Despite AAPI communities being the fastest-growing racial and ethnic group in the US, our histories have for too long been invisible and misunderstood. The Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act, signed into law in July 2021, made Illinois the first state to require all public schools to make Asian American history part of the curriculum. New Jersey soon followed; other states are poised to do the same.
TAAF played a major role in advancing the TEAACH campaign and mobilizing voters. After the act was passed, TAAF partnered with AAJA-Chicago; Asian American Caucus Education Fund); and funders The Woods Fund of Chicago, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, and AAPIP-Chicago to form the TEAACH Implementation Collaborative, which supports strategic plans to implement the act. On March 16, 2022, the anniversary of the tragic Atlanta Spa killings, the Collaborative hosted a virtual convention bringing together prominent speakers and organizers, including Governor JB Pritzer of Illinois and MacArthur Fellow and labor activist Ai-Jen Poo. The convention discussed strategies to equip teachers with resources and learning, as well as outreach for administrators and funders, to bring Asian American history curriculum into schools.
If the TEAACH curriculum is successfully launched in Illinois, it will be more likely that other states will implement Asian American history curricula in their schools. The goal is to reach 300,000 teachers in 865 districts in Illinois, reaching two million K-12 students, by September 2022.
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