Committee of 100 Voices Its Support For The Teaching Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander History Act
New York, NY (May 18, 2023) — Committee of 100, a non-profit organization of prominent Chinese Americans, today issued the following statement in strong support of the National Teaching Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander History Act.
Late last week, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) reintroduced the legislation to promote the teaching of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) history in public schools, and companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) yesterday.
Committee of 100 has been a long-time advocate for having AAPI history be a part of K-12 curriculums in public schools across the U.S. In 2022, Committee of 100 published state-by-state research on the status of K-12 AAPI curriculum adoption across the United States, research available for free at the Committee of 100 website here.
“The history of the AAPI community in the United States is rooted in innovation, creativity and beauty, but also hardship, racism and xenophobia,” said Gary Locke, President of Bellevue College, Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Committee of 100 Chair. “All of that history—the highs and lows, the good and the bad—should be on full display to all Americans, beginning with our youth. On behalf of Committee of 100, we commend Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Meng on bringing the Teaching AANHPI History Act to Congress and urge swift approval.”
“Public schools are critical in shaping citizenship. In most states, schools do not require students to learn about the contributions of Americans of AAPI descent, but Asian American history is American history,” said Zheng Huang, President of Committee of 100. “For nearly 200 years, the AAPI population has made impactful contributions to the U.S., but the AAPI community continues to be regarded as the perpetual foreigner, strangers in our own homeland. Learning about our contributions and challenges can only help the leaders of tomorrow.”
“AAPIs have been an integral part of the history of America, even before the founding of the United States,” said Gordon H. Chang, Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities and Professor of History at Stanford University and a Committee of 100 Member. “Teaching AAPI history in schools confirms that reality and is essential to combating anti-AAPI violence and prejudice in society. Education about the AAP community is long overdue!”
“American history is incomplete without the inclusion of Asian American and Pacific Islander stories,” said Guiyou Huang, President of Western Illinois University and a Committee of 100 Member. “We are grateful Sen. Hirono and Rep. Meng for being tireless advocates for the AAPI community and our history by introducing this important bill. Teaching the successes, challenges and obstacles within the AAPI community enhances the national awareness of the countless contributions made by our communities over the past two centuries.”
“The Asian American Education Project applauds this bill to have Asian American history in our schools,” said Stewart Kwoh, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of The Asian American Education Project and long-time Committee of 100 Member. “Partnering with the Committee of 100 and others, we have trained over 3,000 teachers and developed 70 lesson plans for K-12 grades. The Asian American Education Project stands ready to bring our history to the millions of students who currently do not know who we are as a community.”
“Respecting the history of this great country means accurately and consistently honoring all the cultures and people who make up the USA,” said Dr. Leslie Wong, President Emeritus of San Francisco State University and a Committee of 100 Member. “We must step up as citizens and scholars to acknowledge the amazing contributions made by Asian American and Pacific Island citizens.”