Project Highlights

Project Highlights

Since launching in 2008, the Zinn Education Project has grown exponentially, reaching educators and activists across the United States and around the globe. This page features just a few of the project’s annual highlights. Visit our news page, press coverage, and newsletter archives for more information. To receive monthly updates, please register for the website and you will be added to our email list.

Jump to: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

2018

January 2018

Provided 250 copies of A People’s History of the United States for young people in Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. Learn more.

Deal Middle School Class | Zinn Education Project

May 2018

Developed and piloted a student project for the Teach Reconstruction campaign, called Make Reconstruction History Visible.

July 2018

Launched a new state of the art version of the Zinn Education Project website that allows for people’s history lessons to be read and downloaded from mobile devices. The new site also includes a digitized and searchable version of our popular “this day in history” series.

A People's History of the United States - From Slate | Zinn Education Project

October 2018

Defended the teaching of people’s history from attacks by Sam Wineburg, Jonathan Chait, and others.

November 2018

Offered a Reconstruction workshop in North Carolina, hosted by the Durham Educators Association. Learn more.

December 2018

Reached the milestone of 87,000 teachers registered to access people’s history lessons, an increase of 12,000 from 2017.

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2017

Reconstructing the South: A Role Play | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

January 2017

Reconstruction was the key turning point in U.S. history—a period of democratic promise like no other. But a promise foreclosed by the terrorism of the defeated white elites seeking to hold on to “their” South. The Zinn Education Project commemorates the Reconstruction period with a new lesson, “Reconstructing the South: A Role Play,” written by Zinn Education Project co-director Bill Bigelow. Download lesson.

Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

January 2017

The Zinn Education Project posted “Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline,” by Wolfe-Rocca, her colleague Andrew Duden, and Zinn Education Project co-director Bill Bigelow. The lesson helps students grasp the issues at stake in the historic struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux for recognition of their treaty rights and for clean water for all. Download lesson.

 

Donate to send copies of A People's History to Arkansas | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

March 2017

When Arkansas legislation was introduced to ban all books by and about Howard Zinn in public schools, the Zinn Education Project offered to send free Zinn books and people’s history lessons to Arkansas teachers. In just one week, more than 700 requests came in as well as more than 300 donations to support this endeavor. The proposed book ban was featured on Democracy Now!, WBUR, Melville House, Boston Magazine, Common Dreams, and more.

Read comments by Arkansas teachers and librarians who requested a book and comments from donors about why they contributed to the book drive.

November 2017

The Zinn Education Project’s lessons were featured in an article in Teen Vogue.

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2016

Charles Duthu's class shows off their new books.

February 2016

Announced five teachers who won class set of A People’s History of the United States from our contest that garnered hundreds of inspiring stories from teachers teaching outside the textbook. Read more.

New Teaching Activities on Civil Rights, Economics, and Foreign Policy | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

March 2016

The Zinn Education Project posted five new articles and activities on Foreign Policy, Civil Rights, and Economics. These include:

 

Why We Should Learn About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement (If We Knew Our History) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

March 2016

Our If We Knew Our History article “Why We Should Teach About the FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement” by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca was very popular and published on Common Dreams, Huffington Post, Alternet, and Portside. Read article.

 

Asian Americans and Moments in People’s History | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

May 2016

Launched a new profile series, Asian Americans and Moments in People’s History. Read more.

 

 

60,000 Registered Teachers Teaching Outside the Textbook | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

May 2016

This month, we reached the milestone of 60,000 teachers teaching outside the textbook. Why are so many teachers signing up to use people’s history lessons from the Zinn Education Project? Here’s just a few of the many reasons we’ve heard. Read more.

 

Stokely Carmichael delivers his famous "Black Power" speech | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

June 2016

Our If We Knew Our History article “What Happened to the Civil Rights Movement After 1965? Don’t Ask Your Textbook ” by Adam Sanchez was very popular and published on Common Dreams, Huffington Post, and History News Network. Read article.
Abolish Columbus Day - Booklet Banner | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

September 2016

The Zinn Education Project joined the campaign to Abolish Columbus Day by providing resources and tools that include a downloadable 14-page packet, sample resolutions, a resource list, and a poster that teachers and students can use in campaigns to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Learn more.

