Texas Insights - March 2014

Volume IV, Issue 4
 

What’s New?

Join the Texas State Historical Association at the 116th Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting will take place at the Houston Omni Hotel, March 1 – 3, 2012. K-12 educators who attend the meeting and conference have the opportunity to earn CPE hours. This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Darlene Clark Hine, the Inaugural Director of African American History at Northwestern University, will speak on Civil Rights in Texas in the Sawyer Auditorium in Hannah Hall at Texas Southern University. With a generous grant from Humanities Texas, the Keynote Address is Free and open to the public. As an added bonus, thanks to a gift from a Houston area member of the TSHA Board of Directors, the registration rate for K-12 educators, which is usually $35.00, has been lowered to only $15.00 for the full 2 ½ days of the content-oriented conference. This is an excellent opportunity for educators to brush up on their Texas History Content. Visit TeachingTexas.org for additional information. 
 The program is now available for the 118th Annual Meeting of the Texas State Historical Association. Make plans to attend, March 6-8, 2014 at the Wyndham San Antonio River Walk Hotel. The meeting presents an opportunity for 45 sessions on Texas history, exhibitors of both new and rare books, a silent auction, and a live auction hosted by Heritage Auctions. Teachers are able to register to attend all three days of the meeting for only $25.00 per person. Teachers can earn CPE hours, each day, including a special session just for educators.The Battleship TEXAS is the only Dreadnought in existence that fought in both World War I and World War II. Commissioned in 1914, she is credited with the introduction and innovation of advances in gunnery, aviation, and radar. She helped to protect the Allied forces throughout World War II, during the North Africa invasion, at Omaha Beach on D-Day, and at the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Battleship TEXAS was deactivated in 1946, and is now docked at the San Jacinto Battleground near Houston, Texas, where it became the first permanent battleship museum. Two upcoming Battleship TEXAS events will help educators spark interest within their students during Texas History Month.

The Battleship TEXAS is the only Dreadnought in existence that fought in both World War I and World War II. Commissioned in 1914, she is credited with the introduction and innovation of advances in gunnery, aviation, and radar. She helped to protect the Allied forces throughout World War II, during the North Africa invasion, at Omaha Beach on D-Day, and at the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Battleship TEXAS was deactivated in 1946, and is now docked at the San Jacinto Battleground near Houston, Texas, where it became the first permanent battleship museum. Two upcoming Battleship TEXAS events will help educators spark interest within their students during Texas History Month.

The Texas Battleship Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife will host a celebration to honor the Battleship TEXAS, her legendary history and the men who served onboard her. The festival will be held on the grounds surrounding the Battleship TEXAS and the San Jacinto Monument, and will feature educational exhibits, A World War I and World War II historical zone, ship tours, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Family Zone of activities, concessions, and live entertainment throughout the day, including Robert Earl Keen, Reckless Kelly, Charlie Robison, and Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis. The day will end in a celebratory fireworks display. This public event is a rare opportunity to pay homage to the last remaining dreadnought that served in both world wars and her living crew members. Visit TeachingTexas.org for more information on this event.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum would like to invite you to visit and explore a new exhibit, Battleship TEXAS. This exhibit celebrates the legacy of the USS TEXAS, the most powerful naval weapon at the time of its debut. This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the battleship’s commission by displaying images and artifacts from its 30 years of service that tell the story of life on board as well as the United States’ evolution into a global force. Oral histories of those who served on the battleship provide personal reflections of the men whose lives were shaped by the people, places and events of the time, making them part of history. The Battleship Texas exhibition is in collaboration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The exhibit runs February 1 - April 13, 2014 in the 3rd Floor Rotunda Gallery. For additional information, visit TeachingTexas.org.
 

