Celebrating 40 Years of Title IX – Part 1


Tina Tchen:
Well, welcome to
the White House… on a very hot
Washington afternoon! But, you know, my
name is Tina Tchen. I am the Executive Director
of the White House Council on Women and Girls. I also have the honor of
serving as the First Lady’s Chief of Staff. But we are here to
celebrate history. You know, one of the great
things about working in the White House is there are
occasionally moments where you really get to see
history being made, and today you get to really
celebrate when history was made and a day really when the world
changed 40 years ago on June 23rd when 37 little words, as
we were just talking about, just 37 little words became
law in the United States of America and the world
changed for millions of girls around our country. I will say I personally
am a pre-Title IX baby, I know I don’t look it. (laughter) But actually I went to high
school before Title IX. And high school back then for
those of who are that age, it didn’t look anything
like what your high schools look like now. There were no
interscholastic girls teams. None. There was gym class for
girls and that was it. We didn’t learn how
to play basketball. We didn’t learn — nobody
knew what soccer was. We had none of that. And now I watch my 15-year-old
daughter who is out there competing every day learning
those life’s lessons, growing stronger. And Title IX, as we’ll
hear about today, isn’t just about athletics; it’s
about all of education and equal opportunity for women and girls
across the educational spectrum. So we’re going to hear today
from athletes and academics, from leaders in this
movement and advocates, from young women who
are changing the world. And this is all about you. I will say that
we are on Twitter. So that if you are, like
Valerie Jarrett, on Twitter, and you want to tweet something
out and say that you’re here at this, we are #WHTitleIX, so go
ahead — actually, Title IX, so you can tell
I’m not on Twitter. (laughter) #WHtitleIX and I-X for Title IX,
you could tweet that out and you can tell people
to watch us live. So hello to everybody
out there watching us. We hope live streaming. We are live streaming as we
speak the entire afternoon on WhiteHouse.gov. We are also today in addition
to the speakers you are going to hear from and the panelists
that we will have, at the end of the day we have
girls from Girls Inc and Girl Scouts with us. And they will have an
opportunity at the end of the afternoon to be in a very small
group mentoring sessions with some of the terrific athletes
and academics and leaders that we have with us today. So it’s going to be a
wonderful, wonderful afternoon. And to start us off, we’re going
to show you a brief video about really what Title IX is about
and how it changed the world. So let’s go to the video. (video played) Secretary Sebelius:
June 23rd, 1972, is an
important day in the history of this country because of that
breakthrough legislation which was passed which really provided
opportunities for women and girls that they had never had before
in the history of this country. Senator Birch Bayh:
The law is only 37
words as is recall but it has a big punch. Title IX is designed to provide
the equality of opportunity for young women. That was not the
case before Title IX. Secretary Sebelius:
I graduated from college
before Title IX passed but my entire school experience
was at a girls school in high school and in college. So I was one of the few women
my age who actually could play sports because women’s
schools and private schools had sports activities. Public schools and
parochial schools didn’t. They just stopped. So when I got to college I
learned how many girls my age had come out of a high school
experience where starting in about the sixth or seventh
grade, sports just stopped. It didn’t matter if they
had talent or interests, there just weren’t
opportunities. Pat Summitt:
It’s amazing, the change
because of Title IX and, you know, it
was just, you know, very fortunate that I was able
to see that and to understand how many people were going to
benefit because of Title IX. Secretary Albright:
I think it really did make
a huge, huge difference. We had kind of a joke in my
family because I actually won the Teddy Roosevelt NCAA award
for being a scholar athlete. That was in the days when there
were no girls varsity sports. And, you know, so how I managed
to get that award is beyond me — (laughter) — but the bottom line
is that it made a huge, huge difference in terms of
the way that girls and women see each other as capable of
competing on an equal field and winning. Tamika Catchings:
In seventh grade my
first goal was to play in the NBA because the
WNBA wasn’t around. And I worked and I worked and I
was determined to be a player in the NBA and follow in
my father’s footsteps. And then the WNBA came around my
freshman year in college at the University of Tennessee
and my goal was switched. And it was kind of like a
dream come true, you know, just having the opportunity to
not play with the NBA when I started but wanting to play in
the WNBA with ladies that have the same dreams and
the same goals as me. Pat Summitt:
Everything is accepted
now for women in athletics. And I think Title IX
was a big part of that. And I know just as long as I’ve
been coaching just once Title IX came around you just opened
doors for so many people and not just in basketball. Senator Birch Bayh:
When I first got interested
in this equal rights amendment, which was sort of the
grandfather of Title IX, my late wife says, well, Birch,
you can’t ignore the brain power of 53% of the American people. We tend to think of Title
IX now when we look at the sports pages. But when you really look at
Title IX the big benefit from Title IX comes from young
women having the opportunity academically to learn. Secretary Sebelius:
The fact that we’re sitting here
today in 2012 with over half of the college students are
women, over half of the graduate students in all
kinds of fields are women, and the notion that, you know,
that one of the fastest growing segments of our economy
are women-owned businesses. We know that opening the doors
for women to be in science and technology and engineering
are hugely important, not just for the advancement of
those women and their families, but for this country to lift up
over half of our population and make sure that we are fully
productive and fully prosperous in the future means
empowering women and girls and Title IX took a
huge step in that direction. Tamika Catchings:
I believe it was monumental
when it was passed just because, you know, obviously
the opportunities that it has afforded all
of us and, you know, when I think about what I’m able
to do now playing in the WNBA and being able to be such a huge
role model for so many young girls I think of all the
people that came before us. And not just women but even
the men that, you know, helped in passing this law and
in making it that important that girls get the same
opportunities that men get. Senator Birch Bayh:
I think it’s probably exceeded
the expectations because we didn’t fully realize the
degree of discrimination that was going on at the time. We’ve arrived. When you ask young
women in high school, really in some of our
college and universities, did Title IX help you? And you’d get a blank stare. What’s Title IX? They don’t think they’re
getting special treatment. And they aren’t. They’re being treated equally
the way they should have been in the first place. Title IX made that possible. (applause) Tina Tchen:
Well, thank you to
so many of you who participated in the video. And to our team at the Council
on Women and Girls and our new media team here at the White
House for putting that together. And we’ll have that up on
WhiteHouse.gov for all of you to re-tweet and download. The Council on Women and Girls,
for those of you who don’t know, was created by the
President in March of 2009 by Executive Order. And it’s a council that includes
all of the federal agencies in the U.S. government and all of
our White House offices to carry out the message that the
President said that day, and that is every part of the
federal government touches the lives of women and girls
in some way and, therefore, it’s the responsibility of every
part of the federal government to pay attention
to women and girls, to their needs in everything
that we do, in our programs, in our policies, in how we
spend our money and how we set our priorities. And our Cabinet, you know,
all across the board, have been wonderful
in carrying that out. And our leader in this
effort who is a dear friend, who is a champion for women and
girls throughout the country, is my friend, the Chair of the
Council on Women and Girls and Senior Advisor to the
President, Valerie Jarrett. (applause) Valerie Jarrett:
Thank you, Tina. And good afternoon, everyone. We are so excited
to have you here. We’ve been talking about this
for a very long time so I want to welcome you to our 40th
anniversary celebration. I’m so happy to look around
the room and see so many dear friends and fierce advocates
and leaders who are here with us today. And I am especially delighted
to see the young folks who are in the audience who we are
expecting to carry the torch going forward. So everyone who is under 18
stand up so we can get a good look at you! All right! (applause) So in 40 years we expect you to
be standing right here carrying on the 80th celebration. We want to thank everyone who
has worked so hard to advance the fight for gender
equity in our schools. It’s why we’re
here to celebrate. Forty years of ensuring equality
of education both in and outside of the classroom and making sure
that all of our school programs are spring boards to
success for everyone. As I think back over
the last 40 years, and unfortunately I do
remember the last 40 years, there have been so many
achievements for women and girls since the passage of Title IX. But one of my favorite memories
is one that I bet all of you who are my age will
certainly remember. It was in September of 1973. Billie Jean is rolling her eyes. (laughter) When the indomitable Billie Jean
King beat the boastful Bobby Riggs in straight sets. (cheers and applause) Now, I was a huge tennis
fan and a tennis player. I was taught by my dad who took
me out every weekend for as long as I could remember because he
believed it was so important to learn fair play, fierce
competition and to work hard. And he thought that if you learn
that as a young person in sports it would carryover into
the rest of your life. So he instilled in me
a passion for tennis. So you can imagine how I felt
in the weeks leading up to that match with Billie
Jean and Bobby Riggs. He was on, Bobby was
on television weeks, literally weeks,
national television, commanding the audience, talking
about how he was going to win. Well, I watched the
match with my parents. And Billie Jean, I can still
remember sitting there because when you won, when you went to
that baseline and made history we all jumped for delight. And we’re so delighted to have
Billie Jean with us today. Please give Billie Jean
a round of applause. (applause) Well, a couple of decades later
I watched with great pride as my daughter Laura, who was a pretty
good tennis player — not in your class, Billie Jean —
as she competed in the state doubles competition. And I enjoyed every moment. Now, it was a little chilly
in Chicago back then, it was about 40 degrees, but
nonetheless as a good parent I was out there cheering her on. And I am confident that if it
hadn’t been for Billie Jean, you, and so many like
you who paved the way, my daughter would not
have had that opportunity. When you were told that
you couldn’t compete, you had the courage
to say “why not?” And then you went out there
and you did just as well as the guys, and oftentimes better. Take the story that you saw in
the video of Pat Summitt who I had the pleasure of meeting
together with her son Tyler just last month when President Obama
awarded her the Medal of Freedom and told her incredible story. Until last year Pat was the
head coach of the University of Tennessee’s Women’s
Basketball Team. And over the course of her
career Pat became the winningest college basketball
coach of all time. But when she started out life
was a lot tougher for girls. Her family moved across the
country when she was just 14 just to find a high school that
had a basketball team for her. Her teammates were
the very first U.S. Women’s Basketball Team to
compete in the olympics 36 years ago. As a first-time coach she used
to drive the vans to the away games, she took home the
dirty uniforms and washed them herself, and oftentimes she had
to sleep on the opponent’s gym floor because she didn’t have
the money to pay for hotels for her young folks. But no one ever heard Pat
or her players complain. More importantly, every player
that went through her program not only excelled in basketball,
but also either graduated from college or are on their
way to graduate now. That’s the kind of determination
and hard work that has brought women’s sports
where it is today. In the 40 years since
Title VII became law, the number of girls playing high
school sports has increased by more than a thousand percent. And today, female varsity
athletes have one of the highest college graduation
rates in the country. And they enter the workforce in
higher numbers than nonathletes. Every single day there are women
taking the field, the court, the rink, the
slopes, the tracks, steering their teams to
fiercely-fought victories as well as gaining valuable
leadership skills and self-confidence along the way. President Obama believes that
empowering young women through sports is one of the best
investments in our future. Earlier this year he told
the SPN, and I quote, “this is good not just
for a particular college, not just for the NCAA, it
is good for our society. It will create stronger,
more confident women.” The President knows this
from firsthand experience. Coaching Sasha’s basketball
team is one of his favorite activities! And we’re chuckling because
we hear about it all the time. No matter what else is going
on he fights hard to protect that time on his schedule. He comes up with drills and
strategies for the team and he’s so proud to watch Sasha and her
teammates grow and learn to work together on the court. And as you know, the First Lady
is also a passionate advocate for physical activity as
a critical part of her “Let’s Move” initiative. And she is thrilled
to be leading the U.S. Delegation to the Opening
Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in London this summer where our
country will be represented by terrific young women competing
under the proud banner of the American flag. But let’s not forget, Title
IX isn’t just about sports. Title IX bans sex discrimination
against girls and boys, by the way, in all programs at
school and around the country; From addressing inequity in
math and science education; to ensuring
dormitories are safe; to preventing sexual assault
on our college campuses; to fairly funding
athletic programs, Title IX ensures equality for
young people in every aspect of their education. And it’s thanks in part to the
legislation like Title IX that women are now accepted to
college at higher rates than ever before and that they are
prepared to enter the workforce in a much broader range of
fields including engineering and technology. In the interest of keeping
up those promising trends, President Obama has brought
a fundamental commitment to advancing the interests of
women and girls in every part of his Administration. It’s why he has not only
appointed women to important positions, but he has empowered
them to drive critical policy. That’s why as Tina mentioned he
created the White House Council on Women and Girls that
I am so proud to chair. It’s why he has reformed health
care helping millions of women obtain fair access to medical
care that they and their families need. It’s why he signed the Lilly
Ledbetter Fair Pay Act helping women receive equal
pay for equal work. And it’s why he has reaffirmed
the Administration’s commitment to enforcing Title IX and
continues to update its provisions to ensure access to
STEM and career-ready courses as well as sexual violence
and harassment prevention. And, of course, I
could go on and on. We all know that the fight for
progress is not over but I’m here to tell you that
