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ATIXA Combines Title IX and DEI with Integrity

Insights from ATIXA’s Advisory Board Member Georgina Dodge, Ph.D.

In my broad role as Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Maryland, where the landscape of Title IX intertwines with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), I’ve found the support and resources from ATIXA not just helpful but indispensable. I became an ATIXA member in 2011, during the pivotal moment following the Dear Colleague letter, when I had just started as a Title IX Coordinator. I was part of the initial ATIXA training cohort that crammed elbow-to-elbow into a large hotel conference space in St. Louis, Missouri. We could barely move but were hanging on to every word, absorbing what it meant for us. This marked the start of my decade-plus-long journey of growth, learning, and impactful change within Title IX and beyond.

A Beacon of Integrity in Title IX Education

ATIXA is more than a resource; it is a beacon of integrity, dialogue, and progress. I remember the first conference where I raised a question about the intersection of race and Title IX. What followed was a nuanced discussion that ATIXA explored openly. This level of engagement and the pursuit of inclusivity, where every voice is heard, drew me closer and kept me.

The periods leading up to and following the 2020 Regulations were times of great stress and uncertainty. However, ATIXA’s approach—providing breaking news, soliciting member input on regulations proposals, and being honest about uncertainties—is due to its integrity. It offered a sense of security and instilled a deep-rooted confidence that is hard to come by elsewhere. This, along with the valuable listserv and access to a depth of expertise in consultants and faculty, has been remarkable. ATIXA is more than a community; it’s a group unafraid to voice the truth, even amid disagreement. Such robust discussions are stimulating and reflect the organization’s diverse perspectives.

Centering DEI Long Before Others

Knowing that ATIXA centers DEI issues profoundly resonates with me. The recognition of DEI not as a vague, politicized term but as a crucial pillar of access and equity speaks volumes to the organization’s strategic vision.

ATIXA distinguishes itself by acknowledging the varied impacts of Title IX across diverse communities and addressing those gaps. The faculty and leadership proactively discuss how interactions within cultural contexts—especially behaviors across genders—might be viewed by different communities. Witnessing how the organization prioritized, centered, and valued DEI work long before it became mainstream is a testament to its leadership.

For anyone navigating the complexities of Title IX, especially at intersections with DEI, joining ATIXA isn’t just beneficial—it’s empowering. The organization’s blend of resources, community, and unwavering commitment to progress provides a solid foundation for a more inclusive, equitable world.

The Future of Gender Equity Practices

Reflecting on the progress of gender equity fills me with hope. Despite the ebbs and flows of societal and political landscapes, there is persistent advancement toward genuine equality.

Throughout my time at ATIXA, I gained a deep understanding of the importance of well-being in our field and presented on this topic at the annual conference. The demanding nature of Title IX work makes it crucial for practitioners to prioritize their health and well-being. This goes beyond conventional self-care practices, such as massages. It also involves intentional reflection on what activities might harm our mental and physical health. With the 2024 Regulations, it is a time of anxiety, and your well-being is critical.

Engaging in essential conversations about race, gender equity, and DEI has significantly shaped my approach to my work. I cannot recommend ATIXA highly enough to institutions and professionals seeking to deepen their understanding, enhance their practices, and truly make a difference in Title IX and beyond. Working with ATIXA has been a true honor and pleasure.


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