History UnErased's mission is simple: putting LGBT+ history in its rightful place -- the classroom.
But the key to the mission's success is not simple. For educators to be proficient and confident with this new academic content, they need training, ongoing mentorship, and instructional resources that contextualize LGBT+ history within the story of America.
Why is History UnErased's Mission Important?
Rising generations of students, teachers, and staff are surrounded by LGBT+ topics in the media, pop culture, politics, and current legislation. The time is now to implement a more accurate, non-judgmental, age-appropriate curriculum that includes the historical path and progression of these topics contextualized within their intersections with concurrent events and connections to today's world. This allows for evidence-based, academic discourse about LGBT+ inclusive topics and encourages students to engage in critical analysis and historical thinking skills while normalizing LGBT+ identitites.
Students Are at the Center of It All
History UnErased's mission is providing all students with a more complete (and complex) story of America framed within three types of learning outcomes: acquisition of civics-based content knowledge, transferable life skills, and enduring essential learnings. An example of each of these is the following: understanding the process of filing a court case and explaining the rationale for its progression through the judicial system; developing literacy skills and citing evidence to support conclusions; understanding the evolving nature of America's democratic ideals of equality and who "We, the people" includes.
Teachers Are Critical
The role of classroom teachers is more important than ever before -- and their input is critical. History UnErased's mission includes an ideological principle of honoring and respecting teachers' experience and expertise by listening to what they need and providing professional learning and instructional resources that are responsive to the complexities of thier classroom practice.
About History UnErased
History UnErased's Co-founders
Miriam Morgenstern and Debra Fowler
Teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum developer and entrepreneur, Miriam has had over 30 years to develop her philosophy that children and adults are natural learners, and in the optimum environment, they have the capacity for deep learning and boundless creativity. Since co-founding History UnErased in 2015, Miriam has worked closely with other educators to develop student-centered curricula exploring topics ranging from gender roles in colonial Jamestown to the economic impact of discrimination today. Prior to this, Miriam was a classroom teacher of history and English as a second language in a large urban high school, where she developed innovative programs for students and acted as a mentor for new teachers.
Miriam developed and taught the nation's first and only Cambodian Culture and Conflict course and created international teacher exchange programs that are still in place today, and co-authored Intersections and Connections Curriculum and complementing instructional resources. Miriam is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching excellence and was chosen by the government of Cambodia to facilitate Cambodia's first Genocide National Teacher Training Program in Phnom Penh. Miriam received a B.S. in Politics from Brandeis University and M.S. TESL from SUNY Albany.
Debra's path to the education profession began with her service in the United States Army as a Korean linguist - prior to the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. (Her story is featured in Vincent Cianni’s award-winning book Gays in the Military). After teaching English at a private academy on the outskirts of Ulsan, South Korea, she returned to the United States in 2004 and spent the next decade teaching English and a variety of humanities courses to new immigrants and refugees at a large, urban, truly diverse high school. During that time, she produced two documentary films, Hard Truth, Levity and Hope (2011) and Through Gay Eyes (2013) to promote awareness of individuals who are ignored, marginalized or excluded within the public school system.
The personal and professional experiences of being a U.S. Army veteran, author, documentary filmmaker, veteran (former) classroom teacher, public speaker, and wife of a behavior analyst are woven into her approach to advance History UnErased's mission. Since 2014, Debra has been providing professional development training in a variety of contexts on the inclusion of LGBT+ history, speaking at various conferences and public events, and developing and co-authoring Intersections and Connections Curriculum and complementing instructional resources.
Debra has authored LGBT+ inclusive supplemental resources for New York City public schools in partnership with Making Gay History - The Podcast, participated in the most recent revision of the Massachusetts History and Social Sciences Curriculum Framework as the LGBT+ history Content Advisor, and co-authored the first National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Position Statement on LGBT+ history with Dr. Steven LaBounty-McNair. Debra was NBC Out’s PRIDE 30 honoree in 2017, is an Advisory Board member with ONE Archives Foundation and the Smithsonian Museum of American History LGBTQ Digital Archives Project, and a member of the Queer History South Consortium.
Dr. Steven LaBounty-McNair - Director of Professional Learning and Development
Educator, curriculum developer, and state policymaker, Steven has spent the last decade in the public education sector working to understand policy development and implementation processes with a focus on yielding more equitable outcomes for all. His dissertation was a 2019 finalist for the Dean's Medal for Outstanding Doctoral Work at Northeastern University, which concluded the need for high-quality curriculum materials and professional learning experiences in both pre- and in-service educational settings to achieve more equitable representation of LGBT+ identities in educative communities. The purpose of Steven's narrative inquiry study was to understand how teachers' stories reflected the degree in which they give voice or contribute to the silence around LGBT+ inclusive topics in history and the social studies.
History UnErased's professional development facilitators are highly-skilled educators who weave their teaching experience into the intellectual preparation experience and ensure educators are well-prepared to introduce LGBT+ inclusive curriculum with proficiency and confidence.
Read the NCSS Position Statement on Contextualizing LGBT+ History within the Social Studies Curriculum, co-authored by History UnErased's Executive Director and Director of Professional Learning and Development HERE