Announcing: A GALLERY of Upstanders!

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 24, 2021

Have you ever wished you could share stories of inspiration with young people about individuals they might connect with and relate to? The stories of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dolores Huerta, Bayard Rustin, Anna May Wong and others are amazing, but sometimes they can feel inaccessible as role models. At least, it feels a little overwhelming to go from where we are now, to what they achieved, without a deep dive into their journeys. 

We have a gift for you!

Each year, Los Angeles area Facing History partnership schools cultivate a culture of upstanding, and celebrate that upstanding at the end of the year by recognizing actions taken by middle and high school students. This year, we're thrilled to share that recognition in an online gallery! And below, a few ways to use it with young people, whether your students or simply individuals you seek to inspire.

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

Teaching About the Armenian Genocide

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 5, 2021

On April 24th, US President Biden recognized the Armenian genocide. As Facing History Board of Scholars member Peter Balakian noted in his   Washington Post perspective article,

"it means a great deal to the Armenian community to finally see our president affirming the truth." 

For teachers and students, it presents an opportunity both to explore further the significance of acknowledgment and to teach the history itself. Here are a few resources which can help: 
 
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Topics: Facing History Resources

Remembering Dan Alba

Posted by Liz Vogel on December 11, 2020

With great sadness, we mourn the passing of Dan Alba, the founding director of Facing History and Ourselves in Los Angeles, who died on December 2, 2020.

Dan gave so much to Facing History, and to educators across Southern California. His involvement with Facing History began 30 years ago as a social science teacher at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, the school where he attended. In 1994, Dan left the classroom to open Facing History’s LA office in the basement of his home. 

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Topics: Los Angeles

Fashion and Facing History

Posted by Liz Vogel on September 23, 2020

Retail therapy in support of Facing History? Yes please!

From September 23 - October 2, the online auction Chic Relief will benefit Facing History and Ourselves. I had the chance to chat with Elizabeth Stewart, celebrity stylist, and founder of the online fashion platform.

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Topics: Los Angeles, anti-racism

Bringing Facing History Strategies into Online Classrooms

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 7, 2020

We know. 

Teachers LOVE Facing History strategies.

We do too.

Facing History centers students and student voices in our classrooms.  That is all the more important as we build community online.

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Topics: Teaching Strategies, Teaching Strategy

Sharing BIPOC Women of California Resources

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 4, 2020

This week,@FacingHistoryLA shone a special spotlight on California women who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. These are women who have shaped California and many times the nation. Below are all of those visuals, with the links shared on Twitter to further explore their stories. 

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but our contribution to the body of knowledge and resources available to teachers - a curation of individuals whose stories and legacy can be explored through Facing History resources. (Listed alphabetically.) Who else should be included in California classrooms?  Share your thoughts - and resources - in the comments below!

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Topics: Los Angeles, California

Spotlight on BIPOC Women of California

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 23, 2020

Political conventions coincide with the start of school in California this year, presenting a unique nexus of past, present, and future for teachers.  The nomination of Kamala Harris as a Vice Presidential candidate shows the value in teaching the significance of both contemporary and historic as we have seen that her candidacy has provided an opportunity to dive deeper into the work and legacy of Charlotta Bass.

This week, follow Facing History LA on Twittter @FacingHistoryLA for a special spotlight on women who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color who, like Charlotta Bass, have shaped California and many times the nation. Some had wide visibility even during their own time. Others took a stand which was built on later.

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Topics: Los Angeles, Social Justice

Charlotta Bass Changed the Way I Understand History

Posted by Marti Tippens Murphy on August 21, 2020

I’m delighted that one of the outcomes of Kamala Harris’ historic achievement as the first Black woman on a major party ticket for vice president is that more people are now hearing about Charlotta Bass. I don’t believe it detracts from Senator Harris’ moment at all; learning about Charlotta Bass right now illuminates the long history of Black women’s leadership in civic life, as well as how often it is erased from history. If you have never heard of Charlotta Bass before now, you are not alone. Most people living in Los Angeles where she lived and worked for decades have never heard of her. That should be shocking given her many accomplishments over her career, and her prominence in the civic life of Los Angeles. 

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Topics: Los Angeles, black history

Happy Birthday, Biddy Mason!

Posted by Guest Blogger on August 15, 2020

“If you hold your hand closed, nothing good can come in. The open hand is blessed, for it gives in abundance, even as it receives.” (Biddy Mason)

Bridget “Biddy” Mason lived her entire life with her hands always open to give. In return she received many blessings.

Biddy was born enslaved on August 15, 1818 in Macon County, Georgia. Although she was forbidden to learn how to read or write, she was able to learn skills that served her well throughout her life: How to tend to livestock, use herbs and roots to make medicine, nursing skills, and midwifery. When she was eighteen years old she was given as a wedding gift to Robert and Rebecca Smith. The Smiths, who were devout Mormons, decided to leave Logtown, Mississippi for a settlement in Salt Lake City, Utah. On March 10, 1848, Biddy, who had just given birth to her third daughter, had to walk behind the 300 covered wagons. During this long journey, Biddy tended to the sheep while carrying her infant daughter Harriet in her arms. Daughters Ellen and Ann walked beside her. She also cared for anyone who go sick along the way. The Smith household lived in Utah for three years. When the Mormon church leaders decided to establish a new post in San Bernardino, California, Robert Smith decided to move his family again. They arrived in San Bernardino in 1851.

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Topics: Los Angeles, Upstander

BOYS STATE

Posted by Liz Vogel on August 13, 2020

Facing History partnered with Apple Original Films and A24 for an advance screening of the award-winning documentary, BOYS STATE.  The film is available for streaming on Apple TV beginning August 14th.

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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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