Legal Momentum News Brief—Week of May 7, 2018

May 9, 2018

Legal Momentum Co-Sponsors Enough Is Enough Summit

The national Summit convened on April 25 in Washington, D.C. and was organized by Legal Momentum in partnership with the National Organization for Women, Unite Here!, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, National Congress of Black Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and the National Council of Jewish Women. Through a series of panels, speakers discussed current legislation, including Title IX, and new initiatives. “Before you get to the workplace, you need to teach girls about their bodies and standing up for themselves when they’re in elementary school,” said Carolyn Baldwin Moody, President and CEO of Legal Momentum.

From the Summit, the partnering organizations are developing a clear list of strategic policy demands that address the crisis of sexual harassment and violence. These will include strengthening Title VII, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act, as well as pushing for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

NYC Commission on Human Rights Relies on Legal Momentum’s Testimony on Sexual Harassment

In a comprehensive report issued in April, the Commission relied on Legal Momentum’s testimony to highlight the specialized risks and vulnerabilities that low-wage and immigrant women face in the workplace and the need to revise existing requirements and standards, such as reporting deadlines, to account for these barriers.  

Ane Mathieson & Seher Khawaja at Gracie Mansion

Legal Momentum’s Rights Now! Policy Fellow Ane Mathieson (L) and Gender Justice Fellow Seher Khawaja (R) at Gracie Mansion.

The report included many of Legal Momentum’s specific recommendations, such as:

  • Anonymous channels for reporting;
  • Employee training, including special training for supervisory and HR employees;
  • Extended reporting deadlines, and
  • Public education and outreach targeted at low-wage and immigrant women.

Many of Legal Momentum’s recommendations were also reflected in the new Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, thanks to the Commission’s strategic collaboration with the City Council. The Act was passed on April 11. We also commend the Commission for launching its citywide public awareness campaign on workplace sexual harassment targeted to vulnerable workers, including low-wage and immigrant workers. Legal Momentum looks forward to working with the Commission to continue strengthening protections, especially those that serve the needs of low-wage and immigrant women.

Legal Momentum Gender Justice Fellow Seher Khawaja and Rights Now! Policy Fellow Ane Mathieson were also invited to participate in an event hosted at Gracie Mansion by New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray on April 26 to celebrate the report’s publication and discuss ways to grow and sustain the movement against sexual harassment.

Legal Momentum Presents at EVAW International Conference

Legal Momentum Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Becker spoke at the End Violence Against Women International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Gender Bias in Chicago in April, where she presented a program called “Helping Sexual Assault Victims Navigate the Criminal Justice System: Effective Use of a Multidisciplinary Approach.”

The annual conference brings together 1,500-2,000 law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, victim advocates, judges, parole and probation officers, rape crisis workers, health care professionals, faith community members, educators, researchers and others to learn about emerging issues and promising practices for effectively responding to domestic and sexual violence. Despite an early 8:15 a.m. start time, Jennifer’s session was very well-attended, with a full room of about 150-200 people, and there was a robust dialogue and question and answer session. The presentation was developed under a Legal Assistance to Victims grant to the National Judicial Education Program from the federal Office on Violence against Women (OVW), which is funded under the Violence Against Women Act.

We Hope to See You at the 2018 Aiming High Awards Luncheon

Legal Momentum’s 18th Annual Aiming High Awards event will take place on Thursday, June 7, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Every year, the awards celebrate the power of women and the luncheon offers and exceptional networking opportunity.

This year’s Aiming High honorees are Cathy Engelbert, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte, and Sari Granat, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, IHS Markit, and our “Man of Distinction” is William E. Ford, Chief Executive Officer, General Atlantic. There will be a networking reception at 11:30 a.m., followed by the luncheon and program from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Get your ticket(s) online at https://www.legalmomentum.org/AimHigh18, or email friends@legalmomentum.org for more information or to reserve a table.