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News and Updates
April, 2021
A Message from Your Co-Presidents
April Presidents’ Message
 
Spring is Here!!!! With the promise of vaccines for everyone, and blossoms on the trees, feeling hope for the future, we have so many reasons to smile. As our Zoom Branch meetings have ended for 2020-21, we must reflect on and celebrate our Branch successes, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
 
We will be using the blog to keep you advised of our planning for next year and to alert you to any AAUW issues. Keep an eye out for a blog email in the coming days.
 
This also is the perfect time to join our fellow Florida AAUW Members at the AAUW Florida Leadership Conference & Annual Meeting (details included below). As we look forward to planning for the 2021-22 Meeting season, we wish you good health and safe travels. It is our greatest hope to see you….in person…. Or on Zoom in October!

2021 Leadership Conference & Annual Meeting
                                                                                                                   Women Together in the Sunshine State”
April 16, 17, 18   
                                                                            
We’ll come together virtually to renew acquaintances and our commitment to equity for women at all stages of their lives. Programs and speakers will help you be:
  • An inspired leader.
  • Attuned to the issues of diversity and inclusion.
  • Able to address women’s economic insecurity
  • Aware of social justice initiatives  
  •                    
  •  April 16th – Late Friday Afternoon
  • Branches share their 2020 highlights.
  • Announcement of Named Gift Awards.
  • Hear keynote speaker, Janet Petro, Deputy Director, NASA, Kennedy Space Center, “Adapting to New Challenges.”

April 17th – Saturday Morning
  • Session on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Review the DEI Tool Kit online at aauw.org
  • Learn how to start difficult conversations.
  • Explore key terms and concepts.
  • Session on Economic Security
  • Define financial literacy for women at all stages of their lives.
  • Investigate resources.
  • Discuss policy implications.
April 18th – Sunday Morning
  • View video of branch successes.
  •  Annual Meeting – Election of officers; review of proposed bylaw changes; and pros and cons of membership initiative.

There is NO FEE to participate in the Leadership Conference by Zoom.
Registration is now open.
Pre-Registration is required. You will be sent a Zoom invitation following pre-registration.
Members and guests are welcome.

Save the dates so you’ll be ready when your email invitation arrives.
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Membership Maters
Our Goal continues to be Getting New Members for our Greater Naples Branch. 
Currently we have 99 Members in Our Branch.
 We Welcome our New Members who joined us in 2021.
*Kelly Davis
  *Abigail Fuller
  *Sara Werde
From: Elaine Wade, Membership Director
From Susan Barley, Treasurer
2021-2022 Membership Dues
The AAUW year begins anew on July 1, 2021, thus your current membership expires on June 30. The preferred method to renew is online. Greater Naples Branch members have each received a personalized renewal email in March from memberinfo@aauw.org.  All you have to do is click ,“click here to renew.” With one click, you will pay dues with your credit card. It's simple, safe, and efficient. Members who still need to renew will receive an email invoice in April. The alternate method is to send your $112 check to AAUW Greater Naples Branch, PO Box 9742, Naples, FL 34101. Make your check payable to AAUW.
Why Rejoin AAUW?
AAUW has been transforming women’s lives for more than a century. And now that we’ve won the fight to give women equal access to education, we’re taking on one of the most defining issues of our time: gender equity. But we can’t do it alone.
Your AAUW membership will help close the gender pay gap by 2030, ensure schools and workplaces are free of discrimination and harassment, and create more opportunities for women to lead. It will also connect you to a powerful network of more than 170,000 women and men across the country who areas passionate as you are about building a fairer future. You will be a part of the Greater Naples Branch, working to make a difference in the community through our exciting programs such as the annual STEAM conference for fifth grade girls and their parents, awarding of local scholarships, Reading is Fun, StartSmart, WorkSmart, Scholar Bowl, and public policy efforts. You will develop lasting friendships as you work together, join in fun activities, and take part in special interests groups. AND it looks like 2021-2022 will bring us all together in person!
Voting - A Yearly AAUW Membership Requirement
Every spring, AAUW members vote to elect directors. Every other year, they vote to approve Public Policy Priorities. Occasionally, they vote to amend the bylaws. This year, we will be doing all three. You will be receiving a link to your ballot beginning April 7.
  The proposed amendment is to eliminate the AAUW membership requirement of a college degree. We are an organization that promotes equity, yet we do not treat non-degree individuals as equal.
  Our mission is to advance gender equity. The vision is equity for all. But – we do not treat non-degree individuals as equals. It is time to bring AAUW membership criteria in line with its mission to advance gender equity which does not have any educational requirement.
  While the degree requirement may have made sense early in our history, by today’s standards it is perceived as elitist, exclusionary, and out of touch. We must stay relevant. We need to send a clear message that we welcome all who share our values and goals regardless of whether or not they hold a college degree.
  Voting is online April 7 – May 17, 2021. The amendment needs 2/3 of votes cast to pass. Your vote is important for the future of AAUW.
From the Foundation
Breaking News! 
The Greater Naples AAUW Charitable Foundation has an opening on its Board of Directors. The Foundation is the organization that receives, stewards, and allocates funds for our Branch programs, such as Reading is Fun! and the Steam Conference. The Foundation also awards scholarships to deserving local women You can read more about the Foundation’s work on our Branch website, greaternaples-fl.aauw.net.
If you would be interested in volunteering to serve a two year term, and especially if you have legal or accounting experience, we would love to discuss the position with you. For further information, call or email Cathy Hackney. Information is in the Member Directory.
The AAUW Angels