President Obama and his entire Administration is determined to
continue to work with each and every one of you and for all of
those who are watching on the Internet to fight to defend
a fair shot for everyone. I want to close today by sharing
a story that makes me proud of how far we’ve come and how
confident I am about where we’re going. Last year I joined the President
with Tina when he welcomed the three winners of the
International Google Science Fair to the White House. Now, for those of you
who aren’t familiar, the Google Science Fair
Competition involves ten thousand middle and high school
students from 91 countries around the world. And let me tell you they had
some pretty impressive projects. I don’t know about you, but I
certainly don’t know very much about how to cure
cancer at the age of 17. That was not what I was
focusing on back then. In the end, the three winners
who walked proudly into the Oval Office that day were
all American girls! (applause) And as I watched them dazzle the
President with a description of their projects, I realized that
these young women embody the next generation of
shattering the glass ceiling, the next generation that
feels empowered to pursue every opportunity. That’s why we’ve been fighting
all these years and that’s why we’re going to
continue to fight. Now, our next speaker is a very
distinguished public servant who developed the desire to
fight for equality at a very young age. Growing up on a farm, run
jointly by his grandparents, he saw his grandmother as an
equal partner in every activity on the farm. He saw that she had a voice
in every single decision, in the home and in the fields. And so he was shocked when he
found out that under the law she could not have inherited the
land which she dedicated her life to. On one morning in 1940 at a
family breakfast table his father told his sister and him
that he was going to testify before Congress that day and so
the children said, well, dad, what are you going
to testify about? His father said, I’m going to
tell them that little girls need strong bodies to carry
their minds around just like little boys. He was also inspired by
his late wife, Marvella, who educated him about
discrimination against women in higher education after her
experience of being told when she applied to a
university, do not apply. The injustices stung but
they also sparked a life-long commitment to standing up for
the underrepresented and he went on to spend decades fighting
for civil rights for women and equality. I want you to join me in
welcoming the person who sponsored and helped
pass the legislation, who wrote those 37 very
important words that are Title IX, please join
us, Senator Bayh. (cheers and applause) Senator Bayh:
I had to take my glasses
off to make sure I was seeing what I am seeing here. (laughter) Thank you, so much. It’s wonderful to
be here with you. Valerie, I don’t know,
you’re a hard act to follow. I first met Valerie and Billie
Jean and Tita when the previous Presidents, with a
different Secretary, was trying to cut the
knees off of Title IX. And I think the true test of how
a ship sails is in the stormy seas and so it is how
individuals stand up and take on tough battles when
it’s not easy sledding. And it’s been great to work with
the two of you, and Billie Jean, and with all of you. You know, I was quoted
accurately there (indicating). (laughter) I don’t know how to beat that. (laughter) I would like to just
stress one thing. We tend to think of both
athletics and academics in terms of numbers. What percentage of young men. What percentage of young women. What is a grade point. How many people do
we have on the field. To me, this whole business
of Title IX is much more than numbers. It’s about individual citizens. Individual young women and
not-so-young women and a few liberated men have been willing
to stand up and be counted and to really make a difference. You know, I grew up on this
farm with my grandparents. And we didn’t know
anything about politics. I remember when I
graduated from high school, a good friend of my father’s who
was in China in the Air Force at the time, in Kun Lai, he was
the principal of a junior high school, he came out and he put
his arm around my shoulder and said, okay, Birch,
you’ve graduated now, you have the opportunity
to make a difference. To make a difference. And that is what I hope
comes out of Title IX. It gives hundreds of thousands
of women an opportunity that they would not have had
previously to make a difference. To make a difference
with their lives, the lives of their family and
the lives of their country. And it’s been my privilege to
play a small role in being here with all of you and in seeing
those young women fly that flag gloriously representing us. Thank you, so much. (applause) Tina Tchen:
Thank you, so
much, Senator Bayh, for your words today,
your words on the video, but most importantly for your
incredible leadership and how really you changed history. And we also remember people like
Congresswoman Edith Green who thought about this concept. As an Asian American women I
am proud of Congresswoman Patsy Mink who is a champion for
Title IX, you know, as well. (applause) And it’s important to
pause and remember all those great history-makers. Now it’s time to introduce our
next panel so we’re going to have our first panel which is
“Intergenerational Views on the Impact of Title
IX in Athletics.” So if our panelists
can come on up. We’ve got, I think, Billie
Jean King; Aimee Mullins; Shoni Schimmel, Tom
Perez and Laurel Richie. And our moderator for the
panel is Bonnie Bernstein, ESPN broadcaster. She’s a former All American
Gymnast and she is a fierce advocate and spokeswoman
for women in sports. So come on up. (applause) Turn the mics on. Bonnie Bernstein:
I know to turn the mic on. Good afternoon, everybody. And welcome to those of you
watching us live stream. As Tina has been so diligent in
mentioning we are on Twitter so if you’re watching and want
to spread the word again it is #WHtitleIX, T-I-T-L-E 1-X. We had a very brief
introduction of our panelists. I’ll elaborate a little more. Not like Billie Jean King
needs any more elaboration. (laughter) She is one of the all time
greats in American tennis and founded the Women’s Sports
Foundation which has done so many wonderful things providing
opportunities, resources, money for, and advocacy
for girls and young women. Tom Perez is the Assistant
Attorney General for Civil Rights, the U.S.
Department of Justice. He was sworn in by the President
back in 2009 after serving as the Secretary of Maryland’s
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Welcome, Tom. Aimee Mullins is a phenomenal
woman in so many regards because not only was she a rock star
track and field athlete at Georgetown, but she hasn’t had
her legs below her knees since she was an infant and has been
such a phenomenal advocate. And she is also an actress and
a model and all of these things that beautiful women can do. (laughter) Shoni Schimmel, basketball
player at Louisville, Freshman All
American point guard. And interestingly enough, which
I really want to talk to you about, grew up on a
reservation in Oregon, played basketball and found
her way to Louisville. So we look forward to
hearing about that story. And last but certainly
not least, Laurel Richie, who everybody in the
Girl Scouts knows. Before she was running things
at the WNBA she was the Chief Marketing Officer at Girl
Scouts and has three decades of incredible marketing and
branding and PR experience. So we’ve got a pretty solid
panel here that I’m very excited to moderate. And one quick, if I
could, correction. Senator Bayh, you did
not play a small role; you played the most monumental
role and your resolve and your tenacity in very large part has
made so many of us sitting in this room today who we are. So from the bottom of my heart
in behalf of everybody thank you so much for everything you
have done and continue to do over the years. (applause) So since this gender —
this panel spans a couple of generations I would love
to start with a little bit of perspective. Billie, can you talk to us about
when you were younger and what the opportunities were like
or lack thereof for women, particularly when you looked at
some of your male counterparts in tennis and the opportunities
that they were afforded. Billie Jean King:
Well, first of all, I just
want to thank President Obama for having this celebration. To Tina, to Valerie, obviously
to our godfather of Title IX, Senator Birch Bayh, one of my
unbelievable heros in my life along with some of my sheroes
and other heros and that’s, I think, Congresswoman
Edith Green was mentioned. Also Senator Ted
Stevens was helpful. (applause) Dr. Bernice Sandler,
all of those people that were so important. And you know we stand on the
shoulders of the generations, each generation does, we pass
the baton like a relay race in track and field. So it’s just amazing
that we’re all here. And I just want
to thank everyone. And all the support team that
made it possible for us to be here today. So I really appreciate it. I know all of us do. But back in my day I went to Los
Angle — to California State, well, it’s a university now
but it was a college back in the ’60s when I attended. And just 30 miles the way down
the road Stan Smith had a full scholarship and Arthur Ashe
had a full scholarship. And Stan at USC
and Arthur at UCLA. And I was working two jobs. And I was a playground
director, which I loved, with an elementary school. I did, I loved that job. But I also was passing out
equipment in the locker room which I really — that’s the
only job in my whole life I never liked. But I thought I
was living large. But when you look back it’s
ridiculous that I was probably the best known
athlete in the school. I was arguably the
best tennis player. Because we actually practiced
with the male, the men, which was really great. I wish more schools
would do that even now. I think it made
a big difference. So it was very different. And also in high school we
didn’t have traveling teams, we just played intra-school or
intramural type of things and they had GAA points and
all of these things. And I wouldn’t get any points
because I went off campus to do my tennis and all that. So it’s amazing how times
finally have changed. But I’ll never forget when Title
IX was passed because it was so important to all of us. And not just sports, but
for all of education. And growing up with other people
and actually a lot of kids who played tennis ended
up being scientists. Sally Ride is one. And I was talking to Mae
Jemison about, you know, Sally was a tennis player and
ended up being an astronaut as well and all those things
so you just never know. But I just know sports teaches
you how to be resilient and just teaches you to get up every
day and just keep going and, you know, to recharge
your battery to be the best you can be. And as Senator Birch Bayh said
to make a difference in this world because every single
human being is an influencer. Every single one. Bonnie Bernstein:
Laurel — if we can
just pass that mic down, thank you — do you happen
to remember when Title IX was passed? You were a synchronized swimmer. That was your sport. Laurel Richie:
Yes, I was. Bonnie Bernstein:
Yeah. Can you reflect back on that
time and paint a picture for us? Laurel Richie:
You know, it’s
really interesting. I think back, I was a
synchronized swimmer and a cheerleader and I think in some
ways that is a testament to the world before Title IX because I
think those are sports that or activities that are most
often associated with women. And I think for me at the time
when I was growing up I didn’t think of other opportunities
because I was sort of either because of my own
self-perception or those around me that’s what I gravitated to
because that’s what girls did. Bonnie Bernstein:
Would you have pursued
a different sport, you think, if Title
IX had been around? Laurel Richie:
Honestly, I don’t know. But when I look at the next
generation and I look at what my nieces are doing, they’re doing
a whole range of activities. And I really believe that’s
because of Title IX because they grew up in an environment where
they knew no boundaries either overtly or covertly. They just grew up thinking
what do I like to do, what am I good at, and I’m
going to go ahead and do that. So I don’t think they had the
same sense of being gently or firmly steered in one
direction or another. Bonnie Bernstein:
Aimee, I think your situation
is fascinating in and of itself simply because you are an
amputee and just developing a sense of strength
and confidence, can you speak to how
athletics has really played a role in
who you’ve become? Aimee Mullins:
Sure. Well, you know, not a day goes
by that I don’t draw on it including today when I was
dropped off at the wrong terminal in New York
and had to sprint — (laughter) — and I was, like, bring
it out, girl, bring it. (laughter) I’m in the wrong shoes, a silk
jumpsuit and this guy was, like, you’re really fast! I was, like, thank you! (laughter) And I, you know, walking, the
cab dropped me off at the wrong part of, you know, the
government complex. I think I walked like three
miles and then had to go up those stairs and I was,
like, you are an athlete! (laughter) You can do this! And, I mean, but, you know,
in all seriousness, you know, whether it’s going out on stage
to present a keynote address in front of a thousand people
or do a play, you know, sports taught me how to
own my body and quite, in a very literal way, my whole
connection with the ground has always been imagined. And I think if I wasn’t such a
physical child and the fact that I was surrounded — my mom
— I was one of 11 kids, nine girls and two boys —
and they — we were always playing sports. We played everything. And the nine girls had their
own, you know, they played, we all had our own team. (laughter) So my mother taught my brothers
and I how to throw and catch. And, you know, bought
us baseball cards for Christmas gifts. And so that sense of I grew up
as one of those kids that was completely ignorant of the
fact that there had to be a law mandating the opportunities
presented to me. I thought I was there
because I was good enough. And, you know, as I went into
collegiate sports and in the NCAA in Division 1, I was
fortunate enough to have the reception of a wonderful
coaching staff at Georgetown University that embraced that
chutzpah and that confidence of a girl that thought
she was good enough. And so there I was on these
woven carbon fiber sprinting legs running against, you
know, the next Flo-Jo’s. Bonnie Bernstein:
Are they called cheetahs? Cheetahs, is that
what they’re called? Aimee Mullins:
Yeah, they were modeled after
the hind leg of a cheetah. You know, but sports has
provided the biggest adventure of my life and I’m still
drawing on everything I’ve learned every day. Bonnie Bernstein:
And the person who saw
her running today who said she was fast,
he wasn’t kidding. Before she retired,
what did you say? I think she set the
world record in the 100, the 200 and the long jumps. So this women was no joke. (applause) Shoni is the puppy
among us today. You are going into your
junior year, right, next year at Louisville; right? Shoni Schimmel:
Yes. Bonnie Bernstein:
I’m fascinated. Could you share with us what it
was like growing up trying to find your way as an athlete on
a reservation and what sort of opportunities were
available for you? Shoni Schimmel:
Well, definitely growing up on
a reservation was more different than your every day kind of
American just because like not many Native Americans
do come off the reservation because they get stuck
in stuff like such as drug and alcohol slumming. Just growing up and like being
around all my family and just seeing them and watching them
play sports it was just kind of like an opportunity for me to
go ahead and do it and get off the reservation and prove to
everybody that you can do it. You can go out there and
achieve your dreams and whatnot. Bonnie Bernstein:
And what was that experience
like just having the courage to say I have to
leave the reservation? I need to go to a public school
to give myself an opportunity to get to college and play? Shoni Schimmel:
Well, that goes out
to my mom, mainly, just because she was always
there pushing me and she was the main one out there, like,
wanting us to do the best we could do and she let us do
