SACRAMENTO— Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, convened students, teachers, and legislators to introduce Assembly Bill (AB) 101, which will require high schools to provide ethnic studies starting in academic year 2025-26 and require students to take one semester of ethnic studies to graduate beginning in 2029-2030.
“When you see yourself represented in what you are learning, you are more likely to want to learn, to want to read that textbook or that literature book and study how your ancestors have contributed, said Michelle Alas, student, Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, and member of Generation Up.
“Ethnic studies will serve as a preventative measure for further societal inequities and will be the basis of permissive and civically aware mindsets, said Sanya Dhama, student, Santiago High School in Corona, and member of California Association of Student Councils (CASC). “By congregating, increasing cultural competence, and connecting with each member of our diverse community, we will work towards a more unified community and country.”
“As civil unrest and racial tension have risen across the nation, ethnic studies provides hope for fostering understanding and unity,” said Assemblymember Jose Medina. “Requiring ethnic studies to be taught in high schools ensures that our state’s diversity is reflected in our education system. It is vital for students to learn about their history. This empowers students because they see their backgrounds, cultures, and experiences reflected in their studies for the first time. AB 101 is necessary to ensure all students develop a foundational and accurate understanding of United States history. I am re-introducing this bill because we can’t afford to wait any longer. The time is now to ensure ethnic studies for all by making it a high school graduation requirement.”