Teach Truth Days of Action 2022

Teachers and allies across the country pledged to teach truth on June 11 and 12, 2022.

They made their pledges at historic sites to provide examples of the history that teachers would be required to lie about or omit if the GOP anti-history bills become law.

Teachers planned these activities at the end of another unbelievably challenging school year. Below we share photos, stories, and local news coverage listed alphabetically by state or territory. We encourage people to continue to participate in this campaign all year long.


Anchorage, Alaska

The Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators – ACBE  held a rally in Delaney Park in downtown Anchorage where redlining contributed to the contemporary wealth gap we see today. The event was co-sponsored by NAACP Anchorage, ACLU Alaska, and NEA-Alaska.

Event speakers included: Rozlyn Grady-Wyche, founder and vice-president of the Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators (ACBE); George Martinez, community leader and Vice President of Alaska Humanities Forum; Nyche’ Andrew, a college student; Christine Sampson Clark, the NEA executive director; and Jessica Cook, a teacher and on the voting block for lieutenant governor.


Photos: upper left: Christine Sampson Clark and Rozlyn Grady-Wyche; bottom left: Jessica Cook, Nyche’ Andrew, and Christine Sampson Clark, Rozlyn Grady-Wyche; right: Nyche’ Andrew; video below: George Martinez.


Mesa, Arizona

The Social and Racial Justice committee for the Mesa Education Association hosted a #TeachTruth workshop on the history of Native American boarding schools. They explored their own biases and also whose voices are heard in textbooks, in primary sources, and in children’s books. They discussed how to challenge dominant narratives to teach truth and developed a resource guide for the event.


Berkeley, California

The UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project convened at the William Byron Rumford statue.

Rumford was a local pharmacist and the first Black legislator to represent northern California in the legislature. He led the work to create the state’s fair housing law.

Members of the South Berkeley Legacy Project shared their memories of the neighborhood. Jason Muniz talked about a lesson he developed on Rumford’s leadership passing fair housing law, and Miriam Walden shared why we should #TeachTruth, inspired by the comments of community members.

June 2022 Berkeley Teach Truth Day of Action

Carole Kennerly, former vice mayor of the City of Berkeley, talked about her mentor Rumford and the organizing to ensure that current residents know the history, amidst gentrification of the neighborhood.


Colorado Springs, Colorado

News Coverage

Teachers rally pledging to ‘teach truth’ about U.S. history

Educators from local schools rallied at the Pioneers Museum pledging to “teach truth” about United States history. . . .

Anton Schulzki, a history teacher at Palmer High School and current president of the National Council of the Social Studies, says

Teachers across the country are choosing not to discuss certain topics in their classroom for fear of retribution — including the loss of their jobs — by those who would silence discussion and choke off academic freedom. Continue reading.


June 2022 Colorado Springs Teach Truth Day of Action

The event was held at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and hosted by Neighbors for Education.


Washington, DC 

The Color Line . . . Teach it!

Reconstructing the South . . . Teach it!

Teaching SNCC . . . Teach it!

The Black Panther Party . . . Teach it!

Who Gets to Vote? . . . Teach it!

Those were the chants heard at the #TeachTruth event hosted by the D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice and African American Civil War Memorial

Ra’mya Davis, Dr. Frank Smith, and Jessica Rucker

Emcee Jessica Rucker led the call and response, starting off with Teach Truth syllabus lesson titles and encouraging crowd members to respond “teach it!” Student Ra’mya Davis co-MC’d the event and read three of her poems. Dr. Frank Smith, the executive director of the African American Civil War Museum and SNCC veteran, shared remarks. About 30 educators attended, many of them sharing their pledges. Read more about the event, including the text of Smith’s remarks.


June 2022 DC AACWM Teach Truth Day of Action

There was also an activity at Fort Reno Park in Washington, DC, co-hosted by the Community Coalition at Jackson Reed High School and Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition.


Stone Mountain, Georgia

NEWS COVERAGE

Teachers, students, parents rally against bills limiting race curriculum in the Moultrie Observer


About 20 people joined the Teach Truth walk around Stone Mountain Park, hosted by Stone Mountain Action Coalition. The park is owned by the State of Georgia and is the world’s largest Confederate memorial. The Park is the birthplace of the modern Ku Klux Klan and was established as an official Confederate memorial by the State in resistance to desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement.


Decatur, Georgia

Here is the report from the event organizers.

“NO TIME FOR PATIENCE!” said a 14-year-old student at the last stop of the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights Teach Truth Walk in Decatur. At a young age, this student has seen enough of what this country has to offer. The issues we are facing from classroom and book censorship to mass shootings are too urgent. They demand immediate action!

Along with coalition members K16TeachTruth, Georgia Youth Justice Coalition, and Georgia Educators for Equity and Justice, students, teachers, and community members marched from the Decatur Square where Beacon Hill led the fight to remove two symbols of white supremacy to the Indigenous-African inspired public art installation, “What Sonia Said,” placed by Beacon Hill’s Art for the People project and ended at the newly renamed Beacon Hill Middle School where we were welcomed by elders from the historic, Black Beacon Hill community in Decatur that went through waves of dispossession and displacement beginning in the 1930s.

