In the Stronger Than Hate Challenge, students will listen to powerful testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide, and create opportunities to effect change in their schools and communities.
Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, January 16, 2019) - In an effort to spark a social movement against hatred in all forms, USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced the Stronger Than Hate Challenge as part of Teaching with Testimony. The Stronger Than Hate Challenge provides an actionable way to promote equality, challenge bias, discuss tolerance and engage students in a service-learning project that inspires action. Launched on January 15, 2019 and running through May 6, 2019, students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to participate, individually or in a group, by having their educator or parent register them for this powerful challenge at teachingwithtestimony.com/challenge. This important opportunity for youth to counter hate, and inspire their friends, school and community to join them in this mission, also comes with the chance to win scholarships and grants totaling $10,000. In addition to being open to U.S. students, students in Canada and the U.K. are also eligible to participate.
"Every year, USC Shoah Foundation continues to advance the mission of engaging students in themes around discrimination, genocide and identity to help young people build the necessary skills to counter hate," said USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education Claudia Wiedeman. "By expanding our partnership with Discovery Education and connecting students with real testimonies, we are able to inspire communities of leaders to act in positive and meaningful ways."
In the Stronger Than Hate Challenge, students will listen to powerful testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide, and create opportunities to effect change in their schools and communities. Students are asked to complete research-based and standards-aligned activities, culminating in taking action against hate. The challenge also asks students to capture their journey in a video essay purposed to help them in sharing their message globally. Previous winning entries have included the testimonies of Holocaust survivors Herman Cohn and Liesl Loeb, who immigrated to the United States as children, as well as the testimony of Armenian Genocide survivor Haig Baronian, who reflects on the complex nature of identity.
Stronger Than Hate Challenge prizes will be distributed as follows:
- National First Place Winning Entry:
- Student(s) will receive a $5,000 USD scholarship awarded in the form of a check.
- The school associated with the national first place winning entry will receive a $2,500 USD grant awarded in the form of a check to implement change in their community.
- The teacher associated with the national first place winning entry will receive a $1,000 USD grant awarded in the form of a check to implement change in their classroom.
- National Second Place Winning Entry: Student(s) will receive a $1,000 USD scholarship awarded in the form of a check.
- National Third Place Winning Entry: Student(s) will receive a $500 USD scholarship awarded in the form of a check.
"Discovery Education is proud to support USC Shoah Foundation by providing students with an opportunity to glimpse into the past through educational testimonies that promote equality and challenge bias," said Discovery Education Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President Lori McFarling. "The ‘Stronger Than Hate Challenge' will enable students to not only use their voices to stand against all forms of discrimination and intolerance, but will also encourage them to develop conflict resolution and social emotional skills."
The Stronger Than Hate Challenge is one actionable way to use Teaching with Testimony in middle and high school classrooms. Along with the challenge, Teaching with Testimony is comprised of a series of standards-aligned resources and videos that empower students to employ empathy, build critical-thinking skills and become inspired to create a brighter future after listening to first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of genocide.
"As an educator, it is important to create a safe environment for students to explore challenging topics that extend beyond the classroom and into the world around them," said Karen Wells, Library Media, AP English and Journalism Instructor from Midland High School in Pleasant Plains, Ark. "I am excited to demonstrate for my students how communities can come together to encourage positive change."
Teaching with Testimony resources are available at no-cost at TeachingwithTestimony.com. This content is also deeply integrated into Discovery Education's Social Studies Techbook, Streaming Content Collections and Professional Learning offerings. For more information about Discovery Education's digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.
About USC Shoah Foundation:
USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio- visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. Its mission is to develop empathy, understanding and respect through testimony. The Institute's current collection of 55,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. These testimonies form the backbone of the Institute's work in education, filmmaking, research and community outreach, efforts that connect testimony to a wide audience. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes.
About Discovery Education:
As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 5 million educators and over 51 million students, Discovery Education's services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the UK, and more than 90 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.
Josh Grossberg, USC Shoah Foundation, Josh.Grossberg@usc.edu
Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education, Charmion_Kinder@discovery.com