The Pine

The Official publication of AAUW Minnesota

Volume 47; Issue 2

In this issue:

  • Presidents Letter
  • Judge LaJune Thomas Lange
  • Ely STEM program
  • May 2018 NCCWSL
  • NCCWSL Thank you Letter
  • Kimberly Churches, AAUW CEO
  • AAUW Funds
  • Grants & Awards
  • 2018-2019 Grants Application
  • New Pine Editor

President's Message

From Jan Benson

As I reflect on the last two years, AAUW in Minnesota has been a busy and productive organization. The recent convention in Faribault energized us and provided many examples of engagement of mission-driven activities.

  • We learned about the local activities of branches across the state.

  • Many branches are encouraging girls in STEM fields.

  • We heard about national priorities and strategies from Kendra Davis, national Senior Vice President for Advancement and Partnerships.

Our state dues are returned to the branches to support special programs in a variety of ways. NCCWSL participation has tripled with the help of a $500 grant per branch to support the student attendees. Branches are taking advantage of State Program Grants for special programs and we revised the deadlines to better meet the planning needs of branches. The State Leaders on Loan program offers the expertise of State Board members to branches. All of these opportunities are listed on the state’s website.

Through various methods, we have emphasized communication between state and national AAUW with local branches. We have moved to increase electronic delivery of information for better access. For example, AAUW of Minnesota’s website,, has become an important port of communication. The State Directory now goes to 5 branch officers with the intention to provide and help build connections between branches.

Minnesota AAUW members are active and engaged! Last June, many MN AAUW members attended the National Convention and participated in Lobby Day at the Capitol. The MN contingent graced the cover of the national Outlook magazine and the national website.

The excitement and renewed commitment at the national level is palpable. The pillars of mission focus:

Education, Economic Security and Leadership, are supported in every branch. Our national dues are coming back to us through the programs we can access such as $tart $mart, Work $mart, Tech Savvy, and NCCWSL.

This is a good time to be an AAUW member. Best wishes to Lisa West as she moves from Hastings Branch President to President of AAUW – Minnesota!

AAUW Duluth Cosponsors Presentations by Global Citizen and Retired Minnesota Judge LaJune Thomas Lange

Owing to a generous grant from the state chapter of AAUW, the Duluth branch was honored to cosponsor Judge LaJune Thomas Lange’s visit to Duluth from 22 to 24 September 2017. Other cosponsors included the League of Women Voters (Duluth), St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, and UMD’s Alworth Institute of International Studies. Gerri Williams, retired State Department Public Affairs Officer and now a resident of Duluth, was the lead organizer who conceptualized and coordinated the Judge’s activities here.

Among her many accomplishments, Judge Lange is:

  • Honorary Consul for South Africa;

  • Founder of the LaJune Thomas Lange International Leadership Institute;

  • Fourth Minnesota Judicial District Court Judge (Retired); and

  • Senior Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

She came to Duluth to speak on a range of topics concerning race relations, international engagement, global leadership, the long history of African Americans in Minnesota, and the equitable representation of women and other minorities in politics. Over a hectic two and a half days, Judge Lange met with Mayor Emily Larson and gave three inspiring presentations that were free and open to the public.

Judge Lange discussed expanding business opportunities between Duluth and South Africa. Did we know, she asked, that SAPPI Paper Mill in Cloquet, employing 700 people, was owned by a South African firm? She invited the Mayor to join the state committee planning events throughout Minnesota to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in 2018. Judge Lange also encouraged the city to recognize the rich history of African Americans here, going back to at least the mid nineteenth century when they came to work in the steel mills. While not downplaying the horrific legacy of lynching, she also pointed out other civic ties, for example that African Americans had enough money, manpower, and conviction to fund the construction of St. Mark AME Church 138 years ago! The Mayor agreed that Duluth should foster more opportunities for cross cultural relations.

