June 23, 2022

Mayor Lightfoot and First Lady Eshleman Announce Series of Events to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Passage of Title IX

The City of Chicago will recognize groundbreaking individuals who have created significant opportunities for women and girls through the first-ever Title IX Hero Awards

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman today announced Chicago Title IX Week, a series of events to honor the 50th anniversary of passing Title IX of the Higher Education Act. Events will take place July 17 through July 23. Highlights of Chicago Title IX Week include:

  • The Title IX Hero Awards recognizing sports icon and equality champion Billie Jean King, two-time WNBA champion and sports broadcaster Candace Parker, and head coach of DePaul Blue Demons women’s basketball team Doug Bruno for their work advancing opportunities for women and girls.

  • A public panel with Olympic gold medalist and Chicago Blackhawks player development coach Kendall Coyne Schofield, former Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw, and USA Today sports columnist and commentator Christine Brennan.

  • Activities throughout the week with the Chicago Park District and a Title IX resource guide by the Chicago Public Library.

  • A special 30th anniversary of A League of Their Own film screening at Gallagher Way.

  • A screening of Candace Parker’s documentary produced by her company Baby Hair Productions called Title IX: 37 Words That Changed America.

  • A full slate of events in partnership with organizations across Chicago. More information will be available at https://chi.gov/chicagotitleixweek.

The passage of Title IX on June 23, 1972, was the first comprehensive federal law that prohibited discrimination based on gender, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, and gender identity within an education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. After 50 years, this landmark legislation has had a lasting impact on expanding opportunities for women and girls in education and athletics in Chicago and across the country.

“The passage of Title IX is particularly important to me, as it allowed my wife, Amy, and I to participate in sports and thrive. Because of this, we are excited to be able to mark this crucial milestone, acknowledge the achievements of these three sports icons and recognize their impact on the lives of women and girls,” said Mayor Lightfoot. "Today, Title IX continues to protect women and girls from sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government — making it a critical piece of historic legislation. As Chicago gets ready to celebrate Title IX’s 50th Anniversary, Amy and I encourage residents to celebrate how far we have come since its passage while acknowledging the work ahead to fully achieve equality for women and girls across Chicago.”

To honor Title IX’s 50 years of achievements, the City of Chicago will award Billie Jean King with the Title IX Legend Award, Candace Parker with the Title IX Leader Award and Doug Bruno with the Title IX Champion Award. These honorees have led Chicago by example through leadership, participation, and their continued work to uplift women and girls on and off the playing field.

“The passage of Title IX in 1972 made a difference in my life and in the lives of women, girls, and families throughout the nation. It is an honor to join Mayor Lightfoot in celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the most important pieces of legislation of the 20th century,” said Title IX Legend Awardee Billie Jean King.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Title IX, so receiving the Title IX Leader Award in my hometown of Chicago is an honor. While we still have a way to go to achieve complete equity in sports, we’ve made enormous progress thanks to all the individuals who have paved the way for future generations to succeed,” said Title IX Leader Awardee Candace Parker.

“I want to thank the City of Chicago for this distinctive honor. The opportunity for a young girl to be educated through athletics is not based on some quota, but it is a civil right. Title IX is a federal civil rights law, not just some rule,” said Doug Bruno, Title IX Champion Awardee. “While we have made significant strides in addressing gender inequality since Title IX was enacted 50 years ago, inequalities remain all-too prevalent in our country. The battle for gender equality is a fight that must be waged every day.”

Chicago Title IX Week is made possible through the support of the Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Fire, Laura Ricketts and Brooke Skinner Ricketts, One Chicago Fund, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Red Stars, Chicago Sky, and Chicago White Sox.