Leadership & Inclusion

Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX: Interview With the Author

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Jen Barton, author of Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX, shares some insights into creating the book.  Magination Press: What inspired you to write Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX? Jen Barton: Dr. Sandler died in January 2019. At that time, I’d never heard of her and hadn’t thought much about Title IX. I was born in 1971, the year before the law passed, and grew up benefiting from a protection I never knew I’d needed. And as an adult, I only had a vague understanding that the law had something to do with sports. But in January 2019, I read a blurb about Bunny’s death, which mentioned her many accomplishments and how important she’d been in the fight for women’s equity in education. I wondered how someone so influential could’ve been so unknown to me, how I hadn’t learned in school about someone whose tireless fight had guaranteed my right to play softball or take shop class, if I wanted. I wondered why I didn’t know her name. I’m grateful to Bunny and the generations of women who came before, who fought for rights I enjoy. Writing the book felt like a way to honor her, her work, and to share her incredible story. My hope is that as readers follow Bunny navigating obstacles, finding her voice, and figuring out how she could make a difference, they too will find their own voice and use it to fight for what matters most to them. MP: The 50th anniversary of the ruling is in 2022. Is Bernice’s story more relevant now than ever? JB: Bunny’s story is absolutely more relevant than ever. Women may not have to have their husband or father co-sign to get a credit card or a home loan anymore, but the fight for gender equity is far from over. Let’s not forget, the ERA still hasn’t been ratified. The wage gap is alive and well. And the LGBTQ community is under attack. My hope is that as readers follow Bunny navigating obstacles, finding her voice, and figuring out how she could make a difference, they too will find their own voice and use it to fight for what matters most to them. I also hope readers come away with the idea that it doesn’t take a person with power to make a difference. More often, it takes determination.  MP: Why do you think it’s important for kids to know about Bernice and about Title IX? JB: Title IX is such a workhorse of legislation. Bunny and fellow activists fought to make it illegal for institutions that receive federal funds to discriminate on the basis of sex. Yes, that means equitable locker rooms and uniforms regardless of gender, but the law also protects pregnant and parenting students from discrimination. And it protects

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Bernice Sandler and the Fight for Title IX: Interview With the Author 2022-05-03T15:16:16-04:00

Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally

Evelyn Hooker is the extraordinary woman behind the research, advocacy, and allyship that led to the removal of the “Homosexuality” diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A pioneering psychologist, Hooker was also a poet and a towering figure in LGBTQ+ rights.  Evelyn Hooker and the Fairy Project, written by Stonewall award-winning author Gayle Pitman, captures Hooker’s groundbreaking work like never before. At the end of the book, a “Note to Readers” provides information about how to be an effective ally to LGBTQ+ people; other end matter included are a timeline, discussion questions, reading list, and additional resources, all written by Sarah Prager. Here’s an excerpt from the “How to be a LBGTQ+ Ally” section: Limerick for Dr. Bieber There once was a doctor named Irving whose theories were rather unnerving. It seems so cliché that moms made their sons gay. A theory that’s not worth preserving! Evelyn Hooker wasn’t gay, but she helped gay people live better lives through her actions. That’s what an ally does--advocate on behalf of a group of people they are not a part of. Someone inside the LBGTQ+ community who advocates for gay rights isn’t an ally, they’re an activist. You have to be outside the group to be an ally. The word comes from war talk--your ally in a war is not your own armed forces, but forces that fight on the same side against a common enemy. Here are ways to be an effective Ally: Be Inclusive: This book focuses on gay people because that’s where the discussion was centered at the time. The LBGTQ+ community is made up of many more kinds of people than just gay and lesbian people. To be an ally to one, you should be an ally to the whole extended community. Be a Follower:  Being an ally is often about listening. Allies don’t tell their LBGTQ+ friends what they should do or how they should do it; they help their friends carry out what their friends want...they just help where they are needed and follow the direction of the group they want to  help. Be Proactive:  While following is important in many situations, so is taking initiative in other contexts. Don’t expect an LBGTQ+ person to explain everything about being LBGTQ+ to you. Try to do your own research before asking. It’s also the job of an ally to speak up for LBGTQ+ people in a situation where someone says something mean or incorrect about them. You can speak up without speaking over or instead of LBGTQ+ people. Be a Student:  Learn from your mistakes and realize that you’ll always be learning. Learn about: LBGTQ+ history, gender-neutral pronouns, and current issues important to the LBGTQ+ community. When you make a mistake, own it, apologize, and move on. Be a Friend:  Like you would for anyone, be a kind friend to LBGTQ+ people around you. Listen, offer support, respect people’s pronouns and identities, and show up when you are asked to. In the

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Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally 2021-10-26T18:08:27-04:00

Celebrate FREADOM: Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is observed during the last week of September. It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries.  By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. This year’s theme is Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. These Magination Press books have been challenged recently:  Something Happened in Our Town:  A Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP is included on the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2020. It was challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote antipolice views. Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives. It includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues. This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD Illustrated by Kristyna Litten was Named one of the Top 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018 by the American Library Association and is included in the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past Decade. In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included is a Reading Guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a Note to Parents and Caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways. This Day In June is an excellent tool for teaching respect, acceptance, and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Since the first book starring Jacob also hit the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past Decade for 2010-2019, Jacob, the beloved Magination Press character from Jacob’s Room to Choose and Jacob’s School Play, both by Sarah and Ian Hoffmann, has helped kids understand gender, identity, and pronouns. Magination Press’s books reach young readers and their parents and caregivers to make navigating challenges a little easier. The combined power of psychology and literature help foster conversations around issues that affect kids on a wide range of topics.  Sharing books and talking about issues they explore bring people together. Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.

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Celebrate FREADOM: Banned Books Week 2021-09-24T00:13:38-04:00