Author Archives: ementon

Donate to the Maryland Women of Distinction Fund by March 31

Donate to the AAUW Maryland Women of Distinction Fund. You will be helping Maryland honor it’s Woman of Distinction as the Platinum sponsor of the AAUW Women of Distinction Ceremony at the 2019 National Conference for Collegiate Women Students.

Follow the directions below!

  1. Go to:  the AAUW NCCWSL Donation page.  You will be redirected to the AAUW NCCWSL Donate page.
  2. Click on the button next to:   Use my gift to support Maryland Women of Distinction (NCCWSL) Fund.
  3. Indicate whether you want monthly or a onetime donation and the amount.  Then click Donate.

Our 2019 Maryland Woman of Distinction, Judy Carbone, will be honored at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) on May 31st in College Park.   AAUW Maryland will honor Judy by providing a sponsorship of $20,000, which is made possible by generous donations from our members and other friends.  To date, we have raised $6,500.  The Conference brings more than 1000 students from around the country together at UM College Park for several days.  Not only do they learn leadership skills, but they meet women, such as Judy, who are incredible role models.

We need your support to ensure we raise the needed funds by March 31st

Help Close the Pay Gap — End Reliance on Salary History in Maryland

Right now, lawmakers in Annapolis are considering S.B. 738/H.B. 634. This important bill would prohibit employers from relying on a job applicant’s salary history to determine pay, a practice that perpetuates the pay gaps women and people of color face in their careers. But this legislation may not move forward unless lawmakers hear from you now.

Click here to contact your state legislators and urge them to pass S.B. 738/H.B. 634 today!

Salary history is not a neutral factor by which to set pay, and it doesn’t determine an applicant’s qualifications for a position. Relying on salary history in the hiring process can:

  • Force some workers, particularly women and people of color who are generally paid less than white, non-Hispanic men, to carry lower earnings and pay discrimination from job to job.
  • Penalize those who reduced their work hours in prior jobs to care for children or other family members.
  • Depress wages for individuals who have previously worked in nonprofits or the public sector and are moving into higher paying fields.

This bill also requires employers to provide a job applicant the salary range for a position upon request, an additional way to increase transparency and narrow the gender pay gap.

Banning the use of salary history in the hiring process and sharing salary ranges can make meaningful change in closing the pay gap. Urge your legislators to pass S.B. 738/H.B. 634!

AAUW MD Addresses Proposed Changes to Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination in education. It covers women and men, girls and boys, and staff and students in any educational institution or program that receives federal funds. This includes local school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit schools, career and technical education agencies, libraries, and museums. Music classes or choirs, sex education classes, and sports involving bodily contact are exempt from Title IX, as are religious institutions if the law would violate their religious tenets. Admissions policies at private undergraduate institutions are also exempt.

The Department of Education has announced a plan to make sweeping changes to Title IX’s regulations, which would have significant implications for students’ civil rights. Specifically, the proposed rule would weaken Title IX’s protections by narrowing the definition of sexual harassment to allow schools to exclude much of the abuse students experience, limiting when schools will respond, and putting in place processes that make it harder for students to come forward when they experience sexual harassment or assault. Simply put, these changes will make schools less safe for students.

Erin Prangley, VP for Public Policy submitted comments to the proposed rules on behalf of AAUW Maryland.   The letter states in part:

“Sexual harassment pervades the lives of students. According to research by AAUW, sexual harassment can have damaging effects on academic outcomes, careers, families and even the health of those affected. Student activism on college campuses has brought to light a culture in which sexual harassment is still pervasive, and its harm too often ignored. AAUW research has found that women on college campuses and girls in junior high and high school frequently experience sexual harassment, sexual abuse or assault, and other crimes or behavior that constitute sex discrimination under Title IX. These experiences hurt their ability to focus on their academic goals and can diminish their equal access to educational opportunities.

In Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, AAUW found nearly half of students in grades 7-12 experienced harassment in the 2010–11 school year (56 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys.  Of that number, 87 percent said it had a negative effect on them. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of college students experience sexual harassment at some point during college, including nearly one-third of first-year students, according to AAUW’s Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus.

We believe Maryland’s educational ecosystem has a problem identifying and handling sexual harassment, including assault at all levels of education. Even though several peer reviewed studies find sexual harassment to be rampant, 68.6 percent of higher education campuses in Maryland reported zero incidents of sexual assault, including rape and fondling, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking — a shocking statistic given how frequently these incidents occur on campuses.  In addition, 85.9 percent of the public schools with students in grades 7 through 12 in Maryland disclosed zero reported allegations of harassment or bullying on the basis of sex.  These numbers do not square with what research shows students experience. Despite schools’ legal obligation to address these issues, improvement in both welcoming students’ reports of sexual harassment and violence — and accurately disclosing those incidents in annual reporting—has been slow at all levels of education. These findings further demonstrate our need for full enforcement of strong Title IX and the Clery Act provisions, not a rollback of critical protections for students who experience incidents that are already frequently under- and inaccurately reported.”

