Rosa sat down, Martin stood up, and white folks came south to save the day.

This version of Civil Rights Movement history, emphasizing a top-down narrative and isolated events, is what many students learn from their textbooksThe iconic images of the struggle for voting rights focus on key leaders and events: John Lewis being beaten on Bloody Sunday; Martin Luther King marching to Montgomery. These snapshots do not tell the whole story. 

Now more than ever, it is important for young people to understand the crucial role that youth, women, and other community members played in organizing for voting rights. Teaching for Change helps students make the connections between past struggles for liberation, current attacks on voting rights, and today's #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Teaching for Change is transforming the way that these struggles are seen with resources and lessons for students. Our article, The Selma Voting Rights Struggle: 15 Key Points from Bottom-Up History, was widely circulated on social media and read by more than 200,000 people. Our Stepping into Selma lessonwhich brings this people's history into the classroom, was used by teachers as a pre-film viewing activity for students.

A young boy participating in a SNCC voter registration demonstration bravely faces Selma Sheriff Deputies as they come to arrest him on July 8, 1964. (C) Matt Herron / Take Stock

Let's show young people that, like the brave child in the photograph, their voices and actions matter and can help change the world. Help us reach more students with lessons that teach the bottom-up history of the Civil Rights Movement so that they can continue the movement today.

Please make a donation today.


Deborah Menkart
 Teaching for Change | PO Box 73038 | Washington, DC 20056 | (202) 588-7204

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