Recorded Session: The Dream of a Common Language: What is our Role in Civic Teaching and Learning?

Recorded On: 10/13/2021

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Session Description

The Dream of a Common Language: What is our Role in Civic Teaching and Learning? is a Recorded Live Session of the 2021 AASLH Online Conference.

In the last year, cascading crises have highlighted the importance of engaging all learners in powerful civic learning. What roles should historical sites and museums play, and how can we shift our mindset to center our work? This session is meant to be the beginning of a conversation.


Chair: Sarah Jencks Director of Education and Interpretation at Ford’s Theatre Society
Twitter: @SarahJencks

Maureen Costello Executive Director at Center for Anti-Racist Education
Maureen’s career in education began over four decades ago when she began teaching high school history. After leaving the classroom, she went on to direct education programs that advanced history, civic engagement and social justice. She has a deep belief in the transformative power of education to change not only individual trajectories but to shape the world. As director of Teaching Tolerance, she oversaw the Teaching Hard History: American Slavery project, whose framework has influenced school-based and museum-based educators alike. At the Center for Antiracist Education, she focuses on advancing high quality curriculum and equipping educators to challenge racism and prepare students for a truly diverse democracy.
Twitter: @EduCostello

Annie Evans Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She has worked previously at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, National Endowment for the Arts. Cassel Oliver has organized numerous exhibitions and retrospectives and helped curate the 2000 Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In 2019, she organized the acquisition of Kehinde Wiley’s monumental Rumors of War for the VMFA and in 2020 the VMFA was tapped by the Commonwealth of Virginia to spearhead the reimagining of Richmond’s Monument Avenue.
Twitter: @vmfa

Ana Edwards Director of Education and Outreach at New American History
As Director of Education and Outreach, Annie spent over half her life teaching history, civics, and geography and hopes New American History will inspire the next generation of educators, public historians and community activists. Annie collaborates with New American HIstory Executive Director Ed Ayers to create inquiry-based learning resources for the initiative’s digital scholarship projects, facilitating professional learning for K16 educators, museum and historical site interpreters. Recent collaborations include serving on a statewide commission to revise Virginia’s History & Social Science standards. Prior to joining Ayers’ team, she served as the K12 Social Studies Coordinator for the Charlottesville City Schools, where she worked closely with the Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society, the University of Virginia, the staff of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier and the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center to ensure that every student in the school district experienced place-based learning.
Twitter: @MapM8ker or @newamericanhist

Grace Leatherman Executive Director at National Council for History Education
Grace Leatherman has served as Executive Director of the National Council for History Education since 2019 and has an extensive background in history education. From 2013 to 2019, she served as the Maryland History Day Outreach Coordinator at Maryland Humanities, where she provided professional development to teachers and created teacher and student resources in partnership with the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium and Maryland Public Television. Grace previously taught history in the Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools and has been honored to work with staff on two fantastic online conferences and a wide variety of learning experiences for educators.
Twitter: @historyed #yayhistory #historymatters

Ace Parsi Senior Director of Outreach and Dissemination, Educating for American Democracy at iCivics
Ace Parsi is the Senior Director of Outreach and Dissemination for Educating for American Democracy, an initiative to reconceptualize and reprioritize civics and history education. Prior to this role, Ace held a number of policy, research, and school-based positions at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and the National Service-Learning Partnership. Ace’s own personal equity journey began when he and his family immigrated to the U.S. from Iran when he was eight. His own experience as an English language learner and free-and-reduced-price lunch student led him towards a passion for utilizing education as a driver for greater equity.
Twitter: @icivics

Fernande Raine Founder and Executive Director at The History Co:Lab
Fernande Raine is led by a lifelong conviction that history can be fuel for a new, inclusive democratic culture. She obtained her History PhD from Yale, and early in her career worked as a consultant with McKinsey and Innosight. She ran the Human Rights Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She launched five programs during 11 years at Ashoka, and co-led the research effort into systems change leadership. One aspect of her work at The History Co:Lab has been to build the Learning Collaboratives, communities of practice in select cities that bring classroom teachers and museum educators together in regular conversation to create civic learning experiences for students so that they can become changemakers.


RECORDED DATE: October 13, 2021

COST: $5 AASLH Members / $10 Nonmembers / Free for Full Access Annual Meeting attendees w/ Promo Code (email

ACCESS: You will be provided with instructions on how to access the recording upon registration.

Recording Transcript

A transcript is provided with the recording.

Components visible upon registration.

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