 

Black Panther Party newspapers | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

October 2016

Our If We Knew Our History article “What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party—but Should” by Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian was very popular and published on Common Dreams and Huffington Post. Read article.
Busy booth at NCSS 2016 | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

December 2016

The Zinn Education Project (ZEP) had a lively two days of discussions and community building during the 2016 National Council for the Social Studies annual conference. Held in Washington, D.C., Dec. 2-3, the ZEP booth was a haven for teachers to talk about the challenges of teaching in these times, browse people’s history books, meet ZEP staff and volunteers, and get books. Read more.

 

People's History Trivia Night • A Fundraiser for the Zinn Education Project

December 2016

Hosted the first-ever People’s History Trivia Night in Washington, D.C. Scheduled during the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference, this fundraising event brought together people’s history teachers and friends from around the country. Read more.

 

Shirts | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

December 2016

Released the first-ever Zinn Education Project t-shirts available with a donation of $25. Learn more.

 

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2015

A march of 15,000 in Harlem in solidarity with the Selma voting rights struggle. World Telegram & Sun photo by Stanley Wolfson. Library of Congress.

January 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Ten Things You Should Know About Selma,” is published on Common Dreams. It gains widespread visibility and impacts countless educators’ understanding of the struggle for voting rights on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Read article.

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January 2015

Reached 150,000 Facebook Fans

More than 150,000 people are receiving the history they were never taught in school through our popular “This Day in History” posts. Become a fan today!

 

 

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January 2015

Commemorated the 5th year anniversary of Howard Zinn’s death. As co-directors Bill Bigelow and Deborah Menkart wrote, “When we remember and honor Howard Zinn, we remember and honor the social movements that he chronicled and joined.” Read letter.

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February 2015

We published the article “Time to Tell the Truth About Slavery at Mount Vernon” by educator Sudie Hofmann that creates a buzz on social media networks. Read article.

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March 2015

Our 2012 If We Knew Our History article, “The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools,” by Bill Bigelow is popular once again and republished on Irish Central, “the largest Irish news and culture site in North America.” Read article.

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March 2015

We posted four new articles and activities on environmental justice issues:

 

March 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Lying to Children About the California Missions and the Indians,” by Deborah A. Miranda is published on Huffington Post and Indian Country Today. Read article.

 

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May 2015

We featured the article, “Rethinking Cinco de Mayo,” by Sudie Hoffman in our If We Knew Our History series on the Huffington Post and the Zinn Education Project websites. Read article.

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May 2015

The Zinn Education Project posted three new articles and activities on race, housing, and displacement. These include:

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May 2015

As the Pentagon commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, the Zinn Education Project joined in the Lessons of Vietnam: The Power of Protest event in Washington, D.C. and promoted our teaching resources on Vietnam and anti-war movements. Read more.

 

 

 

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June 2015

In June, we reached the milestone of 50,000 teachers registered to download free lessons that bring people’s history into the classroom from the Zinn Education Project. Since our founding in 2008, the Zinn Education Project has grown from 4,000 teachers to 50,000—nearly half of this growth occurring in the last two years. Read more.

 

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July 2015

The Zinn Education Project was one of three progressive groups selected for the July 2015 CREDO donations ballot, resulting in a donation of $60,000. Read more.

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July 2015

Reached 200,000 Facebook Fans

In just 6 months, we gained another 50,000 fans, totaling more than 200,000 people who are receiving the history they were never taught in school through our popular “This Day in History” posts. Become a fan today!

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July 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “W. E. B. Du Bois to Malcolm X: The Untold History of the Movement to Ban the Bomb,” by Vincent J. Intondi is published on Huffington Post and Common Dreams. Read article.

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July 2015

“Bringing Climate Into the Classroom,” an article describing the This Changes Everything writing retreat is published in the summer issue of Radical Teacher. Read article.

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August 2015

Posted the article “The Voting Rights Act: Ten Things You Should Know” by Emilye Crosby and Judy Richardson to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law. Read article.

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August 2015

“Climate Change and School in a Yup’ik Fishing Village” by Jill Howdyshell is published by a This Changes Everything retreat participant in Rethinking Schools. Read article.

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October 2015

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Time to Abolish Columbus Day” by Bill Bigelow, is published on Common Dreams, Huffington Post, and Alternet. Read article.

