End Rape On Campus (EROC) is among numerous organizations that are concerned about the appointment of Candice Jackson as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education. Fulfilling OCR’s mission — “to ensure equal access to education…through vigorous enforcement of civil rights” — requires an unwavering commitment from, and scrutiny by, the federal government. Jackson’s previous public statements discrediting the impact of race discrimination serve to further marginalize survivors of color. Furthermore, publicly calling individuals “fake victims” when they accused President Trump of sexual assault calls into question Jackson’s ability and commitment to fulfill the mission of her office. EROC believes survivors, no matter who — or how powerful — their assailant is.
To the survivors who fear for their rights, and that campus safety will no longer be a priority for the federal government under Acting Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson, EROC wants you to know: We hear you, we believe you, and your experiences and fears are valid. The Office for Civil Rights — and the greater Department of Education — is sworn to protect students and their civil rights to ensure equal access to education, no matter what. Candice Jackson’s record indicates that she has not done so in the past. EROC urges Candice Jackson to listen to survivors, and commit to protecting student survivors of gender-based violence in the spirit of her role as a public servant.