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Online Class on The Kaepernick Effect with Dave Zirin

November 8, 2021 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm CST

On November 8, 2021, author Dave Zirin — the people’s sports writer—will join educator Jesse Hagopian in dialogue for the Zinn Education Project’s Teach the Black Freedom Struggle online people’s history class to discuss his new book, The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World.

The Zinn Education Project is a collaboration between Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change.

This extraordinary book is the essence of “people’s history.” So much of what’s been written about Colin Kaepernick focuses on his struggle with NFL owners, his impact on other pro athletes, or the debate in the media. Through extensive interviews with high school and college students around the country, the bulk of The Kaepernick Effect is dedicated to understanding how young people were inspired to launch a social movement from below. Zirin’s defines the “Kaepernick effect” in the introduction to the book:

When this project began, “The Kaepernick Effect” referred, in my mind, to the forgotten hundreds if not thousands of young athletes who took a knee during the national anthem in protest of racism and police brutality. They were, of course, echoing the actions of former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick…. But now, after interviewing many of these people across the United States, I understand that the “The Kaepernick Effect” was not the result of someone else’s protest, but a cause, a catalyst for something far greater. It was the warning for a future that came to pass after the police murder of George Floyd, coming on the heels of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

Dave Zirin, The Nation’s sports editor, is one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World” and is the author of ten books on the politics of sports — none more important than The Kaepernick Effect for helping educators understand how young people can change the world.

ASL interpretation provided.

Professional development credit certificate provided upon request for attendees.


Note that these online classes with people’s historians are held at least once a month (generally on Mondays) at 4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET for 90 minutes. In each session, the historian is interviewed by a teacher and breakout rooms allow participants (in small groups) to meet each other, discuss the content, and share teaching ideas. We designed the sessions for teachers and other school staff, however, parents, students, and others are welcome to participate.


November 8, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm CST