Teaching Texas Facebook Page and Contest

 The Texas State Historical Association and the Region 13 Education Service Center are proud to present the Discovering Texas History Conference, January 23-24, 2014 at The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. This event, for 4th and 7th grade Texas history educators, will focus on the history of Texas from 1900 to the present. Participants will be able to choose from a variety of breakout session addressing historical content, geography, economics, civics, teaching strategies, and resources. Participants will also enjoy general sessions by noted scholars such as Greg Cantrell from Texas Christian University, Texas State Historian Bill O’ Neal, and Don Carleton of the Dolph Briscoe Center. Lunch I and tours of the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, and the Texas General Land Office Reading Room are included with each registration. Participants will receive 12 CPE or 12 GT credit hours for attending the event. Visit TeachingTexas.org for more informationTeachingTexas.org is proud to announce the creation of its new Facebook page.  It has been created to provide an efficient way to get time sensitive, new events and collections in to the hands of Texas educators. There are two different ways you can “like” our page. The first is to go to www.teachingtexas.org and click on the “like” button on the left hand sidebar. The second way is to go to Facebook and search for Teaching Texas. The Texas State Historical Association will also give a prize to one lucky Facebook friend. You can enter by simply “liking” the page. Once you like the page, or if you have already liked the page, leave a comment on the Contest announcement post on Facebook, telling us the Texas history topic that you feel you need more resources on. Once we reach 250 likes, one winner will be drawn, to receive a free one-year K-12 Educator Membership to TSHA. Visit the Teaching Texas Facebook page to enter.TeachingTexas.org is proud to announce the creation of its new Facebook page.  It has been created to provide an efficient way to get time sensitive, new events and collections in to the hands of Texas educators. There are two different ways you can “like” our page. The first is to go to www.teachingtexas.org and click on the “like” button on the left hand sidebar. The second way is to go to Facebook and search for Teaching Texas. The Texas State Historical Association will also give a prize to one lucky Facebook friend. You can enter by simply “liking” the page. Once you like the page, or if you have already liked the page, leave a comment on the Contest announcement post on Facebook, telling us the Texas history topic that you feel you need more resources on. We would also appriciate each of you sharing the TeachingTexas Facebook page with other Texas educators. Once we reach 300 likes, one winner will be drawn, to receive a free one-year K-12 Educator Membership to TSHA. Visit the Teaching Texas Facebook page to enter.
 

 

Old Stories, New Voices

 The Texas State Historical Association is proud to announce that this year’s Old Stories, New Voices Intercultural Youth Camp will be offered to students all over Texas. Since 2006, Texas youth from the ages of 10-12 have participated in a life-changing historical journey by participating in a week of hands-on learning, sharing and fun at historic Fort McKavett. This camp provides opportunities for children from diverse backgrounds to learn about American Indian, Hispanic, African American and Anglo contributions to the history and culture of Texas. Students from the Houston, San Antonio areas attend, June 14-20, 2014, and students from the Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, areas attend, June 21-27, 2014. Fees to attend camp may be covered by parents, sponsored by historical groups, or through the limited scholarship funds TSHA has available. Camp fees cover transportation, meals, activities, crafts, camp T-shirts and hats. Space is limited to only 52 students per week. Registration deadline is May 1, 2014. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.

Featured Institution

Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
By Lori Rill
Education Specialist and Teacher

The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.

With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.

The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.

The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.

In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.

With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.

Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.

The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.

Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.

Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.

Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.

The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.

Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.

Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.

