AAUW MISSION STATEMENT
AAUW promotes equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research.
AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, or sexual orientation.
AAUW provides many opportunities for women to explore their interests. Books, foods, the arts, trips, whatever, but always with a focus on the role of women. Our goal is to foster and encourage women “to stand up and be counted”
The American Association of University Women, Reading Branch presented LUNAFEST® for its 4th consecutive year as part of the 2021 ReadingFilmFEST! This exciting film festival was held live on Thursday, September 30, 2021, at 7 pm at Reading IMAX, 30 N. 2nd St., Reading, 19601. Virtual screening was also available September 30-October 10.
Congratulations to Carol Toomey and her team of AAUW volunteers for another very successful year of LUNAFEST®
LUNAFEST® is a unique inspirational film festival that features short films by and about Women. These short films will make you think, laugh, cry, and above all, marvel at the talents of these amazing filmmakers. All of them are presented with the goal of raising awareness of, and funds for, women’s issues. The films range from animation to fictional drama, and cover topics such as women’s health, body image, relationships, cultural diversity, and breaking barriers.
Book Bonanza Update
It was a lot of hard work, but Book Bonanza 2021 was a bonanza of successes. AAUW Reading Branch received a significant check for their scholarship fund and the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries received an equal amount to help support libraries throughout the county. Our patrons were delighted to purchase books, puzzles, CD’s, DVD’s, records, and audio books for very low prices. Some made return visits during the 5 day sale. Donations of surplus materials were made to nursing homes, Berks Encore, Goodwill, Jubilee and other charities to use or sell. Old and damaged books were kept out of landfills and were sent to be recycled.
All these successes were made possible by a wonderful group of volunteers who worked tirelessly before, during, and after the sale. If you were one of these take pride in what you helped to accomplish. As a member of the Executive Committee, I encourage all of you to support Book Bonanza 2022 by donating, volunteering to
sort and sell, and making purchases at the sale.
Thursday January 21 AAUW held a Zoom presentation on STEM to learn about the Science Research Institute, where students in grades 5 to 12 create, innovate, invent, and get patents.
New AAUW member Adelle Schade developed and runs the Science Research Institute at Albright College. Last May it was named one of the top four STEM programs in the United States.
Thank you to all who participated in this exciting program on January 21st. If you weren’t able to take part in our live Zoom presentation you can access the recording here:
AAUW Statement on the Passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The following is a statement by AAUW CEO Kimberly Churches:
America lost one of our most beloved role models tonight, a pioneering jurist and iconic feminist who blazed new trails, not only in her own life, but in the lives of the countless women she championed — and inspired. On behalf of AAUW and its members and supporters who recognized Justice Ginsburg with a 1999 AAUW Achievement Award, we extend our condolences to her family, her colleagues and to every American whose lives and hearts she touched. The nation owes it to her — and to all women — to honor her final wishes and refrain from naming a replacement until after a new president is inaugurated.
By Judith Kraines, Public Policy Chair
AAUW’s policy work connects and rallies advocates at the local, state, national, and global levels to empower women and girls. We use lobbying and grassroots efforts to push forward policies that break through educational and economic barriers for women.
These are AAUW’s priorities:
- Removing biases from education: Startling inequalities persist in American education. Gender, economics, race and ethnicity should not limit our opportunities.
- Fighting or fair pay and economic equity: It’s time to close the pay gap and for the work world to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion so we can all thrive.
- Advancing women in leadership: Women make up more than half of college graduates and half of the labor force. But we’re still not represented at the upper levels. We need equal representation.
What makes AAUW different than other advocacy groups? AAUW conducts groundbreaking research on issues related to gender equity in education and the workplace. Our work influences the national discussion on topics like the gender pay gap, sexual harassment, and the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields.
For 100 years AAUW has been an association of university graduates. We have lobbied for causes important to us and enjoyed each other’s fellowship. But change may be in the air.
AAUW will raise dues $3.00 for fiscal year 2022, $5.00 for 2023, and $5.00 for 2024. The last dues increase was is 2018. It would appear our current membership cannot support the organization at the current dues rate.
To increase membership, the national board is considering dropping education requirements. AAUW would follow an advocacy and issues driven model, rather than a membership model. The national board feels we need to be build bridges with others who do not have the educational background, or who see the educational background as “elitist.” AAUW would be rebranding as “AAUW.” The full name would not be used.
Please consider how you feel about this. Karen and I, as co-presidents, are concerned about the impact the dues increases and/or the rebranding would have on our chapter. So please let us know your thoughts. It is important that our voices are heard.
AAUW members visit Brandywine Museum’s Exhibit, Votes for Women
AAUW members are finding fun ways to continue activities during the pandemic. Recently a group of members took a trip to the Brandywine Museum to see their Votes for Women Exhibit.
SPECIAL EVENTS FOR AAUW READING BRANCH
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Fortunately we were able to celebrate the historical event of women’s right to vote. Our “suffragists” were able to perform their reenactment of these brave women who risked so much to get our government to grant women the right to vote . Unfortunately the subsequent presentations to be held at the Kickoff of the Centennial in Berks County had to be cancelled; the AAUW State convention to be held in Harrisburg in April of this year has also been postponed to July of 2020.
Stay abreast for news of cancellations and/or rescheduling of events by reading the Communications Memo emailed by Eileen Ritz, our Communications Director.
Berks Women’s History Alliance in conjunction with local groups including AAUW held a “Curbside” Celebration of the 100th Year Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage on August 26 at Berks History Center’s Henry Janssen Library. (Click here for details and photos).
Keep abreast of the events in Berks County as we celebrate 2020 centennial commemorating the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Website: www.berkssuffrage2020centennial.org
Read more about the role of AAUW in the celebration of the Centennial in Purple Sashes and Persistent Women, AAUW Pennsylvania 2020 Yearbook.
Click here to download the current issue of our local newsletter BRANCHLINES
Click here to download the latest issue of The Keystoner
The Keystoner is published four times a year, this newsletter shares information about our work across the state. We invite you to be a part of the exciting things happening across the state and to participate in AAUW Pennsylvania activities. The Keystoner will keep you informed.