This article had unprecedented reach with a combined 140,000+ Likes on Common Dreams and the Huffington Post. It was referenced in national news media, including MSNBC, The Washington Post, Nonprofit Quarterly, and Common Dreams, and was posted on AlterNet. Read more.

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November 2015

Received and posted more “Our Favorite Teacher” stories from former students of Howard Zinn. Read collection.

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November 2015

Received generous donation from a retired teacher for a “People’s History Organizer for People’s History Teachers.” Launched campaign to fully fund the campaign. Read more.

 

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November 2015

Thanks to a donation from HarperCollins, we launched a month-long contest for teachers to win a class set of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Read more.

 

Impact: Growth of teacher registrations | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

December 2015

Reached a milestone: 11,000 new registered teachers in 2015. We now have more than 55,700 teachers using our materials, teaching outside the textbook.

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2014

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January 2014

We reached two milestones: 100,000 lessons downloaded and 1,000,000 all-time visitors to the website. Read more about our impact.

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February 2014

Launched a new series, “How Many Black Abolitionists Can You Name?” Read more.

A shackled group of enslaved people passing the Capitol grounds. Image: Library of Congress.

February 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article, “Missing from President’s Day: The People They Enslaved” by Clarence Lusane was very popular and shared widely. Read article.

 

March 2014

Thanks to our donors, we posted 16 new labor lessons from The Power In Our Hands. Read more.

March 2014

Launched a new series, “Women in Labor History.” Read more.

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March 2014

Posted several of our most popular lessons in Spanish. Read more.

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March 2014

The American Federation of Teachers journal included our letter to the editor in response to the attack they published a year earlier on Howard Zinn and A People’s History. They continue to refuse to publish our full critique, and only published the 150-word letter to the editor after some AFT members launched a campaign on the fourth anniversary of Zinn’s death. Read more.

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Spring 2014

A survey team, led by Zinn Education Project fellow and assistant professor Katy Swalwell, surveyed more than 800 people in the Zinn Education Project network. A full summary is in process. Read a few of the hundreds of survey comments.

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April 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article, “A People’s History of Muslims in the United States” by Alison Kysia was very

popular and published on the Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Portside, and Informed Comment. Read article.

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April 2014

Participated in a symposium at New York University to dedicate Howard Zinn’s papers. We were honored to have author and activist Alice Walker give opening remarks and participate actively in our session. Read more.

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May 2014

Reached 100,000 Facebook Fans

More than 100,000 people are receiving the history they were never taught in school through our popular “This Day in History” posts. Become a fan today!

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June 2014

A Japanese TV network interviewed Zinn Education Project teacher Moé Yonamine who wrote about the hidden history of Japanese Latin American internment in the United States. Read more.

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July 2014

Connected Civil Rights Movement veterans with high school students to share their experiences through virtual “visits.” Read more.

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August 2014

Partnered with the This Changes Everything project (based on the book by Naomi Klein and film by Avi Lewis) to convene a group of teachers to develop curriculum. Read more.

The FDP brought this car to Atlantic City to show the delegates and press at the Democratic Convention how Mississippi blacks were treated when they tried to register to vote. Image: Jo Freeman.

August 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article by Julian Hipkins III and Deborah Menkart commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Read more.

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September 2014

Gave more visibility to the student-led walk out in Colorado protesting curriculum changes to “downplay social strife” and emphasize “patriotism” and the “free enterprise system.” Read more.

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November 2014

Our If We Knew Our History article by Bill Bigelow, “The Koch Brothers Sneak into School,” exposed how the Koch brothers funnel millions of dollars every year to shape the social studies curriculum. Read more.

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November 2014

Thanks to the generosity of two donors, we were able to expand our presence from one to three booths at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Boston.

At the conference, we organized a (silent) protest of the Bill of Rights Institute, a Koch Foundation funded organization. Read more.

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December 2014

Convened 20 teachers for the Zinn Education Project/This Changes Everything writing retreat weekend near Portland, Oregon, led by Rethinking Schools editors Linda Christensen and Bill Bigelow. Stay tuned for new curriculum and articles in the new year.

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December 2014

Reached a milestone: 10,000 new registered teachers in 2014. We now have more than 44,500 teachers using our materials, teaching outside the textbook.

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2013

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March 2013

New, improved, and enhanced version of the Zinn Education Project website launched. Read more.