In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.By Lori Rill
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Education Specialist and Teacher
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.
With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.
The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.
In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.
With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.
Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.
The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.
Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.
Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.
Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.
Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.
Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.
In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.
By Lori Rill
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Education Specialist and Teacher
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.
With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.
The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.
In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.
With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.
Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.
The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.
Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.
Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.
Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.
Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.
Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.
In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.
By Lori Rill
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Education Specialist and Teacher
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.
With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.
The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.
In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.
With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.
Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.
The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.
Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.
Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.
Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.
Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.
Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.
In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.
By Lori Rill
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Education Specialist and Teacher
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.
With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.
The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.
In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.
With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.
Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.
The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.
Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.
Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.
Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.
Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.
Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.
In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.
By Lori Rill
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Education Specialist and Teacher
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.
With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.
The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.
In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.
With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.
Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.
The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.
Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.
Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.
Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.
Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.
Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.
In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.
By Lori Rill
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Education Specialist and Teacher
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.
With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.
The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.
In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.
With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.
Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.
The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.
Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.
Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.
Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.
Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.
Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.
In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.
By Lori Rill
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Education Specialist and Teacher
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC), established in 2009 with the passing of Senate bill 482, became a state advisory commission to maintain the following goals:  to educate teachers and students to better understand the consequences of hatred, bigotry and apathy; to ensure availability of relevant resources for use by students, educators and the general public; to imbue individuals with a sense of responsibility to uphold human values in the face of genocidal travesty; and, to increase awareness of the horrific acts perpetrated and recognize the people who stood up to preserve human sanctity during the times these atrocities occurred.
With fifteen commissioners appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus, regions across Texas are represented by the commissioners who assemble a wide range of backgrounds, professions, institutions, and memoirs. Drawing on the combination of their own experiences, they hold themselves accountable for leading the way toward a future free from intolerance and the destruction of people grounded on national, ethnic, racial or religious traits. They hold many positions in organizations throughout Texas, from executives in companies to presidential appointees on committees to professors at universities, and they exercise their influence for the benefit of education and awareness. In addition, the chairs of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Veterans Commission serve as ad hoc representatives.
The mission of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides and to educate and inspire all citizens in the prevention of future atrocities. Recalling the Holocaust and incidences of genocide worldwide can be highly distressing, but in order to make a significant impact from this history, it is vital to apply this specialized knowledge for a greater purpose. The accomplishments of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission help to minimize repeating these events in history for the benefit of future generations of humankind.
The Commission’s website, http://thgc.texas.gov/, compiles resources for teachers and students as well as information for the public about supporting the commission. Friends of THGC is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization created to support and help fund the programs and projects such as those that follow. Fortunately, volunteers all across Texas actively participate in and promote the activities of the Commission.
In 2010, the Texas Education Agency adopted new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass murder based on recommendations made by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Now included as part of the curriculum of Texas public schools, the THGC’s textbook subcommittee, consisting of Commissioner Martin Fein and dozens of volunteers across Texas, reviewed pertinent textbooks used in the state, analyzed the content, and recommended results to provide teachers with insights for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide and for identifying resources useful in teaching these topics. The THGC is continuing to develop and offer free resources to assist educators in teaching this necessary content.
With its success last year, as part of the commemoration of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission again will host a video competition open to all Texas students in grades 6-12.  This year’s theme, “I Was a Bystander,” encourages students to self-reflect on times when they stayed silent in the face of hurtful behavior and to think about what they might do in similar situations in the future. Video submissions for this year’s contest are due by March 14, 2014. Scholarship prizes of winning entrants will be awarded to students and their teachers in Texas schools.  Information, including the contest flyer and rules, as well as last year’s winning video, can be found on the website. Winning projects by middle school and high school students will be announced in April.
