May 28, 2009
Dear Friend and Supporters,
15 years ago the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) was the only national group focused on gender issues as we know it today, and few in places of power knew anything about it. The issue was hardly on the national radar in any meaningful way.
However, a two-year Theory of Change process has led our Board and Staff to the happy conclusion that there is a vibrant and expanding core of organizations committed to this work. Many of the early challenges we took on years ago – recognition of issues of gender in the workplace, on campus, and in the halls of Congress – are well launched and on their way.
We take that as a sign of success. But also a sign that the original mission for which GenderPAC was formed, has been a success, and is behind us now. It is time for us to move on, to new challenges and the next edge in the growing struggle for gender rights.
– 12 years ago we started helping major corporations add gender identity and expression to their non-discrimination policies – today there are over 200;
– 11 years ago we initiated the first “National Gender Lobby Day” – today more than 1,000 advocates have taken part and two national organizations run similar events;
– 10 years ago we started advocating for gender protections in ENDA – today 300+ groups have signed a public letter to members of Congress including Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi endorsing that position;
– 8 years ago as members of the Hate Crimes Coalition we began advocating for gender protections in the federal hate crimes bill – today the coalition is unanimously behind these protections and they have been included in the Matthew Shepherd Act;
– 4 years ago we began supporting student leaders who wanted their colleges to address gender identity and expression in their anti-bullying policies – today there are 152, including the entire Ivy League.
Today there are chapters on more than 100 campuses, and over 1,100 students taking part. Because of their groundbreaking work, 83% of “Top 25” schools now have added gender identity and expression in their non-discrimination policies. Their accomplishments have been reported and disseminated through our unique GENIUS Index (Gender Equality National Index for Universities & Schools).
We are proud to have partnered with ChoiceUSA, and they have been one of our strongest partners in this effort. Therefore, it is with great pride that we had transitioned the network and its resources to ChoiceUSA. For more information about that program, please call ChoiceUSA at 202.965.7700 or go to www.choiceusa.org for more information.
Gender-Based Violence & Hate Crimes
Two years ago we released our first human rights report on gender-based violence. 50 Under 30: Masculinity & the War on America’s Youth documented an under reported tide of violence against predominantly Black and Latina/o transgender and gay youth. It quickly became the standard for documenting these attacks, and was used by the House Hate Crimes Subcommittee, the federal Hate Crimes Coalition, and the International Association of Police Chiefs. Next year our work will be integrated into the annual hate crimes report issued by the NYC Anti-Violence Project. Call 212.714.1184 or go to www.avp.org for more information.
Men & Masculinity
In the last three years, our work has increasingly incorporated a new focus on masculinity and the challenges faced by young men of color. Out of that work has come our collaboration and new strategic partnerships. Please visit those partners: the Black Men & Boys Initiative, ITVS’s Masculinity Project, P/PVs Marginalized Males of Color Task Force at P/PV, and Groundsparks’ Straight laced program.
As LLDEF, NCLR, GLAD, and the ACLU noted in a recent joint statement on ENDA: “Discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity at some level are all discrimination based on stereotypes about what is or is not appropriate for men and women.” “Weakened ENDA Means Less Protection for Everyone,” 2008, LLDEF, NCLR, ACLU & GLAD
This is a winning argument that can help build broader coalitions and bring gender issues into the mainstream. This is an argument GenderPAC has made since 1995, and it is gratifying to see it being adopted by other groups and we have no doubt we will see an inclusive ENDA in this administration.
We have deeply appreciated your support through all these years. It has enabled us to take the issue of gender stereotypes to places none of us ever expected and integrated into so many programs in other nonprofits.
None of us are going anywhere. But some have moved on with their various programs and other nonprofits working on this important issue. We will still be engaged in this work, but not as GenderPAC.
For all that you have enabled us to do, and for all our accomplishments together, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It has been a great 15 years, a productive 15 years, and it
is finally time to turn the page. .
Riki Wilchins, Executive Director
Cynthia Neff, Board Co Chair
Kevin Jones, Board Co-chairs