that because she, as a parent, didn’t get to do that. And so she got a job at Franklin
and so just her leading us by example, like many
other people out here, she taught us to go out there
and do the best you can. Bonnie Bernstein:
I’m glad we have Tom on the
panel because I think so many of us when we talk about
Title IX we only relay it to athletics. And Title IX embodies
so much more than that. Just having all of the civil
rights experience that you have, can you sort of take us through
an expedited timeline of all of the different facets of the
world that Title IX touches and how it has evolved? Tom Perez:
Certainly. I’m glad
Title IX touches athletics. As the father of two daughters,
one of whom is a 16-year-old in the front row here, and we — Bonnie Bernstein:
He bonded over gymnastics. Tom Perez:
And we spent last
weekend, Bonnie, in Pennsylvania with her travel
lacrosse team at a tournament. And there were toughly
100 college coaches, recruiters who were there
looking at all the kids. And I turned to her before,
Senator, and I said, you have him to thank,
you have her to thank, you have so many people to thank
for that opportunity that we all take for granted in
my kids’ generation — Bonnie Bernstein:
I almost actually went up
and gave the Senator a hug. Although I have never met him
so I thought that would be inappropriate, but I will at
some point before I leave just because I think –I’m sorry. (laughter) Tom Perez:
But you’re absolutely
correct that it is indeed about athletics and
it’s about so much more. It’s about saying to people like
Dr. Benjamin, a good friend, Regina Benjamin, the Surgeon
General of the United States who is here today, that the
pathways of opportunity for everyone are going to be
open and it’s up to you to cease those opportunities. And we have so many cases
that involve making sure that science, technology, engineering
and math, those pathways, are indeed open to everyone. We have a lot of cases that
involve basic issues of harassment whether it’s in
the junior high school where students are getting harassed. We have emerging issues now
involving same-sex harassment. We just completed a
groundbreaking consent decree in the suburbs
of Minneapolis-St. Paul involving kids who didn’t
conform to the gender stereotypes and they were being
harassed and bullied and frankly a number of them tragically
took their own lives. And the school system was
not responding adequately. And we can use Title IX to
address those issues because that is so critically important. We have a case now involving
the University of Montana and allegations that their response
to serious sexual assaults has been insufficient and we’re
investigating those allegations. Making sure now that the Citadel
and the Virginia Military Institute, while those
weren’t Title IX cases per se, those were cases involving
using our tools in the Justice Department to open up pathways
to leadership and opportunity for women. And so there is so much
above and beyond the critical athletics conversation that
we’re having today that is part of the illustrious
history of Title IX. Bonnie Bernstein:
It really is so all encompassing. I actually have a Title IX
story which I didn’t realize at the time. Gymnastics was my primary sport
and I went to the University of Maryland and after our freshman
year our basketball coach got in trouble for all these NCAA
recruiting violations and the school had to give back a
lot of money to the NCAA. They instituted a
scholarship freeze. There was a post season ban for
the basketball team but there was a pretty severe ripple
effect in the athletic community on campus at College Park so
much so that they actually contemplated cutting sports. And I was brought in, I somehow
became sort of a student leader, talking-to-the-media
type, who knew? (laughter) I guess it was a little
bit of foreshadowing, but I wound up sitting in front
of this panel and they were peppering me questions about
opportunities that I was being given, did I feel like I was
being treated fairly and this and that. And I think I came to find
out afterwards that gymnastics inevitably was not cut because
Title IX ensured equality in numbers and in sports on campus. And so personally I’m
so thankful for it. But what I’ve learned
over the years, and this has been corroborated
in all sorts of research, is that a good number of upper
level executives in companies throughout this country,
female executives, have athletic backgrounds. So much of the character
we build as athletes, skill sets that we
develop, are parlayed into professional success. And with that I would love to
go down the panel and see if you would share if you have
one particular skill set or something that you took from
sports that has been so vital in your success and
vibrancy in life. Billie Jean King:
Well, I think there are
so many things we do learn, but I’m a small businesswoman
so I learned all the lessoned I learned in sports every
single day of my life. I think one of them, because
I’m mature compared to most of you here — (laughter) — is resiliency. Resiliency. Getting up every morning and
know it’s a blessing to be awake and to thank God that I have got
this day to look forward to that hopefully, hopefully maybe I
can make a small difference. Bonnie Bernstein:
When have you needed
that resiliency most, do you think? Billie Jean King:
I think I have needed it in
my personal life as well as my business life. And persevering, being
resilient to persevere, they kind of go
together, obviously, and I just think without
having that sense of — see, I always think of
losing as just feedback. I don’t think of it as losing. (laughter) I’m serious. And it’s really helped me, it’s
helped me to be optimistic. But when I hear the young
athletes then I know that we really are getting there. And young people who
have gotten educated, thank God for Title IX. But can I just say something? There’s a lot of great
athletes in here. Why don’t you guys stand up
because I just don’t feel right without all of you, like Donna
da Verona who was really helpful with Title IX. Nancy Hogshead, Bonita
Fitzgerald, Lynn St. James. Just to name a few. Lillian — (applause) Bonnie Bernstein:
Nancy Lieberman — Billie Jean King:
Oh, Nance, you’re here, too! (applause) Bonnie Bernstein:
I just saw Nancy
in the audience. Billie Jean King:
So I just think you guys are
— it was great to see all your faces and all the
things we’ve done together many times I know with
the Women’s Sports Foundation, but all the things, and your
own foundations and whatever, I just, I just love you guys. And you’ve been so great. We’re like a team in life. I just love it. So thank you. Bonnie Bernstein:
Okay. So we have resiliency. Tom Perez:
Being part of a team. I coach. I’ve coached my one
daughter in basketball, my other daughter in basketball,
I help my son in baseball. He says to me last night when
we’re driving home from his game, the umpire stunk! (laughter) And my teammate he committed
an error at the worst time. And do you know what? We all are part of a team. The team of our family. The team at my workplace. The team on the baseball
or lacrosse field. And that’s life,
being part of a team. You’re part of something
that’s bigger than yourself. Knowing your role. Your roles evolve. Sometimes I was the
point guard on my team. Sometimes I was the 12th man. But always I was part of a team. And I think sports
really teaches that. And in our work place now in
the Civil Rights Division, we are part of a team. And we’ve got a remarkable
team who are in the business of expanding opportunity
for everyone. And everyone fits in
in a different way, but everybody fits in in
a really important way. Aimee Mullins:
Yeah, my mind is
racing with, I mean, how do you choose one? But since you talked
about team, you know, I think about leadership. You know, there is these
posters everywhere, right, there is no “I” in team
and I have to disagree. I think a team is
a bunch of “I’s.” And what sports teaches
you is to find that voice, own that voice, but yield
when someone else deserves the opportunity, the spot
and their turn to lead. And I think that acknowledgment
of being humble, humility, that makes us
stronger, you know, and I learned that
as an athlete. Bonnie Bernstein:
How are you a leader now? Aimee Mullins:
I, too, am a small business
owner as a woman. And, you know, just tonight I’m
on a midnight flight to Istanbul and I’m going to present
a keynote speech on Friday to 800 CEOs. And I have to think about,
you know, for myself, leadership always,
and for all of us, it starts from a
personal place, you know. If you can stand up for the
things that you believe in and take your own advice
and lessons, you know, I think life is full of the
kinds of gifts and opportunities that make it incredible. Bonnie Bernstein:
Shoni, you’re not a
young business woman yet. (laughter) You’re still playing. But what are you most proud of
so far in your athletic career as somebody who is
continuing to grow and learn? You were an All American
your freshman year. You’re a point guard so
you’re running the team a lot. You’re bringing the ball up,
passing it off, distributing. What characteristic do you think
has been so critical to your success so far as an athlete? Shoni Schimmel:
I mean, there’s a ton, but I
would just say being grateful for waking up every day and just
being given this opportunity to be able to go out there and play
something that I love and that I have been doing since
I was four years old. I mean, what else could you do? (laughter) So, I mean, it’s great. It’s awesome. Bonnie Bernstein:
How do you think people view
you back on the reservation? Because you spoke to how
it’s tough for a lot of people to get off. There are challenges. When you communicate
with family at home, when you have the
opportunity to go back home, how do you think they view you? Shoni Schimmel:
I would definitely say as a role
model just because I did get out, get off the reservation,
and go out and do what I love, but make a, like, something
for the other kids to go out there and reach for. So I mean, it is
something they can do. They just have to put their
mind to it and just go out there and do it. Bonnie Bernstein:
I can only imagine you
probably have a list of ten of them. Laurel Richie:
Well, I think first and foremost
to be recognized as an athlete with my fellow panel members,
I think we have got to take that quite liberally — (laughter) I’m not sure, you know, I
consider — I don’t know that I can actually answer the question
exactly from that perspective when it’s up against
Billie Jean King. But, anyway — Bonnie Bernstein:
I don’t know how you
stay under water as long as you do in your
synchronized swimming. I get all claustrophobic. And upside down, no less. Laurel Richie:
I think the important
thing for me and what I have carried forward is,
and it has echoed some of the comments that
have been mentioned, there’s something about,
particularly in team sports, where you have to absolutely
bring your personal best, but then you also have to give
as much effort into making the team work and the
inter-connectivity. So it’s this very interesting
balance of the individual and the team and being in
constant calibration of that. And I draw upon that every
single moment of my work life of figuring out
when to lean forward, when to go out in
front, when to support. And always being conscious and
extremely conscious of those around me and what am I
doing to lift them up. Because if I’m lifting just
myself up, it doesn’t work. It requires all of us
to lift up together. Bonnie Bernstein:
Two traits that come to mind
that we haven’t talked about here yet, one for me
is time management. (chuckles) When I was in high school I was
doing gymnastics, indoor track, outdoor track, student
council, Latin club, and trying to keep my grades up. And when you train as much as
you do in gymnastics — and I would train three, four, five
hours a day — and you’re committed to doing all of the
other things in your life well, you have to be very structured. The other thing I found to be
really important in life is understanding the importance
of being coachable. We all have room to grow. The only way you can improve
as an athlete is to take the guidance of those
who are coaching you, take it to heart and try
to improve every day. And I think sometimes a lot of
— when we receive feedback we don’t necessarily want to accept
it right away because we think we’re doing the best we can. But just being able to soak up
all of the information that is coming at you from different
directions and channel that into making yourself better in
whatever capacity that may be, I think so much of that for
me comes from athletics. You know, as somebody who is
President of the WNBA, Laurel, it’s a sport. And I thought it was so fitting
in the video that we showed beforehand, we had
different generations of Tennessee basketball. We had Pat Summitt who is so
closely associated with the sport and started coaching there
in her early 20s and worked her way up to be one of the
greatest coaches of all time, in any sport, really,
as far as I’m concerned. And then we had Tamika Catchings
who so poignantly said that as she got older and understood
the benefits of Title IX, she changed her goals. She changed her
goals of, you know, not just getting her
scholarship as an athlete, but playing in the WNBA. Laurel, I mean, you’ve had
to be a pretty quick study of the league. You went there in 2011. Can you speak to how,
generations of Title IX, how we’ve been able to
accumulate now the sort of depth in the sport that ultimately
will give your league longevity? Laurel Richie:
Yeah, you know, I always look at
the seemingly small moments that actually speak volumes. So I have a six-year-old
niece who went to her first professional basketball game
which was the Chicago Sky of the WNBA and loved it. And then a couple of months
later she went to a Chicago Bulls game and she turned to
her mother and she said, mommy, I didn’t know boys
played basketball! (laughter) Bonnie Bernstein:
Awesome! That gets
a round of applause. Laurel Richie:
And I just love that
because I’m thinking like I can’t even put into words
all that’s loaded in that very simple exchange. And she had no judgment. It was for her just a
mere observation of good for those boys — (laughter) — they get to do this, too! So I look at the way in which
she is growing up and it just is the way it is. I also know that we are now at
a point where we have a WNBA player who’s son is
playing in the NBA. So there is a beautiful — Bonnie Bernstein:
Who is that? Laurel Richie:
It’s not a current player. Bonnie Bernstein:
Oh, okay. Laurel Richie:
But a mother who has
given birth to a son who is in the NBA. So I just think that this is,
we’re seeing lots of changes. Or I think of Candace
Parker whose husband and her brother played. It’s they’re all symbols
and manifestations of how, because of Title IX and the
great — the legislators who made it happen, so
thank you for that, and the trailblazers who
actually delivered it on the ground and did the hard work,
we’re now at a place where I think the vision of Title
IX is coming to bear fruit. And so it’s a beautiful thing. The other thing that I think is
really important and it’s why gatherings like this are
so important is we have to remember the history. We have to, just as my niece
doesn’t remember a time where it was different, all of us need to
remember that there was a time where it’s different so that we
can continue to celebrate it, to be grateful of it and
to make sure that we don’t backslide with that. And I know the women of the WNBA
as I meet with them and talk with them every single one of
them is very cognizant of the opportunity, very cognizant
that this wasn’t available for the generation before. And they’re doing all they can
to make sure that it’s available for the next generation. Bonnie Bernstein:
Shoni, what do you think
the level of awareness is among your teammates
and athletes your age? Because we’re now 40
years into Title IX, I suppose it’s easy enough to
forget because it is such an every day part of
our lives, I mean, do you ever have those
conversations with your friends or hear about those things
among people in your age group? Shoni Schimmel:
You hear about it more often
now just because everybody is getting more into
it and whatnot. So, I mean, we’ve had Dr.