Another recent accomplishment of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, is the Texas Liberators Oral History Project, which currently includes 19 personal accounts, recorded in video format, of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps. Through the digitization of oral histories, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission acknowledges those men who risked their lives for the freedom of others, while at the same time promoting the Commission’s mission--to educate about the Holocaust and the injustice of genocide. The Texas Liberators Oral History Project expands the understanding of historically significant events during World War II--the liberation of concentration camps throughout Europe-- so that the deeds of these soldiers can be honored, and we can teach as well as learn from their war experiences.
The videos of these oral histories are available as a free resource that educators and the public can explore for Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs.  Portions of the recorded testimonies from the Texas Liberators Oral History Project are available on THGC’s website. The full videos can be found on THGC’s YouTube site. THGC is currently creating lesson plans and teacher guides to accompany the use of the oral histories in the classroom.
Additional assistance for schools to implement Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs is THGC’s digital poster series based on Dr. Gregory Stanton’s Eight Stages of Genocide model.  Used by Holocaust organizations across the world, the model not only explains how genocide begins, but it also emphasizes prevention. These posters can be displayed on PowerPoint or used in other digital formats; educators can also print them out for display in the classroom.
Accompanying the Eight Stages of Genocide posters are lesson plans facilitating instruction and learning for World Geography Studies, United States History Studies Since Reconstruction, and World History Studies classes.  These lesson plans are engaging, interactive, and were created to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Intended to supplement textbooks and other instructional material provided to the students regarding the Holocaust, educators are encouraged to use these resources.
Every month, THGC’s website features a Commissioner’s Letter posted by one of the commissioners or staff with updates, related topics, and links to new projects. This spring we may feature an exhibit that the Commission established:  Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide. This exhibit is traveling to eight cities in Texas between 2013 and 2015.  Thirty-four panels examining the Bosnian genocide will be displayed in various venues; the exhibit has just left Midland, TX, and is expected to be set up at the University of Texas at Tyler, March 12th through April 7th. Citizens visiting these exhibits can learn more about the Bosnian genocide, while teachers are also encouraged to arrange for students to attend and may download and use lessons plans especially created for the exhibit, which will assist meeting TEKS related to genocide as well as complement the teaching of history at UT.
The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission offers grant funds for organizations and projects that assist the mission to support Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness programs. Funding is available for a variety of programs. Among other projects, funds may be used for classroom education, workshops, recording of oral histories, and memorials and exhibits.  Grants are open to permanent nonprofit institutions headquartered in the state of Texas; schools and educational institutions will have a separate application process to be determined.
Among the most popular visits to THGC’s website are for resources for education, such as the video contest, grants, TEKS and lesson plans that provide easy access to educational materials on the Holocaust and other genocides to meet Texas teachers’ needs. Upcoming will be workshops and modules centered on teaching about the Holocaust that can be accessed electronically and will present interactive teacher activities, primary sources including texts and videos, and instructional resources for teachers to use in the classroom. Additionally, collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the inclusion of ethics in the core curriculum for universities and colleges in Texas is planned. Constructing learning opportunities and offering them to teachers will spread the impact of the work of the THGC.
Launching projects with educational experts and institutions across the nation will tell stories about historic events that were witnessed, awareness that is being promoted, memorials or exhibits that need to be shared, or memoirs that can be restored. Not only can teachers use THGC’s site to help students learn about the Holocaust and genocide, but they can tell more stories about history and foster the mission to reduce hatred and perhaps bullying, and to promote responsibility for the preservation of an informed, inspired legacy. Any moment might become a token to learn from and pass along to others. Then, students and teachers and those they can influence can continue what THGC began.
In the next few weeks, THGC will be expecting entries for the video contest commemorating Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in April. The success of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission comes from visits to the website to show that history is, in fact, important to learn from and teach about today. THGC encourages Texas educators to be the forerunners in teaching lessons from these stories in history, from the Holocaust and around the world. Follow THGC on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for educational resources, general information, announcements and upcoming projects.
Have you ever gone to a museum and wanted to touch the artifacts or costumes?   Or for those who are still a kid at heart, wanted to talk with the costumed manikins?  On a more serious note, have you ever asked yourself, “What is my connection to this place?”  At Texas Parks and Wildlife, all of these experiences are possible.   The Buffalo Soldier Heritage and Outreach Program (BSOHP) is an educational outreach program in State Parks that features costumed interpreters, interactive exhibits, and offers participants unique cultural and historical experiences.
      Primarily focused on the African American military experience in Texas, BSHOP also features the life and times of Tejanos, Native Americans, and Frontier Women.  Targeting ethnic minorities and urban populations, the program’s goal is to create connections for audiences unfamiliar with State Parks and Historic Sites, as well as offer new historical insights. The story of the Buffalo Soldiers, the first African American men to serve in the regular Army in the late 19th Century, is an excellent example of an important part of Texas History seldom elaborated in traditional textbooks. By sharing these stories, TPWD opens doors into communities that once questioned their stake in Parks. 
      BSHOP has three component programs to accomplish this task.  First is the educational outreach program, Texas Buffalo Soldiers.  This program brings the museum to the audience and features authentic military camps, uniforms, horses, and even firing demonstrations.  This unique vehicle provides BSHOP the opportunity to bring interactive programming to audiences ranging from traditional classrooms to State Parks.
      The second program component is the Blazing New Trails program. In addition to lack of being stakeholders, studies have found that urban and some ethnic minorities also shy away due to lack of outdoor experience.  Blazing New Trails partners with multiple entities, such as the National Buffalo Soldier Museum, to offer these audiences the opportunity to experience State Parks and Historic sites with a minimal investment of their time or monetary resources.  For many participants, this represents the first time they have ever camped, cooked over an open fire, or even played baseball.
      Finally, for those looking for expert advice about the Buffalo Soldiers and other Texas History components, the program offers research assistance.  Exploring Texas Roots is the program’s research component. Tasked originally with identifying African American Heritage sites, this program now also provides support to educators and community groups who desire to share these stories as well.
      If interested in learning more about the Buffalo Soldiers and all the other voices of Texas History, please feel free to pay a visit to the following events:
March
2-3 “Life’s Better Outside: Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo” Houston
23-24 “McKavett Western Heritage Days” Fort McKavett State Historic Site
April
27-28 “Life’s Better Outside: Buccaneer Day’s” Corpus Christie
May
3-5 “Buffalo Soldier Education Day and Open House” Lake Brownwood State Park
18-19 “Buffalo Soldier and Frontier Education Day” Lake Arrowhead State Park
August
11 “Buffalo Soldier and Texas State Parks Heritage Expo” Old Settlers Park, Round Rock Have you ever gone to a museum and wanted to touch the artifacts or costumes?   Or for those who are still a kid at heart, wanted to talk with the costumed manikins?  On a more serious note, have you ever asked yourself, “What is my connection to this place?”  At Texas Parks and Wildlife, all of these experiences are possible.   The Buffalo Soldier Heritage and Outreach Program (BSOHP) is an educational outreach program in State Parks that features costumed interpreters, interactive exhibits, and offers participants unique cultural and historical experiences.
