Kent State Invites Educators to Apply for Summer Workshop About May 4, 1970

Kent State University invites educators of students in grades 6-12 to apply by March 1 for its Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop, “Making Meaning of May 4: The 1970 Kent State Shootings in U.S. History.” Co-directors Laura Davis, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of English and former founding director of the May 4 Visitors Center, and Todd Hawley, Ph.D., associate professor of social studies teacher education, were awarded $170,000 in funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to create this workshop that serves as a capstone to the yearlong 50th commemoration of the events of May 4, 1970, the day when Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on Kent State students protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine.

“Workshop participants will work with the country’s most knowledgeable experts on the history of the events at Kent State on May 4,” Davis explained. “Scholar-experts will set the May 4 history in the context of the 1960s era of change and examine May 4’s lasting impact and relation to contemporary events.”

Workshop speakers include witnesses to the shootings, two surviving casualties of the shootings and an officer in the Ohio National Guard on site during the shootings. The workshops offer significant and timely opportunities to create humanities lessons based on the best research, vivid accounts and artifacts of the history of the May 4.

The workshop will be hosted at Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center, within the landmark site that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2016.

“May 4 was one of those local moments of tragedy that swiftly rippled outward to attain a meaning and significance that resonated nationally, internationally and throughout history,” noted Neil Cooper, Ph.D., director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State. “It resonated around the world because it spoke to so many issues that are relevant to all societies, whether past, present or future.”

Annette Kratcoski, Ph.D., the project team member and director of the Research Center for Educational Technology at Kent State, said, “When I think about our goals for 2020, I think about the power of the workshop for both teachers and students. The workshop provides an important opportunity to connect current and future generations with the legacy of May 4, 1970, and themes that resonate today related to student activism, peace and conflict resolution.”

“Each day, participants will work with faculty on preparing students to ask powerful questions, develop grounded examinations and become active, participatory citizens,” Hawley added.

Educators from across the U.S. representing a range of experience and disciplines – history, government, the arts, journalism and more – are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2020. The workshop will be offered twice: June 21-26 and July 12-17. Participants will have options for continuing education hours or graduate workshop credit hours. All Landmark Scholars – educators who participate in the workshop – are provided with a stipend of $1,200.

For more information about the workshop and how to apply, visit

For more information about the 50th Commemoration of May 4, visit

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Media Contacts:
Kedron Trapp,, 330-672-3697
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 3:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 11:43am
Rebecca Johnson