Mavis Leno, chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan, along with her husband Jay Leno and FMF National Coordinator Katherine Spillar, today announced the Back to School Campaign to a large crowd at Ramona High School in Los Angeles. Even at this early stage, the Back to School Campaign is taking off, with pledges from over 80 action teams, including the American Federation of Teachers, the Coalition for Labor Union Women, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles. One of the first action teams to volunteer for the Adopt-A-School project were students at the all-girl Ramona public high school. The Scholarship Program is also taking off, with eight young Afghan women refugees beginning college in the U.S. this fall as a result of FMF’s campaign.
“We must do more to restore the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. We want to help the heroic women who are running clandestine schools for girls in Afghanistan,” said Mavis Leno. “Through the Back to School Campaign, students, teachers, parents will have the opportunity to connect directly with Afghan women and girls and let them know that they are not forgotten.”
“Celebrity members of the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid have been key in alerting the nation to this horrific and brutal situation,” said Spillar.