A young boy looking at his teacher from his desk in a classroom

Greetings Educator!

Are you a K-12 educator searching for ways to ignite or widen content about race and racism with your students? Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past is dedicated to supporting your critical conversations about the history and legacy of systemic racism. Join us as we work together to build a more equitable shared future, and strive to enhance racial inclusion in our education systems.

Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to build a better world
Headshot of Ariel Gory, featured spotlight educator for Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past, Smithsonian Institution

Ariel Gory

Lead Education Specialist for Early Childhood Programs

“I believe that in our roles as educators we must use our voices to share often untold stories and perspectives, and equip learners, whoever they may be, with the knowledge and skills they need to use their voices for good.”

Ariel Gory is Lead Education Specialist for Early Childhood Programs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Ariel develops and leads programs and resources for children through age 8. Her work empowers children, celebrates diversity, and uplifts Black culture.

Ariel focuses on affirming that every child deserves to know and believe that they are worthy of love and respect just as they are. “When we talk about race and racism in the classroom,” she said, “we can affirm this for children and support them in recognizing when their actions or the actions of others don’t align with this truth.”

 

Our Shared Future celebrates Ariel and her education-based contributions at Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, including the Joyful ABCs activity books series and Joyful Fridays engagements. Her work supports children’s positive identity development, which Ariel believes is essential to having developmentally appropriate conversations about race and racism.

Headshot of Andrea Kim Neighbors, featured spotlight educator for Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past, Smithsonian Institution

Andrea Kim Neighbors

Manager of Education Initiatives

“Everyone in a classroom and school community has a story to tell—it is a privilege to listen and build connections among and within learning communities to inform what is possible, and what can affect and further change.”

Andrea Kim Neighbors serves as the Manager of Education Initiatives for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC), where she collaborates with educators and Asian American and Pacific Islander content specialists on the development of APAC’s National Education Program. Before joining APAC, Andrea was Manager of Community Partnerships at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC and Tour Manager at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, WA, designing customized museum experiences to best fit the needs of local educators.

Our Shared Futures celebrates Andrea and her education-based contributions at the Smithsonian’s APAC. Many people in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities are faced with harmful stereotypes and biases every day, especially during the pandemic.

To address this in education, Andrea looks to history as a guide to inform where these communities have been and how they can thrive. Andrea co-creates activities and resources that introduce educators to AAPI stories of tragedy, celebration, and perseverance, action, and creativity.

One of her latest works includes We Are Not A Stereotype, an educational video series for educators, by educators, that explores and challenges the complexities of the term Asian Pacific American.

“Classrooms are incredible environments to learn about ourselves and our world through science, literature, math, history, and more. Race and racism can be found in all of these subject areas whether we realize it or not and having conversations about it in the classroom will only strengthen how students and educators learn about themselves, their relationship with others, and the world.”