Lawmakers in at least 27 states are attempting to pass legislation that would require teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history.
In response, educators across the United States are signing a pledge to teach truth.
To raise public awareness about the danger of these bills, we invite educators to make that pledge public in gatherings nationwide August 27-29, 2021. This invitation is extended by the Zinn Education Project (coordinated by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change), Black Lives Matter at School, and the African American Policy Forum. (This follows on the June 12 Pledge to Teach Truth Day of Action in dozens of cities across the United States.) It is endorsed by Race Forward.
This is a national call. While bills and budget resolutions are being proposed (and in some cases passed) in specific states, the threat to teaching — and the need for solidarity — is everywhere.
Where to Participate
Educators in close to 4o cities have signed up so far to host events on Aug. 27-29, 2021. As they provide links with information about how to join in their actions, we will add them here. Join one of the events below or plan your own!
Princeton, New Jersey. John Witherspoon Statue at Princeton University. Sunday, Aug. 29, 10:00 am ET. Learn more and RSVP.
Add YOUR site to this list. Learn how to participate below.
How to Participate
- Select a site in your town or city that symbolizes or reflects history that teachers would be required to lie about or omit if these bills become law, which is already the case in some states. The site could be identified by an historic marker, statue, archive, burial ground, or museum.
There are also countless historic sites that are unmarked — such as a freeway that destroyed a neighborhood or a university building funded by enslaved labor. The power of selecting a historic site is that it becomes the focus of your media interviews, providing a concrete example of the history young people have a right to learn.
- Organize a gathering at the site (or online) with fellow educators, family members, students, and community members. The group can be any size. If you don’t have time to organize a group, pick a site and go on your own or with a friend. Every voice and action counts!
- You could invite teachers to read their pledges and students to share why learning the truth about history is important to them. (We will send you a guide with more suggested activities and you can get ideas from the June 12 Day of Action.)
- Post photos and videos to social media with hashtags: #TeachTruth
- Once you sign up, we will send you a step-by-step guide for planning your action along with sample graphics for social media. By mid-August, we will send the complete toolkit with press advisories, how to respond to frequently asked questions, and more.
Social Media Images and #TeachTruth Signs
Once you sign up, we’ll send you a folder of images that you can use on social media.
Fill out the form below and we will send you a toolkit with an event planning guide, sample graphics for social media, press advisories, how to respond to frequently asked questions, and more for the August 27-29, 2021 events. We will send the toolkit in two parts, starting with the event planning guide.