Elly Douglass ‘04 Jordan was not born yet when Title IX came into law on June 23, 1972, but is grateful every day the legislation did.
A fulfilling journey from childhood to adulthood would not have been possible without the federal civil rights law which prohibits sex-based discrimination by any educational institution that receives federal funding. Title IX also gave girls and women the equal opportunity to compete in sports across the country.
At Hope College, Jordan ran on the cross country and track and field teams before graduating with a degree in social sciences.
Now, Jordan is a supervising attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and leads a team in providing trauma-informed legal services to refugee and immigrant kids who have experienced persecution and human trafficking.
Jordan talked about Title IX, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, as a guest on the Hope Athletics Orange and Blue Podcast.
“Title IX is such a simple piece of legislation really that embodies the principle that we shall not have discrimination on the basis of sex in education,” Jordan said. “Since I’m 40, it predates me. So many of the women that we stand on the backs of were the people that really pioneered for us. I was rarely the first woman to do a lot of things. I know there have been a lot of women that have gone before me.”
Upon graduation from Hope College with a degree in social sciences, Jordan moved to El Salvador with her husband to work as a missionary with the SHARE Foundation. Upon realizing she was in a position of privilege and could use that to do more to serve, she attended law school, where she excelled.
After graduating from law school, Jordan worked as a law clerk for the US Court of Appeals, then joined Warner Norcross and Judd, LLP. Jordan left Warner to work as the Supervising Attorney at the Michigan State University College of Law Immigration Clinic.
Jordan then served as the Lead Attorney for the Survivor Law Project at the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence before working at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.
In April, Jordan was presented with the “Hope for Humanity” Award which is presented to Hope College alumni athletes who have demonstrated Christian commitment and service to others in their careers after Hope.
“(Title IX) has impacted me quite a bit. I think it would be easy for me to take for granted a lot of the promise that Title IX has fulfilled thus far. Far be it for me to become lazy, to rest on my laurels and not continue to encourage that Title IX continues to fulfill its full promise.”