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Greenberg Gift Supports Pioneering Collaboration


Donna and Jack Greenberg look on as Marc Skvirsky, vice president and chief program officer of Facing History and Ourselves, and DePaul President the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., sign an agreement formalizing the DePaul University-Facing History and Ourselves Collaboration at an event in Chicago on May 1, 2012. Chicago Director of Facing History and Ourselves Bonnie Oberman (on right) said the innovative collaboration creates a model for teacher education across the country.
A visionary commitment from DePaul University Trustee Jack Greenberg and his wife, Donna, has led to a first-of-its-kind, multiyear collaboration between DePaul and the international nonprofit organization Facing History and Ourselves. The collaboration will incorporate Facing History's acclaimed resources, materials, and classroom strategies on civic engagement and social justice throughout programs for working and aspiring teachers in DePaul's College of Education.

The collaboration, with the potential to impact thousands of elementary and high school students, is the first between Facing History and a university college of education. "Facing History and Ourselves has developed very powerful and effective pedagogies and professional development programs for teachers that address some of the most critically urgent issues of our time," said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul. "This agreement strengthens and extends the College of Education's programming in a manner consistent with the university's historical commitment to social justice."

Margot Stern Strom, founder and executive director of Facing History and Ourselves, agreed. "When new teachers train in the teaching of these difficult issues during their own educational years, they are so much more likely to feel confident and comfortable engaging their classrooms in this critical study throughout their careers. Facing History is proud and honored to establish this collaboration with DePaul University."

DePaul will employ Facing History's professional development methodology and resources that bring historical perspective to current dialogue in schools about racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance, and bullying. Once the collaboration is fully in place, virtually every teacher-preparation graduate from DePaul's College of Education will have experience in the Facing History approach. Graduates will have ongoing access to Facing History resources, workshops, and seminars as they move through their professional careers in education.

Within seven years, every teacher-preparation candidate at DePaul will have received instruction in the Facing History methodology as part of their education.

The DePaul University and Facing History and Ourselves Collaboration is generously supported by The Donna and Jack Greenberg Charitable Trust. Greenberg is a DePaul alumnus and trustee, and the couple specifically directed their seven-figure gift toward programs in the College of Education that will equip teachers to deal with issues of social justice in their schools. Former CEO and chairman of McDonald's, Greenberg is currently chair of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the city-state agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier.

"DePaul University has a long history of active inclusion, compassion, and opportunity," said Greenberg. "This mission is as important as it ever was, and Donna and I could think of no place better to advance this kind of work in the larger community than DePaul University and its College of Education. We are proud that DePaul is leading by example in this critical area. As the largest Catholic university in the country, it adds its moral authority to this important work."

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