The Election: A Message from Facing History's President & CEO

Last updated November 9, 2016.
Roger Brooks, President and CEO of Facing History and Ourselves


This morning, here in the United States and in nations across the world, we woke up to the outcome of a US Presidential election that surprised many of us. We’re hearing from many teachers that students arrived at school this morning with raw and uncertain feelings, and with many questions. We know that this election, like others, will have a tremendous impact, but we don't know, and can't know yet, what that impact will be.

Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, this has been a divisive election season that exposed deep political and social tensions in the United States. Yet we also know that in a democracy like ours, we turn our attention after elections immediately to sharing the work of nurturing a peaceful transition of power. And in his acceptance speech very early this morning, President-elect Trump said, "Now it's time for America to bind the wounds of division.”

This is our work. Empowering young people to think about difficult issues, to make connections between others and themselves, to build a compassionate and ethical society, and to uphold democracy has been the mission of Facing History and Ourselves for 40 years now. Today, and for the next several days, while the dust is still settling around the world from the election's outcome, we will bring our most authentic selves to bear, binding the wounds of division with kindness and empathy—for each other, ourselves, our families, and our communities. Remember that we will find strength in moving forward together.

We hope to help each other find ways to live up to the best of our mission: to face history and face ourselves with empathy and thoughtful reflection. Students are going to be uncertain; perhaps frightened; and possibly contending among themselves with some of the bombastic rhetoric that has characterized the election. All the more important reason to continue the mission we all serve: helping to create safe and engaging space for students to learn, to feel, to listen, and to act. Our program associates are here to help and answer questions as you settle in with your students. Educators, we are here to support you in your work, today and always.


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