Sandler come over and we recognized her at
one of our games. And so, I mean, that was a
big honor for us being at the University of Louisville
and just having her there. And so, I mean, we introduced
her and just continue, like — it’s getting
more out there and so it’s better that way. Bonnie Bernstein:
Let’s take this a
little bit big picture. I think we all know
that childhood obesity is a national epidemic. Women’s Sports Foundation is
one of myriad organizations dedicated to getting
women up and active. Billie, how do you think we
need to lean on Title IX as one aspect of fighting the
childhood obesity fight? Billie Jean King:
Well, we have to because
it’s — first of all, it’s preventable. It’s preventable. And I’m on the President’s
Council for Fitness, Sports Nutrition Shellie Pfohl
is the Executive Director who is here today. And every time we have a
meeting, and all the literature, we are always constantly
worrying about this. Recently, you know, young people
have seven to eight hours of screen time looking at videos. Well, the industry now is with
us and they’re going to create more and more videos where
the kids have to exercise. So here is something that caused
a sedentary life now can help be a part of change. It’s not the only thing but
can be a part of change in the right direction. Also I think it has a
lot to do with families. It’s just not about
telling kids in school. I find parents really dictate
a lot in how they bring their children up, or
caregiver or guardian, whoever is bringing
up that child, I really notice it’s
very much a family thing. You know what I’m talking
about when you notice families, they’re out eating, because I
eat out for everything so I am probably not a good example. (laughter) I don’t have an organic farm in
the backyard because I live in New York City. (laughter) So but it’s family. Like my mom and dad were big on
my brother and I — my brother was a major league
baseball player in his day, Randy Moffitt. Moffitt is my birth name. And our parents were
so big on movement. My mother is 90 years old now
and the one thing she always says is you’ve got to
keep moving or it’s over! (laughter) Now so she instilled that. Bonnie Bernstein:
I hope she didn’t
mean it literally. Billie Jean King:
No, she does mean it literally
because she has diabetes, she has a walker. But she tells me, she gives me a
report every day of how long she has been walking and how many
times she got up and walked. And she knows, it’s
absolutely vital. But I grew up in an
environment like that. I am one of the lucky
ones, my brother and I. A lot of children
do not have that. Also the urban challenges. The urban challenge
is really big. So I think, as I said earlier,
each one of us is an influencer in this room and in this world
and people are watching you, us, can make, we, can make a
difference every single day in how we try to influence others
to do the right thing and to take good care of ourselves. Because health is wealth. Health is wealth. Because when you don’t have
your health, boy, I tell you, your life, particularly,
they found if, if mothers in a family
are of ill health, then the whole
family falls apart. So for girls and women,
it is absolutely vital. And for our boys too. Because everyone is
influencing each other. Like being on a team, when you
were talking about — we are in this world together,
men and women, we need to help each other. Be the best we can be. And be champions in life
and that means with our, obviously with our health and
taking good care of ourselves. So I just think it gets down
to personal responsibility. I am real big on that. And trying to help each other. Because a lot of times we
don’t have the education. It is not that people
wouldn’t do it. They just don’t understand. They haven’t been influenced or
had the knowledge given to them. So we have always got to
be good to each other and help each other. Because everyone has got
strength and weaknesses, you know, what we are born
into and all of those different things and we have
got to just go for it. Everyone has got to be a coach
and be coachable as you said. Women are supposed to be very
coachable from what I understand from coaches. Do we have coaches here today? Why don’t you stand up, please? Because I want to
thank the coaches. (applause) Thank you. Coaches are the unsung heroes. That is the one area we need
to improve in with Title IX, because in college only 43
percent of women actually coach women’s teams. In men’s teams, we are
about three percent. So that, that really
needs to be improved. And they are the unsung
“s-heros” and heroes. “S-heroes” this
“s-heroes” in this case. But I want to thank you. Because I think each one of us
if we think about our coaches in life, whether it be a parent or
coaches in sports have made such a difference. They have changed my life, so
and I grew up in team sports. I didn’t grow up in tennis. Tennis was my last sport. I am a basketball nut. So I am thrilled
that you are here. Bonnie Bernstein:
Aimee, how well do
you feel Title IX and opportunities for women
have been implemented in the Paralympic space? Aimee Mullins:
Well, we are seeing that whole
movement go in leaps and bounds. I mean, 1995 was when I started
running in Georgetown and to be the first amputee male or female
there, division one, you know, 17 years later we have got a
Paralympic team that is really I hope you all tune
in this summer. But you know we have got
sprinters who are running the 400-meter in under 46 seconds. You know, and if you watch the
winter games or the X games where ESPN does an incredible
job of integrating, you know, you have got people going down a
mountain at 75-miles an hour who are blind. I mean, I don’t considered
that a disabled athlete. I think that is super abled. (laughter) Quite honestly. So the fact that, you know, in
a very real way, like for me, I just — you know, I never
knew another amputee growing up. I mean, my whole childhood
was pre-Google, right? So you couldn’t just type in
prosthetic on a search engine and find out everything that
is being made around the world. So I had wooden legs. The first time, and like
tennis, track was my last sport. I was a team sport,
volleyball, softball. I was on a state
championship softball team. I was a great center fielder. I miss my glove right now. But I, I, track for me was
like, why would anyone want to do that? Why would anyone want to run
without a ball to take your mind off of how much
your body is hurting? And so for me, it
was just, you know, it kind — really the naivete of
exploring something like that. And then I just, I arrived at
the perfect time and place to be the guiney pig for an entirely
new kind of technology that would revolutionize prosthetics
and forever change the way you know the athletes who wear
them would be perceived. And we are right in the middle
of this incredibly profound shift that has a lot of
parallels to racial integration of sport, to gender
integration of sport. And I am thrilled
to be, you know, at the forefront of
that whole movement. But to get people to understand
that every single one of us at some point is going to need
an assistive medical device, whether temporarily or as
Donna just pointed to her knee. She is like, rebuilt,
rebuilt, prosthetic, right? It is all around us. It is all around us. And people don’t want, people
are going to be living, you know, 30 and 40 years
longer after retirement. They don’t want to
become inactive. People want to stay relevant,
people want to stay engaged with their lives. And so all of this is going to
effect how we see and demand inclusion and integration
for all of our athletes. And there has been landmark
legislation that in Maryland in the last few years about this. Yes, Lillian is aware of
this, that mandates, you know, and really used Title IX
as the precedent to say, every athlete at this,
in these schools, high schools and
college, deserves access. And so it is, you know, probably
when you delivered those 37 words on the floor 40 years ago,
maybe you didn’t even consider the, the ripple effect and how
far reaching the ramifications would go and how many other
groups of Americans would you know would have their
lives changed by it. Bonnie Bernstein:
You totally teed me up, Aimee. Thank you. Senate floor 1972,
Senator Birch Bayh. While the impact of this
amendment would be far reaching, it is not a panacea. It is however an important
first step in the effort to provide for the women of
America something that is rightfully theirs. An equal chance to attend
the schools of their choice, to develop the skills they want,
and to apply those skills with the knowledge that they will
have a fair chance to secure the jobs of their choice with
equal pay for equal work. We have come so far in
40 years with Title IX. But legislation is an
ever evolving animal. Tom, where do we
have to go from here? Where can we continue to grow as
far as Title IX is concerned to provide opportunities across all
of the platforms that we talked about today? Tom Perez:
Well, one of the most
famous women in America retired Justice Sandra Day
O’Conor wrote in an opinion that related to admissions policies
in higher ed that the pathways of leadership must be visibly
open to, in that case it was, to everyone is what
she was talking about. And, and we still see that while
we have indeed made a lot of progress, there is still
a lot of work to do. Regina Benjamin is again
a role model for so many, but she is all too frequently
the exception and the outlier and we see this in science,
technology, engineering, and math and so we still have
a lot of work to do there. We still see pervasive
harassment that we work with the Department of Education
to combat and it is sometimes in the K to 12 context. It is sometimes girls
who get harassed. It is sometimes same
sex harassment that I talked about before. The pervasive
problem of bullying. Bullying is not a
right of passage. It is something that
should be extinguished, and that is why this President
has taken such a personal role in doing that and we see the
persistence of those challenges both at the K to 12 setting
and in the higher ed setting. That is why we continue
to look at the response, making sure that campuses
are safe for women. That is really what the
investigation we are doing with the Department of
Education in Montana is about, is making sure that,
it is indeed safe. So we continue to have
these legacy issues. And then we have
these emerging issues, and we are thankful that
we have that foundation, that Senator Bayh and
so many other courageous leaders gave to us. And that, that is what gives
me great hope that the next frontier can continue to be a
very, very productive frontier. Bonnie Bernstein:
While Senator Bayh
may be good Godfather, in my lifetime, I can think
of seldom few more staunch advocates of Title IX then
the gracious woman next to me. So Billie, if you would be kind
enough to do closing remarks on the panel. And what you would like
to see going forward. No pressure. I mean, you have
done this before. Billie Jean King:
Are you kidding? Bonnie Bernstein:
Yes, I am kidding. Okay. Thanks for coming everybody. What are you hoping for? Billie Jean King:
Well, my hope is exactly
the 37 words that every single human being, boy or girl,
man or woman has an opportunity to be who he or she
is and not be bullied, not be harassed, to
have a productive life. To have choices. To hear their own voice. All of the things that
Title IX represents. It is about boys and girls. It is not about just
girls and I think that is important to remember. Because a lot of people think
girls have really hurt boys sports, et cetera,
and they haven’t. More, more boys and more girls
are playing sports today than ever before. As far as the STEM area of it,
you will be hearing about that just in a couple of minutes. But it is so important in this
country to be competitive with the rest of the world,
whether, no matter what endeavor it may be. Because we are no
longer — in my day, I had to compete against
Europeans and Australians. And now you have to compete
against the rest of the world. And sports are just a
microcosm of society. That is all they are. Just look at sports and you know
what is going on in society. So women and girls
have a long way to go. I think when you
talk about history, I think it is important that,
that everyone understands and knows about history. And the more you
know about history, the more you know
about yourself. And what it really says
is, is that we have got, what are we going to do with
this information and how are we going to pass the baton? And how the younger generations
are going to carry it through to even upgrade and elevate what
was started June 23, 1972. But everyone can make a
difference and everyone can make this dream come true. And thank you for having me. It has been an honor and
I really appreciate it. God bless America. (applause) Bonnie Bernstein:
One of the greatest statistics,
girls involvement in athletics has jumped one thousand
percent since Title IX was passed in 1972. So all of our missions,
collectively going forward, raise the number. Laurel, Shoni, Aimee,
Tom, Billie Jean King, thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed the panel
and enjoy the rest of the day. (applause) Tina Tchen:
Thank you, Bonnie. That was, that was perfect. And I want to
thank Senator Bayh. He is catching a plane to go to
Indiana I know to attend a WNBA game to celebrate Title IX
in his home state of Indiana. (applause) And I know Billie
Jean and her partner, another tennis great in her
right Ilana Kloss have to catch a plane. So they are dashing out. And Billie Jean did
a little bit of this. But I want to do it again. We have in our
audience, you know, at the risk of
leaving somebody out, I am going to do it any way. You know, we have
got a great group of, of tremendous athletes and
coaches in their own right who are here. I am going to list off Linda
Mastrandrea, Nancy Lieberman, Ilana, who just left, Ilana
Kloss, Renee Brown, Sue Rankin, Donna de Varona, Nancy
Hogshead-Makar, Sarah Hughes, Lillian Greene-Chamberlain,
Greta Eliassen, Lindsay Adams Hawkins,
Lynn Saint James, Kelly Amonte Hiller, Sarah
Dawson, and Lauren Sears. And thank you to all of you for
being such great role models and just great athletes for all
of us for so many years. And now, you know, as we
heard, you know, on the panel, you know, Title IX is about
equal opportunity and education. And one of the things that our
administration feels so strongly about is pursuing and
pushing forward Title IX. And it is, you know, just been
wonderful to have as one of the great champions of Title IX,
One of the great champions of education in our country. And in my personal view, one
of the best Secretaries of Education we have ever had. And on top of that he
is you know not a bad basketball player himself. Let me introduce a
fellow Chicagoan, Secretary Arne Duncan. (applause) Secretary Arne Duncan:
Thank you so much, Tina,
for that kind introduction. I am thrilled to be here in
a room full of legends just amazing people. I will be brief and I stand
between you and another great panel of Dr.
