Media Coverage

August 17, 2017

Education Dive interviews Facing History and Ourselves' Director of Communications Valerie Linson. Linson shares the organization's work creating "just-in-time" content to help teachers prepare for difficult conversations as current events related to antisemitism and racism continue to emerge.

August 14, 2017

Following the violence in Charlottesville, VA, USA Today interviews Facing History's Chief Program Officer Marc Skvirsky who outlines tips and suggested questions for educators to use in classroom discussions about history, race, and violence as the new school year begins.

August 14, 2017

In this article, NPR highlights resources and teaching strategies from Facing History and Ourselves, the American Federation of Teachers, and other organizations to use with students when addressing bigotry and racism in the classroom.

April 4, 2017

Kim Wheatley, an Anishnaabe and descendant of residential school survivors, recently spoke to students at Peel schools using Facing History's Stolen Lives resource.

March 24, 2017

This article (and accompanying 40-minute radio story) from PRI, addresses the topic of collective memory of historical atrocities. The article uses the story of Jedwabne, Poland (the source material for Jan Gross' Neighbors) as a case study of how communities remember massacres. Facing History is included as a resource to learn more about working through difficult histories.

March 16, 2017

T. Elijah Hawkes, Huffington Post contributor and Co-principal at Randolph Union middle/high school in Vermont, offers his advice and resources to incoming principals on how they can engage with students about sensitive contemporary topics.

March 15, 2017

The New York Times compiled this list of short films and resources teachers could use in their classroom to explore issues pertaining to identity. The article includes links to Facing History teaching strategies (identity charts and bio-poems) and short readings hosted on our website.

March 5, 2017

Facing History Canada's Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada workshop received coverage from CBC News. This article features a number of quotes from Leora Schaefer, Executive Director of Facing History Canada, explaining Facing History's approach and her suggestions for how educators can approach the "messiness" of difficult histories. 

January 3, 2017

It is with profound sadness, that we report the passing late last month of two individuals: Robert Sperber and William “Bill” Parsons. Both were instrumental in the founding of Facing History and Ourselves 40 years ago. 

December 19, 2016

The November 8 US presidential election capped off a political season fraught with incivility. In the wake of the election outcome, Facing History fielded an increased number of calls from teachers and educational administrators seeking help for difficult conversations in their classrooms.

As Facing History and Ourselves marks it's 40th anniversary, our mission — equipping educators and youth with the tools to wrestle with contemporary issues through the lens of history — has never been more relevant.

October 23, 2016

EdSource details changes from the U.S. Department of Education to new federal block grants "designed to fund a more varied curriculum, a more positive school environment and a more integrated use of technology" with special emphasis on civics, technology, and the arts. In its announcement, the Department of Education also highlighted Facing History's work as an example of a program that could be funded by the new block grants.

October 7, 2016

For the sixth year in a row, Facing History and Ourselves has received the highest rating of four stars from the independent nonprofit organization Charity Navigator, whose mission is to help individuals make intelligent giving decisions by evaluating the financial health of America’s largest charities.

September 19, 2016

Facing History in Memphis recently launched the Memphis Neighborhood Schools Network, which will engage 11 schools from Midtown and Frayser in a deep dive info Facing History and Ourselves with the goal of improving an entire school’s culture.

Bobby White, executive director of MLK Prep and founder and CEO of Frayser Community Schools told the Daily News, “The school for a number of years has been ostracized for the negativity that was prevalent there,” he said. “...I felt like Facing History was the language we were missing."

September 9, 2016

An “upstander” is a person who has chosen to make a difference in the world by speaking out against injustice and creating positive change. The term, coined by diplomat Samantha Power and popularized by Facing History and Ourselves, has now been recognized an official word in the English language. Columnist Ben Zimmer, who pens a weekly column "Word on the Street" for the Wall Street Journal wrote about the news that "upstander" will be added to Oxford Dictionaries.

