Christina Huang is a Chinese American student in New Jersey, and she was often singled out in school for being Asian. After Covid, Huang was a target of Asian hate and became tired of being disregarded for her heritage and appearance. As a result, Huang testified before the New Jersey State of Legislators to help lobby for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) History to be taught in public schools. Her Social Studies Teacher at Ridgewood High, Medha Kirtaine, incorporated Asian history in her students’ studies which gave Huang a sense of belongingness. Inspired by Kirtaine, Huang wanted other students to feel this sense of belongingness and hoped for more students to learn about her heritage.
In January 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation requiring K-12 schools to include Asian American and Pacific Islander history in New Jersey schools’ curriculum. This made New Jersey the second state in America to mandate AAPI history in public school education. Huang continues to try and make Asian American life easier for students as a member of “Make us Visible New Jersey.” As a member, she works with many AAPI organizations and legislators that advocate for AAPI people.
Lazarus, Violet. “RHS’s Christina Huang Advocates for AAPI History Education.” TAPinto, February 17, 2022. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/ridgewood/sections/education/articles/rhs-s-christina-huang-advocates-for-aapi-history-education.
Kim, CeFaan. “17-Year-Old Student Lobbies to Get Asian American History Taught in New Jersey Public Schools.” ABC7 New York, January 31, 2022. https://abc7ny.com/asian-american-history-new-jersey-christina-huang-aapi/11526489/.
Cho, Michelle, and Jo Ling Kent. “Inside a N.J. School Leading the Charge for Teaching Asian American History.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, June 3, 2022. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/nj-school-leading-charge-teaching-asian-american-history-rcna31330.
Questions to Explore
What are some of the goals Christina Huang has set for herself as a young Asian American?
How will the new Curriculum for AAPI history change the way students view the AAPI community?
What other programs is Make us Visible New Jersey a part of?
“Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Ensuring AAPI-Inclusive Curriculum Is Taught in New Jersey Schools.” Office of the Governor | State of New Jersey, January 18, 2022. https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562022/20220118c.shtml#:~:text=TRENTON%20%E2%80%93%20Governor%20Phil%20Murphy%20today,in%20kindergarten%20through%20Grade%2012.