Social Work Alumnae Attack Sexual Harassment in the Schools and on the Streets | Hunter Alumni Newsletter
“When Joanne N. Smith (M.S.W. ‘03) and Mandy Van Deven (M.S.W. ‘08) entered the complex web of the New York City inner school system doing participatory action research, they were trying to explore what is a hotly contested issue in today’s educational system- how high school students are affected by sexual harassment. What they found didn’t sit well with the women.
Sexual harassment appeared to be a normal and accepted part of the experience of young people in school, a problem to which figures of authority often turned a blind eye. Instead of doing the same, Smith, founder and executive director of Girls for Gender Equality, an organization committed to the physical, psychological, social, and economic development of girls and women, and Van Deven, its former associate director and now a progressive activist and independent writer, decided to do something about it.”