Fifty50 | Special exhibit in New York City marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX

NEW YORK CITY — The NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Behind all those shots, all those accomplishments, there’s 50 years of Title IX.

The law, signed in 1972, aimed to level the playing field for women.

“The early lobbyists for the law weren’t thinking about sport, they were thinking about broader access to education,” says Laura Mogulescu. “But the sport became a hot spot very quickly.”

Mogulescu is one of the curators of an exhibition scheduled to open in May at the New York Historical Society Title IX: Activism on and off the field.

“If you look at the number of girls and women who have been interested in athletics, those numbers have just gone up so much over the last 50 years,” she said.

This growth was fueled in part by more schools offering physical education for girls, particularly at the collegiate level, which enabled girls not only to compete but also to pursue careers.

The exhibit highlights some of these incredible achievements: clothing by Serena Williams, toys featuring female athletes and a Wheaties box featuring Mia Hamm.

And then there’s what Title IX has done for women in terms of education.

“There has been a tremendous increase in the number of women graduating from college and graduate school,” Mogulescu said. “And then there is also an increase in women in professional careers.”

The actual Title IX legislation is just 37 words, 37 words that have changed so much. But so few words continue to require continuous entry.

“Something that became clear in the exhibition is that their protection and enforcement is heavily dependent on the presidential administration,” Mogelescu said. “So the work of activism is never really done … in terms of making sure everyone has access to education.”

This year’s 50th anniversary is therefore a time to reflect on the progress made – but also a time to highlight the remaining injustices that need to be addressed.

ABC Owned Television Stations and ABC’s Localish are presenting 50 inspirational stories from across the country for Fifty/50 as part of The Walt Disney Company’s monumental initiative marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the state civil rights statute that prohibits sexual discrimination in every educational institution that receives federal funding and gave women an equal opportunity to play.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ESPN, Localish and this channel.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Fifty50 | Special exhibit in New York City marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX

Dais Johnston

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