Last night, Oregon’s most comprehensive district-wide policy on Ethnic Studies was approved by a vote of 7-0 by the Portland Public School’s Board of Education, a victory for the year-long “Missing Pages of Our History” Ethnic Studies campaign! The APANO youth organizing group, Asian and Pacific Islander Leaders for the Liberation of Youth, or ”ALLY”, composed of Metro Portland area high school students, have worked for the last year to promote student success through establishing a comprehensive Ethnic Studies curriculum to be implemented in all Portland Public Schools by Fall 2018.
“Learning about different types of cultural backgrounds through ethnic studies is important to me because it helps people of different communities to integrate as one whole community by being able to empathize with one another, instead of being dissociated and segregated from each other,” says Jean, an ALLY member who testified in support of the resolution at last night’s meeting.
You can check out the video on our Facebook page of the unanimous vote taking place here.
This is just the first step to a longer journey! The board led by Superintendent Carole Smith will now take steps to address budget considerations and future implementation including forming an oversight committee comprised of teachers and students, co-chaired by an APANO ALLY leader to co-create the Ethnic Studies curriculum and ensure course offerings are in place by Fall 2018.
Finally, thank you to YOU – our members, coalition partners, supporters, and allies for your support of the “Missing Pages of Our History” Ethnic Studies Campaign! You attended ALLY’s events, sent letters to each board member, shared posts on Facebook and Twitter, and donated to the campaign and without your collaborative support, we would not have made it this far! With our deepest and heartfelt appreciations, we thank you.