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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

We Advocate Gender Equity

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights

Mission: To end gender bias and achieve gender equity in the education, hiring, retention, promotion and compensation of women in the academic community within the University of California and other academic institutions

Target demographics: women within California's systems of higher education and allies

Direct beneficiaries per year: varies

Geographic areas served: California

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Gerald B.


Rating: 5

WAGE is one of the most important organization of our time. As a nation we claim "One Nation Under God Indivisible with Liberty and JUSTICE for ALL" I as African American man have found that not to be true for my people, nor for myself; and it is certainly still not true for millions of women. There is still a great gulf in our society of gender and racial inequity not only this country but, throughout this world. The glass ceiling for women and people of color remains intact and has been reinforced.

It has been my awesome experience to work with the organization on several key issues facing our communities; working for the advancement and entry of students to achieve an opportunity for higher education. Working on behalf of women, that have been left out or pushed out of their positions, simply because they challenged the established order for better working conditions, equal wage, a fair promotion system. Providing Educational Forums to communities to encourage families participation in the process of empowering their child's education.

"Indivisible with Liberty and JUSTICE for ALL" this is WAGE!!!
Rev. Gerald Brown

Al V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a supporter of WAGE, i'm proud of the advocacies thegroup has espoused and has remained in the forefront of the struggle for gender equity in higher education. WAGE has supported women at various institutions such as UC Berkeley and San Diego State University here in California. More importantly, WAGE has raised awareness and provided a forum for the discussion of gender equity in higher education.

I wish you the best and for your future successes!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a woman working in academia, I greatly appreciate the work that WAGE has done to promote equity among genders in university systems. Despite women currently earning more degrees than men in the United States, we still fall victim to inequality within the workplace, and academics often are quick to deny any such bias within the ivory towers. WAGE plays a vital role for all women - from those nearing retirement to those just starting their careers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

WAGE exists to help and support women in academe who have experienced discrimination within their institutions of higher learning. Each case is unique and extremely painful, but WAGE members are a resource of experience and information on how to deal with many of
the issues that one faces in these situations. This is the place to find support through the tangled web of misinformation and personal attacks from colleagues and administrators. WAGE newsletters (posted on the website are a gold mine of examples of women who have been through the process of standing up for their rights and have found support through WAGE. We are here to help in any way we can.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

For the past year, I advocated for women and men to serve in the Armed Forces in their true essence, for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and for the implementation of the policy. I am the Founder and Executive Director of The Sanctuary Project Veterans. We advocate for servicemembers, veterans, and their families impacted by Don't Ask Don't Tell.

The largest population impacted by Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are women; specifically Women of Color. I viewed my advocacy work as gaining the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to serve in the military. My perspective on this battle was blinded by the scotoma of fighting for equality for LGBT people. It is not only an issue of traditional beliefs versus nonconformity, but it is an issue of Gender Equity. I have view this fight for equality in an eschewed manner. My perspective changed after my participation in the WAGE Forum. With this new perspective, knowledge, and I am able to better serve the people that need assistance.

I participated on the panel “The Feminization of Higher Education: Breaking the Glass Ceiling”. I went with the intention of educating the audience of my personal experience as an educator and national activist dealing with harassment and discrimination. However, I learned something in the process.

We are in desperate times and it essential more than ever for women to mobilize and work together. The WAGE Forum allowed me to network with other dedicated, educated, and strong advocates for a social, economic, and political change that will provide equity for women.

The WAGE Forum should become required orientation for women entering college. Women need understand the facts and challenges, we must address in this world when striving for Gender Equity. It is an essential part of their development.


Board Member

Rating: 5

When WAGE was formally organized in the early 1990s, there was a strong emphasis on eradicating gender inequities within the UC and to some extent, the CSU-systems of higher education in California. Today, we are more and more mindful of the importance of reaching out more broadly to assist women and girls in other systems of higher education in California as well. However, to do more we need more. Greater participation from our members, friends, colleagues, and allies. We would love to strengthen our contact with individuals who are committed to ending gender bias and achieving gender equity within our educational systems. We hope to work with garner the resources to further our work and maximize the gains we make for gender equity in California institutions of higher education.

WAGE has a commitment to providing academic women with the resources they need. We assist in to identifying appropriate legal counsel, provide verbal and printed advice and guidance in navigating institutional processes, and provide informative, thought-provoking presentations for the community and our members. Our work would benefit greatly from various forms of assistance and we also welcome suggestions on how to do more with what we do have, including a dedicated all – volunteer board of directors.

Finally, we encourage you to invite others to join WAGE and we welcome greater participation and leadership from new voices. Membership is only $35.00 per year. Please contact me directly for more information about WAGE at PatWashingtonPhD@aol.com.

