The Pine - Winter 2022

The Official Publication of AAUW MN

The AAUW Minnesota Convention Issue

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In this issue

  • From the president
  • Official Invitation
  • Convention highlights
  • Lodging details
  • Convention schedule
  • Speaker bios
  • Convention fundraiser
  • Safety - proof of vaccination
  • Convention Registration
  • Printable Registration Form
  • Convention Flyer

Public Policy

  • Resolutions Committee Report
  • 2022-2024 Public Policy Priorities/MN Legislative Agenda
  • Annual Meeting Public Policy Report

Other Business

  • Which branch wants to host the 2023 Convention?
  • NCCWSL 2022
  • Helping our Branches Booklet
  • 2021-2026 Strategic Plan

From the president

An invitation to the AAUW Minnesota 93rd Annual Meeting

The AAUW Minnesota Board and our host, the St. Cloud Branch, cordially invite you to the 93rd Annual Meeting and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the St. Cloud Branch on April 29-30, 2022. The event is being held at the Park Event Center, 599 Division, Waite Park, MN

Linda MacLeod, President of the St. Cloud Branch, and her committee have been planning and working for over a year on this meeting, designing a very informative, creative, and elegant experience for the AAUW members and guests attending.

A new fundraiser will be offered. The fundraiser will sell AAUW T-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags. All profits from this sale will go to AAUW’s Greatest Needs Fund. Each member and branch will be credited from the funds. In addition to three excellent speakers, four short informative programs, we will be entertained with highlights from the decades from 1922 to 2022.

In the past two years, we have missed the opportunity to get together, receive new information, meet new people, and have missed the camaraderie of women in our common united mission of advancing gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. Safety measures have been taken so that we can say, “See you at the Annual Meeting in St. Cloud.”

Mary Ann Lucas Houx AAUW MN State President

Convention Invitation

State Convention: The convention will be held in St. Cloud, April 29-30, 2022. We hope the Central Minnesota location will make it convenient for many to attend this two-day event. Our members are pouring their hearts into this convention to make it fun, interesting, innovative, and memorable! Opening ceremonies on Friday will feature dramatic readings depicting each decade from 1922-2022, to commemorate the centennial of the Saint Cloud Area Branch.

The overall theme is unity and the tagline, is WE ARE ONE! Many AAUW Minnesota branches also have a long history. What better time to unite harmoniously, share ideas, and come together? Minnesota branches have submitted information describing the most outstanding program offered in the last two years and the most successful fundraiser to benefit the community or AAUW's Greatest Needs Fund. It will be included in the convention program. If you want to include a newsworthy branch history fact or anecdote that would be great.

Please email your responses to Linda MacLeod ( by March 15, 2022.

Finally, after a year or more of isolation, the convention offers a perfect opportunity to celebrate AAUW and all of our Minnesota members! Please save the dates and plan a short road trip to Central Minnesota. We will welcome you with open arms!

Parliamentarian: Barb Wonson Liukkonen has agreed to be the official parliamentarian for the convention.

Communications: Every Minnesota branch president or board representative was contacted last summer to ascertain that convention communications could be sent directly to members via email. Packets were sent electronically and hardcopies mailed via the postal service for branch duplication. Electronic attachments should be downloaded, saved to a computer, then re-attached for emailing to members. Attachments don't always go to the recipients when forwarding messages. Direct branch-to-branch communications should help to promote the convention.

AAUW Fundraiser: Many members that were contacted expressed their support in selling T-shirts, hoodies, and totes (the official AAUW logo is screened in white on a navy background) as a fundraiser to benefit AAUW. A promotional flyer is included in the convention packet. Members who can't attend will be able to participate in the fundraiser. Hopefully, an attendee can deliver purchases to those who can't come. Inventory will not be stocked because the orders will be placed per order and prepaid. Some branches may want to purchase these classy items and have a drawing to raise funds for AAUW on their own - a great idea by Cyndy Agle (Grand Rapids).

