Former Campbell High athlete wins ESPY over fight for gender equity in Hawaii schools
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Campbell High student athlete won a prestigious ESPY award Thursday night because of her fight for gender equality and equity in Hawaii sports.
Ashley Badis was one among three honorees presented with the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership award in Los Angeles.
The prestigious award is given to athletes who use the power of sports to be a catalyst of change in their communities, like Billie Jean King.
Now 22-years-old, Badis and several of her former classmates filed a Title IX lawsuit against the state in 2018 over the lack of female facilities and opportunities in Hawaii schools.
The suit, filed with the assistance of ACLU, alleged that female athletes at Campbell High — Hawaii’s largest public high school — were forced to change in teachers’ closets, in the bathroom at the nearest Burger King, and even on the practice field.
To go to the bathroom, they would have to run back to the campus gym (two football fields in length away), use “decrepit Porta-Potties,” or relieve themselves in the bushes.
Meanwhile, the boys had their own locker room.
Although it’s been a long battle, Badis says she feels fulfilled knowing that change is on the horizon and future female athletes won’t have to go through what she and her teammates did.
She added that speaking up is always the first step toward change.
“It’s so so important to speak up for yourself and for others, especially when you can be the person to speak up for someone else when they won’t be able to do it for themselves,” Badis explained. “You can’t invoke any change unless you start with the first step and speak up.”
Last year, Hawaii lawmakers allocated nearly $35 million for girl’s locker rooms and other facilities across the state, including new facilities at Campbell.
The lawsuit trial begins in October.
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