The latest edition of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF) “The Flash” reminds us how important it is to engage and educate men in the work of promoting gender equality around the world. The research explained in this short article emphasizes that advancing equity for women and girls is not a zero-sum game — that men and boys benefit from equity, too. Citing one example of a VGIF project in Kenya to promote women’s leadership and inheritance rights, the article says that by engaging male elders and decision-makers as well as the women of the community proved to be a “strategy that has been transformative.”
Good News for LAF-Supported Plaintiff in Discrimination Case
The Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD) recently upheld a ruling in favor of LAF-supported plaintiff Lulu Sun in her gender and race discrimination case against the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In May the commission upheld an MCAD hearing officer’s 2011 decision, ordering the university to pay the emotional distress damages award and civil penalty and to conduct anti-discrimination training.
The university conceded any further appeal, which means that the MCAD’s ruling in Sun’s favor will stand. We are proud to have supported Sun’s case and congratulate her on this final ruling.
Title VII Turns 50
July 2, 2014, marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of gender or race, among other protected classes. In the last half-century, we have made tremendous progress toward gender equity in the workplace. But this anniversary also provides an opportunity to take stock of places we still lack progress. Find out more about Title VII and learn what you can do to help fulfill Title VII’s promise.
AAUW Members Hear What the Latest Supreme Court Decisions Mean in Recent LAF Call
On July 15, AAUW members from across the country joined LAF staff to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important cases from this past term. Members heard a breakdown of the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, which will allow some corporations to restrict their employees’ contraceptive insurance coverage. The call also reviewed Congress’ attempts to ensure women’s access to affordable contraception. LAF staff and callers also discussed the court’s rulings on abortion clinic buffer zone laws, prayer in local government meetings, and affirmative action restrictions.
If you weren’t able to attend the call, you can listen to a recording. LAF will host a preview call this fall to highlight the cases the Supreme Court will take up in 2015. Stay tuned for more information.
Today is the 50th anniversary of LBJ’s signing the Civil Rights Act into law, which paved the way for the Voting Rights Act to be enacted a year later. We have ample proof of the power of voting. The President we elect has the power to name Supreme Court justices (confirmed by the Senators we elect) that make decisions that have tremendous impact on our lives. Example: the 5-4 Supreme Court decision announced this past Monday where 5 male justices ruled that the boss of a closed company can decide whether female employees may have insurance that includes contraception coverage.
So it’s time for a Power Check. AAUW urges us all to spread the word and ask our friends, family, and neighbors to participate in a nationwide Power Check today to verify they are registered to vote in the November midterm elections, and refer them to Can I Vote? if they need assistance.
If we vote in record numbers in the 2014 midterm elections, we can ensure our voices are heard in our communities for years to come.
BOOK GROUP NEWS
Our July book selection is “The Pickup ” by Nadine Gordimer. Nadine Gordimer is a Nobel Prize winning author and political activist who grew up in South Africa. The Pickup is her 13th novel and set in Africa. What does this title say to you? Read it and find out! Discussion starts July 25th.
Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination Rules in Favor of LAF-Supported Plaintiff
The Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD) recently upheld a ruling in favor of LAF-supported plaintiff Lulu Sun in her gender and race discrimination case against the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In June 2011 an MCAD hearing officer concluded that the university had violated Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination laws and ordered the university to 1) promote Sun, with retroactive pay back; 2) pay $200,000 in emotional distress damages, plus 12 percent interest from the date the complaint was filed; 3) pay the commonwealth of Massachusetts a $10,000 civil penalty; and 4) conduct an anti-discrimination training for its human resources staff, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the provost, and the chancellor.
After the June 2011 decision, the university promoted Sun to the position of full professor but appealed the emotional distress award, the civil penalty, and the anti-discriminatory training requirements to the full commission. In its most recent ruling the commission upheld the MCAD hearing officer’s decision, ordering the university to pay the emotional distress damage award and civil penalty and to conduct anti-discrimination training.
We congratulate Sun on the commission’s ruling; however, the university may still appeal the decision, so the case is not over. Stay tuned for more updates as the case progresses.
Our CA Online Branch was among the top 10 branches per capita in AAUW Funds donations for 2013!
AAUW Funds Top 10 Branches per Capita,
including all funds
1. San Luis Obispo $281.15
2. Berkeley, Inc. $207.19
3. Santa Ana-Orange $188.67
4. San Fernando Valley $187.65
5. Oakland-Piedmont $172.67
6. Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek $157.72
7. Long Beach, Inc. $128.31
8. San Jose, Inc. $108.70
9. Marin, Inc. $106.02
10. California Online $102.55
Senator Hannah Beth Jackson Holds Public Hearing on Title IX
A third Title IX opportunity is coming in August and this time it will be in Sacramento. Senator Hannah Beth Jackson is scheduling a Public Hearing on the topic of Title IX sometime in August. This will be the culminating event to the “Opening Doors & Opportunities for Girls” compliance check list produced by the newly formed, California Title IX Coalition of which AAUW CA is a member.
Senator Jackson has a bill SB 1349 and AAUW CA is supporting, that requires schools to report athletic opportunities by gender every three years to CA Dept of Education. As soon as we have a firm date for the Public Hearing we will let you know. The Opening Doors & Opportunities for Girls is available under Mission-Based Programs/Title IX on the aauw-ca website.
I wish you some great times this summer and even if your branch doesn’t meet during the summer months, there is much we can do to raise AAUW’s visibility throughout California.
AAUW in Community Spotlight at LA Sparks Game
The next Title IX opportunity is in southern California, when AAUW CA is in the Community Spotlight again at an LA Sparks women’s professional basketball game. Let’s really create a “buzz” with a huge number of AAUW members, friends, family, female athletes with their coaches and supporters of Title IX on August 3, 2014 at the 12:30 pm game at the Staples Center.
Selling tickets is quite easy and we get to use this as a fundraiser. More information coming soon! We are still in the planning phase with the team due to the recent purchase of the team by Magic Johnson Enterprises. The ticket order forms will be available at aauw-ca.org early June and will be emailed out to branch leaders.
It’s graduation season, and many of us know someone earning a college diploma (associate, baccalaureate, or higher degree). Did you know any AAUW member may give the gift of AAUW membership FOR FREE? Give a Grad a Gift of AAUW membership!
Note: This promotion applies to anyone who has earned a degree within the past TWO years, so you can still give this free gift to someone who graduated last May as well as those graduating this year.