New Rapid Response Team Launched to Support #MeToo Legislation Across States

October 28. 2019


On the second anniversary of #MeToo going viral on social media, Equal Rights Advocates, the National Women’s Law Center, and Girls for Gender Equity are excited to announce the launch of two new initiatives to support efforts in states across the country to strengthen laws combating sexual harassment and violence in schools and workplaces, including #20StatesBy2020 and broader gender justice campaigns.

The new initiatives are:

  1. State Policy Rapid Response Team: The Rapid Response Team will support efforts of state advocates to fill legal gaps with bolder protections against sexual harassment at work and in schools, and related reforms. The Rapid Response Team will be comprised of two sub-teams — one focused on workplace policy, and one focused on education policy. The Team’s members will bring their diverse policy and legal expertise to provide guidance and timely technical support to advocacy organizations and other advocates who have questions or seek guidance related to policy reforms in their states.
  2. Stop Harassment State Network: The Network is an important new opportunity for advocates across movements and across states to connect and collaborate around strengthening state-level protections against sexual harassment and violence at work and in schools, and related reforms. The Network will provide a forum for exchanging lessons learned across state campaigns, briefing on policy advances and cutting-edge research, and coordinating to raise the profile of needed policy reforms in states and at the national level.

These new initiatives will advance the goals of the nearly 300 advocacy organizations across the country that, in October 2018,  issued in a bold call to action in the New York Times demanding concrete advances in strengthening protections against sexual harassment and violence at work, in schools, homes, and communities. We named this call to action “20 states by 2020.”

These new initiatives build upon strong #20Statesby2020 momentum to date:

  • Since #MeToo went viral, 15 states have strengthened their workplace anti-harassment laws, and state policymakers are increasingly working to address harassment in schools, especially as the U.S. Department of Education is attempting to roll back protections.
  • Equal Rights Advocates will soon launch a Women’s Agenda Digital Hub as an additional resource for state-based advocates driving anti-harassment, fair pay, and economic security policy initiatives in their state. The Hub will feature and curate model policies, proven advocacy strategies, and other resources driving wins in states across the country, including from the Stronger California Women’s Agenda, led by Equal Rights Advocates.
  • In January 2019, the National Women’s Law Center and the State Innovation Exchange announced that more than 300 state legislators representing 40 states had pledged to work with survivors and the communities most seriously affected by sexual violence—including women of color, immigrants, and LBGTQIA individuals — to create concrete solutions to end sexual harassment and violence.

 

Information for advocates and nonprofit organizations

We invite advocates and organizations working at the state level to stop sexual harassment and violence at work and/or in schools to (1) join a new State Network formed to support state policy reforms and (2) leverage the resources of a new State Policy Rapid Response Team.

  • To learn more about the Rapid Response Team and/or submit a question to the Team, email [email protected]

The Team thus far includes nationally recognized policy experts from Equal Rights Advocates, the National Women’s Law Center, Girls for Gender Equity, the American Association of University Women, the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Employment Lawyers Association, the Center for American Progress, End Rape on Campus, Justice for Migrant Women, Know Your IX, Legal Voice, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Stratton Law, Women Employed, and the Women’s Law Project.

Equal Rights Advocates thanks the Women Donors Network for its generous seed funding of these initiatives.

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