We express our profound appreciation to Lauren Cooper for her pivotal role as founding coordinator for the Zinn Education Project. Having helped shape and build this project for the past 10 years, Lauren is leaving to become program manager for the Colored Conventions Project.
It is impossible to summarize all that Lauren has accomplished to bring the Zinn Education Project to our 10-year milestone. Lauren was in the initial discussions when the Zinn Education Project was just an idea. For every step of the way, she has been at the table with creative ideas for planning and then rolled up her sleeves to bring those ideas to fruition.
Here are just a few highlights.
When the Zinn Education Project launched, Lauren coordinated the distribution of 4,000 people’s history packets to teachers across the country.
To move beyond boxes to an online platform where teachers could access people’s history lessons, Lauren worked closely with the web designers through three website iterations.
Lauren knows how to troubleshoot the technical aspects of websites on the back end and has designed many of the creative features that users appreciate on the front end.
For the Howard Zinn Room dedication at the Busboys and Poets in Maryland, Lauren joined the stage with Marian Wright Edelman, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich, Medea Benjamin, Bernice Reagon, Dave Zirin, and others. Lauren spoke movingly about the people’s history teaching — and the dignity — that she was denied as an American Indian high school student in Phoenix, Arizona, and why the Zinn Education Project means so much to her.
To add some playfulness to our work, Lauren proposed what has become an annual tradition – Zinn Education Project people’s history trivia night.
Lauren is one of the few people we know who can create monthly metrics reports that are attractive and fun to read. She brought the same creativity to the annual design of our booth at the National Council for the Social Studies conference, the Abolish Columbus Day campaign, and all the banners and materials for the Zinn Education Project.
In facilitating our weekly team meetings, Lauren helped us stay on top of the day-to-day programs, while also bringing forth concerns and opportunities that we should consider for the months or years ahead. She did all of this with a fabulous sense of humor and tireless dedication.
It would take many pages more to describe all Lauren did for the Zinn Education Project. Suffice it to say that we would not be where we are today without her. We will miss Lauren. We wish her the very best on her new adventure.