Jemison, and others. Thank you so much
for your leadership. But this is a remarkable day. And one of the reasons I am so
pleased to be here is I think one thing we don’t do enough
in education is to celebrate success and to
celebrate progress. And I think today what we have
seen over the past 40 years of Title IX is one of the greatest
educational and civil rights success stories that
we have ever seen. It is just an amazing,
amazing story. Obviously, so many of us here
are big believers in the value of college sports. I can’t actually think of
another institution other than maybe the military that does so
much to shape the future of our country and shape the future
leaders of our country than inter collegiate athletics. Student athletes learn so many
lessons on the court and the playing field, they are frankly
hard to teach in other settings. Lessons like team
work, commitment, the ability to adapt, and
to persevere and discipline. And I am thrilled that so many
of the great athletes are here, Billie Jean King. Nancy, where is Nancy Lieberman? Nancy just stepped out. I will grab her later. I have a little
story about Nancy. But just some absolute
legends here who have done fantastic work. But it is precisely because
college athletics plays such an essential role, that we must be
vigilant about insuring equal opportunity for men and
women as we move forward. And we cannot do things that
unnecessarily dissuade women or limit their opportunities. And this is obviously a personal
issue for me and for so many of us in this room. I was lucky enough to
play college sports and so did my sister. In fact, she was a much better
basketball player than I was. And she was an early beneficiary
of Title IX and actually wound up playing professionally for
a couple of years overseas. But I also will tell you that
the best athlete in our family wasn’t my sister or
myself, it was my mother. And she beat me in the backyard
one on one for years and years. And I actually quit
playing tennis, because I got tired
of being beat by her. (laughter) But obviously people of her
generation didn’t have the opportunity to pursue their
dreams at the collegiate level. When Title IX was enacted
in 1972, less than 30,000 female students participated
in sports and recreational programs at the collegial level. Today that number has
increased nearly six fold. Just remarkable,
remarkable change. At the high school
levels, we just heard, it is a ten fold
increase since 1972, three million young women around
the country every single year participate in high
school athletics. When Congress enacted Title IX
it seemed to simply enshrine a universal sentiment that
everyone believed in. Title IX prohibits
discrimination on the basis of sex in any program
or activity receiving federal financial assistance. And yet this very simple frankly
unexceptional 36 word long provision has forever, has
forever altered our high schools and colleges for the better. And as all of you know,
the benefits of Title IX, stretch far, far beyond
the athletic field or the basketball court. Women athletes are much more
likely to graduate from college than female students
who don’t play sports. Sort of that dumb jock myth or
stereotype is simply not true. Athletes consistently
graduate at higher levels. They are also less
likely to use drugs, to become pregnant while a
teenager, or to become obese. And obviously, that is not all. The economic returns of
Title IX have been immense. One study of Title IX by Wharton
professor Betsey Stevenson found that up to 40 percent of the
over all rise in employment among women between
25 and 30 years old, that was attributable
to Title IX. 40 percent. And contrary to the fears
and doubts of some sceptics, Title IX absolutely did not
become a zero sum proposition. New opportunities for women
didn’t mean fewer opportunities for men. Title IX has been a
win/win law that benefits both men and women. Since Title IX was enacted, the
number of men playing college sports has actually increased. And more men than women are
still playing in college sports even though now women
significantly out number men on college campuses. So we have absolutely
come a long, long way and you should be
so proud by that progress. But we still clearly have
a distance to travel before educational institutions
truly provide, truly provide equal
opportunities to, to participate in athletics
for both men and women. And to conclude I wanted today
to not only celebrate Title IX’s extraordinary impact and
value over the last 40 years, but to reaffirm it’s great
potential to advance equity in the next 40 years
as we move forward. New opportunities for women in
inter collegiate sports give most of the headlines,
most of the publicity. But they are only a piece, they
are only a piece of Title IX’s enduring legacy. As President Obama
has pointed out, Title IX actually does
not even mention sports. Title IX has the
potential to make similar, striking advances in
opportunities that girls have in the STEM disciplines that
we are going to hear about next. We are working so hard in
our department to insure that schools make available rigorous
standards that help prepare all students regardless of gender
for both college and career, including access to
science, technology, engineering, and math. While it made some progress in
closing the gender gap there, the higher level classes, the
AP classes in the STEM fields, we still see unrepresentation
of young girls and we have to improve upon that going forward. This landmark law prohibits
sex discrimination, has other far reaching
implications in schools, in universities, that
receive our federal funds. To just cite one example, our
Office of Civil Rights that Russ Ali does an amazing job of
leading has redoubled in enforcement of Title IX and
issue ground breaking guidance with respect to sexual
harassment and sexual violence on college campuses. Title IX similarly prohibits
discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. In pre-Title IX, so often
those students were actually forced out. Pushed out of school. And we’ll continue to do
everything we can to make sure that their rights are protected
and that discrimination against pregnant and parenting students
is simply not tolerated. So I just want to thank all of
you for coming out today and joining in this celebration. As a nation I think we have
accomplished far more than anyone imagined under Title IX,
and I absolutely believe that the next 40 years as we move
forward under Title IX hold the promise for more
fantastic opportunities for educational advancement. And now we look
forward to a great, great panel on the
STEM disciplines. Thanks for having
me this afternoon. (applause) Tina Tchen:
Thank you, Secretary Duncan. And he has really set us up
nicely for our next panel, which really is about
advancing our commitment to Title IX and education. So if I ask our next
panel to join us. We have Mae Jemison, Russlynn
Ali, Gabreila Farfan, Jared Cohon, and our
moderator whom I am really delighted to introduce. Our moderator is Benita
Fitzgerald Mosley. Benita is a US gold medal
Olympian in track and field. She is a world class athlete. She is currently the Chief
of Sport Performance for USA Track and Field. And she also happens to be
an engineer who has had a successful career in technology. She is the embodiment of
all parts of Title IX. So she is terrific. (applause) And I want, let me turn it over
to Benita who will really give you an introduction of
all of our panelists. Thank you. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
Thank you so much, Tina. Thank you, Valerie and Arne
for having me here today. It is such an exciting time. 40 years of Title IX. And, yes, Valerie, I too
remember 40 years ago. So I, this panel is going to
feature obviously some very notable people in the area
of science, technology, engineering and math. And we want to just really shed
a light on the importance of the impact of Title IX
beyond the playing field, particularly in STEM areas and
education and career choices. And our panelists are going to
speak about their involvement with Title IX, the impact it has
had on them and their lives and their careers and
their education, and how President Obama
particularly is helping to advance a law in
his administration. And I hope that it will also
offer some thoughts on kind of the future of the law and how
we can continue to uphold it both for education and athletics. I will start by
introducing our panelists. First to my left is Mae Jemison. You probably all know her as
the first woman of color ever to launch into space with the
Space Shuttle Endeavor back on September 12, 1992. Again, she is the first woman
of color to go into space and actually she is from Chicago as
well and first Chicagoan ever to go into space. She now is involved with the
Hundred Years Star Ship which is an initiative to take humans to
another star which was started by DARPA which is an acronym for
the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. She is going to talk a
little bit about that later. She is a former
professor from Dartmouth. And one of the things I thought
that was really interesting about her was both she
is a medical doctor. And so yes, she has had got
that varied background as well. But she was named one of the
People’s most beautiful people issue back in 1993. So I think that is
pretty cool too. (laughter) Next is Russlynn Ali. You guys are not in
the order of my paper, so you are going to have to
be a little patient with me. She was appointed Assistant
Secretary for Civil Rights for the US Department of Education
by President Barack Obama in March of 2009, and then
the Senate confirmed her in May of 2009. And she is responsible for, she
is a primary adviser in civil rights and responsible for
enforcing US Civil Rights Laws as they pertain to education. She prior to becoming the
Assistant Secretary of Education, she served as Vice
President of the Education Trust here in Washington, D.C., and
is a founding executive of the director of the Education
Trust West in California. She is a former
teacher and attorney. She got her J.D. from North
Western University School of Law and her Bachelor’s Degree
from American University. Russlynn Ali. Next to her is a student
who has, Gabreila Farfan. She is a geology major at
Stanford University and she is, she is hails from
Madison, Wisconsin. She won one of the top awards in
the Intel Science Talent Search for independent research
describing why certain gem stones appear to change
color when viewed from different angles. Her work has potential
applications in mano technology, and material science. She is also Hispanic
Scholar awardee. So Gabreila, welcome. (applause) And lastly is it, Jared Cohon? Okay. Good. Jared. He is a university professor
at Carnegie-Mellon university. He has been, he is the 8th
President of Carnegie-Mellon and been there as
President since 1997. During his presidency,
Carnegie-Mellon has continued along it’s trajectory of
integration and growth and under his leadership, Carnegie-Mellon
University has really spread all over the world from
Asia and Australia, Europe and Latin America,
all the way to Doha Qatar. And he also has, they have also
started programs and a site in California Silicon Valley. So he was appointed by
three different Presidents, President Bill Clinton,
George W. Bush and Barack Obama to various posts
within their administrations. And most recently, President
Obama to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He came to Carnegie-Mellon after
he served a term as a dean with Yale University. And before that,
he spent 19 years at Johns Hopkins University. He got his Bachelor’s Degree in
civil engineering and from the University of Pennsylvania
and his PhD from MIT. So welcome to all
of our panelists. (applause) So yes, 40 years ago
I was a ten year old. I grew up in Northern
Virginia, down the road. So I am a Title IX baby. Title IX was passed just in time
for me to take full advantage of that wonderful law,
those wonderful 37 words. You know, I feel like Title IX
has been the gift that keeps on giving in my life. And rather its benefits I have
got on the athletic playing field and my education
becoming an engineer, having a college
scholarship obviously, being able to win a gold
medal in the olympics. You know, I have had now had
several career choices that have been in male dominated fields. And all of that is as a result
of this wonderful law that we celebrate today. Track gave me the self
confidence, leadership skills, physical stamina, and exposure
to educational and professional opportunities that have
really enhanced my life. Yes, my personal life. My educational life. My career both on
and off the track. And so my first question to our
panel really is has how Title IX impacted your life? What impact has it had on you? We’ll start with you Jemison. Sorry. Mae Jemison. Mae Jemison:
Well, it is kind of interesting,
because I with Valerie was a little bit there, little bit
earlier and so we actually came in just as Title IX was
coming about into play. And I would say that what Title
IX has really meant is that people have started to pay
attention to and look at how they treat women. And making sure that they, when
they make sure that they pay attention to it, then you
have more of an opportunity to perhaps change things. I think that sort of the Title
IX impact on my life really was sort of one, is
moving forward always. Sort of always being in front
of the bow wave with it. So it means though that I am
also able to help younger women get through things. So when I look at Title IX, for
me it is saying that so now I have these incredible diversity
of people to work with who will come in into my field, whether
it is in engineering which is also what I majored
in as under graduate. Or whether it has to do with
who I am going to be hiring for another kind of a program. It has made a difference in
the people who are out there available to work on projects. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
Yes. If you just want
to go on down the line. This first question,
thanks Russlynn. Russlynn Ali:
Thank you. I think for me it was the
ability to grow up taking it for granted. Right. It wasn’t, we didn’t feel like
it was exceptional to be able to play sports. We didn’t feel like it was a big
deal to be able to take the same kinds of classes as our
male colleagues did. Certainly, I mean, I grew up in
a house full of only women and a single parent home immigrant,
right over here in PG county. So suffice it to say, Title IX
was the law of the land and the law of my household. (laughter) Now, to have the privilege of
serving in this administration, in this administration,
with, with this President, and this Secretary of
Education and this team, and, and have the kinds of role
models that we do in Valerie Jarrett and Tina Tchen,
in the Cabinet Members, in the First Lady,
is something that is, is inspiring to everyone. Right? And to feed off of that energy
and that momentum and have the privilege of enforcing
this great law, that many as we came in, said
had been a little bit dormant. I remember very early on, that
the head of the National Women’s Law Center saying something that
there had been a lot of slippage in Title IX. And to be able to with the
support of every agency in this administration say,
no more slippage — Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
Great. Russlynn Ali:
— is about, is much privilege
and honor as I think any of us could have. The sense of urgency is
still great and we have a lot of work to do. But that I can meet young ladies
like this to my left where geology is also something that
you can take for granted is pretty extraordinary to
see its success continue. Benita Mosley:
It’s great. Gabreila Farfan:
Thank you to everyone
