“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
This Won’t Be Easy
Important conversations never are. But our students — and colleagues — learn as much from what we do (or don’t do) as what we say (or don’t say). The events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia are likely weighing heavy on your students’ hearts and minds, just as they are on yours. You haven’t had the opportunity to learn their names, set up a structure, or lay the foundation for learning this year, but you can still create a space for your students to begin to unpack race, face history, and grapple with the lasting legacies of the past.
In classrooms throughout the country, the stories of extraordinary women — from Abigail Adams to Carrie Chapman Catt, to Rosa Parks and Dolores Huerta — are taught and celebrated as part of Women’s History Month. The argument for Women’s History Month is that it provides an opportunity for the exploration and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. It’s a compelling argument.
But unless women’s history is integrated throughout the curriculum consistently and authentically, the vitality of women’s participation in U.S. history will be lost on students.
To truly understand American history, diverse women’s stories must be a part of it. Women have always been active participants in American society, and have experiences as complex as the women themselves.