5th Annual Teaching Social Activism in the Classroom Conference

When: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 9:00am

This event has passed.

Lauraberth Lima, Strength: Teaching Social Activism Conference, 2016, Museum of the City of New York.

5th Annual Conference Theme: Youth as Change Agents

This program took place on May 6, 2017. For information about the 2019 Teaching Social Activism Conference, please click here. 


  • Youth Speak, Youth Stories - opening plenary session featuring personal stories from activists and students
  • Interactive workshops such as Documented/Undocumented: Stories by Immigrant Youth and Music, Action, Go: The K-12 Music Classroom as a Social Justice Playground
  • Scholar-led conversations in the Museum’s exhibitions Muslim in New York, Activist New York, and New York at Its Core
  • Meet-and-greet with City of Movement filmmaker Robin Blotnick
  • Lunch provided
  • Opportunities to network, listen, learn, and engage with hundreds of colleagues
  • Information about the Museum’s online materials, essays, and lesson plans


Participation in the conference counts towards maintaining professional certification from the New York City Department of Education. All participating educators receive a letter of attendance.

Full Schedule

  • 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Check-in
  • 9:00 a.m. Keynote: Youth Speak, Youth Stories, Moderator: Christopher Paul Harris
  • 10:10 – 11:00 a.m. Sessions I: Sharing Our Message
    • Documented/Undocumented: Stories by Immigrant Youth
    • Storytelling + Engineering = Rube Goldberg Public Service Announcements
    • Empower + Engage: Participatory Budgeting in Schools
    • Empowering Personal Narratives Using Oral History Techniques
  • 11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Sessions II: Creating Space
    • The K-12 Music Classroom as a Social Justice Playground
    • Engaging People in Change (EPIC): Creating Safe Learning Environments
    • Learning over Education: Advocating for Civic Engagement in the Classroom
    • Artifacts and Activism: Online Resources from the Museum of the City of New York
  • 12:10 – 1:10 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:10 – 2:00 p.m. Sessions III: Art as Activism
    • The Art of Change: Examining “Artivism” in New York
    • Youth Activism Through the Use of the Expressive Arts
    • New Voices: Including LGBTQ History for Young Students
  • 2:20 – 3:10 p.m. Sessions IV: Engaging Community
    • Activate, Educate, Agitate: Curriculum Building for Youth Organizing
    • Restorative Justice in Action: Creating a Youth Court
    • Using Experiential Learning and Critical Self-Reflection to Promote Social Action
  • 3:10 – 3:30 p.m. Coffee and Networking

About the Teaching Social Activism Conference

How can our students make a difference? How are they already doing so? Hear from the students themselves and the teachers who support them as they present what they care about and how they are making an impact on our city.

Join educators, youth, and scholars from across the New York metropolitan area for this free, full day of engaging conversations, thought-provoking sessions, and gallery tours exploring the various tools and techniques used to engage students and communities in the history and practice of social change. Inspired by the content of the Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition, Activist New York, this day highlights the best practices for teaching this important subject to students of all ages.

Questions? Interested in bringing students? Contact us at pd@mcny.org

The Puffin Foundation

Activist New York is the inaugural exhibition in The Puffin Foundation Gallery, which is dedicated to the ways in which ordinary New Yorkers have exercised their power to shape the city's and the nation's future.

Join MCNY!

Want free or discounted tickets, special event invites, and more?