September 7, 2016

Facing History’s first Canadian educator resource, Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools draws attention to the history of residential schools and their impact on the indigenous community in Canada. The book was recently reviewed in Professional Speaking, a print and digital magazine that is read by more than 300,000 people. 

September 6, 2016

More than a year after the New Jersey State Legislature passed a resolution that urged Merriam-Webster, Inc. and the Oxford University Press to add the word “upstander” to their dictionaries, Oxford Dictionaries will officially add the word to this year’s dictionary. 

August 8, 2016

As the second anniversary of the shooting of Ferguson, Missouri's Michael Brown passes this week, we are reminded of the importance of educating students about the media’s place in racial issues. In a recent news release, Peter Adams, Senior VP of educational programs for the News Literacy Project (NLP), discusses why students should be taught news literacy and how educators can successfully navigate such a terrain.

August 8, 2016

Facing History teacher David Cohen recently penned an article for Education Week Teacher discussing the inclusion and integration of arts in everyday classrooms. Cohen argues that all school subjects would benefit from pairing lessons with plays, paintings, or music. He encourages educators to utilize available resources for such pairings, listing Facing History’s resource collection on Holocaust survivor and artist Samuel Bak as a great place to start.

August 5, 2016

CBC News in Canada covered Facing History and Ourselves' first-ever “Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and The Indian Residential Schools” three-day seminar for educators. The seminar in Ottawa focused on Residential schools and their impact on indigenous communities. 

August 2, 2016

Susan Smith, a longtime friend, supporter, and advocate for Facing History and Ourselves since its inception, passed away on July 30 at the age of 83. Susan and her husband Richard (Dick) chaired one of Facing History's first-ever New England benefit dinners. Her passion for and commitment to Facing History's impact on young people remains without parallel.

August 1, 2016

The Facing History School (FHS) in New York City is looking for outstanding Social Studies-certified teachers to join a collaborative teaching team dedicated to excellence. The position is for 9th grade history and the curriculum includes teaching Facing History and Ourselves' Holocaust and Human Behavior case study for a semester.

July 14, 2016

Last month, the Holocaust Educational Resource Council (HERC) held its annual conference at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Facing History and Ourselves’ senior historian, Dr. Mary Johnson, led the conference. Several elementary through high school educators from surrounding districts attended, as extensive learning of the Holocaust is a requirement for students in Florida. 

July 14, 2016

Keeping young students engaged in the classroom can be a never-ending task for educators. Facing History and Ourselves often provides teachers with the tools to make such a task less daunting. Last week, the President, U.S. Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Allan Golston, recognized Facing History’s efforts in an article for the Huffington Post about engaging teachers through community.

July 10, 2016

Longtime friend of Facing History and Ourselves and Holocaust survivor, Nate Leipciger, visited Auschwitz earlier this month with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Mr. Leipciger frequently visits Canadian schools to speak about his experiences during World War II and his time at Auschwitz. This visit, however, was a first for Trudeau, and he listened to Leipciger’s own historical recount throughout.

July 8, 2016

Recent shootings across the U.S. have sparked questions by parents and educators alike on how best to explain the tragedies to the younger generation. Rapid availability of information via television and social media has made in-depth information more accessible to students who may not quite know or understand how to process their feelings. 

July 8, 2016

The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the outpouring of protests, has prompted Teaching Tolerance to inform teachers of easily accessible resources. Gathered from multiple organizations, these resources are meant to help educators better inform their students about the issues the U.S. is currently facing. 

July 5, 2016

Paul Turner, a 2016 graduate of The Facing History School in Manhattan, was able to graduate earlier this year despite his family’s struggles with poverty and homelessness. Turner was also awarded a $5,000 UFT Albert Shanker scholarship. He will be attending Hamilton College this fall.

July 5, 2016

WGBH's Senior Investigative Reporter Phillip Martin recently talked to Facing History’s Director for Staff Development, Dimitry Anselme about Facing History’s work with activist, author, and humanitarian Elie Wiesel, who passed away on July 2. 

