AAUW Florida began in 1929 and has been active ever since. Thirteen years earlier in 1916 a group of Tampa women organized as a branch of the Southern Association of College Women. It was the only branch in the state until 1923 when a Tallahassee group organized a second branch. The two groups were joined by St. Petersburg in 1924, and then followed by Jacksonville, Miami, Gainesville, Pensacola, and Sarasota in 1926, Hollywood in 1927 and Central Florida (now Orlando-Winter Park) in 1928. These branches were the founding branches of AAUW Florida. Over the years the number of branches has varied as has the total membership. Presently we have 39 branches with a total branch membership of approximately 2,500 and there are another 1000 AAUW members living in Florida who are not affiliated with a branch.
AAUW Florida Convention.
AAUW Florida holds an annual convention or annual meeting in the spring of the year. Conventions will be held in the even numbered years and annual meetings combined with a special event or activity will take place in the odd numbered years. The 2014 convention will be held at the Sheraton Tampa East on Friday April 4th and Saturday April 5th. The convention is designed to be educational, interesting, and rewarding experience for the attendees so that they return home invigorated with renewed enthusiasm for advancing the AAUW mission in their communities and spreading their enthusiasm to the members of their branch. Read and/or download the Tentative 2014 AAUW Florida Convention Schedule and the 2014 Registration Form and share both with your branch members.
An important item that will be discussed during the annual meeting (business meeting) will be the Proposed AAUW Florida Public Policy Program 2014-2016. The underlined portions are changes from the 2012-2014 Public Policy Platform that you will find on the Public Policy Page. Be sure to study thisproposal and come to the meeting prepared to suggest changes or modifications to what is being proposed by the Public Policy Committee.
July 2014 Tech Trek Camp News
Tech Trek Florida will be held July 13-19 at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. Shirley Reid, Camp Director for 2014 and her team are asking all branches in Florida to participate in this effort through sponsorships, volunteers and recruiting girls to participate. Teachers, workshop presenters, dorm monitors, student counselors and a health aide are needed to staff the camp. Florida branches were sent a packet of information in November outlining these positions and the process for nominating 7th grade girls. More information is available on the Florida Tech Trek website (http://techtrek-fl.aauw.net) or in this 2014 Tech Trek Brochure which you can print or forward to branch members and possible contributors. To make it a successful endeavor we need to raise funds. You can contribute directly at http://www.aauw.org/program-gift/?treatment=TECHTREK or send your check to Carol Newnam, 906 Golden Beach Blvd., Venice FL 34285, noting that it is for Florida Tech Trek.
SUPPORT TECH TREK
As you all know, Florida held its first annual Tech Trek camp for eighth grade girls in July of 2013 and it was a big success. We are busy making plans and raising money for the 2014 Tech Trek-Florida. If you know of a business or a friend who would be interested in supporting Tech Trek financially please download and edit this Tech Trek Contribution letter and send it to them Speaking of money, when you register for the state convention, you will find a line on the registration form for you to make a personal contribution to the success of our second annual Tech Trek camp for girls. This contribution is voluntary, of course, but it is an easy way for you to include a contribution in your convention registration check. Remember, Tech Trek camp changes some Florida girls’ lives. Another way we are hoping to raise funds, is by offering an opportunity to win a weekend for two at the Tampa Sheraton East (site of convention). We will be selling tickets at convention at $5 per ticket, but if you are not going to convention, you can still participate. Simply give your money or a check made payable to AAUW Funds to your branch Tech Trek representative . Your name will be given to the organizers and your name will be entered on tickets to be drawn at convention – one ticket for each $5 you contribute. We want all AAUW Florida members to be able to participate in the opportunity to win the weekend for two at the Tampa Sheraton East. The winner does not need to be in attendance at convention.
On-Going Statewide Activities That Assist Branches
- AAUW Florida sends out AAUW Florida Action Alerts as needed during the Florida Legislative session. If you would like to become a subscriber to these Action Alerts, please email Diane Schrier, State Public Policy Chair and ask to have your name added to the list. Write AAUW Florida Action Alert in the subject line. The Action Alerts advise subscribers when an important issue included in our public policy program is about to be heard in a committee or voted upon in a legislative session.
- Branches may apply for mini-grants of up to $500 for special branch projects. The funds requested must be matched by branch funds, monetary contributions or in-kind contributions.
- Branches may also invite an AAUW member from a branch in another part of the state to speak to share their expertise and/or experience of in an area of particular interest to the branch. The state will pay for the speaker’s travel expenses if the branch applies for funding through the Leader-on-Loan program.
We publish a newsletter, FloriVision, twice a year and have a Facebook page. Please visit our Facebook page and like us!
Branch Activities that Benefit Girls and Women
Many of our branches are located in communities where there are PACE Centers for Girls and are active in supporting these centers by volunteering their services, donating needed materials and supplies, making financial contributions and/or serving on their boards of directors. PACE Centers are for teenage girls who have lost their way and fallen behind in school. Girls that attend PACE, a free program, improve their grades, graduate, go on to college or begin careers thanks to a caring staff, teachers, and personal counselors. Other branches support local girls organizations by contributing needed supplies and materials. Still others are very involved with activities such as the Academic Olympics, Math Superstars, Reading is Fundamental, STEM workshops for girls of various ages, or work in local precincts during national, state and local elections, etc. Most of our branches raise funds for the AAUW Funds (Educational Opportunities, Eleanor Roosevelt, Legal Advocacy, Public Policy and Leadership Programs). Many branches also raise money to award scholarships to local women needing financial assistance to complete their work toward Associate of Arts or Bachelors degrees. The qualifications for the scholarships and the amounts of financial assistance vary from branch to branch. We are committed to the AAUW Mission and the Public Policy Action Program established at the June 2013 Convention in New Orleans, LA. Please download and print the 2013-2015 brochure. The AAUW Florida Public Policy Program was updated on Sunday April 22, 2012. Read or download the Florida Public Policy Action Program for 2012-2014..
Other Items of Interest
Read this eye opening report on Human Trafficking written by Mary Palomar a member of Florida’s West Pasco Branch. Learn about the National Women’s History Museum and look at the online exhibits. The museum has private funding to build a museum on the National Mall in Washington, but needs to have congressional approval to purchase the land for the building. Sign the petition on the home page to ask the Senate to support the bill that will enable the museum to purchase the land at no expense to taxpayers. If the bi-monthly Mission & Action e-Bulletin isn’t arriving in your email you may read the most recent issue and older issues at http://www.aauw.org/resource/aauw-mission-action/.
View AAUW’s calendar of events by visiting the AAUW website at www.aauw.org.