#TeachTruth August Days of Action

Teachers and allies across the country pledged to teach truth on the weekend of August 27 – 29.

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 as they returned to school for another challenging year. We share here the national news coverage, followed by photos, stories, and local news coverage listed alphabetically by state or territory. It is not too late to add your photo.


National News Coverage

Teachers protest bills targeting critical race theory, race education by Kiara Alfonseca on ABC News

Educators Across the U.S. Pledge to Teach Truth: “We Refuse to Lie to Young People About U.S. History” by Roxy Szal in Ms. Magazine 

Educators across the country protest laws limiting lessons on racism, vow to teach the truth by Valerie Strauss and Jesse Hagopian in The Washington Post

Seattle-area educators ‘teach truth’ to push back against critical race theory opponents by Naomi Ishisaka in The Seattle Times

Teachers Rally Against Laws Aimed at Limiting Classroom Discussion of Racism by Sarah Schwartz in Education Week

 


Pledge Actions by State

 

Anchorage, Alaska

Visit the Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators – ACBE Facebook page to hear the presentations.

 


Mesa, Arizona

Teachers at the Alston House, built in the 1920s. It was the home and office of Dr. Lucius Alston, the first African American doctor to practice in Mesa. Hosted by the Mesa Education Association of the Arizona Education Association. More event photos by Michelle Aron Lantz.

 


Albany, California


Bay Area, California

From left to right: General Kat @kaygenn pledges to #TeachTruth at the Tanforan Assembly Center, @JMuniz1976 pledges to #TeachTruth about the advocacy of Rep. William Byron Rumford for fair housing in CA, Matt Sweeney, a teacher at Acalanes High School, pledges to #TeachTruth, @resilientactiv1 pledges to #TeachTruth at the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU.

Los Angeles, California

The Ida B. Wells Education Project held a speak out at Biddy Mason Memorial Park. Read more.

Amparo Chavez-Gonzalez at the Biddy Mason Memorial Park.

 


Santa Cruz, California

“Educators gathered at the Santa Cruz Mission because telling the truth about the survival of Indigenous peoples in the face of inconceivable violence at Mission Santa Cruz in the 1700s and 1800s is an example of a piece of history that teachers would be banned from teaching under legislation proposed in many states. (Fortunately, no such legislation has been proposed in California!) The event coincided with the removal of the last Santa Cruz Mission Bell by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.” — from the event invitation, hosted by local teachers.

 


Evergreen, Colorado

 


Washington, D.C.

Due to a major storm, the event planned for the Malcolm X Park had to move online at the last minute. Keesha Ceran shared a quote by Clint Smith on learning history, and then attendees wrote and read aloud pledges.

 


Athens, Georgia


NEWS COVERAGE
: Complicated racial history needs to be addressed in schools, Athens demonstrators say

 

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Chicago, Illinois

NEWS COVERAGE: Teachers Rally In Solidarity Against Attempts Across Country To Prohibit Teaching About Realities Of Racism, Oppression

Teachers at George Washington High School in Chicago participated in the #TeachTruth Day of Action.

Sullivan High School

 

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Portland and Yarmouth, Maine

 


Annapolis and Severna Park, Maryland

Educators met at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) historical marker to lynchings in Anne Arundel County on Calvert Street in People’s Park and the EJI marker at the Severna Park Library, hosted by Connecting the Dots: Anne Arundel County. Read about the markers.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore County educators met in the East Towson community, founded by people formerly enslaved by the Ridgley family Hampton plantation, and close to the Towson Courthouse which has a plaque committed by the Equal Justice Initiative in remembrance of the lynching of 15-year-old Howard Cooper in 1885. The event had about 50 people in attendance and was hosted by the Loyola School of Education and the Baltimore Teach Truth Coalition.

Read more about the event and view more photos.


Statewide – Maryland

Members of the Maryland State Education Association Board of Directors standing together to show support for #TeachTruth.

 


Michigan

 

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Kansas City, Missouri

NEWS COVERAGE: Teachers Challenge Republican Efforts To Muzzle The ‘Truth’ About Racism

 


Trenton, New Jersey

Educators met at the Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School Middle School of the Arts, hosted by NJ21United.

Princeton, New Jersey

Teachers pledged to teach truth at the John Witherspoon statue at Princeton University. Witherspoon was president of the institution and a signer to the Declaration of Independence — and an enslaver who lectured against the abolition of slavery.

