San Diego AAUW 2015 National Convention Report

Georgia members (Diane Sakmar and Yetta McMillan, AAUW of Georgia Co-Presidents) and Myra Carmon (Atlanta), Debbie Karvey, Barbara Blue and Betty Dinkins (Cobb Branch) and Evelyn Merk (Houston-Peach) attending convention experienced inspiring speakers and panels, brainstorming through workshops and networking with new and old AAUW members. Approximately 1000 women attended the convention in San Diego, which greeted attendees each day with marvelous temperatures, refreshing breezes and beautiful sunshine.

A very motivational opening session featured Title IX stories and advocacy with Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary of Civil rights, US Department of Education. (See excerpt from AAUW feature article below)   AAUW Action Alert is available for members to sign a pledge to contact local Title IX school coordinators to provide resources from AAUW.

Women and Girls in STEM featured a panel of female leaders representing AAUW and corporations such as Verizon, BAE and Lockheed Martin who discussed the opportunities and challenges focused on women working in the world of science and technology.

An outstanding panel participated in a discussion of “What Makes a Woman Leader?” which included Lilly Ledbetter, Noorjahan Akbar, Don McPherson and moderator, Marianne Schnall. Very insightful comments and personal experiences highlighted this engaging interaction.

Brief examples of Workshop Materials are also listed below. All workshop materials are available on AAUW website under Convention Tab and/or Resources Tab. Workshop options focused on membership and marketing your branch as well as STEM, philanthropy and mission-based programs. The primary focus of this year’s convention is threefold:

  • Philathropy
  • Salary Negotiation
  • Public Policy

On Saturday afternoon, the annual meeting and town hall revealed that 12% of AAUW members voted. The new board members were announced as well as the new public policy platform and by-laws implemented for 2015. One of the key voting issues was open membership. The vote was 55% against and 41% for open membership (4% did not vote on this item.) Education requirement for membership remains. For complete details – refer to the AAUW website.

 The annual banquet Saturday evening featured:

  • 2015 AAUW Achievement Awardee: Maria Klawe, President / Harvey Mudd College
  • 2015 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee: Faith Ringgold, Artist, Educator and Social Activist

The speakers were dynamic and inspirational for AAUW members to pay it forward in action and in advocacy.

On Sunday, the closing session featured an outstanding speaker sharing her personal experience as well as relaying results of research on the challenge of non-traditional black women returning to college.

  • 2015 Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Awardee: Juanita Johnson-Bailey, UGA Director of Institute for Women’s Studies

Enjoy the gallery of photos from national convention. Georgia was featured prominently as a top 10 state for philanthropy per capita.

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