Title IX, approved by Congress on this day in 1972, continues to reduce discrimination

Today, June 23, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the landmark Civil Rights Act that expressly prohibits discrimination based on sex, gender identity and/or sexual orientation, including but not limited to to : Pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking in all activities and programs of federally funded educational institutions, including the U of A.

It states: “No person in the United States shall be disqualified from participating in, denied benefits of, or subjected to any discrimination under such measures because of their sex in any educational program or activity.”

Title IX was originally designed to challenge the status quo and prevent discrimination in collegiate athletics, but has evolved into a blanket prohibition that applies to all institutional programmatic aspects. Often referred to as “37 Words That Changed Everything”, Title IX has fundamentally changed the way higher education institutions respond to reports within their respective educational programs and activities, ensuring that active educational, awareness-raising and prevention measures are in place be taken.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the Title IX office welcomed and encouraged the participation of the campus community in its presentation of the Thirty-Seven Words Campaign. Below are some of the responses received from the campus community when asked to express in thirty-seven words or less what Title IX means to you.


Shanita L Pettaway
Director of Compliance with Title IX and Coordinator of Title IX

Trauma-informed, equitable implementation of supportive measures

IInnovative and ingenious awareness campaigns

TPioneering campus outreach initiatives

LHave bold conversations and amplify campus voices

Eeducational and training events

IInstitutional Compliance Initiatives

Xzealous, unwavering efforts to engage the campus community

Shanita L Pettaway
Director of Compliance with Title IX and Coordinator of Title IX

“Title IX – to comply or not to comply? That’s not the question. It is not a matter of whether to comply, but how to comply – advocating for Title IX compliance in all institutional programmatic aspects.”

Allen Porter
Outreach and Community Participation Corporal
University of Arkansas Police Department

“Title IX, to me, is a federal program that protects students, faculty and staff on a college or university campus from discrimination based on sexual misconduct. This law bears the responsibility of maintaining an educational and work environment free of hostilities.”

Ali Johnson
Accommodation Specialist

“Title IX creates a safe and inclusive environment for all gender identities and sexual orientations through their advocacy and justice-based actions.”

Karl Martin
Institutional Research Analyst and Workday Student Reporting Lead

1970's photo of Carla Martin in basketball uniform

“Title IX means I played on the first-ever girls’ basketball team at my junior high school in the 1970s — and we took turns training for weeks at a time in the gym rather than just on the tarmac.”

Jonathan Deegan
Equal Opportunity Investigators and Title IX

“Title IX to me means that our society has recognized that gender discrimination in education must be taken seriously and addressed by offering support to both parties and ensuring that there are consequences for those responsible.”

Derita Renee Ratcliffe Dawkins
Deputy Sports Director

“Title IX meant the promise of a fairer future in education. It has yet to be fully accomplished – but there is still hope. We must remain committed to fulfilling the promise – let’s act NOW!”

Captain Gary W. Crain
U a police station

“Title IX – Changing hearts and minds (or significantly, actions, and opportunities) from past, long-standing reigns to present and future just considerations that remove barriers for people with a history of neglect, oppression, and disregard.”

Suzanne Neyman
Graduated ’94,’95,’03

“Discrimination is ‘unfair treatment based on groups of people such as race, gender, age or sexual orientation’. Unfortunately, humanity needs a legal construct to define unjust behavior. Because people need clear parameters, Title IX comes to the rescue.”

Jamie Thayer
Equal Opportunity Investigators and Title IX

Graphic design with 37 words for title IX

Wayne Bell
Equal Opportunity and Title IX Case Manager

“Title IX to me represents the best equal rights efforts at academic institutions like the University of Arkansas. It provides protection and response that affects every person on this campus, from students to faculty to staff.”

Anonymous Submitter

“For me, Title IX represents an important step towards equal rights and security for women in the educational environment.”

About the U of A Title IX Office: The U of A Title IX Office oversees the university’s compliance with Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments and works with university administration, departments, students, faculty, staff, campus police and other support services to ensure that policies and programs fostering a campus community free from illegal gender discrimination and sexual violence.

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