It's Our Time: The Empathy Gap for Girls of Color
When we set out to create the Wellesley Centers for Women project “Promoting Public Awareness of the Road to Educational Equity for Girls of Color,” our mission was to create a public forum to discuss the ongoing educational equity issues for girls of color in the Boston area. We hoped to produce a video that would spark both online and offline dialogue about the overlooked needs of a population that is getting less media, research, and policy attention than their counterparts: boys of color.
For the past year, my colleague, Rosa Lau, and I have been collaborating with Teen Voices, a Boston-based journalism and mentoring program for low income girls of color, to generate stories and recommendations from teen girls, their educational advocates, teachers, counselors, and administrators as well as encourage the worldwide readership of Teen Voices to join in the conversation.
During our journey we traveled from Dorchester to Roxbury, from the superintendent offices of the Boston Public Schools to the Opportunity to Learn Education Summit in Washington, DC. Along the way, we met with girls who were tired of negative stereotypes about their achievement capacities as well as girls who had a lot to say about the lack of attention paid to them by the district. They were so proud to give us tours of their schools, and we heard what their mentors had to say about them and the broader issues surrounding the opportunity gap. We were also amazed at the dedication of the after school practitioners we were fortunate to meet, often operating on a shoestring budget and maintaining their commitment way beyond the call of duty.
As part of this ongoing project, on Oct. 18th Wellesley Centers for Women will be hosting the premiere of a short film series featuring teens as the experts and agents of their own learning experiences, offering examples of effective strategies and solutions for closing the opportunity gap. We hope to hear from you then or online when we post the video on Facebook and YouTube for everyone to share widely.