Why Ethnic Studies should be a mandatory class to take

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Ethnic studies is an academic field that focuses on the experiences, history, and culture of racial and ethnic minority groups. The study is based on the history and culture of indigenous peoples and the experiences of people of color in the United States and other parts of the world. Students may learn about the contributions made by racial and ethnic minority groups to society as well as the difficulties they have had to overcome in an ethnic studies course. Ethnic studies should be a mandatory class to take and there are several reasons why. Racism and bigotry can be reduced, students can get a better understanding of the diversity of American society,  and become more open minded, and compassionate toward others. In local communities and schools, this might foster an environment of acceptance and respect. Ethnic studies can also support the development of a more detailed view of the past and present. 

Learning about the past and present of many communities in the US can help to lessen racism and intolerance. Learning about the past helps us comprehend how various people have been oppressed and how historical events have influenced how we live today. Kids may gain a deeper and more accurate perspective of the world and the issues that various groups face as a result. We have a better knowledge of how people live their lives when we learn about the traditions and practices of other cultures. Through challenging our own biases and prejudices, we can improve our minds and  ability to embrace others.

At San Francisco State University in 1968, students from different racial and ethnic minority groups, including African Americans, Chicano/as, Native Americans, and Asian Americans formed the Third World Liberation Front, a movement that called for the establishment of ethnic studies programs and a more inclusive, equal and fair education. Following a series of demonstrations and strikes, the university obeyed their demands.The movement created a more inclusive and fair education for all while also contributing to a significant shift in how American culture views race and ethnicity.  California is the only state that has passed a bill requiring ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all public high schools, and it went into effect in 2020.The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) law is the first of its kind in the country. However, other states have thought about taking similar action, and several districts and schools have already started offering ethnic studies programs including Washington High School. 

In conclusion, ethnic studies should be taught in high school because it is an important and valuable subject. Programs in ethnic studies provide a more diverse and welcoming educational environment, a more accurate and in-depth understanding of history and current events, and student success in an increasingly diverse society.

Sanam is a senior at Washington High School. She was born and raised in Fremont, California and this is her first year at The Hatchet. Some topics she is interested in writing about are history, food and culture, and politics. In her free time, she likes to read mostly about psychology, history, and mystery. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family. She plans to study abroad for college and find a major that she is passionate about.

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