UVA Summit Helping Educators Learn How to Better Teach the Civil Rights Movement
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Teachers from across the commonwealth are in Charlottesville this week for a series of talks on civil rights and social justice.
The University of Virginia Curry School of Education is helping educators learn how to teach their students about the civil rights movement. Through readings, panels and group discussions, the summer institute shows teachers how to advocate for equity in their own classrooms and ways to incorporate race education in their own curriculums.
"We're used to talking about marching in the street and sit-ins and so forth, but educators were involved in the movement, I believe, by mentoring their students and teaching them lessons about social justice, by supporting them in their own activism," said Dr. Tondra Loder-Jackson.
Loder-Jackson is a professor of education foundations at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She came to Charlottesville for the Teachers in the Movement summit to discuss the role teachers still play in social movements.
Albemarle High School teacher Lanika Barnes is one of more than two-dozen teachers participating in the summit.
"I don't believe that the movement ended in 1968 with the assassination of Dr. King. I think we are always in a movement," Barnes said. "My hope is to be able to integrate social movements and social sciences into the pure sciences or physical sciences.”
By teaching an accurate and complete history, these teachers hope their students will be able to acknowledge inequities that still exist and change them.
"They're the generation that carries it forward, so if they're well equipped with an accurate history and ways that they can reach out and bridge some of those gaps then I think we're carrying it on," said Dana Ainsworth, Miller School.
Friday is the final day of the weeklong conference. Educator and Peabody Award-winning hip hop artist Gabriel Asheru Benn will give the final talk.