March 2021 Newsletter

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March 2021 Social Science Newsletter

Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Women's History Month

womens history


On February 18th the Oregon State Board of Education approved the adoption of the 2021 Social Science Standards with integrated Ethnic Studies Standards. Although implementation of the standards is required in the 2026-2027 school year, school districts may begin to use these standards immediately.

Effectively implementing the new standards will mean the introduction of new content knowledge in social science as well as pedagogical moves that help to create an inclusive classroom. School districts, local, and national organizations offer trainings and professional development supporting the successful implementation of Ethnic Studies standards.

The Oregon Department of Education Ethnic Studies webpage includes links to additional resources to assist with implementation:

Ethnic Studies Supplemental Non-Textbooks for Teachers and Students

Ethnic Studies Library Books

Racial Justice Text Tool

Additional resources for Ethnic Studies and Women's History are listed below in this month's newsletter.


Please contact Amit Kobrowski with questions or comments.

Women History

Nevertheless, They Persisted: Women’s Voting Rights and the 19th Amendment

March 14, 2020 – December 5, 2021

Oregon’s first constitution, from the late 1850s, banned slavery but also made it illegal for free African Americans to live in the state. Not long after, in 1872, Mary Beatty, an African American woman who lived in Oregon, joined Abigail Scott Duniway, Maria Hendee, and Mrs. M.A. Lambert in their attempt to vote. Along with activists across the country, these four women brought attention to the campaign for women’s voting rights — known as “woman suffrage.”

One hundred years later, the Oregon Historical Society commemorates the bravery of those activists and many others in an original exhibition, Nevertheless, They Persisted: Women’s Voting Rights and the 19th Amendment. This exhibit will show the many ways Oregon history connects to the national history of woman suffrage and to the complex history of democracy in the United States.

Nevertheless, They Persisted focuses on the work necessary to win the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment (granting women the vote). It also invites visitors to think about subjects such as how and why political leaders have denied women the vote, how women have fought for equal rights, and how teamwork and fights across race, class, and organizing tactics have shaped this history. Through storytelling, interactive experiences, and original artifacts and documents, visitors will connect to the past and feel the struggles and triumphs of the women (and men) who demanded the vote and used their rights to shape our nation and our world.


Womens History


The Gilder Lehrman Institute is pleased to invite Oregon middle and high school teachers to free professional development on Friday, March 12.

Please join us for a virtual program on women's suffrage, featuring a lecture by John Hopkins University professor Martha Jones, followed by a short Q&A session and a 1-hour pedagogy session with Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher Lois MacMillan. 

  • Friday, March 12
  • 4 pm to 6 pm PT
  • Participating Oregon teachers will be eligible for a $50 stipend.

RSVP here and please pass this invitation along to your fellow teachers.

Womens History

A Legacy of Empowerment: Women's History Month Lesson Plans

Use these timely preK-12 lesson plans and class activities to incorporate key figures and historical events in your Women’s History Month lesson planning. This Share My Lesson collection spans topics like women’s suffrage and women’s rights and features influential women in science, social justice and sports. Read this blog for more ideas on how to make Women's History Month relevant for all students. You may also find of interest the #MeToo resource collection on combating harassment and creating inclusive classrooms.

Women’s history was first celebrated in the United States in March 1981 when Congress authorized the celebration on Women’s History Week. In 1987, upon the request of the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed a resolution to declare March Women’s History Month. Since that time, each president has continued to sign the resolution on an annual basis to continue the tradition of Women’s History Month celebrations.

Last year, August 18th marked the centennial celebration of the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote in the Untied States. Celebrate the achievements, brilliance, and legacies of the women that tranformed society and paved the road for the struggle for equality that continues today. Explore preK-12 lesson plans, resources and more including activities like:

Find more free prek-12 Women's History Month lesson plans and resources in our curated collection on women's suffrage and the 19th amendment.


iCivics Honoring Trailblazing Women

Women’s History Month is always a special celebration at iCivics. It’s a chance for us to recognize pioneering women like our founder, Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Throughout U.S. history, women have played a pivotal, yet often overlooked, role in our constitutional democracy. This month, elevate the contributions of women from our founding mothers to the suffragists to a young woman like Barbara Johns whose activism contributed to the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education. Resources Available

Japanese American

Minoru Yasui Student Contest 

This year’s contest is focused on Refugee and Immigrant Experiences. We celebrate the ideas and opinions of students in grades 6 through 12 and challenge them to write an original and thoughtful essay exploring refugee or immigrant experiences. Essays should also demonstrate an understanding of the life and legacy of Minoru Yasui, who spent over 40 years as a dedicated leader serving diverse and often marginalized communities. 

Students are encouraged to research and share meaningful stories about the conditions, challenges, and support experienced by immigrants and refugees coming to the United States. At the same time, we hope to inspire the next generation of leaders who can embrace complex issues as Min Yasui did - with courage, agility, and thoughtfulness. The deadline for submission is March 12, 2021.

