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.
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 will have an advocacy Day in Tallahassee in March. Branch members are asked to meet with elected officials in January and February regarding Equal Pay and our other public policy priorities.
Getting Out the Vote is an important element of the grant. This includes registering young women to vote, participating in Planned Parenthood’s phone banking efforts, and sending letters to the editor about Equal Pay and Human Trafficking. Read the Public Policy Impact Grant‘s Action Plan to learn how you can incorporate appropriate actions into your branch plans.
October 6th is Florida’s voter registration deadline. Early voting must begin on Thursday October 23rd and will end on Saturday November 1st.
Tech Trek Camp News
The 2nd annual Tech Trek Florida Camp was held July 13-19 at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. Shirley Reid, Camp Director for 2014 and her volunteer team report that it was very successful thanks to all who contributed in some measure. The girls, all entering 8th grade in September 2014, thought it was an awesome experience. The activities during the week included Lego Robotics and CSI Forensics, a field trip to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, and a Professional Women’s night where the girls heard from and met women actively involved in the STEM fields. On the last night of camp the girls entertained each other and the staff with skits based on the STEM fields.
The 3rd annual Tech Trek Florida camp will be held from June 27th through July 3rd 2015 again at Eckerd College with Shirley Reid as the Director and Marge Ostrom as Assistant Director. They hope there will be at least one girl from each branch’s geographic area at the 2015 camp. Informational packets about TechTrek 2015 will be distributed to all branches in October. Each packet will include information about the process for reaching the 7th grade math and science teachers who might have girls to recommend as prospective campers.
If you want to be involved as a teacher, dorm monitor, student counselor, or volunteer your time and talent please contact Shirley at email@example.com. As always the camp needs financial contributions to enable the girls to attend camp tuition free and pay a modest amount to the teachers and a few others. If you would like to make a contribution to TechTrek Florida 2015 please make your check payable to AAUW Funds Tech Trek and please make sure TechTrek Florida is specified on the memo line of your check. Mail it to Carol Newnam, 906 Golden Beach Blvd, Venice, FL 342385.The first check came from the Fort Myers/Lee County Branch. How soon will you or your branch contribute, too?
If you know a middle school science or math teacher teaching 7th graders please ask them to recommend one or more of their outstanding girls to the camp applications committee to give the girls have an opportunity to submit an application to attend the camp. All attendees must have be recommended by a science or math teacher.
AAUW Florida Convention.
AAUW Florida held its annual convention on April 4th and 5th at the Tampa Sheraton East. As there were no nominations from the floor the following officers were elected to the state board of directors to serve from July 1, 2014 until June 30, 2016, Director for Membership Carol Richardson of Miami, Director for Development Joan Dick of Lake Wales, Director of Communication Carol Napper of St. Augustine, and Secretary Patricia Dewitt of Jacksonville. The current co-Presidents- elect, Susan Berlin and Virginia Farace, will serve as co-Presidents from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016. Dana Garlick created a terrific album of convention happenings that is divided to Convention 2014 Picture Album_Part1 and Convention 2014 Picture Album_Part2. If you were there it will bring back memories and if you weren’t able to attend you’ll see what went on and who was there. The 2015 Annual Meeting and Workshops will be held at the Melbourne Hilton Rialto on April 17th and 18th. Be sure to read the 2014 Board of Drectors Annual Reports as well as the AAUW Florida Budget Detail 7-12013 to 3-29-2014t and AAUW Florida Branch Member Totals 7-1-2013 to 3-29-2014.
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.