This Teacher Appreciation Day, we’re showcasing what our educators are writing

Two Speak Truth to Power educators have contributed to new books on social justice and implementing a human rights curriculum in the classroom.

Robin DeLuca-Acconi, assistant dean for student services in the School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University, has written a chapter with her former colleague, Denise Campbell, assistant superintendent for Harborfields Central School District in Greenlawn, N.Y., for The Art of Becoming Indispensable: What School Social Workers Need to Know in Their First Three Years of Practice. The book was named book of the year by the School Social Work Association of America.

In recent years, DeLuca-Acconi has adapted Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Speak Truth to Power program for undergraduate social work education, teaching students to use a human rights-based approach to social work practice that incorporates the stories of the defenders.

DeLuca-Acconi’s chapter, “Professional Development, Supervision, and Mentoring,” is about professional development and supervision. In it, she discusses how RFK Human Rights Speak Truth to Power can be used to train new school social workers about human rights so that they can engage in human rights education in their schools.

“Issues that arise in schools are those that are embedded in the larger society and are emblematic of societal ills and historical systemic inequities,” DeLuca-Acconi and Campbell write. “School social workers are faced with the manifestation of this history and structures that have caused historical trauma and pain.”

Meredith Baldi, a global politics teacher at George School in Newtown, Pa., has contributed to Media Literacy for Justice, a book intended to provide context, reflection points, and lesson plans to help educators, librarians, information literacy instructors, and community leaders explore the intersections of social justice and media literacy.

Baldi’s chapter, “The Art of Uncertainty: How Media Literacy and Production Cultivate Curiosity and Create Empathetic Dialogue,” co-written with her George School colleague Prescott Seraydarian, is paired with a chapter about the need for media literacy when navigating challenging political conversations.

Baldi said she builds on ideas for using media literacy to facilitate productive democratic discourse in a book coming out in July, Media Literacy, Equity, and Justice.