Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: Breaking Through Barriers: AAUW Convention 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Breaking Through Barriers: AAUW Convention 2009

The 900+ participants at this 46th biennial convention cast important votes, listened to inspiring speakers, and learned about new initiatives. They reunited with longtime friends and made new ones. They will return to their branches with renewed energy and enthusiasm to "break through barriers to give all women and girls a fair chance."

The bylaws changes that the delegates approved include:
* one member/one vote for future elections
* flexibility for branch and state leadership
* one board for the Association (which is now AAUW (501.c.3) and the allied AAUW Action Fund (501.c.4))

The proposal for extending membership to anyone who shares in AAUW's mission was defeated.

Kudos to the Bylaws Committee for their two years of thoughtful collaboration, and to Bylaws Chair Caroline Pickens for her presentation of the bylaws to the body.

Both Ruth Sweetser, Association President, and Barbara O'Connor, Foundation President, led AAUW well during their terms. Carolyn Garfein was elected president for the 09-11 term.

Other convention highlights:
* Preconvention tour of historic St. Louis
* Keynote by Lilly Ledbetter
* Presentations by Rep. Rosa DiLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)
* "She-E-O" featuring corporate CEOs Arlene Harris (Jitterbug) and Erika Feinberg (ActiveForever)

This was my fourth AAUW convention, but due to conflicts with ALA Annual I have not been able to attend since 2001. It was gratifying to see so many people whom I knew from years ago, and to meet in-person those I'd met online. As always, I was impressed and inspired by the women who have invested so much of their time, talent, and treasure in AAUW over the years.

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