16th Annual Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference

The 16th Annual Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference will be held Saturday, October 21, at Parkrose High School in Portland. Register here!

It’s the first time back in person since 2019, and there is a full slate of wonderful workshops — along with two keynotes: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) member Charlie Cobb in conversation with Rethinking Schools editor Dyan Watson — and renowned YA and children’s book author, Renée Watson, in conversation with Rethinking Schools editor Linda Christensen.

Details about the keynotes and the program with a full description of our workshops is available at the NWTSJ website. The conference is still just $35 — $5 for students — which includes lunch.

The conference also features a Resource Fair — with Rethinking Schools books and magazines, and this year a beautiful new Rethinking Schools t-shirt. (Rethinking Schools coordinates the Zinn Education Project with Teaching for Change.)


Keynote Speakers

There are two keynote addresses this year.

Charles E. Cobb Jr. is former field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a journalist, and the author of a number of books including Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project (with Bob Moses) and This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible. Cobb will be in conversation with Rethinking Schools editor Dyan Watson.

Renée Watson is an author of picture books and young adult novels. Her novel Piecing Me Together received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. With Nikole Hannah-Jones, Watson wrote the bestselling The 1619 Project: Born on the Water. Many of her books are inspired by growing up as a Black girl in the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry and fiction center the experiences of Black girls and explore themes of home, identity, body image, and the intersections of race, class, and gender. Watson will be in conversation with Rethinking Schools editor Linda Christensen.


There are more than 40 workshops scheduled across two workshop sessions. Rethinking Schools editors leading workshops include Ursula Wolfe-Rocca and Moé Yonamine; and RS authors Katy AlexanderCamila ArzeChloé AvilaBrady BennonSandra ChildsDeb DelmanKim KanofSuzanna KassoufMatt ReedAlison SchmitkeTim Swinehart, and Maika Yeigh.

Some of the day’s workshops include:

  • Humanizing Houselessness: Storying to Connect
  • The Oregon Trail Curriculum Project: “Design or Destiny?”
  • Teaching the Radical Lives of Ida B. Wells
  • Not Too Hot to Handle: Nuclear Waste for Middle Schoolers, Station Rotation Style
  • Using Densho’s Online Resources to Explore the Japanese American Incarceration
  • We Take It With Us Wherever We Go: Counternarratives of Unaccompanied Migrant and Indigenous Youth
  • Puberty Education Kits: Education at Your Library
  • Sharing Our Journeys (Redux): Black and Brown Educators Building Solidarity Through Testimonios
  • White Educators, Listen Up: How White Educators Can Help Retain Teachers of Color
  • What Can Data Tell Us About Racial Disparities in School Discipline?
  • “We Are Not Drowning — We Are Fighting”: Teaching Climate Change, Island Solidarity, and Indigenous Rights
  • Teach Under Fire: How to Battle the Burn-Out in Social Justice Education

NWTSJ is sponsored by Rethinking Schools magazine, the Seattle Education Association, Washington Education Association, The Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College, and the Portland Association of Teachers.

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