Lea Dickson, Connecticut – 2008
Currently retired, Lea received her BS and MBA from Arnold College at the University of Bridgeport. With Barbara Hall, she initiated legal action against the Stratford Board of Education to bring equal opportunity to women and girls in sports. She filed complaints to bring coaches’ pay, facilities, budget, uniforms and equipment for girls up to par with that of the boys. As an advocate she filed complaints with the Department of Labor, CT Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, CT Commission on Human Rights, and the Equal Employers Opportunities Commission – all under the Title VII and IX educational statutes. In 1978 a landmark court case established a legal mandate requiring that female athletes and coaches receive the same opportunities as male athletes and coaches.
From 1980 to 2002, Lea owned her own sports timing business. She timed and officiated track meets, swim meets, cross country meets, and road races for 22 years. She started the girls’ softball and basketball programs at Bunnell High School in Stratford, CT.
Honored for her outstanding advocacy for girls, Lea received the Maria Miller Stewart Award “Legal Challenge” from the Connecticut Womens Education and Legal Fund. She is a member of the Frank Scoll Tunnell High School Hall of Fame in Stratford, CT.
Reflecting on her past, Lea commented, “There are so many who were too young to remember and many of us have forgotten how inequitable the conditions were between the boys and the girls. It may be valuable to tell the story one more time.”