Fighting for Women's Equality

Phase Two of Innovative Breaking Barriers – Let Her Work Project Begins

November 7, 2013 | by
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is proud to announce the second phase of its Breaking Barriers – Let Her Work project, in partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

The project aims to topple barriers to employment faced by qualified and energetic women unfairly burdened by the stigma of criminal records.  In collaboration with the National Employment Law Project and the offices of the San Francisco public defender and district attorney, we developed a video series featuring courageous women seeking to overcome barriers to re-entering the workplace impede their ability to support themselves and their families.

“We were so inspired by the courage of Cheauvon, Flora, and Victoria in their searches for gainful employment that we felt obligated to help give them a platform to tell their stories,” said ERA Executive Director Noreen Farrell. Watch Let Her Work below, or visit our YouTube page to watch the series in its entirety.

The video series supported passage of landmark legislation in California that will remove questions about criminal histories from first-round public agency employment applications. These questions so often result in the automatic exclusion of many deserving candidates, including the women of the Let Her Work series. In signing the “Ban the Box” bill, Governor Brown joins California with ten other states which have passed similar laws.

In the next phase of the project, ERA and NCLR will target barriers to state licensing and certifications faced by women in certain fields through administrative and legislative action.  We will also continue our efforts with the San Francisco Women’s Resource Center and other community  partners to provide women who have criminal histories with information and legal assistance necessary to help them get back to work.

“We are thrilled to continue this project so we can help more women who want nothing more than to get a job, work hard, and contribute to their communities” said Farrell.

ERA and NCLR thanks the generous funders of the next phase of the project:  Levi Strauss Foundation, Women’s Foundation of California, the Rosenberg Foundation, Common Counsel Foundation  (Victor and Lorraine Honig Fund).  We also thank IANGEL (International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law) and the law firm of Farella Braun & Martel LLP for their generous offer of pro bono legal assistance on the project.

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