Don Romesburg Prize

We are pleased to announce the Don Romesburg Prize for outstanding K-12 curriculum in LGBT history. Don is a former co-chair of the CLGBTH and the lead author of the groundbreaking report, Making the Framework FAIR: California’s History-Social Science Framework Proposed LGBT Revisions Related to the FAIR Education Act, which he wrote about for Perspectives in 2016. We are thrilled to honor and to extend his work to bring intersectional and research-driven LGBT history content to K-12 students. The prize will be awarded for the first time at the 2019 meeting of the AHA, and will be awarded in consecutive odd-numbered years, covering the previous two years. It will be open to K-12 educators in all content areas and educational institutions. We will share the winning curriculum on our website and through our networks with the hope of encouraging teachers around the nation to adapt the content to meet their own objectives, standards, and student needs.

Submissions to the inaugural Don Romesburg Prize are due October 1, 2018. For details on how to apply, please see Current Prize Calls.


Winner: Emily Richards and Rachel Reinhard submitted a clearly contextualized and standards-aligned lesson that integrated the history of the Lavender Scare with the Red Scare. This lesson is intended for use in 11th grade classrooms. National and State content standards require high school United States history teachers to discuss the impacts of McCarthyism and the Cold War at home. This lesson’s focus on the Lavender Scare as an extension of larger Cold War fears allows educators to clearly see its significance and connection to their existing curriculum. In addition, this lesson’s emphasis on close reading, analysis of primary sources, and weighing and corroborating evidence aligns it squarely with state and national Common Core literacy and inquiry standards. The lesson is especially laudable for explicitly centering the historical analysis on the short-term and long-term impacts of the Cold War era on the LGBT community.

Runner-up: Bretton A. Varga’s lesson plan submission focused on the life and historical significance of Harvey Milk. The prize committee found this lesson impressive not only for its LGBTQ content but for its use of biography as a teaching tool and its innovative integration of educational technology tools (KidCitizen). Overall, the lesson is creative and engaging for use in an elementary school classroom.