January 8, 2015 Civil Rights Act the Subject of Four Teacher Webinars

Library of Congress and Teaching Tolerance Collaborate on Series of Free Online Workshops

Press Contact: John Sayers, Office of Communications (202) 707-9216
Public Contact: Kathy McGuigan, Educational Outreach (202) 707-8545

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the conditions that led to it and its legacy are the subjects of a powerful four-part webinar series starting January 2015. Co-facilitated by education experts from Teaching Tolerance and the Library of Congress, the series will enable participants to examine unique primary sources from the Library’s collections that illuminate the laws and practices that preceded the act and discuss teaching strategies to use in the classroom.

"We are very excited to work with Teaching Tolerance on this series," Lee Ann Potter, director of Educational Outreach at the Library of Congress, said. "Providing teachers with teaching strategies for using civil rights-related primary source materials to engage their students is an objective that both of our organizations share."

Inspired by the current Library of Congress exhibition, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom,” the webinar series will present dozens of unique primary sources from the Library’s collections that describe laws and practices in place prior to the passage of the act, coupled with teaching ideas that allow educators to prompt critical analysis and informed debate by their students.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the Library of Congress on this important webinar series,” said Maureen B. Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance. “Participating educators will have access to both the Library’s unparalleled resources and to Teaching Tolerance’s expertise in teaching about the movement. Our hope is that deeper understanding of the civil rights movement in the classroom will help inspire a new generation of citizens who are committed to equal justice and equal opportunity for all Americans.”

Each webinar, listed below, will take place at 4 pm ET. Go to bit.do/civilrights for registration information.

  • Jan. 22: Civil Rights and Analyzing Images. Participants will discuss nine essential areas that can be addressed when teaching and learning about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Participants will analyze an image from the Library’s collections and discuss questioning techniques to help students build an understanding about the complexity of the civil rights movement.
  • Feb. 19: Building Literacy Skills and Teaching about the Civil Rights Movement with Primary Sources. Participants will analyze a map and explore the map’s context—the world in which it was created and not just the world that it shows. Education experts will discuss the significance of maps, model thinking routines and highlight items from the exhibition, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom.”
  • March 19: Identifying Bias and Perspective when Teaching about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This session will examine the five essential practices for teaching about the civil rights movement identified by Teaching Tolerance – educate for empowerment, know how to talk about race, capture the unseen, tell a complicated story and connect to the present. Education experts will model how the “Circle of Viewpoints” teaching strategy can be used to identify different perspectives using a series of primary sources from the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • April 16: Selecting Primary Sources to Examine the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Primary sources can engage students in developing a deeper understanding of the act. Selecting primary sources to use in the classroom requires careful consideration, including examining the audience, context, point of view and logistics. Education experts will lead participants in selecting primary sources while discussing the goals of teaching about the civil rights movement to include events, leaders, groups, history, obstacles, tactics and connections to other movements, current events and civic participation.

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom" exhibition is on display at the Library through Sept. 12 and online here. It is made possible by a generous grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, with additional support from HISTORY for both audiovisual and educational outreach.

Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children. Teaching Tolerance provides free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and Canada. Its self-titled magazine, published three times a year, is sent to 450,000 educators, and tens of thousands of educators use Teaching Tolerance’s free curricular kits. More than 5,000 schools participate in its annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day program. Follow Teaching Tolerance on Twitter (@Tolerance_org External) and find professional development and classroom resources at www.tolerance.org External.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.

The Library of Congress is the repository of millions of primary source items relevant to the study of American history and civics. Many of these items have been digitized and are therefore freely available to teachers and students across the United States and the world. The Library’s educational outreach mission is to promote the effective classroom use of the Library’s primary sources. The Library’s website for teachers can be found at www.loc.gov/teachers/. Regular tips and resources for teachers are available on the Teaching with the Library of Congress Twitter feed (@TeachingLC).


PR 15-001
ISSN 0731-3527