Teen designs history curriculum recognizing women of color

As a young lady of shade, Prasidha Padmanabhan observed that tales about women, and primarily ladies of coloration, are often ignored in U.S. historical past guides. So she made the decision to acquire issues into her have arms.

The 17-year-outdated Virginia significant school pupil is leading a modern-day crusade to rewrite the record publications in a person of the country’s greatest college districts. She’s building an total system of analyze for elementary and middle school pupils in Virginia’s Fairfax County, in which her curriculum has now been adopted by some lecturers.

CBS News’ Nikole Killion spoke with Padmanabhan for the “CBS Mornings” series “Changing the Video game,” which profiles extraordinary ladies who are earning a difference now and for long term generations. The teenager advised her she was enthusiastic by her very own knowledge with the lack of instruction close to women’s heritage.

“I am a initial-technology Indian and my mom’s an Indian immigrant,” she said. “And so I believe increasing up listening to her tales has usually been some thing I required to understand much more about and been inspired by.”

Padmanabhan established a team referred to as Put on — Women for Training, Advocacy and Legal rights. The group introduced a petition last 12 months to integrate additional women’s background in their nearby faculties.

Every lesson in her curriculum is crafted as a presentation to spark discussions about activity-changing feminine figures. It handles every little thing from the Groundbreaking War to the civil legal rights movement and highlights women like Claudette Colvin and Sybil Ludington.

“We all know Paul Revere was the male who reported that the British are coming. But Sybil Ludington was a 16-yr-old lady who rode horseback right away to provide the same correct concept,” Padmanabhan claimed.

“Claudette Colvin started out the Montgomery bus boycott. She really begun it 9 months right before Rosa Parks,” she explained.

The effort arrives amid a heated debate in excess of community instruction curriculums in Virginia. Earlier this 12 months, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an government get banning community academic courses that he claims are “inherently divisive,” like vital race theory.

“What do you say to any mom and dad out there or learners who truly feel, ‘Why am I mastering this? Why should really I have to learn this?'” Killion asked her.

“If we disregard what actually occurred in our background, then we are not finding the whole photo and we’re not heading to be educated citizens,” Padmanabhan explained.

The curriculum caught the focus of Deborah March, an instruction professional who linked her with Fairfax County lecturers.

“Prasidha actually helped us elevate up the particular person stories and contributions of gals,” March mentioned.

Julie Kouril, who teaches sixth-grade American history, mentioned this is a lesson for students and educators.

“We showcased 5 various gals in the lesson nowadays and I’d never ever listened to of any of them,” she said.

Padmanabhan explained her objective is for every single student in Virginia and throughout the region to master “equally” about women’s contributions.

“I you should not at any time want a college student to question the dilemma, ‘Why does women’s record issue?'” she reported. “I want women’s record to be history and I want that to be a notion that every single pupil learns and understands.”

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