Liz Vogel, Los Angeles Director for Facing History and Ourselves, shares some thoughts and upcoming opportunities for Southern California educators as schools start the school year.
Upstanders: those who do not simply stand by in the face of injustice, but understand that each one of us can make a difference
Each year, we invite our Los Angeles Partnership Schools to nominate an individual or group that has demonstrated the qualities of an Upstander in their school community. This year’s theme, Building Empathy, clearly resonated; many schools had difficulty choosing just *one* person or group to nominate! Together with The Allstate Foundation, Facing History is proud to recognize the effort and action of the following Upstanders in communities across Los Angeles.
I recently sat down with comedian Sarah Silverman and LA Advisory Board member Jesse Stern. A few months ago, Sarah posted an image with Facing History's original resource book, Holocaust and Human Behavior, calling it one of three books that has most shaped her life.
I met Suzanne Ellis Wernevi on our first day of freshman year in college. We lived on the same hallway, became fast friends, and have shared countless adventures over the last two decades.
Suzanne is also a Facing History alumna, and I credit her with bringing me to Facing History over 15 years ago. As I considered my first job with Facing History, a tiny nonprofit I’d never heard of, it was Suzanne’s instant endorsement that sealed the deal.
Today, Suzanne owns a jewelry business, Luna & Stella, in Providence, Rhode Island, and she has chosen to support Facing History in two ways:
On #GivingTuesday, November 29th, Luna & Stella will donate 20% of all sales to Facing History.
Then, through December 31st, use the code FACINGHISTORY and Luna & Stella will donate 20% of your purchase price to Facing History. This way each customer knows exactly how much will be donated.
The first days after the election have over-delivered on what I feared most: an open platform for bigotry, hate and violence.White students in schools chanting "Build the wall,'" "White power," and "Heil Hitler."White students formed a 'wall' to block Latino students from entering school.Rainbow flags burned.Confederate flags raised.Muslim girls and women attacked on the subway, on the street, in stores and in school.
Facing History is proud to partner with YALLWEST Book Festival, the only book festival on the west coast dedicated to young adult literature. YALLWEST has generously provided funding for buses to bring students from a handful of Facing History schools to participate in the festival this coming weekend in Santa Monica. They've also donated hundreds of novels and graphic novels for Facing History students.
Imagine a Los Angeles where we consistently treat each other with civility, compassion, and understanding, across all backgrounds, where there is genuine curiosity for others' stories and a willingness to question long-held assumptions. Imagine a Los Angeles where civic participation is part of our ethos, where individuals engage in dialogue and discussion with a common vocabulary, where we are able to confront the difficult moments of our past and its legacies in order to foster a shared sense of responsibility for our future. Where young people come first, where we invest in education and in our teachers, where it really is the best place to learn and to live.
We could do this. You can help.
Liz Vogel became Los Angeles Director of Facing History and Ourselves in June 2014. Previously, she held the position of Director of Development, West Coast, working with individuals and institutions in both Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area to increase awareness and support for our programs. Liz joined Facing History in 2001; her expertise includes fundraising, governance and external affairs.