Posted on January 7, 2023
How Equal Rights Advocates Is Advancing Gender Justice Across the Country
Note from the CREDO team: This January, Equal Rights Advocates is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will enable ERA to provide free legal help to more students and workers challenging discrimination, harassment, and gender-based violence, as well as fuel bold policy reforms advancing gender, racial and economic justice.
Read this important blog post about the organization’s critical work, then click here to visit CREDODonations.com to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this January.
Equal Rights Advocates fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools. Since 1974, we’ve protected and advanced rights and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities with free legal services, bold legislation, and community advocacy.
We believe our country’s most pressing challenges — poverty, violence, discrimination — will be solved by transforming our communities into places where every woman and girl can lead. We envision a world where work and school are guaranteed places of safety and promise; where every student can grow to their fullest potential; where everyone has the economic security they need to care for themselves, their families, and their communities.
ERA leverages a unique multi-pronged approach to challenging systemic injustice, with each of our key strategies – from impact litigation to direct legal services to policy advocacy to community research and mobilization – informing and enhancing one another. Here’s how we’re leading change for gender justice and equality in 2023 and beyond:
When it comes to gender justice, we leave no stone unturned. We enforce civil rights laws in court, fight to end sexual assault and sexual harassment in our schools and workplaces, provide free legal counseling and advice to those who need it, and partner with other advocacy organizations to ensure we’re addressing the most pressing social justice issues impacting each of our communities.
Equity in Schools
From gender stereotyping in the classroom, to epidemic levels of sexual assault on college campuses, ERA fights alongside students, providing free legal help to protect their civil rights and access to education. We have students’ backs, and we have for nearly 50 years. Learn more. Our key education equity programs include:
Ending Sexual Violence in Education Initiative: ERA’s Initiative to End Sexual Violence in Education (ESVE) helps students find support and seek justice when sexual assault or harassment threatens to disrupt their education, including through self-help resources that many students are more likely to consult before talking to an adult/school official, such as our first-of-its-kind Student Survivor Toolkit. As part of this initiative, we launched the nation’s first network of pro bono attorneys dedicated to helping college student survivors. We train and support these volunteer lawyers, known as ENOUGH Advocates, to help student survivors learn their legal rights, figure out their school’s complaint and investigation policies, and weigh their options in the wake of sexual assault or harassment.
Workplace & Economic Justice
Everyone deserves access to good jobs and fair treatment at work. When employers break the law, we hold them accountable, providing free legal help and representation to workers who need it most, and taking on big cases that make workplaces fairer and safer for everyone. We also work with high-road employers to develop best practices, creating the standard for entire industries. Learn more. Our key workplace & economic justice programs include:
Family Voices Amplified: We conducted groundbreaking research in 16 cities across the country – asking Black and Latinx mothers about their needs and priorities two years into the COVID-19 crisis. Through surveys and kitchen table conversations, we learned the top priorities Black and Latinx moms need in the years ahead: affordable child care, equitable work, and fair access to generational wealth building assets. Now is the time to deliver on that agenda by leading legislation and policy work and partnering with lawmakers to create significant change. Learn more.
Equal Pay Today Initiative: We have been fighting for equal pay for nearly 50 years at the state and federal levels, and across industries. Our work includes the Equal Pay Today campaign, which we co-founded with partners across the country to close the wage gap that most harms women of color and low-paid working women. Every year, we lead digital awareness raising on Equal Pay Days for women of color: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Native Women’s Equal Pay Day, Latina Equal Pay Day, and more. We challenge the legal, policy, and cultural barriers that have allowed the gender wage gap to persist, recognizing that pay discrimination is not a single-issue struggle. That is why we work to also address occupational segregation, pay secrecy, pregnancy and caregiver discrimination, a lack of access to paid leave, wage theft, and an unlivable federal minimum wage.
Stronger California Initiative: The Stronger California Advocates Network is a collaborative campaign of 65+ advocacy groups and coalitions from across California. ERA co-founded and chairs this cross-sector network, and together, we have driven groundbreaking reforms to help Californians combat poverty and build assets, achieve workplace justice and family-friendly workplaces, and expand access to affordable, quality child care. Since 2015, the Stronger California Network has worked with the Legislative Women’s Caucus and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass bills advancing economic and civil rights for women and families across the state. With bills that are being replicated across the country, including the nation’s strongest laws combating sexual harassment and pay discrimination, we are setting the pace for the nation. View our 2022 Stronger California legislative wins, featuring new rights for workers across the state.
Together – working across these strategies – we’re building a world of true gender justice, where everyone has equal opportunity to thrive. Please visit https://www.equalrights.org/ to learn more and join the movement for gender justice.