People’s History Lessons to Fight Voter Suppression

How can we fight voter suppression?

Equip young people with lessons from history on organizing for voting rights.

That is why GOP lawmakers are making it illegal for students to learn from history how to defend voting rights — at the same time they are making it harder to vote.

The “anti-CRT” campaign is what voter suppression looks like in school.

Textbooks ignore or minimize the long struggle for voting rights — and the equally long campaign to suppress these rights.

It is essential that the Zinn Education Project continue to provide free lessons to teach outside the textbook — and defend teachers’ right to teach a full and accurate history.

Help us reach more teachers with people’s history lessons on voting rights in 2024.

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I used the first lesson in the unit, Who Gets to Vote? Teaching the Struggle for Voting Rights in the United States, in my United States government course. It fostered great conversation and insight for my students in considering the importance of voting and factors that hinder voting (especially educated voting). My students hadn’t much considered the importance of voting, and some were despairing about the worth of their vote following my lesson on the Electoral College.

Fannie Lou Hamer’s excerpts, especially the second excerpt, revealed to my students something that they hadn’t previously considered: while they didn’t see value in their vote, they hadn’t considered the challenges that have historically and contemporarily prevented citizens from the ability to vote in the first place.

This lesson led my students to reconsider the value of their voice in federal and local elections. I taught it on election day and I believe that it inspired many of them to vote in the election, some of whom left for the polls straight from school! Thank you, as always, for your great resources!

—Mike DeSalvo
High School Social Studies Teacher, Lakewood, Ohio

The fight for voting rights continues.

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