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Northwestern commemorates the 50th anniversary of Title IX

Events Oct. 27-29 look at the 1972 law that prohibited discrimination based on sex in education and programs receiving federal assistance
Anucha Brown

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Northwestern University is hosting a three-day series of panels and events Oct. 27-29 to explore the 1972 law that prohibited discrimination based on sex in education and programs receiving federal financial assistance and confront the needs for improvement moving forward. 

Events hosted by the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern Athletics, and sponsored by Medill and the Office of the Provost, are free and open to the public. Visit the Title IX site for event highlights and other information. Registration is encouraged but not required.

“On the brink of the midterm elections, we will look ahead with a critical eye at the pressing issue of gender equity and how Title IX is holding up a half-century later in regard to a host of issues including the handling of sexual assault and harassment on college campuses, compliance of high school and college athletic departments and the hiring of women to coaching and administrative jobs,” said organizer Melissa Isaacson, an assistant professor at Medill.

“This is a unique opportunity for the Northwestern community to participate in this important discussion with our alumni and the public,” she said.

Title IX at 50 kicks off with an opening event Thursday, Oct. 27, featuring Mary Carillo, widely considered one of the best sports analysts in the country, and Northwestern alumna Katrina Adams, the first African American president and CEO of the United States Tennis Association, who won the NCAA doubles title with partner Diane Donnelly in 1987. Northwestern President Michael Schill and Medill Dean Charles Whitaker will offer welcoming remarks.

“Title IX is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that reshaped the American socio-political landscape,” Whitaker said. “Northwestern’s events allow us to celebrate and explore not only how Title IX came to fruition, but how it continues to undergird our institutions and enrich our lives.”

Event highlights

Following are several key highlights of the event schedule. Visit the Title IX site for detailed information about the complete schedule.

Holding Court with Mary Carillo and Katrina Adams

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, Galvin Recital Hall, Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, 70 Arts Circle, Evanston

Mary Carillo and Katrina Adams, two of the biggest names in tennis and most highly respected women in sports, get together for a night of storytelling and unique insight from their experiences on the pro tennis tour, on television and in the boardroom.

Mary Carillo, analyst and contributor, NBC, HBO and Tennis Channel
Katrina Adams, executive and author, “Own the Arena”
Moderator: Melissa Isaacson, assistant professor, Medill
Opening remarks: Northwestern University President Michael Schill and Medill Dean Charles Whitaker

Sexual Assault and Harassment on Campus: Title IX’s Changing Role

10:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, McCormick Foundation Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston

The application of Title IX to issues of campus sexual assault and harassment has been regarded as a lifeline, a limitation and an overreach. In this panel, we bring together distinct perspectives from academia, law and government.

Susan Appleton, professor, Washington University
Suzanne Goldberg, clinical professor, Columbia University, and deputy assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Education
Kate Lockwood Harris, associate professor, University of Minnesota
Moderator: Deborah Tuerkheimer, professor, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Screening: “The Queen of Basketball”

3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, McCormick Foundation Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston

The 2022 Oscar-winning documentary short “The Queen of Basketball” is the portrait of Lucy Harris, the daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers who scored the first basket in women’s Olympic history and was the only woman drafted into the NBA but remained, until her death in early 2022, largely unknown. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Harris’ daughter and the author of a book on the 1976 USA women’s Olympic basketball team.

Andrew Maraniss, author of “Inaugural Ballers: The True Story of the First U.S. Women’s Olympic Team”
Crystal Stewart Washington, daughter of Lucy Harris and chief academic officer of Lincoln Preparatory School (Grambling, La.)
Moderator: Mary Carillo, analyst and contributor, NBC, HBO and Tennis Channel 

Volleyball: Northwestern vs. Purdue

8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, Welsh-Ryan Arena, 2705 Ashland Ave., Evanston

Please join us as the Northwestern volleyball team hosts Purdue. NU Athletics will provide complimentary tickets to all guests of the Title IX at 50 weekend, and during the match Northwestern will recognize special guests, including student-athlete alumnae across all sports.

Lift as You Rise: The Future for Women in Coaching and Athletic Administration

10:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, Nona Jo’s, Walter Athletics Center, 2255 Campus Drive, Evanston

Some of the most successful women coaches in the country are at Northwestern, and this panel will have them join colleagues in Northwestern’s Athletics administration to discuss the need for mentoring in the industry, how they were guided early in their careers and how to improve the staggeringly low numbers of women currently in power in high school and college sports.

Kelly Amonte Hiller, lacrosse head coach, Northwestern  
Janna Blais, deputy director of Athletics, Northwestern  
Kate Drohan, softball head coach, Northwestern
Kristina Minor, senior associate athletics director for compliance, Northwestern University
Moderator: Christine Brennan, columnist, USA Today, and Commentator, CNN

Hear My Story: The 50-Year Journey of Female Student-Athletes

11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, Nona Jo’s, Walter Athletics Center, 2255 Campus Drive, Evanston

This panel will be a conversation among former Northwestern women’s student-athletes spanning the 50 years since the passage of Title IX, examining what women’s experiences looked and felt like from the early days to today, and discussing the future for female student-athletes at Northwestern.

Dionna Latimer-Hearn, soccer, Northwestern, 1999
Samantha Nettling, softball, Northwestern, 2018
Chinazo Opia Cunningham, softball, Northwestern, 1990
Robin Voigt, volleyball, Northwestern, 1977
Moderator: Meghan McKeown, basketball, Northwestern, 2014