Lesson Summary: Students will learn about the much unknown history of racism against Asian Americans, what Asian Americans have had to endure and how the current perceptions of Asian Americans have manifested. Through reflection, critical thinking and much needed discussion, students will examine the similarities and differences between historic and current events of racial discrimination and formulate paths towards greater tolerance and racial unity.

This lesson guide is centered around the video “Call It What It Is – Racism Against Asian Americans” produced by The 1990 Institute.  A Classroom Discussion Guide is available for download below.  Also provided below are links to other lesson plan resources for teachers on and about Asian Americans.

Published: June 9, 2021
Grade Level: Grades 9 -12
Subject Areas: U.S. History, Modern World History, Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, Contemporary World History
Keywords:
Racism, Asian Americans, Bias, History, Anti-Asian Racism, Immigration, Civil Rights Movement, Model Minority, Healing America
Source: This version of “Call It What It Is: Racism Against Asian Americans” is the ‘Educators Cut’ and was edited from the original version to suit the High School Ethnic Studies program. The Accompanying Documents, Additional Resources and Classroom Discussion Guide allows educators to expand the discussion and customize the lessons to their classrooms. Students will learn about the much unknown history of racism against Asian Americans, what Asian Americans have had to endure and how the current perceptions of Asian Americans have manifested. Through reflection, critical thinking and much needed discussion, students will examine the similarities and differences between historic and current events of racial discrimination and formulate paths towards greater tolerance and racial unity.0:00 Introduction

1:48 Chapter 1: Bias

3:21 Chapter 2: The History of Anti-Asian Racism

5:14 Chapter 3: Civil Rights & The Model Minority

6:31 Chapter 4: Anti-Asian Racism Today: History Repeated

7:32 Chapter 5: Healing Our America

8:51 What Can You Do?

Accompanying
Documents:
Classroom Discussion Guide, suggested vocabulary, discussion questions and projects. Click here to download Microsoft Word doc version of the Classroom Discussion Guide.

Student Worksheet, Click here to download Microsoft Word doc version of the Classroom Discussion Guide.

Additional Resources:  The Asian American Education Project (including workshops) – Online lesson plans tailored for K–12 curriculum for educators to teach this rich history to students. These lessons provide a brief snapshot into the long journey of Asian immigrants and their native–born children within America’s timeline.

USC US-China Institute K-12 Education – USC U.S.-China Institute offers in-person and online professional development seminars and workshops to help teachers bring more of East Asia to their students.

Speaking up against racism around the Coronavirus, by Coshandra Dillard, February 14, 2020, Learning for Justice Identity and Labels: Lesson plan on teaching about identify and labels, it is a part of My Part of the Story: Exploring Identity in the United States Unit by Facing History and Ourselves

5 Landmark Cases in U.S. History Spurred by Asian-Pacific Americans, by Lisa Rose, Research Specialist, May 29, 2020, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. Many of the liberties that U.S. citizens enjoy today can be credited to the people who went to court to challenge unjust laws. Below are a few landmark cases brought to the Supreme Court by Asian-Pacific Americans facing deportation, discrimination, and exclusion. In each case, the justice system delivered.

STOP AAPI HATE NATIONAL REPORT (3/19/20 – 3/31/21), by Russell Jeung Ph.D., Aggie J. Yellow Horse, Ph.D, Charlene Cayanan, May 6, 2021. Comprehensive report detailing the hate incident data from March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021 with examples of each type of hate incident and graphical data.

2020 Teachers Workshop: Artificial Intelligence and Implicit Bias, by 1990 Institute, August 1, 2020. Webinar from 1990 Institute’s Teacher’s Workshop featuring Dean and Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine School of Law, L. Song Richardson on Implicit Bias. Quick Implicit Association Test to demonstrate bias (start at minute 6:35 for short test).

Implicit or Unconscious Bias, by Charlotte Ruhl, July 01, 2020. Implicit bias and explicit bias explained. This article includes examples of implicit bias and its causes, implications and how to reduce implicit bias.

Information about the Department of Justice’s China Initiative and a Compilation of China-related prosecutions since 2018, by US Department of Justice, May 5, 2021. Background description of the China Initiative, its components and a timeline with examples of prosecutions made. Example of systemic bias.

U.S.-China relations at the time of the Chinese Exclusion Act by James Carter, May 5, 2021. On May 6, 1882 President Chester A.Arthur signed a law that for the first time singled out a specific nation – China – and denied its citizens entry into the United States. This article describes the events leading up to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

President Coolidge signs Immigration Act of 1924, by History.com editors, May 21, 2020. A description of the law President Calvin Coolidge signed into. The Immigration Act of 1924, was the most stringent U.S. immigration policy up to that time in the nation’s history.

The Absurdity of ‘Racial Realism’, by Joshua Adams, March 18, 2021. The mass shooter in Atlanta embodied the flawed logic that racial stereotypes reflect fact-based truths.

What Changes Do You Think Would Help Fight Racism at School? By KQED Learn, May 12, 2021. Student viewing guide.  Prepared Classroom Discussion.

How can students stand up to racism in schools? By Lauren Farrar for KQED, May 12, 2021. The video investigates different ways for students to resist racism and talks to some high school students from San Francisco’s Lowell High School who are on the ground working to disrupt racism in their school. It is followed by a classroom discussion and call to action.

McCarthyism: Episode 3, Lesson 2, by Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, October 26, 2020.  This lesson will discuss how McCarthyism abused the First Amendment rights of Americans, how it targeted Chinese Americans during the Korean War, and modern day profiling of people in the name of national security.

Conscious and Unconscious Biases in Health Care, Module 3: Bias and Well Meaning People, by National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University. An example of how unconscious bias creeps in despite a doctor’s best intention (scroll down page and watch the video interview.)

Asian Americans PBS Series (Youtube Videos):

Episode 1: Breaking Ground

Episode 2: Question of Loyalty

Episode 3: Good Americans

Episode 4: Generation Rising

Episode 5: Breaking Through

1990 Institute Reference Library – Lesson Plans. A section of the Reference Library with Lesson Plans created by educators on a wide variety of US-Asian topics.

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