The Pine - October 2019

The Official Publication of AAUW MN

  • A Message from our President
  • It's resolution time, get ready
  • LAF's Speakers case to the US Supreme Court & More
  • NCCWSL Grant reminder
  • What is your branch reading? Here's what Hastings is reading!
  • Share your AAUW Branch experiences
  • The website is up to date

A message from our president, Lisa West

Dear Members,

Happy fall… or winter, depending on where you are in this great and weather-diverse State of Minnesota!

The AAUW MN Board met on October 5th and made a decision regarding a 2020 State Convention. There will be no State Convention; but instead, an annual meeting will be conducted in late April. Statewide members will be welcome to attend the meeting, but we’ll also be “televising” it in some way so that members can gather and watch the meeting from there remote locations. Ballots for electing Board members, voting on resolutions, and voting on possible bylaws or standing rules changes will be mailed to members and/or voting will be available online. There are many details to work out at this point, but I’ll provide updates as this meeting takes shape.

Plans for an AAUW Regional Convention are well underway. Some early information for you all to consider is that the Regional Convention of 11 states, from Indiana and Michigan, down through Missouri and Oklahoma to Texas, will be held in the Quad Cities – Moline, Illinois, June 18-20, 2020. The Convention will begin mid-day on June 18th and extend through mid-day June 20th. The preliminary registration cost is around $175. And with the recent State Convention cost of $165, this is a great deal, relative to the caliber of speakers and programming being assembled, including Kim Churches, AAUW CEO on Thursday night. Hotel rooms will cost $145 (including taxes and fees), and if split by at least a couple of people, is also a nice price. I hope all of you will consider attending this somewhat historic, first of this many states, Midwest AAUW Regional Convention. More details to come…

Branch Presidents will be contacted by members of the AAUW MN Board to receive your thoughts and ideas about a variety of AAUW MN topics. The Board wants to enhance communication and understanding about State grant offerings and get your feedback on other topics. Please take the time to talk to or respond by email to the State Board member who contacts you.

And lastly, the AAUW MN Directory is being printed as I write this. Six paper copies of the Directory will be sent to each branch to be distributed among Branch Board members as each Branch see fit. Branches should feel free to make additional paper copies and distribute them to Branch members who need one.

Stay warm, and as always, please let me or any AAUW MN Board member know if you have questions or need help with anything.

Take care --


October Quote: “Don’t just stand for the success of other women – insist on it.” ~ Gail Blanke

It's resolution time, get ready!

AAUW MN Public Policy Update

Jan Carey, AAUW-MN VP Public Policy

Yes, it’s time to prepare and ready branches to submit Resolutions. The information published here will be posted to Public Policy branch chairs/designees in the coming weeks. But here is a quick update. It’s never too early to start preparing a Resolution.

What is a Resolution and why do we have a Resolutions process?

We write and pass a resolution because it is a formal document that makes a statement about an issue that is so important that AAUW-MN wants to have a record of it. A resolution strengthens public policy priorities. It may also honor someone or group. As a reminder, here are the 2019/2021 AAUW Public Policy Priorities.

How is a Resolution written?

View the PowerPoint presentation I prepared for the State Convention. You may download it as a PowerPoint and use it a branch meeting.

EXAMPLES: At the State Convention two resolutions were passed. The implementation section of each Resolution will require action by the VP Public Policy and the Public Policy Committee.

The first resolution was from the Ely branch.

Whereas, be it resolved - AAUW Branches will actively support and advocate for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment within Minnesota and nationally. Activities to achieve this may include but are not be limited to:

  • Branches educating their members about the Equal Rights Amendment to include for example, visiting the website, and watching “Equal Means Equal” or “Legalize Equality” videos
  • Letter/postcard writing campaigns to Minnesota and U.S. Legislators advocating for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Personal visits to both Minnesota and U.S. Legislators advocating for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Ely branch Public Policy Committee is drafting an action plan for branches, as a follow-up to the resolution, supporting the Equal Rights Amendment. The action plan for branches will most likely include urging branches to show the DVD given to them at the convention, contacting state senators to urge them to support the House Bill passed March 7, 2019 which was to place the ERA amendment on the November 2020 General Election ballot. I will distribute the action plan to branch public policy chairs/designees.

The second resolution was presented by the Duluth branch.

