Two Fresno State teachers were some of the first women whose young lives were forever different when Title IX passed. Now, they are paving the way for the coming decades.
Dr. Dawn Lewis and Dr. Kathryn Forbes are both professors at Fresno State and some of the first Title IX recipients.
Dr. Forbes started elementary school one year after the Civil Rights Act passed in 1972.
“I was a Title IX winner all my career, but I also had women as mentors who were not Title IX winners,” she says.
Kathryn remembers her female coaches struggling with their fingernails and teeth to get girls’ sports uniforms and a training ground.
Actions that shaped her philosophy as a feminist, professor and chair of the Department of Gender and Sexuality for Women in Fresno State.
“Part of the way my political conscience has developed over the years has been influenced by women who have paved the way for gender equality in public institutions,” says Kathryn.
During her tenure, she has seen a change in the way the younger generation welcomes gender equality.
“Students really embrace feminism both as a political movement and as an identity without a second thought,” she says.
Her colleague, Dr. Dawn Lewis, is a professor of kinesiology and sports psychology. Dawn is a former college athlete and former assistant coach for the men’s track and field team in Michigan State.
Dr. Lewis says that although things have changed over the past 50 years, women still face more obstacles than men.
“Women have to compete with both qualified women and qualified men in women’s sports,” she said.
Dawn often says that men have more contact than women and to this day, “Fresno State did not have a woman as athletic director, so I would put it out, are we not ready? I think we are.”
She says she has a long list of women who are capable, ready and experienced in the state of Fresno.
“Now is the time to put women in their place, because they are no longer at a disadvantage,” he said.
Both Dawn and Kathryn suggest that we have a long way to go not only in sports but also in STEM.
Cultural standards and access to resources play a big role.
“I would say that my call to action would be ‘find where women are missing and find out why, and then find a way to get them there,'” says Dr. Forbes.
Dr. Forbes says that thanks to the next generation, the future looks bright, but they are still working to achieve gender equality.
ABC’s ABC and Localish TV stations feature 50 inspirational stories from around the country for Fifty / 50 as part of the Walt Disney Company landmark project initiative Emphasizing the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX, the federal law on civil rights that prohibits gender discrimination in any federally funded educational institution, gives women equal opportunities to play.
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ESPN, Localish and this station.
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Two Fresno State Professors share how they’ve benefited from the Civil Rights Law, Title IX Source link Two Fresno State Professors share how they’ve benefited from the Civil Rights Law, Title IX