JOHNSTOWN – Three members of the Johnstown-Gloversville-Johnstown branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently attended the NYS AAUW Summer Conference at Cazenovia College.
The focus of the conference was how branches can connect with the needs of their communities. Branches were tasked to find a need in the community, hold a program with speakers, read a book or watch a movie about it, and then form a plan of action to make a positive change for the community need.
The NYS AAUW will be offering branches a $500 grant for mission based programming again this year. The Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch used their grant last year to hold a showing of “Feminist: Stories of Women’s Liberation” and a visit from director Jennifer Lee to the local area.
Attendees at the conference joined their counterparts in sessions with other NYS branch officers to trade ideas on leadership styles, recruiting members, raising money and offering mission based programming.
Plans were shared for District Conferences scheduled in the fall. The District IV Conference of which the local Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch is a part will be held at Adirondack Community College Saturday, Sept. 26, and will focus on “Food Insecurity-the Next Step.” Brainstorming was done to determine a theme and suggested speakers for next year’s NYS AAUW Conference scheduled to be held in April in Saratoga Springs.
Attendees at Cazenovia had a chance to participate in “Walk, Talk, and Search for LAF.” The fund raiser was organized by NYS Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) Director Nancy Mion. The activity provided an opportunity to exchange ideas with other NYS AAUW members as they walked around the campus and downtown Cazenovia and worked together to locate landmarks to get points that helped earn funds donated to LAF credited to our branch. Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown member, Liz Russo, participated and joined with members from Ithaca and Staten Island. The local branch was credited with a $120 contribution to the Legal Advocacy Fund as a result of the three way tie with the three branches whose members walked and worked together.
The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund works to challenge sex discrimination in the workplace and higher education by providing strategic case support, campus outreach, and Case Support Travel Grants. Unfair pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 are harms many women and men face. LAF addresses these barriers by informing people of their rights and by assisting people who are using the legal system to seek justice and change.
In addition, attendees had a chance to play BUNCO on Saturday night to raise money for AAUW Funds. The activity provided a way to mix and meet state board members and members from different branches. The fundraiser was organized by Janice Brown, NYS AAUW Funds Vice-President, as an example of easy and fun ways branches can raise money. AAUW Funds are used by the national organization to provide scholarships and fellowships through the Educational Foundation Fund, money for the Legal Advocacy Fund, support for the National Conference for College Student Leaders, and funding for STEM programing by branches.
The AAUW Conference attendees were provided with an impromptu performance in the college dinning room by members of the music camp that were sharing the Cazenovia Campus with NYS AAUW.
Members from the local Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown AAUW branch who attended included incoming co-president Catherine Julius, public policy chair Jennifer Garren and past co-president Liz Russo.
Membership in AAUW is open to anyone holding an associate or equivalent (for example RN), a baccalaureate or a higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. For more information about the local AAUW branch visit agj-ny.aauw.net.
The Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown AAUW Branch will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, at the Raindancer Restaurant in Amsterdam to celebrate Constitution Week. Mary Farley ESQ, an attorney from St. Lawrence county, will be speaking on the topic of Women in the Law and their role in US Constitutional History. The pubic is welcome to attend. The Shape the Future discount of $49.50 will be offered to those joining AAUW at the meeting.
To make reservations for the meeting contact co-president Sandra Maceyka at 736-5130 or by e-mail at [email protected] Those with unlisted numbers should dial *82 before the phone number. The deadline for reservations is Sept. 7.