Scroll down to see all our available trainings and workshops. If you have questions regarding the posted trainings and workshops contact Paul Bonnici at 919.962.1544 or

Teaching Hard History: Slavery, Reconstruction and Lasting Legacies

A FREE workshop for 8th– 12th grade teachers

Thursday, Oct. 10 – Saturday, Oct. 12 at the North Carolina Museum of History

…All our terrible and beautiful history [can seem like it binds us down, that we are] doomed to an unimaginable unreality. I prefer to believe that the day is coming when we will tell the truth about it – and ourselves. On that day…we can call ourselves free men.  ~James Baldwin


America has a complicated past, with racial inequality being at the heart of much of the nation’s “hard history,” from the enslavement of millions of black people, to racial subordination and violence throughout Reconstruction and Jim Crow. And while individuals and groups have resisted and challenged racist laws, structures, and practices throughout history and into the present, a legacy of inequality persists – the realities of which are often avoided in the K-12 classroom. It is essential that teachers learn, discuss and responsibly teach about our “hard history” to ensure students understand the implications of our past and are empowered to address the challenges of the present.

Teachers in grades 8 – 12 are invited to join Carolina K-12 and the NC Museum of History for a FREE three-day workshop, “Teaching Hard History: Slavery, Reconstruction & Lasting Legacies.” The agenda will provide a mixture of historical content, including the realities of slavery, Reconstruction, lynching, and Jim Crow, as well as discussion of pedagogical skills, techniques, and protective measures teachers can employ when addressing “hard history” and potentially controversial current events. Since race (though often ignored in K-12 curriculums) is central to exploring American history, culture, and modern issues, specific time will be provided for teachers to explore the complicated subjects of identity, race, racism, and white privilege – as well as the ways these topics intersect with the history of inequity in education. In a time when everything, from discussions of our past to debates of our present, feels particularly fraught with discomfort and controversy, attending educators will also have the opportunity to explore their challenges (and even fears) of teaching in today’s often polarized classrooms.

As a prelude to the important work of these three days, First Lady Kristen Cooper will welcome teachers for a luncheon at the Executive Mansion where we will wade into the content of our event with curator Michael Ausbon, who will share a bit about the history of the Mansion.

Teachers will also be given time to explore the NC Museum of History’s new exhibit on Reconstruction, Freedom! A Promise Disrupted, North Carolina, as well as the permanent exhibit The Story of North Carolina, in order to consider both the content presented and the use of primary sources as a teaching strategy for “hard history.” The agenda will also include attention to how the arts can serve as an access point for discussing difficult topics, including a presentation from Mary D. Williams, who will illustrate how music can be a strong tool for learning about slavery and civil rights. Sonny Kelly will also perform an excerpt of his one-man show, “The Talk,” centered around a painful conversation a father has with his seven-year-old son regarding violence against black people in a racialized America, while weaving current events with complicated history.

While these two days will certainly challenge participants to critically examine and reconsider difficult aspects of our past and present, the ultimate goal is that participants will leave understanding the importance of engaging in honest conversation and comprehensive teaching about history and its lasting legacies. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, “Avoiding honest conversation about history has undermined our ability to build a nation where racial justice can be achieved. Only by telling the truth about the age of racial terror and collectively reflecting on this period and its legacy can we hope that our present-day conversations about racial exclusion and inequality – and any policies designed to address these issues – will be accurate, thoughtful, and informed.”

Teachers participating in this FREE workshop will receive:

  • 3.0 CEUs (with the completion of required pre-readings)
  • Breakfast and lunch each day
  • Single-occupancy hotel accommodations for teachers traveling more than 85 miles round trip; please utilize mapping software to calculate the distance from your home to 5 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601 to ensure you qualify for a room.
    • If you do not meet the mileage requirements but have special circumstances for which you would like to request a room, you can inquire by contacting Paul Bonnici at
  • Substitute reimbursement for school’s who cannot cover the cost. (Upon notification of acceptance to the training, you will receive details for receiving your substitute scholarship. Teachers are eligible for up to two substitute scholarships per calendar year.)

