Celebrating 30 Years of Title IX: Gender Equity
On May 15, 2002 over 30 guests attended the WEEA Equity Resource
Centerís brown bag luncheon event entitled "Celebrating 30 Years
of Title IX: Gender Equity Now." The first of our year-long series,
this session focused on what Title IX is, addressed some of the myths
about the law, and provided examples of how some schools are addressing
key educational equity issues today. Panelists included Victoria Alzapiedi,
Executive Director, Title IX Advocacy Project; Marianne Castano, Research
and Development Associate, Gender Healthy/Respectful Schools Project;
and WEEA Center staff Terri Boyer Tillbrook and Susan J. Smith.
WEEA Equity Resource Center Communications Director Susan Smith opened
the session by addressing some of the common misperceptions about
Title IX including
the popular focus on the lawís impact solely in the area of athletics
and the frequent pronouncement that we have solved the problem of
sex discrimination. Terri Boyer Tillbrook, the WEEA Centerís Technical
Assistance Director, spoke about the Centerís resources for helping
educators, administrators and parents ensure compliance with Title
Panelist Marianne Castano then outlined the scope of the Gender Healthy/Respectful
Schools Project and described how three of her projectís grantees
have achieved success in creating more gender equitable school environments
in Boston and Cambridge. Victoria Alzapiedi then discussed the model
of preventative education adopted by the Title IX Advocacy Project.
She described the Projectís methods for including studentsí voices
and their strategies for developing new policies. Victoria also outlined
the current needs assessment the Title IX Advocacy Project is conducting
in Boston Public Schools.
The event concluded with an open discussion moderated by Susan Smith.
Audience membersí comments ranged from interest in the recent media
focus on "mean girls" to concern over the discrimination
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth are facing in schools
across the country.