Introduction to award presentation
by David Sadker
The first annual Myra Sadker Equity award is given to Anne L. Bryant,
Executive Director of the National School Boards Association.
As executive director of the American Association of University
Women, you were the force behind a series of publications that riveted
national attention on the subtle but destructive bias confronting
girls in school. In How Schools Shortchange Girls, the AAUW
reviewed over a thousand studies documenting the extent of gender
bias in schools. This landmark effort was followed by other powerful
publications. The erosion of self esteem suffered by many girls
especially Hispanic girls as they go through school
became the focus of one such effort. In Hostile Hallways,
AAUW moved the persistent problem of sexual harassment in schools
from the shadows into the spotlight. In all of these efforts, it
was you, Anne Bryant, who provided energy, direction, and commitment
that moved gender bias onto center stage of the nation's consciousness.
In so doing, AAUW set the tone for popular publications to follow,
including Peggy Orenstein's Schoolgirls, Judy Mann's The
Difference, Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia and of course,
Myra Sadker's Failing at Fairness.
The path was not always easy. Regressive political forces often
targeted you and your efforts, attacking both the message and the
messenger. This was not new. In the last century, the AAUW was formed
as a response to the popular argument that because of health reasons,
women should not be permitted to attend college. The AAUW stood
firm against such attacks on women in the 1890s, and, under your
direction, stood firm against similar attacks in the 1990s.
Your courage and dedication increased this nation's awareness of
the importance of educational equity. Your efforts have benefitted
not only girls, but and boys as well. It is a pleasure to recognize
you, Anne L. Bryant, as the first winner of the Myra Sadker Equity