California Sikhs Applaud Signing of AB101 to Implement and Fund Ethnic Studies

California Sikhs Applaud Signing of AB101 to Implement and Fund Ethnic Studies

October 8, 2021 (Sacramento, CA) — This afternoon, the Sikh Coalition applauded Governor Newsom’s signing of AB101, which will implement and fund the ethnic studies high school graduation requirement in California’s public schools.

“The ethnic studies course requirement will provide an even greater opportunity for the Sikh community’s stories and important contributions to be taught across California,” said Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director. “Alongside the dedicated funding that will come with the new law, the inclusion of Sikh content in the state model curriculum that the community advocated for earlier this year, and our ongoing collaboration with other ethnic studies practitioners and experts, we will keep pushing to make sure that ethnic studies courses that include Sikh stories appear in California classrooms.” 

Throughout 2020, the Sikh community in California–which represents roughly half of the approximately 500,000 Sikhs throughout the United States–advocated in favor of a robust ethnic studies model curriculum (ESMC). In March of 2020, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement rallied 52 gurdwaras (Sikh houses of worship) and more than 1,200 petition signers to endorse their recommended additions and lesson plan for the curriculum. Hundreds of Sikh community members provided written and spoken public comment throughout the summer, and a bipartisan group of 25 California assembly members and state senators joined a letter in support of these efforts in October. 

“The Sikh community in California worked tirelessly for 18 months to make their voices heard in the ethnic studies conversation through public comments, letters, gurdwara communities and leadership, and rallying support from elected and appointed officials,” said Naindeep Singh, Executive Director of the Jakara Movement. “Those efforts have paid off, and we’ll continue to work to make sure that ethnic studies classes that are inclusive of Sikh stories and other marginalized communities make it into our state’s schools.”

While pushing for positive Sikh representation, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement repeatedly acknowledged that the ESMC, which includes Sikh stories, left many other marginalized communities diminished or excluded–specifically around issues pertaining to Arab American Studies. We continue to be fully supportive of the efforts being made by other California communities and educators to advance anti-racist education for all. 

For more information about the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement’s advocacy efforts on the ESMC, and to speak with representatives of either organization in California or Sikh parents, educators, and teachers, please contact Graham West and Rajanpreet Kaur.


Source: California Sikhs Applaud Signing of AB101 to Implement and Fund Ethnic Studies – Sikh Coalition


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