In her presentation to about 35 people at UMD, Judge Lange spent most of her time discussing what it meant to be Consul General of South Africa, how she came to be appointed to this position, and how part of her charge is to foster innovation as well as business and cultural opportunities between South Africa and the United States. Especially for the younger students present in the audience, Judge Lange gave an overview of apartheid and of Nelson Mandela himself. While she believes that South Africa has in many ways confronted its past through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, other parts of the world still feel the legacy of apartheid and of ongoing racism. Closer to home, here in Duluth, she urged all of us to prioritize greater engagement with black history.

September 23 Presentation at the Building for Women

Judge Lange talked about how she was moved to found the International Leadership Institute in 1994 after the Rwandan genocide in which millions of Hutus and Tutsis had been killed and in which the USA had been loath to intervene effectively. The Institute is devoted to providing equitable participation of women in politics and economic development, reducing election fraud, and promoting transparency within political parties. The Judge is a powerful and charismatic speaker, and the thirty people in attendance were spellbound throughout.

September 24 Presentation at St. Mark A. M. E. Church

Judge Lange reflected on her experiences as a judicial representative, especially on the challenges of Native and African American youth in the criminal justice system in Minnesota and on police training regarding use of force.

AAUW-Ely 2018 STEM Workshops

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, a record-setting thirty-nine 5th through 8th grade girls from the Ely area participated in a free one-day event from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm at the Vermilion Community College (VCC), our affiliate college. For our seventh time, AAUW-Ely coordinated a series of hands-on workshops in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields to help girls get excited about those areas as possible careers. Once again, we received grant funds from Lake Country Power’s Operation Round-Up to cover the bulk of the costs. Over the past 6 years, our workshops have included a wide variety of subjects, such as Glass Blowing, Geology, Neutrinos & Dark Matter, Chemistry, Architecture, Computer Programming, Astronomy, Physics, Biology and Environmental Science.

The other workshops were presented to the girls in smaller groups of about 13 girls that rotated through them.
This year, we tried a new “opening activity” that we usually have in order to keep the girls busy during the ½ hour registration period. One of our branch members, Sherry Abts, who is an Instructor with the Laurentian Environmental Center, set up 5 Physics Fun experiment tables so the girls could learn various physics principals by experimenting with pop bottle rockets, balloon helicopters, magnetism, and water tension. We extended the “opening activity” time by 25 minutes to allow the late-comers a chance to move through all the tables.

This picture to the upper right, shows how the girls experimented with water tension, holding water in an upside-down jar with just a wire mesh lid.

In Marshmallow Catapults, Rachel Heinrich, Director from the Ely Public Library, had them build a simple catapult with popsicle sticks, a plastic bottle cap and rubber bands, and then practice launching a cotton ball. Then they were given larger materials to design and build their own catapult to launch marshmellows and then experiment with them.

The picture to the left shows the girls building custom catapults for launching marshmallows.

In Computer Progamming the Fun Way, Kris Wilmunen, Project Manager from Unisys, had the girls re-programming an Angry Bird video game with “drag & drop” programming. This had been a successful workshop 4 years ago and Ms. Wilmunen had offered to do it again. This time, some of the older girls had already done this type of programming in the school STEM program, but many the younger ones who had not, seemed to really take to it.

The picture to the left shows the girls learning how to do drag & drop programming to make changes to an Angry Bird game.

In the What Do Vet Techs Do? workshop, Jessica Kainz, the Veterinary Technology Instructor from VCC, along with a local veterinarian, Dr. Pete Hughes, and some of the Vet Tech students, did a wide variety of activities - widely varying what they did even between the groups. Some examined a cadaver dog, others tested blood pressure, prepared slides with blood or feces samples and examined them on an overhead microscope, tested eye pressure and learned a lot about pet care and what veterinary technicians do in their daily jobs.

In the picture, VCC Instructor Jessica Kainz shows how to prepare a specimen slide in the What Do Vet Techs Do? workshop.

We were especially pleased with the turnout this year with a much larger group of 7th & 8th graders, most of whom had attended the workshops in previous years. It was also fun to read evaluation comments from some of the 5th graders who had heard about previous years’ events from older sisters and friends and had eagerly been awaiting their chance to attend. Although we have no way of measuring how these workshops will impact the participants’ career choices in the future, if their enthusiasm for all the activities is any measure, we are confident that at least some of them will be interested in pursuing studies in the STEM fields.

