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Girls Studying


Your guide to advocating for education about Jews and antisemitism in your community, and keeping hatred and bias out of the classroom.


 What is ethnic studies and how does it impact our community

Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and Indigeneity, with an emphasis on the experiences of people of color in the United States. Historically, it has focused primarily (but not exclusively) on Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American communities, because their histories and experiences have not been adequately represented in public education. 


This academic field is rooted in a student movement called the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), which was active at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley in 1968-69 (to learn more click here and here). 


Numerous interpretations and competing approaches to ethnic studies have emerged over the last 50+ years. For example, a multicultural approach focuses on broadly educating about the histories, texts, values, and perspectives of people from different communities. In contrast, a critical ethnic studies approach is more narrowly focused on the history and impact of colonialism, slavery, white supremacy, racism, and other forms of oppression against people of color.


On a fundamental level, StandWithUs supports marginalized communities having their voices and experiences represented in the classroom. Furthermore, because of our work together with thousands of citizens and partners across the state, in March, 2021 the California State Board of Education recognized that content about Jews and antisemitism belongs in K-12 ethnic studies.


At the same time, there are interest groups that relentlessly try to exploit ethnic studies courses as a platform for anti-Israel propaganda, antisemitism, and other forms of bias. They are pushing slanderous curriculum materials to teachers, schools, school districts, and education officials.


On the one hand, we cannot allow this hatred to be institutionalized in our public education system. On the other, we have an opportunity to dramatically increase quality education about Jews and antisemitism in public schools.

Ethnic Studies
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can You Do

What Can You Do?

Your local school, school district, or state education officials may be at many different stages with ethnic studies. For some it may not be on their radar at all. Some may just be starting to create a curriculum or policy, while others will be near the end of the process and ready to send instructional materials out to teachers. The most important thing is to be actively involved with ethnic studies and social sciences education as early as possible, starting with your local schools and school board members. Reaching out, building positive relationships with decision makers, and giving them feedback can make a huge difference.

As you evaluate ethnic studies materials, there are three key areas to focus on:

1. Does it keep anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and antisemitic bias out of ethnic studies courses?

2. Does it include accurate and constructive education about Jews and antisemitism?

3. Does it have strong guidelines about fostering critical thinking and not promoting one-sided political agendas or advocacy of any kind in the classroom?


Regarding the final point, the LA Times and others have noted that ethnic studies has been exploited to promote many different one-sided political agendas. As such, anti-Israel bias is merely one symptom of a larger problem which could affect everyone in your community. This can be a starting point for inspiring other people to get involved. Most people want their kids to be taught how to think, not what to think.

Research & Outreach

Tools to Use


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Your participation will be especially helpful if opportunities or challenges come up in your school district or community.

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