The coalition spent months meeting with schools boards and teacher’s unions to implement AAPI lessons in classrooms, organized rallies and met regularly with state lawmakers.
“All children deserve to know they belong. All children deserve to feel safe. This law will help ensure Asian Americans are represented in our great American story,” het dr. Kani Ilangovan, a member of the coalition.
The coalition’s work has been part of a fresh drive from teachers
, organizations and legislators
— motivated by a surge in anti-Asian violence and last year’s shootings in the Atlanta area that left six Asian women dead
— to bring more nuanced
, representative Asian American history to classrooms
Teachers and education researchers previously told CNN that mentions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in school curriculums are limited. And mentions in social studies and history lessons are mostly limited to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and Chinese immigration and their participation in building railroads.
Russell Fan, a high school senior and co-founder of the Livingston AAPI Youth Alliance, said the new laws will help more students feel valued and even encourage them to participate.
“We will be able to feel more visible and safer, and that we are valued in our shared history, in the country we have built and continue to build together,” Fan said in a statement.