July 5, 2011 3:44 pm
In the Game, Kartemquin's in-progress documentary about the current state of women's sports after 40 years of Title IX legislation, was the catalyst for a discussion last week among The Chicago Network, a group of the city's leading female executives. A group of around 100 successful women attended the event to share their own stories of the impact of Title IX, before Emily Barr, President and General Manager of Chicago's ABC affiliate station, introduced In the Game director/producer Maria Finitzo, who presented the film's 9-minute demo. The room responded strongly to the evidence of gender discrimination shown in the demo, which also features Chicago Sky Chairman Margaret Stender, a panelist that evening. Also representing the film were producer Mary Morrisette, Kartemquin executive director Justine Nagan, and production associates Shu Ling Yong (a former Kartemquin intern) and Kristina Eschmeyer. Here's Shu Ling's report of some of the best moments from the discussion: "* From panelist Hedy Ratner, who was tasked with implementing Title IX in Cook County Schools, on how schools were trying to work with her "Their interest was in how do they get around it so they could keep the status quo." * Title IX is responsible for raising women's enrollment rates from 7% in law schools and 9% in medical schools in the 70s to 50% for both today. * From Margaret Stender, on all the anti-Title IX folks claiming Title IX negatively affected boys... Since Title IX was implemented, there has been a 15% rise in High School and 34% rise in College sports participation by boys. * From Margaret Stender, on boys and girls training together: "Training together creates beautiful mutual respect. It has advanced the boys too! That's a huge gift of Title IX." * From panelist Colleen Connell, when asked by an audience member what we can do, "Power never yields gracefully or easily. Parents need to take action. College administrators continue to play games with compliance." * Amy Skeen, Executive Director of Girls In The Game stood up at the end to remind everyone that this is "also an issue of race and class." And that if a girl doesn't get involved in sports by age 10, there's a less than 10% chance she will playing when she's 25." You can read more about the event through coverage in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and Crain's Chicago Business. In the Game is currently in production, filming the Chicago Sky's WNBA season and the soccer season at Kelly High School. Find out more and support the project with a donation at their website.