50 years ago on June 23rd, Title IX of the Education Amendments was signed into law. This game changing law “is a comprehensive law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs or activities in all federally funded educational institutions including high schools and middle schools” (Pennepacker, 2021). When you interpret the law, it allows women and girls to participate in middle school, high school, and college sports without discrimination. To this day, women and girls have accomplished and broke through many barriers thanks to Title IX. BigTeams finds it important to highlight some of the pioneers/advocates of this movement and to thank them for their relentless efforts: Edith Louise Starrett Green, Billie Jean King, and Peg Pennepacker.
1. Edith Louise Starrett Green
Edith was an integral part of creating the legislation of Title IX. Known as “Mrs. Education” and Representative of Oregon, Green was committed to the educational program and women’s issues and social reform. With these two passions of hers, Green documented discrimination for hearings and fought for gender equity in schools and employment that later helped pass Title IX.
2. Billie Jean King
We all know the name, Billie Jean King. She was the number 1 tennis player in the world during her time. She was the first woman in any sport to earn over $100,000 which helped pave the way for other female athletes. Not only was she a fierce competitor on the court, but she was an influential voice for women’s rights and Title IX. One of her biggest pushes, she fought for equal prize payment as her male counterparts. She was and is a role model for female athletes and her fight still lives on today.
3. Peg Pennepacker
Peg Pennepacker is an avid advocate/consultant for Title IX. She is the founder of High School Title IX Consulting services that pushes and teaches the law on how it can benefit your athletic program. Not only does she have her own company, she also serves as a consultant on the Executive Council of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Association, and the Association of Title IX Administrators. Pennepacker is encouraging Athletic Directors and their staff to not fear Title IX, but to understand it and embrace it.
These women advocated and still are for Title IX. Even though the law doesn’t directly mention sports, it has been a huge key in the success of many female athletes today. Because of these women and other important pioneers, Title IX gives women and girls the right to freely participate in activities that make them who they are without discrimination.
50th anniversary of title IX coming in June of 2022. NFHS. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://www.nfhs.org/articles/50th-anniversary-of-title-ix-coming-in-june-of-2022/