Thank you letter from NCCWSL student

By: Kaushalya Nissanka

Dear AAUW Saint Cloud Branch,

I was honored to be one of the recipients of the AAUW scholarship. Thanks to the generous support from the AAUW Saint Cloud Branch, I had the honor and privilege to represent my university, St Cloud State University at the NCCWSL.

As it was my first time attending a conference, I was so excited. The conference was very informative and empowering. I learned a lot by attending the conference. I was able to meet and connect with astonishing speakers who have made a great impact on society. I was able to work on enhancing my skills as a leader. To put it in a few words it was life-changing. I am hoping to attend the next NCCWSL and would encourage other students to attend the conference.

By awarding me this scholarship, AAUW lightened my financial burden. If not for the scholarship I wouldn't have gotten the chance to be a part of the conference. The AAUW's generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as the AAUW St Cloud branch did. There is a lot we can do in this community and I am glad I joined AAUW to make it happen.

Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity!

My 2018 NCCWSL Experience in a Nutshell...

Gail Glashan, AAUW Hastings

NCCWSL Coordinator, AAUW of Minnesota

Have you ever been to NCCWSL, the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders? Well, I have. After cheering on and promoting NCCWSL from afar, I decided to attend and experience it for myself. Wow!

Have you ever been in an auditorium with 800 millennial college women and could have heard a pin drop?

Well, I have. It was opening night, and we were viewing STEP, an amazing documentary followed by a discussion with Chevonne Hall, principal, and Paula Dofat, counselor, from the Baltimore Leadership School. (You can see STEP, too. Rent or purchase the STEP documentary on Amazon.) Wow!

Have you ever been in a room with 800 millennial college women and didn’t hear one cell phone sound?

Well, I have. The room was spellbound listening to Tarana Burke, the genius of the #MeToo movement. Her brave story of compassion, empathy and courage has given a voice to sexual abuse survivors. The room was also spellbound listening to Ambassador Vlora Çitaku and her account of being a refugee, separated from her parents, carrying her little sister across the border and her journey to becoming the Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to the United States. There are 200 Ambassadors in Washington DC; 17 are women. Wow!

Have you ever attended skill-building workshops and panel discussions that challenge and inspire attendees to make an impact on their campuses and in their communities long after they leave the conference?

Well, I have. If only I could have attended each and every one of the many offered, including learning development, professional development, activism, women’s issues, and diversity objectives. Presenters, too many to list, ranged from the of Homeland Security to the Director of Policy, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, from our own Kim Churches, Chief Executive Officer, AAUW to Tara Anderson, Director of External Mobilization, American Petroleum Institute. Leaders shared their personal stories, and presenters took time to answer each and every question from attendees. Questions were asked by a college student from Iran, another from Hawaii, and students from all over the U.S.

Inspiring answers from CEOs, guest speakers, executive directors and Ph.D.’s included:

  • Champion each other
  • Don’t be a passive observer
  • Use your voice
  • Build relationships
  • Practice amplification
  • You be you
  • Be organized
  • Learn to be a public speaker
  • Build a network of different ages
  • Powerful women make the greatest friends
  • Ask when you don’t understand
  • It’s okay to fail
  • Mentors are everything
  • Support other women
  • Share your story
  • Say ‘practice makes progress’ not ‘practice makes perfect!’

Did I mention there was a graduate school and career fair that filled a gymnasium? Wow!

Have you ever wondered if the future of women in leadership roles is in good hands?

Well, I have. But now I know that AAUW is empowering college women attendees with resources to fight for equity, to build meaningful relationships with people who share the same values, and to be open to perspectives of those whose experiences do not mirror your own. I met and chatted with many attendees in passing. I asked them if the conference was worthwhile…I heard only positive responses … ‘it’s amazing’ I heard over and over. I couldn’t be more excited for and impressed by these phenomenal women scholar attendees. Wow!