before us who made it possible for Title IX. And like you said, I grew up
thinking it was no big deal. And I did notice there
were many people in my life who encouraged me. I became interested in minerals
when I was only 7 years old. And I would go around and
I would ask questions. And everyone would answer me. And it was like a
natural thing to do. But my dad would take
me aside and be like, you know you’re going to have to
work extra hard because you’re a girl and you’re Latina. You might have to work extra
hard than some of the boys in your class. And I actually didn’t feel
that growing up, luckily. But I was aware of it. So I would like to thank all
the people who encouraged me as a young kid to pursue
Geology because I was so interested in it. And then coming to Stanford,
I was actually very surprised. One of the reasons I chose to go
to Stanford was because half of the faculty in the Geology
Department are women. And I find that very comforting
and very like encouraging. And the fact that I might like
to become a professor some day — maybe at Stanford,
that would be great, or somewhere else —
it’s very encouraging. And it’s been great working
in the Geology department because of that. And I see some of my
friends — like my roommate is in Chemical Engineering. And I have friends in
Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering. There are many girls
in Engineering. But I actually
recently took a class, and it was a little intimidating
at first walking in and seeing probably over 70% were male. And I hadn’t experienced
that in Geology. So I hope that there will
be more girls joining the engineering ranks. But yeah, that’s a start. Benita Mosley:
Great. Thank you. Jared? Jared Cohon:
With all due respect,
you might have been alive when Title IX was passed,
but you weren’t old enough to appreciate the
enormous impact it had. It would have been unthinkable
that half of the faculty in Geology at Stanford would have
been women when I was a student. I won’t tell you
when I was a student, but it was a long time ago. It was pre-Title IX. The one anecdote that I remember
which I think captured this well, when I was an
undergraduate there would be these stories. They were stories, but there
was enough truth to them, that the handful of women
every year who would show up at (inaudible) law school
would be — first of all, they would make them
sit in the front row. And then the professors
would torment them, humiliate them in
front of the class, until they got the point
that were weren’t welcome. Benita Mosley
Wow! Jared Cohon:
Now, who knew if it was true. But that there were just a
handful is itself a statement. And that there’s probably
enough truth in that is another statement. So things have changed
dramatically from the 60s to where we are today. But we have a long way to go,
especially when we get to the STEM topic. Benita Mosley:
So Title IX, we just had a
wonderful panel of several athletes and others,
involved more on the athletic side of Title IX. And we know we’ve had
success across the board. We’ve talked about it, more
women entering and graduating from grad school and med school
and law school et cetera. So when it comes to these areas,
how have you seen the benefits manifest themselves
in the classroom? I’ll start with you, Jared? Jared Cohon:
Well, now it’s the case
of course that I think the majority of law
students are women, which is a dramatic
change from what it was. But let’s talk about STEM
because it is, I think, the topic of our panel and a
topic very much on my mind and on the mind of the
President, the secretary. And a lot of people are
concerned about the future of the nation. We’ve made progress in STEM. Another thing that
you would have seen, 30% of the students in
the course you went into as women as progress. It was less than a handful
when I was a student. So that is progress. How do we make more progress? I guess the simple answer
is it’s going to take a lot of work. It’s going to take resolve. It’s going to take
institutional leadership. It’s not about the law anymore. It’s about institutions
embracing this. Let me tell you one
story from my university, which is a success story, but
it also shows you how far we still have to go. In 1995, 7% of our freshmen,
our first year students in Computer Science were women. Seven percent. The joke was we all know we’ve
made progress when there are more women than Daves
in Computer Science. Carnegie Mellon undertook to try
to understand why there were so few women and when the women
did enroll in Computer Science, why they didn’t stay in. And to its great credit — I
had nothing to do with this, it predated me —
they learned a lot. And they learned that
they were the problem. And they were representative of
all Computer Science departments. Basically, to give a quick
summary, high-level summary, young men and young women view
Computer Science more or less the same way, in terms of
what it can do for them, why they might be
interested in it. But women come with a serious
experience gap and a huge confidence gap. The experience gap is the
stereotypical Computer Science major is a boy, probably hasn’t
showered in days or something like that, who has spent his
teen years hacking away on a computer, right? And is a superb programmer by
the time he shows up in college. The young woman did not spend
her teen years like that, so she doesn’t have the
programming skills that the boy has. That’s the experience
gap we’re talking about. Having understood that then,
we made it very clear that, instead of pitching our
introductory programming classes here where all the boys were,
we did it at a more reasonable level where a reasonable
teenager could stay up. The other thing we did was to
create a support network called Women at SCS, which has
been very, very valuable, making sure women have
the same resources, overcoming the confidence
gap that I was talking about. We went from 7% in
1995 to 40% in 2001. That’s a very big increase
in a short period of time it. It’s dropped back some. It’s now steady staying
at about a third. Still too low, but much higher
than the national average is. And the key moral here is, if an
institution embraces the issue, works to understand why
it is the way it is, and then works to overcome
it, you can make progress. Mae Jemison:
May I? I would just like to add
something to that and maybe put it in perfective, also with
contrasting it to some of the success Harvey Mudd College has
had in terms of improving its Computer Science representation. But just really quickly,
some statistics. So women, even though you
saw 30% — I’m not sure which engineering class you went
to, but that was very unusual, even today. Because usually engineering is
somewhere around 20% graduation rate in engineering. Computer Science actually
was around in the 20, 25%. And then it decreased over time. And so we’re actually lower
now than we were in 2000. So this issue about what
happens is really important. There are a number of different
studies that would be very interesting for you
all to take a look at. One is the American Association
of University Women’s “Why So Few” that talks about what are
some of the issues and the gaps. Two studies that I was
personally involved with are Bayer Corporation’s
Making Science Make Sense 14-15 which looked at
women and minorities, underrepresented
minorities in Engineering. They showed some of the things
that happened with women were confidence gap. There’s an issue with college
professors actively discouraging women and minority students. So one study where they looked
at — one study showed that 40% of women who are members of the
American Chemical Society met active discouragement by college
professors while they were in college from pursuing
STEM degrees. These are the people
who actually made it. All right. So that tells you something about
what the discouragement happens. Another study showed that
college professors and the chairs of college departments
of the top 200 research universities thought that women
students were the best prepared academically to achieve in STEM
degrees yet women graduated in fewer numbers percentage-wise. But they felt that that was okay
because they did the weed out kind of programs. There’s something wrong, as
you said, with the interaction. One of the ways I think you can
encapsulate what happens and how Title IX is important to this is
if you think of it as the three E’s; experience,
expectation, and exposure. So first of all, people have
to expect women to do well. When you ask people to draw
a picture of a scientist, what do they draw? They usually draw a
male in a white coat. That’s the same thing about your
Computer Science majors, right? It’s not a woman. So there’s not an expectation
that they’re necessarily going to succeed or be interested
in pursuing a STEM career. The other part of
it is exposure. What do people do? What do computer
scientists actually do? What do engineers actually do? What do geologists actually do? What are those careers? And I would add on, what do
electricians and machinists, what do they actually do? So that that is seen
as a possibility. And the third one is experience. So you have an opportunity
to do internships. You have an opportunity
to actually do this work. And that’s where you
gain your confidence. So it’s experience,
expectation, and exposure. One of the things
that I would just add, what Harvey Mudd did where
they tripled their rate of women Computer Science
students in five years, is they didn’t actually
change the overall classes. They created two classes for in
coming students so those that had a lot of experience with
computer programming and software and those who didn’t
have as much experience, so that they weren’t
getting overshadowed. But they were at the same place
by the time you got somewhere around mid year. So it was an artificial problem. So I think there’s a way that we
can look at that and why Title IX talks about opportunities. Because it’s that experience,
it is that exposure and it’s the expectation that
makes a difference. Gabreila Farfan:
About that whole
expectation thing, I really like that idea because
I always — like growing up, I realized that people would
always say that math is hard. And I feel like that’s
not helping anyone, to tell a girl
that math is hard. Instead tell her to work hard. Far too many times have I seen
girls be discouraged from high school Chemistry. Or even first year at Stanford,
a lot of girls were like, oh yeah, I’m Pre-Med. And then they went through
first year of Chemistry and dropped out. It’s like, if you think
you want to do it, like, give it a better shot. People should be encouraging
girls to continue. Like, yes, Chemistry was hard,
but I knew that I would do better in my Geology classes. I ended up getting an A in
Geochemical Thermodynamics. So, yeah, maybe the intro
classes won’t be that fun but to push through, to
encourage girls to keep pushing through and do the
best they can do is important. Mae Jemison:
I just want to say the
change in the intro classes also help boys. So one of the things that I
think that was the thing that was going through the previous
panel of whether or not Title IX took things away from males,
as we start to change the introductory weed out classes
and the STEM courses and we say we admitted these students so
therefore we expect them to be able to do well,
in looking at it, how do we as professors actively
get the students through the classes rather than weeding out,
than that helps males as well. And we’re having a problem,
even with retaining and keeping males, white males who
were traditionally the STEM workforce. We’re having problems
keeping them in. It becomes really important
for us to change some of these paradigms. Title IX has helped
us to do that. Jared Cohon:
Just a second. It’s almost always
the case that, when a situation like two few
women or women dropping out causes you to examine your
programs and what you’re doing, it results in over
all improvement. And that’s absolutely the case. It never fails. It’s the right thing to do. You get better too. Benita Mosley:
So to kind of add to
some of the statistics that Mae was kind enough
to provide to us, you know, not only are we having too
few women getting the degrees. We have two few women actually
pursuing the professions once they, you know,
get out of college. And, you know, women only
comprise 25% of the STEM workforce over all. But women in STEM jobs
make up 33% more than women in non-STEM jobs. So where we have, you know,
women making 77 cents on the dollar, across the board, less
than the male counterparts, having women in STEM careers
is a way to help boost those salaries and that income level
for women across the board. So we know we need to get
more women in STEM fields. Unbeknownst to me, I’m probably
one of the people that has contributed to the decline in
women in some of these careers. I got my Engineering Degree from
the University of Tennessee in Industrial Engineering. And it actually did
it for a little while. We had a program with the
Olympic Committee called the Olympic Job
Opportunities Program. So when I got out of college, I
won my gold model the same year. And then I moved to a different
school to follow my coach to a different school and
decided, well, you know, I got an Engineering Degree but
if I’m going to compete for four more years, I probably need to
also start working a little bit to try to make sure that
those skills don’t go stale. So I did work for three
different defense contractors over the next six years. And although I have the upmost
respect and admiration and, quite frankly, appreciation for
women and men in the military, that just wasn’t my passion. And I realize now, as
Chief of Sports for U.S.A. Track and Field, and I would
work on developing sports science and medicine programs,
I realized, you know what, if I had gone into sports
biomechanics or sports medicine or tried to be a
sports orthopedist, I probably would have
stayed in STEM a long time. I think connecting women in
particular with their passion and having them — you said that
you had a passion for gems and minerals from the age of 7. So that passion is correlated
now to your education and hopefully then to a wonderful
lovely successful career. So I really wanted
to know, you know, you’ve talked about some of the
reasons for low participation and retention rates. But how do you think women role
models really play a role in keeping women in, getting
them inspired and motivated? And you talked about not really
seeing women in those areas, seeing them having
that exposure. Would seeing more, as we have
more people going into forensic science now as a result of CSI
and some of those programs, seeing more of that
portrayed in the media, might that be a way to get more
of the word out to know exactly what these jobs
are, what they do, and how women might be
able to pursue them? So anybody can take
a stab at that. Mae Jemison:
Okay. I’m going to do something
with this word role model, something that bothers me. So role models was a really
perfectly good psychological term that dealt with who you
learn your behaviors from. And it’s, I think,
public figures or images. So it’s the images
of the possible. And I think where the role
models come in are from the teachers and professors,
the folks you are around. So yes, as we get more
professors into the programs, it makes a difference,
as we heard. It will make a big difference. So I think the images are
important so that when people draw — the scientists,
when they draw the engineer, that they draw people or even
have to stop and think, well, what kind of person
am I going to draw? Right? It makes a difference. I want to tell one story. And I told it before,
but not here obviously. But it’s a story about
