Teaching for Change

Teaching for Change has a 35-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.

1985-01-01 10:26:47

Nicaragua: Song of Hope published

Nicaragua: Song of Hope published by Network Educators' Committees of Central America in New York.

1986-02-04 16:59:06


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.

1986-06-03 17:21:08

Wilfredo published by LA Committee

Wilfredo: Un niño de El Salvador / A Boy from El Salvador is a 45-page free, downloadable bilingual book for children about the experiences of a 12-year-old boy in San Francisco who immigrated to the United States when he was 10.

1987-03-03 18:29:53

National Meeting in Boston, MA

National Meeting in Boston, MA, with representatives from NY, NY; LA, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Weschester, NY; Lexington, MA; San Diego, CA; Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Boston, MA. We decided to place the national focus on Educators' Tours to Central America and Sister Schools. Deborah Menkart was selected as the New East Coordinator.

1987-07-01 21:33:18

NECCA Tour to El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras

NECCA Tour to El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. SD/LA School construction Project in Nicaragua. NICA BESP Teacher training on Atlantic Coast.

1987-10-01 04:51:23

Teaching About Central America

First workshop for teachers on Teaching About Central America. Presented at MCEA (Montgomery County Educators Association) with the topic on Nicaragua.

1988-05-07 11:28:59

National Conference in San Francisco

The National Conference was held in San Francisco with representatives from Minnesota, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, Boston, and Washington, DC.

1988-08-01 00:00:00

Teacher's Tour

Rachel Wyon and Deborah Menkart led the Teacher's Tour to El Salvador and Honduras.

1988-10-01 00:00:00

Tour of Nicaragua Students

Various NECCA committees hosted a tour of Nicaraguan students.

1989-01-01 00:00:00

The Books Project

The Books Project began.

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.)

1989-08-01 00:00:00

Teacher's Tour

Deborah Menkart led the Teacher's Tour to El Salvador.

1989-12-15 16:59:06


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.

1990-03-01 00:00:00

Caribbean Connections: Jamaica Published

Caribbean Connections: Jamaica provides an overview of Jamaican history and culture for the classroom.

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.

1990-12-01 00:00:00

Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico published

The first edition of Caribbean Connection: Puerto Rico was published in 1990. The 2006 second edition is now available as a free download on Teaching for Change.org.

1991-07-01 00:00:00

10 Day Teaching Tour to El Salvador

View pictures from the Teaching Tour to El Salvador.

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.

1991-09-01 00:00:00

Caribbean Connections: Overview of Regional History Publish

An incredible, informative, collection of essays, oral histories, poetry, fiction, analysis, interviews, primary documents, beautifully illustrated timelines and maps and interactive & interdisciplinary teaching aids on the history, politics, and culture of the Caribbean.

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.

1992-05-01 00:00:00

Rediscovering America Published

Rediscovering America/Redescubriendo América is a bilingual collection of short stories, essays, poetry, folktales, and songs for K-12 on conquest and resistance from Latin America and the Caribbean.

1993-03-01 00:00:00

The African Presence in Latin America

Collective Memory: The African Presence in Latin America - A brief study guide with a the focus on the “maroons,” those Africans who escaped slavery and established independent communities within colonial Latin America. The specific study is of the history and culture of Esmeraldas, a province in northwestern Ecuador where African traditions can still be seen and felt. The publication was created to coincide with the March-April 1993 U.S. tour of Juan Garcia Salazar, an Afro-Ecuadorian who collects and studies oral poetry, myths, rituals, folk medicine, music and household artifacts of Afro-Ecuadorian communities. One short story from Ecuador in both Spanish and English is included.

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.

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.

1994-01-15 00:00:00

Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made A Difference (study guide)

NECA developed a study guide for the Women of Hope poster series. In this volume, Maya Angelou, Ella Baker, Alexa Canady, Septima Poinsette Clark, and other African American women's lives are explored in lessons for the classroom.

1994-06-01 02:21:37

If the Mango Tree Could Talk

Network of Educators on the Americas produced a study guide for the film, If Mango Tree Could Speak. The film features ten boys and girls (ages 12 to 15) growing up in the midst of war in Guatemala and El Salvador. They speak candidly about war and peace, justice, ethnic identity, friendship, and love.

1994-06-01 19:34:38

Women of Hope Poster Series

In 1994, Teaching for Change (called NECA at the time) received an invitation from Bread and Roses director Moe Foner to write a teaching guide for the groundbreaking poster series, “Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made a Difference.” Originally produced for members of the 1199 National Health and Human Services Employees Union, the posters became so popular that they were displayed in schools, subways, and other public places. They were also compiled in a book by author and New York City teacher Joyce Hansen.

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.

1995-02-15 00:00:00

Women of Hope: Latinas Abriendo Camino

NECA developed a study guide for the Women of Hope poster series. In this volume, Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Miriam Colon, and many other Latinas’ lives are explored in lessons for the classroom.

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.

1995-09-01 00:00:00

Leadership Course at Cardozo High School

A leadership course was developed and piloted for youth at Cardozo HS.

1996-02-15 00:00:00

Teaching For Equity

Teaching for Equity course offered at Garrison Elementary School.

1996-02-28 09:53:30

Teaching for Equity

Teaching for Equity course offered at Montgomery County Education Association.

1996-03-15 00:00:00

Sister to Sister / Hermana a Hermana

Sister to Sister / Hermana a Hermana Reach Out / Speak Out Conference

1996-04-15 00:00:00

Seminar on Haiti

Teaching for Change conducted a seminar on Haiti.

1996-05-15 00:00:00

Asian American Studies

Teaching for Change conducted a one-day seminar on Asian American Studies.

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?"

1996-07-01 00:00:00

Teaching for Equity Summer Institute

Teaching for Change collaborated with DCPS to offer “Teaching for Equity” summer institutes. One assignment was for teachers to create a visual representation of relations between the U.S. and countries of origin of immigrant students. In this photo, a group diagrams U.S. history with Nicaragua.

1996-07-01 00:00:00

Second DCAWP Summer Institute

Jill Weiler and Tia Howell facilitated a 5-week summer institute.

1996-07-15 00:00:00

Tellin' Stories 2-day Institute

The Tellin' Stories Project conducted a 2-day institute.

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.

Teaching for Change

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