In response to the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other victims of violence because of their skin color, both in recent months and over the centuries:
We stand with those exercising their first amendment right to protest. We stand with their message of justice, fairness, and equality.
As social studies educators, we bear a particular responsibility to prepare our students for civic life. We are charged with helping students make sense of their world and their positionality therein. Part of that preparation includes identifying and challenging unjust systems, pursuing fairness and equality, and promoting the common good.
As we encourage our students to engage with their intellectual curiosities, we also encourage others to listen and learn from the protesters’ message. We support the work of educators who are combating afactual and ahistorical social studies curriculum.
We challenge social studies educators to reflect on their curriculum and consider: who is telling the story? Whose voices are loud and whose are absent? Whose voices are marginalized or siloed, sidelined from the main narrative?
We challenge teachers to consider how they take action and support civic engagement endeavors. In the words of Howard Zinn, “you can’t be neutral on a moving train.”
In our commitment to providing support for Social Studies educators and growth of their professional learning, KCSS’s fall conference theme, Kentucky’s Hidden Histories, was chosen so we could help illuminate the voices that have been silenced.
Please see the resources listed below that might help you to begin the thinking and planning for how you can support courageous conversations and opportunities for students to take informed action for your students.
Be a Citizen: Civic Action Project Guide
Zinn Education Project
Teaching Ideas and Resources to Help Students Make Sense of the George Floyd Protests, New York Times
Racism in America: Resources to help you understand a history of inequality, Washington Post
The 1619 Project, New York Times