Challenge Islamophobia Project Summer 2018 Updates


We are deeply disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Muslim Ban. It is the consequence of years of dehumanization of Muslims by the Islamophobia Industry and war profiteers since 9/11. We add our voice to the movement to overturn this disastrous and dangerous decision. Our contribution is to offer teachers and students lessons that help us all rethink Islamophobia and how we fight it moving forward.

We want to update you on our Challenge Islamophobia project. We had a busy spring and look forward to increasing our reach over the next six months.

In case you are new to the project, Teaching for Change launched “Islamophobia: a people’s history teaching guide” in late 2017. While there are plenty of teaching lessons available on Islamic texts, beliefs, and rituals, our curriculum emphasizes connections between Islamophobia, anti-Black, and anti-immigrant racism in U.S. history. Our lessons are unique because we combine narrative-changing content with inclusive and participatory teaching strategies. The seven lessons are:

The first lesson, “Black Muslims in the United States: An Introductory Activity” is posted and you can read a teaching article about the lesson called “Rethinking Islamophobia” at Rethinking Schools Magazine.

As soon as students return to the classroom in mid-August, we will pilot all of the remaining lessons in middle school and high school classrooms to gather feedback from teachers and students. All of the lessons will be online for free download in the new school year.

We have introduced the project and shared lessons with more than 400 people, including 130 teachers and 89 students. We will reach at least 270 more teachers within the next six months.

Past workshops and events:

  • Roosevelt High School, Washington, DC

  • Kennedy High School, Silver Spring, MD

  • Free Minds, Free People Conference, Baltimore, MD

  • Concordia Forum, Quebec, Canada

  • National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA

  • Luke C. Moore High School, Washington, DC

  • Maybelline and Marcus McCoy’s house party, Washington, DC

  • Katie Gaab house party, Washington, DC

  • Alisha and Eric Lacey house party, Oakton, VA

  • Georgetown University, Washington, DC

  • Grassroots Alexandria, Alexandria, VA

  • Howard University, Washington, DC

  • TAG Philadelphia Education for Liberation Conference, Philadelphia, PA

  • Kol HaLev Reconstructionist Synagogue, Baltimore, MD

  • Allied Media Conference, Detroit, MI

Upcoming presentations:

  • DOE/Iowa State Teacher Workshop on Middle East Studies, Des Moines, Iowa (August 2018)

  • Social Justice Teachers Conference, San Francisco, CA (October 2018)

  • DCPS Global Education Conference (October 2018)

  • National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, Chicago, IL (November 2018)

  • Race Forward Conference, Detroit, MI (November 2018)

Upcoming Collaborations:

  • Multiple teacher workshops in the Baltimore area in collaboration with the Reginald Lewis Museum, Baltimore Algebra Project, Teachers Democracy Project, BMORE: Baltimore Movement of Rank-and-File Teachers, the Department of Teaching and Learning at University of Maryland, and the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Loyola University Maryland.

  • Workshops in Detroit and Los Angeles in collaboration with the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative

In addition to sharing our lessons with more teachers and students, we are creating a Challenge Islamophobia teacher facilitator network throughout the country to facilitate workshops and also be available as regional contacts for teacher and school districts. We are convening an advisory group to help guide our work moving forward and will share more information about them in the next update.

Help us share our lessons with more teachers and students

We have raised $51,080 to date. A list of all of our supporters is included below and we thank each of them for their commitment to this project.

We need $75,000 to fund workshops and conference sessions to share our lessons with more teachers and students over the next six months. Please donate and share this link with friends and colleagues who will support this work:

Thank you to our donors*


California Charitable Foundation

Robert W. Deutsch Foundation

Betty Lee & Dudley P. Digges Memorial Fund

Emergent Fund, a partnership between Solidaire Network, Women Donors Network, Threshold Foundation, and the Democracy Alliance


Alisha and Eric Lacey

Kirsten Jacobson


Margy Elliott

Kol HaLev

Rachel Mumford

Hannah McMillan

Zeenat White



Sarah Archer-Beck

Nancy and Omar Kader

Julie and Sam Mudrick


Karen Abouraya


Monet Cooper

Zoe Couacaud

Todd and Martha Ethington

Younus Mirza

Levita Mondie

Judy Richardson

Leslie Steed


Holly Beal

Rebecca Cooper

Kathryn Gaab

Ida Jones

Paula Kurrus

Asia Lyons

Emily Roderer

Eliza Selander

Ingrid Yance



Agnes Meo

Renate Milewich

*updated June 2018

Mykella Palmer