Friday, November 11, 2016

Over the next weeks we'll all be mulling over the "meaning" of the presidential election.  This is an especially daunting task for educators.  I've heard teachers disussing the process of our elections, how democracy works (or doesn't), trust in our political system, etc.  It's great to be optimistic, but let's face it, if  the tone of his campaign will dictate his policies as president, Donal Trump is a frightening prospect for we who believe in essential human rights.

I will be curating any resources I find, but here's a good start from the wonderful resource, Teaching Tolerance.

What to Say to Kids...

And a terrific conversation from educator Ali Michael in The Huffington Post:

What do We Tell the Children?

Other links about students, teachers and the election:
Reassuring Kids

James Baldwin: 100 Years Since Emancipation (1963)

American writer and activist speaking on "100 Years since Emancipation."  It's amazing to me to read and to listen to or watch Baldwin and how, sadly but inspirationaly, he is still so relevant today.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Human Rights and the War on Terror

Approaching the end of a semester I am always looking for relevant content. These last units change from year to year depending on what I'm interested in, what topics students have covered in their independent projects or what's current in the news.  Over the last several years I've found myself going back to Masuda Sultan's memoir My War At Home.  Published in 2006, the book opens many different topics for us to tackle, all of which are still very relevant and pressing.  In the first part of the book Sultan reflects on her experiences as an Afghan and Muslim immigrant to America.  It's a great opportunity to bring in intertwining issues of immigration - so prevalent in this election year - the clash of religion and culture, Islamic feminism, and Western (mis)understandings of Islam.  9/11 provides the backdrop for the second two-thirds of the book.  As an Afghan and Muslim in America, Sultan provides a unique perspective on America's role in the world and the "war on terror."  Sultan experiences first hand the impact of U. S. military power on a human scale.

Though approaching ten years since it's publication, I find this book still invaluable in its relevancy and relatability for students.