commitment and what we decide to do. In 1959, when the astronauts,
when they first started selecting astronauts, one of the
docs who was designing the tests for the male astronauts, he
decided that he also wanted to test women. And there was a good reason
for deciding to test women. Because engineering
perspective, they weighed less, their hearts were in better
condition for the most part. They had less heart attacks. There were a number of
other issues that said, physiologically maybe
women would do better. So they actually tested
women who had over 1,000 hours of flight time. Many of the women had more
hours than the male astronauts who were tested in flight. And the women did,
overall, better then the male astronaut candidates. And then the
program was stopped. So it was like, well, we
don’t intend to do this. What would have happened when
we had Title IX were we had an opportunity to pay attention
to it a little bit differently? A lot of these images and role
models and what happens can be affected by people just stopping
and paying attention to what they’re doing. Why do you say, well, we
don’t intend to do this? You have people who have
the flight time and that kind of experience. You have the
physiological capacity. They did psychologically
better on tests. But we just decided
not to do it. Right? So I think images
make a difference. But even more so, it’s
the commitment to allow something to happen. Because I think you’ll find
that there are a lot of girls who want to do stuff and then
parents and other people tell them, well, you can’t do that,
that’s going to be a problem. Right? So the girl says, well — they
keep hitting their heads against the wall and they stop. So the role modeling,
I would say, would come from the parents. Images make a difference, but
the role modeling comes from the parents and the teachers and
the professors they’re around. Russlynn Ali:
To add to that, it’s also
about ensuring access and opportunity and in many ways
transforming the way we think about our high schools and what
we mean by college readiness. The jobs in the field we’re
talking about now are the jobs of the emerging economy, right? They will be those that
ensure a kind of pathway into success in life. And the readiness — to be ready
in a STEM field really does mean to be ready for
college generally. Today though only about 40%
of our high schools even offer Physics as new data the
department released is showing — offer Physics in those
schools serving the most African American and Latino students. Only about half of all high
schools offer Physics at all. Only about half of all high
schools are offering Calculus. So as we think about what it
means to be ready for college without the need
for remediation, in order to ensure that we meet
the President’s goal that by 2020 we’re going to once again
lead the world in the percentage of college graduates, it is
about ensuring that teachers have the supports they need,
that the kind of counseling that we’ve heard anecdotally and
seen as we enforce this law, that goes on not only at the
college level but also at the high school level, counseling
out and counseling selectively to just some students
as opposed to all, that those kinds of patterns
and practices change. But unless the pipeline is seen
as one from elementary, middle, high, college, and career,
we will be shortchanging the students that need the most. So it’s certainly about
vigorous enforcement of civil rights laws. The kind of role modeling
that we’ve talked about, we really can’t
take for granted. And there is a kind of
interagency agreement that we’re seeing from Department
of Transportation, from EPA, from Department of Justice,
certainly from here in the White House and their Office of
Science and Technology Policy and EOP where we are not only
showcasing mentors and really celebrating them
because that’s not easy. Right? And the distinction between
a role model and images and a mentor is one that — Benita Mosley:
Varying degrees of
how involved you are with that individual. Russlynn Ali:
And the kind of commitment
that it takes to ensure good mentorship is something
that also ought to be celebrated and we are promoting. The issue appears to be, as
we’re matriculating out of the sophomore year into junior year
of high school where you see equal access in almost — and
success rates — in all of the courses that prepare. But in those final last two
years of decision making, something else happens. It’s also about encouraging a
work-life balance so that the decisions that too many that
came before us had to make in terms of either/or and this idea
that having it all was a myth is actually broken. And we have learned a lot
about our own administration, our own policies internally. And the President’s first
executive order establishing the Council on Women and Girls that
is doing a deep dive across agencies but also looking at
best practices across the rest of the employment sectors is
something that we can learn from and try and incent
and replicate. Gabreila Farfan:
I would like to also
agree about the whole parents as being role models. I came from a family
of biologists. So my mom is a
molecular biologist. And I got to see her
as my role model. And I think that the more women
that go into STEM than the more girls are going to be encouraged
and watch their mothers go through the process. So for me, it wasn’t as daunting
as perhaps if my mother didn’t do science. So that’s one thing. And also, there are little
things that parents can do to encourage their kids
and their creativity. I see a lot of young girls and
young boys be interested in geology at a young age. For example, they’ll be like
oh, I love dinosaurs, or, I love rocks. And they’ll pick up rocks at
the beach and bring them home. But then at the end of
the week, the parents like throw them away. You know, it’s a very common
thing to throw away your kid’s rock collection. So don’t do that. It doesn’t help. So if you keep that collection,
teach them about it, they might actually blossom
into something greater. Benita Mosley:
I agree on the role models. My father was a Math
and Science undergrad, but he was also my guidance
counselor in high school. So he had decided I don’t know
how many years before that I was going to be an engineer,
unbeknownst to me. So he made sure that every year
when he did my class schedule, he put on there Math Analysis
and Calculus and Physics and Chemistry and
Advanced Chemistry. I was good for absolutely
nothing else when I finished high school but engineering. So he made quite sure of that. I actually had a
different question for you if you don’t mind. I wanted to kind of broaden it
a little bit and just talk about Title IX and having more women
involved in STEM careers and how that will have an
impact on our economy. You kind of referred to
that, Russlynn, a little bit, and kind of the
future in general. How important is
having more women? Birch Bayh talked about — I
think it was Birch — talked about the fact that we were
leaving 53% of the population behind, not having their
brain power in play. Jared Cohon:
It was his former wife
that pointed that out to him. And it’s a great observation. Indeed, the STEM issue is,
in the view of some of us, a national crisis. It’s not just the lack of
women in STEM disciplines. It’s the lack of Americans
in STEM disciplines. And the more women
we can get into it, the better off we
will be as a nation. It’s absolutely central
to the ability of our nation to compete. I don’t need to convince anybody
here of that, I don’t think. The question though
is how do we do it? How do we attract American
kids, boys and girls, to show interest and keep and
maintain that interest in STEM? We at Carnegie Mellon, the same
women we attracted into Computer Science are now very active
in trying to spread the word. I don’t know if they
qualify as role models. But to appear in middle schools
and lower level schools as a model of a computer scientist,
trying to dispel the stereotype that most kids have. We’ve also built games using
gaming technology to try to engage very young
kids in programming, something that’s been
quite successful, and more using robots. Robots represent a great hook
for getting kids interested because everybody’s
fascinated by them. But to answer the question, I
can’t think of anything more important that we can do for the
nation’s competitiveness than to fix this, to get more American
kids to major in STEM. And the more women the better. Benita Mosley:
What’s the crisis here? Like what happens if we don’t? Five years from now, 10 years
from now, 20 years from now. Jared Cohon:
You mentioned sort of the
existential crisis if you will. We believe America’s success
today and our success in the future is based on our
ability to create new ideas, new products, to innovate. Innovation is absolutely totally
dependent on producing people who are graduates of
the STEM disciplines. Not only that but
primarily that. If the ladder goes
away so does the floor. Let me make it
though very specific. You mentioned you work for
a few defense contractors. I can’t tell you how desperate
defense contractor recruiters are for finding American kids
who are graduating in STEM. Because they have to be
American kids because they have to get clearances. And you can only get
it if you’re a citizen. They are seeing a
crisis right now. It’s extremely competitive
for them to get the people that they need. So we’re feeling it. And the long-term impact though
will be on America’s ability to compete in this very globally
competitive economy that we’re a part of. Benita Mosley:
Go ahead. And then I have a question. Mae Jemison:
I just wanted to
do something else. So the one thing about
having more women, yes, we’re losing 53% of our talent. So people might think
of it as just a number of bodies question. But I think there’s also a
question of we’re losing 53% of our perspective and our
experience to bring to bear because people and their
different experiences are going to see the problems differently. They’re going to ask
questions differently. So if you start talking
about innovation, that’s the reason why it also
becomes critically important that we have women involved
because they’re going to bring a different experience base. So you’re losing that as well. It’s not just about bodies. And I just wanted to add
something on to how do we get students involved. So this is where experience
comes in as well. So we put together a program
called The Earth We Share which is students 12-16, that really
difficult group where they start to fallout of the STEM fields. But what we do is we use
students, all comers, whether they want
to be scientists, whether they want to
be reporters, whatever. And we actually ask
them to solve problems. We ask them to use
their experience base to solve problems. That’s important. Because in some kind of way,
students have to own the experience, and especially
after you get into the sort of adolescent teenage years. They want to know that
their ideas are important and incorporated. So we have to start to
change our curriculum. It’s not enough just to put
people in front of folks. You have to let the kids do
the hands-on kind of work, the experience that allows them
to get their rock collection and hold on to it and say Mommy,
don’t throw my rock collection out or to grow the potato plant. Those things are really
vital and important. So it’s really about
a curriculum change. It’s about having students
invest emotionally, you know, hands on, hearts on, minds
on in the whole process. That’s part of
what we have to do. And that will also develop the
kind of confidence that we need to see, that you were saying
that girls need to be able to take, bring to bear, once
they get out of high school. Benita Mosley:
So Gabreila, it
occurs to me that, when we were talking about
girls dropping out at, you know, middle school and early
part of high school, there’s a similar parallel
to girls in sports. We see a similar
decline in the girls. As you said earlier, we
were talking about earlier, girls through elementary
school, they’re having great opportunities in sports,
taking advantage of it. Sixth grade, seventh grade,
somewhere in those early teen years is where they
start to lose interest and stop participating. Part of it due obviously
to the fact that, at that point in time, we still
have a disparity as far as the number of opportunities
that there are for girls. I would like to
know — you know, we have a new campaign with the
Women’s Sports Foundation called Keep Her in the Game. I want to know from you, you’re
very young and you have been in high school more recently
than any of us on the panel. What would you say is something
that we could do to better encourage girls to stay
in the game at 12, 13, 14, 15 years old? And there’s a B part
to the question. What things did you see in
middle school and high school where girls are dropping
out, losing their confidence, not pursuing a math career? You referenced it, but
you didn’t really say why. Gabriela Farfan:
That’s a really good question. So, let’s see. So I think one thing at least
that encouraged me to stay I think was a friend group, like
a very good friend group of like strong girls. And I realize it’s hard
sometimes to find a group of people that will support you. And I think it’s all
about the people, like your teachers — like
if teachers are encouraging, and also just like
other girlfriends, or even guy friends that are
very encouraging and you can do problem sets together. Like that community,
I think, is essential, and I see that even still. In college I’m experiencing
the same thing. I have a great group of
people that we work together. So I think it’s more
of a small group thing. I don’t know what you
could do on a larger scale, but that would be very
interesting to look into. As for — also
like encouragement, like in terms of
like awards, I think. So I didn’t really realize
like what I was doing was that exciting until I got the Intel
Science Talent Search Award at the end of high school. So I just was doing
things on my own. I did research at
the university. And I just kind of
did things on my own. But no one ever like gave me
feedback saying, you know, what you’re doing is a big deal
and you could go to Stanford. I didn’t think I was
going to go to Stanford. Like I just applied on a whim. I said, maybe I’ll get in. Like that would be exciting. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
And they were like
please, please come. Gabriela Farfan:
Yeah. So I think if girls were
encouraged at a younger age and maybe awarded at a younger age,
they might be more likely to pursue things later on. So maybe in beginning of
high school if there were — Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
Back to that exposure. Gabriela Farfan:
Yeah, the exposure, the
experience too that you mentioned is really important. So… Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
So I know we probably
don’t have much time left. Mae Jemison:
Just in terms of
exposure and acknowledgment, women who have STEM degrees
or are in STEM fields, if they could stand up. Because we did it
with the athletes, can we do it with those
who have STEM degrees. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
We did it with the
athletes, absolutely. (applause) That’s wonderful. Absolutely great. For Russlynn, you had mentioned
President Obama’s administration and just being blessed to be in
this administration at this time when Title IX was,
quite frankly, in a place where it
was under attack. And now we are celebrating the
40th Anniversary and all of the wonderful achievements. What kinds of things are
happening in the administration? How is the President taking a
leadership role in this area? Russlynn Ali:
Well, how much time we got? (laughter) So, you know, look, I’m — the
