2015 NCCWSL Report – Steffini Amezquita

I am so thankful to the AAUW Nevada for giving me the chance to attend the NCCWSL conference in College Park, Maryland! At this conference I was able to meet hundreds of people from every single walk of life, and I have made life long friends! Every day we had a different keynote speaker, and my favorite was Maysoon Zayid. I had seen her TedTalk before the conference, so to meet this inspirational women was incredible! There were also many incredible workshops to choose from. Through these workshops I learned how to manage stress, accept cultural differences, and raise sexual assault awareness on my campus.

I have taken away so much from this conference. It taught me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, and how important it is to always support your peers. There was never a time during those four days where anyone talked down to anyone, and it is in that type of supportive environment that a person will thrive. I will now finish up my senior year at UNR as a more empowered woman. Then, thanks to the grad-school fair that NCCSWL put on, I have found my dream school, and I plan on attending SIT graduate institute within the next few years!  

Steffini and NCCWSL Friends Steffini & Maysoon Zayid

January 2015 News of Note

Follow the State of the Union with AAUW – and Bingo!
Help us follow along with the State of the Union through a friendly (or not-so-friendly!) game of bingo. You could win a prize! Read more »

“Women, Their Rights, and Nothing Less”
How can you use AAUW’s free online learning module about the suffrage movement? Attend our webinar or explore the module to learn how to implement this material into local high school and college and university partner classrooms.

Calling All AAUW Artists!
Want to share your artwork with thousands of AAUW members and the head of the National Museum of Women in the Arts? Enter the 2015 AAUW Art Contest! Submissions close January 28, 2015.

October 2014 News of Note

See You in San Diego!
Registration is now open for the 2015 AAUW National Convention! Will you be the first to join the wave headed to sunny California next June?  Register today to take advantage of Best Value rates.

2014–15 Supreme Court Preview Member Call
This year, the Supreme Court will consider a number of cases with the potential to significantly affect the rights of women and girls. Join AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund staff on October 22 to stay informed on these cases and many more.

2015 AAUW National Election
Attention AAUW members: It’s your AAUW, so make your voice heard! Run for AAUW national office, comment on bylaws amendments (or propose your own!), and weigh in on our Public Policy Program.  Visit the AAUW election page to get started!

Photos Show the Power of Tech Trek
Tech Trek 2014 was a huge success. But really, these photos along with a few words from the campers speak for themselves.

December Report

Nevada Monthly Report, December 2013

AAUW Nevada Celebrates

As 2013 winds to a close, branches took time to celebrate the season and raise scholarship funds.  Holiday gatherings and events brought together members, friends, and communities.  Both Las Vegas and Boulder City held very successful fundraisers.  The money raised will provide scholarships to local women.

AAUW Boulder City Event Sells Out

The Boulder City branch raised money and built community with their annual Home Tour.

The Boulder City branch raised money and built community with their annual Home Tour.

Congratulations to the Boulder City branch!  The branch is known for its holiday Home Tour, which raises money to help local women and girls.  Four hundred tickets were printed this year, and each one was sold – with participants still arriving, members began to collect money and write “paid” on the brochures!  Over $3,600 was raised.  The event benefited greatly from the help of many members.  Chelsea West opened her home, and involved her family as well.  The family graciously served over 150 espressos, and brought the entire community together in their beautiful outdoor spaces.  President Laura Pyzer produced the banner, posters, tickets, maps, and brochures, as well as helped out on tour day.  Diane Page contributed the music, and Andrea Anderson & Lynn Miller sold tickets and gave out the name tags Sheila Portillo had created for hosts. They also provided hosts with LueAnn Amburn’s antique hats and aprons to wear.  The volunteer hosts were: Barbara Polk, Laura Hutton, Lynn Goya, Barbara Morris, LueAnn Amburn, Sheila Portillo, Gabriela Portillo, Jean Biacsi, Ernie Biacsi, Anne Slavicek, Ron Slavicek, Mindy McCasland, Cheryl Waites, Bonny DelDotto, Blanche LaSalle, Kim Cruikshank, Nicky Collins, Kim Reddin, and Valerie McNay.  Congratulations to everyone on a wonderful event!

AAUW of Nevada participates in Nevada’s 150th Birthday

Happy Birthday Nevada!

Happy Birthday Nevada!

