Untaught History: Structural Racism & Resistance Curriculum


Our team is committed to empowering students, teachers, and educational leaders with instructional resources on the local history of structural racism and civil rights in Monroe County. We support students and educators in the co-creation, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum that will allow students to explore and interpret our local history through rich primary sources. We want students to be critical consumers of information, share their unique perspectives, and work with others collaboratively to make claims supported by evidence. Ultimately, we want students to be informed and engaged citizens in our community.


Every high school graduate in Monroe County will learn about our local history as well as the contemporary realities of structural racism AND have an opportunity to build a more just and equitable community through their education.

Instructional Design

  • Case Studies: This curriculum has been designed as a series of Case Studies to fit into local districts’ existing curriculum. The resources can be used as part of a Social Studies unit, in an interdisciplinary unit of instruction, or adapted to be a stand-alone unit.
  • Standards Aligned: Every case study is aligned to the New York State Social Studies Framework. Explicit references to the grade-level content are presented. The foundation of these resources is the Social Studies Practices, which are hard-wired into the instruction. There has also been careful attention to align these materials to the New York State ELA Standards.
  • Student-centered Instruction: Students read the sources, interpret the sources, and have the opportunity to be critical consumers of information. The Case Studies provide the opportunity for students to connect the past to the present through their own interpretation of sources. Teachers are guides who act as facilitators and encourage a thoughtful exchange of ideas in the classroom through restorative practices. They help students negotiate the meaning of the sources in culturally responsive and developmentally appropriate ways. Students have the opportunity to share their own ideas and experiences in the course of the instruction.
  • Students Interpret the Sources: A goal of these resources is to empower students to learn the history of their community through a thoughtful interpretation of rich primary and secondary sources. Primary sources such as interviews, county records, local housing documents, historical maps, newspaper articles, photographs, and oral history allow students to be historians and work collaboratively with other students to interpret the evidence .Importantly, students also consider the limitations of the evidence as well as what information may be missing in their inquiry. For example, students examine the sources through four separate roles focused on identifying context, reliability, main idea, and purpose in work that has been adapted from Monroe 1 BOCES.
  • Open Source Materials: These resources are produced as open-source materials because our team believes that local teachers who know their students can make thoughtful and sensitive decisions to introduce this instruction. This project puts valuable sources and instructional guidance in the hands of teachers and school district leaders to adapt and tailor to their local context. Students have different needs, and local communities have unique situations that educators can identify and respond to in a way that honors everyone.
  • Support for Teachers and Leaders: Teachers participate in a three-hour professional development session where they engage in the same learning activities as their students. Teachers and district leaders can also access further support offered through our team and follow up professional development sessions that can be tailored to specific needs as well as provide more instructional support, assessment guidance, and access to other sources and content knowledge.