The new We The People - Navajo Nation Experience took place in October on Navajo land in Chinle, Arizona. We the People director Robert Leming spent three years developing the institute which, he says, is designed to give educators a “hands-on experience” of the Navajo people, culture and government.
We the People - Navajo Nation Experience held its inaugural event in Chinle, Arizona.
Leming hopes that teachers who participate in the program will feel more confident in teaching about the Navajo and important Native American issues in their We the People classes. He says it is also a way of introducing the Navajo to We the People. Due to the success of the inaugural We the People - Navajo Nation Experience, two seminars are being planned for next year, in June and September 2009.
The Eighth annual We the People: A Seminar on Civil Rights was held in Birmingham, Alabama, in September 2008. The event offered participants the opportunity to learn more about the political, social, and religious influences on the civil rights movement. It included presentations and discussions with scholars and foot soldiers involved in the children’s marches during the civil rights movement. Participants also visited the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute permanent collection, archives, and resource gallery, and the historic Kelly Ingram Park.
In order to expand and enhance the performance of the knowledgeable and skilled teachers who implement the We the People curriculum in classrooms across the country, in the last year the Center has sponsored more than 30 state institutes, varying in length and grade levels. Participants received rigorous training in content knowledge, innovative pedagogical techniques, and authentic assessment practice.
In addition to the state summer institutes, the Center hosted the National Academy for Civics and Government: Political and Constitutional Theory for Citizens.
Through a grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and supplemental funding by the Klingenstein Foundation, the Center offered the three-week summer institute for educators from public and private high schools, middle schools, and upper elementary schools. The institute, held at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, provided twenty-five educators with the opportunity to engage in serious study and seminar-style discussions of basic issues of political theory and the values and principles of American constitutional democracy.