by high school teachers William Bigelow and Jeff Edmundson.

1991-07-01 18:27:49

Rethinking Columbus

We coordinated a national series of Rethinking Columbus workshops for over 4200 teachers in 40 school districts across the country. The workshops were presented by Bill Bigelow with funding from the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Foundation.

1992-03-27 18:58:43

Manlio Argueta Visits DC

Manlio Argueta visited classrooms and gave presentations to teachers in the DC area. Photo by Jonathan Duffy.

1993-03-05 18:27:49

Teaching About Haiti

Teaching for Change, in collaboration with EPICA, published Teaching About Haiti as part of our Caribbean Connections series. It was printed on newsprint to allow for low cost, widespread distribution. On the occasion of the earthquake in 2010, the full booklet and additional resources were posted online for free teacher access: http://bit.ly/1EfiltS

1993-06-30 23:41:54

DC Humanities Council Award

We received the Humanities Award from the DC Humanities Council for our work on the Caribbean Connections series, workshops and seminars. The award was a framed print, seen here, by internationally acclaimed artist Sam Gilliam.

1993-07-01 18:27:49

Seminar Series for DC Area Educators

In 1993 the series was titled Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism: Perspectives, History and Strategies for Change. Sessions included “Revising the Classroom: Focus on Fiction and Revision” by Portland Writing Project co-Director Linda Christensen; “The African Presence in Latin America” by Ecuadoran scholar and activist Juan Garcia Salazar; and “Strategies for Building a Multicultural, Anti-Racist Curriculum” by Enid Lee.

1994-06-30 18:58:43

Teaching for Change Catalog Launched

In every school district where Bill Bigelow presented the Rethinking Columbus workshop, he heard from teachers that the Columbus story made them realize how much else they must be teaching from Eurocentric bias. “Where,” they asked, “are the materials I need to ‘rethink’ the rest of my curriculum?” He gave them titles of books like Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. But Bill concluded that the teachers would be much more likely to acquire the resources if they were available from one source. Bill’s recommendation led NECA to establish the Teaching for Change catalog in 1994, a small mail-order distribution of progressive teaching resources. The income from the Rethinking Columbus workshops provided the funds to launch and sustain the catalog for the first couple of years.

1994-07-01 18:58:43

Seminar Series for DC Area Educators

In 1994 the series was titled Uncovering Community: Strengthening Schools. Sessions included “Traditional Stories: Recognizing and Convoking Community” by storyteller and artist in residence at the Henry Street Settlement Mary Savage; “Developing Community Themes in the Curriculum” by literacy specialist and author Loren McGrail; “Training for Self-Advocacy” by the parent advocacy Ask the Right Question Project; “Making Our Own History: Educators, Youth and Gangs” by Luis Rodriguez; on popular demand another workshop by Enid Lee; and more.

1994-11-19 00:00:00

Black Mosaic

Seminar for educators at the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum with Jan Carew as the featured speaker.

1995-07-01 18:58:43

DC Area Writing Project Established

In 1995, Teaching for Change launched and nurtured this partnership between Howard University and DC Public Schools to establish a local site of the National Writing Project. This was one of the few learning communities for teachers in DCPS.

1996-05-29 18:58:43

Understanding Asian American Students

In conjunction with the Assocation for Asian American Studies, Teaching for Change worked with DCPS, FCPS and Howard University to offer a pre-conference institute for teachers. Gary Y. Okihiro gave the keynote speech titled "Whose History Is It Anyway?"

1998-07-01 18:58:43

Beyond Heroes and Holidays Published

Beyond Heroes and Holidays published in February, 1998. Production on this book began years earlier. We had received many requests for help from multicultural committees at schools who wanted to do more than ‘heroes and holidays’ events, but were at a loss as to how. We received a grant from DC Community Humanities Council and proceeded to solicit and write articles. Margo Okazawa-Rey, Enid Lee, and Deborah Menkart were the co-editors.

1999-10-30 18:58:43

Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching Institute

Full day institute for 300 teachers with keynote speakers Bob Moses (TheAlgebra Project), Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States, Suzan Shown Harjo (Morning Star Institute), Sonia Sanchez (Temple University) and many more.

2001-03-02 16:59:06

Radical Equations: Math Literacy and Civil Rights

On March 2, 2001, Charles Cobb Jr. and Bob Moses spoke about their new book, Radical Equations: Math Literacy and Civil Rights, to a full house of teachers at the DCPS Logan auditorium.

2004-05-31 18:58:43

Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching Book Launch

Dr. Dorothy Height, Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., Eloise Greenfield, and more spoke at the NCNW Headquarters on March 31, 2004 to launch the Teaching for Change and PRRAC publication, Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching.

2004-05-31 18:58:43

NAME Book of the Year Award

The publication we produced with PRRAC, Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching, won the annual Philip Chinn Book Award.

2004-11-01 18:58:43

NAME Organization of the Year Award

Teaching for Change received the National Association of Multicultural Education Organization of the Year Award.

2005-09-02 18:58:43

Partnership with Busboys and Poets

Teaching for Change opened a Bookstore at Busboys and Poets (14&V) in Washington, D.C.

