Girls for Gender Equity

Being in the streets and not following the rules can put you behind bars at a young age. Let's reduce the harsh discipline! - image and message by Margaret Grilliam.

Being in the streets and not following the rules can put you behind bars at a young age. Let’s reduce the harsh discipline! – image and message by Margaret Grilliam.

This past April, Progressive Pupil partnered with Girls for Gender Equity on an Image Voice Workshop that sought to reimagine “school pushout” through photography. Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is a Brooklyn-based organization that works to promote the physical, psychological, social and economic well-being of girls and women through coalition building and youth development programming that educates and empowers young women to question the status quo.  Led by Nefertiti Martin, community organizer for GGE and Progressive Pupil’s lead organizer, Dr. Robin Hayes, GGE’s motivated group of young women found a space to express their conflicted feelings around the punitive practice of rampant suspensions and expulsions for “bad” behavior in their high schools.

Student surveys can be helpful in understanding when students feel welcome in school. - by Vaughnessa Alexander

Student surveys can be helpful in understanding when students feel welcome in school. – by Vaughnessa Alexander

Throughout three sessions they were encouraged to explore ideas about bias, favoritism and criminalization that contribute to school pushout and encouraged to imagine alternatives to the harsh and, sometimes dangerous policy, that keeps students in fear of retribution, instead of rehabilitation. Using their smart phones and tablets, we present a few of the awesome pictures from the workshop that show the girls’ ability to imagine a kinder, more humane alternative to school pushout and speaks to the need for a gentler, less punitive approach to the treatment of all children in our society.

 

by Shannon J. Shird, MA, International Affairs, The New School

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Kimberly Tronolone

     /  November 19, 2014

    I’m glad to see that the issues surrounding push-out, specifically as they relate to and effect young women has been able to be approached and addressed. This workshop (and organization) sound so wonderful, I am sorry to have only heard about them now! I’d love to get involved, but importantly I wonder how we can bring this problem to promience so it can be more widely and directly addressed. Push out is in no way condusive to a positive and productive education. When we fail kids in our schools, and put them in a state of fear of rash punishment, rather than the mindset to adjust and grow and build a healthy relationship with their educational community we rob them of numerous, lifelong opportunities.

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  2. Layla Nunez

     /  September 27, 2015

    I think it’s great that GGE gives girls a platform to raise their voices. Growing up there were, and still are, a lot of rules and stigma about girls and how they should act/dress/etc. With organizations like these we can break down stigmas and build up self-esteem.

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