California's educational policies and laws demand that we teach truthful, accurate renderings of the past and present, that we include and honor all peoples in our curriculum, and that we face the past with wide-open eyes to its complexities that include horrors and oppression as well as triumphs and resistance. Race is central to understanding so many parts of our world - past and present, local and national. Attempts to minimize or politicize the significance of race in the study of history limits a complete understanding of the past and harms the teaching profession and, consequently, our students.
We maintain that all of California’s students deserve high-quality history-social science, and ethnic studies instruction that equips them to discern fact from fiction and understand how the past matters to the present. As historian Joanne Freeman of Yale University states, “[I]f we’re teaching American history, race is part of it.”
Authored by the sites of the California History-Social Science Project, Fall 2021.
In August 2021, UCHSSP staff and its educator community engaged in the national #TeachTruth campaign to support educators whose right to teach about structural inequities is being curtailed and threatened.