Title IX Oral History Collection Unveiled

new oral history collection of Title IX women activists in the 1970s, which is being overseen by the Jerome Hall Law Library, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, will be unveiled on Women’s Equality Day (the anniversary of the 19th amendment).

The point is to preserve, collect, and interpret 20th-century history through the medium of first-person testimony. These women played major roles in seeing Title IX become a reality.

Julia Lamber, Jean Robinson, and Pamela Walters, Professors Emeritae, describe the collection this way:

Most of the actions of these women interviewed involved the crucial discussion of what should constitute sex discrimination under Title IX. We asked them about the types of organizations women formed, the kinds of arguments these women or their groups made, and the organizational strategies developed by the groups. In addition, we asked them to identify their successes, challenges, and regrets.

In some ways their stories are simply part of what happened in the 1960s and 70s: Outside interest groups took on the government, big business, and major institutions (like the NCAA) with the threat of litigation or public exposure to shape public policy. In other ways, however, they differ from the paradigmatic story: the women were relatively young, inexperienced, and powerless (at least in a traditional sense) and ignored their specific differences for what they saw as the public good.

We hope these oral histories help to capture this moment in history, especially for current generations of young women and men who might think the world has always been the way it is now.