October 6, 2021
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announced as Co-Chair of Governor’s Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today joined Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where he was announced as co-chair of the newly created Governor’s Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education.
State Superintendent Thurmond will be joined by State Senator Henry Stern and Attorney General Rob Bonta in leading the group’s work as co-chairs. The Council’s work will include identifying instructional resources to teach students about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide and providing young people with tools to recognize and respond to on-campus instances of anti-Semitism and bigotry. In May of 2021, Thurmond co-sponsored Senator Henry Stern’s Senate Bill (SB) 693, the Never Again Education Act, which was the inspiration for this Council.
“I want to thank the Governor for his work to create anti-racism and anti-bias grant funding and for creating a council that will address genocide and promote Holocaust education,” said Thurmond. “Education has the power to be a great equalizer and to help us grow, understand, and find a pathway to healing. It is the way to build inclusive and welcoming school environments. This is why, at the California Department of Education, I have created the Education to End Hate Initiative, and why I am so proud to have co-sponsored Senator Stern’s bill; now we look forward to partnering in the implementation of the $10 million that has been allocated for the Anti-Bias Education Grant program in the state budget.”
Also serving on the Council as members are Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Jose Medina, James Ramos, and Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and Senators Scott Wiener, Connie Leyva, and Susan Rubio. As identified by community feedback, the Council will also include academics, advocates, and community organizations reflecting the wide diversity of communities impacted by genocide throughout history. The group will also be responsible for developing a volunteer speaker’s bureau of individuals—such as Holocaust survivors—that can engage teachers and students in conversation about the lessons of genocide, provide best practices and resources to support schools throughout the state, and host educational events and seminars.
This work aligns with the Education to End Hate Initiative that Superintendent Thurmond launched in September 2020, in which the California Department of Education (CDE) has utilized a series of strategies—including educator training grants, partnerships with community leaders, and virtual classroom sessions—that leverage the power of education to create a more just society.
The Governor’s 2021–22 state budget also allocates $110 million for a multi-year grant program to fund support services for victims and survivors of hate crimes and their families and to facilitate hate crime prevention measures and priorities, including:
- $10 million to fund the Anti-Bias Education Grant Program to prevent and address racism and bias in all California public schools and promote inclusivity.
- $5 million to support a peer social media network project for children and youth, with an emphasis on K–12 students who have experienced bullying or who are at risk of bullying based on race, ethnicity, language, or country of origin or perception of such.
- $10 million to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to fund grants for hate crime hotlines.
- $10 million for the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles to create a new exhibit on anti-Semitism.
- $2.5 million for expansion of the Holocaust Museum LA.
- $2 million to contract with nonprofits who have subject matter expertise in Holocaust and genocide education to develop curricular resources and provide professional development for teachers.
- $1 million for the renovation of the Tauber Holocaust Library and Archives operated by Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center in the Bay Area.
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100