Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 104: Planning a system of ethnic heritage programs

Date: 04/17/1974
Issuer: Francis W. Sargent

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, we recognize the richly diverse composition of the citizenry of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the fact that in a multi-ethnic society a greater understanding of the contributions of one's own heritage and those of one's fellow citizens can contribute to a more harmonious, creative, interesting, stimulating, patriotic, and committed populace; and

WHEREAS, we endorse the principle that all persons in the educational institutions of the Commonwealth should have an opportunity to learn about the varied and unique contributions to the national heritage made by each ethnic group; and

WHEREAS, recognition of the contributions of the various ethnic groups to the development of our Commonwealth and the nation must be an integral part of Bicentennial activities; and

WHEREAS, the General Court has in 1971 provided for the establishment and implementation of programs in bilingual and bi-cultural education in the public schools of the Common- wealth; and

WHEREAS, the General Court has established the American and French Canadian Cultural Exchange Commission, and Division of Immigration and Americanization and the Council on Arts and Humanities to develop programs and provide service to citizens from various ethnic groups; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the need to develop a coordinated statewide system for the promotion of ethnic heritage-related activities to afford students the opportunity to learn about the nature of their own cultural heritage and to study the contributions of the cultural heritages of the other ethnic groups of the Commonwealth; to wit:

Programs and Organizations: there is a need to develop, promote and coordinate ethnic heritage activities among the Bilingual-Bicultural Program, Arts and Humanities council, Higher Education Institutions and community ethnic organizations.

Media and Materials: there is a need to develop, promote and disseminate available ethnic heritage-related media and materials to support Bilingual-Bicultural programs and other related educational programs and conferences;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Francis W. Sargent, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

1. There shall be a Task Force, which shall work from this day until December 31, 1974, to investigate and study the existence and development of ethnic heritage programs and achievements in the Commonwealth and elsewhere. The Task Force shall establish criteria and make recommendations for the establishment of geographical boundaries and member- ship for local, regional and statewide ethnic heritage councils, methods for achieving such objectives, and a schedule for achieving such objectives.

2. The Task Force shall investigate and study the development of ethnic heritage curriculum materials for use in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education throughout the Commonwealth. The Task Force shall suggest methods for working with persons and organizations in the communities being served to bring about a system of statewide, regional and local ethnic heritage studies programs and methods for financing said programs.

3. The Task Force shall be comprised of not less than 21 members, including one member of the Senate, one member of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the State Bilingual and Bicultural Advisory Council, the Secretary of Educational Affairs, who shall be the chairman, and not less than 18 other citizens reflecting a variety of ethnic heritages and appropriate governmental agencies.

4. The Task Force may cooperate with any agency of the Commonwealth or of its political subdivisions in the conduct of its study. The Task Force shall report to the Board of Higher Education, the Board of Education and the General Court from time to time.

Given at Boston this seventeenth day of April in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy-four and the year of the independence of the United States of America,the one hundred and ninety-eighth.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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