Re: [EDEQUITY Dialogue]Opening Statement--Janalee Jordan-Meldrum

From: Rochelle Riling (
Date: Mon Oct 23 2000 - 16:29:41 EDT

With regard to Janalee's questions below, I offer the following

(1) Two obstacles to implementing programs and projects aimed at girls in
school setting are allocating adult time to take on the initial work, and
stability of funding to sustain such projects/programs while getting them
infused into the overall system of learning. Funding should take those two
things into account: staffing needs, sustainability needs.

(2) In working on gender relationships in the education setting (high
I find that other adults and administrators better support putting
in this direction when they understand that it impacts not just girls'
futures, but school climate and general relationships. We do some gender
work in the "equity trainings" I give but reach a limited slice of the
population. My long term goal is to identify ways that teachers can
this part of my training in their coursework but in our small school
availability of courses can shift year to year at the whim of education
dollars. Funders can take into account the need for school districts to be
able to individualize resources and programs to fit their unique school

(3) Parenting teens/Teen moms. Parenting teens are covered under Title IX
and since many parenting teenage moms are pregnant due to older males, many
the teen parents we see in school are the girls. I just attended an
incredible local event funded by the March of Dimes and organized by a
clinic and a local Family Planning agency. The day long event featured a
woman who heads a Young Woman's Leadership Institute (YWCA) who spoke to
need for loving oneself, developing confidence in oneself and speaking up
one's own needs. Another speaker dealt with dating/domestic violence.
Another with pregnancy prevention and sexuality. Pregnant, parenting and
risk teens attended the event with school support personenl or agency
personnel or caseworkers. For this population of girls, this is where we
. . we're not at "thriving in math and science" yet. We're sort of in a
recovery stage. And trust me, there are many female leaders hiding in this
population of young women. At the end of this event one young woman
that the thing she had learned was that women's "dependencies upon each
and women's friendships and support of each other" are more important than
had realized before. (Wow, talk about an outcome!) SO, funders can take
account that they may find non-traditional collaborators who can address
of these very basic girl and women needs. Simply building relationships
between young teens and older women mentors is a very valid approach to
shoring up girls.

Rochelle Riling <>

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