Under the measure Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Friday, every public elementary and high school in the state will be required to include a unit on the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including their history in Illinois and the Midwest. The requirement begins during the 2022-23 school year.
State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, a Glenview Democrat and one of five Asian Americans in the Illinois legislature, said during a bill-signing ceremony at Niles West High School that she didn’t learn about the Chinese Exclusion Act and her grandparents’ struggles with discrimination and the fear of deportation until she was in law school.
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