Times have been hard for so many, especially for some of our deserving AAUW Scholarship recipients. Lately, a few of our recipients have reached out to our Charitable Foundation to ask for help to purchase necessities other than books and tuition. Some of our recipients have required laptops for online course work; others have also needed OTC medical supplies and even food. Though IRS regulations do not permit us to allow scholarship funds to be used for these needs, we do want to help these special young women to take care of themselves and succeed with their studies. Thus, we are establishing 
The AAUW Angels  
As an Angel, you might be called upon to donate a small amount of money, maybe just a couple of times a year. With our collective donations we might just help a student stay in school for another year. As an Angel, your only commitment is to agree to respond as you are able to our periodic calls for help.  
Please think about becoming an AAUW Angel!
Contact Cathy Hackney, in the Membership Directory to get your wings!
The Candris Matching Fund Drive
Giving Circle
Great Decisions

Great Decisions: Brexit—Taking Stock and Looking Ahead
In January, the United Kingdom began a new relationship with the European Union. What does the future of Europe and the UK look like? Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? What opportunities and challenges will Brexit offer to the U.S. as we reshape our relationships with the UK and EU? 
The GNB Great Decisions group will meet on Monday, April 5, 2021, 7:00-8:45 p.m. via Zoom to discuss Brexit. Lynne Romito will be the discussion leader, and we will watch a brief video from the PBS Great Decisions series.
If you are interested in learning more about the group or ordering the 2021 briefing book, please contact Carol Light at her information found in the Membership Directory. We hope you will join us.
Public Policy

Educational Equity: Strengthening Title IX 

AAUW has a long history of breaking down gender barriers in education, and since our founding 140 years ago, women have made enormous progress. Yet obstacles still persist.

 The gender divide in STEM programs remains wide, with women still concentrated in areas of study that steer them into lower-wage jobs. What’s more, women are especially burdened by the nation’s student debt crisis: They hold nearly two-thirds of all outstanding loans—around $929 billion. Finally, COVID-19 has further exacerbated educational inequities in our K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, demonstrating that we need to continue working to provide safer, more inclusive, and culturally responsive institutions.

To mark International Women’s Day, President Biden signed an executive order stating, “All students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex.” And discrimination, he said, includes sexual harassment and violence. The order directed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to review within 100 days the Department of Education’s regulations and policies to make sure they comply with the anti-discrimination policy. 

