by Jocelyn Samuels
It was clear that all roads end (or begin) with NWLC, as our current and former employees, clients and colleagues gathered on Friday for a Title IX seminar hosted by the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. The seminar, which highlighted Title IX’s upcoming 35th anniversary, addressed how students, university personnel, advocates and members of the public can act to reduce sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination against women in athletics.
I gave a presentation on threats to enforcement of Title IX in the area of athletics, focusing on the dangers posed by the Department of Education’s 2005 clarification and the new lawsuit filed by a coalition of wrestlers to challenge longstanding policies mandating that men and women have equal opportunities to participate in sports.
Joining me on the various panels were former Center employees Verna Williams and Deborah Brake, now respected professors of law, former Center client, Roderick Jackson, who spoke about his experiences taking his Title IX retaliation case to the Supreme Court with NWLC, and Baine Kerr, our co-counsel in Simpson v. University of Colorado, which challenged the University’s failure to address sexual harassment that resulted in the rapes of three students by football players and football recruits in the winter of 2001.
For me, the conference was a great NWLC reunion. But more importantly, it energized a new group of students and other advocates who are committed to making the promise of gender equity a reality.