Pat Washington, PhD
WAGE, Co-Chair

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization. Their yearly educational Forums on discrimination bring together legislators, plaintiffs, facullty, and students. In addition to helping faculty womenh, they also focus on empowering minority and LGBT students. This is vitally important work, and it should be supported.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Discrimination against women in higher education continues to be rampant. Women are routinely denied promotion and tenure; men earn significantly more than women in every rank; and the managerial ranks are predominately male. Less than 20% of senior faculty and administrators are women--a figure that has remained constant for decades.

We Advocate Gender Equity (WAGE) has a long and honorable history of supporting academic women. Started in 1993 to support Dr. Jenny Harrison, an eminent mathematician denied tenure at Berkeley, WAGE went on to fight discrimination throughout the University of California. It held meetings in the North and South which brought women plaintiffs together along with supporters, thus creating a vital support network. It published regular reports on cases, researched hiring and promotion statistics throughout the UC system, and contacted state legislators and federal authorities. It helped generate the "Torres Bill," which forced UC to report for five years on a yearly basis what it was spending to fight lawsuits by academic women. It also exposed UC's dirty tactics with its story about the fact that fifty percent of women with cases against UC had been audited by the IRS!

One of WAGE's most recent recipient of years of support was UNESCO Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Columbia University, Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky. A Noble prize nominee in Economics, Professor Chichilnisky's proposals formed the basis of the Kyoto Accords. Her research on the global environment, including her concept of Basic Needs as a strategy for sustainable development (adopted by 150 countries in the U.N. Earth Summit) and her proposal of a carbon market, have been recognized world-wide as yielding enormous benefits to humankind. Yet for fifteen years Columbia fought her gender discrimination lawsuit alleging significantly unequal pay and harassment and retaliation. After violating the terms of the first settlement agreement, Columbia engaged in more harassment and retaliation to force her out and manufactured allegations in a baseless countersuit. Other sister groups joining WAGE to support Professor Chichilnisky with funds and publicity included Feminists Against Academic Discrimination (FAAD) and the American Association of University Women. We are pleased to report that Professor Chichilnisky overwhelmingly prevailed against Columbia.

One of WAGE's current concerns, apart from the always pressing need for donations, is the judicial trend towards summary judgment--a conclusion by the trial judge that among other things, there is no triable issue of fact. The courts have always been reluctant to intervene in the arcane (and often unwritten) rules which govern the "community of gentlemen and scholars." But this dangerous trend means that despite expending years of suffering and untold amounts of money, women never get their day in court.

WAGE continues to support plaintiffs through donations, counselling, publicity, and letter writing. We also publish a regular Newsletter on cases and strategies for fighting discrimination. Once a year we convene the WAGE Forum on a college campus, a one-day teach-in with panels and keynote speakers on discrimination against women students and faculty. The WAGE Board is comprised of former academic plaintiffs and supporters. Our very great need is for donations so that the brave women taking on an entire university and often the state attorney general's office, will have a fighting chance.

Sharon Leder

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a member of a sister organization of WAGE (Feminists Against Academic Discrimination), I know full well that the situation of women in the workplace is far from equal. We need only turn on the news today to hear of the women of Walmart who are struggling to achieve equity in pay. WAGE fills a much needed gap, supporting women when they are discriminated against, providing venues for publicizing their situations, and offering advice, both legal and other forms.
Our organization partnered with WAGE to support the case of Columbia Professor Graciela Chichilnisky who was one of the main architects of the Kyoto Accords. Professor Chichilnisky had a class action gender equity suit against Columbia that ran for several decades before she was able to settle the case with her job intact.
I know that the support WAGE provided was indispensable, since
Professor Chichilnisky was in close contact with WAGE members for encouragement in her battle to achieve recognition in her field from the Columbia administration which continuously undermined her accomplishments and status, which included a position at the U.N.
We need more women's advocacy organizations like WAGE, and we need to support those which already exist by providing generous contributions for the work they do.
Not all women's organizations operate in a sisterly manner giving support to others working in the same direction. I can say wholeheartedly that WAGE is working for the betterment of all women, not just a select few.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am happy to be on board with the wonderful support that WAGE provides to women. The fact that women's pay inequity continues to be a major problem in the year 2011, speaks volumes to a need for much more attention to this inhumane condition. No country can stand tall and proud , that allows such sexist treatment of women, on every level.
I am proud to be a member of WAGE, and I salute your continuing efforts to eliminate this terrible condition.
Count me IN!.
Sylvia Brown

Lucy O.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I appreciate the work WAGE does to support women in higher education. I especially appreciate how seamlessly this organization addresses gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation--never forgetting that "women" include not just middle-class, white women.

