In the 1970s, there was ping-pong diplomacy…today, there is basketball diplomacy. This week, former WNBA players Tamika Raymond and Keisha Brown are traveling in Shenyang, China, leading several basketball clinics and life skills discussions with girls in under-served areas. In addition to promoting the importance of health, wellness, leadership and teamwork, they will also discuss how Title IX has empowered a new generation of women and girls through sports.
Their visit is part of the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, which was launched in June 2011 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and builds on Secretary Clinton’s vision of “smart power” – embracing a full range of diplomatic tools to bring people together and foster understanding.
Title IX, which was enacted on June 23, 1972 (almost 40 years to the day of this trip), has created opportunities for girls and women well beyond the sports field. The self-confidence and sense of teamwork created by participating in sports creates a ripple effect, resulting in far reaching changes around the world.