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Pulitzer Center Update February 2, 2024

'Why Didn’t I Know That?' Uncovering Black History at the '1619' Conference

Illustration by Pariplab Chakraborty/The Wire.

This five-part series will capture the impact and experiences of incarceration in India — the...

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Previewing the Third Annual 1619 Education Conference 

“Most students are taught to think of the history and legacy of enslavement in the United States as unfortunate relics of a distant past. We have to ask as a society if we will confront it, or wish it away.” — The 1619 Project Education Network 

In 2022, the Pulitzer Center launched its inaugural 1619 Education Conference, celebrating the accomplishments of the first cohort of educators in The 1619 Project Education Network. Now in its third cohort and boasting over 400 members in 30 states, the Network has created almost 100 units that can be used to introduce The 1619 Project to students of all ages. 

At the conference, education professionals from diverse contexts gathered alongside contributors to The 1619 Project to share their connection to the Project, lessons learned, and to explore the work still to be done in illuminating the legacy of slavery in contemporary U.S. society. We bore witness to the fruits of the labor from teams of educators across the country as part of The 1619 Project Education Network. They shared methods for implementing 1619 in education spaces. Participants also engaged with the creative and inspiring student work that resulted and explored how 1619 can support educators and students in connecting with Black history on a deeper level. 

We’re thrilled to connect with those audiences and themes again for the Pulitzer Center’s third annual 1619 Education Conference on February 17 and 18. The two-day, virtual conference will provide a continued exploration of The 1619 Project and the resources and opportunities available to empower teachers and learners alike as they navigate and digest hard histories. 

Attendees will hear from members of our 1619 Project Education Network, and we’ll also be joined by contributors to the 1619 creative works. Sunday’s keynote presentation will feature contributors to the Emmy Award-winning 1619 Project docuseries, for which we created viewing guides that allow viewers to follow along, discuss, and reflect on each episode’s theme. 

We hope you’ll register for free to join us in just a few weeks for another exciting conference alongside educators, administrators, parents, students, and 1619 Project contributors. 

As we celebrate Black History Month in February, we also invite educators to explore curricular resources from our 1619 Education Materials Collection and schedule a virtual journalist visit to connect your students with reporting on Black communities, identity, and racial justice. 




In December 2020, Sukanya Shantha’s Pulitzer Center-supported work, Barred: A Prisons Project, uncovered caste-based discrimination practices in Indian prisons. Just over three years after The Wire published the original report, Shantha’s petition on caste discrimination in prisons made its way to the Indian Supreme Court, which heard the case on January 3. 

On January 19, Pulitzer Center Editorial Intern Alexandra Byrne spoke with Shantha to learn more about her investigative process and findings. Shantha explained how her background in law informs her work as a journalist, and how organizational support influences the outcome of investigative projects. On journalists taking legal action, she told Byrne, “... We’ve had journalists approaching the courts in the past, but not many. That’s also because most organizations don’t promote this. Your idea of taking your story to a meaningful conclusion is so dependent upon how the owners of the newspaper think.” 

Read Byrne's report on Shantha here.

This message first appeared in the February 2, 2024, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.

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