Teaching Hard History

Racial JusticeLearning for JusticeLearning for Justice seeks to uphold the mission of the Southern Poverty Law Center: to be a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people.

We support this mission by focusing our work with educators, students, caregivers and communities in these areas:

Culture and Climate
Curriculum and Instruction
Family and Community Engagement
Since our founding as Teaching Tolerance in 1991, we have had a strong foundation of providing educational resources, and we are building on that foundation with expanded engagement opportunities for communities, especially in the South.
Racial JusticeRoad to Racial JusticeA free, downloadable “board” game that supports and encourages cross-cultural understanding and compassionate action in order to help create a more loving and just world.

Players will become more aware that racism exists in many everyday situations (interpersonal and institutional), learn why the situations are racist (stereotyping, tokenism, cultural appropriation, etc.), and acquire tools to interrupt these kinds of situations.
Racial JusticeBlack Lives Matter, the Killing of George Floyd, and the Long Fight for Racial JusticeIn order to better understand this history and the positions of black activists and social movements today, it is useful to examine significant recent events leading up to the present. The timeline in this lesson provides an overview of many leading people and social movements that steered towards racial equality in the United States beginning in the 1950s and continues to the present.
GenocideYale Fortunoff Video Archive of Holocaust TestimoniesIn 1979, a grassroots organization called the Holocaust Survivors Film Project began videotaping Holocaust survivors and witnesses in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1981, the original collection of testimonies was deposited at Yale University and we opened our doors to the public the following year.
GenocideUnited States Holocaust Memorial Museum CollectionThe Museum offers a wide selection of online resources about the Holocaust and other genocides and mass atrocities. These tools provide a variety of ways to learn and teach about this important history—whether for research, individual, or classroom use.

Visit our page Teaching About the Holocaust Online for lesson plans created to assist educators using distance learning platforms to teach about the Holocaust.
GenocideVoices of the HolocaustIn 1946, Dr. David P. Boder, a psychology professor from Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology, traveled to Europe to record the stories of Holocaust survivors in their own words.

Over a period of three months, he visited refugee camps in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, carrying a wire recorder and 200 spools of steel wire, upon which he was able to record over 90 hours of first-hand testimony. These recordings represent the earliest known oral histories of the Holocaust, which are available through this online archive.
GenocideJewish Partisan Educational FoundationWho Were the Jewish Partisans? They were Jews in Europe, many of them teenagers, male and female, who fought against the Nazis during World War II. The majority were regular folks who escaped the ghettos and work camps and joined organized resistance groups in the forests and urban underground. Non-Jewish partisans could sneak back to their homes for security and safety. The Jews had no place to go and so they were constantly moving through the shadows on the edges of cities and towns.
Native VoicesDigital History - Native VoicesDigital History - Using new technologies to enhance teaching and research.
GenocideUnited Nations Rwandan Genocide Testimony OnlineThe Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations is an information and educational outreach programme run by the UN Department of Global Communications.

The programme was established by the General Assembly on 23 December 2005 (A/RES/60/225) to "mobilize civil society for Rwanda genocide victim remembrance and education in order to help prevent future acts of genocide."
GenocideRwandan StoriesRwandanStories is a great collection of video, photography and journalism
exploring the origins, details and aftermath of the Rwandan genocide
through the eyes of both survivors and perpetrators.
GenocideArmenian Genocide MuseumThe Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation is dedicated to preserving the memory and legacy of the Armenian Genocide by honouring 1.5 million Armenians who have perished during the horrible events at the beginning of the 20th century. The Museum-Institute teaches universal lessons to combat hatred, discrimination, prejudice and apathy. It fulfils its missions through the permanent, temporary and on-line exhibitions, vigorous research in different topics related to the Armenian Genocide, enrichment, preservation, digitalization and interpretation of its collections, through educational programs and other initiatives that raise the awareness of the Armenian Genocide, promote the value of human rights and foster recognition and prevention of genocides.
GenocideBosnian GenocideFifty years after the world said “Never Again” to the horrors of the Holocaust, genocide took place on European soil.

