Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando) unanimously passed “The Required Instruction in the History of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” (AAPI) through its first committee of reference (Education Committee).
Make Us Visible Florida members, a Florida-based grassroots coalition determined to help put a stop to anti-Asian hate through education turned out in full support. Members from Orlando, Miami, Tallahassee, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Oviedo appeared at the Education Senate Committee hearing.
This bill will require a specific curriculum component covering the history of AAPI and their contributions to American society.
“The passage of this bill serves as an important first step in combatting misinformation and discrimination around Asian cultures. Education is key to creating a more inclusive and understanding society where we all can appreciate one another,” said Stewart.
The bill would help to address a missing component of American history by placing the requirement for instruction in statute alongside other requirements, including: African American history, the study of Hispanic contributions, and the contributions of women. The bill’s next stop will be the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, chaired by Senator Broxson.
“The recent rise in anti-Asian American violence is alarming. We are concerned for the safety of our children and senior citizens. SB 490 and HB 281 will act as a preventive measure against future hate for our community. Asian American history is American history.” Mimi Chan – State Lead Make Us Visible Florida.
About Make Us Visible Florida:
Make Us Visible Florida is part of a nationwide coalition dedicated to developing a preventative solution rooted in education as a response to anti-Asian American violence. MUVFL believes that hate is born of ignorance, so the best way to fight back is through education. That’s why it has worked hand in hand with Florida legislators in both the State House and Senate to create House Bill 281 and Senate Bill 490, which would require Asian American and Pacific Islander history to be included in the Florida K-12 public school curriculum.
The Make Us Visible Florida Coalition is an affiliate of the national Make Us Visible Campaign, with chapters located in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia.