Election Workshop for Educators & Parents

Election Workshop for Educators & Parents
The 2020 election is approaching fast and our nation is mired in a contentious struggle for the power to shape the future. With so much at stake, we must equip our students with the skills to engage in constructive and critical conversations about the candidates, the issues, and the history that led us to this moment and where we can go from here.

Join Michael Lawrence-Riddell and Eric Schildge in a three part workshop designed to help you facilitate healthy dialogue with your students about the 2020 election. You will leave with discussion strategies and structures, key vocabulary, useful primary and secondary sources from the past and present, and a set of questions to help students make sense of this election, including:
  • What is at stake in this election? 

  • How is democracy an ongoing “project” in American history? 

  • Who has power? Why? How do they use it and maintain it?

  • How do race, class, gender, ability, and religion influence our perception of American democracy?

Dates: Thursday, October 1; Monday, October 5; and Thursday, October 8. Please plan to attend all sessions.

Time: 7 - 9pm via Zoom videoconference

Cost: $65

Meet Your Hosts
Eric Schildge

Eric is an eighth grade English teacher at the Nock Middle School in Newburyport, MA. He is also the Interim Assistant Director for Outreach at the Mount Holyoke School of Professional and Graduate Education (PaGE). He is active in organizing for unions and political campaigns, and he has experience working in independent, parochial, charter, and public schools. He collaborates with artists, writers, actors, journalists, and other creative professionals to bring learning to life for students. He believes in the power of live theater to build community and transform people's lives.


Michael Lawrence-Riddell

Michael Lawrence-Riddell has been an educator for the better part of the last three decades—from his time as a summer camp counselor, to an elementary school teacher, to a middle school teacher for the past fourteen years, to his current position as executive director of Self-Evident Media (www.selfevidentmedia.com). He loves learning and he loves teaching. While at Wesleyan University, Michael majored in African American Studies and was actively involved in anti-racist activism on campus. It is when Michael is able to marry his passions for learning, history, social justice, and a better future that he is his most fulfilled. Michael brings these passions to his work at Mount Holyoke and through this work he hopes to shift the ways that we use our honest understandings of the past to shape our understandings of the present and the future. In the words of James Baldwin, "...I think that the past is all that makes the present coherent, and further, that the past will remain horrible for exactly as long as we refuse to assess it honestly.”

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