June 2022 Decatur Teach Truth Day of Action

We were inspired by the words of our students, teachers, and elders who remain committed to telling the truth of history, teaching the truth, and defending our teachers who refuse to tell lies about the history of this white supremacist, patriarchal settler colony. We look forward to the leadership our student organizers provide in building the movements we need to transform this society.

Check out a beautiful collection of photos by Dean Hesse.


Waterloo, Iowa

The Cedar Valley Antiracism Coalition had a #TeachTruth table at the Waterloo Urban Farmers Market. They gave away copies of The 1619 Project by Waterloo local Nikole Hannah-Jones and the young readers’ edition of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.

June 2022 Waterloo Teach Truth Day of Action

Chicago, Illinois

Teachers met at Old Fort Dearborn to pledge to #TeachTruth and for a book exchange.

Kansas City, Kansas

The SURJ KC Education Core’s retreat was held as a #TeachTruth event. SURJ Education Core pledged to teach honestly about the racism, sexism, and homophobia endemic to the United States so that our students are equipped with the truth and can build a better future. It was held at the Quindaro Underground Railroad Commemorative Landmark and co-hosted by Vernon-Multi Purpose Center, Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum, BLOC, SURJ-KC, JUST Systems, RevEd, and Elements of Education. In a related event, educator America Patton gave a talk on “Passageways That Lead to Freedom.” 

June 2022 Kansas City, KS Teach Truth Day of Action

 

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A post shared by SURJ KC (@surj_kc)


Pasadena, Maryland

At the Mountain Road Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library in Pasadena, Maryland, visitors took photos in the banned books “photo booth” as part of #TeachTruth Days of Action. The event was hosted by One Pasadena. This was a way for library visitors to learn which books politicians want to ban and to have a way to advocate for the right to #TeachTruth.

June 2022 Pasadena Teach Truth Day of Action


Maplewood, New Jersey

The MapSO Freedom School commemorated the June 11th “Teach Truth” Day of Action with their final Saturday School session for the year. They began with students reflecting on their favorite Saturday School lesson. In a group discussion, students highlighted the sessions with Black Panther and Weathermen Underground former political prisoners, the session with the director of the New Jersey Amistad Commission, and the mixer lesson for The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.

During the session, students learned “outside the textbook” about self-defense in the Civil Rights Movement. The guest facilitator was Ernesto “EROC” Montano who led an engaging, interactive information and healing session with students centering on recent mass shootings around the United States.

Students noted that they were thankful for the exchange with EROC and look forward to next year’s Saturday Freedom School, where facilitators #TeachTruth.


Huntington Station, New York

ERASE Racism held a teach-in and action, as their Teach Truth Day of Action. Attendees included students, parents, educators, and community members. They learned about the history of people enslaved at the Joseph Lloyd Manor House on the north shore of Long Island and discussed the danger of current legislation.

Then they collectively brainstormed a group Teach Truth Pledge (see below) in support of educators who: seek to teach us complete and accurate histories, help students better understand problems in our society today and how to critically examine various solutions to those problems, and incorporate culturally responsive-sustaining education into their classes.

Read a news post about the event and see more photos below.

Teach the Truth Action 2022


Danbury, North Carolina

The Good Stewards of Rockingham County and Outdoor Afro-Greensboro hosted Teach Truth paddling incursions with presentations on Indigenous and Black history along the 6-mile route on the Dan River. They developed a Teach Truth guide for the tour and they will introduce a program that county teachers can access all year.

June 2022 Danbury Teach Truth Day of Action


Hillsborough, North Carolina

There was a Southeast Indigenous History Teach-In River Park hosted by 7 Directions Of Service. A local Indigenous scholar offered a presentation about the history of River Park, as well as the Freedom Work happening across the area.

June 2022 Mebane Teach Truth Day of Action

In their outreach they noted,

This community education event is part of a national call to #TeachTruth. For too long, our textbooks and common historical narratives have denied our true history, and ignored the Indigenous perspective. We must come together as a community to educate ourselves and understand both the pain and the resilience of Indigenous communities on Turtle Island. Local Indigenous scholar Beverly Scarlett will present about the untold history of River Park, as well as the Freedom Work happening across the area. We’ll also dive into the history of the Pleasant Grove Community in Alamance County. We’d like to thank our friend Mark Chilton for providing historical materials.


Salem, Ohio

NEWS COVERAGE

‘Stay out of the classroom’: Educators rally against Ohio bills they say ‘whitewash’ history  


More than 50 people came to the #TeachTruth Day of Action at Waterworth Memorial Park. Participants learned about Salem history, including early Black farm settlements, a locally run school for Black students, and activism in 1830 to repeal the Black laws in Ohio. They were invited to take action against HB322, HB327 and HB616 that would prohibit teachers from being able to teach an accurate account of this history.

