Fight for the Inclusion of Korean American Studies in CA's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

Fight for the Inclusion of Korean American Studies in CA's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

August 25, 2020
Petition to
Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Committee California Department of Education
Petition Closed
This petition had 5,485 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Carol Park

Dear California Department of Education,

The inclusion of Ethnic Studies in our education system is a great step forward. However, the exclusion of Korean American studies from California's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is deeply concerning. This is a petition to include Korean American studies in the Asian American studies portion of the curriculum. The goal is to include the Korean American experience or studies in the major sample topics that were listed in the Item 2.A, Attachment 9 Document where sample lessons are listed in the model curriculum.

The Korean American community has long helped shape the American landscape through its community activities, its contributions, and more. For example, we can’t discuss the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest without including Korean Americans and the ethnic conflicts that arose during that period and how this contributed to the violence against and marginalization of Asian Americans. Korean Americans including Dr. Sammy Lee and Col. Young Oak Kim also helped shape this country through their actions, valor, and character. Dr. Lee won Olympic gold for America in 1948 and 1952 and was the first Asian American man to do so. Col. Kim was a U.S. Army officer who became the first Asian American man to lead a combat battalion on the field during the Korean War. He was also a World War II hero. His humanitarian efforts also shaped the landscape of Los Angeles through the founding of several nonprofits and organizations that help the youth, battered women, and minorities.

Korean American history and identity should be taught as part of the curriculum because this community played a major role in California and the country. Korean Americans founded the Willows Korean Aviation School/Corps in Willows, CA in 1920. The Korean Air Force views the school as its origin. To understand the Korean American community, its history and ethnic identity is to also understand the framework of our country and how this great nation is made up of minorities and their histories.

Also, California recognizes Korean Americans through two resolutions. Hangul Day was passed on October 19, 2019 and recognizes Korean Americans as “an integral part of mainstream American society and have made important contributions as Californians in the fields of finance, technology, law, medicine, education, sports, media, the arts, the military, and government, as well as in other areas.”

California also recognized Korean American Day on January 13, 2020 by passing Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 142 citing that “with diligence, fortitude, and an enduring belief in the American dream, Korean immigrants have helped to turn emergent areas within the State of California into thriving and respectable communities, while raising their children to be productive Korean Americans.”

To leave out Korean Americans from California's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is yet another marginalization and discriminatory action. 

Petition Closed

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