April 2013

Partnered with StoryCorps to promote the animated short “Facundo the Great” with resources for teaching the politics of naming. Read more.

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June 2013

Reached 30,000 registered users for the website.

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July 2013

Gave national visibility to the attempt to censor Howard Zinn in public schools by Mitch Daniels with the publication of “Indiana’s Anti-Howard Zinn Witch Hunt” by Bill Bigelow.

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August 2013

Launched “Howard Zinn, Our Favorite Teacher” series of tributes and remembrances by former students from Boston University and Spelman College.

August 2013

Facebook fans reach 50,000.

October 2013

Revitalized the McCarthy anti-censorship era Green Feather Movement campaign, this time in defense of people’s history, with buttons, stickers, and postcards distributed at Howard Zinn Read-Ins, Indiana teacher conferences, and the National Council for the Social Studies.

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December 2013

Responded to the American Educator attack on Howard Zinn and A People’s History with the review “Bashing Howard Zinn: A Critical Look at One of the Critics” by Alison Kysia.

December 2013

Facebook fans reach 60,000.

More highlights from 2013

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2012

January 2012

Gave national visibility to Tucson, Arizona’s banning of the Mexican American Studies program. Classes were terminated and books were banned, including A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn and Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow, Zinn Education Project co-director and Rethinking Schools editor. An Arizona judge who upheld the ban decree found that the Tucson program was teaching Latino history and culture “in a biased, political, and emotionally charged manner.” In the article “‘Repeat After Me: The United States Is Not an Imperialist Country—Oh, and Don’t Get Emotional About War,’” Bill Bigelow argues, “The problem with the school curriculum in this country is that it is not emotionally charged enough.”

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March 2012

Launched the If We Knew Our History series on Huffington Post, Alternet, and Common Dreams.

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April 2012

The first-ever Myles Horton Education Award for Teaching a People’s History is awarded to Sean Arce, co-founder and director of the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, Ariz. Read more.

Melody Schneider, the 20,000 registered teacher, explains why she registered, “My students and I are looking for truth in history, something real that they can connect to.

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May 2012

Reached the milestone of 20,000 teachers registered for the Zinn Education Project. Read more.

June 2012

Partnered with Democracy Now! at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) on a workshop titled “Teaching a People’s History, Teaching Democracy Now!: Role Play on the Climate Crisis and Online Resources for Critical Media Literacy.”

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September 2012

Partnered with the Children’s Defense Fund on the Youth Advocate Leadership Training at the 2012 Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Community and Youth Empowerment Conference.

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November 2012

Sean Arce awarded the Myles Horton Education Award for Teaching a People’s History at National Council for the Social Studies Conference. Read more

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2011

January 2011

One of 40 progressive organizations selected for the 2011 CREDO/Working Assets donations ballot. Read more.

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Summer 2011

Selected as a national partner for the Storycorps National Teacher Initiative. Listen to conversations here.

September 2011

The dedication of the Zinn Room at Busboys and Poets with keynote speakers Cornel West, Beverly Daniel Tatum, and many more, was a fundraiser for the Zinn Education Project. Read more.

More highlights from 2011.

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2010

Author on Air log

January 2010

Conducted an Author on Air interview with Howard Zinn based on questions submitted by teachers from across the country.

Students and their teacher, Chris Lewis, in El Monte, California with their Teaching Outside the Textbook class set.

Spring 2010

Began the Teaching Outside the Textbook campaign by soliciting stories from teachers about how they teach a people’s history. Essays were submitted by 88 teachers. Sent A People’s History of the United States class sets to 21 teachers.

Summer 2010

At the request of the filmmakers, produced the teaching guide for The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

More highlights from 2010.

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2009

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December 2009

Launched new website, with over 75 free downloadable teaching activities and hundreds of books, films, and posters.

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2008

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June 2008

Distributed 4,000 free teaching people’s history packets to educators across the United States and its territories. The packet included the DVD Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, a copy of A People’s History of the United States, and a teaching guide developed especially for this project. (Report on the distribution of the 4,000 packets.)

In 2008, Zinn spoke to teachers at the National Council for Social Studies conference. Video and transcript available online.

November 2008

Helped to coordinate the keynote presentation by Howard Zinn at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference and gave a copy of the Teaching a People’s History teaching guide to 800 attendees.

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