Dickens noted that Title IX was modeled after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and said it was therefore fitting that Cardona came to King’s neighborhood for the anniversary.
Also there were Atlanta school Superintendent Lisa Herring and Erica Wheeler, an Atlanta Dream guard who asked the girls if boys’ high school basketball drew larger crowds than girls’ games. Yes, they responded, an indication of the distance yet to go that Cardona referenced.
Cardona did not address the ongoing controversy around transgender athletes. In Georgia, as in other states, Republican lawmakers argued that it was unfair to girls to let transgender athletes compete against them. They passed a bill this year signed by Gov. Brian Kemp that authorized the Georgia High School Association to decide the matter. In May, the group’s executive committee voted unanimously to make athletes compete based on their gender assignment at birth.
Cardona, a former fourth grade teacher who took automobile maintenance classes in high school, also came to Atlanta to provide opening remarks for an event at State Farm Arena highlighting career and technical education — the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference. SkillsUSA is a collaboration between educators and industry to develop a skilled workforce.