Teaching Our Diversity

Support sought to promote ethnic studies in California high schools

By Luis Angel Alejo
Published on LatinoLA: March 28, 2002

Teaching Our Diversity

I am writing you this letter to ask for your support for AB 2001, which aims to promote ethnic studies courses as a standard part of California public high school curriculum as a means to teach respect for diversity, tolerance, and understanding of the various racial and ethnic groups of California.

What this bill does: This bill initiates this effort by creating a task force of experts in
ethnic studies, educators, researchers, professional association, and
community-based organizations that will prepare a report on ethnic studies that provides the essential information in making this goal a reality.

Why this bill is needed:

Every year, California is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. The rich diversity of our state is reflected in California's publicschools. Today, 63.5 percent of all students in California public schools are people of color.

In an ever-changing society, it becomes especially important to teach students respect, tolerance, and understanding of the various ethnic and racial groups of California. It is also important that the curriculumof our public schools reflect our evolving understanding of the histories and cultures that make up our state.

Making an ethnic studies course a standard part of the public high school curriculum is a way to achieve this critical goal. Furthermore, it is important to prepare California's students for the complex society in which they live, with the knowledge and skills to be more understanding members of their respective communities and embrace the changes around them.

What can I do:

This bill will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday, April 3, 2002. We are asking organizations and community members to send in their letters of support to the Assembly Education Committee at 1020 N Street, #15, Sacramento, CA 95814. Your letters are important for their will be reviewed by the committee members and will be listed on the "AB 2001 Fact Sheet" and the committee analysis. Please, also send a copy to our offices as well to keep in records at: Office of Assembly member Manny Diaz, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0023.

You can contact me to receive the current fact sheet on AB 2001 as well as the bill language and a sample letter to assist you (please modify the letter as
you like) at (916) 319-2519 or by e-mail at

About Luis Angel Alejo:
Luis Angel Alejo is a legislative aide for Assembly member Manny Diaz (D-San Jose)

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