SFUSD Celebrates Women and Gender Diversity
San Francisco (March 5, 2020) - Around the world, millions of people will celebrate Women’s History Month in March. Schools in the San Francisco Unified School District get a head start in celebrating Women’s History and gender diversity by offering opportunities year-round.
At Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, educators have developed a program called Grupo Para el Avance de Niñas y Aliadxs (GANA). Translated it means the Group for the Advancement of Girls and their Allies. The group has four core values: 1) being a girl is whatever you want it to be, 2) make space take space, 3) be an ally to girls everywhere, and 4) make new friends.
The K-2 program provides a safe space for girls to play and build community during lunch recess. Third and 4th grade GANA is a space where girls, non-binary, and trans youth participate in weekly lessons during which they explore and celebrate their identities, and talk about challenges and experiences of gender-based oppression. Fifth grade GANA students participate in a mentorship program where they deepen their analysis of intersectional identities, oppression, and resistance movements in conjunction with developing leadership skills. In the spring, the 5th grade mentors start leading lessons they create for both K-2 and 3-4 GANA lunch meetings. One of their most exciting activities is their monthly soccer field takeover, encouraging girls to take up space on the recess yard.
At the end of every GANA meeting they say, “Don’t hate on us -- we’re fabulous!”
Bal EmpowHER is a group of young women at Balboa High School who stand up for themselves and others by providing a safe space for females and their allies to learn, grow and excel in leadership, communication and self-empowerment. They promote and facilitate conversations about women’s health and rights in their school community.
Their work translated into a school-wide campaign to encourage the Balboa learning community to speak out against all forms of harassment and patriarchy. Bal EmpowHER is rolling out their photo poster campaign that is aligned with their 2019-2020 theme, "Know Your Worth. Know Your Rights." As part of this campaign, students designed, translated and hung Title IX posters in all student and faculty restrooms.
Thurgood Marshall Academic High School has a Feminist Club that meets once a week. The members of the club created this mission statement for the club: “The Thurgood Marshall Feminists’ Club strives to eliminate the idea that feminism is the hatred of men. We believe that injustice towards women has occurred too often, and we need to push for justice. Our ultimate goal is for understanding, stopping, and educating about assumptions about women and for all people to feel good about themselves.”
The club focuses on the particular needs and issues for women of color, and also strives to create allyship with other clubs at their school like the Genders and Sexuality Club and the Black Student Union.
Guidance for Gender Inclusive Language
SFUSD’s Student, Family & Community Support and Curriculum & Instruction divisions have produced a Gender Inclusive Language guidance document to support all staff to use language in a way that is free of gender bias. We encourage all staff and families to review this guidance.
The guidance includes definitions and examples of inclusive language; recommendations for working with students regarding grammar and usage, and classroom culture; and resources for educators.