Title IX – History, Importance, and the Story of Carol Hutchins

Title IX – History, Importance, and the Story of Carol Hutchins

51 years ago, one of the most important pieces of legislation was signed into law by then President Richard Nixon. June 23, 1972 will forever be the day we honor and celebrate those who came before us to ensure protection by the law from sex discrimination in activities in any institution that receives federal aid. This marked a huge milestone in the fight for equality in sports, programs, and activities.

The law reads verbatim: “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.”

Why Title IX is Important

Educational Opportunities

Title IX not only eliminates the ability to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation – it gave freedoms to women that they historically did not have before, and made them protected by the law. One of those freedoms is the right to an education. Women were routinely denied the right to an education. In 1970, women made up only 14% of doctoral degrees; in 2007, they accounted for more than 50% of doctoral degrees. This spike in education for women is due in large part to the commitment by women who fought for it to be signed into law; without their unwavering commitment and pressure on lawmakers, we would not be where we are today.

Participation in Sports

Before Title IX was enacted, women were not guaranteed the right to participate in sports, much less have the same opportunities afforded to them as their male counterparts. That all changed with the enactment in Title IX; participation in sports for girls and women skyrocketed, both at the high school level and the collegiate level. Under Title IX, federally-funded institutions are required to be rewarded equally with scholarships; this means that they do not necessarily need to have the same number of scholarships, but they have to be granted the same amount of funding for women’s and men’s sports. Women and men’s sports are also required to have access to the same types of facilities, training centers, and equipment.

While we still have a ways to go in the fight for equal treatment, we have come a long way in the 51 years since the enactment of Title IX. Girls and women today are forever indebted to those who paved the way before us in moving mountains to get Title IX signed into law.

Empowering Girls Alum Carol Hutchins – Story of Title IX

You may recall from our Empowering Girls event 2022 when Carol Hutchins, record-breaking softball coach at University of Michigan, shared her story about how a fire was lit under her during college in regard to Title IX. She was told by the men’s basketball coach at Michigan State, where she was on the women’s basketball team, to “get off the court, because nobody cared about women’s basketball”. If you know Coach Hutch, you know that didn’t sit well with her. She and her teammates went on to write a formal complaint citing the Title IX violations they were experiencing; later they went on to file a lawsuit to cite the lack of funding in women’s sports compared to men’s, as well as the obvious inequities in their facilities. The lawsuit was settled and small improvements were made, but it was just the start of a lifelong career of standing up and speaking out for women’s rights. She went on to be hired at Michigan as the head coach of the softball team, where she was a coach, a groundskeeper, a secretary, and facilities maintenance person – this all while the men’s teams had full coaching staffs and their own groundskeepers.

Fast forward to today, Coach Hutch retired in 2022 with the most wins as any head coach in the history of Michigan, and at the time, as the winningest softball coach in the history of the sport. She remains an active voice today in calling out inequities and lifting up women around her. We are so proud to have had her as a speaker at our event in 2018 and 2022!

Ways to Learn About Title IX

Our team has put together resources for you to learn more about the history of Title IX, the key players in the fight for justice, and the continued fight for equality happening today.


Rise of the Wahine

50 Years of Title IX: USC Athletics Documentary

ESPN+ Fifty/50 Collection (50th Anniversary Special Feature)


Duffy Law – Importance of Title IX

Women’s Sports Foundation – History of Title IX

NCAA – Origins of Title IX

Hutchins on Title IX and Women’s Equality

Mental Health Awareness Month: Six Benefits of Taking a Break from Your Phone

Six Benefits of Taking a Break from Your Phone

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s talk about a super easy way to take care of yourself: taking a break from your phone! It can be tough when you’re constantly getting messages and notifications, but disconnecting from time to time can be a game-changer. Especially for school and college-age girls who rely on their phones to stay connected with their coaches, friends, and families, it’s important to give ourselves a break. Here are six reasons why:

  1. Focus on cultivating other hobbies: When you’re constantly checking your phone, you may miss out on opportunities to pursue other interests. Taking a break from your phone can help you focus on developing hobbies such as painting, reading, or playing a musical instrument. Engaging in activities you enjoy can boost your mood and give you a sense of accomplishment.
  2. Be less distracted and more productive: It’s no secret that social media can be a major distraction. Constant notifications can pull you away from important tasks and make it hard to concentrate. By taking a break from your phone, you can eliminate this distraction and focus on being more productive. You may find that you’re able to complete tasks more efficiently and with greater focus.
  3. Give your eyes a break from the screen: Staring at a screen for extended periods can cause eye strain, headaches, and other issues. By taking a break from your phone, you can give your eyes a much-needed rest. You may even notice that your eyes feel less tired and dry after a break from screens.
  4. Improve your sleeping habits: Blue light from screens can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. By taking a break from your phone before bedtime, you can improve your sleeping habits. This can lead to better quality sleep, which can improve your overall mood and energy levels.
  5. Be more present in the moment: When you’re constantly on your phone, you may be missing out on the world around you. By taking a break from your phone, you can be more present in the moment and appreciate the world around you. You may find that you’re able to enjoy the beauty of nature or engage in meaningful conversations with others.
  6. Connect with people around you: When you’re always on your phone, you may miss opportunities to connect with those around you. By taking a break from your phone, you can engage more fully with friends and family members. You may find that you’re able to have deeper, more meaningful conversations and create stronger relationships.

