Fall 2022 Workshop: Teaching about Slavery, Whiteness, Racism, and the Underground Railroad in the North

Saturday, November 12th, 2022; 9:00 am–2:00 pm

at Rokeby Museum
Cost: $175

• Target Audience: Educators Grades 2–12
• Professional learning hours: 6
• (1 hour pre-reading required)

• Certificate of completion provided on official letterhead
• Tea/Coffee and light snacks provided
• Covid: Masks required (and adjustments made in accordance with current CDC guidelines)

About the Workshop:

Non-formal education experiences outside of the classroom offer students an experience that is participatory, stimulating, and rooted in local culture. When students visit Rokeby Museum, they are challenged to draw connections between slavery, the Underground Railroad, and the modern struggle for social justice. While deeply enriching for the students, the experience for the teacher is tangential and there is little opportunity for them to glean support or insight from the specialized museum professional. This on-site workshop provides educators a day to reflect and process the experience of teaching emotion-laden topics like slavery and racism, as well learn new ways to teach the subject and engage their students. In particular, we will unpack how teaching about whiteness and white racial identity in the classroom can assist in understanding and teaching the problematic narratives of history. 

Educators will learn techniques in facilitated dialogue with the opportunity for practice. Facilitated dialogue provides a safe environment for children and teens to share personal experiences in order to better empathize with historic freedom seekers and abolitionists, and realize through lines between past and present. Facilitated dialogue is an empowerment tool to assist students to find their voice, speak on such topics like justice/injustice and action/inaction, and understand themselves as participants in greater society. Educators will scan primary source documents, Rokeby’s letters from the Underground Railroad, and practice how to “read between the lines” to uncover truths in the document. Take-home copies of the historic letters and a lesson will be provided for classroom use. Teachers will also be provided topical readings beforehand. Together we’ll discuss psychological care and safe classroom techniques when teaching about potentially trauma inducing and emotionally laden topics like slavery, racism, and the Civil Rights Movement. Educators are invited to share their experiences in large group discussions, break out sessions and self-reflective activities.  

We understand that your plans change and there may be a need to cancel your registration. If you cancel more than 14 days prior to the first day of the event, you will receive a full refund.

About the Facilitator: 

Tucker Foltz, is Rokeby’s Education Programs Manager, he holds a Masters in Public History from the University of Maryland Baltimore Country and brings a decade of experience in museum education and interpretation. He has held positions with the National Park Service, Smithsonian Folklife, Maryland Center for History and Culture, Filoli Historic House and Gardens, and holds a deep interest for engaging children and adults with the history of social movements and the underserved.  

Rokeby Museum is a National Historic Landmark that connects visitors with the human experience of the Underground Railroad and with the lives of the four generations of the Robinson who lived at Rokeby in Ferrisburgh from 1793–1961.