A curated collection of over 75 lesson plans, writing prompts, short films and graphs relating to racism and racial justice.
The summer of 2020 was not the first time that urgent conversations about race and racism were happening in homes, classrooms and workplaces. But the energy of the Black Lives Matter protests, believed by many to be the largest in U.S. history, was unparalleled. Though the demands and chants may have echoed those heard in previous years, never before, The New York Times reported, “have the cries carried this kind of muscle.” Among American voters, support for the movement grew in the first two weeks of protests almost as much as it did in the preceding two years.
Our focus at The Learning Network is creating educational resources based on Times reporting, and as part of that work we prioritize creating resources that center conversations around race and racism. However, we appreciate that there are organizations and communities, like Learning for Justice, Facing History and Ourselves, EduColor and others you can find in the “Additional Outside Resources” list in this post, whose primary mission is to bring these conversations into the classroom.
This fall students on our site showed us how passionately they want to have these discussions. In September we introduced a forum on racial justice. Over 2,000 comments poured in, as teenagers shared their own experiences and stretched to understand the experiences of others. Some also expressed the wish that more of these conversations would happen in school. One student, Hermella, told us:
I think that schools and parents as well should start teaching kids from the beginning about racial equality, so that hopefully in the future, more people would deeply understand its meaning and grow up to respect all citizens.
Another student, Lizzy, wrote:
School had always taught me that blacks and whites were equals and that was it. I was ignorant of the problem until I chose to educate myself. I think that schools should be partially responsible for educating students on the racial injustices in the world.
Through our daily writing prompts, lesson plans and multimedia features, we take on the topics of race and racism regularly. But for teachers not sure how to navigate all of these resources, or even how to begin the conversation, we’re pulling these resources together — all in one place.
Below you’ll find a curated list of dozens of resources we hope can help. Below that, you’ll find a list of other organizations doing this work, including the Pulitzer Center, which has created a growing curriculum for using The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project. Finally, we offer a few tips and strategies for facilitating these conversations, provided by educators who are already doing this work.
We’ll discuss many of these teaching tools in our March 4 webinar on Talking About Race and Racism in the Classroom Using The New York Times. Here’s how to register or watch on demand later.