On Tuesday, March 24, 436 educators from across the country joined the Pulitzer Center and the American Federation of Teachers for a webinar exploring The 1619 Project and the Pulitzer Center's accompanying curricular resources. Over 100 educators viewed the recorded webinar on demand on March 25, and many hundreds more have engaged with the recording since then. The webinar was presented by Education Director Mark Schulte, Senior Education Manager Fareed Mostoufi, and Education Manager Hannah Berk. The webinar is still available on demand for one hour of professional development credit.
The 1619 Project, inaugurated with a special issue of The New York Times Magazine in August 2019, challenges us to reframe U.S. history by making the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as our nation's foundational date. The project, led by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, includes several resources for educators. The magazine features 18 essays, 17 poems and short stories, and two photo essays. A print broadsheet, published in a print edition of the Times, explores how slavery has been taught in the United States through two short essays and a gallery of objects curated by the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. A five-episode podcast from the Times highlights content from five of the essays in the magazine. The Times also released a print resource for children.
The curricular resources developed by Pulitzer Center's education team provides reading guides, activities, and other resources to make the project accessible and engaging to students at the elementary, middle, and high school level.
The webinar explores the following:
- How print, audio, and visual elements of the project can be used to support work your classroom is already doing in your community
- How The 1619 Project curricula can be differentiated for your students
- How The 1619 Project has already been used in classrooms across the country to inspire discussions, artistic responses, and community events
- How The 1619 Project curricula has been adapted for e-learning and can be navigated independently by students
Educators who attended the live event used the chat box to brainstorm ideas on how to explore The 1619 Project in their classrooms. Their ideas included a combination of reading and writing activities, individualized projects, student-created plays and songs, group discussion, student inquiry, and ways to study the project in parallel with resources on the experiences of other marginalized populations in the United States and abroad. Teachers described ways the curricula could support units on U.S. history and evaluated ways to use the project to support reading and writing instruction.
Here are some comments educators made about the content presented during the webinar:
"This is exactly why I am so drawn to your resources! Journalists that uncover and bring worthy stories truly are heroes!" - Kim Lenz
"I am an Elementary Special Education teacher. I am looking at the lessons on the website and am loving the poetry lessons."- Emily T
"This is so engaging for the students as well as the teachers. Just as learning should be."- Antoinette C.
The transcript for the webinar is still accessible on demand. For access to the webinar, please visit our page on AFT's sharemylesson.com: The 1619 Project: Activities for Student Engagement