• Magazine Web Edition
  • July/August/September 2018
  • California: The Final Textbooks
  • California: The Final Textbooks


    Lessons Learned

    Samir Kalra, Managing Director, Hindu American Foundation: “The California textbook adoption process provided many critical lessons for the Hindu American community that can be applied to future challenges and situations. One of the most important lessons is to continually build and cultivate relationships with diverse stakeholders who can support Hindu American initiatives when necessary. In the context of the textbook issue, the community’s ability to leverage relationships and build coalitions was significant to showing the Department of Education that the culturally competent, equitable and accurate representation of Hinduism and Indian culture in textbooks is important to a broad cross-section of ethnic, religious, social, cultural and civil rights organizations, as well as political leaders. Furthermore, the process demonstrated that these types of challenges require a sustained long-term effort, patience and a multi-pronged strategy. Success and creating change often takes time and is frequently determined by a number of factors.”

    Vaishali Vaval, a mother of two daughters who go to San Jose Union School District: “For me it underscored the need of community to get civically engaged in academic processes. It has been distressing to witness that irrespective of the Indian-American community’s significant contributions in mainstream America’s scientific, industrial and financial dimensions, we as a community remain so far behind in civic engagement in the academic dimension. Especially in matters that are sensitive to future generations of Indian and non-Indian Americans, we can no longer afford to be passive watchers of biases and prejudices that exist in textbooks. We must become involved civically, for everyone’s dignity.”

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