We need this organization. Not many folks have such a stellar history of standing up for women in higher education, and they really work to improve the lives of students, staff, professors, and any others who need supporting.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It’s no secret that when an individual publicly stands up against academic discrimination, the college or university goes into full combat mode to silence, discredit and isolate the victim—neutralizing any possible sources of support and “explaining” the discriminatory actions in ways that challenge even thinking people to question the veracity of what the victim is saying and to accept the university’s “spin” without question. Those within the college or university are often so successful at covering up wrongdoing that they dissuade others in similar situations from coming forward; lack of accountability for discrimination leads to more wrongdoing.

And, so the beat goes on in the academy—or so it seems—until there is a breakthrough. Every once in a while—one woman at a time, one situation at a time—someone holds higher education to some semblance of the justice and equity that all of us deserve. Every once in a while, someone breaks through a university’s public relations campaign—the propaganda machine that generates lies and distortions about events leading up to a tenure denial, non-renewal of a contract, elimination of a position, or disruption/obstruction of a graduate career. Every once in a while, someone resists the machinery to “speak truth to power.” When that happens—with the help of its board, members, and other supporters—WAGE (We Advocate Gender Equity) is there to support and empathize and to affirm and validate the individual who refuses to be silent in the face of the University’s machinations.

WAGE publicizes information about new and ongoing cases of gender bias and inequity in higher education; provides tips on surviving the litigation process (see the last issue of the WAGE newsletter featuring a step-by-step process for establishing a support committee); holds forums on timely issues impacting the quality of life for women in the academy (e.g., WAGE’s spring 2011 forum on the so-called “feminization” of higher education); and acts on its own, or in collaboration with like-minded organizations, to challenge university policies or actions that adversely impact women and members of other historically disenfranchised group (e.g., WAGE’s actions regarding both San Diego State University’s efforts to limit enrollment of qualified local students and UC-San Diego’s hosting a racially-themed fraternity party).

WAGE plays a very special role in the struggle for justice and equality in academia. Though there are other organization that also work for academic feminism—and there are many women and their supporters who make valiant personal efforts to end gender discrimination in academia—WAGE now has an eighteen year track record of collective activism in this arena.

WAGE needs continued support to assure every woman who stands up on behalf of herself and other women—often at great cost to herself and to her family—that she is not alone.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first met the ladies of WAGE when I was an undergraduate at San Diego State University. During my first semester, I enrolled in a Women's Studies class taught by Patricia Washington. Although, I had lot's of experience in the "Real-World" as a single parent, her in-depth analysis rocked my world like a 9.0 earthquake. What followed was a Tsunami of understanding, that I was not alone. Black, white, rich, poor, came from the country or your parents were city sleekers, we were all in the same boat.

During, my time at SDSU, I was a Ronald McNair and Sally Casanova Pre-Doctorial Scholar recipient. The Sally Casanova scholarship is/was the closest to my heart, because I was selected out of the top one-percent of all the students enrolled in the CSU system. As a result of these honors, I presented my research findings at UCSD,Cal-Berkeley, UW - Greenbay, UC-Irvine, USC. The biggest trip of all was when the Sally Casanova Program awarded me $10,000 for a summer internship. Guess where I went? Howard University. Yes, an opportunity of a life-time.

All of this, because Patricia Washington was my mentor. Yes, Maggie I didn't forget the $25 you gave to spruce up my presentation board for my trip to Cal. I could go on and on.

These ladies are FANTASTIC!!!!

Respectfully submitted
Felicia Lewis

Board Member

Rating: 5

My investigation of and participation in WAGE reveal that WAGE has been in the forefront of the struggle for gender equity in higher education. It has supported women at institutions ranging from UC Berkeley to San Diego State University to Columbia University. Its founders, contributors, and supporters have demonstrated impeccable and unwavering commitment to equity and social justice. Besides mobilizing various forms of support to women who have experienced and challenged discrimination, WAGE has raised awareness, engaged in vital advocacy, and provided a forum for the discussion of gender equity in higher education. Moreover, they have enabled women to win important victories. For example, WAGE support was critical to overcoming salary inequities between male and female faculty at UC, Santa Barbara. Currently WAGE is investigating the consequences of the "feminization" of higher education for gender equity. This development has evoked reactions in various circles that make it clear that the battle for gender equity is far from over and that WAGE and its work are needed now more than ever.

If it is to continue to be an indispensable force in the struggle form gender equity WAGE must build on the strong foundation established by its founders,renewing its membership and contributors. To its credit, WAGE has recognized the need to enhance its visibility among and expand its efforts to incorporate members of of generations X and Y into its work and network and is taking steps to accomplish these tasks.