Honoring the Armenian Genocide through Poetry

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 24, 2020

April 24th is annually honored as a day of recognition for the Armenian genocide - the date on which Armenian leaders, writers, and intellectuals were taken from their homes in a meticulously organized beginning to what would become the genocide itself.

In our resource book, Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: the Genocide of the Armenians, we include several poems written by Diana Der-Hovanessian, which explore the diasporan identity that resulted - the pull of belonging to both Armenia and the United States and the legacy of the genocide on her own identity.  "Two Voices" is one of those poems and includes this series of questions:

...do I think of my grandmother
at Ellis Island,

or as an orphan in an Armenian village?

Or at a black stove in Worcester...

This year, we honor the commemoration by sharing student poetry written in response to Diana's poem which highlights the connections students made to that pull of multiple identities.  These come to us from Sasha Guzman at Social Justice Humanitas Academy. In respect for student identities, we present both without the author names.

We hope this reminder to find common experiences in the human condition can both build compassion and curiosity in honoring and learning about the histories of others.

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Topics: Armenian Genocide, Student Work

Liz Vogel as Guest on Overthrowing Education Podcast

Posted by Liz Vogel on April 21, 2020

I recently spoke with Batsheva Frankel of the Overthrowing Education podcast for a wide-ranging conversation about Facing History and the resources we have for teachers, students and families during this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Topics: Facing History Resources

Violins of Hope LIVE concert 4/17/20

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 14, 2020

This year, Facing History LA had the pleasure of collaborating with The Soraya for some beautiful programming and teacher support in relation to the Violins of Hope project.

Violins of Hope features violins that were owned and played by European Jews before the Holocaust. Over the past 20 years, the violins have been recovered and restored by Israeli luthier (violin maker and repairer) Amnon Weinstein.  Los Angeles was to play host this Spring to violins from this collection in both museums and theaters, and teachers throughout the city were bringing these stories to their students.

Despite all of the cancelled events during this time, we are thrilled to share that the Soraya will still be able to bring Niv Ashkenazi and his priceless violin to teachers and students - and this is now an OPEN event available to a wider audience.  All are invited to join this LIVE broadcast on Friday, April 17, 2020 at 4:00PM. 

Prepare your students in advance with this lesson: Music as a Survival Tool.

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Topics: Holocaust, Los Angeles

Teaching and Learning Remotely

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 31, 2020

A message for our educators from Mary Hendra, Southern California Program Director for Facing History and Ourselves.

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Topics: Teaching Resources

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

Southern California Museums 2020

Posted by Mary Hendra on January 25, 2020

Every year around this time, Southern California Museums open their doors for free.  And while the official "Free-for-All day" was today, there are many more opportunities to see these great institutions which contribute to and reflect our region. This year, we wanted to do a quick shout-out to some of our museum partners who have not only participated in the annual Free-for-All day but have opened their doors to us in the past and in the future.  We hope to see you at one of these events!

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Topics: Los Angeles, workshop, Community Event

Teaching with The 1619 Project in Ethnic Studies

Posted by Kimberly Young on January 20, 2020

It is an exciting time to be an Ethnic Studies teacher. We are in troubling times and the insights emerging from resistance movements creates profound opportunities for deep conversations about justice in the classroom. Perhaps the most impactful recent example is The 1619 Project edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones and published by The New York Times. Last Fall, Facing History offered class sets of the magazines for teachers in the L.A. area. After spending much of my summer trying to locate copies of the release, I jumped at this opportunity. 

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Topics: legacy, truth, race

Teaching with The 1619 Project

Posted by Mary Hendra on January 17, 2020

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

In the fall, Facing History partnered with The 1619 Project to get materials into the hands of teachers wishing to use this resource with their students. So, what did they do? And what could YOU do?

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Topics: Reconstruction, difficult conversations, race

Righting a Wrong

Posted by Mary Hendra on January 13, 2020

We are excited to partner with the Smithsonian Institution and the Japanese American National Museum to offer 100 Southern California educators a free 8-poster set based on the Smithsonian's exhibition, Righting a Wrong, tracing the story of Japanese national and Japanese American incarceration during World War II.

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Topics: Los Angeles, Japanese American Incarceration

The Power of Empathy

Posted by Jason David on November 20, 2019

 

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Topics: Empathy

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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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