Celebrate Title IX with AAUW, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and the Fabulous 70s

May 28, 2013


Media Contact:

Amy Becker


Event Includes Skills Clinic with D.C. Middle Schoolers and Congressional Basketball Shoot-out

WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) will push for greater Title IX enforcement by celebrating the most successful legacy of this groundbreaking civil rights law — women’s opportunities in athletics — with a skills clinic led by the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and a basketball shoot-out for members of Congress and staffers. Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) office is collaborating on the effort.

The event, Grade School to Grannies: The Importance of Women’s and Girls’ Participation in Sports across the Life Span, will begin at 9:45 a.m. June 4 on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Caucus Room with four Mystics players coaching 20 Washington, D.C., middle schoolers on basketball skills.

A short program will begin at 10:30 a.m. featuring AAUW CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE; Slaughter; and Angela Alford, director of the movie Granny’s Got Game. Immediately following, members of Congress and their staffs will have the unprecedented chance to shoot hoops on a miniature court in the Cannon Caucus Room. The Fabulous 70s, a Senior Olympics gold-medal-winning women’s basketball team and the subject of Granny’s Got Game, will referee the competition. The film will be showing throughout the event.

“This event has it all: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for kids to work with WNBA players, good-spirited athletic competition among members of Congress and staff, basketball superstars in their 70s, and a critical message,” Hallman said. “Title IX has made enormous strides toward gender equity in athletics, but we need greater Title IX compliance in education overall to use the landmark law to its full potential.”

AAUW played a critical role in the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and has a long history of protecting and defending the law, including supporting plaintiffs in gender discrimination cases through the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund, chairing the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, and working with members of Congress on efforts to enhance Title IX compliance on and off the court. June 23 will be the law’s 41st anniversary.

“Promoting and supporting equality in athletic programs for women and girls is essential to promoting and supporting personal health and wellness, academic achievement and opportunity, and future success. I’m proud to have been a part of that effort throughout my career,” Slaughter said. “Watching women who have achieved the pinnacle of athletic success in professional sports play alongside a group of septuagenarians who are still shooting hoops — and winning gold medals — reminds us that it’s never too late to realize the benefits of athletic activity. We also can’t forget how important it is that young women have every opportunity to take advantage of the benefits that the women who came before them did not enjoy but have fought to secure for them.”

Following the event, the Fabulous 70s will visit — in uniform — lawmakers’ offices to ask them to co-sponsor the AAUW-supported High School Data Transparency Act (H.R. 455). The bill, sponsored by Slaughter, would require high schools to publicly report basic data on the number of female and male students in athletic programs and expenses made for the sports teams.

“The Fabulous 70s and I are thrilled to be a part of this event,” film director Alford said. “These women, who are still playing basketball at 75 years old, are a testimony to what sports can mean to girls. Basketball has given them a lifetime of exercise, fun, and friendship. We are proud to lend our support to this legislation in hopes that more girls can enjoy these benefits.”

Amy Becker By:   |   May 28, 2013