AAUW Honors Sen. Harry Reid as 2016 Title IX Champion
Since 1972, Title IX has opened the door for women and girls in education by prohibiting sex discrimination in America’s federally funded schools and educational activities. Our Title IX successes are hard won and never taken for granted. Although schools can no longer openly deny admission to women, we still have work to do to ensure that schools fulfill their obligations to maintain safe and equitable climates for students in all aspects of education, including STEM fields, career and technical education, sexual violence, support for pregnant and parenting students, athletics, and single-sex education.
On June 23, AAUW marked the 44th anniversary of Title IX by hosting our annual Title IX Cupcakes and Champagne celebration on Capitol Hill. More than 300 guests representing advocacy groups, federal agencies, local Title IX offices, and more than 50 House and Senate offices filled the Kennedy Caucus Room to honor Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as the 2016 Title IX Champion.
Throughout his decades-long service in Congress, Reid has been a champion for Title IX, seeking to strengthen its protections and defend it from attacks. He led efforts to create more opportunities for women in STEM fields through the America COMPETES Act and lent his critical support to legislation to end campus sexual violence; most recently, he was one of seven U.S. senators to earn a 100 percent score in the AAUW Action Fund’s 2015 Congressional Voting Record.
Reid was presented with a letter from AAUW of Nevada co-presidents Joyce Destefanis and Doris Dowden, congratulating him on receiving this award. Part of the letter read, “Your commitment to women and girls has resulted in a stronger education system — one in which all children are valued. Your successes at making your priorities become law have benefited millions of people, and that impact will continue for decades to come.”
During our event, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) praised Reid’s commitment to gender equity in education, saluted AAUW for our ongoing and critical advocacy, and reiterated Title IX’s positive impact on women and girls for the last 44 years.
“Sen. Reid is a very real, down-to-earth, knowledgeable leader in the Senate,” said Hoyer. Hirono took to the podium to remark, “Title IX changed the lives for millions of women and girls, not just in sports but in all areas of education.” Titus reflected on her work with Reid over the years to improve education in their home state of Nevada.
Following the speaking program, attendees and members of Congress mingled with AAUW staff and our Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps to learn more about the work AAUW and our members do every day to advance gender equity.
Just in time for our celebration of Title IX’s anniversary, AAUW unveiled new, interactive maps to help you find your nearest school district’s Title IX coordinators. These Title IX coordinators ensure that every person concerned about or affected by sex discrimination in schools — students, parents, and employees — are aware of their rights, including how to file a complaint. For the first time, communities nationwide can easily locate their local Title IX coordinators with AAUW’s unique, easy-to-use online tool.
The anniversary of Title IX reminds us that great progress is possible but also that our work is not done. AAUW continues to advocate for and educate about the importance of Title IX. It’s about more than athletics; it’s about fair play on and off the court, inside and outside the classroom.
The 2016 Title IX Champions Celebration in Photos
Locate the K–12 coordinator nearest you and share resources to help schools comply with Title IX regulations.
The U.S. Department of Education has released resources to help Title IX coordinators understand the full scope of their jobs.
The Title IX Champion award celebrates the vital Title IX advocacy work of AAUW supporters across the country.