She then describes the specific ways in which the proposed regulations roll back critical protections.  Read the full letter.

The public comment period for the proposed changes to Title IX regulations ended on January 30. Over 100,000 comments were submitted.   The Department of Education will now consider the submitted comments and finalize regulations in the coming months.

AAUW Maryland 2018 Summer Conference


On July 21 members of AAUW Maryland convened at Harford Community College and enjoyed the theme AAUW-MD in Paradise.  Nora Putt and Tracy Lantz, AAUW MD’s Program Vice Presidents, organized an agenda packed with Hawaiian culture and sprinkled with leadership training.  Since we couldn’t all go to Hawaii—they brought Hawaii to us.  As they walked through the door, each attendee was personally greeted in typical Hawaiian E Komo Mai (Welcome) with a presentation of a Hawaiian Lei.

Tracy began by leading a discussion of two TED talks:  Suzanne Simard on “How Trees Talk to Each Other”  and Richard Preston on “The Mysterious Lives of Giant Trees.” .    These inspiring presentations encourage getting out in the world and learning from what we can observe, recognizing opportunities for new growth, saving the “mother trees”—those who nurture others—and regenerating with diversity.

Past-President of AAUW Maryland and member of AAUW’s national Board of Directors, Eileen Menton briefly reviewed the new strategic plan for AAUW.  Four areas of focus in the plan include Education & Training, Economic Security, Leadership, and AAUW Governance & Sustainability.  Eileen encouraged branch leaders to discuss how their branch can contribute to the goals included in the overall plan.

Kate Campbell Stevenson and Susan Wierman, Co-Presidents of AAUW MD, then led the group in a discussion of what we value in AAUW, the challenges faced by Maryland branches, and how leaders with a variety of skills can contribute to meeting the challenges—there is no one right way, and branches can take different paths.  Branches were encouraged to reach out to State officers and other branches for assistance with branch challenges.  Sharing events with other branches or partnering on specific programs are encouraged.  Your state officers are there to help you—please do not hesitate to contact them.

The day included breakout sessions Defining our Ohana-Maryland Women, Present and Future-designed to help new and seasoned branch leaders share and learn from each other.   Topics included membership, communication, branch presidents, and action planning.

Finally, the AAUW MD Board of Directors met to approve continued support for legislative priorities that didn’t get approved in 2018’s General Assembly session, set a goal to raise funds for a Maryland Woman of Distinction to be recognized at the 2019 National Conference for Collegiate Women Student Leaders, and discuss plans for the 2019 AAUW MD Convention.

Confessions of a Woman of Distinction

By:  Cleopatra Campbell

My first confession is that although I have been a member of AAUW for over fifty years, I knew nothing about the AAUW National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL, pronounced Nic Whistle).  I had no memory of the Women of Distinction program, or that, in fact, NCCWSL had been in existence for thirty-four years. The Women of Distinction program has been in existence for thirty-two years, and AAUW Maryland had been the platinum sponsor for seven years.

My introduction to NCCWSL was in a telephone call telling me that I was the Maryland Woman of Distinction for 2017.  Later I learned that the purpose of the conference is to bring women college student leaders together to hear about opportunities to develop leadership skills.  Approximately 1000 women students attended the 2017 conference, coming from all parts of the United States.  The students stayed in dormitories on the University of Maryland campus.  For many of the students, their costs of attendance were paid by donations from individual AAUW branches across the country.

On June 1, 2017, at the student union of the University of Maryland, I was the Maryland woman honored as a woman of distinction, introduced humorously by Margery Sullivan.   AAUW had nominated four other women of distinction.  As the platinum sponsor, AAUW Maryland names its own woman of distinction.  Women previously named as Maryland Women of Distinction include: Jenny Forehand, Janet Crampton, Barbara Fetterhoff, and Dr. Nancy Grace Roman.   Generous donations from AAUW Maryland members provide the platinum sponsorship cost of $20,000.

Along with the national nominees, I gave a short speech.  My message was “invest in yourself.” After the program, over 100 students lined up to meet me and to have their pictures taken.  Their message to me was “thank you for what you have done for women.”

How you can contribute to the 2018 Women of Distinction Ceremony.

Three Musts for Intersectional Feminism

Intersectional feminism is to acknowledge multiple overlapping social identities and related systems of oppression. So, while we may want to work under the umbrella term “women,” there is not one global women’s experience. Here are three ways to make sure that your feminism is intersectional. Read more.

Maryland’s Woman of Distinction Rocks the House

AAUW Maryland was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony at the National Conference for Collegiate Women Student Leaders on June 1, 2017.  Cleopatra Campbell was recognized as Maryland’s Woman of Distinction at the ceremony.  She was recognized with thunderous applause by the 1,000 students in attendance and, following the ceremony, was greeted by more than a hundred students who stood in line for over an hour to talk to her and take their selfies.

