New AAUW CA Project – School Boards Observation
Submitted by Liz Jordan
AAUW CA has approved a new project, the AAUW CA School Board Project, which is to enable monitoring school boards and how they may be affected by organizations whose objective is to ban books and censor educational materials. This is happening in numerous other states and may also be underway in CA.
The AAUW California Public Policy Committee has been approached by an organization called Equality California, whose mission is to “… bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people.” Their current and most immediate concern is the country-wide wave to install extremely regressive members on school boards, by organizations whose objective is to ban books and censor educational materials that are inclusive of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized groups.
AAUW California shares this concern. We recognize the intersectionality of the challenges faced by all women – be they straight, white women; women of color; or lesbian, bisexual or transgender women – and support the struggles of all our sisters.
As an organization that was founded on the principle of advancing educational opportunities for women and girls, we also share Equality California’s alarm at the speed and breadth of educational policies that are taking those efforts backwards. We, like they, want to do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen in California.
Equality California has called on us to join their efforts to assess the current climate in California, and to help them identify and support non-partisan school board candidates who can counter this trend. Their organization is looking for qualified progressive candidates whom they will train and financially support to run in the most vulnerable districts. The state Public Policy Committee has voted to engage, and the AAUW California Board of Directors has approved our decision. Now it’s your turn – we need your help! With over 9,000 members, we are in a unique position to provide “eyes and ears” on the ground to assist this project. We are calling on each of you – the public policy leaders for your branches – to get us started by completing a brief survey – which you can find here https://forms.gle/fQj7JyBdiLLLwsTC6 – by the end of May. Once we have the results, we can determine additional ways in which you can each be of service. Working together, we CAN make a difference!
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