For more information, please go to the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project website: Contact Jennifer Fang, Director of Education, Japanese American Museum of Oregon ( with questions. 

Jennifer Fang, Ph.D. | she/her/hers

Director of Education



March 9, 2021 | 4:30-6pm, 2 PDUs available |


In recent years, white nationalist and other anti-democratic rhetoric and behavior have increasingly made its way into mainstream public discourse and school spaces.

In this session, educators will hear from Joseph Lowndes, a Political Science professor at the University of Oregon who will discuss the history and rise of white nationalist and anti-democratic movements and their relevancy in Oregon. Jessica Acee from the Western States Center will then share tools and strategies educators can use to navigate current events and concerning comments in the classroom. The program will conclude with an opportunity for teachers to practice these skills in breakout rooms and time for Q&A.

This session is brought to you in partnership with Western States Center.

*This program is the first of two aimed to support educators in understanding contemporary threats to American democracy and ways to navigate classroom conversations. The second program, Confronting Conspiracy Theories in the Classroom is on March 31 from 4:30 – 6pm.

After RSVPing, you will receive an email 24 hours prior to the event with a zoom link. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this event, please contact

Due to limited space, we must give priority to current K – 12 educators. Please send an email if you are not a teacher but would like to be on the waiting list. The program will also be recorded and uploaded to our youtube page for anyone to watch.


Bob & Marilyn Ridgley Scholarship

The application for the 2021 Bob & Marilyn Ridgley Classroom Law Project Scholarship is now open.

This scholarship is open to high school seniors in Oregon who have participated in any Classroom Law Project programs, in the classroom or in competitions, and provides up to $10,000 over four years for college. Learn more about eligibility requirements and apply HERE.

Applications are due April 4, 2021. 


Jewish fed

Uncovering The Hidden History of Jews and Antisemitism in Oregon

In this time of reckoning with our state’s grim legacy of discrimination and hate, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has partnered with allies to create a series of public programs to educate the greater community about the history of discrimination in our state and learn how, as people of good will, to come together to confront hate.

Thursday, March 18, 2021 7:00 pm Via Zoom

FREE with Registration

Econ georgia

The Great Migration and Economics (VIRTUAL)

Grades 9-12
Thursday, March 18th, 2021
1:00-3:00pm PST

A lengthy list of push and pull factors led to 6 million African Americans migrating from the American South to points North and West between 1910 and 1970 with the goal of finding a better life for themselves and their families. When they arrived, they faced new forms of racism woven into the very tools meant to afford those that work hard a slice of the American Dream. Those impediments began an ever-widening wealth gap that impact generations far removed from the original policies. Today, this issue demands our attention as so many people of color are denied the full license to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Join Brett Burkey of the Florida Council on Economic Education as he takes you through a new lesson on the social and economic impacts of this era of U.S. History and the implications for today.

Audience:  Economics and U.S. History Teachers, Grades 9-12

This program is through the Georgia Council on Economic Education. When prompted we have been directed to join as "independent school" on the registration form.

400 souls

Book Review: Four Hundred Souls

Edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain, the book includes contributions from ninety historians, authors, journalists, and poets. Divided into short "chapters", the essays wind through history in five-year increments. The ten sections, from the arrival of the White Lion in Virginia through the origins of Black Lives Matter are neatly divided into forty year blocs of history punctuated with poetry from a contemporary writer. 

The essays explore the social and political history of the United States through the experience and perspective of Black individuals often told in their own words. The book is an excellent supplement for U.S. History classrooms and as a resource in support of the newly adopted 2021 Social Science Standards.

While the reading level is best suited for late middle school and above, the pages on Oregon history by Portland author Mitchell Jackson (Survival Math) provide an excellent overview and framework for an exploration into local history that connect with elementary standards (3.11, 3.18, 4.13, and 4.17).

Read Across America

Read Across America Week

Uplifting inclusive stories allowing kids across the country to see themselves reflected in a book. Join us in making reading fun for every reader.

Learning For Justice (Formally Teaching Tolerance)

Including diverse voices is a priority in K–12 classrooms, and we’ve developed a unique model to make it easier: Reading Diversity. (This model may look familiar: It’s a new version of an existing tool called Appendix D.)

Traditionally, tools that aid text selection have focused on quantitative and qualitative measures like complexity, word and sentence length, cohesion, language features and knowledge demands. But these tools do not include diversity and representation, critical literacy, or reader and task as part of the selection criteria.  

Reading Diversity is different. This model promotes a multi-dimensional approach to text selection that prioritizes critical literacy, cultural responsiveness and complexity.

We have designed two versions of the Reading Diversity model as two editable PDF tools educators can download, complete, save and share. 


Learning for Justice - Teaching Tolerance