Pelosi Statement on 49th Anniversary of Title IX

June 23, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the 49th anniversary of Title IX, announcing that the law’s champion, the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink, will be honored with a portrait to be hung in the United States Capitol.  Her portrait will join those of other pioneering women and people of color in Congress for whom the House commissioned posthumous portraits:

“Forty-nine years ago today, with Title IX, our nation took a transformational step toward our Founding ideals: ‘all are equal.’   Title IX is the manifestation of the American values of equality and opportunity, securing for women and girls the right to participate and excel in the classroom, on the playing field and in every arena on campus.  It has served as a springboard for success for women and, indeed, for our entire nation, as it reaffirms this truth: when women succeed, America succeeds.

“This proud anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the champion of Title IX in the Congress: our late, beloved colleague, Congresswoman Patsy Mink of Hawaii.  Congresswoman Mink conceived of Title IX, crafted the legislation and then engineered its passage through sheer force of will.   Because of Patsy’s fighting spirit and commitment to equality, generations of women can now take their rightful place as leaders.  That is why, today, as Speaker, it is my official honor and great personal joy to announce that the House of Representatives has commissioned a posthumous painting commemorating Congresswoman Mink’s life and historic service, including her achievement as the first woman of color elected to Congress.

“Patsy Mink famously once said, ‘It is easy enough to vote right and be consistently with the majority, but it is more often more important to be ahead of the majority, and this means being willing to cut the first furrow in the ground and stand alone for a while if necessary.’  It is our hope that, with this portrait, the courage of Patsy Mink to ‘cut the first furrow’ will be known and celebrated by all who walk through the halls of the Capitol.  And it is our hope that this portrait will serve as an inspiration for all to defend Title IX and to build on its success, including by securing pay equity for women, ending campus sexual harassment and safeguarding every woman’s right to pursue a future of health, happiness and opportunity.”