Diego’s Story:
Should textbooks include all groups, or only a few?

Diego is a top student at a competitive high school whose family came to the United States from Mexico. When he reads his history books, however, he cannot find Latinos and Latinas, or other immigrants and minorities who built the nation. For example, his books say that Columbus discovered America, but omit the atrocities against Indigenous Peoples. Listen as he shares his experiences and asks “Whose history counts?”

  • Should your education be accurate and complete?
  • Should textbooks include all racial and ethnic groups, or only a few?
  • Which groups are emphasized in your textbooks, and which ones are missing?
  • How is your group represented in textbooks?
  • What happens to learning when some groups are left out?
  • How could you change the curriculum? Speak up in class? Work with your teacher?  Meet with the school board?
Michigan Civil Rights Commission Resolution

“Michigan’s students should be educated on their social identity and that of others to effectively enable them to replace prejudice, bias, and stereotypes with acceptance, understanding and unity.”

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 26, Right to education: (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 27, Right to participate in the cultural life of community: (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.