July 21, 2021

California approved millions in funding to fight anti-Asian hate, while Illinois became the first state to require public schools to teach Asian American history

Washington, D.C. — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates applauded state legislators and its chapters in California and Illinois on Wednesday for securing significant investments in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities earlier this month.

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the $156 million Asian Pacific Islander (API) Equity Budget into law. The measure, spearheaded by the state’s Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and backed by more than 150 groups—including OCA’s Sacramento, San Mateo, and San Diego chapters—allocates millions for community-led initiatives to accurately track and prevent anti-Asian hate incidents.

Meanwhile, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act (or the TEAACH Act) on July 9. The groundbreaking bill, championed by State Sen. Ram Villivalam and State Rep. Jennifer Gong Gershowitz, requires all public schools to teach a unit of Asian American history. OCA’s Chicago chapter supported the TEAACH Act as part of a coalition of advocacy groups led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago.

“The measures in California and Illinois are meaningful because they acknowledge the unique struggles that AAPI communities have faced,” OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates National President Linda Ng said. “These targeted investments are necessary to address the invisibility that AAPIs have felt throughout U.S. history, along with the civil rights challenges of today.”

“We stand ready to work with any lawmaker who is interested in sponsoring similar legislation to fight anti-Asian hate and ensure fair representation of AAPIs in K-12 curriculum,” added OCA Deputy Executive Director Thu Nguyen.

### OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national social justice organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Learn more about our work at ocanational.org/about.