Systemic Racism and the Pay Gap
A supplement to AAUW’s Simple Truth report examines how decades of systemic racism—including discriminatory employment practices, inadequate legal protections and persistent stereotypes—have contributed to a gender pay gap that remains far wider for women of color than for white women.
As we mark Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on August 3, the analysis provides excellent insight on the challenges Black women face in the fight for equity. Consider that:
- Over a 40-year career, Black women lose almost $1 million to the wage gap.
- Despite providing essential services during COVID-19, Black women are paid less than their white counterparts.
- It takes the typical Black woman 19 months to be paid what the average white man takes home in 12 months.
Learn more about Black women and the pay gap. Then join the Twitterstorm on Tuesday, August 3, at 2 p.m. ET to demand #BlackWomensEqualPay.
Two Minute Activist
From the AAUW National website, this is a “Two Minute Activist” item with a suggestion for how you can get involved in supporting an AAUW advocacy effort. You can use the link below to sign up to receive action alerts.
While many of us have focused on recovering and rebuilding from the pandemic and economic crises facing our nation, some unrelenting legislators continue to burden our democracy with anti-voter bills. The U.S. Senate refused to even debate voting rights legislation in June. Two recent Supreme Court rulings dealt blows to the freedom to vote, making Congressional action that much more critical for the preservation of our democracy.
In spite of these harmful actions, defenders of the freedom to vote have only grown stronger.
Honoring the first anniversary of the passing of voting rights champion Congressman John Lewis this past weekend, advocates held vigils in his memory across the country. Legislators traveled from Texas to the steps of Congress last week, committed to fighting restrictive laws in their state and refusing to leave without speaking to their federal counterparts. And we have not given up on key bills still awaiting consideration with our elected officials.
Your senators are about to go home for summer recess—now is your chance.
Your senators must hear from you now—every day—until they uphold their duty to protect our democratic principles. The For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1) will ensure accessibility to all voters throughout the country, make sure all votes count by preventing bought elections and partisan gerrymandering, and establish stronger codes of ethics for our branches of government. Write to them, call them, meet with them while they visit home. The future of our democracy is in your hands.
Demand your senators pass legislation protecting the freedom to vote today!
Farewell to National CEO Kim Churches
In July, Kim Churches announced that she’ll be stepping down as AAUW CEO on October 1 to pursue an exciting new professional opportunity. The AAUW Board of Directors has a robust continuity plan in place, and the Executive Committee of the Board will meet to determine next steps shortly. Kim is dedicated to a smooth transition and will remain a passionate member of AAUW.
Since Kim joined AAUW in the spring of 2017, she’s been fiercely committed to our mission of advancing gender equity. She partnered with many in AAUW to roll out a bold new strategic plan in 2018 that broadened the scope of our work to embrace equity for all in every sphere—education, economic security, governance and leadership.
National Membership Perks
Did you know that your AAUW membership entitles you to many cost-saving offers and other perks? You’ll find discounts on everything from office supplies, hotels and insurance to UPS shipping. There’s even an on-line store for AAUW branded gear. Click on AAUW National Discounts & Perks for details.
A Setback for Fair Pay
After inching so close to finally seeing the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), this important piece of legislation failed on a procedural vote in the U.S. Senate earlier this month. PFA would give women the tools they need to challenge pay discrimination and provide incentives to employers to comply with the law.
We know you share our deep disappointment at this setback, but the fight isn’t over. With your support, we’ve pushed for PFA’s passage for more than two decades—and we’ll keep on pushing for as long as it takes. Take action now using our new activist toolkit.
Title IX Turns 49
June 23 marked the 49th anniversary of Title IX, a landmark federal civil rights law. AAUW provided public comment for a virtual public hearing on June 7-11, emphasizing the need to restore and strengthen safeguards against harassment in schools and protect students from retaliation. As we await next steps, tell Congress to support the Gender Equity in Education Act.
GEEA would help to reduce and prevent sex discrimination in all areas of education by supporting the vital, on-the-ground work of Title IX coordinators through additional resources, training and technical assistance. It would also authorize competitive grants to K-12 schools, colleges, local educational agencies, or states to support their gender equity work.
All of these efforts, and those that AAUW members have undertaken for decades, lay the groundwork for a real 50th anniversary celebration of Title IX in 2022: fully realizing the promise of the law. Urge your members of Congress to build on the legacy of Title IX by cosponsoring GEEA today!
STEMEd for Girls Starts July 7
Computer science and engineering are among the fastest-growing and highest paid jobs of the future, yet only 16% of engineers are women. Help engineer a promising future for the young women in your life through AAUW’s free STEMEd for Girls program, which starts July 7. It was created exclusively for girls in grades 9 through 12 and the parents, guardians and caregivers who support their dreams.
AAUW Election Results: Members have spoken
Julia Brown and Malinda Gaul were re-elected as board chair and vice chair, respectively, and Elizabeth Haynes and Joseph Bertolino will retain their board seats. AAUW’s public policy priorities were approved by 92% of voters. The board-recommended ballot initiative to remove the college-degree membership requirement DID NOT receive the two-thirds vote required to enact a bylaws change. However, a remarkable 63% of you voted in favor of this change, indicating a momentum shift toward a more inclusive membership.
AAUW National membership dues increase
(January 2021) Starting Fiscal year 2022, you will be seeing a bump in the amount of your annual dues that goes to AAUW National. The following letter from Julia T. Brown at the National AAUW office describes why AAUW National decided to raise dues. Note that the amount of the dues mentioned in her letter is the amount that goes to the National AAUW office. The total amount of dues that you pay each year also includes another $20 that goes to AAUW at the state level and $21 that goes to our branch.
The following letter is from Julia T. Brown:
“At its October 16, 2020, meeting, the AAUW Board of Directors voted to increase Individual Member dues for the next three years. The dues will rise by $3 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, $5 for FY 2023 and $5 for FY 2024, making the total dues amount for those years $62, $67 and $72, respectively. All but $3 of your annual dues remains tax deductible.
This decision wasn’t made lightly. The board members couldn’t be more grateful for our members — or prouder of the work you’ve done this year. We also recognize that all of us are navigating numerous challenges in these uncertain times. However, in order to preserve the viability of this organization we all love, the board needed to take action. Simply put, this measure is essential for AAUW to continue our mission to achieve gender equity.
Most nonprofits adjust their dues annually or every other year to keep pace with inflation and rising expenses. However, due to prudent budgetary management, AAUW has been able to keep its dues flat since July 2018. That means that, by the time the first scheduled increase takes effect, we will have maintained three years of dues stability. Moreover, in recognition of the difficult economy we’re in, the board planned for the initial adjustment to be the most modest. Over the course of the year, it works out to be only an additional 25 cents per month—what we hope is a small price to pay for maintaining our important work and community.
Current life members will not be affected by this change. New life memberships acquired after July 1, 2021, will reflect the higher dues’ amounts. College and university membership fees will remain unchanged.
Please reach out to us with any feedback or concerns. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to AAUW and our mission. On behalf of the AAUW Board, we are grateful for your understanding and look forward to continuing our work together.”
Sincerely, Julia T. Brown, Esq. Board Chair
Our Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek branch is part of the AAUW National Organization. Visit aauw.org for updates on national programs and activities.