New members at Oct. 2016 branch meeting. Welcome to Erin Finklea, Judy Lang, Sonja Friedman, Mary Renaud and Ann Lovett!



October 8, 2016 Branch Meeting



Our October branch meeting featured Rebecca Bender – a nationwide advocate for the elimination of sex trafficking.  Her recent book “Road to Redemption” tells of her personal experience of being a victim of sex trafficking during college here in Oregon.  A very informative and moving presentation just reminded us of more ways we can help women.

Soaring To New Heights
2015 AAUW Oregon Convention

2015 AAUW Oregon State Convention

Pictured from left to right, Bessie Azari-incoming co president, Phyllis Fernlund-South District Chair, Carrie Hull-Detective Ashland Police Dept., Mimi Pippel-co president, and Christine Fernlund-Finance Director.

April 17 to 19, 2015 was an inspiring weekend at the Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon. The AAUW Central District Branch Members worked hard to gather members from across the state for this year’s convention. Five Ashland members (Bessie Azari, Jean Conger, Phyllis and Christine Fernlund and Mimi Pippel) went, which allowed us to split up and attend the various workshops that were offered. We learned about College/University Partnerships, Strategic Planning, GIRLS, INC. Operation SMART, AAUW’s new research report “Solving the Equation: Women in Engineering and Computing”, Oregon Public Policy Updates, and Re-Integrating Victims’ Voices into Justice: Why it Matters and How We Can Do It.

As delegates, our five branch members were able to participate in the state proposed Bylaws & Policies Changes and were there to support and witness our own Phyllis Fernlund elected to the position of South District Chair, which she will share with a member from Medford and Grants Pass.

Award-winning author, Jane Kirkpatrick shared some of her stories with us as the guest speaker at Friday evening’s dinner. At Saturday evening’s dinner we were fortunate enough to have two speakers, Jill Birdwhistell, Chief Operating Officer of AAUW National and Lauren Mancuso. Lauren was one of several women wrestlers who filed a class action suit in 2003 with the University of California at Davis who had failed to comply with Title IX. The AAUW supported the women wrestlers through the Legal Advocacy Fund. These speakers were interesting and entertaining, however the highlight of the weekend was being on hand to see Ashland’s own Detective Carrie Hull, creator of the You Have Options program receive the first ever Breaking Barriers Achievement Award, presented at the Sunday luncheon by the State Co-Presidents. It was very well attended and as Carrie spoke about the program she had the undivided attention of everyone in the room. Sexual assault, in all its forms, is a disturbing topic and Carrie gave a powerful presentation, which ended with a standing ovation and a few tears. It was an emotional ending to an empowering weekend. I believe we each left feeling grateful and proud to have been able to attend and represent our branch.