East LA Student Walkouts 50 Year Later: Many of the Same Issues Persist

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SACRAMENTO— To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the East LA student walkouts, Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), in partnership with Assembly and academic colleagues, held a press conference to discuss the historical impact of the protests and the continued need for the integration of ethnic studies into public school curriculum. The event served to urge legislative support for AB 2772, which would mandate ethnic studies as a high school graduation requirement.

“Fifty years ago, high school students in East LA walked out of their classrooms to demand higher quality education. The curriculum did not reflect their history, their teachers did not look like them, and there was not enough being done to ensure that Latino students had the resources and support to succeed,” noted Assemblymember Medina. “Fifty years later, most of the demands the students made have still not been implemented; the greatest being a curriculum that integrates the significance of their background and histories into America’s story. AB 2772 would help close this gap in education and ensure that California raises culturally competent citizens.”

“I’m proud to be a joint author on AB 2772,” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). “Ethnic Studies curriculum has proven tangible benefits in the form of empowering students and improving high school grades and graduation rates.”

“It has become an imperative that we must not only do what we have done over the years, which is make resolutions and encouraging curriculum that is optional,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). “This bill is about mandating ethnic studies curriculum for the people of California. It will enhance and strengthen who we are… We are a diverse state that is very proud of our diversity, but we must have that diversity reflected in the curriculum.”

Assemblymember Medina proudly represents California’s 61st Assembly District, which consists of Riverside, Moreno Valley, and Perris.



Contact: Kelly Reynolds (916) 319-2061