Race and Membership in American Society: History, Literature, and Today

Race and Membership in American Society

Find details on how to register or pay for Facing History professional development, payment options, help with costs, refunds, and the Facing History Educator Network.

Course Type:
Event Fee:
Registration Fee:

Race and Membership in American Society: History, Literature, and Today

The idea of "Race" fuels many  contemporary events, debates, and experiences in the US. It offers a significant lens for understanding the US  both currently and historically. Facing History’s Race & Membership in American Society seminar uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore the intersection of race, membership, and belonging  and offers a framework to understand the history and origin of race, its legacies, progress and backlash. Using primary source material and literature, this seminar will provide teachers with the framework to  help students explore these ideas in history and today’s environment and will model for teachers how to use our sequence of study to offer young people the opportunity for self-reflection.


This seminar offers a unique opportunity to be an adult learner as the group explores the roots of race and racism in this country, and to experience Facing History content, as an educator so that you will be able to create  interdisciplinary units for your students.


During the first part of the seminar, participants will focus on understanding the influence of the eugenics movement in  the construction of racial ideology. This historical intertwining of race and power influenced our ideas of the 19th century construction of “whiteness.” and the definition of who was considered an  “American”. This seminar will integrate literature and primary sources, allowing exploration of political and scientific thought in early American history and the lasting impact on public policy in the areas of immigration, health, and justice.


Once you have registered for this seminar,  you will have the opportunity to select a specific “deep dive pathway” where you will consider concrete lessons and units for your students based on a more focused interdisciplinary exploration of race. These options may include:

  • A critical examination of To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • The  Reconstruction Era in US History.

  • Indigenous Lives, bringing together The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian and Stolen Lives.

  • The Chinese American experience, bringing together American Born Chinese and the film series and guide "Becoming American: The Chinese Experience."

  • News literacy: a deep dive into Facing Ferguson and the literary complement, All American Boys.

  • Los Angeles in film and literature: riots, poverty, gangs from Twilight LA and Always Running to Lost Angels and contemporary student slams.


The seminar will culminate by reconvening to consider the lessons from these interdisciplinary explorations for Los Angeles today. How does the legacy of race continue to play out in Los Angeles? How does the ideology early established in America continue to shape our racial understandings and social/political environment? Teachers will leave with an expanded toolbox for and a greater confidence in their capacity to and engage students with this critical topic.


Scholarships are available.Participants will receive a free copy of Race and Membership in American History: The Eugenics Movement


After this seminar you will:

  • Become part of the Facing History educator network,
  • You will be prepared to integrate a FH unit in your courses
  • You will be able to independently apply  FH’s sequence of study to your own curriculum planning
  • Be able to directly access  a rich slate of classroom-ready resources, including downloadable units and lesson plans, study guides, and other educational multimedia
  • Be able to borrow books and DVDs through our online lending library at no cost


Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
350 S. Bixel St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
6.12.18 - 6.15.18
8:00 am - 3:30 pm

Search Our Collection

Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.