njsbf new jersey state bar foundation logo a 501c3 non profit organization

Informed Citizens

are Better Citizens

Breaking Bias: Lessons from the Amistad

Learn strategies for teaching Black history and structural racism from an anti-bias lens. Highlight the contributions, strength, and resilience of African Americans in the United State throughout history to present day. Explore ways for you and your students to take personal and collective responsibility for standing against racism.

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s Workshops and Grade 3-12 Curriculum complements the work of New Jersey’s Amistad Commission which was created in response to New Jersey’s Amistad Legislation (2002). This legislation requires K-12 educators to teach African American history as American history (and not just relegate the learning of this history to Black History Month).


Workshops to Attend

  • Part One virtual introduces a background unit on African civilizations and units 1 and 2 which cover race as a social construct and chattel slavery (nationally and in New Jersey)
  • Part Two virtual introduces Units 3 and 4 which cover the reconstruction era and Jim Crow and the great migration (Part One is a prerequisite)
  • Part Three virtual introduces Units 5 and 6 which cover the dawning of the civil rights movement and the media impact on race and social justice (Part One is a prerequisite)
  • Part One in-person is held at the New Jersey Law Center. This workshop includes the background unit as well as units, 1, 2, and 3
  • Part Two in-person is held at the New Jersey Law Center. This workshop includes units, 4, 5, and 6 (Part One is a prerequisite)

Curriculum to Download

The 6-unit curriculum, developed for grades 3-12, is broken into themes and ties the law to the lessons of the Amistad is free to download using the form below. Each theme provides an elementary, middle and high school lesson and handouts on that topic.

In-Person Training

  • New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ
  • 9 am to 3 pm (breakfast & lunch included)
  • PD Credits Earned: 5.5
  • Registration required

Virtual Training

  • Via Zoom (webcam/microphone required)
  • 3 hours (am and pm sessions)
  • PD Credits Earned: 3.0
  • Registration required

In-School/District Wide

  • Bring these trainings to your school or district
  • Apply HERE
  • Earn PD Credits

For questions about NJSBF trainings or to request accommodation or to inquire about accessibility for any training, please contact Jessica Taube, Director of Conflict Resolution and Anti-Bias Initiatives at jtaube@njsbf.org or call 732.937.7523.

No Show Policy. If you are unable to attend a training after registering, please let us know. You may cancel your registration up to the day before training by emailing Bobby Espinoza at respinoza@njsbf.org or by calling 732.937.7528.

If you register and do not attend, you will be placed on our “No Show” list. Should this occur three times, you will be removed from our email list. Cancelling allows us to fill your spot with an educator from our training waiting list.

To access, review and download the free curriculum, click on the image to the right.

To receive email notifications when new units are available and workshop updates, please fill out this form. You will be added to our Amistad email list.

Amistad Curriculum Sign Up
Grade levels you are affiliated with (click all that apply)

Introduction to the Curriculum

The Foundation’s six-unit curriculum specifically focuses on how African Americans have not only been victims but agents of their own change throughout history, how racial oppression has transformed over time in the U.S. and what our responsibilities are, both individually and collectively, to respond to racism. The curriculum looks to answer the following questions (and many more):

  • What is race?
  • What have been the consequences of social constructs about race in our country?
  • How was chattel slavery a national problem that was reinforced in both the North and the South?
  • How did enslaved people and other African Americans resist oppression and bring about positive change?
  • How did resistance and resilience among African Americans bring progress despite the obstacles in their path?
  • In what ways did the Jim Crow era reinvent earlier forms of African American oppression?
  • What rights were African Americans demanding during the civil rights era, and why was there resistance from many white communities to sharing these rights?
  • How does racial bias in media impact real-life policies and practices that affect the lives of African Americans?

For more on diversity and social justice issues, subscribe to Respect, the Foundation’s diversity newsletter or checkout posts on our blog, The Rundown.