High School Ethnic Studies Initiative

Background image: Panaromic view from the International House to the San Francisco bay area on a clear and sunny day


The UC Berkeley High School Ethnic Studies Initiative (HSESI) is a collaboration between The American Cultures Center, 
Department of Ethnic Studies, and History-Social Science Project developing curriculum materials to support Bay Area teachers and school districts meeting the 2025-26 school-year rollout of the California Ethnic Studies high school graduation requirement

To connect with HSESI partners, please email hsesi@berkeley.edu.

Explore the Initiative

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Exploratory Research Report

The UC Berkeley High School Ethnic Studies Exploratory Report examines the potential of a UC Berkeley curriclum development effort in supporting Bay Area high school teacher and school districts, and therefore future generations of California students. Although the report is exploratory and not exhaustive, it does offer strategic reasons for UC Berkeley's involvement in the California High School Ethnic Studies graduation requirement and recommendations for how, where, and when to interact.

Protestors in silouhette advocating for a High School Ethnic Studies at the California State Capitol


After years of grassroots efforts and advocacy, in 2021 the California Board of Education approved a high school Ethnic Studies model curriculum, designed to include the significant contributions of Asian, Black, Latino, and Native Americans in national and state history and life. On October 8, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 101, which requires all local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools, serving high school students, to provide a full-year course in ethnic studies by the 2025-26 school year, for students graduating in the 2029-30 school year and beyond. Learn more

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Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) Oral History Project

Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) Oral History Project features interviews with student strikers from the 1969 and 1999 TWLF movements. This page is under development and will link to selected interviews on Calisphere.

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Get Involved

We welcome you to support the High School Ethnic Studies Initiative. To learn more, please complete this form.

Teaching Tools

The Berkeley Pedagogy Podcast

The Berkeley Pedagogy Podcast was created as a collaboration between the American Cultures Center and the Center for Teaching and Learning to host discussions with UC Berkeley faculty on issues of equity, inclusion, and justice in the classroom.

Liberated Ethnic Studies - Model Curriculum Consortium

Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

​The Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum promotes the advancement and implementation of well-designed Ethnic Studies courses and programs to advance students’ academic achievement, educational equity, community-activist scholarshipand community leadership skills.

Promotional Image for "Race: the Power of an Illusion" Film

Media Clips Library

The Media Clips Library contains media-based resources from licensed and publically available sources that UC Berkeley faculty and graduate students use in courses to create a critical and collaborative ‘clip’ collection from feature films, educational documentaries, and audio-based media to exemplify how to introduce multi-media learning into high school ethnic studies curricula.

Third World Liberation Front Portal

The Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) Portal will be a new site that honors the history of the TWLF student strikes and provides a range of teaching resources, including historical videos, photographs, oral histories, and an interactive timeline of TWLF movements (link coming soon).

Past Events

Black Panther Party's children marching

HSESI Scholar Series: Teaching the Black Panther Legacy with Ula S. Taylor and Waldo E. Martin, 10/25/23

On October 23, 2023, the High School Ethnic Studies Initiative (HSESI) team and the Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley hosted the first event in the UCB-HSESI scholar series, "Teaching the Black Panther Party Legacy " featuring Professors Ula Taylor and Waldo Martin, scholars on Black Panther Party history. This discussion provided insights on incorporating the Party's history and enduring lessons into today's academic landscape, especially in Ethnic Studies courses.

Recorded Discussion: 1969 Third World Liberation Front Strike

On June 12, 2023, UC Berkeley's High School Ethnic Studies Initiative held a panel discussion on the history of the 1969 Third World Liberation Front Strike at UC Berkeley.

Recorded Discussion: Ethnic Studies Student Panel

On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, UC Berkeley's High School Ethnic Studies Initiative held a panel discussion exploring the Ethnic Studies curriculum at the high school and university-level. This discussion featured Ethnic Studies students from Berkeley High School and alum from UC Berkeley, who offered insights into the challenges, opportunities and immense significance of Ethnic Studies courses in today’s academic landscape.

Photo of speakers (left to right, Joy James, Ruth Gilmore, David Maldono)

Recorded Series: Aspirations of Material Anti-Racism: What’s Next?

"Aspirations of Material Anti-Racism," hosted at UC Berkeley in Spring 2023. The series brought together university faculty with contemporary experts from academia and beyond, focusing on Black freedom movements, decolonial theory and practice, mutual aid, and housing rights, among other topics. On its dedicated page, you can find recordings of the discussions along with valuable resources and key takeaways. The series was sponsored by the Staff as Students of Social Justice Program, a program that creates a unique learning community for campus staff engaging in anti-racist pedagogies and weekly discussion seminars.

Image of a row of a racially diverse group of California high school students

Recorded Discussion: Teaching K-12 Ethnic Studies Panel

On November 14, 2022, the American Cultures Center, the Department of Ethnic Studies and History-Social Science Project hosted a conversation with local elementary, middle, and high school teachers for undergraduate students to learn about building a career as an Ethnic Studies teacher, given that they will be needed now more than ever.