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)
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.
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
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
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
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
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;
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
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
for appropriate distribution.