Title IX 50th anniversary, Patsy Mink, recognized with lei ceremony

Patsy T. Mink monument.

To honor the 50th anniversary of the landmark Title IX legislation and the legacy of the University of Hawaiian student Patsy Takemoto Minka commemorative lei ceremony was held with representatives from three branches of Hawaiʻi’s state government and sponsoring agencies who paid tribute at Mink’s monument at the Hawaiian State Library on June 23.

wow was represented by Jennifer Rosedirector of the wow Office of Institutional Equity, and wow Vice President of Administration Jan Gouveiawho presented a lei on behalf of the university.

“This event is critical for higher education because, as the speakers have indicated, Title IX is not just about athletics–it is about STEM, admissions, career and technical education, it is about transgender students having access,” said Rose. “If you think about Patsy’s biggest barrier and her impetus for becoming a legislator was because she couldn’t get into medical school. So I think the University of Hawaiian being the place where Patsy graduated, being one of our most distinguished alumna, is pretty significant.”

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Rose speaking.
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The lei ceremony honored Mink’s profound and successful efforts to bring gender equity to education. Congress renamed Title IX as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. It 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.”

Title IX transformed US schools and universities by prohibiting educational institutions from receiving federal funds if they discriminated on the basis of gender in admissions, recruitment, financial aid, housing and athletics.

“It is my hope that the underlying values ​​of equity, inclusion and justice championed within the spirit and intent of Title IX will bring about long-lasting change and a culture shift toward a future at wow free from all forms of sex discrimination while ensuring and celebrating equal opportunity and access to education for all,” said wow President David Lassner.

See Lassner’s full message.

Continuing Mink’s legacy

The program featured speakers representing the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government with First Lady Dawn Ige, Hawaiian Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina Mckenna and State Sen. Rosalyn Baker.

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Associate Justice McKenna speaking.

“It is really important for the state of Hawaiian to recognize that Patsy Takemoto Mink, the major sponsor and co-author of Title IX is from Hawaiian, she is a local girl,” said McKenna, who is also a wow student. “The first woman of color elected to Congress was from Hawaiian and is a University of Hawaiian graduate. We must not forget that.”

Each lei presented during the formal program had some significance to Mink or Title IX. Mink’s monument was adorned with a maile lei, kukui nut lei, cigar lei, plumeria lei, among others. The lei were donated by State Rep. Della Au-Bellati and the Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLCs).

Sponsoring agencies of the event included: wow System, Hawaiian Women Lawyers, WLCs and the Zonta Club. A reception in the Hawaiian State Library courtyard followed the ceremony.

Read other wow News stories on the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX.

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