A Message from AAUW Wisconsin President Stephanie Malaney
August 27, 2017
Dear AAUW-WI Members,
Welcome to another year as an AAUW member. Many branches have already started their programming. From branch newsletters, I see many exciting things happen. Have a wonderful year and mark your calendar for the state convention, Women Building Bridges into the Future, April 20 & 21, 2018 at the Potawatomi Casino and Hotel in Milwaukee.
Our April 2017 state convention Amplifying Our Voices Together gave members an opportunity to learn more about collaborating with other organizations, ways to engage in the political world, and what some of the branches are doing to advance STEM. Eileen Hartmann, a national board member, shared the message from national and led a breakout session on public policy. Mary Burke, a former governor candidate also spoke. During the convention, the members voted to add two new resolutions on Campus Sexual Assault and Water to our state Public Policy.
AAUW has released their new research entitled Deeper in Debt Women and Student Loan. Copies are available through the website. There is $1.3 trillion dollars in outstanding student loans. 2/3 of the students with outstanding loans are women.
Many branches have developed STEM programs within their branch or collaborated with others to provide STEM opportunities for girls. Tech Savvy which was a national program with grant funding has changed. It no longer provides grant money but the Tech Savvy material is available to any branch as a program in a box. The information is on the national website.
This is the year AAUW-WI holds a Public Policy and/or Legislation Day in Madison usually around mid-October. The board looked at this event as a budget item, which has been expensive with low attendance. We plan to hold this event later in the year to give us more time to plan.
Some of us had the opportunity to attend the AAUW National Convention in Washington, DC, on June 14-17 of this year. When in Washington, AAUW members take the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill. This year with a well-organized Lobby Day including pre-and post-briefings with members visiting over 350+ legislators. Our message to legislators was on the importance of Title IX and sharing the newly published research entitled Deeper in Debt Women and Student Loans. This new research highlights that there is $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans with 2/3 of those loans held by women. As with all AAUW research, their report has public policy recommendations. The new report is available through AAUW or can be read on the website.
The national convention’s speakers were inspiring. Judy Woodruff the co-anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour talked about news and the challenges of reporting constantly changing news. Linda Devall and Celinda Lake represent two different views and talked about the importance of women in politics. Laura Dunn, J.D., the executive director of SurvJustice Inc., who received the 2017 Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award, spoke on about her nonprofit that enforces victims’ rights and holds those accountable who violate them. Laura’s journey to creating this nonprofit start from her experience at UW-Madison. Tefera Trent, Ph.D., the 2017 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Award and the 2001-02 AAUW International Fellow, shared her experience and message of quality education and women’s empowerment. And finally, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the US Supreme Court and the 2017 AAUW Achievement Award, who delighted the members by walking among us while she was speaking shaking hands with as many as she could.
2017 AAUW National Board Results
Board Chair is Julia Brown, J.D and Board Vice Chair is Peggy Ryan Williams, Ed.D. Elected Board members are: Joanna Amberger, Susan Barley, Janet Bunger, Melody Jackson, Ph.D., Melissa Cooke Johnson, Dot McLane, Ph.D., Leah Sakacs, Cheryl Sorokin, J.D., Mardy Stevens, and Mary L. Zupanc, M.D.
Appointed members are: Karen Kirkwood from Minnesota, Eileen Menton from Maryland, and Susan Nenstiel from Pennsylvania.
All the AAUW Public Policy Priorities passed which included: Environmental sustainability, Gun Violence, Diversity and Inclusion, Sexual Health, Equality in salary & benefits, Quality and affordable child care, Voting rights and affirmative action, Productive health decisions, and Definition of self.
AAUW Bylaws had a mix of passed and failed. The Bylaws changes that passed are: Moving section on appealing membership, Change Nominations Committee appointment date, Eliminate specific voting methods, Allow board members to serve as committee chairs, and Change Public Policy Program to Public Policy. Bylaw changes that failed are: Advocate category of membership, Elimination degree requirement, and Change quorum to 3 %.
Both AAUW Resolutions passed which are: Equal Rights Amendment and Human Trafficking Resolution.