2014 marks the 150th birthday of our great state! Happy Birthday, Nevada!  The Las Vegas branch has been particularly active in events marking the sesquicentennial.   They have been working with other local organizations to plan “First Ladies First.”  The event will feature all 5 living former first ladies in addition to current First Lady Kathleen Sandoval.  It will be covered by local media.  Over 400 tickets have been reserved, so if you’re in the area get yours soon!

Save the Date

  • January 7th, Support Unemployment Insurance, Las Vegas rally
  • January 11th, First Ladies First, Las Vegas
  • January 25th,  Partisan vs. Political workshop, Northern Nevada
  • June 6th- 8th,  Rocky Mountain Regional Conference, Reno

Rocky Mountain Regional Conference:  This June AAUW of Nevada will welcome members from around the region to Reno for a 2 day conference.  The theme will be “Beyond the Wagon Train:  Who is the Western Woman?”.   Presentations on sex trafficking, AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund, and the western woman are all being planned.   There will also be a $tart $mart workshop for anyone who would like to be trained as a facilitator.  The conference will be held on the riverfront at the Siena Hotel.  We hope to see everyone there!

AAUW Nevada’s Ever Increasing Reach

AAUW of Nevada continues to increase its virtual presence!  Katherine took advantage of the  holiday season and sent out an email blast to over 900 members and supporters, sending not only our best wishes for the season, but an invitation to follow us on social media as well.  Right now we are up to almost 50 followers on Twitter – that’s about double what we had last month!  And, we’re just 6 “likes” shy of 100 on Facebook!  In 2014 we’ll begin to send out action alerts and online petitions in support of AAUW policy priorities using these tools.

Bringing Community Together

This month as members gathered to celebrate the holidays, we are reminded that we have a wonderful AAUW of Nevada community.  Members regularly come together to support each other, to learn from each other, and to help their communities.  Whether it’s through offering scholarships to local young women, or helping out in the local schools, AAUW of Nevada builds community.  Looking forward to 2014 we can mobilize that community to take a stand for equality for Nevada’s women and girls.  Never doubt what a group of passionate and intelligent women can do!

Member Spotlight

ChelseaWestThe Boulder City Home Tour would not have been the success it was without the help of Chelsea West and her family.  Many thanks to Chelsea for opening her family’s home, serving up refreshments, and helping to make the event a success!

November Report

Nevada Monthly Report, November 2013

AAUW Nevada Reaches Out!

This month in Nevada was all about reaching out to other groups. As branches busily prepare for winter and holiday fundraisers and social events, our state organizer, Katherine Yelle, was building relationships with a number of new groups.  Katherine met with UNLV’s multicultural program and will returning to give a talk about AAUW on campus in January.  She also met with the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy, and Nevadans for the Common Good.  Additionally, Katherine joined PLAN and ProgressNow for a roundtable discussion about the minimum wage with Congressman Steven Horsford.

AAUW Nevada in the Media!

We were in the paper!  After Len Semas made some unfortunate remarks about working women causing social problems, AAUW of Nevada felt compelled to respond.  Katherine worked with State President Joyce Destefanis and the state board to draft a letter in response to the sexist comments.  The letter was submitted to the Reno Journal Gazette and published on November 25th under the headline, “Take a Stand Against Real Women’s Problems.” We can only hope he takes our advice!

Equal Pay Anniversaries Coming Up!

How can you help the pay equity movement?

How can you help the pay equity movement?

2014 is going to be a big year for the pay equity movement.  On   January 29th, we mark the 5th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  Then on April 8th, we commemorate Equal Pay Day, the symbolic anniversary of when women’s annual wages catch up to men’s.  Finally, on July 2nd, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  As we gear up for this series of events, Katherine is collecting stories of pay inequity or pay equality.  If you have something you can share, please contact her at yellek@aauw.org!

Save the Date!

  • December 14th,  Boulder City Home Tour and Las Vegas Gala and Silent Auction
  • January 25th,  Partisan vs. Political workshop, Northern Nevada
  • June 6th- 8th,  Rocky Mountain Regional Conference, Reno

Political vs. Partisan: In the fall of 2013, Democrats and Republicans failed to pass a budget and the federal government shut down for over 2 weeks.  In early July of 1804, Democratic-Republican Aaron Burr shot and killed Federalist Alexander Hamilton in a duel.  Are these often costly and sometimes bloody conflicts about politics or is it all just partisanship?  What’s the difference anyway?

AAUW is a non-partisan organization that supports women. Our work is political, but it is not partisan.  This workshop will focus on explaining the two terms in order to distinguish between what activities are political, and which ones are partisan.  We will also explore how our values influence our work, and where the line between partisan and political lies.  We will talk about issues, where candidates fit in, and real world examples of non-partisan political issues.

