The Zinn Education Project offers workshops tailored to our Teach Climate Justice and Teach Reconstruction campaigns as well as on a variety of people’s history topics. All of our workshops are participatory and demonstrate exemplary teaching activities. Read more about the workshops below. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, submit your request through our online form.

Teach Climate Justice

The Zinn Education Project offers a suite of “Teach Climate Justice” workshops, depending on the needs of the sponsoring organization(s).

  • A full-day workshop highlights use of A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis. The workshop demonstrates key lessons from the book, draws on participants’ experiences, and introduces a range of social justice teaching strategies. A description of a typical full-day workshop can be found here. These sessions are most often led by Bill Bigelow or Tim Swinehart, editors of A People’s Curriculum for the Earth.
  • Shorter hour-long, 90-minute, or part-day workshops are also available, featuring a number of climate justice role plays, mixers, and imaginative writing activities.

Feedback from a Climate Justice workshop

Austin and Brattleboro Workshop Featured Image

In December 2019, the Spark Teacher Education Institute attended Bill Bigelow’s Climate Justice Workshop in Brattleboro, Vermont. We were able to engage in critical climate justice pedagogy alongside teachers and community organizers from Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

It was amazing to be there with so many other teacher activists who are educating students in order to take action against the capitalist-driven climate crisis. I thought the activities, such as the Climate Justice Mixer and La Via Campesina Roleplay, were incredible in how they highlighted the stories of people and movements in the resistance. Many of the teachers already have plans to incorporate these activities in their classrooms.

Thanks again to Bigelow for sharing his experience and knowledge along with many others who are helping to make this world a more just and healthy place!

—Becca Polk
Social Studies Teacher, Brattleboro, Vermont

Teach Reconstruction

The Teach Reconstruction workshops engage participants in one or both of our core lessons: “Reconstructing the South” and “When the Impossible Suddenly Became Possible,” both of which center the aspirations, priorities, and volition of freedpeople in the decade following the Civil War. In addition, participants learn about the Make Reconstruction History Visible student project and discuss opportunities and obstacles to bringing the history of this era back to their classrooms. Read about the Reconstruction workshop we offered in Durham.

Other People’s History Topics

The Zinn Education Project team can offer workshops on many of the lessons posted at the site on a range of themes including immigration, colonization, the U.S. Constitution, the New Deal, the Civil Rights Movement, labor history, the Vietnam War, and more.

Feedback from a Civil Rights Movement workshop

I attended the COINTELPRO workshop during NCSS 2018 in Chicago. Ursula Wolfe-Rocca’s presentation was absolutely amazing. I now have many resources not only for my future classrooms, but also for my future capstone project. I appreciated the structure, resources, and anecdotes that she provided. I would highly suggest this lesson to any teacher.

—Katlyn Buika
High Social Studies Pre-Service Education, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Workshop request button

Previous Workshops

“Very engaging, great exposure to materials and this teaching approach.”
People’s History Workshops in Charlottesville

Educators in Charlottesville, Virginia, invited Adam Sanchez to facilitate a full-day workshop focused on teaching the Black freedom struggle from the resistance of the enslaved and abolitionists during the Civil War, to the heroic efforts to reshape society during Reconstruction, and finally with an exploration of the powerful organizing of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Read more.

“I’ve been going to workshops and PD for decades. Rarely have I walked away so enthusiastic to try new ideas with my students.”
Indiana Schools Host People’s History Workshops

Adam Sanchez traveled to Indiana in March to offer three workshops at Ball State University in Muncie, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, and Indiana University in Bloomington. Topics of the workshops included teaching the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and labor history. Read more.

“I appreciated the modeling, the discussion of different resources, and the interactions with colleagues and other professionals. . . . The role plays were beautiful and enlightening—global and local—inspiring.
Climate Justice Teacher Workshop in D.C.

More than 30 DC area elementary and high school teachers spent a day learning how to teach the hidden history and current reality of climate change at a workshop facilitated by Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools curriculum editor and Zinn Education Project co-director. Bigelow explained that in order for young people to understand the climate crisis, it is important to present the information in ways that “story” the crisis and show the ways that the people most affected are fighting back. Read more.

Teacher Leaders

The workshops are offered by one or more of our teacher leaders.

