As a current school principal, I share Facing History opportunities with all of my teachers.
I’ve seen the results.
I know that it works.
This programming and the leadership opportunities and the curriculum that was being studied gave a voice to all of my students.
When you come to Facing History you have to do a lot of, basically, soul searching, and it's about finding your identity.
An important part of life is knowing who you are and why you're that kind of person.
I saw students who walked into my classroom timid and afraid because they were different, or because they did not think the same as everyone else.
It pretty much opens your eyes, not only your eyes, your heart.
It expands your mind, so that not only, you're not just thinking about yourself anymore.
You think about the people around you.
I saw lightbulbs come on.
I saw defenses go down.
I saw them leave as leaders.
They don’t lose that when they graduate.
They carry that forward.
They carry that with them.
I was first introduced to Facing History and Ourselves when we had a guest lecturer come to my 10th grade English class.
We were reading Night by Elie Wiesel, and the guest lecturer was Rachel Shankman, whose family was directly impacted by the Holocaust.
It was very clear that this is, you know, living, breathing history, that this was a real person.
My entire, you know, worldview, I think, was shifted, starting right then and there.
I really was empowered to think about, what can I study to be the best version of myself and to have the broadest impact?
When I got there, I realized it was a lot different than any of the kind of protests I had been a part of.
I was just really overwhelmed with emotion because I realized the bravery of all the organizers who have been doing this work and putting their lives on the line in the past.
There was no reason there should have been a Charlottesville, but there is still that hatred and division.
And there’s still a lot of work to do.
Since 2009, Facing History has been my sanctuary, both personally and professionally.
Facing History, above all else, you know, gave me hope.
It gave me the stories of real people who didn’t stop standing up when it was hard.
I believe in the power of Facing History simply because I single handedly watched change happen to myself.
I watched myself understand more.
I watched myself grow.
I watched myself find myself more, and I mean, what's better than actually unlocking your true self?
If one student gets it, then our reach will continue to expand because it’s an investment in children.
It’s an investment in educators.
It’s an investment in our future.