March 8th is International Women's Day, which coincides with Women’s History Month in the United States. While women and their contributions have been excluded from recorded history in many societies, women storytellers have ensured that their achievements are shared and celebrated. We hope these guiding questions and resource collections help in your inclusion of diverse women stories whether on International Women's Day, during Women's History Month in October and throughout the school year:
- Looking for resources to weave disability representation into your literature equity and inclusion work?
- Interested in receiving a free class set of books by disability justice warrior, Judith Heumann? (first come first serve, read below to find out more!)
- Are you a middle and/or high school teacher of English Language Arts, humanities, social studies, civics and/or Special Education?
Facing History & Ourselves’ 2022-23 All Community Read will be a collective journey of transformation supported by an educator workshop and author event. We will engage in conversation around the young adult and adult versions of Judith Heumann’s memoirs:
If you were to think of an identity chart for a Jewish person, what/who comes to mind? Depending on how many Jewish people you know, you may be falling into a singular story of who is Jewish. If we think about pop culture, then perhaps you are thinking of Tevye the MilkMan, Barbara Strrissand in Yentl or Jerry Seinfeld. While they are iconic characters, this perpetuates a singular story of what a Jewish person is. Let’s unpack and move away from singular stories because there is no one way of looking and being Jewish.
In 2015, the House of Commons designated April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation, and Prevention Month and commited to “[honouring] the memory of the victims of genocide and reflect on the root causes of these tragedies, so that they never happen again.”
Choosing a piece of literature for your course is an important decision. Take a moment to reflect on the very small number of books you will have the opportunity to introduce to your students in any given year. Stories have the potential to help students understand different perspectives, question their surroundings, and build empathy in meaningful and communal ways. With such an important role to play, these are some of the questions we encourage you to consider when deciding how to develop a course and which texts to teach:
For many educators, back to school is a time of excitement; the idea of inspiring young readers, fostering new understanding, smelling and holding books together as a classroom community brings delight. You hope students will bee-line to the bookshelf during independent and community reading time.
As the ceasefire in Israel and Gaza continues to hold, Facing History and Ourselves mourns the loss of life and bears witness to the trauma wrought by the conflict. We recognize that addressing the recent violence will require careful preparation by both educators and students.
Our dear friend, mentor, and teacher, former Chief of Sagkeeng First Nation (Manitoba), Theodore (Ted) Niizhota Fontaine passed away on May 10, 2021. Theodore was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, nephew, cousin and Sagkeeng community member. He is known across Canada as an accomplished leader in First Nations and public service, a knowledge keeper, Elder, gifted author, educator and public speaker (click here for a full biography). We continue to mourn his loss, miss his presence and walk with gratitude for his friendship and for the legacy that he created with Facing History. NOTE: This blog post was updated Sept 2022 to include lessons and Theodore's video testimony.
This resource list is part of a blog titled, Engaging as Co-Conspirators in Anti-Racism Work, which is a statement about our commitment as the staff of Facing History and Ourselves Canada to our mission to stand up against bigotry and racism. The Facing History and Ourselves Canada team have been reading, watching, and learning from the following resources. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we would love to hear from you what you are reading, and who are the voices that you are learning from.
As an organization, our mission is to use lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. In this blog post, we share our learning (thus far) about how we can work to be anti-racist educators in hopes that this approach, the ideas, and the resources we’ve found helpful in our learning will be helpful to you, your colleagues and the students you teach.