Bringing Human Rights into the Classroom through Exploration of the Holocaust and Virginia’s History of Racial Injustice

Date: June 22-27, 2020
Location: Sterling, Virginia

Teachers interested in increasing their capacities to engage students in exploring human rights in their classrooms are invited to apply to this seminar, sponsored by TOLI and supported by Loudoun County Public Schools.  Teachers will explore the complexities of the Holocaust and Virginia’s history of racial injustice, such as the connection between Jim Crow laws in America and Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg laws and anti-Jewish policies. Using inquiry and writing-based pedagogy, teachers will engage with texts and primary sources, including survivor testimonies, to formulate insight into how resistance, remembrance, and reflection of tragic historical events can inspire change in today’s world. Site visits will be made to a local synagogue and African-American historical landmarks. Guest speakers will include local Holocaust survivors, Salvaged Pages author Alexandra Zapruder, Pastor Michelle Thomas of the Loudoun Freedom Center, and other notable community and academic leaders. Teachers will develop action plans to implement a Project Based Learning unit in their classrooms focused on social justice issues explored in the seminar.  By engaging with the stories of the past and present, the cohort will work together to critically analyze this painful past with an eye towards developing a pedagogy of hope.

Leaders

  • Jennifer Rodgers

    Jennifer Rodgers is a social science and global studies teacher at Dominion High School and a sixteen year teaching veteran. She is passionate about providing students with authentic opportunities to develop their capacities as informed, active, and ethical global citizens. After the events in Charlottesville in August of 2017, Rodgers refocused her efforts in the classroom to ensure prejudice, ignorance, and hate don’t take root in her students, a journey that took her to the TOLI Summer Seminar in New York in 2018. She and Nicole Korsen returned to New York for TOLI’s Leadership Seminar in the summer of 2019.

    Rodgers is the founder and director of the Loudoun International Youth Leadership Summit, a program that brings students from around the world to Loudoun County to explore global issues alongside local students. She was named the 2019 Loudoun County Teacher of the Year and the 2020 Virginia Region IV Teacher of the Year.

  • Nicole Korsen

    Nicole Korsen is a ninth-year English teacher at Dominion High School, having switched from her earlier career in corporate communications. She is a Teacher Consultant with the Shenandoah National Writing Project, a USHMM trained tour guide, and a Holocaust Educator trained through invitational programs in Washington DC (Belfer National Conference), Israel (the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem), and New York (TOLI New York seminar and Leadership Institute). Nicole’s 80-year old father is a Holocaust survivor. She has found that by engaging the next generation(s) to share in the critical responsibility to apply the lessons from this past to the issues we face today is how real change can happen, echoing the TOLI tag line that “Never Again Begins in the Classroom.” Nicole has authored two recent articles for educators stressing the importance of Holocaust Education. She has presented on Holocaust topics numerous times, including LCPS PD sessions, the LIYLS summit, and is part of the TOLI panel at the upcoming 2019 NCTE conference.

Contact

For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact info@tolinstitute.org

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)