The order specifically mentioned the Department’s policy on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This was in response to an Education Department rule issued last summer that substantially weakened Title IX, rolling back important protections for student survivors of sexual harassment and assault.

AAUW continues to advocate for strong enforcement of Title IX and policies that will extend educational equity. 
Friday Book Discussion

The Friday book group meets next at 1:00 PM on April 9, 2021, at Wilshire Lakes pool area, courtesy of Cathy Hackney.
Laura Scott will lead our discussion of Isabel Allende's intriguing story set in Chile:  A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA.

Attendance remains limited, so please make your reservation by email with Susan Becker.
Virtual Book Discussion
Virtual Book Discussion 
A virtual discussion of the book, A Long Petal of the Sea, will take place on Saturday, April 10 at 1:00 p.m. Once again, Nancy Chism will host. The link is below. Please let Laura Candris know if you plan to participate.
Join from computer or mobile:
https://iu.zoom.us/j/84538799968
 Meeting ID: 845 3879 9968
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Meeting ID: 845 3879 9968
Non-Fiction Book Group
The Non-Fiction Book Club will meet via ZOOM on Monday, March 22, at 4:00 p.m. The book selection is One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying our Democracy by Carol Anderson. Carol Light will be the discussion leader. This book is 195 pages in length (plus an additional 135 pages of footnotes) and was Longlisted for the National Book Award. 
The book selection for the April 26 meeting, at 4:00 p.m., is Caste: The Origins of our Discontent
All AAUW GNB members are welcome to participate. If you are not currently on the Non-Fiction Book Club distribution list, please contact Karen Clegg and she will provide the information you need to be on the ZOOM calls. You can find Karen's information in the Member Registry.

Non-Sequitur's April Fun!
Thursday April 8, 5:30 p.m.
Italian cooking with Jacky Territo
Bring an apron for a fun photo.
Find Jacky's information in the Member Directory.
Your GPS may take you to the back gate. Instead, please enter via the main gate on Immokalee Rd.
There is no charge for dinner, but please plan to make a donation for our education projects: Scholar Bowl, STEAM, Tech Trek, Reading is Fun.
We are limited to 10 ladies total.
Please secure your reservation by responding to Nancy Beights at her information in the Member Directory. You will only be admitted through the gate if she provides your name.
We will have a wait list for this event once we reach capacity.
From Charmaine Klein - Empowering Women

 Equal Rights Amendment CALL TO ACTION.
Finally! On January 15, 2020 Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which finally hit the three-quarters of the states needed to ratify the US Constitution that would guarantee equal rights for women. And, the House of Representatives, on March 17, 2021, approved a measure that would remove an expired deadline of the ERA.
 
The ERA was originally drafted in 1923 by two Leaders in the women's suffrage movement, Alice Paul who was instrumental in forming the National Woman's Party and Crystal Eastman who was a co-founder of the ACLU.  It was not until March of 1972 that the US Senate finally approved it (49 years later). Then it had to go to the states in order for three-quarters of the states to also ratify the amendment. Here we are another 49 years later and we finally have 38 states that have agreed to ratify the amendment.
 
The proposed amendment would prevent any state or federal law to discriminate against women based on their sex. Actual Proposed Text: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex" and further states that "the Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."
 
The fight is not over yet though! There are still some legal challenges that need to be overcome.
  1. Can congress act now, 49 years after it was first proposed and waive the lapsed deadline?  Senate Joint Resolution 6 would eliminate the deadline for the ratify the ERA.
  2. Can states who originally voted to ratify the amendment now rescind their support
 
By the way, Florida HAS NOT RATIFIED the ERA.
 
CALL TO ACTION:
  1. Contact your US Senator and tell them to support the Senate Joint Resolution 6. Also encourage them to push to have this resolution presented to the floor for a vote.  Find your US Senators: Senators - The Florida Senate (flsenate.gov)
  2. Contact your State Representatives and tell them to either continue to support the ratification of ERA or to get on board with supporting it! You can find your state representatives here.  Ratification By State — Equal Rights Amendment.

 
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