Thank you AAUW Minnesota and AAUW Minnesota Branches for making the NCCWSL experience possible for our Minnesota future women leaders! Let’s continue our legacy and send even more scholars next year! Wow!

Mark Your Calendars!

Kimberly Churches, AAUW CEO, is coming to Mpls Branch AAUW December 3, 2018

Kim Churches is speaking at Minneapolis Branch AAUW, at the Gale Mansion 2115 Stevens Ave., Mpls, MN 55404, on December 3, 2018. We invite you to attend her 1:15 p..m presentation entitled “Beyond Aspirations: Advancing Gender Equity Locally, Regionally and Nationally.”

You are also welcome to join us for lunch at noon – the cost is $16, reservations need to be made by Friday, November 30, but are limited so make them early by calling 651-220-4777. Please give your branch affiliation.

If you can spend the day with us, we have speakers at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m, also. Information about them will be on our website ( early September.

Any questions, contact Shari Parsons, 612.718.0846.

AAUW Funds

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Veronica Johnson, outgoing AAUW Funds VP

Thank you to our Minnesota AAUW Branches and individual members who keep Minnesota in the top tier of states supporting our AAUW Mission through contributions to AAUW Funds. Our Minnesota total contributions to AAUW funds for the calendar year 2017 was $92,164.47. This total includes contributions to AAUW Funds, Legal Advocacy, Educational Opportunities, Public Policy, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Leadership Programs. We have so much to be proud of as members of AAUW.

Two of the attorneys representing AAUW Legal Advocacy, Sharon Van Dyck and Donald Chance Mark, Jr. spoke at our State Convention in April about the case at St. Cloud State involving 10 female students athletes who filed a lawsuit against St. Cloud State University (SCSU), Minnesota State College and University Systems. Five of the women are members of the SCSU’s women’s tennis team and five are members of the women’s Nordic ski team. In March 2016 the SCSU athletic department announced plans to cut six teams from its athletic program, including both the women’s tennis and Nordic ski teams. Seeing slides of the conditions of the women’s team’s locker rooms and hearing about the lack of equity with women’s athletic programs, made me proud of our AAUW Legal Advocacy working to support women.

The items contributed to the Silent Auction at the State Convention generated $4,051 for AAUW Funds. There was a variety of items and lots of fun bidding, then checking on bids, again and again! There were 166 items total, with everything from chocolate, flowers, original art work, books, and household items, to a Coach purse. The Faribault Silent Auction Committee organized a very successful Silent Auction. Each branch received credit in the State Funds report for the items contributed by their members for this silent auction as follows.

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Go to to learn more about the work done through contributions to AAUW Funds that includes Legal Advocacy, Educational Opportunities, Public Policy, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Leadership Programs.

Grants & Awards

Mary Ann Lucas Houx

AAUW MN VP Program

AAUW MN Branch Projects awards are granted to branches in Minnesota to support branch projects and further the AAUW mission of advancing equity for women and girls. At the 2018 convention held in Faribault Minnesota, two project grants were awarded and other grants were acknowledged.

Ely Branch was awarded $500 for their project on Pay Equity.

Although Minnesota as a whole is above the national average in pay equity, as much as 90% of a white male’s wage in some congressional districts, Congressional District 8, of which the Ely area is a part, ranks at the bottom in the state, paying only 76% for equal work. Their collaborative project is designed to refocus some of the dialogue to concentrate on tools to help existing employment opportunities and to position the community as a rising star as they struggle to transition from a small, rural, blue-collar to a vibrant arts, tourism and entrepreneurial hub. It is a collaborative two year project which will have business, college, high school and educating the public components. The grant is for the portion of the project that will be completed by Equal Pay Day 2019.

Fergus Falls was awarded $500 for their AAUW Work Smart Workshop.

