Resources for Current events and topics
On Tragic events in the news
For any tough subject, racism, war, and many others, we will find no better advice for parents or teachers of small children, than that offered by Mr. Rogers.
Look for the Helpers
When thinking about what to tell a child in the face of tragedy, "look for the helpers" is always good advice. While not to be used as a panacea or absolution, such a simple sentiment is important to our roles as human beings on a shared planet.
current event resources through an equity lens
This section is dedicated to resources that are particularly relevant to recent global/domestic events.
The Death of Tyre Nichols: A Place for Teenagers to Respond
The NYT invites teens to post their thoughts, emotions, reactions, and questions in this moderated forum.
Teachers, parents, all of us often find ourselves at a loss when children ask us why horrible things happen. The organization Educators for Social Change curated a valuable list of resources that teachers can use to address war in the classroom. Please see these resources as well as others specifically addressing the Russia/Ukraine conflict, at this link.
Facing History and Ourselves - Current Events in the Classroom
Facing History and Ourselves has curated a rich group of timely resources that help teachers address recent events and issues in the news. They provide tools to help teachers make connections between current events and your curriculum, including activities and discussion strategies for high school and middle school students.
The Jan 6th Insurrection at the U.S. Capital
Teachers are on the front lines of a volatile culture war when it comes to educating students about Jan. 6. Issues of race, culture, and politics collide to create what amounts to quicksand for those who may wish to address the conflict. Yet, do not despair, there is some guidance out there. At the website linked below, social justice advocate, Henry J. Turner, provides multiple resources to help teachers process and address the insurrection of Jan 6, 2021 with students.
BIPOC Isn't Working? What Should We Call People of Color?
This opinion piece in Newsweek provides an interesting perspective on the use of the term BIPOC and whether it should be used to describe people from backgrounds other than White.
Social justice advocate Henry J. Turner provides teaching resources to address the insurrection of Jan 6, 2021.
PBS Newshour - The U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan
The Taliban is set to return to power in Afghanistan, 20 years after being ousted by U.S.-led military operations. The current situation in which thousands are fleeing the country has been referred to as a humanitarian crisis. What will Taliban 2.0 look like for Afghans? This website provides a resource lesson for teachers who wish to explore such issues.
Teaching About the Haiti Earthquake
Although it was created for the earthquake that took place in 2010, this webpage is currently being updated and offers a selection of website sources that teachers may find useful in teaching about the 2021 earthquake in Haiti and the ongoing humanitarian response. Please take time to look through and vet the resources thoroughly before presenting them in class, as some may be quite distressing. See also the 'Handling emotional issues' section of the page for help with student distress.
Inside the Haiti Earthquake is a "serious game" created for educational purposes, suitable for older students. Students can play the role of a survivor, a journalist, or an aidworker; the choices they make influence how the story progresses.
Critical Race Theory
EXPLAINED: The Truth About Critical Race Theory and How It Shows Up in Your Child’s Classroom This engaging and informative article discusses CRT's definitions, CRT's origins, and how it shows up in your child's classroom. It's definitely not the big bad wolf that some would like you to believe it is. In actuality, it's merely a theory that explicates the historical perspective of an honest, lived truth for many BIPOC in the US.
Drawing Conclusions: Parents Skeptical of Critical Race Theory Talk to Experts
This fascinating series of videos from 11 Alive, follows two metro Atlanta parents, Bart and Coley Glasgow from Canton, Georgia, who were concerned about critical race theory (CTR) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in public schools. The Glasgows went on a fact-finding journey, interviewed experts in African American studies, DEI, implicit bias, and America’s civil rights movement, then, made a final decision. Access the YouTube playlist here.
The Palestinian/Israeli Conflict
We join Facing History and Ourselves in mourning the loss of life and bearing witness to the trauma wrought by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Like FH, we believe that students in every classroom should be confronting difficult histories, wrestling with contemporary issues, and navigating challenging conversations. We also encourage informed and respectful dialogue that references primary sources and multiple perspectives and inspires empathy for all who are suffering. Addressing the recent violence requires careful preparation by both educators and students and Facing History provides many valuable resources to support this effort.
If you choose to engage with your students about these issues, we recommend reviewing their Teaching With Current Events Checklist. You may also want to consult several articles they offer that present a range of opinions and perspectives to help you and your students unpack the roots, causes, and impact of these events:
Council on Foreign Relations: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
US Institute of Peace: What Sparked the Latest Israeli-Palestinian Confrontations?
As students navigate the news coverage of the recent events and the historical narratives of the conflict, they should also consider general ways in which distrust and hatred can engender violence and be reinforced by it. Facing History offers resources analyzing the dynamics of “us” versus “them” that illuminate how this dynamic connects to conflict and injustice. These resources also facilitate building empathy and trust across divides.
Facing History: Creating “We” and “They” (video: Kwame Anthony Appiah)
Facing History: When Does “Us” Turn Against “Them”? (video: Kwame Anthony Appiah)
Finally, we understand that this is a complex topic with many viewpoints and we have only begun to gather resources to support further conversation and learning. Multiple perspectives are vital to our understanding of one another's humanity. If your perspective is not represented in these resources, we welcome you to share additional resources with firstname.lastname@example.org
The Murder of George Floyd
The murder of George Floyd. The Derek Chauvin trial. These are heavy, challenging times for us all, but particularly for communities of color. Education Minnesota has compiled a list of resources for educators and parents to help children and adolescents cope with and process this, and other traumatic events.
