Leveling the Playing Field for Female Athletes: Legal Aid Staff Discuss the Promise of Title IX at the AAUW Convention

Community Outreach
Leveling the Playing Field for Female Athletes: Legal Aid Staff Discuss the Promise of Title IX at the AAUW Convention
Legal Aid's Tamika Butler and Elizabeth Kristen

On Saturday April 14, 2012, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center attorneys Elizabeth Kristen and Tamika Butler co-presented a workshop at the 2012 American Association of University Women (AAUW) California Convention in Santa Clara, California. 

Elizabeth Kristen is the Director of Legal Aid’s Gender Equity and LGBT Rights Program and its project Fair Play for Girls in Sports.  Tamika Butler is the John and Terry Levin Fellow for Fair Play for Girls in Sports.  This is the third presentation that staff was invited to give at the AAUW Convention.

Fair Play for Girls in Sports, the first such project of its kind in the country, was established to address the particular issues facing girls living in low-income neighborhoods seeking equity in athletic opportunities at school and within their local Parks and Recreation. The Project has successfully litigated two groundbreaking cases resulting in the construction of playing fields and facilities and policy changes at high schools that had provided more benefits and opportunities to male athletes than female athletes. The Project aims to secure the enforcement of Title IX in public schools K-12 and AB 2404 in Parks and Recreation Departments statewide. AB 2404 is the California state law requiring equity in Parks and Recreation Department sponsored and supported sports activities.  The project utilizes multi-faceted strategies including outreach, education, and advocacy to secure compliance.

In the workshop, “Fair Play for Girls in Sports-Leveling the Playing Field for K-12 Athletes,” Elizabeth and Tamika focused on the crucial role that Title IX and high school sports programs serve as a ladder out of poverty for girls from low income families. They also discussed the many benefits that state law AB 2404 and with it California Parks and Recreation programs offer as a gateway to broader horizons for young girls living in low income communities.

The audience was brought up to date on recent legal developments involving Title IX and then engaged in a lively discussion about the contributions of sports in the lives of young girls.

Learn more about Legal Aid’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports.

You may contact Elizabeth Kristen or Tamika Butler at 877.593.0074 if you have questions or concerns about 1) whether a school in your district is in compliance with Title IX or; 2) whether your local Parks and Recreation department is following the mandate of AB2404.