Their AAUW Work Smart workshop event be held in October of 2018. This is a collaborative effort involving the Fergus Falls State Community and Technical College, the Fergus Falls Business and Professional Women, Someplace Safe Women’s Shelter, and coordination with United Way to provide child care. Fergus Falls Branch will sign an agreement with AAUW which will provide assistance and will identify AAUW’s responsibility and the host branch responsibilities.

In 2017, each of the following branches were awarded $500 for their projects.

Red Wing Area-Collaborative for Change Makers-A Conference for Women

It all started with a group of women, sitting in a room, to make change. They identify their passion, create connections, conquer failure and take action. The Change Maker’s conference brought together a diverse group of enthusiastic women who all have a thirst for change.

With a motivational Ted Talk rally, the conference began Oct. 28, 2017. AAUW Red Wing worked with League of Women Voters, Hispanic Outreach, Minnesota State College Southeast, Community Education and Every Hand Joined to bring four women to speak at the conference.

  • Calli Hughes walked everyone through her process in pinpointing passion. Deanna Voth, the facilitator for the program, asked every woman in the room to jot down a few things they feel passionate about, to get the gears to start spinning.
  • Michelle Leise explained the importance of having other people work with you. In her words, there are two kinds of connections needed: strong established ties and emerging ties. Each woman at the conference was supplied a worksheet to create a map of connections she had or connections she needed, that corresponded with an identified passion.
  • Sandy Wollschlager talked about the importance of small actions.
  • Bonnie Schock gave the women an overview on how to take action.

When the closing was finished, the women continued to networked, asked questions and connected with new people. The room was full of change makers.

Brainerd Lakes Area-Collaborative for a free Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Day

The Brainerd Lakes Area AAUW Branch, WeARE, Central Lakes College (CLC), businesses, and health care providers collaborated in holding a free STI Testing Day Event for students at CLC in Brainerd on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018. Forty-six individuals were screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea, with a positive rate of 4%. This is what is expected for a screening of the general public. Thirty-three volunteers, including 20 nursing students, helped with enrollment, lab collection and getting the message out to peers and the community about the testing and other events such as the forum, “Dismantling the Culture of Rape”. It began with speaker, Dr. Kari-Shane Davis Zimmerman, an expert on sexual ethics from the College of St Benedict. She then facilitated a discussion about consent. The forum, with 53 attendees, concluded with a panel discussion by local representatives from law enforcement, the court system, education and services for domestic violence victims.

It was evident from the forum discussions and testing that there is a high need for continuing and increasing factual reproductive education in our communities.

Hastings-Collaborative presentation on Sexual Violence of Campuses

The Hastings’ Branch received a grant to fund a presentation on Sexual Assaults on Campuses. The presentation was co-sponsored by the branch and the Hastings High School Feminism Club. The presentation was held at the Hastings High School in October and over 200 people were in attendance, mostly high school students and their parents. The presenters were from the St. Olaf Sexual Assault Resources Network. The presentation addressed the nature of the problem of sexual assaults and intimidation on college campuses, students’ rights under Title IX, what questions to ask when visiting a college, and what to do if you or a friend experiences a sexual assault or sexual intimidation. The students and parents provided feedback that they came away from the presentation with a better understanding of the unfortunate breadth of the problem and better understood the rights of the victim and the accused and how to avoid becoming a victim or being accused of an assault. The grant funds allowed the branch to advertise to the broader community increasing its visibility. A branch member and Feminism Club members spoke about the problem and the presentation on local radio and in the school media. In addition, the branch established a good partnership with high school students in the Feminism Club and hopes to partner in other future endeavors.

Duluth-Collaborative-Diversity and Leadership Training by Judge LaJune Lange
Owing to a generous state grant, AAUW Duluth was primary cosponsor for Judge LaJune Thomas Lange’s visit from 22 to 24 September 2017. Other cosponsors included the League of Women Voters (Duluth), St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, and UMD’s Alworth Institute of International Studies. Among her many accomplishments, Judge Lange is Honorary Consul for South Africa; Founder of the LaJune Thomas Lange International Leadership Institute; Fourth Minnesota Judicial District Court Judge (Retired); and Senior Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Judge Lange spoke on race relations, international engagement, global leadership, the long history of African Americans in Minnesota, and the equitable representation of women and other minorities in politics. She also publicized the 100th anniversary celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s birth in 2018. Over a hectic two and a half days in Duluth, Judge Lange met with Mayor Emily Larson and gave three inspiring presentations that were free and open to the public.

