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What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

Four of us attended the 2017 AAUW National Convention in Washington, D.C. from June 14 – 17! At the end of the first day, while enjoying the Opening Dinner, we were enraptured with broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff, the Co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour! She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC, and PBS.

Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 9:00am hundreds of AAUW advocates from across the country stormed Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress in support of policies that advance AAUW’s mission of gender equity. Regina Ayars, Bessie Azari, Kathy Brandon, and Mimi Pippel flexed their political muscles by urging Congress to support women as they pursue their educations. 

Our focus was two-fold: recently released AAUW research shows that women in particular struggle with their student debt; and we also know that women and girls continue to face discrimination in schools. Kathy Brandon spoke to our Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and our House Representative, Greg Walden about Student Debt. It is imperative that Congress

In the elevator with Senator Elizabeth Warren!

strengthens and protects federal financial aid, such as the Pell Grant program, and fully supports the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in their work to implement and enforce Title IX.

Mimi Pippel spoke to our senators and representative on this topic. While we were in the Capitol we were joined by Senator Elizabeth Warren in the elevator to ride up to the senators offices. WOW! It was a moment none of us will forget!

Temperature in D.C. – mid 90’s with 70+ humidity -We had to chill any way we could – Kathy chose the fountain in the plaza by our condos. Aside from rubbing elbows with the “rich and famous”, each of us attended an excellent selection of workshops and daily briefings and will be bringing back new skills and exciting information to help our branch continue our mission.

On Friday evening at the Closing Banquet after the 2017 AAUW Alumnae Awardees were recognized we were in for another treat! The speaker was none other than Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. We had a strong showing and hope we helped to advance legislation that makes a difference for women and girls.

Celebration of Scholars Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Celebration of Scholars:Our Future Leaders

The Scholarship Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:00 – 9:00 PM Program will begin promptly at 6:00pm in the Rogue River Room in Stevenson Union on the SOU Campus

Please join us as AAUW Ashland honors the accomplishments of outstanding women students from Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College. We welcome you to be a part of this special event that champion’s higher education for women!

Wine & Hors D’oeuvres Reception Following Ceremony – at approximately 7:30pm so for those who get peckish you may want to snack on something before you come to this event.

Clothesline Project at SOU

Thanks to Paula Wiiken, Kathy Brandon and Mimi Pippel for decorating shirts to use for our Clothesline Project display at Southern Oregon University.  This project is to represent members whose lives have been affected by sexual assault.  Our shirts are hung on a clothesline strung between two trees outside of Stevenson Union on the right just before you get to the quad. They were hung as a testimony to the problem of sexual violence.  We will leave them up today and through tomorrow in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Tomorrow, April 28, 2017  is the annual Take Back the Night march. Please join us at any or all of the following activities.

STEVENSON UNION DIVERSIONS ROOM (where we hold our branch meetings)

12:30-2:30pm: Film Screening: Yeah Maybe No

4:00pm: Workshop: Supporting Survivors Through Storytelling

5:00pm: Survivor Circle

RAIDER VILLAGE QUAD

7:00pm: Glow Yoga

7:30pm: Keynote Speaker: Nikkita Oliver

8:15pm: Take Back the Night March + Rally

 

SAAM Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and there will be activities on college campuses all over the country as we continue the struggle to eliminate this epidemic. Each year one in five women are victims of sexual assault on college campuses all over the country. This is a statistic we cannot ignore.

The SOU Women’s Resource Center is planning all kinds of events. 

The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. With the support of many, it has since spread worldwide.

So this year our branch is going to assist with this project. We will be joining Community Works in putting up our own clothesline outside the student union building (Stevenson Hall) at SOU from April 26 through the 28th. I will be coordinating a t-shirt decorating party at my home in April. If you are interested in working on this please let me know. All you have to provide is an old shirt and your creativity. Let’s fill up these clotheslines!

AAUW Raises Awareness for Equal Pay

On Tuesday, April 4, eighteen AAUW Ashland Members rallied at The Plaza from 12n to 1pm wearing their Equal Pay t-shirts and waiving signs.  Mayor Stromberg even joined us (briefly).  Tuesday, April 4, 2017 symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the  previous year. Stay Strong – We Will Prevail!

College/University Partnership Calendar

We have four Southern Oregon University (SOU) students who will be attending the National College Conference for Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) May 31 – June 3, 2017 at the University of Maryland, College Park. For the second year in a row, our branch has provided a scholarship for one student. AAUW of Oregon awards two scholarships each year and one of our students received one of them. And we are all trying to assist the other two women in their fundraising efforts so they can attend as well.

At NCCWSL, attendees will

  • Develop and strengthen their leadership and professional aptitude through voice, skill set, and mind-set
  • Know how, why, and when to take action
  • Gain a better understanding of issues and policies affecting women and of AAUW’s role in empowering women
  • Own their personal identities and learn new ways to increase and support diverse voices

So, if you like the idea of our students going to this conference and if you like pizza, here’s how you can help:

On Monday, April 10 Northwest Pizza & Pasta Co is contributing ten percent of all orders to our students so they can attend this conference. Please go to Northwest Pizza & Pasta Co at 1585 Siskiyou Blvd or call for delivery at (541) 488-2080 on April 10 and don’t forget to tell all your friends!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and there will be activities on college campuses all over the country as we continue the struggle to eliminate this epidemic. Each year one in five women are victims of sexual assault on college campuses all over the country. This is a statistic we cannot ignore.

The SOU Women’s Resource Center is planning all kinds of events. 

The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. With the support of many, it has since spread worldwide.

