Campaigns

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.

Teach the Black Freedom Struggle

Teachers around the United States face the challenge of how to prepare to teach in the midst of the pandemic and a rebellion in defense of Black lives.

Students are turning to teachers to help them make sense of this new 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 Teach the Black Freedom Struggle campaign of the Zinn Education Project supports teachers with free lessons for teaching about racism and anti-racist struggles, distribution to school districts of the book Teaching for Black Lives, teacher study groups, a podcast, online classes for teachers, and more. Read more.

Teach Climate Justice

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.

Teach Reconstruction Banner | Zinn Education Project

Teach Reconstruction

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.

15th Amendment

The 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment — the Reconstruction Amendment on the right to vote — is this year, also an election year.

This is an ideal time to teach about the long history of the struggle for voting rights, the Reconstruction era, and contemporary issues in voting. Read more.

Abolish Columbus Day | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Abolish Columbus Day

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.