Know Your Neighbor: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign

Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign
for Educators, Parents, and Students
 
September 25th-28th, 2018

Keep track of the campaign with #KnowYourNeighbor

As students across the country settle in for the school year, we are launching a new campaign to help educators, parents, and students create more inclusive classrooms and schools. As the U.S. Department of Education noted in a recent report, there are roughly 30 religiously-motivated bullying and harassment incidents in our public schools each day. The attitudes and misperceptions behind the biases that drive those incidents are varied and often pernicious, coming from parents and even educators themselves.

While incidents of bullying are not unique to any one race or group, the current climate of xenophobia has led to an escalation of hateful language and actions against religious and ethnic minorities. The impact upon targeted communities, including Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, and LGBTQ students even before this escalation is heartbreaking. For example, in the case of Muslim students, a recent survey by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found that over 42% of American Muslim parents reported that their child had suffered bullying or harassment from peers or school personnel on the basis of their faith. Additionally, a 2016 report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations - California found an even higher rate of religious-based bullying, with 53% of Muslim students reporting that they are made fun of, verbally insulted, or abused at school for being Muslim.

Bullying impacts students’ mental health, leading to stress and worry that inhibits their ability to learn.

Bullying creates an environment of fear, stress, and worry which inhibits students’ ability to learn and thrive in school. To counter this national problem, and promote classrooms and schools which foster inclusivity, the Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters program, comprising over 100 partner organizations across the nation, has launched a new campaign to share best practices to help educators, students, and parents counter hate and bigotry at school and create more inclusive classrooms.

The Challenge: Win Cash Prizes for Your Classroom

To participate, respond to any of the prompts or questions below by sharing a video, post, or tweet on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) with the hashtag #KnowYourNeighbor. To be considered for the challenge, screenshot your post and email it to [email protected] with your name and category in the subject line.

We will award cash prizes in four categories (students, parents, educators, organizations) based on substance, creativity, and reach. The first place winners in each category will receive a $100 cash prize, second place will receive $50, and third place will receive $25. We encourage you to use the prizes towards fun activities to build inclusive classrooms!

Now let’s get started! Remember when responding to the questions in each section use the #KnowYourNeighbor hashtag.

Working together, we will create more inclusive classrooms and schools!

Share Your Best Practices Using the #KnowYourNeighbor Hashtag

We want you to share and inspire others with successful strategies that have worked in addressing any of the following issues:

  • Countering bullying
  • Leading conversations on religion, culture, race and diversity
  • Encouraging students to discuss and practice their own faith traditions
  • Cultivating understanding between students of different faiths
  • Making students feel safe sharing about their differences in the classroom
  • Educating students on world cultures, religious traditions and global studies

Share Your Best Resources Using the #KnowYourNeighbor Hashtag

What resources have you created or found to best promote more inclusive classrooms? These resources can pertain to any grade level and address any of the following issues:

  • Countering bullying
  • Leading conversations on religion, culture, race and diversity
  • Encouraging students to discuss and practice their own faith traditions
  • Cultivating understanding between students of different faiths
  • Making students feel safe sharing about their differences in the classroom
  • Educating students on world cultures, religious traditions and global studies

Share Your Concerns Using the #KnowYourNeighbor Hashtag

We want you to share and discuss the concerns you have with any of the following issues:

  • What holds you back from discussing certain issues in the classroom?
  • What are your fears and hesitations about having these conversations?
  • Has anything ever gone wrong while trying to discuss these issues?
  • What tools and resources would be helpful to enable you to have these conversations?
  • What are student attitudes towards having these conversations? What are parent attitudes? Administrators?
  • What issues do you believe most need to be discussed in classrooms?

Social Media Content for Publicizing the Campaign

You can also help publicize the campaign with the social media content below.

Longer Posts about the Campaign to Share

Copy and paste these posts into Facebook or Instagram and be sure to use the #KnowYourNeighbor hashtag for wider distribution!

