Sadker Equity Awards



Anne L. Bryant, 1998 Myra Sadker Equity Award Winner


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 Award.

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