View as Webpage


100 Teaching for Black Lives

Study Groups

2022–2023 School Year

The Zinn Education Project is in our third year of nurturing communities of antiracist educators by sponsoring Teaching for Black Lives Study Groups across the United States. Each study group receives:

  • The Rethinking Schools Teaching for Black Lives book and a Rethinking Schools magazine subscription for each participant
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Access to a national network of teacher study groups

This school year, more than 100 study groups are investigating what it means to teach for Black lives. One member told us they are excited to use the study group to develop “tangible ways that we can make our classrooms center anti-racism, inclusion, and equity.”

Learn More

Study Groups Snapshots

This year’s study groups represent 30 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Additionally, 16 alumni groups continue their work from past years. A majority of the participants are teachers. Several groups include administrators, librarians, counselors, and support staff. 

Below are a few study group snapshots: 

The New York School for the Deaf has a study group of 71 members that includes the staff from their elementary and secondary schools. They meet once a month “to be empowered with knowledge to support and educate their student population in a culturally relevant manner.” 

A group of administrators in the School District of Philadelphia is meeting to dig deep in a community of peers about their role and responsibility in dismantling structural racism. They meet twice a month to share experiences and brainstorm ways to collaborate across departments.

The W. E. B. Du Bois Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, serves primarily African American students in grades 6–12. Teachers at the school have formed a study group to prepare lessons tailored to their students’ needs, knowledge, and interests. They meet monthly and will share lessons they write with the full staff.

Read More

Personal Reflections

Why Now?

Although every study group has defined collective goals, we asked members: “Why is being in this group important to you, particularly at this time? What do you hope to find in this group that you are not finding elsewhere?”

Here are some of their responses:

My Black and Brown students were impacted disproportionately by the pandemic. This work is more critical than ever and I see them struggling so much.

Thanks to moving and COVID, I don’t have my typical radical networks to engage in for this kind of learning. I’ve been trying to read on my own, but recognize I learn a lot more in dialogue with others and I miss those connections. It’s a lonely and politically scary time to be a radical educator without her own supportive circles.

I do this for my young self and for my students, who deserve affirmation of their brilliance and beauty. I am hoping to deepen my own practices in the classroom, especially as I create curriculum.

This group is important to me so I can find the validation and support I need as I battle difficult conversations and oppressive systems in my school district.

I teach in a rural community where teaching for Black lives is seen as a threat. I hope to find a group to grow with, in disrupting and re-humanizing spaces in and beyond my classroom to extend the values and practices of Teaching for Black Lives at an institutional and cultural level in my school, district, and community instead of being siloed into a classroom.

Living in Minneapolis, especially in 2020, it felt like there was such a powerful surge of hope and change for Black lives and then it fizzled out. I’m still trying to educate myself and others to do better. It’s important to me because I want my students of color and my Black students to feel seen and validated in schools.

Welcome Event

Teaching for Black Lives Editors

In late September, the Zinn Education Project hosted the first gathering for over 1,000 study group coordinators and members. Participants listened to a conversation facilitated by Ayva Thomas, with the Teaching for Black Lives editors, Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian, and Wayne Au. 

Study group members reflected on the conversation together in breakout groups and met educators from across the country.

One participant told us:

I feel grounded now in how the year will go. I’m also really excited about the extra opportunities that the Zinn Education Project is providing for us. I was thinking this would be a regular book club, but it’s so much more!

Study Groups in Action

Betsy Golden and Anissa Martin-Conyers

A professor at William Paterson University of New Jersey recruited a group of six educators from a K8 school to meet virtually once a week in the morning before school. During a meeting in October, members shared their thoughts about the Space for Young Black Women: An Interview with Candice Valenzuela in Teaching for Black Lives

An alumni group from Wyandotte High School (912) in Kansas City had two teacher colleagues repurpose a generic district-wide “DEI” training into a more relevant building-wide PD (100+ teachers and staff) on restorative justice.

The framing was supported by two readings: the introduction in Teaching for Black Lives and the Rethinking Schools magazine article How One Elementary School Sparked a Citywide Movement to Make Black Student Lives Matter. Schoolwide discipline data was presented, disaggregated by race. In small groups, participants had conversations based on the Rethinking Schools article, Restorative Justice: What It Is and Is Not.

Bring Study Groups

to More Schools

Defend Teaching for Black Lives

LyonsTownshipT4BL image

Teaching for Black Lives study groups are the best defense against right-wing fear tactics and anti-history education legislation. Teachers gain a learning community on anti-racist education and the collective courage to teach truthfully.

We need your support to double the number of Teaching for Black Lives study groups in the next school year. Donate today.

Double the Number of Study Groups

Vote on CREDO

Support Teaching People’s History

The Zinn Education Project is one of CREDO’s grant recipients for the month of December. This can make a huge difference. Your vote determines how big of a grant we’ll receive.

This funding allows us to continue to offer free people’s history lessons to teachers and students — lessons on Reconstruction, policing, climate change, voter suppression, reparations, and more. CREDO funding also allows us to defend the right to teach honestly in the face of anti-history education laws.

Vote for ZEP on CREDO
Donate Now



PO BOX 73038, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20056 

202-588-7205 |

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram