Renowned figure skater Michelle Kwan, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Birch Bayh, and Neena Chaudhry will join over 200 leaders from across the United States representing Congress, the White House, corporations, universities, and community organizations for a debate in Washington, DC at Gallup Headquarters TODAY to celebrate 40 years of Title IX, formally known as the Patsy T, Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.
Ms. Kwan is attending the event as the Public Diplomacy Envoy for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sport and Nutrition. A five-time World champion, two-time Olympic medalist (1998 and 2002) and nine-time U.S. champion in figure skating, Ms. Kwan has been elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame as the only member of the Class of 2012.
“The National Women’s Hall of Fame is pleased to host this important forum in the nation’s capital. It supports our mission to showcase great American women as we educate the public about these significant milestones in U.S. history” said Beverly Ryder, President, NWHF Board of Directors.
Titled Leading. Achieving. Winning. 40 Years of Title IX, the event begins with keynote remarks by Senator Birch Bayh followed by a panel discussion on the achievements and far-reaching impact of Title IX on gender equality in sports, education and the occupational landscape in the United States.
The panelists will also discuss opportunities and challenges to improve women’s equality especially during a volatile economic environment.
See the panelists below:
The panelists are accomplished women’s rights, political, athletic and social leaders who have either been involved in the authorship of the bill or in the implementation of Title IX:
Honorable Birch Bayh – Former Senator Bayh represented the State of Indiana with distinction in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1981. He is known as the “Father of Title IX” because of his role in crafting the original legislation and ensuring its passage in the Senate. An outstanding champion for women’s equality, Senator Bayh was also the principal architect of the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed Constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights to women, which has been ratified by 35 states.
Senator Michael Bennet – US Senator from Colorado and Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions. Before joining the Senate in 2009, Senator Bennet served as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools where he led a bold and inclusive reform effort that improved student achievement, helped turn around failing schools, and brought a halt to a seemingly endless cycle of annual budget cuts.
Neena Chaudhry – Ms. Chaudhry is Senior Counsel and Director of Equal Opportunities in Athletics at the National Women’s Law Center. Her work centers on litigation and advocacy to enforce and protect Title IX, primarily in the areas of athletics and sexual harassment. Prior to joining NWLC in 1997 as a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow, Ms. Chaudhry clerked for the Honorable Michael Daly Hawkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Joann E. Flaminio – She is the 23rd president of the Boston Athletic Association, the first woman to be named president. Ms. Flaminio brings a proven track record of strategic management, legal expertise, and superior leadership skills to her new role.
Linda D. Hallman, CAE – As the Executive Director and CEO of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Ms. Hallman is a nationally respected leader with more than 20 years of executive-level experience. Under her leadership, AAUW ramped up its fellowships and grants program by an extra half-million dollars annually, allowing the organization to continue its primary commitment to break through barriers for women and girls at a time when many women have flocked back to graduate school because of the dismal job market.
Angela Hucles – A former member of the US Women’s National Soccer Team, Ms. Hucles is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time World Cup participant and winner of the US Soccer Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award. Ms. Hucles now uses her experience to support domestic and international organizations that empower women and girls.
Dr. Bernice R. Sandler – A Senior Scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, DC, Dr. Sandler consults with institutions and others about achieving equity for women. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Sandler spent more than 50 years advocating women’s rights and is today widely known as the “Godmother of Title IX” for her pivotal role in creation and implementation of the law. She began fighting for the rights of women in education after she personally experienced sex discrimination when she was told by the University of Maryland that she came on “too strong for a woman” to be hired in academia.
Eleanor Smeal – Recognized throughout the nation as a women’s rights leader, Ms. Smeal appears frequently on television and radio, testifies before Congress on a wide variety of women’s issues, and speaks to diverse audiences nationwide on a broad range of feminist topics. For over two decades, she has played a leading role in both national and state campaigns to win women’s rights legislation, and in a number of landmark state and federal court cases for women’s rights. One of the architects of the modern drive for women’s equality, Ms. Smeal is known as a political analyst, strategist, and grassroots organizer. She has played a pivotal role in defining the debate, developing the strategies, and charting the direction of the modern day women’s movement.
Kathrine Switzer – The first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry, Ms. Switzer entered and completed the race in 1967, five years before women were officially allowed to compete in it. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011 for creating a social revolution by empowering women around the world through running.
Donna de Varona – At only 14 years old, Ms. de Varona was the youngest member of the 1960 Olympic swim team, but she competed only in the relay heats. By the 1964 Olympics, however, she had become the best known woman swimmer in the world – she had set 18 world records in the interim. She was voted by both AP and UPI as the top female athlete of 1964. She has also been very active in promoting women’s sports, and amateur sports in general. Ms. de Varona was inducted to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003.
A networking reception will follow the panel discussion. Former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice will make opening remarks at the reception, while House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will provide closing remarks.
Dr. Rice was the first female African American secretary of state, as well as the second African American and second woman to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi was the first woman to hold the office of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (2007-2011), and to date has been the highest-ranking elected female politician in American history. She is the first woman to lead a major party in Congress.
Also participating is Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, the longest serving female Senator in United States history and a 2011 National Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee. Senator Mikulski continues to be one of the foremost proponents of women’s rights in the U.S. Congress.
The Hall will present special awards to Senator Bayh, late Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink and Dr. Sandler for their pioneering roles in the writing and implementation of Title IX. To launch the award ceremony, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who is also a NWHF inductee, will deliver some remarks via a video on Title IX and Women In America.
A visionary leader and pioneer in education reform, Representative Patsy T. Mink (Hawaii) is also recognized as a major author and one of the key sponsors of Title IX in the House of Representatives, which she helped write and pass as a response to the adversities she faced as a woman during her own education experience. In 1964, Mink was elected as the first woman of color and first Asian American in the House of Representatives and went on to serve 12 terms. With the help of Rep. Edith Green and Sen. Birch Bayh, Title IX was passed in 1972. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003.
The event will also showcase the newly released “MAKERS: Women Who Make America” digital video and broadcast initiative by PBS and AOL. Videos from the MAKERS initiative include the stories of great American women including Condoleezza Rice, Kathrine Switzer ,Donna de Varona and many of the Hall’s Inductees. It will be playing before and after the program to provide attendees with an opportunity to watch and learn more about these significant women.
“We are pleased to have the MAKERS as a partner in this important event,” said Ms. Ryder. The National Women’s Hall of Fame and the MAKERS share a common goal — to tell the stories and exceptional, pioneering women– both famous and heretofore unknown, whose pioneering contributions have shaped the world in which we live. ”
The Title IX event is sponsored by AAUW, Edison International, GOOD Makers, Gallup, Lifetime, ITT Corporation, Northrop Grumman, U.S. Soccer Foundation, Universities Space Research Association and Visa.
Funds raised during this forum will support the National Women’s Hall of Fame’s educational programs and work to recognize and showcase pioneering American women.