Resolution in Support of Ethnic Studies

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A resolution is a starting point. Government bodies like school districts can pass resolutions as a way of taking action around an issue that affects their communities. By putting words to paper, they commit to taking a stand in order to support their communities and take a step toward effecting change.  

We wrote this template resolution to empower students, parents, teachers, and other members of educational communities to advocate for ethnic studies programs, and to encourage school districts and other government bodies to speak out in support. Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity that centers on the histories, voices, and issues of people and communities of color. In this template resolution, we specifically advocate for the addition of Asian American Studies and Critical Pacific Islands and Oceania Studies, in line with the mission of Stop AAPI Hate. However, it is important to recognize that the effort to advocate for ethnic studies, and in particular Asian American Studies and Critical Pacific Islands and Oceania Studies, is a decades-long, cross-coalitional effort across many different ethnic groups. Any resolutions passed, or victories achieved, are simultaneously in support of all ethnic studies efforts in a community or school district, and we encourage advocates to make these connections.   

Our template starts with a series of formalized statements explaining the purpose and benefits of ethnic studies: WHEREAS, [a reason to do something]. It then follows with specific commitments that the school district or local governing body will make: NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, [a commitment to act].

We wanted the template itself to educate and inform. The resolution opens with a definition of ethnic studies and emphasizes throughout its foundational purpose of educating all students, not criticizing or excluding any one group. It draws upon history to establish the need for Asian American Studies and Critical Pacific Islands and Oceania Studies in U.S. classrooms. It then discusses the continued consequences of not teaching ethnic studies to students. It also integrates data to explain the short and long-term benefits of ethnic studies. Finally, the template provides a menu of ways to establish, implement, and maintain an ethnic studies program.

You can, and should, tailor this template resolution to make a statement that will resonate with your community, optimizing it for real change to occur. Ways of doing this include: 

  • Providing information about your school district’s current ethnic studies initiatives, or the lack thereof.  
  • Drawing upon relevant statistics and resources regarding race and classroom bullying, which organizations like Stop AAPI Hate can help provide.
  • Highlighting the benefits of an ethnic studies program particular to your specific community, such as including student demographics. 
  • Tailoring the type of ethnic studies program that would best suit your school district. 
  • Calling for specific actions to be taken by public officials, school administrators, teachers, and families. 

We hope you find this helpful. Your best resource will always be the people in your community who care most about making it a better place.

View the template resolution below or download it:


Stop AAPI Hate expresses its gratitude to the enthusiastic team at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP who supported this work. The Davis Polk team includes Jennifer Kim, Diane Lucas, Jonathan Morford, Nancy B. Regan, Harshil Shukla, and Amelia T.R. Starr. Members of the Davis Polk team wish to express gratitude for the chance to collaborate with Stop AAPI Hate and put their skills to use for the cause of racial justice.