For Immediate Release
July 28, 2021
SAN DIEGO, CA – July 28, 2021- On July 27th, the Orange County Board of Education (OCBE) hosted a timely board meeting to discuss educational topics pertaining to California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) and critical race theory (CRT). Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) joined the OCBE trustees, four other experts and Orange County community members in both the expert forum and the press conference prior to the board meeting.
“At the end of the day, the implementation of ethnic studies in various districts in Orange County is of huge public interest and impact students and families more than the educational establishment,” said Dr. Wenyuan Wu, executive director of CFER at the well-attended media event prior to the expert panel. “The public deserves to know, not only from educational bureaucrats and Sacramento insiders who have a vested interest in pushing the critical ethnic studies paradigm.”
OCBE trustees voted 4-to-1 at the beginning of the special board meeting to invite Dr. Wenyuan Wu of CFER to testify as the fifth expert. Dr. Wu joined her co-panelists, Mr. Walter H. Myers III, Professor Richard Sander, Dr. Brandy Shufutinsky and Professor Maimon Schwarzschild, who presented on the intellectual history of CRT and the ramifications and controversies of California’s sweeping ethnic studies movement in relation to CRT. Together, the five experts, with unique expertise in classroom instruction, legal scholarship, policy advocacy and social scientific research in various capacities and multicultural lived experiences, championed viewpoint diversity and subject matter knowledge to sufficiently inform the public and the OCBE.
The highlight of yesterday’s educational event was the courageous community members of Orange County. Coming from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, over a dozen of public commenters spoke passionately about the divisive nature of CRT and its influence on California’s ethnic studies curricula. The board meeting room was packed with concerned parents, grandparents and citizens. Hundreds of other community members who could not get in the room stayed outside the OCBE building to watch the event livestream. The overwhelmingly positive public reception greatly complemented the expert panel, creating an inspiring gathering in which public interests, government service and interdisciplinary expertise aligned perfectly.
CFER applauds the OCBE for its leadership in setting a precedent for other public agencies in California to educate the public on the contested topics with evidence-based testimony, and relevant legal and scholarly insights. More importantly, we are heartened by members of the public who came forward to share their stories and hope for a better public education system without ideological interferences. The encouraging public reactions at yesterday’s forum demonstrate that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the teaching and propagation of CRT, a fact validated by public opinion polls conducted by agencies across the political spectrum from the Economist, to the Heritage Foundation, to CSG Poll, to the grassroots organization Parents Defending Education. The woke ideology has woken up the American public who are united against it.
About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER): We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment. We are an IRS-approved 501 c(3) organization and all contributions are tax-deductible. www.Cferfoundation.org.