 


Newburgh, New York

NEWS COVERAGE: Educators Rally Pledge to ‘Teach Truth’

 

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New York, New York

Educators met at the memorial built to commemorate enslaved Africans who built NYC and were the human capital responsible for its economic growth and development. The event organizers AntiRacist Alliance of Educators) noted, “Africans were bought and sold at this location, now the corner of Wall and Water Street, from 1711 to 1762. How do we even begin to teach history and discuss current events without knowing these truths?” They posted a billboard with the code that people could scan and sign the pledge.  They chanted, “We’re New York City teachers, We pledge to teach the truth, Truth hurts, lies kill, if we don’t do it who will?”

Sag Harbor, New York

The Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor convened educators and community members at two historic sites, St. David AME Zion Church (circa 1840) and the Historic Heritage House, a 1920’s Sears and Roebuck Catalog order house.

 


Las Cruces, New Mexico

Participants in the “Baylor” Canyon Solidarity Hike. Hosted by Southern NM Equity Forum, with Borderlands & Ethnic Studies Program, Learning Action Buffet, and NEA-Las Cruces, NEA-New Mexico. Learn more.

 


Bexley, Ohio

High school students spoke out about why learning the truth matters to them in a student-led event.

 


Westerville, Ohio

WeRISE for Greater Westerville hosted a #TeachTruth event at the Alum Creek Park Amphitheater.


Youngstown, Ohio

Teachers and students gathered at the Robinson-Shuba statue in Youngstown.

NEWS COVERAGE: Youngstown educators protest Ohio bills changing what they could teach via WKBN27 News and op-ed by middle school teacher Heather Smith, “Embrace learning accurate history” in the Vindicator.

 


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

NEWS COVERAGE: Some Philadelphia teachers stand firm on teaching about race: About 100 expected to participate in rally against anti-critical race theory legislation near President’s House in Center City Friday in Chalkbeat.

 


North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Teachers and allies rallied at the Wickford Town Dock in North Kingstown in an event hosted by the #TeachTruth Rhode Island Coalition in collaboration with SURJ-RI. The Wickford Town Dock was the main commercial port in the region for the transport of enslaved people. More photos on Instagram. Read testimony from Rhode Island students, educators, parents, and community members.

View more photos.

NEWS COVERAGE:

 


Bainbridge, Washington

Teachers met at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum for an event hosted by the Multicultural Advisory Council BISD

 


Seattle, Washington

Seattle teachers gathered at the Yesler Terrace public housing complex, which was the first integrated public housing project in the nation in 1939. Hosted by Social Equity Educators of the Seattle Education Association. See more photos here or in the slideshow below.
August Action - Seattle

 


Greendale, Wisconsin

People Advocating for Greendale Equity (PAGE) members Diannia Merriett and Heather Godley addressed Wisconsin’s SB/AB 411. They said, “Greendale excluded African Americans from its very establishment in 1938 and persisted in creating racially restrictive covenants long after they were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Ignoring these truths will maintain today’s systems of oppression rather than helping us work together to create a more just and equitable world for everyone.”

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Members of the Milwaukee community gathered at Cathedral Square near the historical marker honoring Joshua Glover on September 5, as part of the Pledge to Teach Truth Days of Action. Black Educators Caucus Milwaukee (BEC), Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH), and Equitable Systems Consultants partnered for the event. Read a description and see more photos in Milwaukee Independent.

Photo: MICAH-Milwaukee


National and International

National Parents Union

The National Parents Union (NPU) held a rally at the Massachusetts State Department of Education on August 27 in support of educators teaching the truth about U.S. history. The NPU also led a Facebook live event with President Keri Rodriguez speaking, as well as parents and NPU staff members Christina Laster (California), Vivett Dukes (New York), Maritza Guridy (Pennsylvania), and Khulia Pringle (Minnesota).


#TeachTruth Webinar hosted by Two Broads Talking Politics


All of the Above Podcast

 


Ontario, Canada

Historian Robert Cohen pledged to #TeachTruth in front of the AME church of the Black Settlement in Oro, which he visited while in Ontario, Canada. Cohen wrote that, “For African Americans in the antebellum era it was not the United States, but Canada that was ‘the land of the free,’ since they were not subject here to the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act. Follow the North Star to Freedom.”

 


Individuals and Small Groups Photo Album

August Days

 


Summer and Fall

Teachers hosted events during the summer and will continue throughout the fall.

Decatur, Georgia

A teach-in at a cannon (placed in 1906 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy) on the city square. Hosted by the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Humans Rights. Read about the event.
Georgia

Westchester County, New York

On Thursday, July 22, teachers, parents, and community members gathered at about two dozen historic sites throughout Westchester County, New York to pledge to #TeachTruth. Read about the event.

Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

 


Solidarity Stories

It is important that teachers know they are not alone in defending the right to #TeachTruth and teach critical thinking. If you are not a teacher, please join the social media challenge and offer your support in letters to the editor and school board meetings. Below are some responses to the social media challenge.

 

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Endorsers

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