Category Archives: Multicultural Curriculum – Lesson Plans



Icy Smith Half Spoon of Rice Three Years and Eight Months



Congratulations to Icy Smith of East West Discovery Press for being chosen this year as the winner of the MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S PUBLICATION AWARD (2014) from the National Association for Multicultural Education
Ms. Smith was recognized for two remarkable publications “Three Years and Eight Months” and “Half Spoon of Rice.” 

The award presentation will take place during the 24th Annual International NAME Conference in Tucson, Arizona from November 5–9, 2014.  On Saturday, November 8th, the award will be presented at the Award’s Banquet starting at 6:30 pm.  

For more information please go to

East West Discovery Press will be exhibiting at the NAME Conference.



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The Whiteness Project

POV Interactive Shorts are a new digital series allowing audiences to engage with documentaries on a deeper level using new technologies and new paradigms in storytelling. Find out more »

Whiteness Project: Inside the White Caucasian Box is the first installment of a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity. Director and Producer Whitney Dow discusses the making of this collection of 24 interviews filmed in Buffalo, NY in July 2014.


view at ……

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Jane Elliott on the Oprah Winfrey Show (1992), Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Exercise

Published on Apr 15, 2014

This Excerpt from 1992 episode with teacher Jane Elliott’s showed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” at its best. The Iowa schoolteacher speaks after applied her famous blue-eyes-vs.-brown-eyes experiment to the show’s studio audience, separating the people on the basis of eye pigment and giving one group preferential treatment over the other; by the time the show started, the resentment fostered by this brief period of inequality spilled over into visible, simmering hostility. As a statement about the roots of racism, Elliott’s exercise was powerful stuff — the fact that it was initially designed to impart the lesson for grade-school children didn’t dim its impact on the show’s adult viewers.

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The Great Jackie Robinson

I have been thrilled to work with Washington Middle School (Washington Junior High) in Pasadena, CA – attended by one of my heroes – the great Jackie Robinson!


In 1947, Jackie Robinson engineered the integration of professional sports in America by breaking the color barrier in baseball. He overcame numerous obstacles in his 10 year career to become one of baseball’s most exciting and dazzling players. His enormous talent helped lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to six pennants and one World Series Championship. The ultimate honor was bestowed when Jackie was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility.

However, Jackie Robinson’s contributions go far beyond the baseball diamond. Upon retirement from baseball, Jackie fought tirelessly to improve the quality of life not only for African-Americans, but for society as a whole. By becoming the first black vice president of a major American corporation, Robinson continued to open doors for African Americans.


Jackie Robinson
Attended Washington Junior High School in 1935.
Achieved four-letterman status at John Muir Technical High School.
Enrolled in Pasadena Junior College 1938-1939.
Led Pasadena to the Junior College Championship in 1938.
Named Most Valuable Junior College Player in Southern California in 1938.
Held the National Junior College broad jump record.
Transferred to UCLA 1939-1940.
Won the NCAA broad jump title at 25′ 6 1/2″.
Became UCLA’s first four-letter man.
Served in the U.S. Army from 1942-1945, during which he became second Lieutenant.
Inducted into UCLA’s Hall of Fame on June 10, 1984.


Broke the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947 by becoming the first African-American player.
Named National League Rookie of the Year in 1947.
Led the National League in stolen bases in 1947 and 1949.
Led second basemen in double plays 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952.
Selected as the National League MVP in 1949
Won the 1949 batting title with a .342.
National League All-Star Team, 1949-1954.
Had a career batting average of .311 with the Dodgers, .333 in All-Star games Led the Dodgers to six World Series and one World Series Championship in a 10-year span.

Beyond Baseball

Jackie filming “I Never Had It Made”
Starred in “The Jackie Robinson Story” in 1950.
Opened a men’s apparel store on 125th street in Harlem from 1952-1958.
Signed a contract with WNBC and WNBT to serve as Director of Community Activities in 1952.
Became Vice President of Chock Full O’Nuts in 1957.
Served in numerous campaigns and on the board of directors for the NAACP from 1957-1967.
Established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company in 1970 to build housing for families with low incomes.
Author of autobiography “I Never Had It Made.”


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The Asian-American Woman Behind the Black Power Movement


Legendary activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs will celebrate her 99th birthday at the end of June. A leader over seven decades in the labor, civil rights, and Black Power movements, Boggs continues to write and grant interviews from her home in Detroit, Michigan.

A new film, debuting later this month, tells Boggs’ story from her birth in 1915 to Chinese immigrant parents, through her advocacy for tenants’ and workers’ rights, to her days as one of the only non-Black, female leaders in the Black Power Movement.

Filmmaker Grace Lee shares the story of finding Boggs and telling her story.

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Not Just A ‘Black Thing': An Asian-American’s Bond With Malcolm X


The brief friendship of Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama began close to 50 years ago with a handshake.

Diane Fujino, chairwoman of the Asian-American studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, details the moment in her biography Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama.

Kochiyama and her eldest son, 16-year-old Billy, were arrested along with hundreds of other people, mainly African-Americans, during a protest in Brooklyn, N.Y., in October 1963.

“[They were] in this packed courthouse,” Fujino says. “[There were] a lot of activists who [were] waiting their hearing on the civil disobedience charges.”

