Today to celebrate #AsianPacificAmericanHeritageMonth we are taking a look at the political leader and advocate Patsy Mink. Mink had a long political career spanning nearly 40 years. She fought to bring gender equality to college sports with the support of Title IX.
Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color elected to Congress, participated in the passage of much of the 1960s Great Society legislation during the first phase of her congressional career. After a long hiatus, Mink returned to the House in the 1990s as an ardent defender of the social welfare state at a time when much of the legislation she had helped establish was being rolled back.
Mink also advocated many women’s issues in Congress, including equal rights. One of her great legislative triumphs was the Women’s Educational Equity Act, passed as part of a comprehensive education bill in 1974. It provided $30 million a year in educational funds for programs to promote gender equity in schools, to increase educational and job opportunities for women, and to excise gender stereotypes from textbooks and school curricula. She realized early in her House career that “because there were only eight women at the time who were Members of Congress, that I had a special burden to bear to speak for [all women], because they didn’t have people who could express their concerns for them adequately. So, I always felt that we were serving a dual role in Congress, representing our own districts and, at the same time, having to voice the concerns of the total population of women in the country.”
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