Registrations: There are three ways to register; designated branch members can copy forms from the packets and mail them via the postal service, registration forms can be downloaded from the Saint Cloud Area Branch website, printed out, and mailed. All registrations will be processed when received by our Finance VP. The checks should be made out to: AAUW St. Cloud and mailed along with the full payment to: AAUW St. Cloud, P.O. Box 7694, St. Cloud, MN 56302. One check is sufficient for all the convention fees/meals/ fundraiser items.

Saturday Afternoon Branch-Team Presentations (2:00-4:00): Instead of workshops in separate spaces, presentations on four topics will be offered to the general assembly. Convention attendees can choose the ones they're interested in, or stay for them all.

The presentations will be conducted by branch-member teams as follows:

  1. Recruiting and Sustaining Membership - Pat Obstarczyk (Saint Cloud), Kathleen Kohler (Minneapolis), Wendy Williams & Dr. Bonnie Edwards (Duluth)
  2. Strategic Plans, Policy Booklets, and Bylaws - Linda MacLeod (Saint Cloud) & Teresa Sagen (Ely)
  3. Fundraising Events - Cindy Leigh & Joyce Hummel (Saint Cloud), Pam Lande is securing expert(s) members (St. Paul)
  4. Website Development - Barb Wismer & Rene Kaluza (Saint Cloud) and Colleen LaBanc (Brainerd).

Each presentation will be about 30 minutes long and backed-up with a master PowerPoint. These topics should be helpful and interesting for everyone. We can learn a lot from each other.

The program cover-art was created by a professional graphic artist, Collin Hummel. It's modern, reflects our values and the following message: AAUW Minnesota WE ARE ONE Saint Cloud Area (MN) Branch, Since 1922

We would like to thank the AAUW Minnesota Board for the opportunity to host the 2022 State Convention and especially Deanna and Cyndy from Grand Rapids for their encouragement and advice.

Convention Highlights

Past President, Mary Lou Lenz, AAUW cheerleader and advocate, invites everyone to take a road trip to St. Cloud for the convention!


  • Presentation of the colors
  • Welcome ceremony
  • Introduction of dignitaries, and honored veterans
  • AAUW CEO Gloria Blackwell via zoom
  • Dramatic Readings by Saint Cloud Area Branch members depicting each decade to commemorate the centennial
  • Social and Entertainment


  • Business Meeting.
  • Dr. Brittany Williams, AAUW Fellowship Grantee
  • Keynote address, Dr. Joy Plamann, president of the St. Cloud Hospital
  • Branch Team Seminar

Lodging Details

The convention is a two-day event. Overnight accommodations are available at the Hilton Garden Inn which is connected to the Park Event Center, 500 Division Street, Waite Park.

The group rate is $124 (king) or (2 queens).

Call 320-640-7990 to make a reservation and say, AAUW State Convention.

A full breakfast can be ordered in the HGI’s private room off the lobby from 6 - 9 a.m. at your own expense.

AAUW CEO Gloria Blackwell

In addition to her role as CEO, Blackwell is also AAUW’s main representative to the United Nations. Among her many accomplishments is her 15-year management of AAUW’s highly esteemed fellowships and grants program—awarding more than $70 million in funding to women scholars and programs in the U.S. and overseas. She has been the driving force behind AAUW’s signature programs, including its salary negotiation training, which has reached nearly 190,000 nationwide.

Blackwell has worked on pay equity initiatives with public officials in Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Pittsburgh, as well as with numerous other state and municipal partners. She also worked with the National Science Foundation to increase girls' participation in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Most notably, Blackwell has significantly expanded the AAUW’s outreach to girls and women of color. Before joining AAUW in 2004 she was the director of Africa education programs at the Institute of International Education (IIE) and managed fellowship programs during her decade at IIE and has held positions as a Peace Corps staff member and volunteer in Africa.

She holds a master’s degree in education and human development from George Washington University, a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and studied at the American University in Paris. Blackwell is committed to supporting opportunities and empowerment for women and girls globally.

2022 State Convention Fundraiser

Merchandise for the AAUW Greatest Needs Fund can be ordered using the convention registration form. You can use it to order promotional items even if you can’t attend the event. Just have someone from your branch deliver the items to you.