It can really make a difference for your mental health. Try it out and see how you feel. Remember, you deserve to take care of yourself, and sometimes that means putting your phone down for a little while.


In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting 18 inspiring women who have broken barriers, shattered stereotypes, and left a lasting impact on history. From athletes to activists, scholars to artists, these women have paved the way for future generations and continue to inspire and empower women around the world. While there are countless women who have made significant contributions throughout history, this list showcases a diverse range of women who have left their mark in various fields and industries. Join us in celebrating their accomplishments and legacies!

Babe Didrikson Zaharias: One of the greatest female athletes of the 20th century, Zaharias was a multi-sport star who excelled in basketball, golf, and track and field. She won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics and went on to become a dominant force in women’s golf.

Ida B. Wells: American journalist, activist, and feminist best known for her courageous reporting on lynching in the United States, which exposed the brutality of racial violence and helped to galvanize public support for anti-lynching legislation. Her tireless advocacy for racial and gender equality has made her a crucial figure in the fight for justice and human rights.

Ada Lovelace: English mathematician and writer who is considered to be the first computer programmer for her work on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. She is known for her contributions to the field of computer science and for being an early advocate for the potential of computers to transform society.

Frida Kahlo: Mexican painter known for her self-portraits and representation of the female experience and Mexican culture. She is known for her bold, colorful style and her depiction of pain and suffering, as well as for her activism for social justice and women’s rights.

Renee Richards: American professional tennis player who, in 1977, won a landmark legal battle that allowed her to compete in women’s tournaments and paved the way for future generations of transgender athletes. Richards’ advocacy and activism helped to raise awareness and promote acceptance of transgender individuals in sports and beyond.

Katherine Johnson: American mathematician and NASA scientist who played a pivotal role in the early days of the space program, calculating the trajectories for the first manned space flights. She was also a trailblazer for women and Black people in STEM fields.

Simone de Beauvoir: French writer, philosopher, and feminist who is best known for her groundbreaking work, “The Second Sex,” which challenged traditional gender roles and argued for the equality of women. Her contributions to feminist theory and her advocacy for women’s rights have had a profound impact on the modern feminist movement.

Susan B. Anthony: Prominent suffragist and abolitionist who fought tirelessly for women’s right to vote in the United States. She played a pivotal role in the suffrage movement, co-founding the National Woman Suffrage Association and helping to secure the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association with Susan B. Anthony. She played a key role in drafting the Declaration of Sentiments, which called for women’s equality in all areas of life. Her tireless efforts paved the way for future generations of women to achieve greater social and political equality.

Maya Angelou: American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist who is known for her powerful writing on issues like race, gender, and identity. She was also a prolific speaker and performer, using her platform to inspire and uplift audiences around the world.

Marie Curie: Polish-born physicist and chemist who made groundbreaking contributions to the field of radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in different fields, revolutionizing our understanding of the atomic structure of matter and paving the way for countless scientific advancements.

Amelia Earhart: American aviator and feminist who became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She also set numerous aviation records and inspired a generation of women to pursue careers in aviation and other male-dominated fields. Her legacy as a trailblazer and icon of women’s empowerment continues to inspire people around the world.

Wangari Maathai: Kenyan environmental and political activist who was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She founded the Green Belt Movement, which has planted over 50 million trees in Kenya and inspired similar efforts around the world.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: American jurist and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who was known for her advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality. She was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and played a pivotal role in shaping legal precedent on issues like reproductive rights and discrimination.

Indira Gandhi: Indian politician who served as the Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She is known for her leadership during a period of significant social and economic change in India, as well as for her advocacy for women’s rights and environmental conservation.

Mary Wollstonecraft was a pioneering feminist and writer who is best known for her groundbreaking work, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.” In this seminal text, she argued for the education and social equality of women, laying the foundation for the modern feminist movement and inspiring generations of women to fight for their rights.

Billie Holiday: American jazz singer and songwriter who was one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. She is known for her unique style, which blended elements of jazz, blues, and pop, as well as for her activism against racial segregation and discrimination.

Sojourner Truth: Born into slavery in the United States, she was a powerful speaker and advocate for abolition and women’s rights in the 19th century. She fought for her own freedom and went on to speak out against injustice and inequality, delivering her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech at the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.

To learn more about Empowering Girls, and to sign up for our event on August 12, 2023 – visit our homepage! This year’s event is FREE – learn more about the event and register for your free ticket here!