      Primarily focused on the African American military experience in Texas, BSHOP also features the life and times of Tejanos, Native Americans, and Frontier Women.  Targeting ethnic minorities and urban populations, the program’s goal is to create connections for audiences unfamiliar with State Parks and Historic Sites, as well as offer new historical insights. The story of the Buffalo Soldiers, the first African American men to serve in the regular Army in the late 19th Century, is an excellent example of an important part of Texas History seldom elaborated in traditional textbooks. By sharing these stories, TPWD opens doors into communities that once questioned their stake in Parks. 
      BSHOP has three component programs to accomplish this task.  First is the educational outreach program, Texas Buffalo Soldiers.  This program brings the museum to the audience and features authentic military camps, uniforms, horses, and even firing demonstrations.  This unique vehicle provides BSHOP the opportunity to bring interactive programming to audiences ranging from traditional classrooms to State Parks.
      The second program component is the Blazing New Trails program. In addition to lack of being stakeholders, studies have found that urban and some ethnic minorities also shy away due to lack of outdoor experience.  Blazing New Trails partners with multiple entities, such as the National Buffalo Soldier Museum, to offer these audiences the opportunity to experience State Parks and Historic sites with a minimal investment of their time or monetary resources.  For many participants, this represents the first time they have ever camped, cooked over an open fire, or even played baseball.
      Finally, for those looking for expert advice about the Buffalo Soldiers and other Texas History components, the program offers research assistance.  Exploring Texas Roots is the program’s research component. Tasked originally with identifying African American Heritage sites, this program now also provides support to educators and community groups who desire to share these stories as well.
      If interested in learning more about the Buffalo Soldiers and all the other voices of Texas History, please feel free to pay a visit to the following events:
March
2-3 “Life’s Better Outside: Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo” Houston
23-24 “McKavett Western Heritage Days” Fort McKavett State Historic Site
April
27-28 “Life’s Better Outside: Buccaneer Day’s” Corpus Christie
May
3-5 “Buffalo Soldier Education Day and Open House” Lake Brownwood State Park
18-19 “Buffalo Soldier and Frontier Education Day” Lake Arrowhead State Park
August
11 “Buffalo Soldier and Texas State Parks Heritage Expo” Old Settlers Park, Round Rock Have you ever gone to a museum and wanted to touch the artifacts or costumes?   Or for those who are still a kid at heart, wanted to talk with the costumed manikins?  On a more serious note, have you ever asked yourself, “What is my connection to this place?”  At Texas Parks and Wildlife, all of these experiences are possible.   The Buffalo Soldier Heritage and Outreach Program (BSOHP) is an educational outreach program in State Parks that features costumed interpreters, interactive exhibits, and offers participants unique cultural and historical experiences.
      Primarily focused on the African American military experience in Texas, BSHOP also features the life and times of Tejanos, Native Americans, and Frontier Women.  Targeting ethnic minorities and urban populations, the program’s goal is to create connections for audiences unfamiliar with State Parks and Historic Sites, as well as offer new historical insights. The story of the Buffalo Soldiers, the first African American men to serve in the regular Army in the late 19th Century, is an excellent example of an important part of Texas History seldom elaborated in traditional textbooks. By sharing these stories, TPWD opens doors into communities that once questioned their stake in Parks. 
      BSHOP has three component programs to accomplish this task.  First is the educational outreach program, Texas Buffalo Soldiers.  This program brings the museum to the audience and features authentic military camps, uniforms, horses, and even firing demonstrations.  This unique vehicle provides BSHOP the opportunity to bring interactive programming to audiences ranging from traditional classrooms to State Parks.
      The second program component is the Blazing New Trails program. In addition to lack of being stakeholders, studies have found that urban and some ethnic minorities also shy away due to lack of outdoor experience.  Blazing New Trails partners with multiple entities, such as the National Buffalo Soldier Museum, to offer these audiences the opportunity to experience State Parks and Historic sites with a minimal investment of their time or monetary resources.  For many participants, this represents the first time they have ever camped, cooked over an open fire, or even played baseball.
      Finally, for those looking for expert advice about the Buffalo Soldiers and other Texas History components, the program offers research assistance.  Exploring Texas Roots is the program’s research component. Tasked originally with identifying African American Heritage sites, this program now also provides support to educators and community groups who desire to share these stories as well.
      If interested in learning more about the Buffalo Soldiers and all the other voices of Texas History, please feel free to pay a visit to the following events:
March
2-3 “Life’s Better Outside: Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo” Houston
23-24 “McKavett Western Heritage Days” Fort McKavett State Historic Site
April
27-28 “Life’s Better Outside: Buccaneer Day’s” Corpus Christie
May
3-5 “Buffalo Soldier Education Day and Open House” Lake Brownwood State Park
18-19 “Buffalo Soldier and Frontier Education Day” Lake Arrowhead State Park
August
11 “Buffalo Soldier and Texas State Parks Heritage Expo” Old Settlers Park, Round Rock  Have you ever gone to a museum and wanted to touch the artifacts or costumes?   Or for those who are still a kid at heart, wanted to talk with the costumed manikins?  On a more serious note, have you ever asked yourself, “What is my connection to this place?”  At Texas Parks and Wildlife, all of these experiences are possible.   The Buffalo Soldier Heritage and Outreach Program (BSOHP) is an educational outreach program in State Parks that features costumed interpreters, interactive exhibits, and offers participants unique cultural and historical experiences.
      Primarily focused on the African American military experience in Texas, BSHOP also features the life and times of Tejanos, Native Americans, and Frontier Women.  Targeting ethnic minorities and urban populations, the program’s goal is to create connections for audiences unfamiliar with State Parks and Historic Sites, as well as offer new historical insights. The story of the Buffalo Soldiers, the first African American men to serve in the regular Army in the late 19th Century, is an excellent example of an important part of Texas History seldom elaborated in traditional textbooks. By sharing these stories, TPWD opens doors into communities that once questioned their stake in Parks. 
      BSHOP has three component programs to accomplish this task.  First is the educational outreach program, Texas Buffalo Soldiers.  This program brings the museum to the audience and features authentic military camps, uniforms, horses, and even firing demonstrations.  This unique vehicle provides BSHOP the opportunity to bring interactive programming to audiences ranging from traditional classrooms to State Parks.
      The second program component is the Blazing New Trails program. In addition to lack of being stakeholders, studies have found that urban and some ethnic minorities also shy away due to lack of outdoor experience.  Blazing New Trails partners with multiple entities, such as the National Buffalo Soldier Museum, to offer these audiences the opportunity to experience State Parks and Historic sites with a minimal investment of their time or monetary resources.  For many participants, this represents the first time they have ever camped, cooked over an open fire, or even played baseball.
      Finally, for those looking for expert advice about the Buffalo Soldiers and other Texas History components, the program offers research assistance.  Exploring Texas Roots is the program’s research component. Tasked originally with identifying African American Heritage sites, this program now also provides support to educators and community groups who desire to share these stories as well.
      If interested in learning more about the Buffalo Soldiers and all the other voices of Texas History, please feel free to pay a visit to the following events:
March
2-3 “Life’s Better Outside: Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo” Houston
23-24 “McKavett Western Heritage Days” Fort McKavett State Historic Site
April
27-28 “Life’s Better Outside: Buccaneer Day’s” Corpus Christie
May
3-5 “Buffalo Soldier Education Day and Open House” Lake Brownwood State Park
18-19 “Buffalo Soldier and Frontier Education Day” Lake Arrowhead State Park
August
11 “Buffalo Soldier and Texas State Parks Heritage Expo” Old Settlers Park, Roun

