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Buffalo Public Schools Receives 1619 Project-Pulitzer Education Center Grant

  • Buffalo Public Schools received a 1619 Project-Pulitzer Education Center Grant to develop new 1619 educational resources as part of their inaugural national educator network. 

    The 1619 Project Education Network is a four-year initiative to build a national network of educators who will design, teach, and share curriculum based on The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project and Pulitzer Center education resources. 

    As part of this virtual program, teams made up of educators, administrators, and curriculum/content specialists will receive monetary grants of $5,000 to support exploration of key questions of racial justice and other pressing issues in a community that also includes award-winning journalists and the Pulitzer Center education team. 

    Network teams will develop standards-aligned units that engage their students in The 1619 Project, and other journalism and historical sources, to strengthen connections to existing curricula, practice media literacy skills, and build empathy.

    Educators from each team will then implement units with classes, evaluate student outcomes, and share their projects publicly through Pulitzer Center’s lesson library and virtual professional development programs. 

    The 1619 Project is a series of essays and creative works created by New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, published in August 2019, that reexamines the legacy of enslavement in the United States and highlights the contributions of Black Americans to the nation’s democracy. 

    The grant the Buffalo school system received will build on efforts the district has already undertaken to evaluate ways that The 1619 Project could complement district curricula for grades 7-12. At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, staff from the district’s Office of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives partnered with educators to create a rich array of lessons for students in grades 7-12 that draw from 1619 materials and expand upon the project’s mission of inquiry and justice for its students. 

    “For the first time in the Buffalo Public Schools, we are teaching the history of Black people from a platform of historical accuracy and the inclusion of the marginalized narratives and voices of Black, brown, and indigenous people,” said Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash. “We recognize and empower all our students to know the unvarnished truth.”