Current Exhibition

Title IX: Activism On and Off the Field

May 13, 2022 - September 4, 2022

A new exhibition immerses visitors in the spaces shaped by the groundbreaking 1972 legislation and reveals the crucial work of activists in demanding that their institutions live up to the law’s promises.

Location

4th floor, Joyce B. Cowin Women's History Gallery

Title IX: Activism On and Off the Field commemorates the 50th anniversary of Title IX, an addition to the Education Amendments Act of 1972 that fundamentally reshaped American society by prohibiting discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal assistance. Best known for its twin flashpoints of sports and sexual harassment, Title IX covers a broad swath of American educational life, from K-12 to higher education, thanks to activists and lawmakers determined to secure the advantages of education for all students. 

Displays document the work of activists across the country whose personal experiences with sex discrimination in education and professional careers within federal government agencies made them uniquely qualified to advocate for meaningful regulations for Title IX and to defend the law against amendments intended to weaken it. Personal items, photographs, and a re-creation of a campus kiosk advertising Take Back the Night demonstrations over the last 30 years convey the passion and commitment of student activists. Artifacts from professional athletes and the consumer culture that arose to celebrate them—from Barbie dolls to Wheaties boxes—chart the opportunities for women athletes and the new standards of femininity and strength. Children’s books and classroom materials from the 1970s to the present day show how as understandings of gender have changed, so too has the definition of sex discrimination. 

Title IX: Activism On and Off the Field is organized by New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History and is curated by Curator of Women’s History Collections Laura Mogulescu, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in the Center for Women’s History Allison Robinson and Anna Danziger Halperin, and Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellows Keren Ben-Horin and Karintha Lowe with Valerie Paley, senior vice president, Sue Ann Weinberg Director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, and founding director of the Center for Women’s History.

Lead support is provided by Northern Trust. Additional support is provided by Ernst & Young LLP.

Shop the Collection

Author Sherry Boschert's book 37 Words is a rich history of Title IX that tells the human story about women denied opportunities, students struggling for an education free from sexual harassment, and activists defying sexist discrimination.

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Center for Women's History

The first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum, our Center for Women's History unearths the lives and legacies of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience.

Learn about the Center

Center for Women's History

The first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum, our Center for Women's History unearths the lives and legacies of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience.

Learn about the Center

Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Evelyn & Seymour Neuman Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.

  • NYC Cultural Affairs
  • NY Council on the Arts

Media sponsor:

  • WNET New York Public Media