By: Jillian Zimmer, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY – Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) contributions, history, and heritage will be included in the New Jersey Student Learning Standard for Social Studies in Kindergarten through Grade 12 under new legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy recently.
“Members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have made countless contributions to our state and country, yet they are made virtually invisible by our history books,” Assembly sponsors Raj Mukherji , Mila Jasey, Britnee Timberlake, and Sterley Stanley said in a joint statement. “This erasure of AAPI history is unacceptable and incredibly harmful for young people who are being robbed of valuable representation that could have a positive impact on their lives.”
The Assembly sponsors went on to state that diversity is one of New Jersey’s best qualities. Excluding the history of the AAPI community from our schools’ curriculum not only prohibits students from gaining a full understanding of our nation’s history, but also opens the door for racial biases.
“By expanding the K-12 curriculum to include lessons on the history and contributions of the AAPI community, we can help break down persisting negative stereotypes and show the over 140,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander students in our state that their stories and experiences matter,” they stated.
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