Illinois will be the first state to require public schools to teach Asian-American studies if the governor signs a bill to pass the legislature. Legislators have proposed similar missions this year in Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin.
Illinois representative Jennifer Gong Garsowitz said he sponsored the bill in response to anti-Asian violence and rising rhetoric. Growing up, she said it wasn’t taught at school, and she knew little about the discrimination her family faced in previous generations because her family didn’t speak openly about it.
“I think their reaction to that discrimination, like many Asian families, was to endure and survive,” she said. “And that meant not talking about it, but overcoming it and not educating the next generation about the struggles faced by the first generation.”
Gong-Gershowitz learned about the Chinese Exclusion Act, the 1882 law banning Chinese workers from immigrating, the only law banning the entry of certain ethnic groups, and the threat of deportation it poses to grandparents. Was up to law school. .. Understanding its history is central to tackling today’s violence, she said.
“When people talk about what we’re trying to do about racism, hatred, violence, and otherization, my answer is always to look at the root cause,” she said. “Empathy comes from understanding, and we can’t do better unless we know better.”
Parliamentarians and students promote Asian-American studies from kindergarten to high school | Illinois News
Source link Parliamentarians and students promote Asian-American studies from kindergarten to high school | Illinois News