• Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning

What is Ethnic Studies?

Ethnic studies is the critical and interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity focused on the experiences and perspectives of people of color within and beyond the United States.

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What’s Going On

Lead Teachers:

  • Fernando Santillan – Edison High School
  • Lauren Beal – Edison High School
  • Uziel Jimenez – Sunnyside High School
  • Amy Sepulveda – Fort Miller Middle School

Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee:

December 7, 2021

May 24, 2022

Ethnic Studies Student Highlights

Comprehensive Ethnic Studies

Chicano Studies

African American Studies

The academic subject that inspires me the most is my African American Studies class. This is a widely diverse class where we learn about the truth and the roots of African American history. The importance of this course is that we learn the untold stories about what happened during the times of slavery and not the watered-down version. This class benefits me by seeing my own culture discussed and valued in the school setting. This makes me feel more connected to the school, teachers, and to my peers. Classes like African American Studies create welcoming school climates overall. Also, African American Studies has other benefits such as inspiring students to get engaged in learning, increasing their probability of graduating, and increasing the likelihood of enrolling in college.

        This class has furthered my interest outside of the classroom as well, by making me want to learn more and pursue information about African American history, and potentially being able to teach it to our youth. By taking this course, I realized that I engaged more than I would in a normal class setting where I would tend to be one of thevery few people of color in my class.

        Outside of the classroom, I joined a club called BSU, which stands for Black Student Union. Not only did this help me learn even more about my race, but it also helped me to  identify who I was as a black male in America. It also has taught me leadership skills because as a senior, I am now the BSU president. Overall, this class has benefitted me in many ways, from teaching me new curriculum I didn’t know, to getting me involved and becoming a leader.

Myles Lee

Ethnic Studies Overview
African American Studies Overview

Guiding Values and Principles of Ethnic Studies  

Cultivate empathy, community actualization, cultural perpetuity1, self-worth, self-determination, and the holistic well-being of all participants, especially Native People/s and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC); Celebrate and honor Native People/s of the land and communities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color by providing a space to share their stories of success, community collaboration, and solidarity, along with their intellectual and cultural wealth; Center and place high value on the pre-colonial, ancestral knowledge2, narratives, and communal experiences of Native People/s and people of color and groups that are typically marginalized in society; 
Critique empire-building in history and its relationship to white supremacy, racism and other forms of power and oppression3;  Challenge racist, bigoted, discriminatory, imperialist/colonial4 beliefs and practices on multiple levels;Connect ourselves to past and contemporary social movements that struggle for social justice and an equitable and democratic society; and conceptualize, imagine, and build new possibilities for a post-racist, post-systemic racism society that promotes collective narratives of transformative resistance, critical hope, and radical healing.5
Adapted from the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview

Course Offerings:

  • African American Studies
  • Chicano Studies
  • Comprehensive Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies Resources:

California Assembly Bill:

Contact Information:

Kimberly Lewis
VPSA Ethnic Studies
(559) 457-3935

Email link
Ethnic Studies Internal Staff Site

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