The importance of ethnic studies


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Chloe Tran, Opinion Editor

Throughout high school, students go through a vast list of academic courses chosen to help guide them towards college. Our school provides important classes such as AP European History, AP World History and AP U.S. History. Although these classes are fundamental in our curriculum, one class seems to be missing.

According to the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, the Ethnic Studies class explains the “critical and interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity with a focus on the experiences and perspectives of people of color within and beyond the United States.”

The diversified and various disciplines under this study help inform students on the history of people of color as well as culture. Informing students on a high school level about topics including all groups of people such as past wars, protests and hobbies help us understand humans in general. 

During these current times with targeted racism towards minority groups due to the increasing cases of COVID-19, I believe the best way to inform and educate people is to teach this fundamental course. Colorado State University calls Ethnic Studies “the history of us.” Although I do believe that the classes that are being offered at school are important, we tend to learn about the history of events that have happened on a timeline rather than the progression of human work. Essentially, Ethnic Studies incorporates what our history classes aim to teach us; however, it involves more complex ideas regarding the development, structure and functioning of humans. 

For anyone who wants to pursue Ethnic Studies or Sociology in college, implementing this class at our school will be most beneficial and will open the curriculum to more diverse learning. CSU makes a point that the “socially constructed categories play significant roles in every human society, and ethnic studies is now an expanding global discipline.”

In a world filled with hatred and oppositions, Ethnic Studies sees through our differences and unites us. We are all humans. Despite our skin color, despite our different cultures and despite our different languages, we should work to help each other. And it all starts with knowing who we are.