Black Girls Equity Alliance wants Pittsburgh Public Schools to improve its sexual harassment prevention and response

photo of school desks By The Incline: MJ SLABY
May 21, 2018 1:58 am

While #MeToo put a spotlight on sexual harassment, most of the conversation has been about adults in the workplace, said Sara Goodkind, a member of the Black Girls Equity Alliance in Pittsburgh.

“Many adults aren’t aware of what’s happening to girls at school,” she said, later adding, “Patterns start somewhere.”

In an effort to inform and collaborate with the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Directors, alliance members plan to give a letter to the the board at its Monday public hearing, where students will speak.

The alliance — which was born of research efforts at Gwen’s Girls, a nonprofit focused on at-risk girls ages 8 to 18 — includes individuals, organizations and institutions working to end inequities affecting black girls in Allegheny County. Among those issues is the way schools prevent and respond to sexual assault, said alliance member Britney Brinkman, an associate professor in counseling psychology at Chatham University.

“We want to center their voices,” she said of students, adding that those who speak to the board Monday won’t share specific personal experiences but will talk more broadly about sexual harassment in schools and how schools responds.

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