“He talked a lot about indifference and ultimately that’s what Facing History is about", Anselme said. "It’s about teaching and engaging young people so that they’re not indifferent. They’re not bystanders.”

July 4, 2016

Facing History and Ourselves’ new guide, Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools, will be soon integrated into classroom curricula and material at Duke Academy in Ontario. 

Duke Academy teacher Kylie Cummings will be implementing what she learned at a Facing History workshop into her lesson plans. Kylie attended the workshop as well as the launch of Stolen Lives in order to better prepare her for educating students on the sensitive matter. 

July 3, 2016

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s recent death has sparked conversations and observations around the Greater Boston area about the peace-advocate’s life and his work to ensure remembrance of the Holocaust and a more accepting world. 

Facing History and Ourselves CEO Roger Brooks spoke with the Boston Globe about the mark Wiesel has left on our world: “ ‘The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference’--in one very simple way, [Wiesel’s] made the world turn upside down.”

June 30, 2016

Taymullah Abdur-Rahman, Muslim chaplain at Harvard University, recently attended a Facing History and Ourselves Holocaust course, where he meet Rena Finder--a Schindler Jew. In a reflection on WBUR's Cognoscenti blog, Abdur-Rahman recounts this meeting as well as one with Dr. Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine. 

June 16, 2016

Earlier this year, Facing History and Ourselves sponsored an essay scholarship contest with Facing History Together. This year’s contest focused on connecting events and characters from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird with students’ personal stories and choices. Seventeen students won cash awards, and several of those students were given the opportunity to speak about their essays on the National Writing Project’s (NWP) live radio broadcast last week.

June 15, 2016

Facing History and Ourselves’ Senior Historian, Dr. Mary Johnson, led a teacher course on how to educate students about the Holocaust at Florida State University shortly after the mass shooting in Orlando. The tragedy brought new meaning and relevance to Johnson’s course, revealing the importance of Facing History’s goals and teachings. 

June 15, 2016

The cast of the Tony Award-winning Broadway play Hamilton took time to answer student questions before a performance earlier this summer. Among the crowd were students from The Facing History School in Manhattan. The Facing History students had their question answered by George Washington (actor Chris Jackson) himself.

June 9, 2016

Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School students performed a “Historical Memory Project” as part of year-long Facing History and Ourselves courses taught by teachers Amy McLaughlin-Hatch and James Fernandes. Both teachers were, last year, awarded a Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grant from Facing History to help fund this project. The grant allowed McLaughlin-Hatch to take teachers to visit Holocaust internment camps and Fernandes to bring Emerson College theater professor Dr. Bethany Nelson into his classroom.

June 8, 2016

Scenarios USA announced the winners for the 2016 Real Deal story-writing contest, including Mayraleeh Nelson, a rising senior at Facing History New Tech High School (FHNT) in Cleveland, Ohio. Nelson, in partnership with her teacher Martha Verde, was selected from ten other finalists, including three other students from FHNT. The finalists' submissions were chosen from hundreds of student submissions across New York City and Cleveland. 

June 3, 2016

Facing History and Ourselves mourns the loss of Bernard Gotfryd, longtime friend of the organization and Holocaust survivor, who passed away on Friday, June 3 in New York City at the age of 92. Gotfryd was an acclaimed photographer and brought his incredible story to thousands of New York area students, teachers, and community members. 

May 25, 2016

When racial graffiti and slurs began taking place in Wyoming schools, one Facing History and Ourselves class was analyzed as a promising way to teach diversity to all students. The class is currently being taught at Wyoming Indian High School (WIHS). 

WIHS teach Colleen Whalen explained how Facing History’s curriculum works at her school “It encourages discussion on the social construct of race and history of civil rights movements and helps students draw parallels to the modern day and the Native American experience.”

May 18, 2016

Facing History’s Memphis director Marti Tippens Murphy and intern Lamisa Hasan, both Rhodes College alumni, are working together to complete the Memphis Mural Project. The “Upstander’s Mural” will memorialize several Memphis citizens and groups who have helped make the town what it is today.

