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2019

August is for vacations, air conditioned rooms, and sipping cold drinks at the beach, but what some people may not know is that August was a pivotal month for civil rights activists.

On August 28th 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech to thousands of activists in Washington D.C. The simple yet powerful words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech united people from all over the country so that together, we can achieve an idyllic version of the America Dr. Martin King Jr. had envisioned.

Several months after the speech was made, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went on to become one of the youngest people to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Despite the enormity of the speech and his status as an iconic leader of the Civil Rights Movement, the path to equality was still a hard paved road. In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Selma to Montgomery March, a 53-mile 3-day walk, to advocate for the rights of African Americans to vote. The protest was a success; as a result of their efforts, President Lyndon B. Johnson called on Congress to pass federal legislation that would protect all African Americans’ right to vote.

So much has changed in the past few decades after the speech was made. Let’s take this moment to remember all that we have accomplished, while continuing to pave a brighter future for all people.

On behalf of the Diversity & Inclusion Council at Macmillan Learning, we invite you to celebrate Women’s Equality Day this Monday, August 26th!

 

After nationwide women’s rights marches in the 1970s, Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. The observance of Women’s Equality Day commemorates the certification of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote almost 100 years ago, and calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

 

The Macmillan Learning D&I team has assembled a number of resources for you to explore and learn more about Women’s Equality Day. 

 

Film Screening!

There are many ways to engage students on Women's Equality Day. One of the things we are doing with Macmillan Learning employees, are screenings of the film “He Named Me Malala” on Monday, August 26th. The documentary tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager who was targeted by the Taliban for her advocacy of girls’ education. 

 

The film is currently streaming on NetflixYou can license the film for $75 for large groups on campus.

 

The History Behind Women’s Equality Day

 

 

Women’s Equality Today

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources

 

 

 

 

Tell us in the comments if you are talking about Women's Equality Day with your students! We'd love to hear your ideas to engage students on History!

 

Best,

Nikki Jones and the Macmillan Learning Diversity & Inclusion Council

 

Nikki is the Senior Director of Marketing Outreach and Diversity Initiatives at Macmillan Learning

Prep time for fall semester and I’m in that familiar August headspace where I’m questioning how I can make certain “must teach” topics more enjoyable for the students and for me! I’ve written here before about struggling with topics that are not of great interest to me (see, for example, my blog from one year ago “Teaching the American Revolution”). As I plan for fall semester I’m tackling another area that I find difficult: the Industrial Revolution. 

 

I’ve decided this year to focus largely on local history in my coverage of the Industrial Revolution. My campus is only seven miles from Slater Mill, the first water-powered cotton mill in the United States. In spite of our proximity to this historic location, the majority of my students have no understanding of its significance. As a result I’m challenging myself to a quick study of local history over this next month. My hope is that students will become more interested in the topics of the Industrial Revolution if they can relate it to a place that some of them pass by everyday. A field trip would be fun but does not fit into the already overflowing US History I syllabus.

 

I started my preparation with a search for quality primary sources and quickly found the 1917 publication  “Pawtucket Past and Present,” a document billed as a “promotional and advertising tool” for the Rhode Island city. While the entire publication at more than sixty pages is too large to use in class, sections of the document vividly depict a popular interpretation of how cotton production came to be in Rhode Island. I’m hopeful that the prose -- intended to sell the city to readers -- will capture the historical imagination of my students in ways that my lectures have failed in previous years. Here is a sample:

 

In a shop in what was then Quaker Lane and is now East Avenue...Samuel Slater with meagre assistance began the manufacture of the Arkwright models. His pay was a dollar a day. The windows of the small shop where he worked were shuttered and the doors barred, and every effort was made to keep the project secret. His patterns were made of wool, and the motive power was furnished by a wheel laboriously turned by a negro named Primus. (10)

 

One idea I’m toying with is having students conduct on-the-spot web research in small groups and then report to the class. This short paragraph offers a starting point for the kinds of questions they could answer quickly: what was the Arkwright model? Was $1/day a decent rate for the 1790s? Why were the windows shuttered? What was the demographic makeup of Rhode Island in the early industrial period?

 

My hope is that spending the first third of our meeting time in active conversation and research about local industry will better prepare students to consider the broader, national history of industrialization covered by my lecture. A review of last year’s notes from the one class meeting I had to cover the Industrial Revolution reminded me that a 75-minute lecture did little to pique student interest. Pinning my hopes on a new approach this year!