All items must be prepaid

Classy long-sleeved T-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags, in AAUW blue with white screen printing and the official AAUW logo and tag, empowering women since 1881 will be available with prepayment.

Keeping everyone safe

To make the event safe, proof of vaccinations will be required.

It's time to register!

All AAUW members are encouraged to attend the state convention April 29-30, 2022, hosted by the Saint Cloud Area Branch. The cost is $135 and includes the Friday appetizers and banquet, Saturday morning coffee break, luncheon, speakers, seminars, business meeting, historic presentation, and music.

Mail registration forms with your payment by March 31, 2022, to:

AAUW St. Cloud

P.O. Box 7694

St. Cloud, MN 56302

Click on the "Registration link" below for a printable PDF copy of the registration form.

The MN State Convention Flyer

Public Policy Topics during Business Meeting

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The Resolutions Committee, comprised of Bonnie Edwards, Linda Sutton, Veronica Johnson, and Jan Carey, began the Resolutions process on December 10, 2021, addressing the need to communicate the process to branch members. Resolutions are primary examples of the work of AAUW and its ongoing advocacy and pursuit of the public policy priorities of AAUW. The process was published in THE PINE. Individual branch presidents and public policy contacts received an email posting outlining the process. That email was sent on December 13, 2021. It informed contacts of the bylaws, process, and timetable.

According to the State by-laws, resolutions must be submitted 60-days before the Annual Meeting (convention), i.e. April 29-30, 2022.

AAUW MN Resolutions Timeline:

January 2022

  • Branches create Resolutions

February 2022

  • Submit Resolutions to AAUW MN Resolutions Committee chair for review by the Resolutions committee

March 2022

  • AAUW MN Resolutions Committee reviews submissions, communicates findings with the maker of resolution resolutions edited if needed & finalized for publication.

March 29, 2022

  • Final Resolutions published to AAUW MN Branches thirty (30) days prior to AAUW MN Annual Meeting/Convention

April 29-30, 2022

  • AAUW MN Annual Meeting/Convention; Resolutions presented for adoption.


Branches were directed to Submit Resolutions, during February 2022, using the Submission Form attached to the email posting. Submissions were to be addressed to:

Jan Carey, AAUW MN Resolutions Committee chair

403 Highland Drive

Hibbing, MN 55746

or (preferred)

To complete the process, Resolutions reviewed and approved are presented for approval by a vote of the delegates at the Annual Meeting, April 30, 2022.

In accordance with the AAUW MN State By-laws, Article XVIII, Sec. 4; f 6, Resolutions will be accepted from the floor during the Business meeting, April 30, 2022.

Thank you to the branches for your submissions and thank you to the committee members for participation and review.

Well done everyone!

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AAUW MN Public Policy Program establishes policy directives that will guide members, inform AAUW MN’s Legislative agenda, while serving AAUW’s mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy.

In accordance with AAUW MN Standing Rules V.Officers/Chairs; B.Specific Duties; Sec.6h, the following AAUW MN Public Policy Priorities are presented to the delegates for approval.

AAUW MN Public Policy Priorities 2022-24

1. Economic Security for All Women

  • Equity in the workplace
  • Equal Pay
  • Enforcement of anti-discrimination statutes
  • Security in retirement
  • Access to job training for career development
  • Work-life balance, including access to quality affordable childcare and paid sick and caregiving leave

2. Equal Access to Quality Public Education for All Students

  • Vigorous enforcement of Title IX
  • Adequate and equitable funding at all educational levels, including pre-school and post-secondary
  • Instruction in STEM fields
  • Opposition to the use of public funds for schools that do not meet public school civil rights and accountability standards

3. Social and Racial Justice for All Members of Society

  • Self-determination in reproductive health
  • Equal access to quality affordable health care
  • Freedom from violence in all its forms and wherever it occurs, including racially-motivated violence
  • Guarantee of civil and constitutional rights for all
  • Protection and expansion of voting rights
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Needless to say, this has once again been an extremely challenging year. Nearly all advocacy was conducted remotely, via ZOOM or other social media outlets. Despite the circumstances, State Public Policy Chair (SPPC) monthly meetings with AAUW National continued. Local & state advocacy was achieved virtually, in print, and via phone calls.

