Did you have ethnic studies instruction when you were in high school?

Jorge Lopez’s classroom at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights is covered from floor to ceiling with art. On his desk, he keeps books filled with his students’ creative writing.
Jorge Lopez’s classroom at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights is covered from floor to ceiling with art. On his desk, he keeps books filled with his students’ creative writing.
Carla Javier/KPCC

Ethnic studies advocates have been fighting for years to get courses focused on the history and culture of racial and ethnic groups — including black, Latino, Native American and Asian communities — to California students.
 
Advocates say ethnic studies will help students learn about race and identity; a majority of California students belong to communities whose histories would be taught through these courses. Critics say those conversations should be happening across already-existing classes, not siloed into a required course.
 
KPCC’s arts education reporter Carla Javier is hosting an event on May 15 about ethnic studies and the arts, and we’re turning to you for your insights.
 
Did you have ethnic studies instruction when you were in high school? If you did, how do you think it affected your education and life? Did you make or study art as part of those courses?
 
If not, do you wish you did? Why or why not? What do you think ethnic studies classes should address, and should they be mandatory?
 
The insights you share will help inform KPCC’s work. We’ll read every response, and contact you if we decide to interview you. Nothing is published without your permission.