December 7, 2021 — Tomorrow, the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities will take a vote on AB 413. This harmful legislation would prohibit race or sex stereotyping in any anti-racism and anti-sexism instruction/training at UW System and Technical College System institutions. However, the language in this bill is so broad that it will inherently create a chilling effect on UW System and Technical College System institutions offering anti-racism and anti-sexism instruction to students or employees. Now is the time to contact your state Representative to tell them to oppose this harmful bill.
Please take the following action today:
- Call your state Representative today and urge them to oppose AB 413. It is particularly important that you call your representative if they are on the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities. (see list below). You can identify who represents you here. See below for suggested talking points.
- Today I ask Representative _____ to oppose AB 413.
- Anti-racism and anti-sexism are at the heart of sexual violence prevention programming.
- Social norms that are associated as risk factors for sexual violence include racism as well as beliefs that support male superiority.
- Anti-racist instruction builds empathy in students, which is a protective factor for sexual violence, by helping students understand the world from another’s point of view. Anti-sexist instruction seeks to counter a student’s adherence to traditional gender norms, which is a risk factor for sexual violence perpetration.
- Gender socialization, including rigid adherence to gender roles about masculinity and femininity, is one of the social norms that contributes to sexual violence.
- This bill prevents educators from providing instruction in a variety of topics, including concepts that might cause “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or psychological distress” in students, as well as implicit bias.
- While racism and sexism are by their very nature uncomfortable topics, that is not a reason to avoid examining their root causes, such as internalized racial and male superiority.
- The language in this bill is so broad that it will cause schools to refrain from providing anti-racist and anti-sexist instruction, which will be extremely detrimental to sexual violence prevention efforts.
- This legislation conflicts with existing law requiring UW schools to provide sexual violence prevention education at orientation programs as it significantly weakens sexual violence prevention education by limiting the type of information that can be discussed in that programming. It is simply not possible to have effective sexual violence prevention instruction when you are unable to address internalized racial and male superiority.
Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities Members