Today, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will meet with survivors, advocates, college administrators, and groups hostile to students' rights. Regardless of what they hear in this meeting, it is possible that the Department of Education -- as part of a broader campaign to weaken enforcement of federal civil rights laws -- plans to roll back Title IX enforcement as well as protections that ensure that every student can access an education free from gender-based violence.
DeVos has met with and hired multiple opponents of survivors’ civil rights, all the while ignoring the survivors' themselves. The schedule of the upcoming symposium allows for double the speaking time to those hostile to Title IX’s protections, as it does survivors or advocates. The meeting includes extreme hate groups such as the National Coalition for Men, who viciously harass students online and deserve no place in a conversation about civil rights.
90 minutes with a small group of survivors as part of such a symposium is nowhere near enough to understand the range of experiences, policy needs, and necessary solutions to gender violence in school.
Victims deserve time, consideration, and the opportunity to be duly heard by this Department.
On Today at 9:15 am, survivors and advocates will bring our experiences to DeVos and host a Survivor Speak-Out at the Department of Education. They'll read students' stories aloud to educate the Secretary and the Department about the real human impact of their devastating policies, the importance of robust Title IX protections for all students, and to make clear that survivors will not be silent as our peers are harassed, raped, and pushed out of school.
Here is how you can participate and make sure survivors are heard:
1. Join us in person at the Department of Education.
2. Sign up if you're interested in sharing your story or volunteering.
3. Share your story (anonymously, these stories will be curated, read at the Speakout, and brought to Secretary DeVos