Historian's Corner

Women's Activism
 
By Rebecca Sharpless
Texas Christian University

Texas has long been an integral part of the United States, and much of its history reflects trends elsewhere in the nation. Women's activism is no exception. The period between 1870 and 1920 marked an unprecedented period of women's public involvement in Texas as in the nation.

While women have never been totally silenced, they began publicly agitating in the U.S. in the 1830s over the proposed abolition of slavery, and that quickly segued into the question of women's rights. Although much of the women's rights movement begun at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, and remained centered in the Northeast, it filtered out across the country nonetheless. At the same time, the temperance movement battled alcohol abuse. Texas women voiced their support for temperance as early as the 1840s, writing and even speaking in anti-alcohol meetings.

After the Civil War, Texas became increasingly urban, making it easier for like-minded women to make common cause. During the startling economic and demographic shifts of the Gilded Age, social abuses in need of reform abounded. Temperance continued to be of keen interest. In the 1880s, more than 1,500 African American and white women belonged to chapters of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union across the state. WCTU members lobbied not only for the banning of alcohol but for various other social reforms and even woman suffrage. They met success with local-option elections for banning alcohol.

The Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, founded in 1897, channeled much of the energy of women activists, who were often comparatively well educated and with sufficient leisure to think about matters outside their immediate families. While many members joined study clubs to consider literature, visual arts, and music, they also turned to social issues. They worked to establish public libraries and kindergartens, to secure adequate funding for the Texas school system, and to create an industrial school for women (now Texas Woman's University) as a counterpart to Texas A & M. Aware of changing economic conditions, the urban club women strove to help farm women improve their lives, and they spent a great deal of time trying to alleviate the conditions of child labor and to improve the criminal-justice system for minors. They labored to get clean water supplies and pass pure food laws in Texas, eliminating additives such as formaldehyde from the food supply. These reformers called their work "municipal housekeeping," aware that some Texans would not view favorably women outside their homes. By invoking their roles as women creating clean, tidy, and wholesome homes, they argued that their reform work was merely an extension of their God-given tasks as wives and especially mothers. They were improving society on behalf of theirs and other women's children.

Although they proved effective lobbyists, women reformers knew that their efforts would be more successful if they could vote in elections. After several attempts to organize, Texas women created the Texas Woman Suffrage Association in 1912, again with the idea that women needed the vote to uphold their rightful positions in society. Dallas journalist Pauline Periwinkle wrote, "As no mother can be sure that she is protecting her own home unless she sees that all other homes are protected, the duties and responsibilities of the domestic woman have arrived at such a pass that she needs suffrage in self-defense." Ninety-eight suffrage organizations eventually spread throughout Texas. In 1918, the Texas legislature passed a legislative act allowing women to vote in primary elections. Since in Texas only Democrats were elected to statewide office, voting in the Democratic election was tantamount to voting in the general election. While Texas men did not extend the vote for women in the general elections, Texans did vote to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, the first (and one of only three) southern states to do so. As full citizens and voters, Texas women entered the political arena with new standing.

