The Third World Student Strike was a movement to enact and improve the Ethnic Studies programs at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley. The students from these universities organized strikes and demanded the establishment of a department teaching African American, Chicano, Asian American, and Native American studies. They used many non-violent tactics such as rallies, blocking entrances to school buildings on campus, and hunger strikes. Eventually, the students built a large community of not only students, but also local supporters. Through their perseverance, the department of Ethnic Studies at each school were expanded and other universities followed by example (Muñoz). The student’s demands were partially met, with the exception of amnesty for all the students that were arrested in the movement and a lower amount of new staff than desired for the departments. Even though not all of the demands were implemented, the progress that did happen was a significant victory for educational equity. The fact that there was no Ethnic Studies program, or that it would be the first to feel budget cuts at these schools, demonstrated the wide apathy towards cultural diversity the institutions had. Additionally, it emphasizes the difficulties faced for people of color not only in grade school, but also in higher education since they were becoming even more systematically disconnected to their own cultures. The typical American curriculum is extremely one-sided and favors Eurocentric history. This hinders the ability for students from marginalized communities to relate to what is being taught and also inherently shames them for being different, which makes it all the more difficult to succeed in school. Lastly, it hides the overwhelmi...
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...d immigrants who spoke out to receive more support from the federal government and successfully achieved this in California under the DREAM ACT. Additionally, educators, scholars, and concerned parents alike have worked together to figure out how exactly the achievement gap can not only be eliminated through exploring its racial factors, but by also exploring its socioeconomic factors and how to combat them. In fact, in my hometown of Richmond, California, a group of charter school advocates successfully lobbied to include their own disadvantaged students in a city-wide initiative to give Richmond students fifteen hundred dollars a year for college tuition. The spirit of activism and empowerment through education continues through today’s society. And it will continue to spread, even when the words “minority” and “white” become insignificant in the educational world.
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