Goals accomplished & completed in 2021-2022

  • engaged members and developed outreach strategies to AAUW National & State Public Policies and Issues
  • attended monthly AAUW national SPPC ZOOM meetings
  • coordinated information outreach and advocacy activities
  • continued statewide Email communications to PP branch chairs
  • provided Public Policy updates for publication in The Pine.
  • provided Public Policy updates for the AAUW-MN website
  • attended local/regional political candidate meet/greets via ZOOM platform
  • attended ZOOM meeting “Protecting Our Vote Minnesota and Nationwide”, led by Sen. Klobuchar and Steve Simon-MN SOS, January 11, 2022
  • attended virtual ERA Coalition March “Rise Up4ERA”, January 27, 202
  • published and reported AAUW MN public policy branch events and activities to
  • AAUW national outreach personnel
  • Convened the first AAUW MN Public Policy Branch Chairs/Contacts ZOOM meeting
  • planned a virtual 2021 AAUW MN Legislative Day

Visioning for 2021/2022:

This is my final year as VP Public Policy. However, until June 30, 2022, I will continue to use social networking and technology to create channels for communicating AAUW Public Policy Priorities. Taking a cue from SPPC training sessions and the new national website, I envision an AAUW-MN Public Policy program that will invigorate members and promote advocacy using the following actions:

  • publishing selected Public Policy webinars, video resources, and tools provided by AAUW National and other States;
  • sharing State Net Legislative tracking postings with branch chairs;
  • communicating with AAUW MN branch public policy chairs/contacts;
  • distributing pertinent National Public Policy webinars to Branch PP chairs;
  • continuing ZOOM, or other online communication platforms, for meetings with branch chairs.

Moving Forward – Collectively Advocating

In other news...

AAUW needs you and your branch!

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AAUW needs you and your branch! We are in dire need of an Annual Meeting Host Branch for Spring 2023! This will be your Branch’s opportunity to shine!

At long last, we are returning to closer form to normal, even our AAUW life! Our 2022 AAUW Annual Meeting in St. Cloud on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, demonstrates that desire and effort for moving forward. This meeting means we have to start our search for the 2023 location!

This is a call to all Minnesota AAUW Branches to have a discussion with your Board Officers and your general membership about your desire and ability to host 2023

AAUW Minnesota Annual State Meeting (formerly the State Convention). These annual meetings are very worthwhile and if you have never been they abound in inspiration and hope for the future.

Assistance abounds to help ensure the success of your event, we all want that!

For information and further information about holding the annual meeting Deanna Ensley, VP Programs, (360) 333-0228,

Leadership for Today and Tomorrow! NCCWSL 2022

May 24–26, 2022

Early Bird Registration Opens February 8, 2022

(Early Bird Registration Ends March 18, 2022)

AAUW of Minnesota and AAUW Minnesota Branches announce scholarships for the virtual National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, NCCWSL 2022. Want to apply? Look under Branches to find an AAUW Branch near you, or contact any board member.

More information on our website.

Helping Our Branches in 2022

A decision was made by the AAUW MN Board to package all the opportunities for branches to apply for assistance or opportunities in one document. Whether you get the information “Helping Our Branches” via technology or a single printed copy sent to each branch, we hope you take the opportunity to apply for the Strategic Planning Grant or Zoom License Grant, the NCCWSL opportunities for young college women to attend leadership training, awards for high school or college students for their work in the community and their leadership skills, having a Leader On Loan, or checking out Branch Officer Seminars on zoom.

We want to support our branches and we have budgeted funds for several activities supporting our mission of advancing gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.

Find out more information and download the booklet from our website.

The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan

Thank you all for your input. The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan may be accessed from our website. Scroll down on the home page to click the link. It is available for you to download and print a copy of it.