140 Year AAUW Celebration!
AAUW hosted a celebratory virtual event on November 17th as part of the National organization’s 140th Anniversary. The highlight of the session was an interview with the 2021 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was a 1977-78 AAUW International Fellow. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a global finance expert, economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. She served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and briefly as Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions. Currently, she is Director-General of the World Trade Organization, the first African and first woman to serve in that role. Learn more.
Watch for the anniversary event video, available soon, here.
Gloria L. Blackwell Takes the Helm at AAUW
This week starts a new chapter in AAUW’s history. After 17 years at AAUW, Gloria L. Blackwell took on a new role: CEO. “I am incredibly honored and grateful to the Board for valuing my commitment to global gender equity, my leadership at AAUW and the contributions of my high-performing teams,” said Blackwell.
Among her many accomplishments is her longtime management of AAUW’s fellowships and grants program, which awarded more than $70 million to women scholars and programs in the U.S. and overseas. Blackwell was also the driving force behind AAUW’s signature programs, including its salary negotiation trainings, which have reached nearly 190,000 people.
“As AAUW proudly celebrates 140 years of advancing equity for women and girls this year, we know that Gloria is the right leader at the right time,” said Board Chair Julia Brown.
Celebrating 140 years of AAUW
AAUW couldn’t have made it to 140 years without members and supporters like you. As a small token of thanks, we invite you to a celebratory virtual event on November 17. We will honor our history and announce the 2021 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee—an outstanding fellowships and grants alumna! Stay tuned for details. Save the date – November 17th!
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.
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!
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!
Our Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek branch is part of the AAUW National Organization. Visit aauw.org for updates on national programs and activities.