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Social Justice, Monuments, Museums, and Heritage

Seminar Leader:
Richard M. Leventhal


Monuments, museums, and heritage are all critical parts of the world that we create around us. These are the things that de-fine who we are today, where we have come from, and where we are going. We use them to teach young people about both the past and how we understand the present social and cul-tural systems. In recent years, social, racial, and economic justice movements have pushed us to rethink the function of monuments, museums, and heritage. In this seminar, we reconsidered the ways we represent our colonial past. Here in Philadelphia, the city grappled with monuments of Frank Rizzo and Christo-pher Columbus, and with collections of human remains at the Penn Museum. How can heritage and the commemoration of the past force us to think about the present and the future? How can monuments and museums change meanings over time? And how can our heritage landscape better represent who we are today – including both our history and our aspira-tions for the future?

Unit TitleAuthor


Don Quixote, the Impossible Dream, and the American Street Empowerment Zone

Jenifer Félix
Keywords: Bilingual, Don Quijote, Don Quixote, Emigration, Empowerment Zones, Kensington, Monuments and Statues, Philadelphia Geography, Philadelphia history, Representation, Spanish as a Heritage Language, Spanish as a Native Language

Evaluate the Power of a “Heart on Fire”

Theresa Eck
Keywords: analyzing historical evidence, APUSH, challenging dominant narratives, dominant narrative, HIPP, nation state, progressivism, Reconstruction

Old City Philadelphia

Mary Patricia Lavin

Blood Money – The Making of Philadelphia’s Heroes

Deborah Wei

Who Tells Your Story? The Power of Debate and Discourse in the High School Classroom

Katherine Steiner
Keywords: Christopher Columbus, debate, High School, Monument, Mural, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rocky

Indigenous Voices: Crossroads between Monuments and Trees

Lisa Yuk Kuen Yau
Keywords: Crazy Horse, indigenous people, Little Bighorn Battlefield., Monuments, Mount Rushmore, Penn Treaty Tree

Monuments, Museums and Murals: An Impact on Individual Identity

Jennifer Gallagher
Keywords: Culture, heritage, identity and social justice, memorial, Monument, Mural, museum, statue, symbol

Philly Proud: Researching the Cultural History of Philadelphia and How Children See Themselves

Karenin Loinaz
Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia, south philadelphia, Southwark

Connecting with our Community: Public Art, Monuments, and Social Justice

Alison Marzuoli
Keywords: Abstract Sculpture, Monuments, Public Art, social justice

Whose Cultural Heritage?

Tia D. Larese
Keywords: Cultural, Digital Learning, diversity, elementary, ELL, English language learners, heritage, Immigrant, Indigenous Voices, Misrepresentation, Monument, Mural, Representation