California adopts first statewide ethnic studies curriculum
Educators and civil rights leaders in California called on the State Board of Education Thursday, March 18, 2021, to approve the nation's first statewide model ethnic studies curriculum for high school students. California Department of Education officials say this would be the first statewide ethnic studies model curriculum in the nation. Other states have taken different approaches to teaching ethnic studies. Oregon is developing ethnic studies standards for its social studies curriculum, while Connecticut high schools will be required to offer courses in Black and Latino studies by the fall of 2022. I can guarantee you that,” said California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, a former lawmaker and academic who created an ethnic studies program at San Diego State University in the 1970s.
Veteran activists campaign for Biden's immigration reform
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2020, file photo, demonstrators with the New York Immigration Coalition rally asking President-elect Joe Biden to prioritize immigration reform in New York. The multimillion-dollar #WeAreHome campaign was launched Monday by national groups including United We Dream and the United Farm Workers Foundation. The five groups chairing the campaign are paying for the effort with their own fundraising,“We need an early breakthrough on immigration,” said Praeli. The November survey of more than 110,000 voters showed 9 in 10 Biden voters and about half of Trump voters favored creating a way for people to legalize their status. Veteran civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, an activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers who now runs her own foundation, said the immigration reform push will benefit from the dramatic stories of children being separated from their parents under the Trump administration.
Hollywood on the Potomac: A-list turns out for Biden-Harris
Lady Gaga sings the national anthem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. And country star Garth Brooks, doffing his black cowboy hat, sang a soulful a capella rendition of “Amazing Grace,” his eyes closed for much of the song. While stars mostly eschewed Trump's inauguration four years ago, the A-list was back for Biden. Brooks was careful to call his decision to perform on Wednesday non-political, and in the spirit of unity. Alone with his guitar, The Boss sang his “Land of Hope and Dreams” in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
From Gaga to Garth, Miranda to Moreno: Celebs join inaugural
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Like so much this past year, the inaugural celebration will be like no other: pared down, distanced, much of it virtual. But for actor Christopher Jackson — the original George Washington in Broadway's “Hamilton" — performing in a virtual “ball” is a way of participating in an essential rite of American democracy. Miranda will contribute a classical recitation, joining musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake and Bon Jovi. The inaugural committee has made sure to blend this high-powered list with ordinary Americans and inspiring stories. And the “AAPI Inaugural Ball: Breaking Barriers” celebrated the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with planned participants including actors Kal Penn, John Cho, Kumail Nanjiani and Chloe Bennet.
Democrats face a turnout test in Georgia’s Senate runoffs
For Democrats to win control of the Senate, Georgia’s Black communities, as well as the state's smaller Hispanic and Asian communities, likely need to vote in the Jan. 5 runoff election by history-making margins. An Associated Press VoteCast survey of Georgia voters in November found that 22% of white voters chose Warnock and 28% chose Ossoff, compared to the 90% of Black voters who chose Ossoff and 73% who chose Warnock. Democrats also have an opportunity to capture the 15% of Black voters who chose Matt Lieberman, another Democratic candidate who competed against Warnock in last month’s race. There are signs that turnout in Georgia could indeed be high in the runoffs. “Do you have a plan to vote in the runoff election?” another canvasser, Graco Hernandez Valenezuela, asked Tyrone Vereen, a 62-year-old Black retired police officer who answered the door.
Gov. Newsom challenged to address Senate's lack of diversity
Gavin Newsom speaks at a COVID-19 testing facility in Valencia, Calif. As California Gov. Gavin Newsom's shoulders as he considers his pick to serve out the rest of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' Senate term through 2022. The South saw its highest number of Black Senate candidates ever this year, but none won races outright. Labor icon Dolores Huerta and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice want Newsom to appoint a Black woman. De Leon won the endorsement of the California Democratic Party and prominent labor unions, in part because of his support for immigrant rights and aggressive policies to curb climate change.
Key takeaways from night 2 of the Democratic convention
In this image from video, former Georgia House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams, center, and others, speak during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)Sustaining energy through four days of a political convention is never easy. On the second night of the Democratic National Convention, party leaders tried to blend its past with its future. Here are key takeaways from night two. But the 2020 Democratic convention is notable for the consistency of dire warnings about the other partys leader.
'Building bridges': How Bass became a leading VP contender
California Congresswoman Bass has emerged a leading contender to be Democrats' vice presidential candidate. Allies say her reputation as a bridge-builder would make her a strong partner to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Enter Karen Bass, who became Assembly speaker that May, the first Black woman to hold the role. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee appeared with Bass for the first time at a fundraiser on Thursday. With Karen Bass' comments about Fidel Castro, it will be served up on a silver platter."
Monuments and statues are falling. But what comes next?
Activists and towns in the U.S. are left wondering what to do with empty spaces that once honored historic figures tied to racism as statues and monuments fell in June 2020. They also are debating how to remember civil rights figures and events in areas where they have been forgotten. Some advocates say monuments to the late U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan or Mexican American civil rights leader Dolores Huerta should replace the fallen statues. Rob W. Lee, a senior pastor of Unifour Church in Newton, North Carolina, and a descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who now speaks out against Confederate monuments. Lee said he sees the toppling of Confederate statues with Black Lives Matter graffiti as a move to reclaim Black lives from white supremacy.
AMERICAN DIARY: July 4 hurts, until I remember my WWII uncle
But remembering his Uncle Ciprian Contreras' heroics as a U.S. Marine at Iwo Jima in 1945, makes him look at America's Independence Day differently. Im angry that my elders had to go to segregated, dilapidated Mexican American schools and most died barely literate. Im angry my father still avoids the sun, so he doesnt get too dark like he was warned as a kid. Im angry I went to juvenile detention when I was 16 and was repeatedly asked by police what my gang affiliation was. Weve learned about Ralph Lazo, a Mexican American teenager who volunteered to go to a Japanese American Internment camp in solidarity with an injustice he saw.