By Kathi Harper, Chair “School Board Project” Sub-Committee
In a 2023 survey, our membership made it clear that they were alarmed by the nationwide movement to ban books and censor curricula in K-12 schools, particularly as this censorship denies students’ access to historically accurate information pertaining to marginalized groups.
This is perhaps unsurprising as AAUW members’ concern with access to high-quality education has been long standing. When AAUW was founded in 1881, its stated purpose was “for practical education work, for collection and publication of statistical and other information concerning education, and in general, for the maintenance of high standards of education.” Today, AAUW California continues to support this purpose in the second pillar of our Public Policy Priorities, “Equal Access to Quality Public Education for all Students.”
Earlier this year, at the urging of the state Public Policy Committee , the state board adopted and membership approved the addition of an important bullet point under this second pillar, “Access to diverse staff and curriculum that represents historically accurate information.” In furtherance of that goal, the Public Policy Committee has established “The School Board Project” (SBP) designed to ensure school boards up and down the state include members who are committed to “the maintenance of high standards of education” for all students – including access to diverse and historically accurate information.
Whether you are aware of problematic censorship happening in your district, you fear it may be coming, or you just want to learn more about what AAUW California is doing, we hope you will join us virtually on September 21st at 7pm for the presentation of “Book Banning and Curricula Censorship in California? AAUW California to the Rescue!” Kathi Harper, SBP Committee Chair, will explain the project, what we are doing, and how all AAUW California members can help. A representative from our collaborative partner, Equality California, will be in attendance to help you understand why this project is so important, and members from the League of Women Voters will be on hand to provide guidance on how to speak out effectively and civilly at school board meetings. We hope to see you there.
Registration is now open, and the link can be found on our website here.
Additional information about our guests and collaborators can be found below.