PETITION TO IMPLEMENT ETHNIC STUDIES IN SANTA ANA
We, the undersigned, support the effort to construct and implement an ethnic studies program that extends to all schools K-12, an ethnic studies high school graduation requirement, and the planning of an ethnic studies summer institute where teachers can engage in pedagogy and curriculum that is culturally relevant and responsive to the Santa Ana community.
Santa Ana is rich in diversity, with cultural roots from places like Cambodia, Vietnam, Samoa, Central America, and one of the largest Mexican American populations outside of Mexico, yet the majority of our students’ histories and cultures have been pushed out of the curriculum. We have a diversity of people that are Asian American, African American, American Indian, Chicanx/Latinx, and White, yet much of the curriculum has remained eurocentric. We want a curriculum that reflects the diversity and linguistic legacy of our students.
Through ethnic studies, we want a curriculum that will teach tolerance, respect, and, most importantly, love and appreciation for the various cultures and histories of our diverse population. To quote the Common Core English/Language Arts Framework, “With over sixty languages other than English spoken by California’s students. . .[the] state of California recognizes its deep responsibility to ensure that each and every student receives a world class 21st century education. . .[and] to discuss all aspects of California’s diverse student population.” We need to investigate the rich histories and lived experiences of the people that make up the city of Santa Ana, California, and the totality of this great nation. We need classes that reduce student truancy and dropout rates, increase restorative practices and student enrollment, and better prepare California youth to be college and career-ready. Most importantly, we want ethnic studies to empower students to transform themselves and their communities in positive ways.