Mary Hendra

As Program Director for Los Angeles and Organizational Innovation for Facing History and Ourselves, Mary leads workshops, seminars, and professional development in the greater Los Angeles area, works with individual teachers and faculty teams implementing Facing History in their classrooms, pilots new uses of digital tools and resources for education, and collaborates with formal and informal education organizations across Southern California.

Recent Posts

Special Speakers/Events Announced for 2019 Seminars

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 17, 2019

Summer is a special time for teachers. Non-educators often think of it as a time to relax or not work, but I always think of it as something far different - it is a time to recharge, to connect with other educators, to be more fully immersed in our own learning. It becomes the foundation for the work we do the rest of the year.  At Facing History, we love this opportunity to create spaces for learning and community for teachers.  This summer, we have some new seminars and exciting guests.  Please join us and share this with any educators you know who are looking to reinvigorate themselves and their teaching this summer. Scholarships are still available.

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Topics: Professional Development

What does "upstanding" look like to you?

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 15, 2019

As we've seen in our Upstander series this spring, "upstanding" takes many shapes.  We've shared stories that range from the very visible Nipsey Hussle to nameless "allies" making themselves visible in a march against hate, from individuals who have dedicated their work to shaping or re-shaping their community like Jessica Smith-Peterson and Arianne Edmonds to students just beginning to leverage their voices for change. What does "upstanding" look like to you?

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Topics: Upstanders, Upstander

Knock Down the House

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 29, 2019

Sometimes we think of learning how to be an upstander from those who have achieved amazing success.  I had the opportunity to see an early screening of Knock Down the House - releasing May 1, 2019 on Netflix - and it has me thinking instead of all we can learn from those who stand up, not knowing whether or not they will even succeed.  In this week's blog for our season of upstanding (#LAUpstander), I’d love to hear your thoughts on upstanding in film and what we learn from those upstanders whose success is by no means guaranteed.  

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Topics: Film, Upstanders, Upstander

What Opens YOUR World?

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 24, 2019

Jessica Smith-Peterson received the 2019 Los Angeles Upstander Award from Facing History this Spring. Jessica holds a special place in our hearts having been a student in one of our LA classrooms a dozen years ago! Since that first introduction to upstanding rather than bystanding and her first actions to challenge injustice on her own campus, Jessica has gone on to get her law degree, advance immigrant rights, and teach formerly convicted persons how to restore their voting rights. Upon receiving the award, she shared how Facing History “opened up a world wider than I could have imagined” and taught her how to walk in someone else’s shoes, a skill that is vital in her work today as a public defender.

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

Join Our #LAUpstander Campaign!

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 18, 2019

Have you been inspired by our #LAUpstander stories? Join us!

Become a social ambassador by sharing your #LAUpstander stories. Use the hashtag #LAUpstander, tag us at @FacingHistoryLA, and share short stories of your own upstanding or that of others.  Feel free to share our social media logo (below)!

Are you a teacher? check out this mini-unit based on 10 Questions for Young Changemakers developed by Harvard’s Professor Danielle Allen and the Youth Participatory Politics Network.

Are you a student or school leader? Or do you want to step up into leadership at your school? Get others thinking about upstanding at your next club, school, or faculty meeting with this 20-minute activity:

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

Teaching the Holocaust with Listenwise & Facing History resources

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 11, 2019

In our last of three webinars with Listenwise, we explored the possibilities of pairing resources from Facing History and Ourselves and Listenwise to explore the history of the Holocaust. Due to technical difficulties recording the webinar, we weren't able to post it immediately afterwards, but in honor of the CUE Conference this week, we share it now.

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Listenwise

Museums Annual Free-for-All Day

Posted by Mary Hendra on January 31, 2019

February 2-3, 2019 are free days at museums across Southern CaliforniaWhere will you go?  We had some fun asking Facing History staff and teachers which museums they have in their sights.

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Topics: Los Angeles

Returning to Class Discussions after the LA Teachers Strike

Posted by Mary Hendra on January 22, 2019

Last week, the nation watched as LA teachers conducted the first work stoppage in LA Unified School District in 30 years. Despite a week of hard rain, teachers, students, parents, and community members were on picket lines. Why? And now that an agreement seems imminent, how can teachers and students in LA classrooms use this as a learning opportunity about education, as they transition back to school?

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Topics: Los Angeles, classroom lesson, Lesson Ideas

Exploring Current Events with a SEL Lens

Posted by Mary Hendra on November 1, 2018

“I have learned two lessons in my life: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human tragedy, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.” ― Elie Wiesel

Last week, we held our second of three webinars in our fall series with Listenwise, this one focused on exploring current events with an attention to Social-Emotional Learning. With the violence that has happened since then, most visibly in Kentucky and Pittsburgh, I find myself this week turning to the words of Elie Wiesel.

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Topics: SEL, current events

Prevent Bullying with Empathy-Building

Posted by Mary Hendra on October 1, 2018

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and the kick-off of our webinar series with Listenwise.  In the first of our webinars, we share resources from Listenwise and Facing History which can help you have conversations about bullying with the young people in your life and build empathy in classrooms.

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Welcome to Learn+Teach+Share

This blog helps Southern California teachers connect directly with each other, share ideas, and learn about new resources and opportunities for those interested in or already implementing Facing History.

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