As many across the country are commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a coalition comprised of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, National Women’s Law Center, and the Women’s Sports Foundation are launching a national campaign to engage, galvanize and call to action. ‘Demand IX’ seeks to educate and empower people with tools to demand more robust Title IX protection and enforcement. From a website of downloadable resources to a national petition to sign, this new initiative provides ample opportunity for public participation and action to spur greater protection and enforcement of the landmark law.
Since its passage, Title IX has positively impacted the lives of millions of people, providing a pathway to achieving gender equity in education. However, though it opened doors for many, there are still systemic barriers for many underrepresented populations. Awareness, education, compliance, and enforcement are essential for the law to live up to its promise fully. “Title IX is one of the most important pieces of legislation of the twentieth century,” said sports icon and social justice pioneer Billie Jean King. “It is a law that speaks to the importance of gender equity in this country and stands as a benchmark of global significance. Demand IX is working to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX and to support efforts to protect and enforce this groundbreaking law.”
One of the campaign’s goals is to garner one million petition signatures to create a powerful, collective voice to take to Congress and other policymakers to demand more robust Title IX protection and enforcement. Over 70 campaign partners have already signed on, including: Athleta, Athletes for Impact, Ford Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the National Women’s Soccer League, United Nations Foundation, Victim Rights Center, and many others.
“While Title IX opened up doors for many, there are still systemic barriers to education, especially for girls and women of color, LGBTQI+ students, individuals from rural or low-income communities, and people with disabilities,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “Demand IX seeks to educate, inspire, and empower millions of people with the tools they need to fight to secure Title IX’s promise for gender equity and fairness for everyone in schools.”
Today’s launch is a ‘National Student Day of Action’ to empower young people to demand that their schools be more Title IX compliant and actively ensure equity and fairness for all students, regardless of gender. Via the campaign website, students can download interactive social media tools to advocate for stronger protections and push leaders to live up to the promise of Title IX.
“Students are the future of this legislation – they are the backbone and champions needed to ensure that equitable access to sports and educational opportunities prevail,” said Danette Leighton, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “We all have a responsibility to use our voice to ensure we build a more fair and just society for generations of girls and women.”