ACTION ALERT: SUPPORT ETHNIC STUDIES IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION

Message from Assemblymember Ricardo Lara & Luis Alejo:

ACTION ALERT:  SUPPORT ETHNIC STUDIES IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION

Dear Friends,

Assemblymember Ricardo Lara (D-South Gate) and I are co-authoring legislation (ACR 34) in support of Ethnic Studies programs in California. It highlights the importance of such programs in our academic institutions.  As you may know, ethnic studies classes, programs and departments have come under attack and are currently under scrutiny under difficult budgetary decision-making at our universities.  Now is the time to show the valuable importance of ethnic studies in our institutions of higher education.

We would appreciate having your support for this resolution by your organization.  Please send in your letter of support (See attached example below, fact sheet, & language of ACR 34).  We look forward to working together to have this approved by the California State Legislature this year.

Sincerely,

LUIS A. ALEJO
State Assemblymember, 28th District

Please mail letters to:  Assemblymember Ricardo Lara, State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA  94249-0050.

Fact Sheet Assembly Members Ricardo Lara & Luis Alejo ACR 34 – United for Ethnic Studies in California

Summary: ACR 34 acknowledges and celebrates the history and accomplishments of California’s ethnic studies departments and program, including their faculty, staff and students.

Background: Ethnic studies programs and departments were created at California’s universities as a response to a student-led movement dating back to the 1960s.

The movement for ethnic studies included demonstrations, student protests and hunger strikes, where students, faculty and community members demanded university courses that were relevant to them and their communities. ACR 34 highlights the importance of ethnic studies as an academic discipline and recognizes its research, scholarship and programs that study and teach the experiences, history, culture and heritage of African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanas/os and Latinas/os, Native Americans, and other persons of color in the United States.

ACR 34
ACR 34 acknowledges that ethnic studies provide students in all segments of California’s education system with a fuller and deeper understanding of California and United States history.

Staff Contact: Jacqueline Serna, (916) 319-2050

ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 34

BILL NUMBER: ACR 34 INTRODUCED
BILL TEXT

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Lara
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Alejo)

MARCH 8, 2011

Relative to ethnic studies.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

ACR 34, as introduced, Lara. Ethnic studies programs.
This measure would formally endorse the invaluable work of
California’s ethnic studies programs, and their faculty, staff, and
students. The measure would recognize the leadership provided by the
beneficiaries of those programs, and would support the continuation
of ethnic studies programs in California’s institutions of higher
education.
Fiscal committee: no.


WHEREAS, The genesis and salience of ethnic studies as an academic
discipline encompass research, scholarship, and programs that study
and teach the experiences, history, culture, and heritage of African
Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanas and Chicanos, Latinas and
Latinos, Native Americans, and other persons of color in the United
States; and
WHEREAS, Formal ethnic studies programs and departments at
California’s universities are a response to a student-led movement
dating back to the 1960s, including demonstrations, student protests,
and hunger strikes, where students, faculty, and community members
demanded university courses that were relevant to them and their
communities; and
WHEREAS, The formalization of ethnic studies fostered greater
demand and recognition of the need for faculty and staff from diverse
communities, allowing for broader representation at California’s
universities; and
WHEREAS, Ethnic studies have grown into a respected academic
field, complete with professional organizations, institutionalized
departments and related programs across the United States, and
numerous research journals and award-winning publications; and
WHEREAS, The study of ethnic populations has grown to include
comparative and international approaches to the study of ethnicity
and the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality; and
WHEREAS, Ethnic studies acknowledges the role of America’s diverse
racial and ethnic peoples as equal actors in the history of
California and the United States; and
WHEREAS, California is a “majority minority” state with the
largest percentage, 57 percent, of minority people in the United
States; and
WHEREAS, A broader education on diverse racial and ethnic groups
provides a fuller and deeper understanding of California and United
States history and helps promote greater understanding among people
from different backgrounds; and
WHEREAS, Ethnic studies departments, programs, and related
projects promote constructive communication and collaborative efforts
between different and diverse groups and encourage the demonstration
of respect, understanding, appreciation, equality, and dignity; and
WHEREAS, Long-standing attacks on ethnic studies departments,
programs, and related projects, and the recent increase of attacks in
particular, misrepresents the intentions and serious intellectual
and scholarly commitments of the ethnic studies departments; and
WHEREAS, Support for ethnic studies departments, programs, and
related projects, including budgetary commitments, will allow for the
continued guidance and teaching of a new generation of students who
will greatly impact and positively influence California policy and
government; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate
thereof concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California
formally endorses the invaluable work of California’s ethnic studies
departments, programs, and related projects, and their faculty,
staff, and students; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature of the State of California also
duly recognizes the leadership provided by the beneficiaries of these
programs who have contributed greatly to the academic rigor,
prominence, and distinguishing qualities of California’s colleges and
universities and the vitality of other public and private
institutions, including the California state government; and be it
further
Resolved, That the Legislature of the State of California supports
the continuation of ethnic studies departments, programs, and
related projects in California’s institutions of higher education;
and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of
this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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About UCSC Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES)

This blog is maintained by students throughout UCSC. We recognize that students have been working around Ethnic Studies for multiple decades and at many levels of the university. We claim no ownership over any movement or material that is produced. We ask that any materiel used from the blog is cited and used for only educational purposes. Most importantly that it is done with honor and respect for the many people who worked in the struggle for Ethnic Studies. We would also like to point out that the name Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) was created to acknowledge the intellectual development of Ethnic Studies since the beginning of this struggle. The name came from countless meetings and hours with many different undergrads, graduate students, and faculty.
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2 Responses to ACTION ALERT: SUPPORT ETHNIC STUDIES IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION

  1. Pingback: ACTION ALERT: SUPPORT ETHNIC STUDIES IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION « the graduate student alliance

  2. Mas Hashimoto says:

    We of the Watsonville-Santa Cruz Chapter of the National Japanese American Citizens League sent a letter of support on April 30, 2011 to Assembly Marty Block, Chair of the Assembly High Education Committe, and a letter of support to Assemblyman Luis Alejo, our local representative in the Assembly.

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