Edythe Eyde, Writing in 1947

Posted by James Waller on June 5, 2019

Over the course of the next four weeks, we will be exploring the intersection between the history of the City of Los Angeles and the LGBTQ civil rights movement between 1940 and 1980. Los Angelenos have a rich and sometimes unusual history of activism within their own communities and beyond. With the help of the Making Gay History podcast and its host Eric Marcus, we will get to know a few of the lesser known influencers.  Knowing some of these stories ensures that the history we teach our students is both accurate and inclusive.

The first person we are going to meet is Edythe Eyde. Her voice is like listening to someone’s polite, unassuming grandmother . . . until you realize, through her stories, what a heroine she actually was.  I’m sure you’ll agree that she was prescient, radical, and deserving of high praise. Way back in 1947, Edythe Eyde was already ahead of her time:

"Homosexuality is becoming a less and less taboo subject, and although still considered by the general public as contemptible, or treated with derision, I venture to predict that there will be a time in the future when gay folk will be accepted as part of regular society."

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Topics: Upstanders, LGBTQ

2019 Upstanders from LA Partnership Schools!

Posted by Liz Vogel on May 23, 2019

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 was allyship which kicked off at our Summit on School Culture last fall. Many schools had difficulty choosing just *one* person or group to nominate! Facing History is proud to recognize the effort and action of the following Upstanders in communities across Los Angeles.

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

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

9th Grade Upstanders

Posted by Jason David on May 7, 2019

I recently had the kind of conversation an educator needs at this time of the year.

Claudia Bautista is a dedicated and skilled teacher at Santa Monica High School. She described a group of ninth grade students who took on a service learning project, and in challenging an injustice they saw on their own campus, exemplified youth agency and the promise of civic education.

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

Arianne Edmonds and Jefferson Edmonds: an LA Upstander Family

Posted by Gayle Cole on May 2, 2019

Arianne Edmonds has upstanding in her DNA. Her great, great grandfather:

  • testified at a Congressional hearing despite threats of violence
  • started one of the early newspapers in Los Angeles for the Black community
  • advocated directly for increased voter registration by African Americans

Facing History and Ourselves sat down with Arianne at the California African American Museum on April 29, 2019 to discuss her journey to bring the story of Jefferson Lewis Edmonds to more people.  

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Topics: Reconstruction, Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander, Slavery

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

Nipsey Hussle

Posted by Liz Vogel on April 11, 2019

As part of our Upstander series, I want to acknowledge Nipsey Hussle, the hip-hop artist, entrepreneur and community activist, born Ermias Asghedom, who was killed in an act of gun violence in South LA on March 31, 2019.  His death has shaken the Los Angeles community and beyond, especially among young generations who were inspired by his messages of positivity and possibility. He was deeply rooted and invested in his community and spoke openly about his past gang affiliation, using his personal experience to carve out a different path and bring others along with him. 
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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

RBG and UPstanding

Posted by Gayle Cole on March 22, 2019

"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." - Ruth Bader Ginsburg

When educators gathered for our Los Angeles Partnership School Network Symposium at the Skirball Cultural Center earlier this year, they came to share ideas, learn from one another, and, as an extra bonus, visit the museum’s Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The exhibit was perfect inspiration for schools which cultivate upstanding in their schools.

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Topics: Upstanders, Upstander

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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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