Press Release

AALDEF Urges Maryland to Be Next State to Mandate Asian American History in School Curriculum

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Maryland State House.

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Yesterday, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) spoke out in support of Senate Bill 304 (SB304) at the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Maryland State Senate. AALDEF Board Co-President Phil Tajitsu Nash was the Lead Proponent Panelist for SB304, which would require the State Board of Education to develop curriculum materials on Asian American history for use in Maryland’s public schools. The bill allows local boards to determine the amount of instruction and implementation of these standards and would require at least one unit of Asian American history to be taught in elementary, middle, and high school.

”By making a state-wide commitment to teaching this history, Maryland will be taking a nationally-recognized stand for inclusion and understanding ­— and against bigotry, hatred and anti-Asian American violence," said Nash.

Drawing from his career as a teacher of Asian American history for the last 38 years — including the last 26 at the University of Maryland at College Park — Nash continued, “SB304 will go a long way toward vaccinating our state’s children against the scourge of racial intolerance… Instead of walking on eggshells, Maryland children of every background will develop the confidence that comes from understanding those around them and working with them to build a sustainable world of peace, justice and understanding.”

This testimony and advocacy for the Asian American history bill is a part of AALDEF’s #StopAsianHate Project aimed at addressing the root causes of violence and hatred against Asian Americans. AALDEF believes Asian American history is American history, and that all Americans should learn about the contributions people of Asian ancestry have made to this country. The next steps for SB304 include being voted out of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, passed by the Maryland State Senate, passed in a companion bill in the Maryland State Assembly, and then signed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

View Phil Tajitsu Nash’s full testimony here.


For additional information, contact:

Stuart J. Sia
Communications Director
212.966.5932 x203