The California Women’s Law Center wishes you and yours a very happy holiday and a healthy and safe new year.
We are proud to share highlights of another successful year promoting justice and equality for women and girls in California. And with your continued support, we look forward to expanding equity and fairness for all in 2016.
Over the course of the year, CWLC led the charge to ensure Title IX is enforced in schools throughout California and we are continuing our work to make sure women veterans receive the support they need as they transition to civilian life. Additionally, we have advocated for domestic violence services, equal pay and economic security, and reproductive choice in communities across California.
Fighting for Equality in Schools
CWLC proudly maintains its role as an expert in Title IX enforcement throughout California high schools, colleges and universities. In 2015, we helped several college students navigate the grueling administrative processes that follow a report of campus sexual assault. We delivered several trainings on campus sexual assault and other Title IX issues to students, educators, and attorneys in California. With your help, we plan to expand this work in 2016.
We remain on the forefront in the fight to end discrimination against pregnant and parenting students and school employees as well. This year CWLC, in conjunction with BreastfeedLA, released a report card, which revealed that many school districts in Los Angeles County are failing to provide accommodations to lactating students and employees.
And, on the heels of our successful Title IX athletics litigation in Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District, we continue to work with students to ensure equal access to sports on campuses around the state. We know that athletic opportunities boost young women’s confidence and help prepare them for their future educational and professional endeavors.
Serving Our Veterans
Assisting those who have served our country remains a priority for CWLC. And as we learn more about the unique challenges facing returning women veterans, we stand ready to help with housing and healthcare issues, disability benefits, employment discrimination and criminal and traffic matters. We know that women veterans encounter legal barriers that prevent them from accessing baseline benefits and services, which leads to their disproportionally high level of homelessness. In 2015, we gave back to our brave service women and men through legal clinics, veteran Stand Downs, legislative and policy advocacy, and by educating and ensuring that veterans have access to information about their rights and the resources available to them.
Standing Up for Justice and Economic Equality
CWLC has been on the frontlines in the fight to pursue equality in the workplace for women. At our 2015 Pursuit of Justice Awards luncheon, we were honored to recognize equal pay champions Dolores Huerta, Lilly Ledbetter and Peg Yorkin. And we were active in the effort to ensure the Fair Pay Act was passed and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. We still have work to do but “We Can Do It!” We must continue to work together to advocate for equal pay, opportunity and economic security for every woman in California.
Highlights from our 2015 Pursuit of Justice Awards luncheon honoring Dolores Huerta, Lilly Ledbetter and Peg Yorkin.
CWLC is also addressing the needs of incarcerated women. By discussing and advocating for thoughtful changes that can be made to improve our criminal justice system and the institutions that interact with it, we hope to enable the women, families, and communities involved in corrections to escape the cycle of poverty and incarceration.
In 2016, please join us as we continue to pursue justice and equality for women and girls. Our priorities for the year ahead include deepening our work and expertise in the areas described above, expanding our focus on the healthcare needs of women and their families, and identifying ways to support California’s fast-growing aging population.
Progress comes when people who care deeply about an issue or injustice come together and demand change. Whether working to guarantee a women’s right to choose, building a foundation of support to ensure our schools are safe, or helping raise the voices of women and families living in poverty, the California Women’s Law Center proudly forges on in the march toward equality in California and across the nation.
Thanks to the commitment of generous supporters like you, we made significant strides toward justice and equality in 2015. Unfortunately, our work is not done and your support is needed now as much as ever to continue the fight for equality.
Happy Holidays to you and yours from the staff and Board of Directors of the California Women’s Law Center. We wish you a happy and healthy 2016!
Far left picture: Laila Ali (center) with Los Angeles Sparks 2015 #WeAreWomen honorees CWLC Executive Director Betsy Butler and CWLC Board Member Christa Demeke; Middle picture: CWLC hosts Columbia Law School interns; Far right picture: Betsy Butler, Kamilah Willingham and film producer Amy Ziering at CWLC Speaker Series and screening of The Hunting Ground