So this year our branch is going to assist with this project. We will be joining Community Works in putting up our own clothesline outside the student union building (Stevenson Hall) at SOU from April 26 through the 28th. I will be coordinating a t-shirt decorating party at my home in April. If you are interested in working on this please let me know. All you have to provide is an old shirt and your creativity. Let’s fill up these clotheslines!

MARCH 8 – DAY WITHOUT A WOMAN

On March 8, AAUW will stand in solidarity with the millions of women across the country and around the world committed to advancing gender equality. Whether by observing International Women’s Day, participating in the “day without a woman” general strike, or taking action to advance policies that empower women and girls, AAUW members will observe March 8 not as a day off but as a “day on.” Women cannot afford to wait for equality, and it won’t happen without our mobilized action.

For more than 135 years AAUW has advanced equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Whether by advocating legislative change, making their voices heard on social media, or taking to the streets in their communities, on March 8 AAUW members across the country will do their part to raise awareness and take action to improve the lives of all women and girls.

Lobby Day in Salem

The 2017 AAUW of OR Lobby Day was a great day.  We had over 60 AAUW members attend the event, plus members of the Oregon Commission on Women, including Commissioner Dr. Doris Cancel-Tirado, Commissioner Nikki Fisher, Advocacy Commissions Administrator Lucy Baker and the Commissions intern Ty Schwoeffermann.  Thanks go to Claire Berger for working hard on organizing the event, and Penny Hoodenpyle (Hillsboro / Forest Grove) stepped up as well by greeting and checking in attendees as they arrived.
Special kudos go to these Branches: Ashland and Lake Oswego which each fielded 13 AAUW members, and Hillsboro / Forest Grove with 7.  Not only did these Lobby Day attendees get a chance to mingle with their counterparts throughout the state, but these branches were able to socialize and discuss Public Policy as well.
House Democratic Leader Jennifer Williamson kicked off Lobby Day.  She expressed her gratitude for our being there, and being there with such a large group.  She promised that she would do all she could to get a Fair Pay bill passed.  Newly minted, or as she said, “newbie” Representative Pam Marsh (District 5 – Ashland) echoed these words.  It is clear that there is a lot to do in order to get oriented to being a legislator, but it looks as if Rep Marsh is well on her way.
We also heard information about how budgets are prepared, and the process is far more complex — and fluid — than we might have imagined.  The topic might initially have sounded somewhat boring, but the presenters did an amazing job and all of us felt we left Lobby Day just a little wiser.
The absolute hit of the 2017 Lobby Day took place at the end of the day.  The Ashland and Hillsboro / Forest Hills Branch gave presentations about what they have done to encourage participation in AAUW of OR Public Policy.  And they have done a lot!  Claire Berger spoke about having members bring in their laptops and AAUW member numbers (need both) to Branch meetings and having members sign up for the 2-Minute Activist Action Alert Network right then and there.  She also referred us to the post-Woman’s March program organized around doing 10 ” Hear Our Voice,” pro-woman actions in 100 days.  We can do that too!  Ashland presenters Mimi Pippel and Phyllis Fernlund presented a brochure they had prepared about Lobby Day and AAUW of OR Public Policy. It is attached below and I strongly encourage you to take a look at it.  You might want to print one up for your Branch.  They also spoke of the effectiveness of having some informal coffees with groups within the Branch to discuss Public Policy and Lobby Day.  Given the numbers of members who attended Lobby Day, they are clearly doing something (a lot!) right.
Following the Ashland and Hillsboro/Forest Grove presentations, we discussed what Branches can do to encourage participation in AAUW of OR Public Policy. While Lobby Day attendees came and went as they visited their Representatives, a lively and informative discussion continued.  There were many ideas, and we anticipate continuing the discussion at Convention April 21-23. I will be speaking about our Public Policy at the Sunday luncheon, but I’m thinking of an informal meet up before then.  More on that to come!!  Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Report from Trish Garner – State AAUW Public Policy Chair

The Feb. 11th Branch Meeting- More than Valentine Cookies

When people ask you what AAUW is, what do you tell them? The acronym AAUW stands for “American Association of University Women,” but then what do you say? Do you tell them we are a group of concerned women who meet each month to discuss issues that affect all women or that we raise money for scholarships for young women to attend college? Maybe you describe our branch by telling people about our mission, “Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research,” but I think our organization is about much more than this. That is why our team has worked so hard to design a website that we can all be proud of, and we want to take you on a tour of this wonderful tool that you have at your fingertips. In addition to having the most up-to-date information on everything we are doing now, you will find a complete history of how we have worked for eighty years to improve women’s lives in Ashland. We will also provide a close look at the AAUW National website, and you will not believe what a wealth of knowledge it contains!

Established in 1881,15 alumnae from eight colleges met in Boston to create an organization for women college graduates to find greater opportunities to use their education and to enable other women to attend college. AAUW has since grown to become one of the world’s largest sources of funding exclusively for women college graduates. Every year they provide $3.5 to 4 million in fellowships, grants, and awards for women and for community action projects.

The AAUW Foundation also funds pioneering research on women, girls, and education.

There is much more to learn about this wonderful organization and its inspiring work on behalf of women all over the world, but if you want to know what
 that is, you’ll just have to show up at our branch meeting on Saturday, February 11 at 9:30 am. But “where is this meeting going to be,” you ask? Look it up on our website. Just kidding! It will be in
 the Diversions Room of the Stevenson Union. Bring your laptop, iPad, or smart phone and follow along with us. We’ll have members on hand to assist you and Valentine cookies because we love you! ♥

When: Saturday, February 11 9:30 am social time

10 am program

Where: SOU Stevenson Union Diversions Room