Teaching Tolerance educator grantees create transformative anti-bias projects in their school communities. They inspire countless students all over the country to reflect on the nature of identity and take meaningful action in the presence of injustice. Their projects cover a diverse array of topics, from constructing an ADA-compliant hiking trail to gathering immigrant families together to teach recipes from their countries of origin.
While we have been thrilled to share some of these projects with you, we now want to go a step further to make them accessible and replicable. To do so, we’ve created the Educator Grants Action Model directory. Each model includes goals, measures and a list of “how-to” steps. As the directory grows, you’ll be able to narrow your focus by searching according to anti-bias topic (e.g., class, immigration, bullying and bias) or social justice domain (identity, diversity, justice or action).
We hope you will visit this directory often, returning to it throughout the school year to see what other anti-bias educators are up to in their schools, and we hope you’ll use it as an aid for your own curriculum and lesson planning. Many of the educators who devised these projects are available for questions about their lessons; please contact TTGrants@tolerance.org for more information.
Check out the first three action models below, and happy brainstorming!
Santa Rosa, California
An educator in Northern California noticed a representation gap between Latinx students and teachers in her school. While 50 percent of her school’s students are Latinx, only 9 percent of teachers are. To help students envision themselves as leaders, she created an opportunity for them to interview leaders in the community with backgrounds similar to their own. Students wrote and filmed the interviews to strengthen their academic skills, displayed the videos to build cross-cultural alliances at school and built meaningful connections with adults who shared how they overcame obstacles to thrive in adulthood.
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
This district-wide project seeks to build bridges between Muslim and non-Muslim teachers, students and staff. To help develop cultural competency about the Muslim-American experience, and to help others consider where their schools needed to build competencies, grantees collaboratively planned a leadership training session dedicated to the topic. Those who attended were encouraged to “map out” their school building’s weaknesses, identify which issues remain unaddressed and collect anecdotal evidence to determine their main focus. Educators left the professional development with more resources to teach students about Islam, as well as discussion strategies for combatting anti-Muslim bullying and bias. While this project focuses on the Muslim-American experience, the procedure can be tailored to any social justice or anti-bias issue.
Inspired yet? Learn more and apply for a TT Educator Grant!
High school students learned about the impact of the civil rights movement in their local community by researching a specific aspect of the movement (e.g., school integration) and the ways it unfolded in the region. Students conducted oral history interviews and explored local historical archives, school records and yearbooks. They visited museums related to the civil rights movement to better understand the events in their local community within its national context. Finally, students created a museum exhibit at the public library to share their research findings with the community, consulting historians and art curators to help them develop their design.
Ehrenhalt is the school programs coordinator for Teaching Tolerance.