Teaching Hard History Professional Learning Cohorts
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As participants in a Teaching Hard History Professional Learning Cohorts, educators engage with the Learning for Justice Teaching Hard History: American Slavery (THH) framework and learn how to use it to enrich their lessons on American enslavement, build students’ civic engagement and critical thinking, and deepen their mindsets around inclusion and empathy. THH Cohorts provide educators, free of charge, the chance to deeply engage with THH, collaborate with LFJ staff and 25 other cohort members across the country, and gain insights and feedback on implementation. There will be four cohorts offered in the fall of 2022: two elementary (K-5) cohorts and two secondary (6-12) cohorts. After three months of learning in community, including seven synchronous sessions via Zoom, educators will have an opportunity to showcase their work.

“I have grown tremendously more competent and confident as a teacher of hard history. I learned a lot from the outside readings we did and from the facilitators, but I got the most out of my peers sharing their valuable perspectives and pedagogical expertise.”

The Teaching Hard History Professional Learning Cohorts provide a space for educators to explore the “why” through unlearning false history, the “what” in grappling with honest history and the “how” for teaching history around enslavement. Educators practice strategies to prepare their students to participate in challenging conversations around race and enslavement while obtaining skills to critically analyze resources and practices they use in their classrooms. This unique opportunity provides an environment for shared learning and reflection in which educators harness collective power to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and disrupt the continuum of hard history together.

When history is taught honestly, students gain a better understanding of current systemic issues and feel empowered to take action to ensure equity, justice and liberation are a reality for all.

Applications for Fall 2022 are now closed. Please watch this space for future cohort opportunities, or sign up for a virtual open-enrollment workshop.


The cohorts cultivated brilliant conversations between people from all different backgrounds. It allowed us a chance to be vulnerable which is something that in education I have not felt that I have always been able to comfortably do.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  1. To be considered for a THH cohort, applicants must be an educator that will use the THH framework with either K-5 or 6-12 students (for example, through a classroom, non-profit or museum setting, etc.) 
  2. Educators across the United States are encouraged to apply, but there will be preference given to those teaching in Southern Poverty Law Center states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. 

If you are interested in ensuring honest history is taught,

  1. Please see the syllabus for further details such as dates, responsibilities and time commitments.
  2. Complete the application by June 30th, 2022. Please note that you will be able to save your application as you work on it, so you do not need to complete it in one sitting.

Selected educators will be notified of their admittance by July 22, 2022. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the THH Professional Learning Cohorts?

In order to be considered for a THH cohort, applicants must be an educator that will use the THH frameworks for either K-5 or 6-12 students (for example, through a classroom, non-profit or museum setting, etc.). Educators across the nation are encouraged to apply, but preference will be given to those teaching in Southern Poverty Law Center states: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana. 

How much does it cost to participate in the cohorts?

The THH Professional Learning Cohorts are being offered free of charge. Instead, we ask that you invest your time in actively engaging in, and contributing to, this learning experience. 

What does the application look like?

The THH Professional Learning Cohorts application can be completed using Submittable and consists of questions around the educator’s demographics, educational background and teaching experience. The short response section will allow educators to disclose their familiarity and experience with teaching hard history in 250 words or less. 

What happens if an educator cannot make a synchronous learning session?

To protect the privacy of our cohort members, synchronous sessions will not be recorded. However, slide decks from each session will be made available to cohort members the day following a synchronous session. Members will be able to attend office hours if needed, as well. You can find information about office hours in the syllabus. Additionally, we will be using Google Classroom as our learning management system, which will be updated weekly for educators to reference.

What is the absentee policy for the THH Professional Learning Cohorts?

Before applying, we ask all educators to take note of the dates and times the cohorts meet and cross-check their schedules. We know that contexts and needs can change, but in the interest of collective learning, all selected educators are expected to participate in all 7 synchronous sessions and the final showcase. Therefore, if an educator does not attend 2 or more synchronous sessions, they will not be able to continue in the cohorts. This means they forfeit their ability to participate in the showcase and will not obtain a certificate of completion.

Group of adults listening to one person speaking.

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