Lauren Helmbrecht preparing to interview high school football players
Syracuse University graduate student Lauren Helmbrecht prepares her equipment to interview Mara McBride and Julia Leary for a story about high school football players.

On June 23, 1972, the U.S. government passed Title IX, a piece of civil rights legislation prohibiting sex-based discrimination at schools and colleges that receive federal funding — including Syracuse University.

Fifty years since the legislation passed, teams of SU students and professors came together to answer this question: How has Title IX advanced gender equality, and where has it failed to do so?

Entitled to Equality, the latest enterprise reporting project from The NewsHouse, is the culmination of that work. Through months of reporting, the teams found that, while Title IX has improved gender equality on college campuses and in athletics, there’s still work to be done to reach true equality and prevent sex-based discrimination and harassment in these spaces.

Erik Makic works in the studio
Student and professor record a story for WAER

The 17 stories in this project encompass three themes. In Equal Shot, we take a look at Title IX’s impacts on gender equity in sports. In Enforcing Equity, we examine how campus culture, as well as federal and university regulations, perpetuate sexual violence, among other topics. In No Exceptions, we cover broader trends related to the civil rights legislation, such as non-binary high school students fighting for their rights and men working to prevent gender violence.

The students and faculty involved in this project served as reporters, editors, photographers, designers, videographers, illustrators, social media coordinators, and mentors. Entitled to Equality was made possible by their months of hard work. Also, several stories were produced in conjunction with our NPR affiliate WAER 88.3 and The Stand newspaper for Syracuse’s Southside community.

We want to acknowledge the team of visual journalists who contributed to the project’s opening video: Ryan Brady, Em Burris, Ryan Griffith, Lauren Helmbrecht, Xinning Li, Eric Makic, and Wendy Wang, plus additional footage courtesy of Syracuse University and SU Athletics.

Finally, a special thank you goes to Newhouse alumnus David Flaum and his wife, Jackie, who have generously underwritten this and previous journalism projects by Newhouse students.