Our Responsibility as History Teachers

California's educational policies and laws demand that we teach truthful, accurate renderings of the past and present, that we include and honor all peoples in our curriculum, and that we face the past with wide-open eyes to its complexities that include horrors and oppression as well as triumphs and resistance. Race is central to understanding so many parts of our world - past and present, local and national. Attempts to minimize or politicize the significance of race in the study of history limits a complete understanding of the past and harms the teaching profession and, consequently, our students.  

We maintain that all of California’s students deserve high-quality history-social science, and ethnic studies instruction that equips them to discern fact from fiction and understand how the past matters to the present. As historian Joanne Freeman of Yale University states, “[I]f we’re teaching American history, race is part of it.”

Authored by the sites of the California History-Social Science Project, Fall 2021.


In August 2021, UCHSSP staff and its educator community engaged in the national #TeachTruth campaign to support educators whose right to teach about structural inequities is being curtailed and threatened. In June 2022, UCBHSSP and its educator community again organized in support of the the national #TeachTruth campaign, convening at the memorial to local leader William Byron Rumford.

#teachtruth photo 1

Indian Rock Park, Berkeley, CA
How is the founding of our contemporary communities a consequence of the displacement of Native Californian communities?


Lauren Piraro pledges to #TeachTruth about the ancestral tribal communities of the Bay Area.


Matt Sweeney pledges to #TeachTruth about Spanish colonization in what is now California.


Mining Equipment, Grass Valley, CA

What were the short and long term consequences to Native Californians as a result of the introduction of industrial capitalism during American colonization?

teachers #TeachTruth

Jenna Rentz pledges to #TeachTruth about the history of student activism.


Amparo Chavez-Gonzalez pledges to #TeachTruth about Biddy Mason and her significance to expanding rights for all the people of California.

#teachtruth photo 2

Cesar Chavez Park, Oakland, CA
How does the ongoing organizing of the United Farm Workers reveal the role of migrant labor to the US economy?


Chinese Railroad Worker Statue, Auburn, CA

How did the exploitation of international workers lead to the economic growth of the United States?

teachers #teachtruth

Erica and Bryan Shaw pledge to #TeachTruth about the explosion at Port Chicago.


Jah-Yee Woo pledges to support history educators to #TeachTruth.

ESSER funded