Rhodes Magazine’s Lynn Conlee featured both Murphy and Hasan in a recent article. “Through each step in the process, Hasan has been there, working with the mural steering committee, monitoring the nomination process, and assisting . . . Murphy with the project.”

May 13, 2016

Students from New York City’s Facing History High School and other city schools were given the opportunity this month to attend Broadway show Hamilton and perform original raps for the cast. Studying the history surrounding Alexander Hamilton has helped students visualize and connect with historical events and people.

Good Morning America interviewed Hamilton show creator and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda about the student involvement. “They’re ready to take in all of the experience. They’re the best audiences we get.”

May 5, 2016

Facing History and Ourselves in Memphis today announced the people and groups who will be memorialized on their “Upstanders Mural,” a public art project that will cover one entire wall of their office complex at 115 Huling Avenue in the South Main district of downtown Memphis. 

Columnist David Waters has also featured each of the upstanders in today’s Commercial Appeal. “There isn't a wall big enough to honor all of the Memphians who have risked life or livelihood to stand up for their rights or the rights of others,” he wrote. 

May 1, 2016

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), U.S. publisher of Adolf Hitler’s Mien Kampf, had previously granted royalties from the book soley to Holocaust awareness programs. Now, the publishers aim to allocate the funds toward programs that promote tolerance on a more general level. Facing History and Ourselves previously applied for funding from HMH. 

April 28, 2016

The Facing History and Ourselves community mourns the loss of Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, 81, who passed away this past Monday, April 25. Rev. Kyles was a longtime friend of Facing History and spoke to Memphis area students, teachers, and community members about the importance of civic participation, drawing on his own experiences as tireless advocate for civil and human rights. 

April 20, 2016

Facing History and Ourselves congratulates Peter Balakian, a member of the Facing History and Ourselves Board of Scholars and a longtime supporter of our work, on winning this year’s Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his book Ozone Journal. The Pulitzer committee described Ozone Journal as “Poems that bear witness to the old losses and tragedies that undergird a global age of danger and uncertainty.”

April 12, 2016

The New Haven Independent recently featured three alumnae from founding Facing History and Ourselves Innovative School New Haven Academy in New Haven, Connecticut. One of the three students, Danielle Palmieri, was drawn back to New Haven as a teacher because of the schools' focus on civic responsibility and citizenship. "I couldn't see myself leaving the place that built me up . . . [and] made me who I was. I have a responsibility as a citizen to build it up." 

April 4, 2016

Following several antisemitic incidents at Bedford schools, BISD superintendent Jon Sills has decided to bring Facing history into the school’s curriculum. Facing History has not been used in Bedford classrooms before. 

Superintendent Sills spoke with Not In Our Town’s Executive Producer Patrice O’Neill about the incidents and mentioned Facing History’s future involvement in Bedford. “We completely revised the 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade curriculum. Facing History is now at the center of our 8th-grade curriculum around civil rights.”

February 23, 2016

The national education news outlet Education Week recently interviewed Facing History School teacher Calee Prindle about her teaching strategies when hot-button topics such as terrorism and religion are involved. “I always try to start with facts and then go into ‘How are you feeling? What are your reactions to this?’ And that’s where it gets really juicy and interesting.”

February 20, 2016

In response to the passing of Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, on February 19, Facing History and Ourselves’ President and CEO Roger Brooks wrote an opinion editorial “Teaching to Kill a Mockingbird” that was published in The Boston Globe. Lee’s enduring contribution to American literature opened doors for discussing race in the U.S., and continues to have a powerful impact on students more than 50 years after its publication.

February 19, 2016

Harper Lee's death reminds us that To Kill a Mockingbird is not only a classic work of American literature, but has also opened important conversations around the themes of race, justice, and morality. The day before Lee passed away, Facing History and Ourselves published "My Mockingbirds," an essay by writer Margaret Stohl, co-author of the bestselling young adult novel, Beautiful Creatures, on why To Kill a Mockingbird mattered so deeply to her.

