Kimberley Shannon has arguably one of the world's most feminist jobs, and it's amazing.
Shannon started four months ago, at the tail end of a terrible year, as the new Gender Equity Coordinator for New York City public schools, reports Amy Zimmer for DNAinfo. Yep, that's exactly what it sounds like. She's there as a support system for girls in NYC, to even the playing field when it comes to women's access to education.
As Gender Equity Coordinator, Shannon will focus on gender-based violence, resources for pregnant students or students who already have children, and helping girls have more access to science, engineering, technology, and math classes among other things.
“The greatest need for my role is focusing on the most marginalized populations. That’s something we’re committed to at the DOE,” Shannon told DNAinfo. “I’ve been really moved at how many organizations and schools are eager to work with me.”
She's doing that already, by teaming up with kids in middle and high school from NYC's Healthy Relationship Training Academy, which helps students understand what a good relationship looks like and also provides support for transgender students, pregnant students, LGBTQ students, and student in violent relationships. Shannon is working with the peer educators from this program to create a training program for school guidance counselors and social workers about domestic violence, according to DNAinfo.
“The peer educators do great work in schools and connect with students on a deep level,” Shannon told DNAinfo. “We talked not only about emotional abuse but also technological abuse. That’s why it’s important to bring in the peer educators. Things are evolving every day with how technology is used.”
NYC schools have already seen great things from Shannon and we hope other states take note. Students everywhere would benefit from having someone like her in their corner.