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How Teach Us All Hopes to Inspire a Student-Led Integration Movement

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Sep 25, 2017

Teach Us AllOn September 25, 1957, armed federal troops escorted nine African-American students past angry, white crowds and through the doors of Little Rock Central High School—a moment that continues to embody our nation’s struggle for true equity in education.  

Timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock school crisis, today marks the debut of the Netflix documentary Teach Us All. Directed by Sonia Lowman, the film examines the current realities of public school segregation and launches an impact campaign that will leverage community-based screenings, discussion forums, educational outreach, and more to advocate for meaningful policy changes.

We had the privilege of hosting an early screening of the documentary at the ILA 2017 Conference & Exhibits in July, and it opened the doors to an honest, difficult, rule-breaking conversation about the stubborn persistence of structural racism and implicit bias in today’s education system.

As educators, this historic anniversary is an opportunity to engage students in a meaningful conversation about the event’s impact on the civil rights movement, the resegregation of today’s schools, and the power of young students to effect social change. The following resources weave history, context, and personal narrative to provoke a powerful response in the classroom:

Teach Us All will also publish Student Movements for School Equity and Integration,” a year-long elective course that equips high school students with the historical background, communication skills, collaborative work habits, and other problem-solving tools they need to be “conscious, compassionate, effective” agents of change in their communities.

Watch the documentary on Netflix now or find a screening near you.

Alina O’Donnell is the editor of Literacy Daily.

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