On behalf of the AAUW National Convening Task Force and AAUW Board of Directors, we are pleased to announce plans for 2020 and a celebration that marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, as well as an important election year and AAUW’s role for 137 years and counting as a national leader for gender equity.
Following the National Convening Task Force’s rigorous internal and external review of conventions, conferences, and other events on gender equity taking place around the nation, we are now planning a yearlong 2020 National Convening for AAUW. The various programs and events will spotlight AAUW strategic priorities — education and training, economic security, and leadership — focused on how we can have meaningful and lasting impact toward improving the lives of all women and girls. The series will include online and in-person events that will bring us together and keep moving us forward.
The 2020 National Convening will engage members across the country — through livestreams, webinars, and other communications — to participate in important initiatives and events such as marking Equal Pay Day to advocate for better laws and positive employer pay practices, rallying around landmark court cases for women, and launching research about the status of women on campuses today to continue to push for greater equity. Also, as 2020 is an election year, we can tap into the legacy of securing the right to vote to ensuring women exercise this right, by supporting voter registration and Get Out the Vote activities and events. As states and branches participate in a range of 19th Amendment commemorative activities, we can bring our energy and experiences together with national and regional convenings to help galvanize the movement and attract new generations and supporters for the future.
For those who are able to travel to Washington, DC, there will be a 1–2 day program that will include an AAUW National Awards event combined with a lobby day training and trip to Capitol Hill. Dates and venues are still being finalized and we will update you on these details as soon as possible so you can save the date!
Many of the digital concepts for the convening will begin to be tested at the end of 2018 and in 2019 to prepare for a fulsome program in 2020. We will be communicating regularly with state and branch leadership on programming plans, incorporating all of the great work being done at the local level.
Included in the 2020 year of convenings will also be your state and regional events and conferences. We encourage states and regions to work with us to simulcast and promote your events to a larger audience. We will be collecting data on your local, state and regional events to showcase the sheer volume of events and gatherings for members (and prospective members and stakeholders) to take advantage of in networking and growing.
We wish to thank the participants of the AAUW National Convening Task Force, which was comprised of AAUW members, board members, Younger Women’s Task Force members, supporters, and AAUW staff, who were brought together to consider options for a 2020 convening.
We believe that through the yearlong 2020 National Convening, in place of an AAUW National Convention, we will be able to include more members in more meaningful ways as well as provide more cost-efficient opportunities for the organization and individual members.
For our decision process, the Task Force took on two key charges:
- Ensure that more members can participate. Less than 1 percent (734) of AAUW members attended our last National Convention in 2017. While National Conventions are a rich part of our legacy and are a unique opportunity for some members to connect with AAUW national and network with each other, the Task Force evaluated ways to convene that could engage many more members and develop programming that would connect to our mission in meaningful ways.
- Review financial feasibility. All four of the most recent AAUW National Conventions have operated at a financial loss — and the losses for the 2015 and 2017 conventions were especially significant. The Task Force evaluated ways to convene members that would not have a negative budget impact and pull resources away from advancing our mission and core work.
We are grateful for your support and look forward to coming together for this exciting celebration in 2020. Onward and upward!