Who can register?

Registrants must be a full-time, currently practicing 8th – 12th grade teacher or curriculum coordinator. Content and topics covered will be most applicable to teachers of social studies and history courses, but any teacher interested in addressing workshop themes in the classroom (such as teachers of English/Language Arts, humanities courses, etc.) can apply to attend. Participants must be able to attend ALL hours of the agenda. Registrants must also commit to completing all pre-readings (listed at the end of the agenda) prior to the event.

Review the AGENDA and to apply, complete this form by October 1, 2019.


The William Friday Teacher Retreat: Carolina Voices

Save the Date

November 10-12, 2019 | UNC-Chapel Hill



Cancellation for Carolina K-12 Trainings

Carolina K-12 is dedicated to assisting teachers by providing free trainings, materials, participant meals, etc. Carolina K-12 does not require a deposit or fee to attend our trainings; therefore, we ask that registered participants needing to cancel do so at least one week prior to the training date. Please understand that participants who do not cancel their spot in a timely fashion prevent teachers on the waiting list from participating.

Attend the Program in the Humanities & Human Values’ General Seminars at a Discount & Receive a $75 Stipend Post-Attendance!

In addition to the free teacher trainings offered by Carolina K-12, educators can also register to attend the numerous seminars offered by the Program in the Humanities and Human Values (the Program.) While these lectures are designed for a general audience and will not include pedagogical training, they are an excellent way for teachers to broaden their content knowledge in various subjects as life-long-learners.

Scholarships covering 50% of the tuition are available for all Adventures in Ideas seminars for currently employed full-time teachers, librarians, and administrators in K-12 public and private schools and community colleges. These teacher scholarships for general seminars are made possible by generous donors to the Humanities Program. Check out the listing of general programs offered by the Program in the Humanities & Human Values here.

If you see a general program you would like to attend, take the following steps to apply for the 50% discount:

  • If filling out the paper registration form, complete and sign the “Attention Teachers” portion of the form and enclose payment (the full tuition less the 50% discount.) Optional meals are also served for a fee; should you choose to participate in the optional meal, you’ll add that amount to your discounted tuition amount.  If registering online, please follow the instructions listed on our registration page.
  • Funding restrictions do not allow us to award scholarships to substitute or retired teachers. The Program’s “first time participant’s discount” or a “three or more discount” may not be combined with a teacher scholarship.
  • Should you need to cancel your participation, $30 is non-refundable. Reservations for optional meals may be cancelled up to noon two business days before a seminar.
  • Applications without a signature or payment cannot be processed and will be returned.
  • Please note that scholarships are not needed for any event hosted by Carolina K-12, which are free of charge to teachers. Scholarships are only needed for the Program in the Humanities & Human Values’ general programs.

Teachers who attend the Humanities Program’s Adventures in Ideas seminars can apply for a $75 stipend via the Daisy Edmister Fund!

Visit the Daisy Edmister Fund site for more information. 

Scholarships for Teachers at Raleigh Charter High School

Thanks to a generous gift from Novie Beth Ragan Gad, whose children are graduates of Raleigh Charter, both full and part-time teachers at Raleigh Charter High School are eligible to receive a scholarship to any Humanities Program seminar. Funds will be reimbursed upon successful completion of the seminar. For information, please call 919.962.1544.

Custom Trainings

Carolina K-12 also offers customized trainings for individual schools, school districts, and extra-curricular programs (i.e., 4-H, Youth Councils, etc.) We can also organize a professional development retreat for your group at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Costs vary. To learn more about our customization options, as well as our trainings for after school and youth leadership programs, please contact Christie Hinson Norris at 919.843.9387  or

Professional Development Spotlight

From Segregation to Civil Rights: A Journey through North Carolina’s History

On January 14th, 2008, Carolina K-12 (then named NC Civic Education Consortium) hosted a training for North Carolina history educators on teaching about our state’s diverse past.

  • Check out this video for an inside look at our teacher workshops!
  • To access the curriculum from this workshop, click here.