Ethnic Studies Update

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Social Science Newsletter- Ethnic Studies Update February 2021

ethnic studies


In 2017 when House Bill 2845 was signed into law for the creation of Ethnic Studies Standards, the world was a very different place. We are now in the last steps of the adoption process for these new Social Science Standards.

On February 18th, ODE will present the final community feedback to the State Board of Education. We have held numerous sessions with teachers, students, administrators, and parents throughout Oregon. The response to the standards during the live sessions and in the surveys has been very helpful in shaping this final draft and in thinking about the next steps towards successful implementation.

If the Ethnic Studies Standards are adopted by the State Board of Education next week, they will be available for teaching in the 2021-2022 school year. The required year for districts to implement the Ethnic Studies Standards will be in the 2026-2027 school year. Districts may decide to implement the new standards any time between 2021 and 2026. Please look for additional details and resources in future newsletters.

Thank you to the educators who participated in each of the advisory groups helping to draft the standards. Also, thank you to all of the community members joining the feedback sessions and completing the survey.

These new standards widen the focus on the histories, perspectives, and contributions of many traditionally underrepresented groups and individuals. More Oregon students will now see themselves represented in the curriculum and daily lessons of their social science classroom. 

If you have not yet done so, please take a look at the 2021 Ethnic Studies Standards and share your comments on this brief Survey. You can also view a short video highlighting the new Ethnic Studies Standards.


Summer Educator Fellowship

OJMCHE is thrilled to announce it’s first Summer Educator Fellowship! The program seeks to provide an opportunity for K – 12 educators interested in advancing their teaching pedagogy and practice in genocide and civil rights education. 


This year’s program examines how we remember, study, and reckon with historical injustices. This program offers teachers opportunities to study the power dynamic involved in writing and memorializing history and to analyze how injustices are remembered and taught. As a result, this program challenges teachers to examine their own practice, and develop new materials for their students. 

Selected Fellows will first participate in three online, interactive seminars with national scholars in April, May, and June before attending a three day conference held at the museum in Portland, Oregon in July. Following the learning sessions, Fellows will be responsible for developing a standards-based teaching resource that address this year’s theme. 

Applications are due February 15, 2021.


Resources for Choices Program

Teaching about race is a challenging task, particularly when biases, recognized or not, permeate our culture and seep into the classroom. During Black History Month (or any time), consider engaging your students in an exploration of race, racial identity, and racism, and their effects on individuals and society.

The materials highlighted below provide some options for content. Our free Resource Guide for teaching about controversial topics can be helpful no matter which particular topics you choose to address. Be sure to also explore our upcoming webinars and workshops (scroll down for link) for opportunities to learn how Choices Program materials can be used in your classroom to address this and other important topics. Many events are free.

Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies
This unit focuses on how enslaved people experienced and resisted systems of oppression and how the legacies of racial slavery, including racism, have shaped our world. Digital is FREE through 9/30/21.
Explore the unit

Webinars and Workshops
Check out our upcoming events, including free webinars on Japanese American incarceration in WWII, the Haitian Revolution, Cuba, and westward expansion, as well as a free online workshop on racial slavery in the Americas. Register now to secure your spot!

Explore webinars and workshops


Hold the Date for Center for Geography Education


Oregon’s annual geography education conference on March 6th!

The C-GEO conference will be virtual (on Zoom) with both Synchronous and Asynchronous sessions! And it’s FREE!

The live sessions will be from 9am – 12:30pm on March 6th, 2021. The asynchronous presentations will be available to registrants throughout the remainder of March.

Registration is FREE! 


Indigenous and Ethnic Studies, Holocaust & Genocide Curriculum, Story of Place sessions, Google Giant Floor Map of Oregon, Zombie based-Geography, population education, geography education grant opportunities, future C-GEO institute opportunities, and SO MUCH MORE!!!

Center of Geography Education


Holocaust and Other Genocide Seminar

This intensive professional development seminar, offered by The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) in partnership with the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, will provide educators with the opportunity to expand their awareness and understanding of the Holocaust and other, more recent genocides.

Teachers will evaluate history, looking closely at world-changing decisions made at key moments in time. They will collaborate to develop classroom strategies to help their students understand how the past affects the present, find their voice in speaking out for social justice, and envision the wide-reaching impact of their future choices.

Participants will also explore ways to integrate instruction on racial and ethnic discrimination in Oregon, specifically within the context of Japanese-American incarceration during World War Two. We will also focus on best practices for implementing new state mandates in Holocaust, genocide and Native American history. 

Application Deadline: April 15th with rolling acceptance