Monthly Highlights – July 2023
This month, the California History-Social Science Project is hosting three Summer Institutes that focus on themes of justice, community, and civic engagement.
The Sources of Justice in Films Summer Institute is the culmination of a months-long exploration in using films as primary sources. Partnering with the Library of Congress's Teaching with Primary Sources Program, Assistant Director of CHSSP, Tuyen Tran, launched Sources of Justice in 2022 to put teacher in community with scholars and filmmakers to examine justice as a historical and a lived experience. Primary sources are essential in documenting our lives now and in reconstructing what we know about the past. Throughout this summer institute, teachers will work with directors and filmmakers of three featured films as the probe into questions like, "What is non-extractive storytelling and how it is possible in our own work?" "How do communities and community members tell their stories?" and "How do communities advocate for just storytelling?"
The California Subject Matter Project is taking seriously the call to support teacher's as we implement AB 101, which requires students to complete an Ethnic Studies course. CHSSP's Ethnic Studies Coordinator, Dominique Williams is collaborating with the Bay Area Writing Project, and Area 3 Writing Project for an in-depth study of Ethnic Studies teaching practices and theory. Taking place over two weeks, the Ethnic Studies Critical Literacies Institute also attends to the need for teachers to establish a community of praxis, where they might offer and receive mentorship, expand their expertise, and hold a space for support and encouragement.
Last year, the CHSSP co-sponsored "Democracy by Participation: the Life and Legacy of Cruz Reynoso," an expansive project in applied historical research by Marchand Public Engagement Intern, Daniel Castaneda. He collaborated with K-12 teachers and mentored undergraduate students, and his research resulted in undergraduate internship opportunities, an exhibit detailing the life and legacy of Cruz Reynoso, and five K-12 Primary Source Inquiry Sets. This summer, the CHSSP is hosting a group of teachers for three days to hear presentations from leading scholars, learn about how to implement new inquiry sets, and experience working with archival sources.
Kate's Book Club
The books that we selected for this month align with themes of Ethnic Studies, including justice, resistance, and joy.
- "Before she was Harriet," words by Lesa Cline-Ransome; pictures by James E. Ransome. This biography of Harriet Tubman is told in reverse, which helps students and teachers consider her legacy in a new and more expansive way.
- "Child of the Civil Rights Movement," words by Paula Young Shelton; pictures by Raul Colon. Paula Young Shelton is the daughter of Civil Rights activist Andrew Young. Her story brings a child's perspective into the story, surrounded by a community of leaders including her Uncle Martin (Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Junior).
"Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: a Muslim Book of Shapes," words by Hena Khan; pictures by Medrdokht Amini. The imagery in this picture book helps children explore and celebrate the traditions of the Muslim community through shapes and thoughtful storytelling.
"Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Phillip Freelon," words by Kelly Starling Lyons; pictures by Laura Freeman. This biography celebrates Philip Freelon, a STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art, and mathematics) role model who built the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. In addition to offering students access to more Black STEAM heroes, this story can open a conversation about the significance of public spaces like schools, libraries, and museums.
- "Freedom Soup," words by Tami Charles; pictures by Jacqueline Alcantro. Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian Revolution. This year, Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make the soup — Freedom Soup — just like she was taught when she was a little girl. Together, they dance and clap as they prepare the holiday feast, and Ti Gran tells Belle about the history of the soup, the history of Belle’s family, and the history of Haiti, where Belle’s family is from. This book celebrates the joy of cultural traditions. [annotation adapted from publisher]
- "I am not a Number," words by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer; pictures by Gillian Newland. When Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school, she is confused, frightened and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from despite being told to do otherwise. When she goes home for summer holidays, her parents decide never to send her away again, but where will she hide and what will happen when her parents disobey the law? [annotation from publisher]
- "Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott," words by Dee Romito; pictures by Laura Freeman. Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to fund-raise for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. Called the Club from Nowhere, Georgia was the only person who knew who baked and bought the food, and she said the money came from "nowhere" to anyone who asked. This picture book highlights a hidden figure of the civil rights movement who fueled the bus boycotts and demonstrated that one person can make a real change in her community and beyond. [annotation from publisher]