UPDATE: On ACR 34 Ethnic Studies in CA

The following is taken from the note posted by State Assembly Member Luis Alejo regarding ACR 34: United For Ethnic Studies in CA. There are many questions to be answered. The language could be more specific about:

  • what types of funding commitments will this legislation bring and from where?
  • what sorts of commitments does this legislation make to Ethnic Studies as a autonomous political project within the Universities of CA?
  • is there a time frame for realization of ES?
  • is there a clear definition of how ES will be implemented in CA? Is it up to each institution or the State?
  • How will the state hold the university accountable for the realization & funding of ES?
  • How will the legislation involve themselves with student groups that are organizing for ES departments at the university level and elsewhere?

(Questions will update sporadically)


ACTION ALERT:  SUPPORT ETHNIC STUDIES IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION

ACR 34 TO BE HEARD IN THE ASSEMBLY HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE ON APRIL 12 (1:30PM)

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 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).  ACR 34 will be heard in the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Tuesday, 4/12/11 (at 1:30pm) at the State Capitol. 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.

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.

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.

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

ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 34

BILL NUMBER: ACR 34 INTRODUCED

Members Lara and Alejo

AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 5, 2011

Relative to ethnic studies.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

ACR 34, as amended, 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

WHEREAS, California is a “majority minority” state with the

largest percentage, 57 percent, of minority people in the United

WHEREAS, Latinos and other racial and ethnic groups account

for 57 percent of California’s population, making California the most

ethnically and racially diverse state in the nation; and 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 misrepresent

the intentions and serious intellectual and scholarly commitments of

the ethnic studies departments; and

WHEREAS, Support for ethnic studies departments, programs, and

within our state’s higher education segments,

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 and

WHEREAS, Support for ethnic studies within our K-12 public

school system will allow a new generation to greatly impact and

positively influence California’s relations and policy development;

and

WHEREAS, Actions to ban ethnic studies in states such as

Arizona distort our hallmark as a diverse nation, and mischaracterize

educational curricula that affirm this diversity as reverse racism,

hatred, and ethnocentrism; and

WHEREAS, The elimination of ethnic studies within any of our

state’s educational segments would put our students at a disadvantage

from a global perspective; 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

the Regents of the University of California,

the Board of Governors of the California State University, the Board

of Trustees of California Community Colleges, and

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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