A Multi-Ethnic Coalition for Empowered Ethnic Studies

The Coalition for Empowered Education is in the process of developing an alternative to the Liberated/Critical Ethnic Studies Framework that is presently the default option in many K–12 and higher education spaces nationwide. 

Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary field that aims to increase student knowledge and awareness of ethnically minoritized histories, cultures, struggles, and contributions. Ethnic studies programs are advancing in K-12 and higher education systems throughout America. In many instances, local rules and state laws have been instituted that make completing an ethnic studies class a requirement for public high school graduation and/or for matriculation into public colleges or universities. This means that all students, irrespective of their academic interests or goals, may soon be required to engage with ethnic studies curricula.  

It is important that educators, legislators, community advocates, and students alike are aware of the ways that learning experiences may vary depending on the social justice approach that is used to teach an ethnic studies class. This document outlines key educational components that may impact student learning experiences when a critical social justice or classical social justice approach is used to teach ethnic studies.


While the Coalition opposes radical versions of Ethnic Studies, we support constructive and inclusive Ethnic Studies, what we call Empowered Ethnic Studies. We support Ethnic Studies that generates courageous curiosity, individual agency, and objectivity; that thoughtfully explores racism and bigotry in America’s past and present; and that celebrates and honors the accomplishments and contributions of diverse racialized and ethnic communities.