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“Strong Women, Better World” Showcases Women Who Made Positive Impacts & Changed Lives

Book on the Overlooked Story of the University of Tennessee and Title IX’s Worldwide Impact Kicks off Women’s History Month

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Center for Sport, Peace & Society (CSPS)’s recent book, Strong Women. Better World: Title IX’s Global Effect, which showcases Tennessee’s role in the worldwide fight for gender equality, helps kick off Women’s History Month 2023 celebrations.

Strong Women. Better World: Title IX’s Global Effect is a 126-page illustrated bookPhoto of the book Strong Women Better World. The has an orange cover with the text, Strong Women Better World and has a drawing depicting a group of women silhouettes scaling a mountain. The book is placed on a table . that tells the overlooked story of how this U.S. legislation’s sports provisions have also changed the lives for girls worldwide.

Fifty years ago, Title IX of the U.S. Education Act of 1972 mandated equal access to federally funded educational opportunities for women and girls and guaranteed their right to participate in scholastic sports. Strong Women. Better World: Title IX’s Global Effect commemorates this important occasion while celebrating the international superheroes who use the potent mix of sport and education to kick down social, cultural, or political barriers to build stronger, more equitable communities.

Strong Women. Better World: Title IX’s Global Effect takes readers around the world through the lived experiences of nine change-makers. Readers learn first-hand how these protagonists have surmounted different challenges to thrive and can better contextualize the compelling reasons why Americans should be all-in to help empower girls worldwide to achieve their own Title IX moments.

Sarah Hillyer, 2019 President's Award recipient and director of the Center for Sport Peace and Society

Sarah Hillyer

“We’re so excited to share this beautifully illustrated book with the world,” said CSPS Director Sarah Hillyer. “It took two years and a special collaboration with 30 women from 25 countries to help tell the stories of nine women using sport to advance gender equity in and through sport. It’s unique in every way.”

Each chapter focuses on an alumna of the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP), an award-winning sports diplomacy program launched in 2012 by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with espnW and the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society. For the past ten years, CSPS has worked to create a more peaceful, equitable, and inclusive world through the intersection of sport, education, media, and social entrepreneurship.

Thus, this global story is also a very local story, evolving around the UT and Knoxville community.

Strong Women. Better World shows the global ripple effect of Title IX through the power of storytelling and art. It’s a perfect book for families to read together and for teachers to use in the classroom. It’s equal parts educational and equal parts inspirational. A perfect formula for empowering change-makers of every age, everywhere,” Hillyer said.

Published by the University of Tennessee Press, this special edition volume is illustrated by one of the GSMP alumna featured in the book, Ilina Arsova. The first North Macedonian woman to scale all Seven Summits, Arsova is currently a PhD student at UT studying Sports Studies.

“Ten years ago, I was a mountain climber thriving to create a better world through sports,” said Arsova. “Today, I am a PhD student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a researcher-to-be. I am leveraging the experience of having climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents and creating a more equitable and sustainable world through sports science and education. The connective tissue is the experience of the Global Sports Mentoring Program and the continuous support of the CSPS through all forms of follow-up programs and education. Thank you, Team CSPS!”

Strong Women. Better World: Title IX’s Global Effect is available for purchase through the Center for Sport, Peace & Society’s website. 100% of all purchase price will go to support advancing gender equity in and through sport thanks to the CSPS grant-making program.

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