“It’s important that this project isn’t coming from me or a Harvard researcher but from actual participants and students from the schools.”—Joanne N. Smith, Executive Director
Addressing Sexual Harassment in New York City Public Schools
Dates of Project: November 15, 2009—November 14, 2012
Description: Responding to its research indicating that sexual harassment is a problem in New York City schools but is rarely discussed there, Girls for Gender Equity formed an intergenerational coalition of youth, educators, parents, and policymakers to end gender-based violence in the schools and to ”create an expectation of gender equality.” The Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools worked to educate youth, parents, and educators about the issue of sexual harassment and advocated for policies to combat it. Much of the work was done by the students themselves, utilizing the Participatory Action Research approach.
Coalition youth organizers led some 100 sexual harassment prevention and gender respect workshops for 1,475 youth and youth educators.
Thirty-seven youth ages 10–13 conducted research on sexual harassment in a Brooklyn middle school.
Coalition staff and youth participated in national, state, and local task forces dealing with sexual harassment in the schools.