Thursday marked as the 50th anniversary of the ruling a Title IX, the landmark legislation that ensured access and equality for women in both academics and athletics.

The amendment was co-authored by the late Patsy Mink, a Maui native who has left a lasting legacy as a trail blazer for women’s rights.

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Among the many admirers of Mink’s legacy and the path she paved is University of Hawaii women’s basketball coach Laura Beeman, who has been at the helm at UH for 10 years.

“I look at the gains from the time that I was a little girl playing sports to now I have a job in a profession that Patsy Mink probably helped create if you will,” Beeman told KHON2. “I think we have a long way to go but I like the path that we are on. I love the fact that Hawaii takes a stand for not just its female athletes, but all athletes and it’s not because we have to but because we want to.

“I do have a responsibility to pay it forward. I do have the responsibility to be a part of little girls’ dreams, not just in the athletic arena, but in the life arena and the opportunity to say that you don’t have to be a basketball player. Go be a mechanic, go be a pilot, go be something that you want to be and help them open those doors and if the doors are locked, learn how to crash though them right? Go get it girl.”

In the nation’s capital on Thursday, a portrait of Mink was revealed, celebrating her legacy as the first woman of color elected into congress.