The 76th AAUW Maryland Convention theme was “Moving Forward with Focus, Relevance and Impact” The meeting , hosted by the Baltimore Branch, was held on April 14 at the Community College of Baltimore County- Catonsville Campus with about 50 attendees.
Deborah Vagins, Senior VP for Public Policy and Research, provided an update on AAUW National’s organization. The intent is to continue to scale up funding from corporations and foundations as membership dues are not sufficient to achieve our goals. She also reviewed the FY17 budget and FY18 budget to give a sense of how we are doing as an organization now and what the board approved going forward. She reviewed the Strategic Plan which is to be an actionable list to have a real impact; the intent is not to be rhetoric or a wish list. You can watch the 2018 video for AAUW state conventions narrated by AAUW CEO Kim Churches at https://www.aauw.org/resource/2018-state-convention-presentation/.
Dian Belanger was recognized by AAUW’s archivist. Dian, along with another Archives Corps member, Caroline Pickens from Virginia, completed a six-year project, totaling approximately 400 hours of work, to weed, organize and process the Mary Boyette collection. Mary Boyette worked at AAUW as Public Information Officer for over four decades from 1946 to 1991. The completed collection is a treasure trove of materials from AAUW history relating to AAUW events, programs, and leaders through the perspective of how the association communicated to the press, and the public. The Collection will be an invaluable, accessible resource for researchers.
Caitlin Bauer, C/U Partners Rep., discussed her listening tour with the colleges and universities in the last school year. Caitlin also reviewed the C/U Benefits for Facility (Leadership Experience, Grants/Fellowship access, Networking opportunities, and Access to research). Carol Mueller, President of the Harford County Branch and Judy Carbone, President of the Garrett Branch, discussed how their local campus student organizations were formed. AAUW Garrett reached out to the Garrett College campus and did joint events with the student branch after identifying advisers, helping them set up their bylaws, and getting them registered with AAUW. Carol, who is a professor at Harford Community College, helped Harford Community College students set up a student affiliate branch of AAUW. This spring, the college sent 6 students and Carol to NCCWSL. Both Judy and Carol emphasized the importance of the partnership with the branch.
During the business meeting, new state officers, whose terms begin July 1, were elected and installed by Dian Belanger: Kate Campbell Stevenson and Susan Wierman- Co-Presidents; Tracy Lantz and Nora Putt – Co-Vice Presidents for Programs; Bea Dane – Funds VP; Eileen Menton – Vice President for Communications. The following officers continue in the second year of their two-year terms: Christine Schmitz – Treasurer; Mary Anne Williams and Heather Reichardt Co-Secretary; Carol Mueller Membership Vice President and Erin Prangley Public Policy Vice President.
Our lunchtime speaker was Dr. Ann Kaiser Stearns speaking on “Redefining Aging – Why It’s Important to Resist Both Ageist and Sexist Stereotypes.” She that we should resist stereotyping. She explained that we need to see aging in a new way. Zebra’s don’t have ulcers: they don’t hold on to stress like humans do. We need to find ways to deal with our stress as it ages us prematurely. People think of us and our age based on how we make them feel. She advised focusing on how we speak and avoid buying into stereotypes. Finally, she emphasized the benefits of developing a strategy to keep learning in older age.
Erin Prangley, VP for Public Policy , and Catherine Hill, Director of the Women Legislators of Maryland, provided an update on the 2018 General Assembly Session. Catherine thanked everyone for supporting the women’s legislators’ priorities in Annapolis and helping get bills out of committee, especially the the anti-sexual harassment legislation.
Erin reviewed the work done by AAUW in the state legislature in the last year. She noted that four members had articles in the paper advocating for our issues. Nine AAUW members testified in Annapolis. She reviewed the status of the 2018 Legislative Session bills
Erin ecouraged all branches to share any “Get Out the Vote” events with her so she can share them with the entire state. She is also looking to more people to come forward to testify in Annapolis at the 2019 Legislative session. She asked members to contact her to see how to do this.
Thank you to the Baltimore Branch and their Spring Conference planning committee. They did a fabulous job in making arrangements and hosting a wonderful conference.
Conference Handouts – coming soon.