Sikivu Hutchinson, Ph.D. is a senior intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission and founder of the Women’s Leadership Project, a high school feminist mentoring program. She is the author of Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars and the forthcoming Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels.
In April thousands of schools did outreach for Denim Day, a global observance that honors sexual assault survivors. This Denim Day my Women’s Leadership Project (WLP) students from Gardena and Washington Prep High schools in South Los Angeles conducted classroom trainings on gender equity and sexual violence; challenging their peers to critically examine the media, school, and community images that promote sexualized violence against women of color. WLP is a feminist humanist mentoring and advocacy program based at Gardena and Washington Prep, sponsored by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. Like most South Los Angeles schools these two campuses are predominantly black and Latino. They have high foster care, homeless, and juvenile offender populations and will be among the most deeply impacted campuses if the Los Angeles Unified School District proceeds with a plan to phase out health education requirements.