Myra Sadker Day
Fri, 30 Jan 1998 16:44:44 -0500 (EST)

Myra Sadker Day March 5, 1998

A National Effort to Break Gender Barriers

The purpose of Myra Sadker Day is to create a national rallying point to
promote gender equity. This visible marker will draw on a national corps of
volunteers in an effort to break the gender barriers that inhibit both
females and males.

The first annual celebration of Myra Sadker Day will be held on March 5,
1998, on what would have been Myra's fifty-fifth birthday.

Myra Sadker: The Person

This day is named in honor of Dr. Myra Pollack Sadker (1943-1995). Dr.
Sadker pioneered much of the research documenting gender bias in America's
schools. From grade school through graduate school, from inner city to rural
towns, she uncovered not only blatant gender discrimination in textbooks and
sports funding, but also subtle patterns of inequities that shaped the way
teachers instructed students. She found that boys dominated the classroom,
receiving more frequent, active, direct and precise instruction. Sometimes
this attention was positive, sometimes negative, sometimes it was appreciated
by boys, and at other times boys found the spotlight uncomfortable. Sitting
in the same classroom, Myra Sadker found that girls, regardless of racial or
ethnic or class background, were being consistently, if unintentionally,

Such bias is not confined to schools. From corporate board rooms to social
and recreational settings, females still find themselves the object of biased
words and behaviors, frequently silenced or short-changed by the expectations
and actions of others. And males also pay a price. Sexism often blinds boys
to a real understanding of the meaning of their future role as husbands and
fathers, missed opportunities which add to the high divorce and child
abandonment statistics later in life. High teenage pregnancy rates among
females and the culture of violence surrounding males are other costs of
gender stereotyping. This is a cycle which needs to be stopped. Sexism is not
a "girls' only" issue. It is a two edged sword: sexism injures girls, but it
harms boys as well.

Through her writings and lectures, Myra Sadker alerted Americans to the
academic, physical, psychological and career costs of sexism. She wrote the
first book for teachers on the issue of sexism in 1973. Over twenty years
later, in 1994, she coauthored the first popular book on this topic: Failing
at Fairness: How America's Schools Cheat Girls. Between these two
publications, Myra Sadker brought her cause for educational equity to a
national audience. Along with her husband David, Myra Sadker spoke in more
than forty states and overseas, giving hundreds of presentations and
workshops for teachers and parents concerned with the negative impact of
sexist behaviors. She wrote scores of articles on how to raise and teach
children free from the debilitating impact of sexism. She also spoke out on
this issue on a variety of television shows ranging from Oprah Winfrey to
Dateline, from the Today Show to National Public Radio's All Things
Considered. Even in the face of political opposition, Myra Sadker never
waivered in her efforts on behalf of youth.

The Myra Sadker Advocates are dedicated to building and expanding on Myra's
ground breaking efforts, and continuing her advocacy on behalf of children.

Myra Sadker: The Day

Myra Sadker Day will draw volunteers from around the nation, volunteers who
individually or in groups, will identify, plan, and implement at least one
activity that increases gender equity and understanding. These activities
will range from modest gestures to major initiatives. As an example, a
leading participant in this effort, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, will
be enlisting both staff and members at clubs throughout the nation to
participate. Volunteers, who are called Myra Sadker Advocates, include
teachers and parents influenced by her writings and lectures, former
students, youth service workers, children of all ages, and citizens from
across the nation who are committed to the goal of gender equity.

The day will be fueled by the commitment of these volunteers. Their energy
will be evident through a range of efforts including: creating an award
ceremony for the boy and/or girl who does the most to promote gender equity,
visiting to a women's college, working with adults and youth to eliminate
gender bias in their language, interviewing non-traditional workers to learn
about the benefits of nontraditional occupations, reading non-sexist stories
to younger children, developing posters that promote equity, doing
presentations about gender equity in schools, attending a women's athletic
event, creating a videotape, organizing workshops for men on effective
parenting strategies, reformulating organizational norms, rules or activities
to construct a more equitable working climate. Key to this concept is that
each Advocate will be encouraged to be creative, to develop unique equity
activities that reflect the interests and capabilities of their community.
Yet together they will be part of a national effort in accomplishing these

