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Mangano: Let’s continue celebrating Title IX by speaking up and speaking out

By Kathy Mangano

On Aug. 9, 2022, I proudly began serving as the 2022-23 Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics (DSPH) and shared the components of my project, Title IX at 50: Educate & Advocate, through a campus-wide email.

In the months since, I have realized how much there still is to learn about Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This has further motivated me to take action to educate our College and the greater community about this vital civil rights law that provides access and equality in education to all, and to take action by advocating to preserve and strengthen this critical law.

A few important facts to consider:
Fifty-eight percent of parents and 71 percent of children aged 12-17 surveyed knew nothing about Title IX, according to a poll conducted by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland.

Today, more women are attending college and earning degrees than ever before. Compare this with 1972, when Title IX was signed into law, and women earned just seven percent of all law degrees and nine percent of all medical degrees. Today, women earn almost half of all law and medical degrees.

The withdrawal of federal funds is the penalty for non-compliance with Title IX. To date, approximately 80 to 90 percent of all educational institutions are not in compliance with Title IX as it applies to athletics. Yet, the withdrawal of federal funds has never been initiated.

Because of Title IX, grievance procedures for students who complain of sex discrimination, including sexual assault, must be adopted and published by schools.

Women’s participation in college athletics has increased since the passage of Title IX. Today, women make up 44 percent of all NCAA athletes, compared with 15 percent pre-Title IX.

This year has been a Title IX journey, for me and for others on our campus. My DSPH project has been supported by the Title IX Commemoration Steering Committee, the Office of Non-discrimination Initiatives, and all of you who helped organize or participated in the events and programming offered throughout the fall semester.

These events included: 9/9 for Title IX: The History of Women’s Basketball; “The Sporting Woman: Insights from Her Past” display on the second floor of the Wellness Center; Title IX: Trail Blazers Panel; Title IX: The Power of 37 Words conversation; Celebrating Title IX at 50 display of memorabilia and timeline in the Harold C. Smith Learning Commons; reading trail signs on the campus; Title IX Cab Rides; classroom speaking engagements; Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) “Take back the night” event; social media posts on Instagram and Facebook (@sctitleix); articles written by the staff of this paper and found on this page (page IX) of every edition of The Springfield Student; and so much more.

In addition, I have had the pleasure to interview folks with stories that have educated us about the power of Title IX and its legacy. These have been released as webcasts dropped on the ninth of every month and archived at

I want to thank my DSPH team for their support and to the members of our faculty and staff who have linked Title IX to their curricula and programming. If you incorporated Title IX this year, please contact me at, and I will send you a Title IX t-shirt. Special thanks, also, to Isabella “Bella” Samse, a junior sport management major who served as my intern this semester.

There is still much more action in education and advocacy ahead throughout the spring semester. I welcome members of the Springfield College community to create an advocacy project to help educate, secure and/or strengthen Title IX. (Email for details and the registration form, which is due Jan. 31, 2023.) The advocacy project can be completed individually, in groups, as a class assignment, as an athletic team, or by organizations and clubs, etc. In addition, students who have completed their 300-level Wellness & Physical Literacy course will be able to earn Wellness Passport stamps.

All are welcome to join me for Title IX Advocacy in Action, an event showcasing all of your campus advocacy projects, on Feb. 9, 2023, from 7-9 p.m. in the Dodge Room of the Campus Union.

In reflecting on Title IX, I am reminded of a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., who said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Let’s continue celebrating this momentous anniversary of the passing of Title IX by speaking up and speaking out. Let’s engage in actions that bend toward justice in all areas, beyond our campus community but especially within it. Let’s strengthen our campus culture of expressing appreciation for others, kindheartedly embracing an inclusive culture, inviting dissent, speaking out – and preserving our distinctive Humanics philosophy. It is the Springfield Way.

Photo Courtesy Springfield College

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