Last night—watching the final moments of the NCAA National Championship—I knew I had won my annual March Madness office pool. And I have an unhealthy love of rain boots. I like the stories that come from the weird sources of funds that feed my addiction.
I considered buying rain boots, but I didn’t.
Instead, I just donated my winnings from March Madness to Legal Voice, an organization that 35 years ago won equal access to sports facilities and programs for the women of Washington State and set a national precedent.
In Blair v. WSU, Legal Voice represented female athletes and coaches of female athletes at Washington State University. At the time, women’s athletic programs were receiving inferior funding, fundraising efforts, publicity and promotions, scholarships, facilities, equipment, coaching, uniforms, practice clothing, awards, and administrative staff and support.
The case went a long way to improve the equity of opportunities at Washington State University for women in athletics.
According to the Seattle Times, “WSU and Washington have more women’s sports than men’s, and the women share state-of-the-art facilities and enjoy other benefits brought by Title IX, including equal money awarded in athletic scholarships.” And while rain boots would have been nice, I am instead saying thank you to Legal Voice for Blair v. WSU and saying thanks for the 35 years of securing and protecting women’s rights that have followed.
Jamila Johnson is a litigator at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt and a board member of Legal Voice. She cannot play basketball, and actually bought a book on how to run before using a treadmill for the first time.