February 2, 2016

Memphis TV station WMCA talked with Marti Tippens Murphy, Memphis Facing History director, and Lauren Kennedy, Urban Art Commission member, about the expectations and excitement surrounding the Memphis Mural Project. Some Memphians, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Ida B. Wells, are well known from history, but there are many more who will recognized through the Mural. 

Marti Tippens Murphy looks forward to the education the mural will bring to the people and visitors of Memphis. “We really hope that we uncover some stories that people aren’t quite as familiar with.” 

January 5, 2016

For the fifth year in a row, Facing History and Ourselves has received the highest rating of four stars from the independent nonprofit organization Charity Navigator, whose mission is to help individuals make intelligent giving decisions by evaluating the financial health of America’s largest charities.

December 5, 2015

In the not-so-distant past, Canadian First Nations and Inuit children were taken from their families and forced into residential schools where they suffered years of abuse. Facing History and Ourselves, with the help of a three-year federal grant, has been involved in bringing awareness and education of the atrocities to Canadian schools.

November 17, 2015

Read "Facing our past to change our future," an opinion piece in the Memphis-based Commercial Appeal by Facing History's Memphis Office Director Marti Tippens Murphy and Associate Program Director for Urban Education Steven Becton. 

November 16, 2015

Facing History and Ourselves' International Director Karen Murphy offers teaching strategies for teachers to help guide classroom discussion on the recent events in Paris in a recent blog post that was also featured in the Washington Post article "Schools grapple with how to teach about Paris attacks." 

September 9, 2015

Facing History and Ourselves’ latest resource, Washington’s Rebuke to Bigotry, has received high praise from a wide range of scholars including reviewers from the New York Journal of Books, the HuffPost Education Blog, and The Greater Good Science Center.  It’s also been featured in Small Press Bookwatch, and the Newport, Rhode Island-based Daily News

September 9, 2015

Facing History and Ourselves' website continues to receive rave reviews from educators on Common Sense Media's Graphite site. "These resources promote honest discussion and awareness of the dangers of discrimination and prejudice," according to Facing History's profile. In 2014, Facing History's website was also listed among the top 30 EdTech resources. The 30 featured resources on the list, Graphite explains, earned ratings for engagement, pedagogy, and support. “[They] stood out as truly head of the class.” 

August 14, 2015

In a response to a recent study by the nonprofit TNTP, which revealed that most teacher trainings were largely a waste of money, Howard Gardner of Project Zero, Clayton Lewis, and Jim Reese mentioned Facing History and Ourselves as an exception, providing high-quality professional development for educators for nearly 40 years.

August 10, 2015

Facing History and Ourselves will be an educational partner for StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen, where high school students across the country will interview a grandparent or elder over Thanksgiving 2015. Participants will upload the recordings using the newly launched StoryCorps mobile app.
 
Read more about the project here

August 5, 2015

The Boston Globe Magazine has featured Facing History's ongoing work with educators in the Bedford School District in light of antisemitic attacks over the past few years. 

July 29, 2015

President and CEO of Facing History and Ourselves, Roger Brooks, will facilitate a roundtable discussion entitled “Cultural Competency: Jewish-African American Relations” on August 5, 2015, as part of Boston University’s School of Theology’s Social Justice Institute. 

July 24, 2015

Actress and director Angelina Jolie Pitt will direct an adaptation of First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, based on the memoir by Loung Ung, a Facing History Cleveland Advisory Board member and frequent Facing History speaker. In her book, Ung recounts what life was like growing up in Cambodian in the 1970s under the Khmer Rouge.  

July 1, 2015

Sir Nicholas Winton passed away on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Maidenhead, England, at the age of 106. In 1939, Winton organized the rescue of nearly 700 children from Prague, Czechoslovakia, on the eve of World War II. He kept his heroic rescue efforts a secret from even his wife until a half-century later when she discovered a scrapbook in their attic with records of those he saved. 

