The We Are America Project is ambitiously working with teachers and young people across the country to define what it means to be American — and to spark a new national conversation about American identity today led by the next generation.
We believe that this conversation is critical now and that we - young people who are the future of America - should have a role in defining what being American means to us. We believe that this is an essential conversation to have.
We want to continue expanding on the work we have done. So, we have set out to create a national project. The We Are America Project is collaborating with three leading national partners: Facing History and Ourselves, Re-Imagining Migration, and New York’s Tenement Museum.
Our goal is to help spark a new national conversation around what it means to be American, and we want that conversation to be led by our generation. We want to take what we started in our classroom in Lowell, Massachusetts and work to include the voices of more young people across our nation. We believe that we all have an important story to tell that needs to be heard.
This year we will work with 30 fantastic teachers from across the country who will commit to teach the We Are America Project in their classrooms. If these 30 teachers work with one class each (approximately 20-30 students), together at the end of the year we will have collected and shared more than 800 stories of young people who can help us better understand what it means to be American today.
To highlight these voices, we will help these 30 teachers do what we did in our class – publish a book of stories to share with their students’ families, their schools, and with their communities, as a way to help spark conversations about American identity. We also hope to have an impact beyond the individual schools and communities. To accomplish this, we are building a website that will highlight the recorded stories of students drawn from all of these classes, so that people across our country can hear these powerful voices of our future. And, we will publish an anthology of stories drawn from the 30 classes.
We have an ambitious plan, and we can’t do it without you! Will you commit to teaching this project in your classroom and with your students in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
Over the course of the semester (or year), participating teachers will work with students to explore, develop and write a true story of self that helps all of us have a richer, deeper understanding of what it means to be American. We leave it to you to determine when in the year it would be best to run the project and how many class periods you will need.
Your students will brainstorm, write, and edit their stories, which will be collected in a published anthology that you all can share with your school, families, and communities. Students will also record their stories , which will be added together with their photos to our national website.
While this project may seem a bit daunting, we are here to support you. Over the course of the project, we will be providing a range of supports to ensure The We Are America Project is a success. Specifically, we will provide:
Because we know that teaching a new project takes time and planning, we have raised money to provide you with a stipend of $500 to thank you for your commitment to the project. The stipend will be granted at the completion of the project.
We have also raised money to pay for the cost of laying out and publishing the book you will create with your class. With this funding, you and your class will get 100 copies of your completed book for you to share with your students and their families, your school and your community.
We hope you are excited about the project and the possibility of working with us to start this necessary national conversation. Thank you so much for considering being a part of this national project and we hope you apply!
All the best, Teacher Jessica Lander and Students Yousif Albuset, Safiya Al Samarrai, Carla Duran Capellan, Paulina Jasmine Ferrer, Idalisse Fernandez, Karla Torres Gonzalez, Nicole Harrison, Katherine Huang, Philly Marte, Marida Meas, Naomi Nunez, Ezequiel Nunez Brito, Lynsey Philippe, Markx’s Pineda Lezama, Lucie Rwakabuba, Giulia Silveira, Ricardo Vargas, Julian Viviescas
If you have questions please write us at TheWeAreAmericaproject@gmail.com.