Japanese Tamago students have decided to take a stand against anti-Asian/Asian American hate and violent attacks that have risen so sharply over the last year. The goal is to take a stand, to make student voices heard, and to make a difference.
In the early part of 2021, Japanese Tamago students discussed the disturbing developments that were dominating the news, and created a planning committee that met weekly to come up with a proposal to share with the whole group. The full class discussed and agreed with the proposal. We used the occasion of the 2021 Sakura Matsuri and Japan Bowl, both sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Washington DC, where so many people with a passion for Japan and Japanese culture gather, to share this concept with the public for the first time.
This will be an educational project designed to increase understanding of the issues and context around anti-Asian hate, including history and the connections between Asian American struggles and those of other communities. It will be designed to build empathy through personal stories and interviews, especially since many participants may not have their own direct experience or relationships with Asians or Asian Americans. Japanese Tamago students will be in a process of continual learning while sharing educational experiences (webinars, interviews) with others.
Japanese Tamago students will bring a unique perspective, as DC students and as representatives of the many people (young and old) who are interested in Asian language or culture, such as anime, K-pop, etc., but who may not have any prior personal connection to the lives of actual Asian Americans.
First Step: DC Social Studies Standards Review and Recommendations for DC Schools
In 2021 the DC Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE), with guidance from the DC State Board of Education, began the process of revising DC’s social studies standards, which determine what is taught in PK-12 social studies classrooms in all DCPS and DC charter schools. Understanding this opportunity, a group of Japanese Tamago students decided to closely review the old social studies standards, to discuss and make observations, and then to collectively develop recommendations for better ways to teach DC students about Asia and Asian Americans. On June 2nd, at the SY2020-21 Japanese Tamago Final Presentation, these findings and recommendations were released to the public.
What You Can Do Now
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