Book: 101 Changemakers


Michele Bollinger lives in Washington, D.C., where she teaches high school social studies.
Dao X. Tran is an editor based in the Bronx, New York. Dao is currently working on the Domestic Worker Oral History Project. When not reading for work and pleasure, she enjoys time with her daughter Quyen, a changemaker of a different sort.

Educating and Inspiring Future Changemakers, reviewed March 24, 2013
review by Nancy Welch
As a college professor, I meet many students who in their late teens and early 20s have discovered and been transformed by Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. The transformative effect isn't just in how they see history - no longer a march of presidents and list of dates and battles but struggles and accomplishments by groups of ordinary people seeking rights, voice, and dignity. It is also in how they "do" history - taking up their own social justice history projects--and what they "do with" history - organizing with and inspiring others to press for progressive change. What Dao X. Tran and Michele Bollinger's 101 Changemakers does is make the Howard Zinn approach to history available and accessible to middle schoolers. In these pages they can learn about the society-shaking actions of Thomas Paine, Helen Keller, and Rosa Parks that conventional history books tone down. They are introduced to historical and contemporary changemakers, like Albert and Lucy Gonazalez Parsons and Laila Al-Arian or Billie Jean King and Chuck D, left out of mainstream history altogether. The book is remarkably comprehensive, readable, and engaging. But where it especially succeeds is in providing young people with the critical lens they need when they are offered conventional versions of U.S. history plus creative ideas for how to carry this changemaking history forward into renewed struggles for rights, voice, and dignity.