Celebrating 40 Years of Title IX - Part 1


Uploaded by whitehouse on 21.06.2012

Transcript:
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)