Ethnic Studies For All | In Every School

Ethnic Studies For All | In Every School

157 have signed. Let’s get to 200!

Why this petition matters

Petition Started April 16, 2021

(First Released August 31, 2020)

A PETITION to the State Board of Community & Technical Colleges, Washington Student Achievement Council, and the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction to request support for the development, addition, and integration of ethnic studies in the education of all students from Kindergarten to university level.

WHEREAS, schools, colleges, and universities have made commitments to raise the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing students, and eliminate the racial predictability and disproportionality in all aspects of education and its administration; and

WHEREAS, each school, college & university is committed to investing in professional development to strengthen employees’ knowledge and skills for eliminating opportunity gaps and other disparities in achievement; and

WHEREAS, numerous institutions within our state are making individual efforts to enrich their curriculum to reflect the diversity of the state; and

WHEREAS, the Office of the Governor is forming Office of Equity sites, supported by the Department of Equity and Race Relations, to support equity initiatives and provide training in culturally competent and safe identity teaching practices; and

WHEREAS, the OSPI, SBCTC & WSAC acknowledges the academic research that associates the overwhelming dominance of Euro-American perspectives in textbooks, curricula and instruction, and marginalization of scholarship and accomplishments by people of color as contributors to disengagement from academic learning of many students of color; and

WHEREAS, ethnic studies emerged as an interdisciplinary area of study in the 1960s as a result of the Civil Rights movement that focused on the history, culture, language, and literature of people of color in the United States and globally; and

WHEREAS, the OSPI, SBCTC & WSAC acknowledges that ethnic studies encourage students to explore and develop positive aspects of identity on personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels; and

WHEREAS, research done by the National Education Association (NEA) and Stanford University found that high school students who participated in an ethnic studies course showed increases in attendance, grades, and credits; and

WHEREAS, the OSPI, SBCTC & WSAC recognizes that students whose history and heritage is taught, understood, and celebrated will learn better, be more successful and develop positive aspects of identity and that the availability of and emphasis on ethnic studies in our schools will support the state’s goal of eliminating the opportunity gaps and help prepare our students for college, career, and life; and

WHEREAS, Seattle School Board Policy No. 2015, Selection & Adoption of Instructional Materials, requires all instructional materials to be evaluated for cultural relevance and anti-bias prior to consideration for adoption, and has been applied to recent adoptions for middle school social studies and K-5 English Language Arts; and

WHEREAS, Seattle Board Policy No. 0030 directs the District to provide curricula that reflect the diversity of students and staff, and which are geared towards the understanding and appreciation of culture, class, language, ethnicity, and other differences that contribute to the uniqueness of each student and staff member, consistent with state regulations and District policy and within budgetary limitations;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved, to the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI), WA State Board of Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) & Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) that:

  1. Black, Indigenous, and Families of Color affirm our belief that the integration and addition of ethnic studies into the education of college and university students can have a positive impact on eliminating the opportunity gaps.
  2. We have faith that each school, college & university can incorporate ethnic studies into their accreditation goals as a high-leverage gap-eliminating strategy.
  3. We recommend that each school, college & university assess the current state of ethnic studies within their institution, identify available curriculum resources, and document successful practices already in use within schools.
  4. We hope that each school, college & university will adopt new standards for culturally responsive teaching and codifying ethnic studies instruction.
  5. We empower and encourage each school, college & university to integrate Ethnic Studies in both available & future budgets and organizational capacity.
  6. We encourage and direct the K-12 schools, colleges, & universities to create a schedule and implement plans for state-wide integration of ethnic studies into existing and future school and college curriculum, including courses required for graduation while taking into consideration budget constraints, by January 2022.
  7. We empower K-12 & higher education teaching staff to fully utilize existing instructional materials on the history and literary traditions reflective of the diversity of our country and community and to access professional development opportunities that strengthen ethnic studies content and pedagogical knowledge, skill, and relationship building to effectively engage students with the materials.
  8. We encourage K-12 & higher education teaching staff to fully implement state requirements of teaching about the First Peoples of the region and the history and government of the 29 sovereign tribal nations within the boundaries of Washington State, Native America, American Samoa, Guam & The Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii, The Marshall Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.
  9. We encourage K-12 & higher education teaching staff to increase professional development opportunities that strengthen knowledge and skill to effectively engage students with the materials of African American & Black Studies, Native American Studies, Chican@ & Latinx Studies, Pacific Islander Studies, Asian American Studies, Womxn’s Studies, South Asian American Studies, Arab American Studies, South East Asian American Studies, and LGBTQ+ Studies.


  1. Michael A. Tuncap, Center for Guided Pathways, Faculty, WA CTCs, Co-author, Matamai
  2. Dr. Tyson Marsh, Professor, College of Education, UW Bothell AES ‘01
  3. Rashad Norris, Founder, Relevant Engagement
  4. Felix Braffith, Author, Breathing Stories 2 Life, Equity Director, WSU Vancouver
  5. Dr. Lulani Tomaszewski, Co-Chair Policy, Research & Planning, DEI WA CTCs
  6. Dr. Lilia Soto, Author, Girlhood in the Borderlands
  7. Erin Jones, Consultant, Erin Jones LLC, Author, Thrive
  8. Krysada Binly Phounsiri, Author, Every Passing Minute & Dance Among Elephants
  9. Paulette Jordan, CEO, Paulette, Former State Representative, Idaho
  10. Jaebadiah Gardner, Author, Believe in Yourself, CEO, Gardner Global Inc, UW AES ‘04
  11. Antoinette Charfauros McDaniel, Chair, CHamoru Pathways in Higher Education
  12. Dr. Third Andresen, Lecturer, CHID, UW Jackson School of International Studies
  13. Dr. Carlos Adams, Faculty, WA CTCs, American Ethnic Studies, ‘96-‘21
  14. Sidney Trinidad, Social Welfare, CWU Class of ‘20, PIONEER Scholar
  15. Dr. Conrad Trayvon Webster, Racial Equity, Seattle Public Schools, Lecturer, UWT
  16. Haley Cummings, Senior, Seattle U, Alumni, Umoja Black Scholars ‘18, Highline College
  17. Dylan Tran, Peace Community Center, UW American Ethnic Studies Class of ‘19
  18. Nicholas Jeffreys, Ethnic Studies Class of ‘18, Evergreen State College, Good Vibes NW
  19. Carmen Ramento Tuncap, Member, Ke’ala O’ Kamaielei’lau’li’i’li’i Hula Halau ‘12-‘18
  20. Matua Gillett Manaba Acfalle Tuncap, 6th grader, Hudtloff Middle School, Class of ‘26
  21. Elijah Gumataotao Ramento Tuncap, Sophomore, Lakes High School, Class of ‘23
  22. Davey Lee Tuncap, UW Ethnic Studies Class of ‘00, Micronesian Islands Club Alumni ‘99

*In memory of Violeta Terese San Nicolas Tuncap, retired ASL interpreter, WA State Public Schools

157 have signed. Let’s get to 200!