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Ms. Magazine, Oct 17, 2023

Excerpt from the article, written by OPAWL members Sharon Kim and Lalitha Pamidigantam:

In June, a multiracial coalition in Ohio organized a statehouse advocacy day for community members across the state to come and share with their legislators the reasons why they believe in an updated model curriculum and the Educating for Ohio’s Future campaign. The multiracial statewide coalition turned out more than 100 Ohioans who met with 46 members of the state legislature and their representatives. The response was overwhelmingly positive from attendees and legislators on both sides of the aisle.

In Ohio—where we currently stand in a quagmire of a culture war over education—when the coalition approached the public with the question of, “Do our children deserve honest history in schools?” we heard a resounding, “Yes.”

Our nation faces a reckoning on how we move forward in our attempts to build cross-racial, cross-ethnic solidarity, especially in the education space.

Public education in the United States has always been an arena for ideological combat—but as we quickly approach the 2024 presidential election, the right-wing is amping up its attacks. Controlling public education and its content, gutting access to diversity and beneficial curricula, is a top priority for right-wing candidates vying for the top seat of power. We see this effect ripple into all levels of education, from our local schools to universities—and those on the ground are actively fighting it.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are creating a movement to implement accurate and culturally representative curricula in public schools. The majority of Ohioans want this education, and we see this desire echoed nationally. In Illinois, we saw the historic passage of the TEAACH Act in 2021. Similar legislation was passed in New Jersey and Connecticut in 2022—showing a need and desire for inclusive curricula across the country. These education bills encompass a wide array of identities and histories.

We understand that our histories and our futures are tied to one another. This is the core of the AAPI curriculum movement.

Link to full article

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