Meeting Girls' Needs

Since 2014, Alliance for Girls has been working with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to meet the needs of OUSD's most marginalized girls. In 2015, with the written support and committed partnership of OUSD, Alliance for Girls was one of three in the nation to be awarded the inaugural National Girls Initiative Innovation Award through the US Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention. This award has enabled AFG and its members to launch an initiative to better meet the needs of girls of color in Oakland schools, by creating policies, practices and programs that are informed by the lived experiences of girls and gender-responsive, culturally relevant, trauma informed, strength-based and developmentally appropriate approaches.

 

Model Policies

  • Comprehensive Equity Policy

    OUSD's Equity Policy requires the District to identify disparities in educational outcomes “for the purpose of targeting areas for action, intervention and investment,” and to eliminate institutional bias. Alliance for Girls proposed and advocated for key revisions that were ultimately incorporated into the policy, to broaden its scope to address disparities in educational outcomes along the lines of sex, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, religion, and involvement with the dependency or juvenile justice systems.

  • Modified Sexual Harassment Policy

    On June 14, 2017, OUSD's School Board unanimously approved a new student-driven sexual harassment policy. The policy has several elements that differentiate it from other school district sexual harassment policies in that it:

    1. Prioritizes victim’s psychological and emotional health
    2. Applies the affirmative consent standard in instances of sexual violence in school
    3. Requires the District to take action on a school-wide level when it becomes aware of a school-wide culture of sexual harassment
    4. Ensures that victims have a voice in how their complaints are resolved
    5. Delineates the use of restorative justice as a disciplinary alternative

 

Valuing Girls' Voices: Lived Experiences of Girls of Color in Oakland Unified School District 

In September 2016, Alliance for Girls (AFG) released the report, Valuing Girls' Voices: Lived Experiences of Girls of Color in Oakland Unified School District. AFG commissioned the landscape study by Bright Research Group to gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of girls of color within OUSD.

Report findings are based on results from an analysis of OUSD data on academic success and school-engagement indicators, a series of focus groups with girls of color and interviews with district leaders and other adult stakeholders. Except where noted, the key findings refer to girls of color as a group, including African American, Latina, Native American and Asian / Pacific Islander girls.

 

Meeting the Needs of Girls Toolkit

To help meet girls' expressed needs, Alliance for Girls members, partners and girl leaders worked together to create the Meeting the Needs of Girls Toolkit to help OUSD frontline educators and youth influencers shape a girl-equity culture that includes the supports girls of color need. The toolkit recommends policies, practices and programs, and includes a variety of helpful resources. We hope it supports you in doing the important work you do each day: helping girls thrive.