AAPI history in curriculum: NYC kids to learn about Anandibai Joshi

New York: A new curriculum in New York’s school district will include topics such as the history, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to a report by CBS News.

A pilot program will be launched in the Social Studies and Literacy departments wherein teachers can use a guide called ‘Hidden Voices: Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the United States’ which includes profiles on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as announced by Mayor Eric Adams on May 26 in a press conference at Tweed Hall in New York City.

According to a report by Chalkbeat, the lessons will be included in the city’s roughly $200-million investment in Universal Mosaic, which is an underdevelopment curriculum with the purpose of providing culturally representative lessons in the city.

Children will now learn about people like Anandibai Joshi, the first Indian woman to become a doctor of western medicine, Patsy Mink, the first Asian American woman to be elected to Congress, and Helen Zia, Chinese American journalist and activist, said David Banks, New York City Schools Chancellor.

“A lot of what we’re seeing with anti-Asian sentiments that has resulted in hate incidents is the result of being invisible,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of Asian American Federation.

With more than one million AAPI New Yorkers, this change in the curriculum was essential, according to Mayor Eric Adams. Moreover, this change has been in the making for months.

The teachers will give their feedback and the new curriculum will be implemented entirely from 2024.

While NYC schools will start incorporating AAPI history into its curriculum starting in the fall semester of 2022, NY State Sen John Liu has sponsored legislation to mandate AAPI education on a state level and is still campaigning for it to pass. (With inputs from Chalkbeat New York and CBS News)

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