Exploring the Role of Allies in Confronting Injustice

Posted by Gayle Cole on October 31, 2018

Every year, Facing History Los Angeles convenes our partnership schools for a summit on school culture. Students, parents, teachers, and administrators consider key ideas in how to create a more compassionate, engaged school community that can delve together into the critical issues of our times.

Our October 2018 Summit on School Culture focused on the role of allies in seeing and standing up against injustice, beginning with the documentary And Then They Came for Us. This film clearly activated the intellectual rigor, emotional engagement, and ethical reflection of our pedagogical triangle for the students, teachers and parents in attendance. Whether you attended the event or not, this film, accessible for free on our web site, offers you a timely resource for promoting engaged citizenship and dialogue in your community.

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Topics: Film

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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Voices of Literacy Student Creative Writing Contest

Posted by Celina Martinez on September 25, 2018

The California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) is presenting its annual Student Creative Writing Contest. This year’s theme, Voices of Literacy: In Pursuit of Human Rights, echoes the themes at work in Facing History classrooms. We encourage our Facing History teachers to inspire students to produce original works by the deadline of November 1, 2018 based on the following prompt:

When we read about or interact with people with various perspectives, we learn more about our society and our world. Write a poem, story, or essay that shows how our world is made better when we understand the voices of many different people.

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Topics: Essay Contest

Listenwise and Facing History LA

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 19, 2018

How is your listening these days? What do you enjoy listening to?

I love listening to podcasts and audio books, though I can't say I'm always the most attentive listener. Sometimes I listen while "multi-tasking," occasionally perking up for an interesting point. Other times I find myself so engrossed in the listen, I can't help but stop everything else. Years ago I started listening to Tony Morrison read Beloved as background to doing housework - 5 hours later I was sitting on the couch still listening, as the sun set and my house remained a total mess.

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Facing History Book Cafe

Posted by Liz Vogel on September 17, 2018

You may be familiar with the Japanese word tsundoku, a noun that describes a person who buys books but never reads them, and then lets them pile up everywhere.
 
I can relate!  My reading list grows almost daily. I'm drawn, more than ever, to books that can help make meaning of the world around me. It's no surprise that I gravitate to stories tied to the big questions that Facing History examines: identity and belonging, we and they, racial justice, civic engagement.
 
That's why this year I'm piloting a Facing History Book Cafe, to help me read some of the incredible books I've stacked up in my home and office! Every other month, I'll host a bookclub conversation in a private home, open to teachers, students, donors, community members and friends. I've chosen a selection of books (see below) from a variety of genres - YA fiction, memoir, historical nonfiction and social commentary. 
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Looking Back to Move Forward: The Legacy of Reconstruction

Posted by Jason David on September 13, 2018

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego on the Reconstruction Era; it was a wonderful experience engaging with educators looking to teach US history through the lens of “identity and agency.” There was, of course, so much more I wish we could have covered about this  “unfinished revolution;” this pivotal period in US history, that in some sense, “never ended,” as historian Eric Foner describes it.

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Topics: Reconstruction

The Unknown Upstander in Operation Finale

Posted by Liz Vogel on September 5, 2018

Operation Finale, starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Oscar Isaac and Haley Richardson, is now playing in theaters. Based on a true story, the film details the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Nazi Final Solution, in Argentina in 1960.

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The Writers of Willesden Lane

Posted by Celina Martinez on August 23, 2018

Facing History and Ourselves, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, has sponsored educator workshops this summer on the Holocaust and The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen. This book tells the story of Lisa Jura, Mona’s mother, as a Kindertransport survivor. Teachers will receive copies of The Children of Willesden Lane for their students, be invited to tour the the museum, and attend concert performances by Mona Golabek at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in October.

One of the lessons The Children of Willesden Lane teaches is about the complexities of living during a time when Jewish people were faced with a decreasing range of choices in Nazi Germany leading to the Holocaust. Lisa Jura’s story teaches us what it means to be a refugee, to be alone, and nationless. Even though she escaped the concentration camps, she was not spared the pain of her parents’ deaths and the concern over the fates of her sisters. I am reminded of the point in the book where the war has ended and Lisa’s schoolmates are celebrating in the streets.  The end of the war marked the beginning of a devastating time for Lisa and her Jewish friends who had to find out what had happened to their family members outside of England. The story beautifully ties together the themes of family and history.

Why is it important to learn about this history?

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Topics: English Language Arts, Holocaust

2018-19 Back to School Message

Posted by Liz Vogel on August 13, 2018

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.

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2018 Upstanders from LA Partnership Schools

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 27, 2018

Each year, Los Angeles Facing History Partnership Schools are invited to nominate upstanders in their school community - individuals and groups whose actions have made a difference in the lives of others. In 2018, we are pleased to recognize the following upstanders, each described in the words of their nominator

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

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