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Teach the Movement


In 2011, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report detailing how comprehensively states were performing in regards to teaching Civil Rights curriculum. The report graded each state on an "A" to "F" scale and found that 32 of the 50 states in the U.S. were teaching at an "F" level, neither covering nor supporting the teaching of the Civil Rights Movement for their students.

Washington, unfortunately, was one of those states.

In response to this, Whitman College, in conjunction with the Southern Poverty Law Center, initiated the Teach the Movement (TTM) program which trains and sends student-volunteers into public schools to help reinforce the learning of social justice and civil rights curriculum at various levels of K-12 education.

In 2014, a follow-up report by the Southern Poverty Law Center produced a more satisfying results. Still, much of the United States is lacking in teaching the depth of the Civil Rights Movement. Due in-part to the TTM Program, Washington was upgraded to a "D." Though there has been improvement, our state still teaches less than 20 percent of the recommended content standards in our schools.

In conjunction with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement is proud to be implementing our own branch of the Teach the Movement program in Spokane Public Schools. Coming Spring 2016, Whitworth University will be sending students to teach the one-day teaching tolerance curriculum at The Community School, John R. Rogers and North Central High Schools.

Student volunteers will be provided with training and will be matched with partners at their school placements. Training will be held during the first two weeks of February 2016 with volunteers beginning in schools the third week of February 2016.

For students who are entering the field of education, volunteering for TTM is a great opportunity to gain teaching experience. This program is a way for students to earn service-learning or volunteer hours, and potential internship credit.

Apply to Teach the Movement

Curriculum Documents

In the News

  • Whitworth students introduce civil rights program ( more...

Additional Information

For more information, we suggest the following links:

Dornsife Center for Community Engagement logoTeaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, logo

Student Workers

Margot Spindola
Teach the Movement Coordinator

Austriauna Brooks
Teach the Movement Coordinator