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 In Curricular Violence Part 1 –  Addressing the Misrepresentation and Exclusion of Black history in School Curricula, a panel of educators and educational leaders discussed:

  • Barriers to an inclusive and accurate Black History curriculum for all students
  • Efforts to address barriers, improve curriculum and properly educate students
  • Strategies to achieve an inclusive and accurate Black History curriculum for all students

Educators and Black educators, especially, have been aware for decades that students are not properly educated about the social, political, cultural and economic impact of the history of Africa, African people and Chattel Slavery, on the formation of our institutions and the operation of American society today.

Using the groundbreaking New Jersey Amistad Law as a model, New York passed a similar law in 2004. It established a commission to study what is being taught to New York State students about black history and to make recommendations  to New York State Education Department for including Black history in the school curriculum. Continuing to model New Jersey amendments to New York State Amistad legislation (A09399) and (S9443) have been introduced to create a funded Amistad Department within NYSED.

In Curricular Violence Part II, our panel of New Jersey educators, share their experience with the support of a funded NJ Amistad law for over 20 years, including successes, barriers and next steps.

Why Educators Need NYS Legislators to Pass Amended Amistad Law, Amistad Bill (A01939)
​In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, school districts across the region, state, and nation, were forced to self-reflect. Post 2020, social unrest and a global pandemic has placed our society at a pivotal point, the education system is the bedrock of true change. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in the Brown case that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional, and our nation went through a Civil Rights Movement that was to lead to equality for the most marginalized. Yet, in 2022 we find ourselves in the fight for equity and the world is watching. This social unrest regarding bias and inequities in policing, housing, and healthcare, truly have roots in the inequities of our school systems. Educators are on the front line at this pivotal time, whether it be about masks, DEI work or historically accurate and relevant school curriculum.
We are now struggling with next steps and ways to sustain change around diversity, equity, and inclusion. We know that giving students cultural capital is a key element in their true success as citizens of this country. Yet, educators fear the push back from those in their community who have chosen to make this a political movement rather than a movement about humanity.

How can we make sustainable change?
Pass Amistad Bills (A01939) and (S5334) amend Amistad legislation now!:

  • To create a funded Amistad department within NYSED that provides ongoing teacher education including travel, district compliance and reporting on student outcomes
  • To provide a broader curriculum including the study of Africa, the African Diaspora, the  Transatlantic Slave trade, the enduring legacy of Slavery and the contributions of people of  African descent
  • To become Education Law passed by the Education Committees in both houses of our NYS legislature

We need our legislators to invest in NYS students and pass the NEW Amistad legislation (A09399) and (S9443)!

Quien Eres Tu? panel discusses the enduring legacy of Slavery, Race and Identity in Latin America and among Latin Americans.

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