This grant helped to foster diversity in programming and awareness. Working with other cosponsors and holding events in various locations to attract different audiences helped make Judge Lange’s visit so successful.

Branch Project Grant History

Branch Project Grants were mentioned in the 2015 Summer Pine. In an article entitled “Let’s Review Our 2014-2015 year!” written by AAUW State President, Sharon Bigot, she stated that “This was the first year for our AAUW Minnesota Branch Projects Grants.”

Savings from the Pine going electronically provided the money for the Branch Projects Grants. Initially the grant was for $1,000 for 2014-2015. In 2015-2016 the grant increased to $2,000. In 2018-2019, that amount was increased to $2,500.

In 2015 three branches received grants and had an article in the 2015 summer Pine.

  • Ely Branch received $300 for STEM workshops.
  • Hastings Branch received $100 for a Feminism Project.
  • Willmar Branch received $300 for a Campus Action Project.

In 2016 three grants were awarded.

  • Ely was granted $265 for a STEM Project and information published in the summer 2017 Pine.
  • Northfield was granted $500 for a Saturday Science Club and information was published in the 2016 summer Pine.
  • Duluth had a Sonia Kovalesky STEM Project and published information in the fall 2017 issue of the Pine.

Award Winners of $500 Young Women of Equity Awards at the 2018 State Convention

High School Award Winner

The 2018 AAUW MN Young Women for Equity recognizes the work of young women whose activities reflect the AAUW mission of advancing equity for women and girls.

The High School award this year went to 17 year old, Atalanta Stoeke, nominated by the Virginia Branch, for her work in developing an Arduino Programming summer camp for girls in grades 3-6. She found sponsors, the space, materials and volunteers. She helped create the materials that were taught and also lead in the programming aspects of the Arduinos. The girls completed various projects ranging from making a light blink to programming Arduino to play a song. There were two different talks about “Girls in Stem” where the girls discussed gender roles and how to advocate for themselves and other girls. On the final day, four STEM professionals did a panel discussion about their careers. The evidence of impact was in the increased enrollment in local robotics teams at the elementary and middle school level. There also was increased enrollment in Atalanta’s school STEM program.

According to Dr. Bonnie Edwards, Co-President from the Virginia Area AAUW who nominated her, "Atalanta was thrilled to receive this award. She was not able to attend the dinner, as her all-women robotics team, The Iron Maidens, is competing in the First Robotics World Championship in Detroit that weekend.”

College Student Award Winner

AAUW MN awarded the $500 college student award to a 21 year old Carly Hiti, nominated by the Duluth Branch for her work in sex trafficking. As an intern with Women’s Resource and Action Center, Carly is a student leader within the Multicultural Center at UMD. She serves as a sexual assault advocate on campus as well as in the community. She was the youngest member on Duluth’s Sex Trafficking Awareness Committee in 2017-2018. She assisted in creating promotional materials for Sex Traffic Awareness month at UMD as well as organizing two events on the campus creating awareness of the sex trafficking problem.

One event included screening of the film “I am Jane Doe” followed by a panel discussion with women who work with victims. About 100 students and community members attended the event. The second event involved the speaker, Theresa Flores, a survivor of childhood sex trafficking and nationally known speaker and author. About 90 students and community members attended the event. Following the event, many audience members asked questions about sex trafficking. Social work students interning in the Duluth schools planned to pass out information to others working in the school system. Representatives from Essentia Health in Duluth were going to pass out materials to their foundations, administrators, and clinicians.

2018-2019 Grant Application and Application Format

This year the AAUW MN Board approved a record number of awards and grants. Each branch president recieved e-mail copies of the awards and grants, each branch got one packet of the printed awards and grants information and application format and all of the information is on the AAUW MN website.