Adam Sanchez is a social studies teacher and community organizer who is deeply committed to social justice inside and outside the classroom. In addition to his work for the Zinn Education Project, Adam teaches at Harvest Collegiate High School in New York City and serves on the editorial board of Rethinking Schools. He is also a contributor to the books Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation and 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed U.S. History. He was the 2017-2018 Zinn Education Project Organizer/Curriculum Writer.
Alison Kysia Alison Kysia is the education outreach and curriculum coordinator at the Institute for Middle East Studies at the George Washington University and the project director of “Islamophobia: A People’s History Teaching Guide” at Teaching for Change. Previously, she designed Islamic studies and anti-Islamophobia teaching modules for adult education audiences, including religious leaders, social justice activists, and teachers. She taught U.S., world, and Islamic history in an urban community college and English language to adult immigrants. Kysia holds a B.A. in Race, Class, and Gender Studies and a M.A. in History.
Camila Arze Torres Goitia | Zinn Education Project Camila Arze Torres Goitia teaches Social Studies & Leadership at Madison High School, in Portland, Oregon. Her article, “Colonizing Wild Tongues” is included in Rethinking Bilingual Education: Welcoming Home Languages in Our Classrooms. Her most recent article in Rethinking Schools magazine is “What Students Are Capable Of: Sexual Harassment and the Collateral Beauty of Resistance,” in the Spring 2018 issue of Rethinking Schools magazine.
Fayette Colon | Zinn Education Project Fayette Colon has taught in urban schools for six years. She grew up in the South Bronx and graduated from Columbia University with degrees in history and education. She teaches at Harvest Collegiate High School in New York City where she has taught classes in feminism, the prison industrial complex, and revolutions in Haiti and Cuba. She also worked for two years as a middle school social studies teacher in Washington, D.C., focusing her instruction on the social inequalities of ancient civilizations. In 2017-2018, Faye was the founding coordinator of the D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice, a project of Teaching for Change.
 Julian Hipkins III Julian Hipkins III serves as the NAF Academy Director at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C. Hipkins earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Morehouse College and his Master of Arts in Teaching from American University. He lived in Japan for eight years teaching English before returning to Washington, D.C. to teach at Capital City Public Charter School. Hipkins has received numerous awards, including the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award, George Washington University Jackie Robinson Project Outstanding Teacher Award, and the District of Columbia History Teacher of the Year Award. Hipkins received a Rubenstein Staff Member of the Year award and has been featured in numerous articles and videos.
Kim Kanof | Zinn Education Project Kim Kanof is a social studies teacher at Madison High School, a diverse public high school, in Portland, Oregon. She began her career teaching in D.C. public schools. She is currently teaching 9th grade global studies and sheltered history to English Language Learners. Many of her students are refugees or have had interrupted formal education. She is a certified Reading Specialist and an Oregon Writing Project Coach. She co-authored “‘Young Women Like Me’: Teaching About Femicides and Reckless Capitalism on the Mexican Border,” in the Spring 2018 issue of Rethinking Schools magazine.
Moé Yonamine teaches at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon, and is an editor of Rethinking Schools magazine. She is the author of “The Other Internment: Teaching the Hidden Story of Japanese Latin Americans During WWII,” “‘ANPO: Art X War’: A Film Tackles the U.S. Occupation of Japan,” a film review with teaching activities of “ANPO: Art X War,” a documentary about visual resistance to U.S. military bases in Japan, and “Uchinaaguchi: The Language of My Heart.”
Natalie Labossiere Natalie Labossiere teaches social studies at Westview High School in Beaverton, Oregon, and advises the school’s Black Student Union. She is a coach for the Oregon Writing Project, and has written for Rethinking Schools magazine. As a former city planner, she uses her experience with local government and political systems to encourage students to enact change in their community.
Tim Swinehart Tim Swinehart teaches social studies at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon, and is an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark College. He is co-editor of A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis. Tim has spoken and led workshops on environmental justice themes throughout the United States and Canada. He was instrumental in getting the school board in Portland, Oregon, to pass the most comprehensive climate justice resolution in the country, and is active with the Portland Public Schools Climate Justice Committee.
Ursula Wolfe-Rocca Ursula Wolfe-Rocca is a public high school social studies teacher outside of Portland, Oregon. The era of U.S. history she finds most inspiring, humbling, and relevant is always the one she is currently unlearning, relearning, and building curriculum around. Ursula writes frequently for Rethinking Schools magazine and has taught since 2000. Her article, “COINTELPRO: Teaching the FBI’s War on the Black Freedom Movement” is included in Teaching for Black Lives. Ursula is the Zinn Education Project Organizer/Curriculum Writer.

Additional presenters available:

  • Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools Curriculum Editor and Zinn Education Project Co-director
  • Deborah Menkart, Teaching for Change Executive Director and Zinn Education Project Co-director