In walks Malcolm X, who was quickly mobbed by adoring activists.

Kochiyama described the scene in a Democracy Now! interview in 2008. “I felt so bad that I wasn’t black, that this should be just a black thing,” she recalled. “But the more I see them all so happily shaking his hands and Malcolm so happy, I said, ‘Gosh, darn it! I’m going to try to meet him somehow.’ ”

Eventually, Kochiyama called out to Malcolm X, “Can I shake your hand?”

“What for?” he demanded.

“To congratulate you for giving direction to your people,” she finally mustered.

Malcolm X smiled and extended his hand. Kochiyama remembered how she could hardly believe she was meeting the most prominent black nationalist leader of the time.

‘A Nail That Sticks Out’

Kochiyama’s friendship with Malcolm X fascinated playwright Tim Toyama, who wrote a one-act play called Yuri and Malcolm X.

read more …..

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Multicultural Curriculum Transformation and Research Institute

Texas State Univ at SAn Marcos MC Institute
For the third year in a row now I have been honored to be the closing keynote speaker at the Annual Multicultural Curriculum Transformation and Research Institute held at Texas State University at San Marcos. The institute highlights multicultural curriculum transformation theory and practice. It focuses on best practices for broadening and enriching the curriculum by re-envisioning goals, content, teaching strategies, assessment, and classroom interactions with a multicultural lens. Representative faculty from all of the colleges have now attended and have given the experience high marks. This one-week session has had high success in engaging faculty from all disciplines. The institute was created by Dr. Sandra Mayo and is now headed by Dr. Audwin Anderson.

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Liberation of Dachau by Japanese Americans 552nd Field Artillery Battalion 442nd RCT April 29th 1945



by Nihomachi Outreach Committee San Jose

(This article is reposted with permission of NOC.
Please visit their site by clicking on the link above)

The war in Europe was coming to a close as the Allies raced across Germany to Berlin. Elements of the US 7th Army chased the remnants of the German army retreating into Germany. Among the fastest moving units was the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion a Nisei (Second generation Japanese American) unit that was originally attached to the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 442nd won the most decorations for any American unit for its size during WW2. The unit would win 7 Presidential Citations (5 while rescuing the Lost Texas Battalion in France 1944), 20 Medals of Honor (America’s highest decoration for valor) and over 9000 Purple Hearts (decorations for wounds suffered in combat). The 522 had a reputation for having the fastest and most accurate fire in the US Army. They were hand picked by Gen. Eisenhower (Commander of Allied Forces in Europe) to help lead the attack into Germany.

The 522nd liberated several of the sub camps near Dachau and actually opened the main gate at the Dachau concentration camp. Some 5000 survivors of the Dachau concentration camp were liberated by elements of the 522 on April 29th 1945.

Dachau was established in 1933 as the Nazi regime rose to power. The infamous camp was in 12 years of existence with some 206,000 prisoners .Dachau had some 30 sub camps (smaller forced labor and/or POW camps) located near adjacent towns. It was the site of mass exterminations, executions, and death marches. Some 5000 inmates were liberated mostly Jewish, Russian, French, Polish civilians and Allied POW’s.

The Story of Sgt. Oiye

On April 29th 1945, Staff Sgt. George Oiye was member of a forward observer team (patrols to search for targets for artillery to shoot ) for artillery battery C leading the 7th Army racing into Germany. Elements of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion were spread out over a 30 mile radius. They had orders to destroy military targets in Munich and to demolish the headquarters of the dreaded SS. They also had warnings to be on the look out for top Nazis such as Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun (Hitler’s mistress). They chased the retreating German units,captured and disarmed them. According to 522 records they were the first Allied unit to reach Dachau.

Unintentional Liberators

“We weren’t supposed to be there” said Oiye. Since they were spread out over such a wide area (30 KM) and Dachau was so big they simply ran into it. Japanese American soldiers shot the lock of the main gate of the outer perimeter fences. Then opened the barbed wire gates of the infamous crematorium the site were thousands of Jewish prisoners bodies were burned into ashes. The building had tall smoke stacks and large ovens with bodies smoldering still inside. Prisoners were often gassed or died of the harsh slave labor conditions at Dachau.

“A Hard Thing”
Oiye explained his reaction to visiting the infamous camp: He was mainly on the muddy roads out side the camp when it started to snow. “It was very cold and he saw the prisoners shivering. Some were in very bad shape,”emaciated, sick, diseased, bugs crawling on them and dying” He recalled the stripped suits they wore and some had no shoes. Oiye and his fellow soldiers gave the prisoners their extra gloves, bed rolls, and food. His reaction to the prisoners: “we were not prepared to deal with coming across a concentration camp.” “We came across by accident and were not prepared. It was a hard thing” He remembered that he ” felt bewildered, then angry and fearful. ” Oiye explained the sense of guilt “that mankind had transgressed so far…. the worst case of sin I know of.”

“War was one thing but that kind of treatment of mankind; thats is not normal” Oiye stated. Some of the 522nd soldiers found ladies handbags made of human skin. He could remember seeing “intricate” tattoos on these handbags. Gloves and lampshades were also found to made of human skin. Other soldiers reported that dozens of prisoners that were horribly tortured and murdered.


read more …………

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