AAPI History Education Center of Rhode Island or the "Center", a New Division of the Cultural Society
The Cultural Society, with a new grant from the University of Connecticut Asian/Asian American Studies Institute (AAASI), sets out to equip Rhode Island educators with the resources they need to teach the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In September of 2022, Governor McKee signed legislation requiring Asian American history and culture be taught in Rhode Island public schools. In the time since, it has been left to districts and schools to develop the curriculum necessary to meet this requirement, but the limited resources and capacity of educators have left this requirement unmet. The AAPI History Education Center of Rhode Island is an effort from the Cultural Society to bridge the gap and help Rhode Island schools come into compliance with state law.
This Center was established with a grant from the University of Connecticut Asian/Asian American Studies Institute (AAASI) to provide professional development for K-12 educators to teach AAPI History in Rhode Island. Among many first-year goals, a top priority is to establish AAPI History Education Committee that convenes superintendents, principals, educators, and other key public education stakeholders to create alignment around how AAPI history and culture is taught in public schools.
Beyond this grant from the University of Connecticut, The Center has a tentative agreement with fellow AAASI grantees in New Jersey, Teach Asian American Stories (TAAS) and the E Pluribus Unum Project, and Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Asian American Studies,
to invite Rhode Island teachers to their established workshops to facilitate resource and knowledge sharing around AAPI History and curriculum. These workshops will equip Rhode Island teachers to teach AAPI History to students across different school districts, even if those districts are without the resources to update their Social Studies curriculum to include the new mandate of AAPI history
During a time when we’ve seen a rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans, the Cultural Society is here to ensure that schools have the resources they need to comply with the state mandate and provide students an excellent, well-rounded education that includes the history and culture of AAPI peoples. Understanding others and their culture brings us together, combats stereotypes and racism, and sets all students up for success in an increasingly connected world.
Here're some free resources that teachers can use immediately.
We recommend that you ask your school district to sign up with our Center so you can have greater access and a forum to ask the question you have. Studying history develops one's critical thinking skills. Don't let the lack of resource or platform to stop you from further develop the lessons you want to deliver to your students.
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Note: The green texts (below) have the hyperlink embedded. Just click on the green text to get the video link.
Amplifying Asian American and Pacific Islander History Accompanying handout with links
Link to Centering AAPI women in US history program with list of resources
Speaker: NY Historical Society, Marianne De Padua