AAUW Convention: A Call to Action from CEO Kim ChurchesJune 28, 2017
There’s nothing like entering a room of nearly 800 activists to get you fired up about the future of AAUW. Over the course of four days at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., I had an exciting introduction to the role of chief executive officer. Members from across the country gathered to mobilize on critical policy issues for women and girls, engage and enhance their leadership and professional skills, and remind each other of how urgent AAUW’s mission is today.
Political pollsters Linda DiVall and Celinda Lake taught a lesson in political acumen and open-minded friendship, a rarity in today’s polarized world. Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff also lauded the lost art of bipartisan compromise and reminded us how important civility is in the reign of fake news and rancorous politics. Laura Dunn, J.D., gave a deeply moving personal account of what the campus sexual assault crisis means to individuals. Our 2017 awardees brought the crowd to tears and cheers — Tererai Trent, Ph.D., with her breathtaking story of perseverance and the inimitable Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing as she wove through the crowd, shaking every hand she could reach. Many of us who were there that night still have goosebumps, and we will not soon forget the call to action all of these iconic women echoed: We must be stronger than ever in our dedication to progress for women and girls.
Whether you participated in the convention and feel ready to channel that energy, or you missed it and need an action plan for gender equity, here are five steps to get you started.
1. Follow through on your convention plans.
Remember that workshop with the great tips on how to reach out to students? Remember that one about creating e-newsletters with useful links? Looking for the PowerPoint from your favorite session? Visit the convention website to find tools from the workshops.
2. Visit your local elected officials.
Don’t let your civic action stop at Lobby Day; follow our guide to set up a meeting with your local legislators to remind them that women are holding them accountable.
3. Use AAUW’s resources.
Looking for the resource a member mentioned in a Daily Dialogue about diversity and inclusion? Want to find that guide someone recommended for Facebook and Twitter? Find it all in the Resources section of the AAUW website.
4. Get mobile.
Did you know that you can now be a Two-Minute Activist from your mobile phone? Sign up by texting the word “AAUW” to 21333 and tell your friends to sign up, too.
5. Share the love.
Keep up the momentum from the convention in your community by sharing AAUW tools, resources, and news at your next branch or campus meeting.
I can’t stress enough how invigorated I felt to be in a room with so many powerful AAUW members and supporters, and the helpful, excited feedback from attendees keeps flowing in. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to share that feeling, and the power of AAUW, with your own communities.
Check out our favorite moments (and photos!) from Lobby Day at the 2017 convention.
Find handouts and PowerPoints from your favorite sessions.
Going back to 1882, convention has mirrored some of the nation’s pivotal moments, from world wars to civil rights to the second wave of feminism.