We are overjoyed to have received funding from the Players Coalition to expand the number and reach of our Teaching for Black Lives study groups. Teachers need these study groups now more than ever. The study groups received additional support and affirmation this month from the world of sports when Pete Carroll dedicated his My Cause, My Cleats to Teaching for Black Lives.
Learn about the Players Coalition’s generous commitment in their press release below.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On November 1, Players Coalition, a nonprofit founded by former NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins, dedicated to making an impact on social justice and racial equality, awarded $35,000 to the Zinn Education Project in support of their Teaching for Black Lives campaign. The Zinn Education Project, coordinated by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change, provides free lessons and professional development for teachers on people’s history.
At the core of the Teaching for Black Lives campaign, are teacher-led study groups discussing how to teach about racism, resistance, and joy. Currently, there are 100 active groups throughout the United States. Each group offers a unique learning community that not only deepens knowledge and strengthens practice, but also serves to retain teachers in this challenging time. The groups receive free books, facilitation guides, coaching, invitation-only curriculum workshops, and a chance to connect with peers nationally. The grant provides support for additional programming for current groups and the recruitment of leadership for new groups in key states for the 2023–2024 academic school year.
Anti-racism education is a necessity for educators and students alike in schools across America. We need to support organizations like the Zinn Education Project to ensure that truth is taught in schools and that generations to come will understand the holistic view of our country. — Doug Baldwin, Players Coalition Advocate and NFL Veteran
Study group sessions will include topics on the history of activism among athletes, author Bryan Stevenson’s young adult edition of Just Mercy, and the history of resistance to enslavement, Reconstruction, the climate crisis, African Americans’ fight against Jim Crow during World War II, and the tradition of fugitive pedagogy by Black teachers. States with anti-education bills will be invited to each session and encouraged to apply to form a study group of their own for the following school year.
The $35,000 donation is part of the larger Players Coalition Charitable Foundation fund that awards annual education grants to organizations advancing education equity in underinvested communities while closing the digital divide.
About Players Coalition
Players Coalition is an independent 501(c)(3) (charity) and 501(c)(4) (advocacy) organization, working with professional athletes, coaches, and owners across leagues to improve social justice and racial equality in our country. Founded in 2017 by NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins, Players Coalition continues to grow exponentially with representation from more than 1,500 athlete advocates across 12 professional leagues.
About Teaching for Black Lives
Based on the Rethinking Schools book, Teaching for Black Lives, the Teaching for Black Lives campaign provides teachers support, resources, and encouragement to teach young people honestly about systemic racism and how to organize for justice. Through multiple opportunities — classes, study groups, workshops — educators are invited into a national network of teachers, school librarians, counselors, administrators, and school staff who are defying efforts to ban what students can learn in school by vowing to teach for Black lives.
About Zinn Education Project
The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history in classrooms across the country. For more than 10 years, the Zinn Education Project has introduced students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. With more than 150,000 people registered, and growing by more than 10,000 new registrants every year, the Zinn Education Project has become a leading resource for teachers and teacher educators.
About Teaching for Change
Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write, and change the world. Teaching for Change offers professional development, develops lessons, and curates resources to help classroom teachers supplement pre-K–12 curriculum. Programs include Social Justice Books, Teach Central America, D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice, and the Zinn Education Project (with Rethinking Schools.)
About Rethinking Schools
Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public education through social justice teaching and education activism. Their magazines, books, and other resources promote equity and racial justice in the classroom. Rethinking Schools encourage grassroots efforts in schools and communities to enhance the learning and well-being of children and to build a broad democratic movement for social and environmental justice.
Please join the Players Coalition with a donation to the Teaching for Black Lives campaign.