Choices Blog

The Kurdish Referendum

Andy Blackadar

On Monday, September 25, 2017, 92 percent of the Kurds in Iraq voted for independence in a vote that has been condemned by Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Each of these countries, with their significant populations of Kurds, is reluctant to allow Kurds to establish an independent state.

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A Changing Cuba

jdf@brown.edu

Since December 17, 2014, when Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced that the U.S. and Cuba would normalize relations after over fifty years without any diplomatic ties, Cuba has dominated U.S. headlines. Some people see this historic shift as the latest in a series of short, dramatic periods of change that characterize Cuban history—starting with […]

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Young People Take Action on Climate Change

jdf@brown.edu

“Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future. Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world […]

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Can We Trust Iran?

jdf@brown.edu

“If the nuclear crisis is ever to get resolved, now is the time for it to get resolved.” —Payam Mohseni, Director of Iran Project, Harvard University With the deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program drawing near, The New York Times put out a video today outlining what is at stake in the Iran negotiations.   […]

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Nukes Over North Carolina—Were We Lucky?

Susannah Bechtel

On January 24, 1961, two hydrogen bombs crashed to the ground outside Goldsboro, North Carolina. One hit a field at 700 miles per hour and shattered without detonating. The other remained intact after its parachute was snared by the branches of a tree. The plane carrying the bombs was a U.S. B-52 bomber. After taking […]

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Why Does Climate Change Matter?

jdf@brown.edu

That the climate is changing, and that human activity is playing a substantial role in accelerating that change, is not a new discovery. About one hundred years ago, a Swedish chemist first calculated how human emissions of greenhouse gases might influence global average temperatures. At the Earth Summit in 1992—the largest gathering of international leaders […]

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The Umbrella Movement and Trends of Modern Protest

jdf@brown.edu

Over the past five years, we have seen a surge of public uprisings around the world. From Tunis, Cairo, and Madrid to Istanbul, Kiev, and Caracas, people have turned to public protest and civil disobedience to express frustration with their countries’ distinct social, economic, and political states. The Choices Program has just published a new […]

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Nelson Mandela—”A Giant of History”

ml56@brown.edu

On December 10, the official memorial service for Nelson Mandela was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tens of thousands of people from across the world—presidents, prime ministers, and everyday people—gathered for the service. As a nod to Mandela’s lifetime achievements, the memorial service coincided with the United Nations’ Human Rights Day. Coincidently, December 10 also […]

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50 Years after the March on Washington: Student Activist Stories

lmelliot@brown.edu

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. This day gives us an exceptional reason to reflect on that event, the civil rights struggle, and the challenges that remain. It is important that students not only focus on the philosophy and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also on the experiences of […]

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Revisiting Westward Expansion

Andy Blackadar

In recent years, scholars have worked to reexamine the history of the West by focusing on Native American groups. With limited sources, they have pieced together histories that do not generalize the experiences of Native Americans, and that accurately portray the complicated interactions that occurred in the West. A new curriculum resource from the Choices […]

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Using Choices in the Middle School Classroom

Sarah Massey

By guest blogger Caitlin Moore, Excel Academy Charter School I just finished teaching a unit on foreign policy for an 8th grade government class at a high performing urban charter school in East Boston, Massachusetts. It serves 210 middle school students from primarily East Boston and Chelsea. Approximately 72% of the students qualify for free […]

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New in Scholars Online: Benjamin Hopkins

Tanya Waldburger

“[Afghanistan] turns from being this…central player in a regional order into being this…land of endemic chaos that doesn’t really fit any place.” How did Afghanistan become the country it is today? Professor Benjamin Hopkins takes a look back at the history of Central Asia and how British imperialism shaped the future of Afghanistan. This video […]

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New in Scholars Online: Charles Tripp

Tanya Waldburger

In November 2002, a team of Iraq experts was assembled to meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair and advise him on the consequences of going to war in Iraq. Charles Tripp, a professor of Middle East politics at the University of London, was a member of that team. Here he gives a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account […]

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Thirteen Days: More than One Option

Andy Blackadar

There’s a scene in the movie Thirteen Days when the actor playing Bobby Kennedy shouts, “No! No! No! There’s more than one option here.”
The film isn’t perfect, but it really does capture a sense of the tension and drama of the Cuban Missile Crisis, arguably it’s a great way to introduce high school students to this critical moment in history

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New in Scholars Online: Senator Jack Reed

Tanya Waldburger

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee, and has been to Iraq fifteen times since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Here he talks about why high school students should care about the decision to invade Iraq. This video is part of the Scholars Online collection […]

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New in Scholars Online: Robert Lee

Tanya Waldburger

In January, we interviewed Robert Lee, an associate professor of American Civilization at Brown University, on the topic of immigration. Lee studies the history of Asians in the United States, racial formations, and relations between Asia and America. In this video, Professor Lee talks about how race has affected the immigrant experience. Visit Scholars Online […]

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