Featured Lesson

As you begin to plan your lesson on the suffrage movement in Texas, make sure to check out Teaching with Documents: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment from the National Archives and Records Administration. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change in the Constitution. The records of the National Archives and Records Administration reveal much of this struggle, using primary source documents and analysis.

Texas History News

Several opportunities for Texas history educators and students are available or are on the near horizon:

 The Fort McKavett State Historic Site invites you to celebrate history at the annual West Texas Heritage Days, March 21-22, 2014. Activities throughout the day will include: cavalry, artillery and infantry action drills, Native American living history performances, Buffalo Soldiers, Buffalo Hunters, and other frontier skills demonstrations.  For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.

 

Live the History! The San Jacinto Museum of History Association would like to invite you to participate in the annual San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment, on April 21, 2012. This year’s event marks the 176th Anniversary of Texas Independence and record attendance is anticipated! More than 20,000 visitors joined us at the San Jacinto Monument for the Festival in 2011. Highlights of the Festival include family entertainment, living history demonstrations, a children’s area and vendors reflecting all things Texas. In the late afternoon, the largest battle reenactment in the state celebrates the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.  
Live the History! The San Jacinto Museum of History Association would like to invite you to participate in the annual San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment, on April 21, 2012. This year’s event marks the 176th Anniversary of Texas Independence and record attendance is anticipated! More than 20,000 visitors joined us at the San Jacinto Monument for the Festival in 2011. Highlights of the Festival include family entertainment, living history demonstrations, a children’s area and vendors reflecting all things Texas. In the late afternoon, the largest battle reenactment in the state celebrates the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.   Live the History! The San Jacinto Museum of History Association would like to invite you to participate in the annual San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment, on April 21, 2012. This year’s event marks the 176th Anniversary of Texas Independence and record attendance is anticipated! More than 20,000 visitors joined us at the San Jacinto Monument for the Festival in 2011. Highlights of the Festival include family entertainment, living history demonstrations, a children’s area and vendors reflecting all things Texas. In the late afternoon, the largest battle reenactment in the state celebrates the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.    
 The Panhandle Plain Historical Museum is proud to present the Wonders of Weather day, January 24, 2014. Students and teachers will participate in weather-related activities and hear speakers. Teachers and students will also have the opportunity to explore their newest temporary exhibit, Wild and Wacky Weather on the Panhandle Plains before it closes on February 1, 2014. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.To make space for the arrival of the 2014-2015 Texas Almanac, the Texas State Historical Association is offering a special classroom teacher opportunity while supplies last. Teachers and school librarians can receive a class set, 36 copies, of the 2012-2013 Texas Almanac for only $50.00, the cost of shipping! Supplies are limited, and will be distributed on a first come basis. Visit the TSHA website for additional information.To make space for the arrival of the 2014-2015 Texas Almanac, the Texas State Historical Association is offering a special classroom teacher opportunity while supplies last. Teachers and school librarians can receive a class set, 36 copies, of the 2012-2013 Texas Almanac for only $50.00, the cost of shipping! Supplies are limited, and will be distributed on a first come basis. Visit the TSHA website for additional information.To make space for the arrival of the 2014-2015 Texas Almanac, the Texas State Historical Association is offering a special classroom teacher opportunity while supplies last. Teachers and school librarians can receive a class set, 36 copies, of the 2012-2013 Texas Almanac for only $50.00, the cost of shipping! Supplies are limited, and will be distributed on a first come basis. Visit the TSHA website for additional information.To make space for the arrival of the 2014-2015 Texas Almanac, the Texas State Historical Association is offering a special classroom teacher opportunity while supplies last. Teachers and school librarians can receive a class set, 36 copies, of the 2012-2013 Texas Almanac for only $50.00, the cost of shipping! Supplies are limited, and will be distributed on a first come basis. Visit the TSHA website for additional information.To make space for the arrival of the 2014-2015 Texas Almanac, the Texas State Historical Association is offering a special classroom teacher opportunity while supplies last. Teachers and school librarians can receive a class set, 36 copies, of the 2012-2013 Texas Almanac for only $50.00, the cost of shipping! Supplies are limited, and will be distributed on a first come basis. Visit the TSHA website for additional information.To make space for the arrival of the 2014-2015 Texas Almanac, the Texas State Historical Association is offering a special classroom teacher opportunity while supplies last. Teachers and school librarians can receive a class set, 36 copies, of the 2012-2013 Texas Almanac for only $50.00, the cost of shipping! Supplies are limited, and will be distributed on a first come basis. Visit the TSHA website for additional information.On March 29, 2014, the Crossroads of Texas Living History Association and Presidio La Bahia will stage a reenactment of the occupation of the fort by Col. Fannin and the Goliad Massacre of Co. Fannin and his men at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad. During the day, battles will take place around the fort.  Visit TeachingTexas.org for more information.On March 29, 2014, the Crossroads of Texas Living History Association and Presidio La Bahia will stage a reenactment of the occupation of the fort by Col. Fannin and the Goliad Massacre of Co. Fannin and his men at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad. During the day, battles will take place around the fort.  Visit TeachingTexas.org for more information.

