Copyright New York State Council for the Social Studies

Social studies educators are no strangers to teaching about invasions, wars, territorial disputes, and aggressions that lead to intense suffering, human rights violations, civil unrest, and conflicts, resulting in immense costs to human civilization. As educators, we seek to help our students understand past conflicts and human rights issues in order to be active participants in civic life. Such participation means that our students are prepared to take informed action and collaborate, communicate, be inclusive, and lead, so that the dignity, safety, security, and value of all humanity is a goal within their reach.

The New York State Council for the Social Studies supports the statement above from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis. As educators, these events should be shared, discussed and debated in our classrooms moving forward. The opportunity for us to lead by example is now more than ever. Therefore, per requests made at our 2022 Convention here is an opportunity to donate to families and children of Ukraine. The following application is linked to Americares. It is a global non-profit organization focused on health and development that responds to individuals affected by poverty, disaster, or crisis. The organization addresses poverty, disasters, or crises with medicine, medical supplies and health programs.

Thank you for your donation on behalf of NYSCSS members to this cause.

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Aid to Ukraine

Collected: $1,525.00
Goal: $1,000.00
Americares has an emergency response team on the ground in Poland to support health services for families affected by the escalating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The team, which is in Krakow, has expertise in coordinating large-scale shipments of medicine and relief supplies and mobilizing emergency medical teams in crisis situations. Americares has 3 tons of critical medicine and medical supplies on the way to an organization working inside Ukraine, for hospitals and responders there.

Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee will consist of a minimum of five (5) members who will be appointed for staggered three-year terms. The committee will have co-chairpersons. Its purpose will be to review the content of the social studies curriculum in terms of human rights and to assist members in enhancing instruction in human rights.  Duties of the Human Rights Committee include:

  1. Review curriculum documents and assessment tools and concepts.
  2. Publish resource, methodological and curricular material.
  3. Work with the Convention Planning Committee to provide sessions on human rights.
  4. Assist local councils in meeting the needs of their members in terms of enhancing instruction in human rights.

Co-Chairs:  Barbara Bernard ( & Vincent Marmorale(


The New York State Council for the Social Studies Human Rights Committee is excited to offer a project developed by the committee co-chair, Vincent Marmorale. This project is the result of more than twenty years of research and perseverance. Vince began with the creation of the Italy and the Holocaust Foundation in order to generate donations to fund a theatrical documentary.

MY ITALIAN SECRET: The Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust is a documentary that tells the story of Italians, including sports idol Gino Bartali, whose most daring triumph came when he risked his life to save Jews threatened by extermination. The narrative of Bartali and the secret network he worked with tells the story of thousands of Italians who risked their lives to save others from capture and death. As most of Europe was engulfed in genocide, approximately 80 percent of Italy’s Jews survived. Most of these heroes never spoke of their courageous deeds or sought rewards.

MY ITALIAN SECRET tells the personal accounts that reflect this little known piece of history. Through these witnesses’ stories, viewers revisit the time when individual Italians had the courage to care in the midst of history’s worst nightmare. Our goal is to share these stories of survival and to educate future generations to learn the lessons of the Holocaust “If people are not indifferent, things can be different.”

To learn more about the Foundation and the documentary MY ITALIAN SECRET: The Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust, visit

MY ITALIAN SECRET producers Vincent Marmorale and Vincent Degiaimo talk about the film at St. Francis College:

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