Mission: To help teachers and schools prepare children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy.
Background: Founded in 1991 as a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance was launched to combat the spread of hate and prejudice. The project began with a magazine, Teaching Tolerance, and films chronicling the modern civil rights movement and today encompasses a community of more than 500,000 educators who read the magazine, screen films, participate in professional development workshops and webinars, and use the Teaching Tolerance curriculum in their classrooms. All resources on the site — classroom lessons, webinars, podcasts, and policy guides, among them — are provided free to teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners who work with children in grades K-12. In all its resources and materials, Teaching Tolerance emphasizes tolerance as a way of thinking, feeling, and acting and encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. To date, materials produced by the project have won two Oscars and an Emmy, and the project has been recognized for its work by the United Nations, the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, and former President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race.
Outstanding Web Features: Visitors to the Teaching Tolerance site are invited to explore a number of different frames that inform the project's approach to social justice and civil rights education, including a set of social justice standards that serves as a roadmap to anti-bias education at every grade level; a module dedicated to the role of American slavery in the development of the United States; a module that offers critical practices for K-12 educators; a digital and civic literacy skills module; and a module dedicated to teaching the history of the civil rights movement. In addition, visitors and educators can browse materials on the site by topic (Race & Ethnicity, Religion, Ability, Class, Immigration, Gender & Sexual Identity, Bullying & Bias, Rights & Activism); explore a variety of classroom resources, including lessons, learning plans, student texts and tasks, teaching strategies, a learning plan builder, film kits, and printable posters; check out a range of professional development modules; read the latest issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine, as well as other articles and publications; participate in various calls to action; apply for an educator grant and learn more about the Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching; or get details on writing for the site.