Santa Clara County branches of the American Association of University Women will celebrate March as Women’s History Month with a special webinar on the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
The public is invited to register for “Title IX: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You” on March 19. The webinar starts at noon (on Zoom) and will be moderated by Danielle Slaton. Slaton is a U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympic Medalist and current analyst and moderator for the San Jose Earthquakes. She will introduce a panel of women telling their Title IX research and experience and facilitate attendees’ questions, says a press release from AAUW.
The webinar will start off with a history and introduction by Marlene Bjornsrud, a leader and advocate for equal opportunity for women in sports, says the press release. Her advocacy journey has led her to testify before Congress about the importance of Title IX, serving as Executive Director of the Alliance of Women Coaches and co-founding the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative and earned her numerous awards.
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools and education programs that receive federal funds. Title IX was passed by Congress as part of the U.S. Education Amendments in 1972.
The March 19 webinar includes a panel of experts on Title IX and women’s equality. One of the panelists, Dr. Akilah R. Carter-Francique, is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Executive Director for San Jose State University Institute for the Study of Sport, Society, and Social Change.
“Since its inception, Title IX has created pathways of access for girls and women in educational institutions,” said Carter-Francique, who is a Morgan Hill resident. “Increased access to education has thus created increased opportunities in higher education in pursuits of graduate and professional degrees which lead to professional careers.”
But there have been some “unintended consequences” of Title IX, Carter-Francique continued. New coaching roles created by the implementation of Title IX have often been filled by men, and women of color have not always benefited as much as their caucasian counterparts.
“Increased sporting opportunity in a range of sporting activities was another great benefit of the legislation; however, for women of color—specifically Black women—the range of access and participation was limited as the single axis nature of Title IX protected gender but not race and ethnicity,” Carter-Francique said. “Thus, Title IX has brought forth many benefits and opportunities, but 50 years later we still have intersectional issues that must be addressed like race and ethnicity, social class, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and expression and trans gender equality and equity experiences.”
Additional panelists at the March 19 AAUW webinar are:
– Lucy Jane Bledsoe, an award-winning novelist who puts compelling, determined women at the heart of her stories to encourage this generation to find its voice and speak up for social justice.
– Jess Eagle, a passionate social justice advocate working to make the world a better place for women, girls and nonbinary individuals. Eagle currently works at Equal Rights Advocates where she is involved in media relations, grassroots organizing and digital advocacy.
– Rebecca Sheff, a Program Coordinator at Equal Rights Advocates. She has worked on behalf of at-risk youth for many years including time spent at Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth and at the United Way of Santa Cruz with their Youth Violence Prevention Taskforce.
To join the March 19 “Title IX: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You” webinar, register on Eventbrite at tinyurl.com/2jyxmbax. Or visit eventbrite.com and use the keyword search for “Title IX.”