California to require ethnic studies for university system

Gavin Newsom
Posted at 9:38 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 00:41:35-04

SACRAMENTO (KGTV) -- Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday requiring California State University undergraduates to take an ethnic studies course to graduate. The change comes amid national calls to dismantle systemic and unconscious racism, starting with public education.

The bill was authored by local Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and longtime professor of Africana Studies at San Diego State University.

“What we are seeing in Washington and on American streets right now demonstrates the necessity of understanding the experiences and perspectives of these historically marginalized and oppressed groups who have nonetheless contributed to the building of our country,” Weber said in a statement. “This is great day for students and for the state. I am grateful to the Governor for joining me in moving California forward.”

The bill, AB 1460, requires all CSU undergraduates to take at least one three-unit course in ethnic studies. The course must focus on Native Americans, African Americans, or Latina and Latino Americans.

The legislation will go into effect beginning with students graduating in the 2024-25 academic year.

The bill represents the first change to the CSU general education curriculum in over 40 years.