A Little About Cleopatra Campbell

Cleopatra Campbell has been a practicing attorney in  Frederick County Maryland  since the mid-1960s. Back then, it was rolling family farms. The men were the land owners and civic leaders. Women wore hats and gloves and served tea. So, when she joined the bar association it was a big deal. Later she was twice elected president of the Frederick Bar Association. Cleopatra was the first woman State Prosecutor in Frederick County. When women were first admitted to the police academy, she advocated for women’s uniforms; not men’s retro fitted, she insisted on women’s bathrooms and changing rooms. She wanted these women to be treated with equal respect. She questioned judges who demanded that she always wear skirts in court.   In 2009, Cleopatra decided she had not been appointed to a county judgeship so what did she do…. she hit the campaign trail and was elected to the probate court, serving as Chief Judge. She went on to be reelected to a second term; the only attorney on the court.

Cleopatra practiced law in a local firm, her clients were the farmers, the local business men and all community members.  At a recent party in her honor, Cleopatra joked that she was still waiting for clients who said “I’ll pay you on Friday.” She served generations of Fredrick County families, It was important to her that everyone was well represented.

As an AAUW member she is active within her branch opening her home for events and has been on the AAUW Maryland board as Legal Advocacy Fund chair and state bylaws chair. She continually mentors women to raise their aspirations to become paralegals, to be elected to county office, and be appointed to judgeships.  In addition to being a long serving attorney in this rural community, Cleopatra has traveled the world either alone or with friends or family.  She keeps going and going…. France, Kilimanjaro, China, Alaska, a camel ride in Egypt.



AAUW Maryland Convention – Celebrating 75 Sparkling Years

This year, we celebrate AAUW Maryland’s 75th Anniversary. To mark this important anniversary, Markonette Richardson, Kate Campbell Stevenson, Mettah Kollman, Linda Tebs, Angela Mickalide, and Dian Belanger are planning an exciting and very special State Convention in the Easton area for the weekend of April 7-8.

Patricia Fae Ho, the AAUW Board Chair, will be our special guest on Friday evening, when we honor our state’s past presidents .On Saturday, she will provide AAUW Updates and answer general questions about AAUW. Major General Linda L. Singh, the 29th Adjutant General of Maryland, will be our keynote speaker on Saturday. General Singh is an inspiring speaker with a powerful personal story. At the dinner on Friday, we will honor our past presidents. At lunch on Saturday, we will celebrate the branches with table-top displays at lunch and short presentations as we Share and Shine.

Details are in the AAUW Marylander.  Be sure to sign up by March 15; spaces are limited.   The Registration Form

Join Us at AAUW Maryland Lobby Day and Symposium – February 6

By:  Anita Rosen, AAUW Maryland Co-Vice President for Public Policy

Join us for an exciting day and evening too, in Annapolis, on February 6th.  Come to Lobby and attend a free symposium.

The day will begin for AAUW at 12:20p.m outside the Senate Building President Conference Center West 1.  AAUW folks will meet, coordinate, get materials and prep for quick visits with your Legislators. The materials will help you with meeting with  Legislator  visits on AAUW issues in Maryland, including the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) which will be covered at the MLAW Conference on January 31st and will be shared with you on our AAUW Maryland webpage.  One other terrific bill we support is described elsewhere in this newsletter. It is an innovative initiative of the Howard County AAUW- the Extend Child Custody Support for Post-Secondary Education.

We will be co-hosting a symposium on several of our key issues and adding on an AAUW lobby day opportunity with the Women’s Economic Security Agenda Coalition (WESA). WESA was our collaborator and organizer for last year’s successful legislative session to expand Equal Pay.

The WESA Symposium, which is free of charge, will take place between 12:45-4 pm (at the latest). There will be several panels on such issues as Healthy Working Families Act (Earned Sick Days), Fight for $15 (minimum wage), Fair Work Week Initiative, and Affordable Child Care.

Information on bill numbers and strategies for advocacy will be provided and refreshments will be served. Numerous Legislators have been invited to drop in to speak and  network with you..

You should plan short lobby visits with your own Legislators during the symposium and afterward.  If you can, stay into the evening.  Monday evenings are prime time to make appointments and see legislators!

This is your chance to share one or two important issues we support. It is easy to do, and you will get tips on how to have a quick “chat” with Legislators or their staff to let them know that AAUW Maryland cares about the quality of life for women and families in Maryland.

Register for the free Symposium on line at:

Let me know you will be attending our Lobby Day. I hope to see many of you there to give visibility to AAUW Maryland and to make our voices heard about really important issues for women and families in Maryland. If you have questions, email me (anitarosen123 at