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.
Tech Trek Camp News
AAUW Florida is busily planning for Tech Trek 2016 to take place in Boca Raton during the week of June 12-18. Girls entering the 8th grade in the Fall of 2016 will meet at camp to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with some Arts and Reading added in to make it STREAM. The Camp will be held on the Palm Beach State College Boca Raton Campus. The girls will reside in the dorms at the adjacent Florida Atlantic University’s Campus. For more information about the camp, download, print, or read the AAUW Florida Tech Trek 2016 Camp Flyer
If you are interested in planning the camp program or teaching during the week of camp please email Sue Slone, camp director at email@example.com to let her know you are interested.
The 184 girls nominated by a science or math teacher have been sent a camp application to fill out and return by February 1st. The girls will be interviewed in February by AAUW members in their area. From the girls who submitted applications and were interviewed 60 and two alternates will be invited to attend the camp. It will take ALL Florida branches, sponsors and individuals to substantially increase their contributions over last year to enable us to increase the camp size to 60 girls. We are counting on those who helped in any way in the past years to assist us again in 2016.
Contributions, made payable to AAUW, should be sent to the Fundraising Coordinator, Tech Trek Florida 2016. Mail them to Post Office Box 2938, Jupiter, Fl 33468. Please include your branch name, if applicable, and your complete contact information so that we can thank you promptly for your generosity.
Public Policy Impact Grant for 2014-2015
AAUW Florida has been awarded a Public Policy Impact Grant for 2104-2015. The primary issue is Equal Pay with a secondary issue of Human Trafficking. We held an advocacy Day in Tallahassee on March 18, 2015. Branch members were asked to meet with elected officials in January and February regarding Equal Pay and our other public policy priorities. Florida AAUW members also participated in the Twitterstorm Sunday January 11th.
Getting Out the Vote is an important element of the grant. Sending letters to the editor about Equal Pay and Human Trafficking and talking with legislators about these two items that are of great concern to women is equally important. Read the Public Policy Impact Grant‘s Action Plan to learn how you can incorporate appropriate actions into your branch plans.
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 Pat DeWitt 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 2015 Convention in San Diego, CA.. The AAUW Florida Public Policy Program was updated in April 2014. Read or download the AAUW-Florida 2014-2016 Public Policy Program. You may also download the Public policy cover dated April 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. Sadly, it is a big problem in Florida. 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.