Monday, August 20, 2012
For more information, call 404 525 5663 Statement of Janice L. Mathis for The Rainbow PUSH Coalition We are gratified that Augusta National has agreed to finally invite women to join the club. Darla Moore and Condoleeza Rice are both stellar examples of the character, talent, drive and accomplishment that will only enhance the club’s membership. Having come out of UGA athletics and the Olympics, we believed that Billy Payne is the type of leader who understands the role of women in sport. It is only right that during the 40th year since the enactment of Title IX that a significant barrier to women’s equality would fall. The Masters may be owned and produced by Augusta National, but it is a quintessentially American sports landmark. That fact, together with the public support provided by the citizens of Augusta-Richmond County made the tournament and its sponsor the business of all Americans. It is also important to note that part of the great American tradition is the right to protest injustice. This year, and many years before, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Martha Burke, NOW and others engaged in peaceful direct action and protest to bring this matter to light. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition celebrates this important victory with Augusta National and our movement allies. In photo below, we are picketing Augusta National once again in April, 2012. Finally, the time for change had come. Pictured are Janice L. Mathis and Sintonio Hobbs.
For Immediate Release: Contact Sherry Mallory email@example.com Rob Woods Spin1woods@yahoo.com (773) 256-2714 firstname.lastname@example.org Rainbow PUSH Challenges Augusta National to Include Women, Again Get Informed, Get Inspired, Get Involved ATLANTA (April 5, 2012) Nearly a decade after RPC VP Janice L. Mathis, Martha Burk and other activists protested the exclusion of women from Augusta National, some things have changed, and some have not. There are a few more female heads of Fortune 500 Companies now than there were in 2003, but Augusta National (home of the Masters) has still not opened its doors to women. Mathis and others will picket the tournament on Saturday from noon, until 2:00 p.m. “It surprises me a little that Billy Payne (given his Olympics background) has not nudged the traditionalists into accepting female members, especially in time for IBM’s CEO to receive her green sponsor’s jacket. Why bring this misery onto itself?” Georgia Power and other Atlanta-based firms ended their sponsorship of the tournament, but with tickets priced at Super Bowl levels and platinum-plated members like Bill Gates, Augusta National doesn’t need the money. “Why bother making an issue of it?” some may ask. It matters because the Masters is more than a private game of golf. It takes over the City of Augusta every Spring. School closes, the Chronicle is saturated with tournament coverage, police officers and city garbage collectors earn extra pay for overtime work, the azaleas bloom and the world comes to Augusta. It matters because after Tiger’s first win, the course was Tigerized in an effort to make it harder for him to win again. Gender and race discrimination are each made of equal parts fear and loathing. They are indistinguishable. I think of America’s image abroad. We lag the world in women leaders. Places like India and Pakistan accept female leadership easier than we do. A woman’s worth is still too often calculated based on what she looks like than what she does. If you think I exaggerate, ask Baylor’s superstar hoopster, Brittney Griner. Wouldn’t it be nice to tell our enemies everywhere that all Americans count and that we are pursuing a more perfect union and playing by one set of rules? Pretty soon the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue of affirmative action, again. Before she left the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote persuasively about the “paths to leadership” that wind through America’s most elite institutions. I encourage Augusta National to enter a new era and permit highly qualified women to join the ranks of the club’s elite membership. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. To learn more about the RainbowPUSH Coalition, please visit www.rainbowpush.org, or telephone (773) 373-3366. For more information, please call (404) 525-5663 or 404 394 1500.