Inclusive diversity is foundational to our culture at Allstate, and we’re committed to accelerating equity and working toward systemic change. Allstate’s relationship with Facing History and Ourselves, dating to 2003, has been instrumental in our quest to provide young people with a heightened understanding of the inequities that have plagued our society for generations and how they can help create a better future.
Founded in 1976, Facing History and Ourselves uses the lessons of history to challenge educators and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. What started in a single classroom has become a global movement to use education to address inequities. Facing History develops curricula and projects that help teachers build critical social-emotional learning skills in their students such as self-awareness, empathy, compassion and social awareness.
“I value Facing History because it empowers and inspires students and teachers – and volunteers – to reflect on history’s stories and lessons, and appreciate how our personal choices and actions can help strengthen and sustain our democracy,” says Stacy Sharpe, Senior Vice President of Corporate Brand at Allstate, Facing History and Ourselves’ Board Director and Chicago Advisory Board Chair.
Today, Facing History partners with over 100,000 teachers around the world – including in the US, Canada and Northern Ireland – and its impact is growing. In just the past 10 years, Allstate and The Allstate Foundation have provided nearly $4.5 million in funding to equip educators with the professional development resources they need to teach this crucial SEL curriculum. Allstate’s Inclusive Diversity team enlisted Facing History to develop internal training and host workshops for employees. And these programs have become increasingly more important amid the pandemic.
“We’ve been focusing on the inequities exposed by COVID-19. We want to understand deeply both how the pandemic is affecting students differently based on where they live and how education can mitigate those effects,” said Abby Weiss, Smith Family Senior Vice President and Chief Officer for Program & Thought Leadership at Facing History. “When the pandemic first began, we immediately pivoted to providing information and support for teachers who were responding to the crisis. We provided tools and support for teachers in helping them build community in their online classrooms. We provided webinars and we pulled together a fantastic panel of teachers to talk about challenges and problem solve. We wanted to help teachers respond to the social-emotional needs of their students during this really traumatic time.”
As the team at Facing History started providing new resources during the pandemic, they saw more than 65,000 educators accessing their materials – a sign that these resources were needed across the country. Soon after, and in response to the murder of George Floyd, Facing History delivered another new teaching resource to help educators speak with students about the incident and about inequity as a whole. Even though it was the end of the school year, Facing History has seen more than 54,000 page views on this resource alone.
As the new school year begins, Facing History continues to support educators and students in identifying inequities and advocating for change in their communities. In a time when social justice content and education are greatly needed, Facing History is rising to meet the challenges in new ways, and Allstate is deeply engaged in supporting its mission.
Want to get involved? Here are a few ways to support Facing History and Ourselves:
- Share. Know a student or educator? Introduce their school to the many resources available through Facing History and encourage them to use an equity lens in their teaching. You can also follow Facing History and Ourselves on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- Learn. Attend an upcoming Equity and Social Justice session. Details are out for the first event on Sept. 16, and more are coming. Keep an eye out and register for these free sessions!
- Give. Facing History welcomes monetary donations to continue moving its mission forward.
To learn more about Facing History and Ourselves, visit their website.