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AsAm Studies Center creates free AAPI multimedia textbook

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center will create and help distribute a free multimedia textbook that will help schools teach their students about the experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

According to a press release from UCLA, the California State Legislature and Gavin Newsom have given the school $10 million in state funding to create the AAPI Multimedia Textbook. The textbook will feature lessons on AAPI history and culture designed for high school students, college students and life-long learners. Schools will have open-access to the textbook via an online platform. The text-book will be organized into stand-alone chapters that give teachers the flexibility to customize their own lesson plans.

“The textbook will be the most comprehensive, scholar-informed, online history of AAPIs that redefines the American narrative and opens unlimited possibilities for building a just, multiracial and democratic future,” Karen Umemoto, Helen and Morgan Chu Endowed Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, said in the press released.

Lawmakers have praised Umemoto’s tireless efforts to promote AAPI studies amidst the rise in anti-Asian hate throughout the pandemic.

“The work that Dr. Umemoto and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center is doing is more important than ever,” Assemblymember Mike Fong said, according to the press release. “The increase in anti-AAPI hate crimes is an indication of the lack of understanding and appreciation for the contributions made by our community to California and our nation. I am grateful for the support from the AAPI Legislative Caucus, the legislature and the governor, and I look forward to seeing the final product of the AAPI Multimedia Textbook project.” 

In 2021, California made ethnic studies a graduation requirement for public high schools but has not specifically mandated AAPI studies.

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