TRIBUTE TO DR. BERNICE SANDLER
HONORED AS THE “GODMOTHER” OF TITLE IX
The National Women’s History Alliance, formerly the National Women’s History Project, is honored to pay tribute to the inspirational women’s history and educational equity leader Bernice “Bunny” Sandler (1928-2019). The National Women’s History Project/Alliance (NWHA) has worked for 39 years as a leader in promoting Women’s History and is committed to the goals of education, equality, and inclusion. Bunny was chosen as a 2016 NWHA Honoree for her pioneering work in ensuring that Women’s Education is Women’s Empowerment.
Bernice Sandler was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013 for her contributions and leadership related to women’s equity in education for more than 40 years. She served on a Congressional Subcommittee on Title IX equity issues and provided leadership on the development and passage of the Federal Title IX of Educational Amendments in 1972. This law has been instrumental in establishing policies and programs related to gender equity and Bernice is recognized as the “Godmother of Title IX.”
“When I applied to college it was openly known
that women needed higher grades and test scores
in order to be accepted…No one complained .
Throughout her career Dr. Sandler continued her activism for gender equity in the classroom as a speaker and an author. She spent years as the Director of the Project on the Status and Education of Women at the Association of American Colleges. When she became involved with institutions including the Center for Women’s Policy Studies in Washington DC, she became a sought-after witness in discrimination and sexual harassment cases, Late in her career she explored what she called the “chilly climate” for women as well as minorities. Bunny Sandler also gave more than 500 presentations to educators and communities and was called a “Powerhouse.”
As an equity and Title IX Specialist her efforts impacted on the lives of millions of women, and girls, boys and men, LGBT students, college and university attendees, and participants in sports and athletics. She received numerous awards, including twelve honorary degrees. She helped assure that women’s equity in education issues are now institutionalized.
“When Title IX was passed, I was quite naïve.
I thought that the problems of sex discrimination
in education would be solved in one or two years
at most. When the years passed, I increased my
estimate for five years… then later to ten, then to
fifty…and then I realized it would take many
generations to solve all of the problems. We had only taken
the first step of what will be a very long journey.”
Bernice Bunny Sandler was a high-spirited and effective advocate for women’s equality for more than 50 years.
Her many other accomplishments including producing the highly acclaimed publication “10 Ways Expert Witnesses Can be Used in Sex Discrimination Cases.” Bernice served as an outstanding inspiration for many educators, students, and community members. Her exemplary leadership skills and contributions are widely valued and acclaimed. Sandler left a legacy that holds an important place in the history of women in the United States.
Article courtesy of:National Women’s History Alliance
Molly MacGregor, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Linda Shevitz, Title IX Consultant
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