[EDEQUITY Dialogue]Opening statement-Shirley Mark

From: sm@schottfoundation.org
Date: Mon Oct 23 2000 - 11:55:35 EDT

Opening Statement from Shirley Mark, Program Director, Caroline and Sigmund
Schott Foundation, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Why is there so little funding for women & girls? Historically and today,
there have been financial and economic disparities between women and men.
Men control more wealth and power and as a result, more decision making
around giving. It is common knowledge that people identify most with
issues that have oppressed them. Because men have not suffered from sexism
in the same way that women have, gender equity is generally not in the
forefront of their consciousness. In the same way that white people have
to consciously confront issues of race-based privilege, men need to
consciously address issues of gender-based privilege. Unfortunately, not
enough men do this. What about women's role? Women are equally
responsible for confronting and raising these issues with themselves and in
their communities. The depth of sexism and gender bias in our institutions
and consciousness will demand the involvement of everyone working in a
deliberate and persistent way.

At the Caroline and Sigmund Schott Foundation, the Gender Equity Program is
focused on gender equity in urban public schools. The foundation is
committed to public schools because that is where the majority of children
spend their day, and that is where they are heavily influenced. The Gender
Equity Program objectives are "to raise awareness of gender inequities and
develop a network of gender activists in public schools." Schott
grantmaking prioritizes work with adults, primarily teachers, but also
funds gender- specific or coed programs for children/youth. We are
interested in facilitating "gender healthy" schools, where girls and boys
can be their full selves and not be confined to and oppressed by
traditional gender roles. We are committed to efforts to support strong,
resilient girls, and we are equally committed to working with boys on
gender issues so that they will grow to be caring men. The foundation is
working to challenge the status quo pertaining to gender inequities in
public school.

Shirley Mark
Project Manager
Caroline & Sigmund Schott Foundation
E-Mail Address: sm@schottfoundation.org


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