Bolder Advocacy

AFJ Member Spotlight: Equal Rights Advocates and the Strong Girls campaign

AFJ Member Spotlight is a new series where we highlight the great advocacy work of Alliance for Justice member organizations. AFJ is an alliance of more than 100 national, regional, and local organizations working for a wide range of progressive causes. Click here for more information on the benefits of becoming an AFJ member organization. Today, Cynthia Foster, Communications Manager for Equal Rights Advocates, talks about the organization and their Strong Girls campaign.

ERA logoWhat is Equal Rights Advocates’ issue focus?

Protecting and expanding opportunities for women at work and girls at school. ERA accomplishes this through bold policy reform, high impact litigation, direct legal services, and mentoring and training of young advocates.

Current campaign: Strong Girls

ERA’s Strong Girls campaign ensures that girls and young women have the opportunities and resources they need at school to become strong leaders and economically secure adults. This means equal access to all educational programs – from science to sports. It also means safety from sexual assault, harassment and gender-based bullying. ERA makes sure that laws requiring gender equity at schools are enforced, operating an advice hotline for students who have been discriminated against, and we bring litigation when necessary. Currently, we are investigating 116 K-12 school districts for compliance with laws requiring gender equity at school, and will soon release a report of our findings and other training material to better guide educators, students and parents. We are promoting legislation that will require schools to be more transparent with data that allows us to track gender inequities. This campaign, and our work generally, takes an holistic approach.

Tips and lessons: Don’t go it alone!

Choose strategic partners with an eye to resource gaps in your own organization. Don’t try to do it all yourself!

[Editor’s note: You can assess your organization’s skills, resource gaps, and opportunities for growth with Bolder Advocacy’s FREE Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT) and PowerCheck: Community Organizing Capacity Tool.]

How has AFJ’s Bolder Advocacy initiative helped your organization?

We use the California resource toolkits to guide our involvement in policy reform efforts.

Who inspires you?

Our clients. Watch this video, which we made this year in honor of them.

ERA video screenshot