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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul


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Ethnic Studies

High School Ethnic Studies in SPPS

Welcome to the High School Ethnic Studies Curriculum and Instruction resource page. This is a new graduation requirement starting with the class of 2025 in Saint Paul Public Schools. Below you will find curricular resources for the Critical Ethnic Studies course, along with the main themes, department related events and additional resources.

My experience with CES is that in this class, I have been able to embrace more of my identity and share it with my peers. The class has become a space where I feel comfortable and safe expressing who I am and my identity.

Fall '22 CSE Student

Critical Ethnic Studies Course:

Critical Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary course that examines students' identity, heritage, culture and communities in relation to various power structures, forms of oppression and inequalities that have an impact on their lives. With an emphasis on stories and lived experiences of people of color in the United States, the course explores the collective struggles, resilience and triumphs of their communities.

Goals of this course are to:

  • Cultivate students’ knowledge of self while appreciating the differences around them
  • Build a sense of pride in their shared communities
  • Learn about the importance of advocacy for change and healing
  • Develop critical thinking skills to empower them to be agents of positive change in a more equitable future

7 Core Ethnic Studies Principles:

  1. Self-Love: Reflect on one’s worth and accept my own inherent value. Develop an understanding of “who I am and where I am from” as a key to my personal growth and self-acceptance.
  2. Honor: Honor Indigenous, Black and communities of color by providing space to share stories of their struggle and resistance, along with their intellectual and cultural wealth. 
  3. Community: Build and be in community by accessing and sharing in our cultural wealth. 
  4. Critical Consciousness: Actively question, challenge and expose the world’s systems and operations in order to recognize and analyze systems of inequality.
  5. Resistance: Resist all systems of oppressive power rooted in racism through collective action and change.
  6. Hope: Continue to believe and have faith that things will get better in order to heal from intergenerational trauma through collective hope and perseverance.
  7. Visualization: Imagine and build new possibilities that promote collective narrative of transformative resistance, critical hope and radical healing.

|  SPPS Critical Ethnic Studies Course Overview  |  Critical Ethnic Studies Framework SY 22-23  |

Critical Ethnic Studies has made me think of my culture, how I grew up, as well as the society I live in and how it affects my daily life.

Fall '22 CSE Student