National Convention Highlights from Local Member, Susan Barley

Another successful AAUW National Convention was held in June, in Washington DC, bringing great ideas and enthusiasm for members to take “home” to their branches.  About 20 Florida AAUW members attended.  Susan Barley was the only person attending from the Greater Naples Branch.  For four days and nights, attendees were kept busy, attending workshops, Daily Dialogues, Plenary Sessions, celebrations, and networking experiences.

The special, exciting Washington DC opportunity was Lobby Day.  Members were briefed and trained on AAUW’s positions on two key topics:  Title IX, and our new research:  Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans.  Appointments had been made with our state senators and our reps.  Over 700 of us were knowledgeable and prepared, wearing our AAUW Lobby Day t-shirts, and hard not to notice, as we marched to visit “The Hill.”  We were ready and fired-up with our talking points to ask our members of Congress For their support:
Title IX:  Increased funding for the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to continue their vital work to ensure schools comply with our civil rights statutes, including Title IX and its current regulations and guidance.
Student Loans:  Protecting and strengthening federal financial aid programs such as Pell Grants, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and Income-Driven Repayment.

Words can not tell, the wonderful, inspiring experiences,  listening to Judy Woodruff, co-anchor and managing editor, PBS NewsHour, and honoring our 2001-02 AAUW International Fellow, Tererai Trent with her amazing story of her life since receiving our fellowship.  What a very special experience to welcome and hear Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor!  She was our 2017 AAUW Achievement Awardee.

This was our first opportunity to meet AAUW’s new CEO, Kim Churches.  Quickly, everyone in attendance, knew AAUW will continue to be great, led by someone who is enthused about AAUW, believes in the AAUW mission, and will be an inspirational leader for AAUW members, branches and states.

Election results were announced at the convention.  Membership requirements will remain the same, as well as the national quorum number.  All other bylaws amendments passed, as well as all parts of the Public Policy program, and the Resolutions.  A new 2017-2019 Board has been elected.  Susan Barley has been elected for a second two year term.  She thanks the Greater Naples Branch members who supported her.  The next national gathering will be in 2020 –  a great time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.

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