June 2022 Salem Teach Truth Day of Action

They began in a pavilion, with several speakers including Rev. Monica Beasley-Martin, Allison Smith, Michael Charney, Penny Wells, Heather Smith, and a few high school students. They discussed Salem’s history of abolitionist work on the Underground Railroad and how it’s success depended on residents breaking the law and the role of free Black communities and their role on the UGRR. The discussion was interactive. Those that answered questions were able to get a shirt or a book. Organizer Heather Smith noted, “Powerful speeches were given by all!”

This was followed by a Teach Truth March for Our Lives. At each of the historic sites on the march, student speakers presented on why we need gun reform and to end gun violence. They also stopped in front of the home of abolitionists Marius and Emily Rakestraw Robinson.

The event was hosted by local educators and students from Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Teach Truth Philly held an event at the marker of the 1967 Black student walkouts. It was endorsed by the National Parents Union and Councilmember Kendra Brooks.  


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Tiny Bookstore launched their Learn Something and Do Something series by posting a video on the current efforts to limit the teaching of history and social studies in Pennsylvania. 


Providence, Rhode Island

The TeachTruth Rhode Island Coalition had a Teach Truth table at Providence’s music and arts festival (PVD Fest) where they invited teachers to sign a Rhode Island Teach Truth pledge for 2022. They distributed information on the local bills, conducted on-site phone banking, and collaborated with a mobile social justice library to engage people who were attending the festival. They were by the youth stage, so they were able to engage with youth performers and their teachers as well. According to the organizers, it was a good way to inform people about the anti-CRT presence in the state and the need to pay attention to the proposed bills.  


Columbia, South Carolina

The Modjeska Simkins home was open for in-person tours followed by a talk by Dr. Robert Greene via Zoom on how the state has historically obscured the truth about systemic racism. Brett Bursey spoke about the intent of the anti-CRT legislation as the new “dog whistle” for those who can be threatened and riled by a loss of privilege. The event was hosted by the Modjeska Simkins School for Human Rights.

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Middle school teacher Anna O’Brien invited educators to pledge to #TeachTruth at the Friendship Nine Student Protest


Salt Lake City, Utah

The Soil Collection Ceremonies at Capitol Hill officially included their event as a Teach Truth Day of Action. Participants gathered at the two locations of the horrific murders of Mr. Thomas Coleman (1866) and Mr. William (“Sam Joe”) Harvey (1883). They held memorial ceremonies and placed soil from the sites that to send in jars to the National Memorial for Peace & Justice in Montgomery.

There was a table for participants to pick up materials from the Equal Justice Initiative and the Zinn Education Project. ZEP team member Julia Salcedo was there to speak with educators interested in the campaign. There was a closing ceremony with Bomba Marile who shared the history of the songs they sang as a reminder of Puerto Rico’s resistance and joy. The event was hosted by the Salt Lake County Community Remembrance Coalition of Sema Hadithi African American Heritage & Culture Foundation, Equal Justice Initiative, Annual Utah Juneteenth Celebration, and the Zinn Education Project.

June 2022 Salt Lake City Teach Truth Day of Action


Bainbridge Island, Washington

Educators convened at Bainbridge Island Historical Museum to share #TeachTruth pledges in an event hosted by Mobilizing Bainbridge, BI Erace, Interfaith, Race Forward H.E.A.L., and more.  

June 2022 Bainbridge Teach Truth Day of Action


Seattle, Washington

There was a walking tour to visit historic sites (see map) in the International District and Pioneer Square to learn about the radical history of Asian-Americans, women, and the 1919 Seattle General Strike. The tour began at the Wing Luke Museum with a talk about the anti-Chinese riots of 1886. Along the way they discussed the attack on abortion rights, socialized housing, Ethnic Studies and COVID. 

June 2022 Seattle Teach Truth Day of Action

The event was hosted by NAACP Youth Council, Seattle Education Association Center for Racial Equity, Washington State Ethnic Studies Now (WAESN), Kabataan Alliance, and The Schools Seattle Deserves


Individual Pledges


June 2022 Various Cities Teach Truth Day of Action

 


Coordinators and Sponsors

These events were coordinated by the Zinn Education Project (coordinated by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change), Black Lives Matter at School, and the African American Policy Forum.

The co-sponsors included Learning for JusticeClimate GenerationRace Forward H.E.A.L. (Honest Education Action & Leadership) TogetherNational Education AssociationCommunities for Just Schools FundNational Center for Youth LawModjeska Simkins School for Human RightsCenter for Black Educator DevelopmentJourneys in FilmSpeakOut, and Voice of Witness.

Coordinators

Sponsors

 


The Campaign Continues

You can still participate and make your voice heard. Make a sign (or print one of ours), take a photo at a historic site (they are everywhere), and share on social media with #TeachTruth.

 

 

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