What a California Town’s Fight Over an Ethnic Studies Course Revealed About Community and Healing

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Vineyards in the Pleasant Valley area of San Luis Obispo County Wine Country are viewed on June 1, 2019, near Paso Robles, California.  (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Paso Robles is a small wine country town between the Pacific coast and the Central Valley – it’s a multicultural town, too, but many residents of color there feel invisible. That’s according to Los Angeles Times reporter Tyrone Beason who features Paso Robles in the latest installment of his ongoing “My Country” series, which explores the things that bind us and tries to make sense of the things that tear us apart. Beason digs into the different viewpoints behind a recent fight to reinstate an ethnic studies class at a local high school, which faced a backlash before ultimately being approved. That debate, like similar debates across the country around ethnic studies curriculum, revealed deeper fissures within the community. Beason joins us to talk about the story and what he learned from the residents of Paso Robles.


Tyrone Beason, staff writer, Los Angeles Times