Create Inclusive Classrooms

  • How does religious liberty impact students and teachers in classrooms? Learn more by accessing the Baptist Joint Committee’s resource: https://bjconline.org/religion-and-public-schools-guidebooks-and-handouts/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • ING Midwest, an affiliate of ING, maintains an online, searchable library of educational resources to help promote dialogue and encourage critical thinking in inclusive and well-informed classrooms toward building peace in our communities. Check it out here: https://www.ringmidwest.org/resources. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Know Your Classmates is a curriculum, a campaign, and a national awareness day designed to create and nurture healthy and open relationships between classmates, particularly focused on middle school students, from the moment school starts this fall. Learn more about this program and request free materials: http://www.knowyourclassmates.org/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Teachers — study up on how the First Amendment impacts your classrooms with this resource from the Religious Freedom Center: https://buff.ly/2xMfsXq. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Does your school have established protocols and plans in the event of bigotry or hate-related incidents? Find suggestions for preventing and navigating a hate-related crisis in Teaching Tolerance’s guide “Responding to Hate and Bias at School.” https://www.tolerance.org/moment/school-climate-resources. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Check out Not in Our Town’s Comprehensive School Climate Improvement Program that includes plans and tools to assess climate and to create a whole school change, staff and parent education, classroom lessons, a step-by-step student-led campaign process and ways to get the whole community involved: https://www.niot.org/InclusiveSchoolProgram. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Encourage students to discuss issues of faith and identity by using Tanenbaum’s resource “Fitting In”: https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PTI-Fitting-In-Lesson.pdf. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Encouraging conversations about faith and identity begins with students learning more about their own family history and traditions. Use Tanenbaum’s resources to encourage your student’s self-reflection and sharing with fellow classmates: https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/My-Traditions-3.4.2015-new-branding.pdf. Learn more about the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign by visiting us at www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • What should educators know before discussing religion in their classrooms? Check out #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign partners Tanenbaum and Teaching Tolerance’s free webinar called, “Religious Diversity in the Classroom: What's Law Got To Do With It?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwKs2JwzvLc. Access this resource and more by following the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign! www.ing.org/kyn-school.


Counter Bullying

  • “Everyone in America likely has a bullying story, whether as the victim, bully, or witness.” Michael M. Honda, former Congressman - Let’s help end bullying. The #KnowYourNeighbor program has tools: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • “(Bullying) poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child.” - Bullying specialist Dan Olweus. Find resources through the #KnowYourNeighbor program: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is often approached by people seeking to understand their rights and whether they have been violated. Here's their Know Your Rights guide on "What To Do When Faced With Anti-Muslim Discrimination": https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-when-faced-anti-muslim-discrimination. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Learn more about bullying and bias against Hindu students in American schools. Access the Hindu American Foundation's resource: https://buff.ly/2DnS0Wu. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Muslims are nearly twice as likely to report bullying among their school-age children as Jewish Americans (42% vs. 23%), and four times as likely as the general public (10%). Are you a victim of bullying? Or know someone who is being bullied? Check out the resources from the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign to see how you can help stop bullying: www.ing.org/kyn-school. Data from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding’s 2017 American Muslim Poll.
  • Ready to Stand Up and Stand Out to end bullying? Learn how with free guides, letters, and more: https://tylerclementi.org/standupstandout. For more resources be sure to follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Access ING’s Parental Resource Guide to Bullying in Schools: https://ing.org/parent-handout. For more resources be sure to follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.


Resources for Educating About Religious Traditions, World Cultures, etc.

  • Looking for a lesson plan that covers common values shared by five major religions? Registered educators can download ING's online curriculum here: https://ing.org/multifaith-curriculum-shared-values-among-faiths/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Curious how practitioners of five major religions live their faith in the U.S? Check out ING's online curriculum here: https://ing.org/multifaith-curriculum-living-the-faith/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Can’t find comprehensive lesson plans on Islam and Muslims? We can help! Registered educators can download ING's online curriculum here: https://ing.org/lesson-plans-muslims-islam/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • The Sikh Coalition has lesson plans, reading lists, and video resources to bring the Sikh perspective into classrooms. They also have important anti-bullying resources for administrators: https://www.sikhcoalition.org/get-involved/resources-for-educators/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Get access to an overview of Islam and Muslims with ING's slides and presentation scripts here: https://ing.org/getting-to-know-american-muslims-and-their-faith-presentation/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • Visit the Interfaith Center of New York’s “Teaching American Religious Diversity” site for resources to educate K-12 students on America’s religious landscape: http://religiousworldsnyc.org/resource-page/resources-teaching-american-religious-diversity. For more resources be sure to follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • How much do your students know about world religions? Find out by playing Tanenbaum’s “Interreligious Understanding Game” with your students: https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Coexist-Interreligious-Understanding-Game-6.09-new-branding.pdf. Find other resources by following the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign on social media: www.ing.org/kyn-school.
  • “Although Hindus respect and honor the cow, they do not worship them in the same sense in which they worship God. Hindus considers all living things to be sacred, an attitude reflected in reverence for the cow.” There are many misconceptions about Hinduism, one of the most common misconceptions is that Hindus worship cows. The Hindu American Foundation dispels that myth alongside many others in this toolkit. https://www.hafsite.org/hinduism-essentials/media-toolkit. Find more resources and share your own by participating in the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school.