Myra Sadker Advocates are currently seeking corporate and individual

More Than 100 Ideas for Myra Sadker Day

March 5, 1998

1. Establish an award to recognize children who promote equity
2. Do a play about gender equity in school
3. Write an equity column or article in the paper
4. Organize a walk, race, or athletic event for equity
5. Generate a timeline on the women's movement
6. Analyze books for bias
7. Honor people who embody spirit of Myra Sadker
8. Visit a women's college
9. Talk with parenting fathers
10.Train staff to eliminate sexist language
11.Have children interview non-traditional workers, role models
12.Develop posters that promote equity
13.Take youngsters to a women's athletic event
14.Create a videotape on gender equity
15.Reformulate or construct an equitable workplace
16.Monitor a school or district for equity
17.Create a non-sexist career festival
18.Plan cross-age activities on gender equity
19.Do a research project on gender bias
20.Award a Myra Sadker scholarship
21.Quilt for gender equity
22.Invite guest speakers on equity topics
23.Organize a joint equity project with an organization
24.Present an equity workshop at a conference
25.Observe classrooms to detect bias in interactions
26.Search websites for gender equity issues
27.Create bias buster groups
28.Develop and share a local gender resource list
29.Manage an equity booth at a toy, computer, or grocery store
30.Engage media personnel to acknowledge the day
31.Lobby the state or city gov't to support equity
32.Conduct a Who is Myra Sadker? event
33.Train media representatives on subtle bias
34.Give Failing at Fairness by the Sadkers to someone as a gift
35.Set up a mentoring or shadowing project
36.Study how religion and gender intersect in life
37.Try an activity that is non-traditional for your gender
38.Develop effective strategies to manage gender "put downs" and share your
39.Conduct a workshop for support personnel to minimize bias and
discriminatory actions
40.Develop and teach a lesson on Myra and educational equity
41.Read non-sexist stories to children
42.Create a program to "teach today's boys to be tomorrow's dads"
43.Design a local calendar of famous equity events and leaders
44.Sponsor a poster, essay, or music contest that promotes equity
45.Analyze greeting cards for stereotypes
46.Begin planning for "Take your daughter to work" day
47.Create bookmarks that remind readers of equity
48.Thank a significant mentor, model or learner
49.Record your own biases from childhood and identify the ones you've
50.Plan a conference, workshop or meeting around the day
51.Create a coalition meeting of local equity advocates
52.Publicly protest a company that supports a sexist policy
53.Offer free training and materials on Myra Sadker Day
54.Lobby a women's issue in a government arena
55.Honor an equity organization in Myra's name
56.Seek or provide funding to develop a gender fair curriculum unit
57.Study the intersection of gender and other equity issues (race, class,
58.Analyze TV, radio and newspapers for fairness
59.Learn about bias by watching and critiquing media
60.Create a time capsule for equity in the 21st century
61.Compile and distribute a brief equity bibliography
62.Submit a grant proposal to balance programs for males and females
63.Sponsor a diversity meeting or club at school
64.Create a quote of the week board that presents famous and diverse voices
65. Talk with a colleague from a different racial or ethnic background and
examine gendered views
66.Create a parents' booster club that promotes equitable school programs
67.Compile a list, collage, poster or bulletin board of non-traditional
68.Create a graphic design for Myra Sadker Advocates
69.Examine class enrollments by gender, in all upper school programs
70.Acquire or donate funds to purchase equity materials
71.Redesign the logo or mascot of your office or school to be more inclusive
72.Write a public service announcement regarding equity & submit it to a
radio station
73.Check-out the gender enrollments in sports programs
74.Focus on linguistic bias as you edit language in a brochure, newsletter or
fictional story
75.Have female business owners speak to students
76.Have diverse parents talk about gender in their work and family
77.Research gender disparities in drug and alcohol use at your school
78.Design a board or computer game that highlights famous equity advocates
79.Submit names of females for non-traditional leadership positions and roles
80.Have your Title IX Coordinator present to your group
81.Do a site exam of your environs to see if visuals affirm or undermine
gender balance
82.Write a report on a civil rights advocate of the opposite sex
83.Volunteer to assist Girls Inc., Girl Scouts, and others with funding
84.Talk with your children about gender
85.Design a logo for Myra Sadker Day
86.Have youngsters read and discuss New Moon Magazine
87.Model non-stereotypical play with children
88.Schedule a meeting with a principal, president or CEO to talk about gender
89.Learn about your sexual harassment policy
90.Cook with a boy, play a sport with a girl
91.Write a letter to an editor about illegal gender practices
92.Blow the whistle on Title IX non-compliance
93.Read a story with a female protagonist
94.Analyze a teacher education video for bias
95.Work with teen parents on child rearing skills
96.Visit your Boys and Girls Club to learn about their gender inclusive
97.Volunteer your group at a shelter and avoid stereotypical tasks
98.If necessary, file a Title IX grievance
100.Alert others to gender bashing music
101.Use the internet to discuss gender politics
102.Identify and honor males who break gender barriers
103.List what non-traditional tasks you do
104.Run for an elected office and promote equity
105.Train others to respond to sexist jokes
106.Promote a non-sexist book or film
107.Develop "baseball cards" of famous women
108.Design a short and long range plan for equity
109.Kick-off a yearlong event that focuses on equity
110.Research standardized test data by gender
111.Generate your own idea.

Special thanks to the National Coalition for Sex Equity in Education (NCSEE)
colleagues for assistance in generating this list, including: Marta
Cruz-Janzen, Melanie Flatt, Sylvia Hara-Nielson, Alicia Hetman, Mary Wiberg,
June Wilson, and the Colorado Institute for Gender Equity.

Myra Sadker Advocates

David Sadker Email
Suite 300
1401 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
TEL (301) 738-7113 FAX (301) 424-0474

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