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2022 CIAA Basketball Tournament - Parties And Events

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Black women have been integral in advancing equality for women for more than a century. 

And as many continue to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Arguably the most historic HBCU athletic conference is taking its tribute a step further. 

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the nation’s oldest historically Black athletic conference, has unveiled its first set of CIAA Title IX Trailblazers. The conference will name a total of 50 Title IX Trailblazers, who will be recognized during the 2023 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, which will be held Feb. 21-25 at the CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD.

The CIAA historically has been a pioneer for HBCUs and the Black community. Their CIAA Basketball tournament has brought together countless successful Black people and has helped unify the culture over the years. Many of the larger HBCUs that are now in other conferences were once a part of the CIAA. 

The conference is even led by a Black woman. Jacqie McWilliams is continuing her impressive run as commissioner of the conference and honoring Black women and their contributions to elevate Title IX is just another feather in her cap. 

Dianthia Ford-Kee, Alfreeda Goff, Jeanette Lee, Ingrid Wicker-McCree, and Dorthy Cowser Yancy will be honored as the first set of CIAA Title IX Trailblazers. These five women have contributed profoundly to the advancement and growth of women’s athletics at their respective universities and within the conference according to a statement from the CIAA. 

Lee became the first female athletic director in 1990 that oversaw both men’s and women’s programs in the CIAA and was the fifth woman to be inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame. Yancy served as the 14th and 16th president of Shaw. She was also the 12th president of Johnson C. Smith and the first female to hold each of those positions. 

Goff was the first female athletic director at Virginia State University, and she led the athletics program to historical growth and success and was awarded NACWAA’s Administrator of the Year Award in 1999. Goff had a 40-year career in college athletics and continues to be an advocate for women in sports. Wicker-McCree is credited for transitioning North Carolina Central University (NCCU) to division 1 and served as the Director of Athletics from 2008-2022. 

Ford-Kee served over five years as the Director of Athletics at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania having successfully navigated Lincoln’s Athletic Department to active membership in NCAA Division II and return to the CIAA. She was also inducted into the CIAA John McLendon Hall of Fame in 2016. 

The accomplishments of these Black women have propelled their respective institutions and the conference to significant success. 

Now, they will be given the flowers that they rightfully deserve. 

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