Story by Heidi Pool | Photography courtesy Maui Divers Jewelry
These days, professional boxer Laila Ali is sporting some new bling—a bracelet created by Maui Divers Jewelry to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Title IX, the law that prohibits gender discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving Federal funds. The daughter of Mohammed Ali, and president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Laila Ali is one of millions of female athletes who have benefited from Title IX.
“The Title IX bracelet isn’t just another piece of jewelry,” she says. “When people ask me about the bracelet, it opens a new conversation about the importance of sports in our lives and our daughters’ lives. Title IX continues to provide our society with empowered girls who will take the life lessons and health benefits of sports with them.”
Like scores of other female athletes, Ali has another fighter to thank: the late Patsy Takemoto Mink. Born and raised on Maui, Mink was relentless in her fight for gender equity, social justice, and world peace. She was often described as spunky, and her background fueled her fierce determination. As a Japanese-American who came of age during World War II, she was keenly aware of the undeserved hostility towards U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry.
Mink’s life contained many firsts, including being the first woman of color elected to Congress. But perhaps her finest moment came in 1972, when Congress passed into law Title IX, which she coauthored and championed.
Maui Divers Jewelry is selling its Title IX bracelet for $115, with $40 going to the Women’s Sports Foundation. (For details, visit www.mauidivers.com/wsf.)
We think Patsy Mink would have approved.