The high point of the year for MECA’s Teach Palestine Project was our June 2019 trip to Palestine. Palestinian American educator Samia Shoman and Teach Palestine coordinator Jody Sokolower led a diverse group of 13 K-12 teachers on an intense 10-day exploration of the impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian youth and their families. The goal of the trip was to understand Palestine in the context of colonial conquest, relate that understanding back to the history and current reality of the United States, and to then develop, implement and write curriculum on Palestine. Follow-up to the trip included a 2-day curriculum workshop in November, and one-on-one meetings with the teachers as they developed and taught their Palestine units. In 2020, the teachers will write about their curriculum for the Teach Palestine website and present at teacher conferences. Their curriculum will reach at least 800 students/year plus teachers who access their curriculum through the website, staff development, and/or conferences.
Other Teach Palestine accomplishments in 2019:
- January: Launched the Teach Palestine website, which includes curriculum, resources, and relevant articles.
- February: Led a Palestine workshop for 20 staff members at the Chinatown Youth Center and Banteay Srei, an organization for Southeast Asian young women.
- April: Organized and co-led a collaborative workshop with the Arab Youth Organization and Urban Peace on displacement, exile, and criminalization of youth in Bay Area and Palestine. Thirty-five youth from both organizations participated.
- May: With the Xicano Institute for Teaching and Organizing, co-facilitated a one-day workshop on the connections between militarized border zones in Palestine and at the US/Mexico border to a binational group of 30 teachers, administrators, and students, Douglas, AZ.
- July: With a teacher/participant from the Teacher Trip to Palestine, presented “Bringing Palestine Home: Building Curriculum that Ties Your Students to Palestine” at Free Minds, Free People Conference, Minneapolis, MN. There were 43 participants.
- October: With teacher/participants from the Teacher Trip to Palestine, presented a teaching Palestine workshop at the Teachers 4 Social Justice Conference, San Francisco. There were 19 participants.
- In addition, Teach Palestine made presentations in more than a dozen middle and high school classrooms, and several university classrooms.