SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Diversity and Inclusion Commission, made up of Utah legislators from both sides of the aisle, will work with local leaders and the state board of education to incorporate a diversity and inclusion curriculum in the K-12 education system throughout the state.

“The learning piece is important, the listening piece is important, but the doing piece is the most important in all of this,” says Utah Governor Spencer Cox, at a press conference Monday evening, where the creation of the commission was announced.

“It sent a shockwave, I think through all of us, when a 10-year-old child, little Izzy, died by suicide as a result of hate and bullying and racism that she faced,” says Rep. Sandra Hollins, who co-chairs the commission, in reference to Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor, a Foxboro Elementary School student who died by suicide. Her mother said she was a victim of racist bullying.

“We’ve seen example after example of racism plague our state,” says Rep. Mike Shultz, the House Majority Leader, who also co-chairs the commission.

Rep. Hollins believes in creating a curriculum that will help students of color feel proud of their heritage and teach white students about the history and contributions of people of color.

“It’s going to be learning about our heroes, it’s going to be learning about inventors and doctors and other folks and people in politics, of color, and learn about who those people are and how they contribute to the building of our nation,” says Rep. Hollins.

This announcement was much anticipated by many, including Dr. Kathleen Christy and Dr. Jackie Thompson, who co-chair the Utah Ethnic Coalition, an organization advocating to incorporate ethnic studies into the Utah State standards for K-12 students.

“Education provides us with experiences and understanding of others. And that’s where we can start to dismantle racism,” says Dr. Christy.