stalwarts who helped pass this law 40 years ago would likely be
amazed by the progress and truly stunned by how far
we have left to go. Rights are under attack,
sometimes overtly, sometimes quietly. This president from the very, I
mean — we could go on and on. Fair Pay Act, would we have
known that it would take this president 40 years
later to get it done? When we talk about the
benefits to women woven through everything from healthcare
reform to things like the Race to the Top Initiatives in
the department where the only absolute priority that is a
requirement was to ensure that underrepresented folks
had access to this kind of curriculum that we’re talking
about in terms of STEM. We’ve talked about the
mentoring across agencies. That is really about
showing what is possible. The research dollars invested in
budget across agencies, right, that kind of research and
innovation that we know we have to achieve if we are to maintain
our place in this global economy, whether it be around
increasing our green and electrical to ensuring
equity and education. But one thing is for sure. Whether it is the moral
imperative that motivates, I’m sure, so many
people in this room, or the demographic imperative
when you look at the changing face of our country and,
as we’ve talked about, the changing face
of the workforce, or the economic imperative,
because we cannot get to excellence without equity. We have to hold on vigorously to
these rights and ensure that we enforce the laws that
protect the gains that we have made doggedly. I could go on and on about the
kind of harassment cases that we are seeing, sexual violence
cases that we are seeing, and harassment in the
fields we are talking about. Getting access but
not being supported. Getting access but
being alienated. And this is something that we
have — you can’t stop, right? We can’t stop. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
And it’s at all levels
of education and in careers as well? Russlynn Ali:
Yes, yes. So, so there was one
aviation mechanic. So it’s also not just in
your typical college, right. You’re not talking about
just your four years or just your two years. You’re talking about
in workforce readiness, and in apprenticeship programs,
and in the case I just was referring to, it’s in
aviation mechanics, where the harassment was so
bad, she had to drop out. Now, the Office for Civil Rights
ensured that she was not only compensated financially for the
loss but what was entitled to her she would get and that this
culture that gave rise to that kind of tolerance of
harassment would be sussed out and eradicated. And we won’t alleviate that
institution or any from monitoring until the vestiges
of this stuff is gone. But we have to fiercely protect
the progress that we have made and keep fighting with every
— there is no — just like as Senator Bye said, Title
IX could not be a panacea. There is no one way. It has to be woven
in everything we do. And I didn’t mean
that in jest, right. I could go on and on about the
ways that this administration is pushing this down to the
granule level as well. Now, leadership is hugely
important and understanding that Title IX should be used
on things like STEM access and success, and preventing
sexual violence and rape, and ensuring
fundamental fairness, for us to achieve the promise
of not only our public schools, but really of America. So, at once we ought
to celebrate again, but we got a lot of work to do. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
Well, I know we only
have another minute, but I want to close
asking Mae a question. People find out I
won a gold medal. They are like, what did
it feel like, you know, to stand on the victory stand? I really want to know, what
did it feel like to be in a spaceship and go rocketing into
space and beyond, you know, beyond beyond, whatever? I mean, this is stuff
we only dream about. I mean, what was it like? Tell us. Mae Jemison:
So that — I didn’t prepare
the answer for that one, but I’m going to give it a try. (laughter) So I can tell you,
well, first of all, you have all kinds of feelings,
physiological, psychological, and other things. But, to tie it to this, I will
tell you that when I got up into space, I thought of the little
girl on the south side of Chicago who used to always
assume during the Apollo Program that she would go into space
even though nobody there looked like her, and they had actively
discouraged women and said women couldn’t be involved. I thought about that little girl
and what a huge grin she would have had on her face if she had
known, first of all, that yes, she was there, because she
always assumed she was, but also if she could have
seen someone else doing that at the time. So, it was an incredible
experience looking down at the earth. You could see all the beauty
and the majesty of it. And I had one other thought. So when I was getting ready
— and this goes back to STEM. When I was getting ready on
the morning of my launch, the person who dressed me was a
young African American woman who was the first person
to graduate from her, in her family from high school. My life depended on someone
who had STEM knowledge. From high school, she had
previously dressed SR-71 pilots. She was now dressing astronauts
in their launch and entry suits. My life depended upon
her, what she had learned. And so there was this
connection there that was incredibly important. There was a connection with the
world and a connection with the past and the future knowing that
nobody else would have to go through the same thing to say
it’s okay to go into space if you’re a woman of color. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley:
That’s great. (applause) Well, this has been a great
experience for me learning more about what you do and how
important STEM education is, make me feel even for
guilty that I left that. (laughter) But I’m hoping, I’m hoping that
I’m having an ultimate impact on the athletes that will end up in
London in a few weeks competing with the Sports Science
and Medicine Programs that we put in place. So, Jared and Gabriela
and Russlynn and Mae, very much appreciate
your time today. We appreciate you being here. Thank you. (applause) Tina Tchen:
Thank you. Thank you, Benita, and
thanks to everyone. We’re just about finished. I have to say, you know, we all
told little Title IX stories. I told you earlier I
was a Pre-Title IX baby, but I was not a
Pre-Title IX lawyer. So, again, the other thing we
haven’t talked about is one of the things I did
as a young lawyer, this was in the early eighties,
is actually have to bring a lawsuit for a young soccer
player, ninth grader, you know, in suburban Chicago. And the Illinois High School
Association refused to let her play on the boy’s team where
there wasn’t a girls team. They eventually gave in. We won. But I will say I told that story
on Monday to this audience in this room that was filled with
the winners of the Presidential Scholarship, the
high school students, and they all looked at me like
I was from another planet. Like, there was a time when
there wasn’t a girl’s soccer team and someone would keep
girls from playing soccer? And that’s what we
celebrate today, the tremendous path
that we have taken. So I want to thank you
all for being with us. We’re not quite done yet. And when we conclude after we
hear from our last speaker, the young women in the audience,
our girls and girl scout girls, will be going to breakout
rooms where many of you, our athletes and our
scientists and our coaches, will be playing role models,
real life role models. We want to thank you for taking
the time to meet and mentor with these girls at the
conclusion of our program, and we want to thank you
for being here and being with us today. Our last speaker is another one
of the great woman leaders in the Obama Administration,
someone who has been a civil rights leader and a fighter
for justice her entire career, who is now Senior Advisor to
the President and really is the leader of his
Domestic Policy Agenda. So she’s the person who is
really overseeing the strides that we just heard from that we
are going to keep on making in this administration, pursuing
Title IX and pursuing equal opportunity for
all in education. So I’d like to
introduce Cecilia Munoz, the Director of the
Domestic Policy Council. (applause) Cecilia Munoz:
Thank you, Tina. Good afternoon, everybody. I am so excited to be here
and so inspired by what we’re celebrating today and by the
many heroes that are in this room and that have been with
us through this presentation. It’s really — it just
gives you the chills. I am also a Pre-Title IX baby,
and just it’s a real honor to add my voice to those
who are, you know, cheering for what we’ve
accomplished over 40 years. And we’re doubling down on what
we still need to accomplish, because we still have
a long way to go. I think Valerie may have
started the day with her Billy Jean King story. I have one too. I was in about the fifth or
sixth grade when she had that tennis match. And there was a lot of
discussion on the playground about equality. I remember pretty vividly. I participated in those
discussions vigorously. Right in there — this was back
in the days when literally you were really told you could be a
nurse, you could be a teacher, which are excellent
things to be, but not the only things to be. And there is, you know, that
voice in your head when you hear people say that that says,
that can’t be right, you know, when you’re a little girl. And there’s also the voice, the
other voice in your head that says, well, what
if that is right? You know, what if
I’m wrong about that? What if this feeling that I have
that says I can live up to my aspirations, what if
I’m wrong about that? And then I watched
that tennis match, and it shut that
second voice right up. And that’s, you know,
an extraordinary thing, and that’s at some level
what Title IX is helping us accomplish. It’s helped us accomplish
that over 40 years. But we also understand
we got a long way to go. And so it’s important to
remember that this is of course what we do for our daughters. I’m the mother of two daughters,
one of whom lettered in a sport in high school. It’s like an extraordinary
thing to me that that happened. We also do this for
our sons, right, to be the kind of society
where everyone can achieve to their potential. That makes us a stronger
society, period. It’s about girls and boys. It’s about us as a society, as
a community where everybody has the ability to
contribute their utmost. That’s the kind of society
that we’re trying to be. And that’s why over the past
three and a half years this administration has made it a
priority to make sure that we are advancing Title IX, that
we are advancing compliance, that we’re ensuring that all
Americans enjoy the equality of opportunity that the
law provides to them. And we have done things like
issue guidance reminding schools of their responsibilities
under Title IX, and especially to take immediate
and effective steps to respond to sexual violence. The Departments of Justice and
Education have responded to thousands of complaints over
the past three years and have launched several reviews and
investigations to ensure that schools across the country are
in compliance with Title IX. We’re integrating Title IX
into broader agency initiatives across the federal government,
such as the National Science Foundation’s recently launched
career life balance initiative. That’s offering a set of
family-friendly policies and practices to help eliminate
some of the barriers to women’s advancement and retention,
particularly for women in STEM careers. So those are important efforts
that we’ve undertaken already, but we all understand we
can’t stop there and we won’t stop there. So today, for us, it’s
an important day to look back and celebrate. But it’s also a day to make
sure that we’re doubling down. That we’re looking forward. That we’re advancing the goals
of Title IX and advancing the goals of equality. So as we celebrate this
milestone of Title IX’s history, this administration is also
undertaking several new initiatives to advance equal
opportunity for women and girls. So, for example, federal
agencies across the government have committed to work together
to produce common guidance on Title IX compliance
in STEM departments. The idea is to save universities
time and resources and help them better understand what can be
done to improve access to STEM fields for women and girls all
across university departments. Second, in a further
effort to clarify schools’ responsibilities, the Department
of Education is integrating information on STEM into
the Title IX technical assistance presentations. They make these presentations
available to every local educational agency all
across the country. So the idea is to reinforce
critical messages of compliance throughout the K12
system, throughout post-secondary settings. And the Department of Education
is expanding its efforts to identify gender gaps. This is — as a policy wonk,
this really resonates with me. They’re making sure through
what’s called the Civil Rights Data Collection that we have
the data to be able to highlight where there are
gender disparities. And data is really its power. It allows us to show where
there are still problems. That’s the basis for
attacking those problems. This is something that the
department has taken on aggressively, and it gives us
really new power and new tools for addressing discrimination,
addressing disparities, and making sure that we tackle
them in an effective way. Every decision made by those of
us in public life impacts women, as well as men. These issues aren’t
just a matter of policy. They are, as I said, they
are not just women’s issues. This is fundamental to whether
we’re going to be the kind of society that the President
has charted out for us, right, one where everyone
gets to contribute. Everybody pays their fair share. Everybody contributes. Everybody has the ability
to live up to their fullest potential. That’s how we become and
continue to be the kind of strong society. That’s how we best live out
our values as Americans. This is an important
day to celebrate. This is an extraordinary
milestone to celebrate, but it can’t just be
about celebration. It must be about looking ahead. So, we thank — as Tina said, we
thank those of you who are here, not just as experts and as
heroes and as role models, but also as mentors, and we
thank the girls who are here who are participating
in all of this. We do this because we
believe in you so deeply. So thank you for being here. And all of you, thank you
for everything that we’ve accomplished, and thank
you especially for the work ahead onward. Thanks. (applause) Tina Tchen:
So, that concludes
this part of our program. Before we end, I want to
bring up to the podium, she’s going to
give us logistics, but I want to especially
acknowledge her, because today would not have
happened and so much of the work of the Council on Women and
Girls would not have happened without the efforts of our
Deputy Director Avra Siegel. So I want to thank Avra. (applause) I want to thank all of you for
being here and for participating and everyone online for
tuning in and participating. And, you know, let’s just get
out there and move and be active and support our women and girls. So, Avra? Avra Siegel:
Well, if I’ve done my job
right, everybody knows where they are going, so I shouldn’t
have to say anything. But I’ll just meet with
April and Alice in the back, and we’ll make sure that we get
the girls to the right rooms, those of you who are staying
here and our mentors, as well. So I’ll just meet you up here
and we’ll make sure we’re good. But thank you, Tina. Thank you all so
much for coming. (applause)

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *