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The Sikh Coalition News
March 13, 2020
  • [ACT NOW] Sign the Petition to Include Sikhism in CA Ethnic Studies

    March 13, 2020 (Sacramento, CA) -- Today, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement are partnering to ensure Sikhism’s inclusion in the state of California's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. You can help immediately by signing our joint petition today!

    In 2019, California released the first draft of an ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 public schools. The draft is now up for revision and public comment, so to ensure Sikhism’s fair and equal representation, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement are in the process of submitting a detailed request for inclusion to state education authorities. This request will ask the department to 1) include positive examples of Sikh contributions to American society over the past 125 years and 2) insert a lesson plan about the Sikh American community and its contributions to California into the curriculum.

    Will you make your voice heard by signing our joint petition, along with the Jakara Movement, in support of Sikhism’s inclusion in this new curriculum? Please also consider sharing the petition on social media, WhatsApp, and your gurdwara listservs. Now is the moment--before the next State Board of Education meeting on April 17, 2020--to fight for our history and culture to be taught and learned in classrooms across California. We will present this petition to the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission and the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Advisory Committee at this meeting.

    In addition to circulating the petition, the Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement are working together to rally California’s gurdwaras to endorse a sign-on letter to state education authorities. These are just the first steps to implore them to make the changes we are suggesting. The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum will not be finalized until March of 2021. Between now and this time next year, the state education authorities are likely to release a revised draft incorporating any recommendations and engaging in further public input. The Sikh Coalition and the Jakara Movement will be monitoring these developments closely, and we will reach out to the community when further action is necessary.

    All of this work follows a 2016 victory to ensure Sikhism’s inclusion in California’s History-Social Science Framework. After recent victories in Kansas and Indiana, 14 states--and approximately 45 percent of public school students in the country--now have the opportunity to learn about Sikhism. Initiatives like this Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, especially in states like California, are the next step to ensuring that educators have the tools they need to actually teach Sikhism in an appropriate and effective way. This, in turn, will make for safer classrooms for Sikh children and a more inclusive education for their non-Sikh classmates.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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