It is said that if you build it they will come, and I have been hard at work building up resources depicting the women’s and girls’ education issues for quite some time. We are starting to see some of the benefits, with over 40 media and academic interviews, references, and citations in a mere 20 months.
And now, one way or another, we are finding our way into the classroom. When I walled off the website recently to restructure it and launch AVFMS 2.0, for example, this is an email I received from a graduate student asking for access to my lawsuits database:
I am currently working on a research project involving rape cases for [REDACTED] University. I was using the database on a voice for female students to help me with this research. It is very unfortunate that the site will reopen in July. So I was wondering if it is possible to access this information earlier.
And as the site reopened I soon found one of our key graphs on higher ed graduation rates being used in an undergraduate course and featured on a library page at San Antonio College (see the screenshot below). Apparently it was submitted by an undergraduate student, which is excellent – that is exactly where we need awareness of this issue to grow. The earlier they start asking questions the better.
This wasn’t the first time we’ve been featured on a library website, by the way; Southern Connecticut State University also listed us as a top resource for the Women’s Movement. And of course we find our way onto universities in other ways, my keynote presentation at KSU about girls’ education not the least among them.
Fun fact: after that conference I looked at my site statistics and noticed an increase of traffic coming from online teacher training modules. You have to be enrolled to access the online modules and see exactly what they are saying, but the fact that I was in such a space to begin with was a win regardless.
This kind of thing is only going to increase over time as we ramp up our research database and conference projects. Ideologues and naysayers can only try to suppress awareness of these issues for so long, and with this platform positioned to be the best online resource for women’s and girls’ education issues we will be a key part of expanding the dialogue.
To the more extreme professors and administrators who resist this expanding dialogue, I say this: you cannot stop me. I am on your turf, and I will win. I am here for the duration, and my reach will only increase with time. Say hello to my students; they are bringing my work to your classroom.
Below is the screenshot (the AVFMS graph is found about halfway down):