Like many Zinn Education Project materials, our campaigns take aim at an area of the curriculum that is often one-sided, biased, or misrepresented in corporate textbooks and popular narratives. We seek to challenge these false narratives through a grassroots approach, engaging Zinn Education Project members directly. Our campaigns emphasize the role of ordinary people in fighting for justice and affirm that a fuller, more truthful approach to subjects ranging from Columbus to Reconstruction to climate change can help make the world a better place. These campaigns focus on areas of study where we feel that we can have a lasting impact in schools and classrooms — and where we can play a role in shifting popular consciousness and historical memory. We hope to encourage school districts, teachers, and students to rethink and take action around the way these essential topics are taught in classrooms and communities.
Teachers around the United States face the challenge of how to teach in the midst of the pandemic and with daily news about threats to Black lives.
Students are turning to teachers to help them make sense of this reality. Textbooks and the traditional curriculum are of no help as they hide the long history of white supremacy and the Black Freedom Struggle.
The Teaching for Black Lives campaign of the Zinn Education Project supports teachers with free lessons for teaching about racism and anti-racist struggles, teacher study groups centered on the Teaching for Black Lives book, online classes for teachers, and more. Read more.
How do we teach the climate crisis in a way that also confronts racism, economic inequality, misogyny, militarism, xenophobia, and that imagines the kind of world that we would like to live in?
We offer classroom-tested lessons that show how teachers are bringing their curriculum to life with climate justice. We offer “Teach Climate Justice” workshops for educators that model lessons featured at the Zinn Education Project. Our campaign also provides a sample school board climate justice resolution, and advice for those who would like their school district to adopt similar resolutions. Read more.
Reconstruction, the era immediately following the Civil War and emancipation, is full of stories that help us see the possibility of a future defined by racial equity. Yet the possibilities and achievements of this era are too often overshadowed by the violent white supremacist backlash.
We offer lessons for middle and high school, a student campaign to make Reconstruction history visible in their communities, and an annotated list of recommended teaching guides, student-friendly books, primary document collections, and films. Read more.
Rosa Parks is one of the most well-known women of the 20th century and yet much of what has been taught about her is narrow, limited, and at times wrong. This is changing thanks to the release in 2021 of the young adult book, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, and a documentary with the same title — both based on the Parks’ biography by Jeanne Theoharis.
To facilitate classroom use of the book and film, the Zinn Education Project is coordinating book distribution and educator film screenings, as well as making a teaching guide for The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks available online. Read more.
It is time to stop celebrating the crimes of Columbus and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous people who demand an end to Columbus Day. Instead of glorifying a person who enslaved and murdered people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule, we seek to honor these communities demanding sovereignty, recognition, and rights. We encourage schools to petition their administration and for communities to introduce legislation to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We provide information and resources to join the campaign to Abolish Columbus Day. Read more.