Teaching for Change hosted Enid Lee for a Harriet Tubman Fellowship for the month of July, made possible by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.
While in D.C., Enid conferred with Teaching for Change staff and board about their programs, contributed to the new editions of Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching and Beyond Heroes and Holidays, prepared blog posts on key issues in education and current events, and spoke at a number of events.
The visit began with the celebration of Teaching for Change’s 25th anniversary where Enid spoke to the audience about the significance of the organization’s work in these times.
On July 3, Enid was the featured speaker for the monthly A.C.T.O.R. event at Busboys and Poets. Despite being a holiday weekend and stormy weather, there was a full house to hear Enid discuss the representation of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in children’s books. While examining the story of Tubman’s fight for freedom, Enid highlighted the fact that “there were a lot of Harriets” as Rosemarie and Rachel Harding note in their book, Remnants: A Memoir of Spirit, Activism and Mothering. Attendees were invited to look for and name the many Harriets in our communities today. Enid explained,
I want us to include all the people going back and forth to rescue our humanity from the many ways in which our humanity is lost—lost because of the discriminatory and oppressive treatment of a person's gender, race, sexuality, class, or language. Harriets have a lot of work to do. It’s important that we have as many Harriets as possible doing the work; that we acknowledge the many Harriets doing the work; and that we don’t leave out anyone in the struggle.
Enid also offered presentations to teachers in an institute hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and for the Washington Teachers’ Union. Both groups purchased copies of Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guides to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development for each participant.
While in D.C., Enid visited historic sites and events including the Frederick Douglass Home (National Park Service), the Wax Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the African American Civil War Museum, the March on Washington Film Festival, and more. In each case, Enid shared ideas for preparing students to visit these sites with a critical lens and follow-up activities.