For Immediate Release
Contact: David Jwanier, media relations associate, 610-740-3790

‘Godmother of Title IX’ to give keynote speech at Cedar Crest College

Allentown, Pa. (March 21, 2012)—On the 40th anniversary of Title IX’s induction into public policy, Bernice Sandler, Ph.D., will discuss women’s rights. Her speech, “Title IX: The Education Law that Changed it All,” will address how this legislation changed the environment for women from athletics to the workplace. This program is free to the public on March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Samuels Theatre/Tompkins College Center.

Sandler has been involved with Title IX’s development, passage and implementation since 1970. Often referred to as the “athletic law,” Title IX is applied to almost all areas of education from kindergarten through graduate school. It could well be the most important law passed for women since the right to vote in 1920. For her extensive work with this legislation, the New York Times has called her “the godmother of Title IX.”

The federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions is Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 (amending the Higher Education Act of 1965). The law states, “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.” In 1987, the amendment expanded the definition of program or activity to include all of the operations of an educational institution, governmental entity or private employer that receives federal funds.

Cedar Crest College’s Executive Director of Women’s Leadership and Student Development, Cynthia Fulford, Ph.D., is excited that students and the community will have the opportunity to hear Sandler speak about her passion and advocacy work for women’s rights.

“[Sandler’s] been so instrumental in the passing of women’s rights in the 20th and 21st century,” said Fulford. “Not only has she experienced the chilly climate in the workplace, but she continues to take the initiative to fight for the rights of women in our society. She is an inspiration to anyone who dreams of bringing change for a better humanity.”

Sandler was the first person appointed to a congressional committee to work specifically on women’s issues. She was also the first chair of the now defunct National Advisory Council on Women’s Educational Programs, having been appointed by Presidents Ford and Carter. She has received numerous awards including 13 honorary doctorates and a doctorate in counseling from the University of Maryland.

Sandler is a Senior Scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, D.C. She is well known for her expertise in women’s equity at all levels of education, and especially in sexual harassment and policies and strategies concerning equity for women and girls.

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