Dear Member/Site Visitor:
Welcome to the Washington DC Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUWDC). We are glad you are here. Our branch, The Washington DC Branch, was the very first AAUW branch, founded in 1884. Through our long history we have been a voice in policy issues that primarily affected women and their children. We are very proud of the contributions of our foremothers, and today our branch continues this proud tradition of leadership within the AAUW family. You can read more about our history here.
In the meantime, the following are some highlights of our branch’s most recent accomplishments:
RACIAL AND GENDER EQUALITY
We are proud of the fact that our branch was responsible for racially integrating AAUW in 1954, thanks to the leadership of Alice Cole and Mary Church Terrell. The decision split the branch in two and probably other branches as well, but it made the AAUW a leader in racial equality as well as gender equality. As the result, our board approved the Race and Gender discussions that took place between June and November 2020. These discussions garnered hundreds of viewers from all over the US including AAUW national headquarter staff. Thank you to the branch members who participated in the discussions – without your support, we would not have been successful. To date, I still receive emails asking if we are going to continue the discussions. This is a true testament that these discussions are not only needed but timely. We will formally replay each session during the anniversary month of their original air date in 2021. The first replay will happen in June 2021.
Our branch is very active with the AAUW national Lobby Corps. Once a week, our branch members give the AAUW Action Fund a voice and a face on Capitol Hill. Since its formation in 1972, the Lobby Corps has made tens of thousands of visits to congressional offices, making AAUW a familiar and respected name among members of Congress and their staffs. Because this corps has worked hand in hand with lobbying staff, AAUW has had a significant political impact on legislation concerning issues such as: education, civil rights, reproductive rights, and economic security.
TRIBUTE TO NANCY GRACE ROMAN
Pre-COVID, our branch worked on honoring Nancy Grace Roman, our wonderful friend and role model, within DC Public Schools. Nancy’s accomplishments as a NASA Astronomer and “Mother of the Hubble” should be celebrated by new generations. They met with the principle of J.G. Whitter Educational Campus to donate a set of the Lerner Publishing STEM series book “NASA Astronomer Nancy Grace Roman by Heather E. Schwartz. The school developed an essay contest based on the book. The essay question is as follows: Nancy Grace Roman achieved a high position as a NASA astronomer at a time of great gender inequality in the 1950s and 1960s. She broke through the “glass ceiling.” How did Dr. Roman do this? What lessons can you learn from her efforts? The winners of the contest will receive a $25 gift card, a Lego Women of NASA set and the book NASA Astronomer – Nancy Grace Roman. The Principal indicated that the school runs a program called “Battle of the Books” to encourage reading and they will now include this book. The book will also be used in literacy classes. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the school was not able to complete the program. We will continue to honor Nancy Grace Roman once the schools fully re-open to visitors – hopefully early 2022. Stay tuned.
The branch is actively working with local and national groups to support DC statehood. Check out our DC STATEHOOD page for more information on what we are doing.
Now that we have survived 2020. We are ramping up our networking opportunities. Some will be held in the evenings, downtown with dinner afterwards. This format appeals to working women who cannot give up their Saturdays, or perhaps can’t even stay for dinner, or perhaps can only join us for dinner. This has been quite a year and we are now excited to start networking. Stay tuned for information on our next networking opportunity the summer of 2021!
We are on the web in a big way. In addition to this website, we are now also on Facebook. You can view all our past activities on our Facebook page. Click here to like our page
I am very proud of the accomplishments of our branch despite the challenges we all face individually, as a branch, as well as nationally this past year. By joining our branch, you belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance. Membership in the AAUW is open to anyone who holds a two-year associate’s degree or higher degree from an accredited college or university. By joining the Washington DC branch of AAUW you have the opportunity to meet and participate in a variety of activities with an interesting group of women.
We cannot do this alone. As a united team, we can accomplish anything. I invite you to join our branch branch as we continue to work toward gender equality. Click here to learn more about our activities
Kim Webster, MBA, Branch President
Listen to my interview with the DC National Organization for Women – here