Join the George Ranch Historical Park as they recreate the Runaway Scrape. This event recreates the fleeing of the Texians from Santa Anna’s army marching east towards San Jacinto. The event will take place on April 4, 2014 in Houston. Visit TeachingTexas.org for additional information.   The Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum would like to invite you to attend their Annual Cotton and Rural History Conference hosted by Collin College. The event will take place on April 5, 2014 and will feature Sven Beckert, from Harvard University. Registration is required for each participant and lunch is included. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.
 
Texas State University’s Center for the Study of the Southwest would like to invite you to attend, Lone Star Unionism and Dissent, April 5, 2014. Support for the Union in Texas and rejection of the Confederacy did not solely consist of Sam Houston’s famous refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. Before, during, and after the Civil War, many Texans of all social, economic, and ethnic groups actively opposed the dominant southern slaveocracy for a variety of reasons. This symposium explores the diversity of that opposition and challenges the myth of a monolithic pro-Confederate Texas. Visit TeachingTexas.org for more information.
 
  Join the Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site and Texas Parks and Wildlife for their annual anniversary celebration, April 11-12, 2014. The site will turn back time, inviting living historians and historic re-enactors to take us back to the 1860s and 1870s. Meet and interact with the live-action, historical displays, and their characters, which will include: camels, longhorns, gunfights, blacksmithing, dutch oven cooking, dance lessons, and candle making. The cavalry, infantry, and artillery will show off their skills throughout the day. For additional information, visit TeachingTexas.org.

The annual San Jacinto Symposium is the premier academic event for the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground. This event will take place on April 12, 2014 and will feature speakers: Frank de la Teja, Craig Roell, Francis Galan, Raul Ramos, Omar Valerio-Jimenez, and James Crisp. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.    Explore the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in an interactive, self-guided tour through the official National Park Service app. Visit five NPS historic sites – Mission Concepcion, Mission Espada, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and the Espada Aqueduct. Complete with narration, immersive 360 images, maps, 3D laser scans and illustrations, the app is great for planning a trip to the mission or to virtually explore the sites from anywhere. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.

 

  Join the San Antonio Living History Association interpreters as they portray the events of the famous Battle of the Alamo, March 809, 2014. Visitors will enjoy period music and dancing, flintlock arms and cannon demonstrations, and engage in interactive living history exhibits and skills demonstration.Celebrate the anniversary of Texas independence with the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground as they present their annual San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment, at the San Jacinto Monument, April 26, 2014. This festival will provide family entertainment, living history demonstrations, a children’s area and vendors reflecting all things Texas. The battle reenactment is one of the largest in Texas, and is sure to put the event in perspective. Visit TeachingTexas.org for additional information.Celebrate the anniversary of Texas independence with the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground as they present their annual San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment, at the San Jacinto Monument, April 26, 2014. The battle reenactment is one of the largest in Texas. Visit TeachingTexas.org for additional information.

 Join the San Antonio Living History Association interpreters as they portray the events of the famous Battle of the Alamo, March 809, 2014. Visitors will enjoy period music and dancing, flintlock arms and cannon demonstrations, and engage in interactive living history exhibits and skills demonstration.   Enjoy a free trial of the new e-book series from Rosen Learning. The Texas Spotlight series covers topics such as the Alamo, Exploration, Texas Geography, Important Texas Leaders, and more. The e-books are available in both English and Spanish. The free trial is available through April 15, 2014. For additional information and ordering information, visit TeachingTexas.org.Enjoy a free trial of the new e-book series from Rosen Learning. The Texas Spotlight series covers topics such as the Alamo, Exploration, Texas Geography, Important Texas Leaders, and more. The e-books are available in both English and Spanish. The free trial is available through April 15, 2014. For additional information and ordering information, visit TeachingTexas.org.

 

Join Houston Arts and Media for their annual History Road Rally, May 4, 2014. Rain or shine, HAM will have you driving all around the inner loop of Houston, competing to solve the most puzzles, taking pictures of historic sites, and returning for free food and fun! Bring your smart phone, your GPS and your smartest friends. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.

Texas Insights is a publication of the Texas State Historical Association
in cooperation with the University of North Texas.

Texas State Historical Association
1155 Union Circle #311580
Denton, TX 76203-5017

Stephen Cure - Editor
JoNeita Kelly - Associate Editor

 

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