Asian American Studies Center to create free digital resource on AAPI experiences for teachers

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center is developing a free digital resource for teachers to aid them in teaching about the experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The center will use the $10 million in state funding it received from California to develop the AAPI Multimedia Textbook, an online platform containing lessons about the cultures, histories and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Developed by U.S. scholars, the course material will take the form of flexible modules for teachers, with learning activities and lesson plans geared towards high school and college students.

Members of AAPI communities will curate the multimedia textbook’s content, which will be evaluated by the center and refined for future editions.

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Karen Umemoto, the Helen and Morgan Chu Endowed Director's Chair of the Asian American Studies Center, said the resource will be “the most comprehensive, scholar-informed, online history of AAPIs that redefines the American narrative and opens unlimited possibilities for building a just, multiracial and democratic future.”

The Asian American Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus pushed for the budget allocation that made the project possible.

“This AAPI Multimedia Textbook produced by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center will provide an authoritative and invaluable resource for California high schools and colleges as we prepare for the teaching of ethnic studies throughout the state,” Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi was quoted as saying. “I look forward to continuing to collaborate with UCLA to ensure that Asian American and Pacific Islander history and perspectives are properly taught in our classrooms.”

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Umemoto expressed gratitude to the state senate and state assembly budget committees, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the entire Asian American Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus for their support of the AAPI Multimedia Textbook Project.

Assemblymember Mike Fong highlighted the importance of such a teaching aid amid the increase in anti-AAPI hate crimes, which he said was “an indication of the lack of understanding and appreciation for the contributions made by our community to California and our nation.”

The project aligns with a bill that Governor Newsom signed last year that includes ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all K-12 students beginning in the 2025-26 school year.

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