Legal Momentum Mourns Bernice Sandler, "Godmother of Title IX"

January 9, 2019
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NEW YORK CITY (January 9, 2019) – It is with great sadness that Legal Momentum mourns the passing of Bernice “Bunny” Sandler, the “Godmother of Title IX.” As the New York Times reports, Ms. Sandler died on Saturday at age 90, and was instrumental in the “development, passage, and implementation” of the critical Title IX in 1972.

Legal Momentum’s Legal Director, Director of the National Judicial Education Program, and Senior Vice President Lynn Hecht Schafran had the great privilege of working alongside Ms. Sandler in the fight for women’s rights. Reflecting on that work and Ms. Sandler’s impact, Lynn said,

“I had the great good fortune to work with Bunny Sandler and to benefit from her critical insights and recommendations, particularly those published as The Classroom Climate: A Chilly One for Women, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED215628.pdf, and Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Guide for Administrators, Faculty and Students, http://www.bernicesandler.com/id13.htm, which she wrote, presciently, decades before the #MeToo movement.  Bunny was both a visionary and a pragmatist. For every issue she addressed, she detailed the specifics of how discrimination was being manifested overtly and through what today we call ‘implicit bias,’ and offered a multitude of specific recommendations for reform. Her writing on sexual harassment and abuse on campus, by both faculty and peers, shocked many, and is the vital background to today’s activism around this issue. Our debt to her is incalculable.”

Legal Momentum is forever grateful to Ms. Sandler for her immense contributions to the cause of securing equal rights for women, both in educational settings and in the wider world. Ms. Sandler is a true foremother of the numerous movements we stand with today and she will be greatly missed.

About Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence and equality under the law. For more information visit www.legalmomentum.org.