WBI Weekly Digest

Women In Sports

Well-Being Wednesday

36 Influential Women in Sports

History of Women in Sports

As you may know, the Women’s Basketball Final Four is in Minneapolis this weekend, so it is important to look back at the history of and the relatively recent advancements for women in the athletic world.

Historically in some civilizations, women were encouraged to participate in sports on many different continents, mainly for religious or spiritual purposes. There is evidence that women from Ancient Greece participated in a few Olympic events. Certain indiginious tribes in Africa and America had women participate in many of the same sporting events men participated in for ceremonial and sporting purposes. These practices went well into the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the 19th century, the western world focused on family values and eventually concluded that sports would “desex” women. Victorian values carried well into the 20th century and continued to uphold the idealized white woman’s modesty standard. However, white women were able to capitalize on the flapper era and earn their place among men in swimming and tennis events  in the Olympics. On the contrary, African American women athletes faced heavy racism, but their athletic achievements brought pride to their communities. As women gained more respect and control in the workplace, their chances in the athletic community continued to expand. This expansion led to the passage of Title IX in 1972.

Title IX allowed for an equal opportunity for women in education and in sports. Within 40 years of the passing of Title IX, the number of women collegiate athletes increased from 30,000 to 190,000, and female involvement in high school athletics has grown to several millions. Likewise, a creation of stable female professional leagues, like the WNBA and NWSL, has been established. Women also continue to excel in many individual sports such as women’s UFC, tennis, and golf, and even hold coaching and front office positions in men's league, like Becky Hammond. The members of these leagues have been key leaders in social change. For example, WNBA players have league-wide activism for social justice. Individuals like Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, and Raven Saunders have been at the forefront of mental health advocacy. . While there are still many inequities that women athletes face, they will continue to be leaders in fighting for justice in athletics (including transgendered atheles) and their communities.


We have a group going to the March Madness Festivities on Saturday, April 2nd at noon, but there will be FREE events all weekend at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Please reach out if interested in joining! [log in to unmask] 

On Tuesday, April 5th at 4:45pm, we will be holding a walk and clean up activity. The goal is to walk around Mondale and (in a van… jk) down by the river and clean up our area. This is meant to be relaxing and social! Trash bags provided.

The evening of April 8th we will be bowling at Goldy’s Gameroom in Coffman Memorial Student Union. Stay tuned for details!

If you have any ideas please reach out!


It is always a good time to be informed about mental health! Local organizations throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota regularly host free webinars or info sessions. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA), and Mental Health Minnesota are great organizations to follow to find webinars and educational content. 

Some upcoming educational sessions include:


“Learn the three steps anyone can take to help prevent suicide. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in 48 states. This 1.5 hour class is for members of the community over the age of 16 who want to learn best practices in suicide prevention. A certificate of attendance is available for this class and will be sent after you fill out the evaluation.”

Creating Caring Communities (NAMI)

“Learn about mental illnesses, the impact of negative attitudes and five things each of us can do to make Minnesota a better place for people who experience a mental illness. This one-hour class is for any community or organization interested in learning about mental illnesses and helping to change attitudes towards mental illnesses.”

NAMI Ramsey County Book Club – First Thursday of the Month

“Join us on the first Thursday of each month to discuss books with a mental illness theme. Learn through compassionate conversation. See which book we’re reading at namiramseycounty.org/bookclub.”

In Our Own Voice (NAMI)

“Understand the journey of people with mental illness in recovery. In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program in which trained speakers share compelling personal stories about living with a mental illness and achieving recovery, demonstrating that there is hope for recovery for people with mental illnesses. The presentation includes personal stories and video clips, as well as offering an opportunity to ask questions. The IOOV program has touched many lives and is effective in reducing the misperceptions surrounding mental illnesses. This class is open to the public.”

The Intersection of Race and Trauma (NAMI)

“This presentation views the intersection of race and trauma. Our identities shape our experiences and we will move through this discussion-based presentation, to understand intersectionality. A certificate of attendance is available for this class and will be sent after you fill out the evaluation.”


Thank you to everyone who has responded to our anonymous Mask Policy Feedback Form! We recognize that no policy is going to fit everyone’s needs and concerns, and we are taking your feedback to the administration. We will keep this form open and look forward to hearing any more thoughts and insight that you may have.

Advice Column

The end of the semester is within sight! Things may be getting even more overwhelming, but this is your reminder that you are enough. You have made it this far into the semester and I am proud of you. Thank you for sticking it through and doing the best you can with the energy and resources available to you.

Any questions, concerns, or topics that you’d like some advice on, feel free to submit them here! You’ll get real advice, and maybe some memes for your situation. 


NAMI Connections Group for University of Minnesota Law Students

The NAMI Connection group offers peer-led support for law students living with mental health disorders who attend the University of Minnesota Law School. 

NAMI Connection is a recovery support group for adults with a mental illness regardless of their diagnosis. This group is offered free of charge and is led by trained individuals who are also in recovery – people who understand the challenges folks with mental illness face. 

This is a hybrid model. You can join in-person or via Zoom. 

There is a 20 person limit. We still have plenty of room!

No need to register – simply show up!

Who: UMN law students living with mental illness

What: Peer-led support group!

When: 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month; 5-6:30pm

Where: Mondale Hall Room 475 

This group is completely confidential. It is not therapy. 

Click here to see other NAMI Connection Groups offered in Minnesota. 

"Character and Fitness" Wellness Group

Let’s Talk 

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers

Boynton Mental Health

Looking for a Therapist? 

Learn about the various types of mental health professionals and types of treatments available. 

Psychology Today Find a Therapist Search Tool

Fast Tracker 

Crisis Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

Sand Creek 24/7 Phone Counseling 

Community Spaces - NEW! 

Community Spaces is a new initiative at the law school! It is for anyone who is interested in getting together with other Minnesota Law students and building community.

Third Thursday of the Month from 12:15-1:15pm in Room 3 


Third Friday of the Month from 12:15-1:15pm Virtually (https://z.umn.edu/communityspaces

Dates: April 21st & 22nd

WBI has created a Resources Page on our website where law students can always go to find support.

UMN Law Well-Being Initiative
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Current Contacts
Annika Cushnyr - [log in to unmask]
Emily Moss - [log in to unmask]
Sarani Millican -  [log in to unmask]

Alex Jones - [log in to unmask]

Ali Casey - [log in to unmask]

Luke Srodulski -  [log in to unmask]

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