DC Public Schools Initiative is Unfair to Girls.

The $20 million initiative, “Empowering Males of Color,” is meant to help African-American and Latino boys. City leaders say it’s necessary to focus on boys because they face many challenges: Boys are far less likely to graduate high school, they are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and their test scores are far lower than white students’. The programming includes mentoring, grants for schools that specifically target this population and a soon-to-be-opened all-male high school.

But Monica Hopkins-Maxwell of the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital says girls of color face many of the same challenges, such as poverty and trauma, and they require just as much support.“For example, one of the stated goals of the Empowering Males of Color initiative is to increase AP enrollment and those rates. The AP pass rate for boys is 15 percent and for girls it’s 16 percent. There is no statistical difference,” Hopkins-Maxwell says.

In addition, Hopkins-Maxwell says girls face unique challenges such as sexual harassment and family obligations.

While its a great initiative and all, I’ve been saying since it started that girls of color face a lot of the same problems and others, but, you know, screw them I guess? I don’t want to see it shut down, but I’ve been really disappointed that there has been zero offering of a comparable program supporting DC’s girls. DCPS says that they believe in “differentiated programming” but how is it differentiated and not discriminatory if there’s nothing for other groups that also need support just as badly?

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I hope they get their heads out of their asses and do something to support the sisters and classmates of the boys benefiting from EMOC who are growing up in the same environment.

ETA: Oh, and yeah, the “male-specific” problems they are addressing also impact WOC at higher rates than whites, so... ?

Black women are incarcerated at 4 times the rate of white women.

Women in state prisons in 2003 were more likely than men to be incarcerated for a drug offense (29% vs. 19%) or property offense (30% vs. 20%)

- See more at: http://www.incite-national.org/page/women-col…