Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: "We ARE AAUW" and $375!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"We ARE AAUW" and $375!

The Twist 'n' Turn Stars were one of the Blockswappers' exchanges last year. I contributed the finished quilt to my AAUW branch to raffle, with the proceeds going to AAUW's Legal Advocacy Foundation ( The AAUW-Illinois state convention was yesterday and today. Ticket sales were brisk! The final tally was $375 and the winner was delighted.

This year's convention theme was "We ARE AAUW." A=Advocacy, R=Research, E=Education, which summarizes what AAUW has been about since its founding in 1881. I've gone to enough state events that I know many AAUW members from other parts of the state, so convention is a time for renewing friendships. Eight women from our branch attended this year, several of whom were first-time attendees.

The keynote speaker was AAUW's public policy director, Lisa Maatz. "We know the world can be changed by one person," she said, "but it's so much more fun to do it in groups." Legislative success requires perseverance, she told us. An example: it took 14 years (7 congresses) to get the Violence Against Women Act passed. "You never know if it is your call or letter that tips the balance for your legislator." Lisa said that AAUW has a reputation as a progressive and moderate organization. AAUW is reasonable in what it seeks; its members are multipartisan. The AAUW Capitol Hill Lobby Corps is the only women's group that lobbies weekly when Congress is in session. Often AAUW is the only gender lens at the table for federal issues: we talk about education in the women's issues committees and we talk about women in the education committees. AAUW's Public Policy Program is determined by the members, who approve the program at the association convention (odd-numbered years).

The Women's Global Education Project was featured in today's breakout session. ( The speaker, Joan Sherman, is a board member of this project. She said that in the developing world 150 million children do not complete primary school; of that, 100 million are girls. Secondary education is a key factor in women's and family success: smaller families, less domestic violence, higher income. She said that these countries have ministries of education and have schools but resources (particularly in rural areas) are scarce, families often undervalue girls' education, etc. The Virginia Gildersleeve Fund (which I mentioned in an earlier blogpost) has given the WGEP grants. Obviously there is more that can be done.

AAUW-IL was instrumental in having December 10 be designated Jane Addams Day in Illinois. Watch for an upcoming quilt featuring a block called the Jane Addams Star!


  1. A beautiful quilt!! Congrats on raising a great sum of money :)

  2. Your quilt turned out beautifully-glad you raised so much for such a great cause!


  3. Congrats!

    I linked to your post from the Facebook discussion thread about what happened at AAUW state conventions.


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