The name Srebrenica has become synonymous with those dark days in July 1995 when, in the first ever United Nations declared safe area, thousands of men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves. The victims, predominantly Muslim, were selected for death on the basis of their identity. This was the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.
GenocideUSC Shoah Foundation Video ArchivesTo accomplish our mission to develop empathy, understanding and respect through testimony, our programs focus on preserving and expanding our testimony collections; education through strategic partnerships; research on the history and prevention of genocide; and global outreach through compelling stories from the Visual History Archive.
GenocideFacing History - The Holocaust and Armenian GenocideSurvivor testimonies—firsthand accounts from individuals who lived through genocide and other atrocities—help students more deeply appreciate and empathize with the human and inhuman dimensions of important moments in history.
GenocideFlorida Holocaust Museum - Educator ResourcesThe Holocaust by Bullets - A Study Guide for Educators
GenocideGerman History MuseumGerman Documents on the Holcoaust: German History in Documents and Images
GenocideThe National WWII Museum - Summer Teacher SeminarsBeginning summer 2020, The National WWII Museum is launching new immersive teacher professional development programming, Summer Teacher Seminars. Designed for middle school and high school teachers, these weeklong seminars offer thematic deep dives into a variety of topics on the history of World War II. Employing a rich array of curriculum built upon primary source materials, these seminars will aid teachers to find new and exciting ways to bring the war to life in the classroom. Each seminar will give teachers access to noted WWII scholars, as well as hands-on experiences and virtual resources they can incorporate into classroom instruction. Participants who complete the program will become part of the Museum’s nationwide network of teachers dedicated to improving the quality of instruction on World War II.
Racial JusticeNPR CodeSwitch - Educational EpisodesOver the past few weeks, all of us at Code Switch have noticed that a lot of you have children — bright young minds with boundless energy, just waiting to learn how to fight the power and advance racial justice. (Right?) But with everything that's going on, finding ways to critically engage school-age kids has been a challenge at best.

With that in mind, we've compiled a playlist tailor-made for our youngest listeners. We heard from some of y'all that you're using our episodes as a way to entertain and educate your homebound children, so we rounded up some of our most kid-friendly episodes from the archives. We were inspired by our friends at Radiolab, who launched a new podcast called "Radiolab for Kids" — make sure to check them out, too.
Racial JusticeA Guided Inquiry into a Dubious, Pervasive, All-American Organization, the Ku Klux KlanThe historical roots of White nationalism in the United States appear in the history of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Historians have traced three distinct surges in KKK membership and activity. Recently, White nationalism has reemerged, as evidenced in the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia events. This guided inquiry positions students explore the Klan’s dubious place in American history. Primary and secondary sources from each wave, including contemporaneous documents from recent events, are coupled with discipline-specific close-reading and text-based writing strategies.
Racial JusticeNational Museum of African American History and Culture - Talking About RaceTalking about race, although hard, is necessary. We are here to provide tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation.
Racial Justice Shelby M. Balik - Resources for Anti-RacismOur historical moment demands vigilance and action to dismantle institutional racism. It is not enough to declare our opposition to prejudice and discrimination; rather, we must resolve to break down racist institutions, assumptions, and obstacles wherever we see them. The classroom is a perfect place to do that. For too long, schools have been instruments of institutional racism. Unequal funding and access, discriminatory treatment, and segregation (whether de jure or de facto) have blocked African American, Latinx, and indigenous students from equal chances at quality education. Curricula and textbooks have either obscured or lied about histories of oppression, denying all of us the chance to confront our past and look to a better future.
Racial JusticeZinn Education Project - Two Thumbs Up: Movies and Documentaries to Use (and Avoid) When Teaching Civil RightsArticle from “Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement” edited by Hasan Kwame Jeffries.
A critical review of films on the Civil Rights Movement and institutionalized racism, with dozens of recommendations of films to watch and those to avoid.
SlaveryTeaching Medieval Slavery and CaptivityThis website provides pedagogical resources for teachers who want to address the global history of slavery and captivity during the medieval period, broadly defined.

First and foremost, this website provides historical sources (texts, images, and audio files) that can be assigned as readings or used for in-class activities. Each source is accompanied by a brief introduction giving cultural context and historical background, a set of discussion questions, and a short list of thematic keywords to assist comparison across geographical, temporal, and cultural boundaries. Click on a region of the map or a century on the timeline below to begin browsing.