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

What is an Ally?

Posted by Celina Martinez on March 28, 2019

When I think of what it means to be an ally, I think of a protest I attended in 1994. I was marching along with countless other Latinos carrying flags from Mexico, El Salvador, and other Latin American countries.  When I looked more closely at the crowd, I noticed that there were also whites, Asian Americans, and African Americans in the mass of people moving down Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. The crowd moved peacefully, almost gracefully, as the sun beat down overhead.  We wore t-shirts and jeans, hats, and sunglasses to guard against the sun’s glare. It was a Sunday and, depending on who you talked to, there were between 60,000 and 100,000 people on the streets that day.

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Topics: Immigration, 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

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

Creator of Ms. Marvel Inspires Student Upstanders and Vice Versa

Posted by Mary Hendra on May 11, 2016

In order to be strong and powerful, you have to know who you are first."

Sana Amanat, Director of Content & Character Development at Marvel Entertainment, shared the thought above with students and educators at the 2016 celebration of Upstanders from Facing History Los Angeles Partnership Schools. On stage, Amanat shared how inspired she was by the students, who she credited with being further along than she was at their age by already making a difference. The students were inspired by Sana to find their own voice and continue contributing to a more diverse and compassionate world.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Los Angeles, Upstander, Community Event

Celebrating Upstanders

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 21, 2016

Every year, we invite all of the Los Angeles area Facing History partnership schools to nominate a member of their school community who has been an "upstander," someone who makes a difference in small and large ways. Want to be inspired? Read the nominations in their own words below, and then join us on Thursday, April 28th to celebrate with these schools and the amazing Sana Anamat, co-creator of Ms. Marvel! (Click here for more information.)

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Topics: Upstander

Spring Student Opportunities

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 8, 2016

There are a lot of student opportunities at this time of year which could be engaging for students in a Facing History classroom. Here are a few that have come our way. Have you heard of others? Post them below to share with other teachers!

As part of Facing History and Ourselves’ second annual Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, “Student Voices: To Kill a Mockingbird in Today’s World,” middle and high school students across the U.S. have the opportunity to win individual and classroom prizes up to $2,500.  

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Los Angeles, Student Work, 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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