History UnErased's mission is simple: putting LGBT+ history in its rightful place -- the classroom. And the key to the mission's success is the work of History UnErased: providing educators with the training and resources they need to contextualize LGBT+ history with proficiency and confidence.
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 curriculum that includes the historical path and progression of these topics, contextualized within their intersections with concurrent events, to allow for evidence-based, academic discourse about LGBT+ inclusive topics and help students make connections to the information that surrounds them in today's world.
Students Are at the Center of It All
The core of 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 media 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 at the Center of It All Too
The role of classroom teachers has become 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 classroom practice.
Mandated education policy that calls for the inclusion of LGBT+ history, although well-intentioned, does not include systems of support to ensure the efficacy of the policy is implemented. The inherent complexities of implementation - the what, where, and how - is especially challenging considering most educators and administrators have not had the opportunity to engage with LGBT+ history within their own academic experience. Without high-quality professional development and instructional resources, it is possible, and indeed quite probable, that compliance efforts may result in inaccuracies and/or a trivializing of LGBT+ history within the lens of a presumed identity. Additionally, the presence of mandated policy also conveys the illusion that the efficacy of the policy has been implemented, which may result in little to no curricular advancements.
History UnErased's mission and work is a grassroots approach providing a framework to antecede the aforementioned problems and support efforts to advance curriculum.
Since its founding in 2015, History UnErased has garnered support from the Library of Congress, National Park Service, National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), and more. Download the NCSS Position Statement on Contextualizing LGBT History PDF ⬇️
History UnErased's Co-founders
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. Debra's work with History UnErased has been featured in EdWeek, Reuters, the Library of Congress, NPR NYC, Windy City Times, The Hill Opinion, and more.
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's work with History UnErased has been featured in EdWeek, Reuters, the Library of Congress, Association of Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD), Windy City Times, and more. Miriam received a B.S. in Politics from Brandeis University and M.S. TESL from SUNY Albany.
Steven LaBounty-McNair - Executive Board Chair
Educator, curriculum developer, and state policy maker, 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.
Warren Blumenfeld - Consultant and Curriculum Content Contributor
Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld is former Associate Professor in the School of Education, Iowa State University, and current Lecturer in the College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Also author of The What, the So What, and the Now What of Social Justice Education (Peter Lang Publishers), Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press); editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense) and co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Beacon Press).
Dr. Blumenfeld was an active member of the Student Anti-War Movement in the 1960s, the Gay Liberation Front of San Jose State University, California and Washington, D.C. in the early 1970s, Queer Nation of the 1990s, and ACT UP Boston (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) 1989-1994. Warren consistently understands the intersectionality of social identities and the numerous forms of oppression and takes a holistic social justice approach to progressive social change.
Jayson Caluag - Graphic Designer
Jayson is a graphic designer and branding specialist from the Philippines. The son of a former teacher, Jayson began earning money for his calligraphy work on student diplomas at the age of 12. And before graduating from college, he had his first exhibit. As a career choice, Jayson shifted to digital media after earning his degree in Fine Arts.The influence of Jayson's early start in traditional art is woven into his creativity, and his talent is woven into every aspect of History UnErased's instructional materials. A hallmark ofJayson's work is his extensive research to ensure every detail is historically accurate, educative, and reflective of History UnErased's values.
Marilyn Valiente - Administrative Assistant
Marilyn is from the Philippines, and after 18 years she has re-entered the workforce and devoted herself to advancing History UnErased's mission (while raising three children). In her own words: I am dedicated to this mission because I believe education is the best way to change the world. I am so happy to be a part of a community working to end stigma and open minds by bringing LGBT+ history into the classroom. I believe this will make our community better for all of our children, whether they are LGBT+ or not.
Johan Hoyos - Lead Web Application Development
Johan has designed, created, and implemented innovative technology and web application solutions that sing! Johan applies his repertoire of architectural patterns to ensure History UnErased’s presentation to the world is streamlined and meaningful. Johan is a small business owner whose skills and excellent attention to detail provide high-quality technological solutions. The HUE team is tremendously proud of him! Fun fact: Johan was a former student of History UnErased's co-founders.
Professional development providers are highly skilled facilitators who weave their K-12 teaching experience into History UnErased's curriculum services.