“In presenting the sweeping narrative of American history, African Americans have for too long, been cast in minor roles far from events, personalities and themes that become engrained in every student’s memory. In New Jersey, that is all changing ... ”

The Amistad Commission Virtual Summer Institute Professional Development Course

The wait is over! The Amistad Commission - NJ Department of Education is excited to launch our inaugural on-line class, our virtual Summer Curriculum Institute Course for Educators and Administrators. Please join us.


Our virtual professional development course will launch on Tuesday, August 18th -  Saturday, August 22nd , 2020


The American Paradox:
An Analysis of Special Topics for NJ Schools on the Legacies of Structural Racism, Systemic Disparities, Self-Government, Enslavement, Native Dispossession,

Democracy, Civil Liberties and Civic Engagement throughout our American Narrative in the Classroom

Course Information and Registration is available now at:



Deadline to register is Sunday, August 16th, 2020


*Virtual Sessions Tuesday-Thursday at 10:00 am and at 2:00 pm*

*Virtual Sessions Friday-Saturday at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm & 6 pm*


*Daily uploads to our YouTube Channel of PD materials for the following day’s lecture preparation*


*Lecture schedule and daily log-in credentials meeting ID and passwords will be emailed to registered participants only- no one will be admitted into the virtual sessions without registering in advance via this event form.  Please subscribe to our YouTube channel in preparation for the professional development course - TheNJAmistad Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWAtQ4tbQfgFkSCvtQ5VbQg


We hope that you will join us to learn on August 18th for this free PD opportunity for New Jersey Schools!

Course Description:

August 2019, marked the 400 year anniversary in Tidewater Virginia, where at the banks of the Jamestown River, American democracy and American enslavement emerged hand in hand. That marriage of ideals had consequential offspring, which have provided a complex inheritance for every generation of this nation’s citizens for the last 400 years. 2020 has catapulted our national attention and our family discussions, national news, social media platforms, and timelines have been filled with the remnants of these consequential offspring. We currently find ourselves in conversations involving our current global pandemic with its ever-climbing fatalities and evidenced medical disparities among communities of color; economic upheavals; federal and state’s rights debates and clarifications; constitutional and civics education reviews; political party infighting and polarizations; voting disenfranchisement concerns; questions of medical bioethics; conversations regarding reforms after the witnessing of police brutalities; civil rights and racial injustice; economic upheavals with the possibility of impending foreclosures and evictions; and finally the explications of structural racism, social justice, and policy changes.

This summer our proposed institute topic selection has been identified and abridged based on both our current national and global events. Our current realities and circumstances have created increased inquiries from teachers across the state, to the Amistad Commission for a multitude of areas for historic understanding, resources for students, and suggested learning approaches; most especially with the transition to online and remote learning. In response, we have crafted a late summer  professional development session before our Educators begin their school year that will provide content lectures, resources, as well as student engagement and classroom strategies.

Our goal is to assist NJ Educators and Administrators who tackle issues ripped from our headlines that are embedded throughout the NJ Learning Standards and Progress Indicators for Social Studies and district curriculum maps. At this moment, a space has been created for an indispensable teaching moment to educate our teachers and administrators, on the historic legacies at the root of our daily conversations that will no doubt continue to extend to our classrooms. It is a history that is only understood by telling the full story of our often-difficult American narrative. This must be part and parcel of all school curricula and professional development trainings nationwide.

This professional development online course will include virtual experiential learning, primary and secondary resources, lectures, multimedia presentations, curriculum development, and teaching strategies, lesson plan writing and methodology structuring sessions, we invite  NJ K-12 teacher, content specialist, administrators, and community stakeholders together  for these conversations while enlisting experts scholars in the varied topic areas of each lecture.




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