Teach Outside the Textbook: Voting Rights and Ethnic Studies

This is an invitational workshop for participants in Project I4 micro-credential cohorts with lessons and resources to teach outside the textbook about voting rights and ethnic studies.

This workshop offers an interactive lesson on the long and ongoing struggle for voting rights and a conversation with one of the editors of Rethinking Ethnic Studies.

The session will begin with participants engaging in a lesson called “Who Gets to Vote? Teaching About the Struggle for Voting Rights in the United States” by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca from the Zinn Education Project.  This lesson for grades 7+ introduces students to the history of the fight for voting rights through stories of people who were denied the right to vote due to race, gender, national origin, and/or ethnicity. It includes stories of voter suppression of — and resistance by — African Americans, Native Americans, Latinx, and Asian Americans.

Participants will then hear from Wayne Au, an educator, activist, and scholar who focuses on issues of race, class, and power in schooling. He is a professor in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington-Bothell, where he currently serves as dean of diversity and equity. Au is an editor of the magazine Rethinking Schools and co-editor of Teaching for Black Lives and Rethinking Ethnic Studies.

Participants will receive a complimentary copy of Rethinking Ethnic Studies edited By R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, Miguel Zavala, Christine Sleeter, and Wayne Au. Here is a description of the book:

Rethinking Ethnic Studies brings together many of the leading teachers, activists, and scholars in this movement to offer examples of Ethnic Studies frameworks, classroom practices, and organizing at the school, district, and statewide levels. Built around core themes of indigeneity, colonization, anti-racism, and activism, Rethinking Ethnic Studies offers vital resources for educators committed to the ongoing struggle for racial justice in our schools.

In this moment of rising visibility and normalization of systemic, intersectional, and organized racism, we must more deeply understand the legacies of white supremacy, colonization, and imperialism that have long shaped U.S. schools and society, and the equally long legacies of anti-oppressive struggle. With brilliant insight, stirring passion, and evidence for hope, Cuauhtin, Zavala, Sleeter, Au, and dozens of colleagues share here a compelling framework, analyses, and examples of precisely that. Rethinking Ethnic Studies does nothing less than build our collective capacity for rethinking education more broadly. — Kevin Kumashiro, author of Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture

Register now for the workshop on August 21. You can also indicate your interest in the upcoming sessions in October 2021 and February 2022.



This session is part of a series based on the publications listed below. Each session is on a Saturday from 2pm – 4pm ET via Zoom:

June 26, 2021: Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall

August 21, 2021: Rethinking Ethnic Studies edited By R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, Miguel Zavala, Christine Sleeter, Wayne Au

October 16, 2021: Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race by Megan Madison and What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book by Laleña Garcia, illustrated by Caryn Davidson

February 5, 2022: The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks – Young Adult Edition by Jeanne Theoharis and Brandy Colbert

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