Progressive Giving helps you decide which progressive groups need your money and effort.

Zinn Education Project

This week's featured organization is the Zinn Education Project. The mission of the Zinn Education Project is to promote and support the teaching of people's history in middle and high school classrooms across the country.

Howard Zinn was a Ph.D. historian who spent a lifetime as a social activist, but he is probably best known for his milestone work, "A People's History of the United States", first published in 1980.

"A People's History" is the only history book that tells America's story from the point of view of women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers - the people of America. No public school textbook covers issues such as the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, and racial equality in such a detailed and scholarly way.

I first read the book during the anti-Iraq war movement, and I was lucky enough to see Howard Zinn speak out against that war. He died in 2010, but his legacy lives on in the foundation that continues his teaching work. The Zinn Education Project was founded by a donor who wanted to honor Howard Zinn's extraordinary contributions to the field of promoting "a people's history". The educational project also seeks to highlight many other resources on people's history and provide related teaching materials that history teachers can incorporating into their classrooms.

Last week, a Representative in the Arkansas state legislature introduced a bill to prohibit any publicly supported schools from including in curriculum or course materials any books or other material authored by Howard Zinn.

Bill introduced to ban Howard Zinn books from Arkansas public schools [Arkansas Times]

Arkansas Bill Attempts to Ban Books by Howard Zinn in Schools [Zinn Education Project]

In response, the Zinn Education Project is redoubling their efforts to make the book available to any Arkansas teachers.

The Zinn Education Project relies on individual donors to provide the funds used to produce teaching materials and copies of the book that are distributed to classrooms. To find out how you can get involved, visit them at:

You can learn more about their classroom materials here:

You can keep up with their latest news at:

And through social media at:
Twitter: @ZinnEdProject

And if you're interested in finding other organizations helping students and providing teaching materials, visit these pages on