Liz Vogel

Liz Vogel joined Facing History in 2001, and currently serves as Los Angeles Executive Director. She leads a strategic plan to significantly increase both the number of schools participating in Facing History programs, and the funding to support it. Liz hails from the Jersey Shore but claims fierce allegiance to her California lifestyle.

Recent Posts

How Freedom's Word Found the Bondman

Posted by Liz Vogel on February 12, 2020

On February 12, 1909, The Los Angeles Times published a front page article written by Jefferson Edmonds, a newspaper editor and political activist. How Freedom’s Word Found the Bondman is Jefferson’s first-hand account of Emancipation; he was born into slavery in Mississippi. 

Jefferson's opening sentence, When in 1619 that old Dutch kidnapper sold twenty negroes as slaves to the Virginians, only a god could have foreseen the tremendous, far-reaching results that that little transaction was to produce.” is a prescient foreshadowing of the historical reckoning elevated by The New York Times’ 1619 Project, 110 years later. 

And his words, “If we erase from American history the pages that the negro’s presence caused to be written, it would be a short, uninteresting story.” are as timely in 2020, as we consider Black History Month critically - isn’t Black History, American History? - as it was when Jefferson wrote his account.

On this anniversary date of the original publication, we share the full text of Jefferson’s article below. Want more?


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Topics: Reconstruction, Los Angeles, Slavery

Back to School Message from Liz Vogel

Posted by Liz Vogel on August 16, 2019

A back-to-school message from Liz Vogel, Los Angeles Director for Facing History and Ourselves.

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Topics: Back-To-School

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

Children of Blood and Bone

Posted by Liz Vogel on April 20, 2019

The next selection in our Book Cafe series is Children of Blood and Bone, a 2018 young adult fantasy novel by American author Tomi Adeyemi. This debut novel has been on my radar since it made news for being purchased as a trilogy as one of the largest YA movie deals ever, by one of the youngest YA authors ever, even before the first book was published!
 
What stood out to me even more in reading early reviews, was how Adeyemi created a fantasy world in which to explore the very real issues of racism, oppression and slavery. 
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Topics: Book

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

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea

Posted by Liz Vogel on November 21, 2018

 

Our second Book Cafe is coming up on Sunday, December 2, 1-3 PM featuring A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea: The Journey of Doaa Al Zamel. RSVP by emailing me at liz_vogel@facinghistory.org.

"Nervously they waited to board. Doaa shifted from foot to foot in the long line to get through customs. Hamudi clutched his mother's arm, while Saja and Nawara sat on their suitcases, standing only to shuffle forward whenever the line moved. It felt as if every part of the journey were about waiting. Jordanian customs officials seemed to be singling out Syrians for security searches, and Doaa's family was asked to come forward with their luggage, while a group of Egyptian travelers were waved through. Doaa lifted her suitcase onto the table in front of the customs officers. When they unzipped her luggage, she looked at what she had hastily selected in the overwhelmingly emotional last hours at home: two dresses, a couple of pairs of pants, two blazers, a few skirts, several veils, and a few accessories. She stared at the meager contents of her suitcase and thought of the books she had left behind because they were too heavy - one about dream interpretation, a few novels, poetry by Nizar Qabbani, and a workbook on English grammar. She pictured her small teddy bear that lit up and made a kissing sound when she squeezed it, and her fashion sketches of clothes she dreamed of wearing in a future she no longer had." (from Chapter 4, Life as a Refugee)

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Topics: Refugees, Refugee Crisis, Book

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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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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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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A Back to School Message from Liz Vogel

Posted by Liz Vogel on August 15, 2017

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Topics: Back-To-School

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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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