Co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus, Hawai‘i Women Lawyers,
Zonta Club of Leilehua & University of Hawai‘i
Honolulu, Hawai‘i – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act (Title IX), local women’s organizations and the University of Hawai‘i co-hosted a lei ceremony at the Patsy T. Mink statue in front of the Hawai‘i State Library. Speakers included First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Senator Rosalyn H. Baker and Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna, Hawai‘i Supreme Court.
The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity Education Act, passed June 23, 1972, was a landmark piece of legislation for gender equity. This law transformed our schools and universities nationwide by prohibiting educational institutions from receiving federal funds if they discriminated on the basis of sex in admissions, recruitment, financial aid, housing, or athletics.
“As a former teacher and school administrator, I saw firsthand the positive impact of Title IX on our young women,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige. “We must renew our commitment to uphold its protections and ensure equal access for all in our education system.”
“In our ceremony today, we had all three branches of government represented as well as the community,” said Tamah-Lani Noh, former president and member of the Zonta Club of Leilehua. “We are all here because we recognize the impact of Congresswoman Mink’s work for women and girls across the country.”
“As a direct beneficiary of Title IX programs at the University of Hawai‘i, I would not have had the same opportunities without this important legislation” said Hawai‘i Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna. “We need to remind this next generation that women’s rights were not always protected, and we cannot take them for granted.”
“Congresswoman Mink was a trailblazer for women lawyers, and we came here today to celebrate her legacy,” said Shan Wirt, past president and board member of Hawai‘i Women Lawyers. “As the first Japanese-American woman licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i, she overcame discrimination and prejudice on many levels.”
“The 50th anniversary of this landmark legislation marks decades of hard-fought progress for girls and women in classrooms, on the court and in leadership positions across the country,” added Jennifer Rose, Director, University of Hawai‘i, Office of Institutional Equity. “Title IX has made an incredible impact not only on the way society treats women and girls in education, but also addresses and condemns sexual harassment and sexual violence.”
“Congresswoman Mink was a trailblazer for women nationally, not just in Hawaiʻi,” said Senator Rosalyn H. Baker. “She was also a tireless advocate for gender equity in education and access to quality childcare for all families. Our Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus has worked to keep her legacy alive by enacting our own state version of Title IX in Hawaii, to ensure that all students have equal access to their education.”