Whereas, be it resolved - The State Board of AAUW Minnesota will encourage its branches to stay informed on the progression of DACA legislation and the impact it has on education in Minnesota. Policy chairs will inform State and Federal representatives of AAUW’s studies of correlation between education and a more productive life.

How is a Resolution submitted?

A resolution form is completed and posted to Jan Carey, via email or US Postal Service. [See "Resolution" file button below] The deadline will be published in the coming weeks.

Watch for Public Policy updates in your email box, PINE issues and/or AAUW-MN Website. An AAUW-MN Public Policy Committee has been established to assist in a 2020 MN Legislative Day and promoting specific public policy priorities.

Ever vigilant and for the Association,

Jan Carey, AAUW-MN VP Public Policy

LAF Speaker's Case is going to the Supreme Court

AAUW Funds Updates

Barb Wonson-Liukkonen, AAUW Funds VP

LAF Speaker Update

Dr Zoe Spencer, the LAF plaintiff who spoke so passionately at our State Convention in Grand Rapids, has completed her Writ of Certiorari, to have her case heard by the Supreme Court. It’s 200 pages long and includes case law pertinent to Dr Z’s case. When she sent me the PDF of the Writ, she wrote the following:

"I want to again thank AAUW for your continued support. The conferences I attended before delving in to this petition for writ of certiorari became my motivation. Each and every tear, each word of encouragement, each and every single hug...gave me the strength to press on. This petition was not about me....this fight is so much bigger than each of us individually. So, I fought for us all. I just wanted to share my work. I will publish it to the web, once it is served on Monday. But, I wanted to share with my team of warriors. Thank you isn't enough....But thank you all over and over for believing in this fight and having faith in me."

Because her last appeal was denied and she is now fighting her case on her own, Legal Advocacy Funds are no longer available to Dr Z. If you’d like to support her financially or emotionally with a card or letter, let me know and I’ll send you her address. Or you can send her an email of encouragement at: As she wrote, the support she felt from AAUW members meant a great deal to her and I know she’d appreciate hearing from you.

State Fund Raiser
Because we are not having a typical state convention this year, there will not be a silent auction fund raiser. I encourage you to contribute the funds you might ordinarily spend on providing items for the auction or on purchasing one of the silent auction packages directly, either to AAUW Funds at the National Office or through your branch.

This year, we are promoting the four major AAUW Funds; any branch that contributes $750 to any one of those funds will be able to recognize an Named Gift Honoree. Those four funds are:

  1. AAUW Greatest Needs (fund #9110);
  2. Education and Training (#4450);
  3. Economic Security (4449); and
  4. Leadership (#4452).

These are “umbrella” funds that allow flexibility within those designations. For example, Economic Security includes LAF, Work Smart, and Start Smart as well as other programs that achieve pay equity, provide training in salary negotiation, and deepen women’s retirement security and quality of life..
We are considering some type of statewide fund raiser to replace the silent auction. If you have any ideas about an alternative, I’d be glad to hear them or you can share them with your Branch Funds Chair.

Watch for future updates about what we decide to undertake.

REMINDER - AAUW of Minnesota is offering NCCWSL scholarships to Branches

Gail Glashan

AAUW of Minnesota, NCCWSL Chair

Reminder! AAUW of Minnesota is offering ten $1,000.00 scholarships! One scholarship per branch that sends a college woman to the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders, aka NCCWSL, pronounced ‘nick-whistle.’

Downloadable materials are now on the AAUW of Minnesota website.

Around the state...

What is your branch reading? Here's what the Hastings Branch is reading this fall!

October 2019 - Lisa See’s novel, The Island of Sea Women, will be discussed. The book centers on the lifelong friendship of two women divers from an island off Korea before and after the turmoil of the Korean War.

November 2019 - Women’s Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack will be discussed. As a foreign correspondent living in Beijing, Stack was working from home when her first child was born and she soon found it was impossible to keep up with caring for a baby and the housework at home. This led her to decide that she would hire cheap Chinese labor to assist her. She soon realized, as did many women in similar situations did, the ethical compromise they had to make.

Share your AAUW branch experiences

What fun idea does your Branch do to get together with your AAUW Sisters? Let Cyndy know by emailing

AAUW MN Website has been updated

The website has been updated! Do you want to see something new on the website, let Cyndy know by emailing