Social Media Images for Promoting the Campaign

Save these images to your computer then upload to your various social media channels, or share the links themselves. Be sure to use the #KnowYourNeighbor hashtag for wider distribution!


Quick Tips for Creating Great Videos

You don’t need expensive movie cameras to create a good-looking video. Smartphones these days tend to have advanced video capabilities. Here are some quick tips for creating a great video:

  • Choose a location that’s well lit (but not backlit) and doesn’t have a lot of background noise. An empty park or your own home is better than a loud coffee shop.
  • Stabilize your phone while recording. You can either hold the phone yourself, prop it up on something, or have a friend or family member film you.
  • Make sure that the frame includes at least a bit of your shoulders — having your face occupy the whole frame can look a little unnerving.
  • Have a good idea of what you’re going to say before you say it. Practice a few times in front of a mirror or with friends. Don’t be afraid to write your key points on notecards as a reminder. You can even tape a notecard to your phone while recording so you don’t have to look away from the camera.
  • Keep your videos to less than 90 seconds — shorter is better!

View a sample video from an educator below:


Tweets about the Campaign to Share

Copy and paste these tweets into your favorite Twitter client. Be sure to use the #KnowYourNeighbor hashtag for wider distribution!

Create Inclusive Classrooms

    • Safe, inclusive school environments don't happen by themselves. It takes educators, parents, and students working together. Learn more at the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
    • Educators face diverse classrooms every day. The #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign has resources for them: www.ing.org/kyn-school
    • Muslim kids — and all children — need inclusive learning environments. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign and get the tools to make it happen: www.ing.org/kyn-school
    • Teachers — study up on how the First Amendment impacts your classrooms: https://buff.ly/2ePc60e #KnowYourNeighbor
    • Help create more inclusive classrooms with this free activity kit from #KnowYourClassmates. Sign-up here: http://knowyourclassmates.org For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school

Counter Bullying

  • Find out your child's religious 1st Amendment rights in school. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Peer-to-peer dialogue counters bullying. These tools can help. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms Campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Bullying impacts students’ mental health, causing stress & inhibiting their ability to learn: www.ing.org/kyn-school #KnowYourNeighbor
  • We must be neither the aggressors nor indifferent to aggression. Help in the fight against bullying with the #KnowYourNeighbor program: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Letting aggression go unchecked when we're young only sows the seeds for aggression in the future. Find tools and strategies at the #KnowYourNeighbor program: www.ing.org/kyn-school


Resources for Educating About Religious Traditions, World Cultures, etc.

  • Want a lesson plan that covers common values shared by five major religions? Registered educators can download ING's online curriculum here: https://ing.org/multifaith-curriculum-shared-values-among-faiths/ For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Curious how practitioners of five major religions live their faith in the U.S.? Check out ING's curriculum for educators: https://ing.org/multifaith-curriculum-living-the-faith/ For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Can’t find accurate, comprehensive lesson plans on Islam and Muslims? We can help! Registered educators can download ING's online curriculum here: https://ing.org/lesson-plans-muslims-islam/ For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Check out ING's overview of Ramadan and fasting in this free online presentation: https://ing.org/an-overview-of-ramadan-and-fasting-presentation/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Check out ING's overview of Islam and Muslims with slides and presentation scripts: https://ing.org/getting-to-know-american-muslims-and-their-faith-presentation/ For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school
  • Here's ING's resource for understanding the impact of Islamophobia on American Muslims and strategies for countering it: https://ing.org/islamophobia-and-its-impact/. For more resources follow the #KnowYourNeighbor Creating Inclusive Classrooms campaign: www.ing.org/kyn-school