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Pulitzer Center Update February 14, 2022

Honest History, Open Debate

Artwork by Adam Pendleton in The 1619 Project, page 15. 2019.

The Pulitzer Center is proud to partner with The New York Times Magazine on The 1619 Project to...

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1619 Education Conference

1619 Conference Will Feature Educators, Parents, and More

Our 1619 Education Network teams, with the support of the Pulitzer Center education team, have been hard at work this past year — engaging with students in honest discussion on the crucial history and materials of The 1619 Project, developing standards-aligned curricular units to support their students’ learning, and sharing their insights with other educators. The dozens of new lesson plans and resources, now available on, are the culmination of a year’s worth of determination, collaboration, and radical empathy.

Next week, our education team will host a celebration in the closing of the first 1619 Education Network cohort of educators through the Pulitzer Center’s very first 1619 Education Conference. Over the course of two days, over 20 Network members will present their work, share the planning and implementation of their units, and highlight their key takeaways from their work with students this year.

We are also thrilled to welcome creators and contributors to the project, including professor and author of the “On Citizenship” essay in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Martha S. Jones, along with The 1619 Project: Born on the Water co-author Renée Watson and illustrator Nikkolas Smith.

We invite you to register for the conference, and join the educators, administrators, and parents who have already signed up to attend. You can also browse the newly published 1619 curricular units and lesson plans by visiting the 1619 Education Materials Collection.

Abigail Henry, who teaches African American history at Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia, will be a panelist in “1619 At All Age Levels” on February 19. Her Network team’s curricular unit investigates the origins and history of the Atlantic Slave Trade, and challenges students to reflect on poems from 1619’s literary timeline through formative assessments and creative art projects.

Tristan Cox, whose team at Plainfield Public Schools in New Jersey developed “American Hypocrisy,” will be part of February 20’s open Q&A with 1619 Network educators. His curricular unit serves as a guide to an inquiry process into the treatment of African Americans in the U.S., and the hypocrisies underlying the founding of the country.

If you are an educator interested in joining the next 1619 Network cohort, we especially encourage you to attend. also contains our most recent reporting projects addressing racial justice, including “The Lost Ancestors,” a sculpture installation and documentary now housed at the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. “I’m trying to tackle the legacy of slavery head on,” says Ghanaian sculptor Kwame Akoto-Bamfo. “We have to deal with it before we can move on.”

We hope you will join us in engaging on 1619 at this free, virtual event on February 19-20. Help us celebrate the successes and lessons from our first 1619 Education Network cohort, and welcome our next generation of educators into the 1619 community.

All Best,

Mark’s signature


In November 2021, a group of grantees from WBEZ released an expansive and detailed investigative report on the Chicago water debt, citing rising bills, debt collection being given to private collectors, and shutoffs. In light of this report, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced a new program to help people manage existing water bills. He has allocated $42 million to specifically target water debt, expanding on a program launched in 2021 for utility support for low-income families. In letters to the editor in the Chicago Sun-Times, one reader reacted to the reporting, saying, “If you’ve never heard of a water utility sharing its customers’ water billing data with researchers or the public, it’s because not many do. Chicago’s water utility was uniquely positioned to securely share its data.”

This message first appeared in the February 11, 2022, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.

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