June 4, 2015

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has named Facing History and Ourselves as one of only nine programs in the U.S. that had a proven positive effect on students, such as improved academics, increased empathy, and increased prosocial behavior. Facing History is also one of only two programs with top honors, out of nearly 400 nominated, that is available for both middle and high school students. 

May 28, 2015

Facing History's current President and CEO Roger Brooks has recently been named as the Elie Wiesel Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies by Connecticut College. He will also deliver the keynote speech at the Connecticut College reunion with retiring faculty member Gene Gallagher. Learn more about the event here.

May 19, 2015

The Boston Globe Sunday Business section recently featured an interview with Facing History and Ourselves President and CEO, Roger Brooks. “There’s never been a time when Facing History is more important,” Brooks told the Globe. Edward R. Murrow Award-winning reporter Sacha Pfieffer conducted the interview, which highlights Brooks’ 2014 transition to Facing History from Connecticut College, where he was dean of faculty, chief academic officer, and professor of Judaic studies. 

May 19, 2015

Social Justice Humanitas Academy, part of Facing History’s Innovative Schools Network in Los Angeles, is one of four schools and three multi-site community initiatives in the U.S. to receive a 2015 National Community Schools Award for Excellence.

May 18, 2015

The Cummings Foundation has awarded Facing History's New England office with a 2015 $100K for 100 grant to support its work with schools, educators, and students in the New England area.

May 12, 2015

On May 9, 2015, Adam Strom, Facing History and Ourselves' Chief Officer of Content and Innovation, accepted a Hero Award from the U.S. National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial in recognition of Facing History's work creating awareness and educational resources for the Armenian Genocide. Facing History was among 29 recipients, including representatives of the United States Congress, the American Red Cross, and The New York Times

April 28, 2015

On April 24, 2015, Armenian Americans, Massachusetts politicians, and the public gathered outside of the State House in Boston to recognize the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. In his remarks, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker commended Facing History and Ourselves for teaching the Armenian Genocide in Boston schools.

April 27, 2015

Longtime Denver Facing History Teacher Leader and Advisory Board Member Stephie Rossi will receive Williams College’s annual Olmsted Award. Read more...

April 1, 2015

In a blog post up now on the New York Times Learning Network, Facing History and Ourselves Senior Program Associate Laura Tavares pairs an article about the recent report documenting the history of racial lynching in America with an excerpt from Harper Lee’s best-selling "To Kill a Mockingbird" in order to situate the novel in its historical context and raise important questions about race, justice, and memory today. 

March 31, 2015

Memphis-based Commercial Appeal has featured a Facing History and Ourselves workshop led by Memphis program associate, Andrew Reese. The workshop featured a new Facing History resource, Sounds of Change, which features several classic soul songs and the social and historical context during their recording at Stax Records throughout the civil rights movement.

March 30, 2015

Dr. Leon Bass, beloved educator, speaker, and longtime friend of Facing History and Ourselves, passed away on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at his home in Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pennsylvania. As a 19-year-old soldier serving in a segregated unit of the U.S. Army, Bass was among the first American soldiers to witness the atrocities at Buchenwald Concentration Camp. After the war, Dr.

March 24, 2015

In celebration of ten years of success in the United Kingdom, Facing History and Ourselves hosted a Parliamentary Reception with Nadhim Zahawi MP on Monday, March 16, 2015. The reception brought together community members, politicians, teachers, students, and parliamentarians. James Harding, the Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC, gave a keynote speech, as well as Vanessa Hull, a teacher at the Sedgehill School. 

March 23, 2015

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced on March 18, 2015 that there has been an increase in graduation rates among the state's Alliance District Schools, which include the 30 lowest performing school districts in the state. Malloy made the announcement at New Haven Academy, which is both an Alliance District School and a member of Facing History's Innovative Schools Network. 

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