This spring, ESPN is commemorating the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the groundbreaking law that helped broaden sporting opportunities for women in America.
One of the most accessible aspects of the initiative is the Title IX mosaic. With it, espnW is developing the largest known collection of female athlete photographs ever assembled.
Launched this month, the photographs include everyone from legends to weekend warriors. espnW is inviting anyone with personal photos of female athletes to add them to the mosaic.
Laura Suchoski, espnW’s associate manager of social media and former four-time All-America in field hockey at Duke, gives Front Row some details on the project.
What inspired the idea for the Title IX mosaic?
espnW’s goal is to engage tens of thousands of fans with a memorable social experience about what Title IX means to them. We wanted fans to show and tell their own sports story [make it easy for people to participate]. My boss, Katie Richman (espnW’s director of social media strategy) and I brainstormed together in January and were inspired by a photo-sharing project that Mashable put together recently, rallying their Facebook fans to be a part of the largest real-life Facebook Wall. We felt that photos, thousands of sports photos from our fans, would show how Title IX affected and elevated this generation of female athletes. The Title IX mosaic has now become the largest collection of female athlete photos in history.
How many submissions have you had?
In a little over a week, we received over 1,100 submissions from a wide range of female athletes — pro athletes, college and high school players, fellow ESPN employees, and beyond. Explore the mosaic by typing in some of your favorite female athlete names, and you’ll be surprised at who we have. Try Abby Wambach, Gretchen Bleiler, or Hope Solo.
What are some of your favorite photos submitted so far?
Each woman in the mosaic has a special story about how sports affected her life. This mosaic brings them all together.
You were a four-time All-America field hockey player at Duke. How did Title IX affect you growing up?
Title IX gave me a positive source of identity. It taught me how to think, work hard, & behave in every “game” on and off. My parents, particularly my mother Mary, encouraged me to play with the boys — and out-hustle them –from age 6 to age 12. I took that ‘I can’ mentality with me through high school, to Duke and the US National Team, and now to a career.