Leaving Girls Behind

An Analysis of Washington D.C.'s "Empowering Males of Color" Initiative

Document Date: May 5, 2016

This report, released by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, summarizes the results of a DC Freedom of Information Act request and focuses on the exclusion of women and girls from the programming launched under this new, $20 million initiative of the District of Columbia Public Schools. Despite statistics showing that girls of color in Washington DC are suffering from many of the same serious educational disparities facing boys of color, the programs launched under this initiative appear to be open almost exclusively to boys, with no plans for any similar programming for girls. While the report commends the Mayor and the District of Columbia Public Schools for directing critically-needed attention and resources toward some of the District’s most educationally disadvantaged students, it also points to significant legal vulnerabilities in the exclusion of girls of color from these programs under the relevant provisions of the Constitution, Title IX, and the D.C. Human Rights Act, and recommends that the programming be opened to girls going forward.

The ACLU and the African American Policy Forum are also seeking to connect with parents and family members of African-American and Latino children in Washington DC public schools to hear their feelings, views and attitudes on educational opportunities for girls in Washington DC. Please fill out this form if you are interested in sharing your views with us.

This report was originally published on May 9, 2016, and has since been updated to reflect further information subsequently received pursuant to a supplemental Freedom of Information Act request.

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