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Sunday, April 08, 2007
Harvard Law School Conference on Title IX

On Friday, April 13, the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender will host a conference entitled "Changing Social Norms? Title IX and Legal Activism." Title IX, of course, refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 passed by Congress and signed by President Richard M. Nixon on June 23, 1972. The law requires that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Title IX has been a frequent topic on this blog and in sports law discussions across the country. There is also an excellent blog, Title IX Blog, devoted to it. Generally speaking, Title IX has been praised for promoting gender equity in sports, helping to reverse long-standing discrimination against female athletes, and, more broadly, counteracting prejudices toward women, which has in turn encouraged more women to play sports. But Title IX has also been criticized for effectively requiring schools to spend fewer resources on non-profitable men's teams, such as cross country and wrestling, or having to eliminate those teams altogether in order to comply with Title IX's three part test.

The Harvard Law conference will explore how Title IX might be used to combat patterns of sexual harassment found at many schools. It will also consider the broader effects of Title IX on school athletic programs. Panelists will include, among others: Verna Williams (lead counsel on Davis v. Monroe County), Diane Rosenfeld (Harvard Law Lecturer on Law), Nancy Lieberman (former college, Olympic, and professional basketball player and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame) and Coach Roderick Jackson (a pioneer in coaches’ rights under Title IX and petitioner in Supreme Court case: Jackson v. Birmingham). For a complete list of speakers and topics, click here.

It should be a great event, and I'm looking forward to reading a recap of it. If you are interested in attending or would like more information, please visit the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender website. If you have any questions, please e-mail either of the conference chairs: Lexie Kuznick at or Meg Ryan at


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