The Surge in Asian American Violence
Asian-American Harassment related to the COVID-19 Outbreak - This page provides Resource Links to support AAPI students and/or other students who may be experiencing hate crimes.
Support for Grieving Students
The Coalition to Support Grieving Students - The Coalition’s purpose is to create and share a set of free, industry-endorsed resources that will empower school communities across America in the ongoing support of grieving students.
Anti Bias Training
Get Trained to End Harassment! - Hollaback is an awesome nonprofit working to end harassment — in all its forms. They believe that everyone deserves the resources to respond to, prevent, and intervene in instances of harassment. Therefore, they provide both customized and free anti-harassment training experiences. They have many free training sessions scheduled for March-May 2021 that speak specifically to Asian American discrimination. Check them out!
Interrupting Bias (Learning for Justice)
This site addresses basic ways that teachers and students can stand up against biased statements as soon as they arise.
Opportunities for White Folk in the Fight for Racial Justice: Moving from Actor, to Ally, to Accomplice
The ideas captured on this website, very much a work in progress, have been developed to support White people to act for racial justice. It draws from ideas and resources developed mostly by Black, Brown, and People of Color, and has been edited by Black, Brown, and People of Color. Hopefully, this chart challenges White folks to go outside of our comfort zones, take some bigger risks, and make some more significant sacrifices because this is what we’ve been asked to do by those most impacted by racism, colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy, xenophobia, and hyper-capitalism.
Pulitzer Center's Top 10 Resources of 2021!
The Pulitzer Center education team creates standards-aligned lesson plans for K-12 classrooms that use underreported global news stories to cultivate a more curious, informed, empathetic, and engaged public.
In 2021, they published 66 new curricular resources. This webpage shares their top ten lesson plans of 2021, which were selected to reflect 2021's most-accessed curricular resources and spotlight a range of current issues and geographies.
CURRENT EVENT PODCASTS THROUGH AN EQUITY LENS
Try the following award-winning podcasts to access current event opinions from the Latinx, Black, Asian, and other communities. Please listen carefully to each podcast to vet its appropriateness before sharing it with students!
The Latinx empowerment podcast discusses politics, pop culture, and how to balance it all con calma!
Through Tamarindo, hosts Ana Sheila Victorino and Brenda Gonzalez use levity to inform, inspire, and impact our community. Join Brenda and Ana Sheila as they delve into discussions on identity, race, gender, representation, and life! Each episode brings a reflection on current political events, and suggestions for mindfulness and grounding, or what they call calma moments.
From the Los Angeles Times, “Asian Enough” is a podcast about being Asian American -- the joys, the complications, and everything in between. In each episode, hosts Jen Yamato, Johana Bhuiyan, Tracy Brown and Suhauna Hussain of the Times invite special guests to share personal stories and unpack identity on their own terms. They explore the vast diaspora across cultures, backgrounds, and generations, and try to expand the ways in which being Asian American is defined.
NPR's "Code Switch", hosted by journalists of color, tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. The hosts explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food, and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story. Code Switch was named Apple Podcasts' first-ever Show of the Year in 2020.
Nice White Parents
A limited-series podcast from the New York Times about building a better school system and how the most powerful force in shaping them, White parents, often get in the way.
Disability Visibility is a podcast hosted by San Francisco night owl Alice Wong featuring conversations on politics, culture, and media with disabled people. If you’re interested in disability rights, social justice, and intersectionality, this show is for you. It’s time to hear more disabled people in podcasting and radio. Named one of the 15 best podcasts by women that you’re not listening to by Refinery 29 in 2021.
MULTIPLE TYPES OF PRIVILEGE
How to Decenter Yourself in Conversations With Members of Marginalized Communities
There are parts of all our identities where we find ourselves having privilege. For example, although I am a Black woman and Black people are marginalized in the US, there are parts of my identity where I do have historical privilege such as being a Christian in the United States, having a middle-class socioeconomic status, and having an extensive post-secondary education. If someone who is historically marginalized is trying to tell us what life is like for them, then it is important for us to seek to understand others’ experiences, reflect before contributing to a conversation, and use our own privilege to give marginalized groups a platform. These behaviors can help create safer spaces for meaningful discourse. This site provides strategies.
EQUITY META-SEARCH & RESOURCE ENGINES
To access hundreds of resources addressing the topics listed below (and many others), we suggest you visit the Racial Equity Tools, GLSEN, Amnesty International, and Equity Literacy Institute meta-search engines.
Lookism (Includes Phenotype)
Colorism/Size/Perception of Beauty
Talking About Race
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has a wonderfully rich website with information to help you talk about race if you are an educator, parent or caregiver, or simply a person committed to equity. It's well worth the visit!
DON'T JUST READ or WATCH - REFLECT and ACT!
As you explore this resource page, here are some critical questions to simultaneously ponder about equity that will help you grow, process, and take action:
What does this have to do with me?
How can I explain these concepts to my students?
What emotions are conjured up as I read? What’s that about?
What can I change about my practice, curricula, relationships, policies?
How can I use this to center my teaching on my most marginalized students?
How do I take this past pontificating and theorizing?
How does this connect with previous things that I’ve learned?
How much more is there to learn?
Who can I share this with?
Can I form a racial affinity group?
How can I lead my colleagues/friends in taking up this work?
This work is complicated and twisty and involves balancing a whole lot of stuff. But if things are going to change, if things six months from now are not going to look just like six months ago, then there is hard work to do.
-Peter Greene - Curmuducation: Six Months from Now