University Students and Our Role—David Shih provided an update on the situation regarding free speech and a safe space for students of color at UWEC. A decision was made to move the Blugold Beginnings office to a separate space from the Office of Multicultural Affairs. This decision was a controversial one, but in this case the institution responded in favor of the students who need a safe space to discuss issues of race and racism. The student involved in this matter has expressed some interest in help from the CVCLU, given this response from the institution and her graduation, it isn’t clear whether that still remains true. David will email Ann with an update regarding this, and this topic will stay on the agenda until further decision.
Outreach to Lapsed Members—David, Ann, and Mildred are working on the list of lapsed members with varying degrees of progress.
Transgender Policy—The ECASD School Board Minutes provide a description of the vote, as does Ann’s email summarizing the event. The School Board stood against vocal opponents to make transgender students a protected class. Ann and Myron were present, several board members sent emails. One question posed by the Board was whether the policy supported the federal guidelines for Title IX.
David’s Presentation—A smashing success! It was very well-attended (approximately 65-70 people). The Board discussed how we were able to gather such a great turnout. David’s connection to the university certainly played a large role. There didn’t appear to be one effort that resulted in an obvious payout, but perhaps the combined efforts worked best. David was asked to present this topic again for the CVLR.
CV Post Publicity—This would be a good option for future programs. All present approved the motion to buy a one-year membership for $50 which would allow us to be listed as a donor. Ann wrote an article about David’s presentation and posted at CVPost.org.
Facebook Page—The page is currently a private/closed group. Ann will talk with Beverly, one of the original creators about who has administrator rights and Paul will conduct some research on the options for changing this from a closed group.
Dr. Taman’s Passing—The 10th member position doesn’t need to be filled. The Board decided to send a donation to the State in honor of Dr. Taman. Members should send donations to David Rice. Mildred will get the address for Dr. Taman’s family and deliver that to David, too, who will ensure that they are made aware of this action.
Appeal for Help—Ann provided a synopsis of a phone call asking for help. Given the complexity of the issue and the lack of clarity of how the CVCLU could assist, the Board decided that we would not be able to assist this person, unless there was clear evidence that the person’s race was a factor in the issue brought forth.
Announcements—Lindsey provided an update of her case. She spoke with both the ACLU Women’s Rights Fellow, Conor Ahern, and his supervising attorney, Gillian Thomas, in a conference call. The ACLU believes the ECASD is in direct violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1976. Lindsey will be signing a retainer agreement and a demand letter will be sent to the ECASD outlining the ACLU’s position and urging them to change their policy to allow women on maternity leave to access the Sick-Leave Donation Bank. In exchange, Lindsey will be writing a blog post on this event for the ACLU. Should the district refuse to make a change, then lawyers would need to revisit the case before determining if litigation were to be feasible.
Next Meeting Date is set for July 10th at 6:30 at the Law Office of Hart and Herrick.
The meeting adjourned at around 7:50 pm.