2005-12-05 18:58:43

381 Days Smithsonian Exhibit

Teaching for Change's publication, Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching, was selected as the featured teacher resource for the Smithsonian Institution's Montgomery Bus Boycott Traveling Exhibit called "381 Days."

2008-01-01 18:58:43

Zinn Education Project Launched

In partnership with Rethinking Schools, Teaching for Change launched the Zinn Education Project.

2008-12-16 18:58:43

Howard Zinn Keynote at NCSS

Through the Zinn Education Project, coordinated with Rethinking Schools, we helped host Howard Zinn at NCSS in Houston and gave away 800 copies of the Teaching a People's History guide to the participants. The full talk on teaching history is online.

2009-12-18 18:58:43

Arts Fundraiser for Teaching for Change

Capital Canvases for a Cause fundraiser for Teaching for Change with artist photographer, poet, artist and activist Kuroji Ntu. Teaching for Change Board member Nzinga Tull made the arrangements. Photos by Maceo Thomas.

2010-03-01 18:58:43

Teaching About Haiti

Teaching About Haiti has been posted online as a free, downloadable resource, along with a list of more than 40 recommended books for books, films, and organizations for classrooms.

2010-10-20 18:58:43

Edwidge Danticat Fills the House

Award winning Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat offered a reading and discussion based on her new book, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work at Busboys and Poets on October 20, 2010. More than 130 people were in attendance and many more who could not get in waited to get a book signed at the end of the event sponsored by TransAfrica Forum and Teaching for Change’s Busboys and Poets Bookstore.

2010-10-22 18:58:43

Tull Family Fundraiser Features Judy Richardson

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, Knox and Brenda Tull opened the doors of their Washington, DC home to host a fundraiser for Teaching for Change’s 20th Anniversary. With Judy Richardson — Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) veteran, Eyes on the Prize filmmaker, and co-editor of a new book detailing personal narratives of women in SNCC — as the special guest, the house was packed. Friends, family, and supporters were excited to hear Ms. Richardson’s personal journey through the 1960s as an activist in one of the most influential student organizations of all time.

2010-10-28 18:58:43

Teaching Guide on Ellsberg, the Vietnam War and Whistleblowing

The Zinn Education Project (coordinated by Teaching for Change and Rethinking Schools) just released a free 94-page teaching guide for the film The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. The teaching guide provides eight lessons on the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblowing, the Pentagon Papers and more for U.S. history, government, and language arts classrooms.

2010-12-27 11:59:43

Exciting Developments in McComb, Mississippi

Thanks to funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Teaching for Change has been able to work with a school district and community team in McComb, Mississippi in 2010 to: Send a team of six representatives from the school district and community to the historic 50th anniversary Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Conference at Shaw University. This was the largest contingent of staff from any school district in the country.

2011-06-07 18:58:43

Afro-Peruvian Musical Fundraiser for Teaching for Change a Success

Teaching for Change supporters gathered on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 for a preview of GALA Hispanic Theatre’s June 8-26, 2011 show, CANTO AL PERÚ NEGRO: An Afro-Peruvian Musical by Gabriel García, directed by Hugo Medrano. Each year GALA Hispanic Theatre donates the preview night’s show to a local nonprofit organization working in the community.

2011-09-21 11:59:43

Howard Zinn Room Dedication

There was a standing-room-only crowd at the new Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, Md., for the special event on September 21, 2011 to celebrate International Peace Day, dedicate the Zinn Room, and raise funds for the Zinn Education Project.

2011-09-30 18:58:43

Missouri Teachers’ Overwhelming Response to Family Engagement Training

Teaching for Change parent organizers América Calderón and Jhonna Turner traveled to St. Louis, Missouri in September to conduct a professional development session for more than 70 teachers of English Language Learner (ELL) students. Invited by the St. Louis Regional Professional Development Center of Cooperating School Districts, Calderón and Turner presented a full day workshop titled “Beyond International Night: Taking Parent Involvement to a Higher Level” to a packed room of educators from schools throughout Missouri.

2011-10-03 18:58:43

History Steps Out of the Photograph: John Carlos Speaks to Students

As part of the national book tour to launch The John Carlos Story (Haymarket Books, 2011), John Carlos and Dave Zirin spoke to the students about that moment in history, the limited explanations given in textbooks, and its continued significance.

2011-10-25 18:58:43

History After Hours at the African American Civil War Museum

There is a museum in Washington, D.C., in which the exhibits do not include the voices of any scholars. “If you were not there in the making of the history, you do not get a quote in our exhibit,” proclaims Hari Jones, curator of the African American Civil War Museum. “We tell the story from the perspective of these American history makers.”

