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Title IX: Activism On and Off the Field

Title IX: Activism On and Off the Field commemorates the 50th anniversary of Title IX, an addition to the Education Amendments Act of 1972 that fundamentally reshaped American society by prohibiting discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal assistance. Best known for its twin flashpoints of sports and sexual harassment, Title IX covers a broad swath of American educational life, from K-12 to higher education, thanks to activists and lawmakers determined to secure the advantages of education for all students. 

Displays document the work of activists across the country whose personal experiences with sex discrimination in education and professional careers within federal government agencies made them uniquely qualified to advocate for meaningful regulations for Title IX and to defend the law against amendments intended to weaken it. Personal items, photographs, and a re-creation of a campus kiosk advertising Take Back the Night demonstrations over the last 30 years convey the passion and commitment of student activists. Artifacts from professional athletes and the consumer culture that arose to celebrate them—from Barbie dolls to Wheaties boxes—chart the opportunities for women athletes and the new standards of femininity and strength. Children’s books and classroom materials from the 1970s to the present day show how as understandings of gender have changed, so too has the definition of sex discrimination. 

Title IX: Activism On and Off the Field is organized by New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History and is curated by Curator of Women’s History Collections Laura Mogulescu, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in the Center for Women’s History Allison Robinson and Anna Danziger Halperin, and Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellows Keren Ben-Horin and Karintha Lowe with Valerie Paley, senior vice president, Sue Ann Weinberg Director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, and founding director of the Center for Women’s History.


The New York Times- Title IX at 50: How it Changed Congress, Campuses and Sports

New York Historical Society, May 13, 2022 - September 4, 2022 - Co-curator

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