Bridges Not Walls

Teaching Tolerance Grants in Action: “Bridges Not Walls” Spotlight with 7th Grade Teacher Emily Conner

TT Educator Grants support social justice work at the classroom, school and district levels. Grants Manager Jey Ehrenhalt spoke with Emily Conner about her students’ pop-up exhibit of Latinx immigration history and policy in Portland, Oregon.


At The Cottonwood School in Portland, Oregon, Emily Conner guides her seventh-graders through an exploration of their hometown. The school frames its place-based education around their immediate environment, its culture and its social history. This year, Conner’s class examined national immigration history and policy with a special focus on Oregon and the city of Portland. “It would be doing a disservice to the kids if we didn’t address it,” Conner reflects. “I wanted to focus on Latino immigration because of how relevant it is to the news, our community and the greater Portland area.”

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