Ethnic Studies 


Ethnic Studies is the critical and interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, indigeneity in the United States, that focuses on the experiences and perspectives of people of color. 

As an academic field, Ethnic Studies has, since its inception in 1968, historically focused on the study of four racial ethnic groups of color: Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latina/o Americans. The field explores the identities, institutional racism these groups have faced, their responses or resilience, and their diverse contributions to our multicultural society.

Ethnic Studies supports all students to develop and utilize a critical lens to foster empowerment, cultural humility, resilience, hope, self-love, and community solidarity in a way that is responsive to all of our students. In addition Ethnic Studies helps develop the skills of DJUSD's Graduate Profile which includes critical thinking, collaboration, civic and cultural awareness, creativity and innovation.  Through project based learning, Ethnic Studies is useful in understanding identities, struggles with racial inequality, social movements, and contributions of the four racial core groups in the United States.

Ethnic Studies Draft Program Recommendation -  Community Update (October 12, 2021)

On November 4
th, 2021 the DJUSD Board of Education will consider a recommendation for an Ethnic Studies Program. Since May of 2021, an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee composed of 18 members, who represent a diverse group of students, parents, staff, and community, have worked together to develop a program concept that will inform the District’s recommendation. Prior to the final Board recommendation, DJUSD seeks community input on the draft recommendation. We invite students, staff, and community to review the recommendation in the link below and provide feedback through the survey, which is also linked below.

Presentation in English and Spanish

Survey in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean.

A recording of the presentation is linked here

Ethnic Studies Task Force Presentations
October 7, 2020
Transformative Ethnic Studies in Schools webinar with Christine Sleeter, Ph.D.

December 8, 2020 Slide Presentation - English Spanish

January 14, 2021 Slide Presentation - English Spanish

February 11, 2021
Slide Presentation - English Spanish 
Video Presentation (English)

Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee

Since its inception in the fall of 2019, the DJUSD Ethnic Studies Task Force brought together over 100 staff, students and members of the community to learn about Ethnic Studies programming, identify interests for a future program, and, importantly, to learn about each other’s stories and lived experiences. 

In preparation for a program recommendation to be brought to the DJUSD Board of Education in the fall of 2021, an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee has been created to inform the District’s recommendation and will function as an Advisory Committee under the auspices of the Instructional Services Department. The committee will guide District staff in the shared goal of creating a quality Ethnic Studies program to serve all students. Ethnic Studies is the study of the Asian American, African American, Native American, and Latina/o/x American communities’ identity, struggles, social movements, and contributions to society. 

The objectives of the Advisory Committee include the following:

  • Review and contribute to the definition of Ethnic Studies for DJUSD
  • Inform the Ethnic Studies program recommendation for Board adoption in fall 2021

The 18 member committee represents a diverse group of students, parents, staff, and community, including Spanish speakers, and includes African American, Latino/a/x, Asian American and Native American members - many of whom bring rich knowledge and backgrounds, including both academic and lived experiences, all of which will contribute to a program that will benefit all of our students.

Parent and Community Members:
Sylvia Aquino
Sofía Cárdenas
Alejandra Cuevas Rash
Natalia Deeb-Sossa
Leah Hibel
Sylvia Kwon
Carl Mack
Candelaria Mendoza
Melissa Moreno
Cecilia Tsu

Staff Members:
Nick Gallaudet
Leonie Pickett
Cristina Sandoval
Kelly Wilkerson

Student Members:
Four Secondary DJUSD Students