In our present political climate, discussion of immigration is both essential and inevitable. But how can we confront these polarizing issues in the classroom in ways that deepen empathy, deliver vital historical context, and promote critical thinking? Check out these three rich resources designed for educators who are interested in addressing immigration in the classroom.
Make a teaching moment out of President Trump's announcements on immigration and refugee policy.
On November 5, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario will join Facing History in Cleveland, Ohio, for a Community Conversation—one in a series of public talks held across the country in partnership with The Allstate Foundation. You can RSVP here today. Ahead of the talk, we sat down with the author of the bestseller Enrique's Journey to discuss immigration, reporting during times of conflict, and the power young people have to shape our world for the better.
On May 12, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario will join Facing History in Berkeley, California for a Community Conversation—one in a series of public talks held across the country in partnership with The Allstate Foundation.
As people living on American soil await a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the fate of DACA—the immigration policy that has permitted some 700,000 undocumented youth to remain in the U.S. after being brought here as children—one figurehead of the undocumented movement is urging young immigrants to be fearless in building their lives here, with or without the right papers.
Refugee students face unique challenges in the classroom. Get tips for supporting them on their journey.
Since 2000, the United Nations has championed International Youth Day as a time to bring young people’s issues to the attention of the international community, and “celebrat[e] the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society.” Though all young people face difficulties as they cross the threshold from childhood to adulthood, how they navigate the challenges of youth is shaped significantly by their identities, the histories that inform them, and the disparate contexts in which they live around the world. And the high degree of complexity can make it difficult for teachers to build empathy across divides.
What is our responsibility to refugees fleeing from war and genocide? On September 3, the BBC's Inside Europe Blog published images of police officers in the Czech Republic writing on the hands of detained migrants as a way to identify them. In the post, reporter Rob Cameron observed that the images “are an uncomfortable reminder of a different event and a different era. But the Czech authorities appeared totally unaware of the unfortunate visual connotations with the Holocaust, when prisoners at Auschwitz were systematically tattooed with serial numbers.”
My students are immigrants from over 40 different countries. Often, they have recently arrived to the United States, and are thrust into a new city, a new language, and a new culture. They live with caregivers they either have never met before or haven’t seen in years and live in less than ideal conditions. With this life experience, they bring a worldview that is often wise beyond their years. Many of them know what it means to be a victim or live under an oppressive regime where they have no voice. And many are taking great risks and experience great loss.
Language can be alienating. Words with strong associations often force us to take positions of opposition, rather than seek understanding. This has happened recently, when detention centers along the U.S.–Mexico border were termed “concentration camps."