Those members attending the training session for branch presidents and programs also received the printed copies. NO ADDITIONAL GRANT INFORMATION AND APPLICATION FORMAT WILL BE PRINTED IN THE PINE. Information on awards and grants can be obtained by contacting Mary Ann Lucas Houx, AAUW MN VP Programs at

In applying for a grant, read the criteria and information carefully so you are addressing all areas of requested information. We are looking for small as well as large projects. NOTE that Branch Project Grants, AAUW Start Smart and Work Smart Grants and Tech Savvy Grants are due August 20, 2018. Notification to successful branches will be by September 4, 2018.

This year we have changed the timeline of some of the grants to coincide with the time that many of the branches are doing their program planning in May, June and July. We will be evaluating this time change before the next convention.

Good luck in your program planning for 2018-2019 and take advantage of the awards and grants available.

The Duluth Branch Takes Action!

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Picture above, L-R: Andrea Crouse, Feminist Action Collective; Ellen Kennedy; Wendy Williamson-AAUW Duluth Branch; and Christina Woods, Duluth League of Women Voters.

Sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and gender discrimination seem to be issues that are getting a lot of attention today. The foundation of AAUW in 1881 was to break through barriers that prevented women and girls to achieve equality; educational and professional equality was the goal. 2017 has shed light on the suffering of women, just because they were female!

In 2017, Gay Trachsel, Public Policy Chair for the Duluth Branch of the American Association of University Women, was approached by Dr. Ellen Kennedy, Executive Director of World Without Genocide, to help create a groundswell of support in Duluth, for the United Nation’s Convention to Eliminate all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW, sometimes referred to as the Women’s Human Rights Bill of Rights, was passed by the U.N. General Assembly in 1979. To date it has been ratified by 189 nations. Only six nations, Iran, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga and the United States have not ratified it. Kennedy contended that if cities passed resolutions supporting CEDAW their communities would immediately benefit. She was also optimistic that if enough cities passed CEDAW resolutions, in time, the U.S. Senate would ratify CEDAW for the entire country.

The Duluth Branch of AAUW with support from the League of Women Voters Duluth, the Feminist Action Collective (FAC) and the Alworth Institute held a CEDAW informational session conducted by Dr. Ellen Kennedy on March 15, 2018, at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Em Westerlund, Duluth City Councilor, brought a resolution supporting CEDAW to the City Council on March 26, 2018. Zabelle Stodola, Diversity Chair of the Duluth Branch of AAUW, Gay Trachsel, AAUW and LWV member, and Andrea Crouse, FAC member, all testified in favor of this resolution. The resolution passed by a 7 to 2 vote. Duluth joins Edina, Minneapolis, Red Wing, St. Paul and other U.S. cities in passing resolutions supporting CEDAW. Kudos to Ellen Kennedy, Gay Trachsel, Zabelle Stodola, Em Westerlund, Andrea Crouse, and the Duluth Branch of AAUW.

New Pine Editor

Hello to my Minnesota AAUW Sisters!

I am very excited to take on the duties of the Pine editor position. With the state board's approval, I will also be making a few changes to the Pine including the frequency and how it is delivered.

This Pine was compiled by Jackie Creever, but is being sent to you through a new digital format. You will now just see the Pine immediately (no need to click on a link) and scroll down to see the information instead of looking at it in a page format.

Also, beginning in November I will be sending out monthly editions of the Pine. There will not be as much information in it, but I hope that the information will be more timely.

Please click this link to email me and make sure to include the Pine in the subject line if you have any information you would like to include by the 20th of each month prior to publication.

Kindest Regards,

Cyndy Harrison

AAUW Faribault

About AAUW Minnesota

Who we are...

Mission Statement

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

AAUW Values Promise

By joining AAUW, we belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance.

Vision Statement

AAUW will be a powerful advocate and visible leader in equity and education through research, philanthropy and measurable change in critical areas impacting the lives of women and girls.

Diversity Statement

In principle and practice, AAUW values and seeks a divers membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.