Arlington Branch Report to AAUW Virginia 2020 Conference
We engage the community in multiple activities in pursuit of AAUW’s strategic objectives.
- Our largest community engagement is conducting 6-8 public meetings each year on topics supportive of AAUW’s strategic objectives: education, economic security, and leadership. This educates us, potential members, and the community at large about issues which affect equity for women and girls, especially in Arlington.
- At our most active outreach program, called “Lunch Bunch,” volunteers provide lunch and a monthly program to motivate, encourage, and support young women aged 18-30 from diverse cultural backgrounds, all working to attain a high school diploma at Arlington Community High School. Programs, developed cooperatively with school administrators, relate to current issues. For example, the 2018-19 theme, “Finding My Voice,” addressed strategies to build self-confidence, empowerment and healthy relationships.
- AAUW Arlington volunteers participate in the THIS/AAUW International Coffee Group, which meets with staff or dependents from embassies to the U.S. to welcome them and introduce them to U.S. culture.
- We raise funds for, and select and award three $1000 scholarships annually for high school seniors headed to college—two for excellence in the arts using our Elizabeth Campbell Fund, and one for a Lunch Bunch participant. We also provide a grant to the school where our selected Educator of the Year works to expand his/her work. In addition, this year branch members will serve as judges at the 2020 Regional Science Fair, and we will give awards to the best three middle school and best three high school projects by girls at our STEM-themed April meeting.
We also have two activities which focus on development of our members and our branch.
- Our Book Group members meet monthly to discuss books selected once a year, often relating to current AAUW issues. An excellent example is The Color of Law, discussed in February 2020, which documents how government action has caused and reinforced racial segregation in housing.
- As a means to improve the focus of our public meetings on education, economic security, and leadership, the outgoing and incoming Boards of Directors meet to identify and prioritize topics related to these AAUW strategic objectives for the next year’s public meetings, which the Co-VPs for Program use to guide their work. This practice, begun in 2018, represents an improvement in the fourth AAUW strategic objective, which is management.
Current information about our activities may be found at: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=newsarlvaaauw%40gmail.com&ctz=America%2FNew_York.