2012-03-12 18:58:43

What Kids Aren't Learning

On Monday, March 12, Teaching for Change launched its Teaching Out LOUD fundraising campaign with a panel event at Busboys and Poets that featured Dr. Khalil Muhammad, Jeff Biggers, and Dr. Enid Lee

2012-09-20 00:00:00

Shirley Sherrod Speaks Out

There was a full house to hear Shirley Sherrod speak about her new book, "The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear," with Clarence Lusane at a special event co-hosted by Teaching for Change, Busboys and Poets and WPFW. More info on book: http://bit.ly/1LuehOB

2013-02-16 18:58:43

Teach the Beat Seminar

Close to a hundred music and social studies teachers took advantage of the unique opportunity to learn from the leading luminaries and scholars in go-go including Christopher “Geromino” Allen, Sugar Bear, JuJu, Sweet Cherie, JB, Stanley Cooper, Kenneth Carroll, Melvin Deal, David “32” Ellis, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Donnell Floyd, Natalie Hopkinson, Kip Lornell, Maurice Shorter, and Charles Stephenson.

2014-04-08 18:58:43

National Family Engagement Conference Presentation

Teaching for Change has been invited to present at the National Family and Community Engagement Conference. We will be leading a session called Professional Development for Family Engagement Practitioners. In this interactive session, participants will learn time-tested approaches from Teaching for Change’s Tellin’ Stories Project to: (1) help teachers and administrators rethink their assumptions about parent involvement and why traditional approaches are often unsuccessful, including challenging deficit perspectives based on race, class, and national origin.

2014-04-24 11:59:43

Zinn Papers Dedicated at NYU Symposium

The Zinn Education Project was honored to be included in “Howard Zinn: A Lifetime of Teaching, Writing, and Activism,” a daylong symposium held at New York University (NYU) on April 24, 2014. The event celebrated the generous donation of Zinn’s personal papers to NYU’s Tamiment Library by his children, Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jeff Zinn.

2014-04-24 18:58:43

Teaching for Change Among National Recipients of Kellogg Foundation Family Engagement Awards

Just days after Teaching for Change presented a workshop at the first National Family Engagement Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation recognized Teaching for Change as one of 30 “exceptional organizations” to receive a grant for its new family engagement initiative. Teaching for Change’s nationally recognized family engagement approach, called Tellin’ Stories, uses the power of story to connect families and staff from diverse backgrounds, to pass on valuable information and experiences, and to organize collective action. A grant from Kellogg Foundation will build on Teaching for Change’s experience organizing with parents in D.C. area schools for more than 15 years.

2014-04-24 18:58:43

Pearl Cleage: Things I Should Have Told My Daughter

Pearl Cleage packed the house for one of our best ever author events featuring her new book, Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs. Teaching for Change board member and Spelman alumnae Nzinga Tull described the evening: “Ms. Cleage was elegant, yet also warm and familiar. The audience questions were probing and all over the map: How do you approach being open about vulnerability? What was it like working for Maynard Jackson? How do you move between so many creative genres? How did your formative years inform your identity as a feminist? Cleage answered every question effortlessly with honesty, humor, and compelling insight. It was a delightful and memorable evening.”

2014-05-01 18:58:43

Tellin’ Stories Family Partners Series

With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Teaching for Change is launching a new and unprecedented training series for D.C.-area elementary schools to develop meaningful family engagement strategies for their school communities.

2014-05-09 00:00:00

Speakeasy: DC Teacher Stories

“I realized that if I was going to ask my students to speak up, I was going to have to tell my truth and be honest with them about the times where I failed to do so.” —Clint Smith, high school teacher. Smith was one of the cast of eight teachers who shared their stories in a special event hosted by Speakeasy DC and Teaching for Change at the Atlas Theater. There was a fundraising reception for Teaching for Change in advance of the performance.

2014-05-09 18:58:43

The Collective Stories Were Bigger Than Each of Us: Speakeasy Teacher Event Rocks the House

D.C. area teachers had been invited to audition for the program in January and a cast of eight was selected from among many strong applicants. After much rehearsing and coaching, the show was held on May 9, 2014 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

2014-06-12 18:58:43

McComb Students Visit DC

Teaching for Change helped host a week in D.C. of teaching and learning by 11 high school students from McComb, Mississippi. Photo: Students at Arlington National Cemetery near the grave of Medgar Evers.

2014-06-12 18:58:43

No Koch in Schools

#NoKochInSchools silent protest. Co-hosted with Rethinking Schools through our Zinn Education Project at the NCSS Conference in Boston.

2014-06-16 18:58:43

Rush Limbaugh Calls Teaching for Change Racist for Promoting Diverse Children’s Books

In the last five years, only 10% of children’s books published were about people of color despite the fact that 37% of the U.S. population are people of color. Rush Limbaugh found out that Teaching for Change is trying to challenge this disparity and he is hopping mad. Limbaugh devoted a long segment of his show on June 16 to tell his listeners that Teaching for Change is racist for featuring children’s books by and about people of color.

2014-06-17 18:58:43

Presentation in DC by Students and Teachers from McComb, Miss.

Eleven students and their teachers from McComb will be in D.C. for the National History Day (NHD) competition. This is the third time McComb has participated in National History Day. They won at the state level and now they are coming to D.C. for the national competition. Their entries included a mini-documentary about Freedom Schools and a dramatic performance about the voting rights struggle.

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