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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 31, 2022 02:36 PM
From: Senator Maria Collett and Sen. Nikil Saval
To: All Senate members
Subject: Asian American and Pacific Islander Inclusive Curriculum
While hate crimes against people of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent are sadly nothing new, they have reached unprecedented levels in recent years. Indeed, a compilation of data published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that such crimes increased 339% in 2021.

In one of the most publicized attacks, in March 2021, a gunman shot and killed eight people at three separate massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent. In November 2021, four high school students of Asian descent were brutally attacked on a SEPTA train on their way home from school.

According to the most recent Stop AAPI Hate National Report, Pennsylvania ranked seventh for hate incident reports filed between March 2020 and December 2021. And according to the Anti-Defamation League, Pennsylvania had more incidents of hateful propaganda distribution in 2021 than any other state.

We have heard from members of the AAPI community in our districts and across the Commonwealth about the commonsense strategies we can deploy to counteract prejudice and bias in our state. Through these conversations, it has become quite clear that education should be an important part of this effort.
The legislation we are introducing will be a companion to Rep. Patty Kim’s House Bill 1917 and would require the Department of Education to create an integrated curriculum that includes AAPI persons, history, and contributions to American society and to provide AAPI-related materials to schools. This bill would also commission a study by the State Board of Education to see how school districts in Pennsylvania are teaching AAPI curriculum across the state and ensure our students are receiving robust instruction on AAPI history and social contributions.
Please join us in sponsoring this legislation to fight prejudice while celebrating the talent, history, and diversity that AAPI communities have brought to our communities, our Commonwealth, and our country.