Fighting for Women's Equality

Action Alert: Thank OUSD for Listening to Girls

June 22, 2017 | by

Kamala Harris. Elizabeth Warren. Women on the Board of Directors at Uber. You know what we’re talking about – women being interrupted by men who feel threatened that their power and influence are at risk if strong women are given an equal seat in the Senate or the boardroom.

And the story we want to tell you today – about the passage of one of the most progressive public school K-12 sexual harassment policies in the nation by the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) – is about what happens when people in power listen to girls.  

Today, we want to give a shout out to the members of the OUSD Board of Education. The directors listened to the experiences of girls in the Oakland schools and passed a policy, written by the staff of ERA and partners at Alliance for Girls, that will protect girls and provide them the opportunity for a safe and equal educational experience. Learn more about this project and why it’s so important.

What happened? On Wednesday, June 14 the school board unanimously adopted the new policy. There is much work to be done in terms of implementation and follow-up, but there are many reasons to celebrate, including the hope that this policy will serve as a model for school districts around the Bay Area, the state, and the country.  

Why does this matter? Sharing power with girls (and women) gets us one step closer to a world where girls and women become decision makers – rather than merely those about whom decisions are made. 

Now what? Our action today is in the form of a thank you to Oakland Board of Education members, including Directors Jumoke Hinton-Hodge (District 3) and Aimee Eng (District 2), who both sponsored the policy before the board. We’d like you to email Jumoke, Aimee, and their colleagues and thank them for listening to the lived experiences girls and, by doing so, doing the right thing for all the students of Oakland.

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