Professional Learning Events

NMAAHC professional learning events are designed to stimulate your mind as a lifelong learner.

Our professional learning events are research-based and incorporate best practices in adult education, pedagogy and classroom strategies. 

NMAAHC wants educators to be inspired by the African American story and in turn share their excitement with their students! Our programs for educators range from one-day professional learning sessions to multi-day institutes.  We take pride in inspiring educators and providing tools for their teaching craft.  Join us to

  • learn more about African American history,
  • discuss strategies for seamlessly integrating African American primary sources into the classroom
  • explore methods for discussing race and racism within the school environment

 

Upcoming Events

The Immortal Henrietta Lacks: Educator Workshop
​Date: Thursday, June 29, 2017
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Location: National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, D.C.
Co-hosted with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

In 1950, Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman, went to The Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment of an aggressive cervical cancer.  Henrietta would undergo surgery and radiation in an effort to combat the disease.  During surgery, a sample of her tissue was taken without her or her family’s consent or knowledge and given to Dr. George Gey who had been searching for an immortal line of cells on which he could conduct tissue research.  Unsuccessful to date, the sample of Henrietta’s cell would give Gey the never dying cells he sought.

In October of 1951, Henrietta lost the battle against the aggressive cancer.  Her cells, however, continued to live in the Hopkins laboratory and eventually in laboratories all over the world.   The immortal line of Henrietta’s cells has been and continues to be used in medical research.  In addition to Henrietta’s legacy in medical breakthroughs, the gathering and use of her cells has led to changes in medical ethics and patient consent regulations.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) have partnered together to co-sponsor an educator workshop and curriculum kit about Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell line for middle school and high school history/social studies and science teachers.  We encourage multidisciplinary teams to apply to attend this workshop.

Sessions are being developed in collaboration with staff from NMAAHC, NHGRI, and selected Lead and Master teachers. Examples of potential sessions are listed below.

  • What are HeLa cells? The science behind the cells and the significance/contributions to science and society 
  • African Americans and the medical field (pre-1950s)
  • The Henrietta Lacks Story
  • The 1950s
  • Hands-on activities - Science session


UPDATED
REGISTRATION CLOSES on SUNDAY, JUNE 25, 2017

Register

Let's Talk: Teaching Race in the Classroom
​Date: Monday-Friday, July 10-14, 2017
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Location: National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, D.C.
 

Race is an aspect of our American culture that is often ignored, glossed over or mishandled.  Additionally, to succeed in promoting equity, tolerance, and justice, childhood is the time to address these issues by understanding children’s development and encouraging positive feelings about their racial and cultural identity, as well as others’.  Working with youth makes it incumbent that educators are prepared to address issues of race whenever they surface such as in history or social studies lessons or when current events brings them forward such as events in our recent history.

Through presentations from researchers in the field, small group discussions, and reflective exercises participants will engage in conversations about race/racism, explore ways to address issues and topics that will meet students where they are in their racial development, and practice techniques for creating safe space for difficult discussions.

 Educators will

  • learn and practice strategies for building a personal connections within their classroom
  • be introduced to and deepen their knowledge of racial identity development
  • reflect on their personal racial views, experiences, and implicit bias
  • practice facilitating interactions/discussions around racial issues by performing role-play situations
  • identify implicit bias and recognize how it affects teaching in the classroom
  • learn strategies for resilience and self-care


Due to the nature of the workshop material, the layering of activities and the sensitive nature of conversations that may develop, we require participants to commit to attending the whole week. 

REGISTRATION CLOSES on FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2017

Register

 

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Previous Events

Civil War Washington, DC:  Looking for Emancipation in the Shadow of Liberty (April 2012)

Participants investigated slavery in Washington, D.C., its impact on the Civil War, and the struggle for emancipation. Participants spent the day with scholars Mary Kay Ricks (author of Escape on The Pearl) and Kate Masur (author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle Over Equality in Washington, D.C.) discussing the principles and challenges of emancipation and the war’s impact on the nation’s capital. Participants also visited three sites, including two former slave jails, related to the history of slavery in D.C. and Virginia.

A group of educators stands in Alexandria, VA looking at a commemorative statue of the Edmonson sisters.

A group of educators stands in Alexandria, VA looking at a commemorative statue of the Edmonson sisters.

Behind the Dream: Speechwriting as a Call to Action (Learning Together Series) (January 2013)

As one of our inaugural teacher/student programs, participants investigated the famous “I Have a Dream” given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the historic 1963 March on Washington.  After a workshop on speech writing, teachers and students were treated to a Q & A session with Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a former advisor and speechwriter for King.

Participants of the Behind the Dream workshop gather around Clarence Brown, an adviser to Martin Luther King , Jr.

Educator and student participants of the Behind the Dream: Speechwriting as a Call to Action, January 2013

From 1862-1964: Examining U.S. Civil Rights Acts  (July 2014)

This learning event examined the legal history of civil rights acts in the U.S. in the years after the Civil War to up to the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act legislation.  Professor Paul Finkelman, the fifth most cited legal scholar in the country, spoke about the legal history of civil rights acts.

Let’s Talk! Teaching Race in the Classroom (July 2016)

Race is an aspect of our American culture that is often ignored, glossed over or mishandled. Additionally, to succeed in promoting equity, tolerance, and justice, childhood is the time to address these issues by understanding children’s development and encouraging positive feelings about their racial and cultural identity, as well as others’. Working with youth makes it incumbent that educators are prepared to address issues of race whenever they surface such as in history or social studies lessons or when current events brings them forward. Through presentations from researchers in the field, small group discussions, and reflective exercises participants will engage in conversations about race/racism, explore ways to address issues and topics that will meet students where they are in their racial development, and practice techniques for creating  a brave space for difficult discussions.