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 2021 Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop, “Making Meaning of May 4: The 1970 Kent State Shootings in U.S. History,” which has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Seal for the National Endowment for the Humanities

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 initially awarded funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2019 to create this workshop that served 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.

This year’s workshop speakers include scholars and experts who will address May 4 and related historical events, the First Amendment, student activism, sociocultural change during the 1960s and early ’70s, and inquiry-based learning. Among these presenters are six individuals who witnessed the shootings on May 4, 1970. The workshops offer significant and timely opportunities to create humanities lessons based on the best research, vivid accounts and artifacts of the history of May 4. The workshop will be delivered 100% online.

“Like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the May 4 Kent State shootings site is a tangible reminder of America’s internal struggle over an unpopular foreign war,” Davis said. “At Kent State on May 4, students sought to exercise their First Amendment rights and responsibility to air their grievance with the U.S. president – his broken promise to de-escalate the war. May 4 immediately became the day the war came home.”

Kratcoski, the project team member and director of the Research Center for Educational Technology at Kent State, said, “Our hope is that the workshop will empower teachers to address the May 4 story in their own curriculum in a way that leads students to think critically about connections between the events of May 4 and current social movements of today and to begin to ponder their own role as young citizens with the potential to affect positive change in times of conflict.”

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, 2021. This remote workshop will be offered twice: June 20-25 and July 18-23. Participants will have options for certificate of contact hours or graduate workshop credit hours. All Landmark Scholars – educators who participate in the workshop – are provided with a stipend of $1,300.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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

# # #

Media Contacts:
Laura Davis,
Annette Kratcoski,, 330-672-3371
Julie Selby,, 330-672-2683

POSTED: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 4:10pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 4:30pm
Daniela Munoz Perales