This workshop will help us develop strategies and guidelines for working together regardless of party affiliation.  Only when we stand united can we empower and advocate for women and girls.

AAUW Nevada on the Web!

As we gear up for 2014, AAUW of Nevada is using technology to reach out to members and non-members.  You can soon expect to see AAUW of Nevada action alerts in your email in-box!  These will help you take action on important issues in a variety of ways: by signing a petition, contacting your legislators, and writing letters to the editor.

In just a month, our Facebook page is up to 85 “likes” and our Twitter account has 25 followers!  If you have content to share, or your branch has a special event or meeting coming up, please pass that information on to Katherine and she will ensure it gets posted.

Small Efforts Lead to Big Pay Offs

November was a big month for AAUW Nevada! We reached out to new groups and organizations, asked a Congressman what he was willing to do to make sure working mothers earn a fair wage, and were in the paper standing up for our values.  That’s impressive!  It happened because members were willing to give just a little bit of their time – whether it be to proofread a letter, or send on contact information.   When we are responsive and accountable to each other, we can make great things happen. Let’s keep it up!

ValerieMcNayGiving Thanks

Katherine would like to thank Valerie McNay for continually opening her Boulder City home.  Valerie goes out of her way to make sure Katherine has a place to work and feels right at home when she visits Nevada.  It is very much appreciated!

October Report

Nevada Monthly Report, October 2013

Coalitions, and Allies, and Partners, Oh My!

Boulder City gets together

Boulder City gets together

This month was all about coalitions and allies for AAUW Nevada.  One of our goals as a state is to increase the number of coalitions and allies we work with.  We also want to do more with our C/U partners.

In Boulder City this month, the branch welcomed the new Executive Director for Progress Now Nevada, Annette Magnus-Marquart.  Annette shared the work that Progress Now Nevada is doing around AAUW policy priorities.  This includes new reports on the wage gap and service workers as well as the importance of the federal courts and stalled judicial nominations.  Both these issues impact Nevada women, and we’re happy to hear others are concerned about them as well.

In Las Vegas there are exciting meetings going on with C/U partner UNLV.  We are incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic institution in our state, and the Las Vegas branch is excited to work with young women trying to enter STEM fields!  We’re just now beginning to meet with faculty and students to determine how we can be most helpful, but we’ll keep you posted on where this partnership goes!

Regional Conferences and Organizer Visits

Locals were on hand to welcome Katherine.

Locals were on hand to welcome Katherine.

Planning is well underway for the AAUW Rocky Mountain Regional Conference.  The theme is Western Women: Beyond the Wagon Train.  It will be held in Reno, June 6-8.  Duties are being divided among the branches: Las Vegas and Boulder City will take care of registration and greeting, Fallon is responsible for packets,   Capital is preparing the programs, Tahoe/Nevada is handling the reception, and Reno is partnering with Sparks to take care of logistics.

The conference will be held in charming downtown Reno at the Siena.  More reports will come as the details are finalized.

One detail that we do know is our state organizer, Katherine Yelle, will be on hand to provide workshops.  Katherine visited with members in southern Nevada this month.  She came up from Flagstaff to meet with the Boulder City branch and the Las Vegas board.  Katherine held one on one meetings with several leaders and was on hand for both the Progress Now meeting with Annette and a meeting at UNLV with Dean Venkat.  She followed up with the Director of Multicultural Programming at UNLV, Joanna Jezierska, and is working with faculty to put the Las Vegas branch in touch with UNLV’s Society of Women Engineers.

Custom Workshops Coming Up!

UpcomingCalendarLast month our state organizer worked with leaders in the North on one-on-one meetings.  The training was helpful and informative for members.  In November, Katherine will return to southern Nevada to provide the same training for members from Boulder City and Las Vegas.  Not only will we become better communicators with each other, we’ll be better equipped to meet with legislators and community members when we need to.

Also on tap is a brand new, custom workshop designed by Katherine for Nevada on the differences between being partisan and being political.

AAUW is a non-partisan organization that does political work.  However, where is the line between partisan and political?  How do our shared values inform our political work?

What are the dos and don’ts of non-partisan work?  All that and more will be answered.  The workshop will debut in the North January 25, 2014 and follow up in the South after that.

SocialMediaSalsa & Social Media Update

RegionalConferenceAs of this month AAUW is on Facebook!  You can find us at www.facebook.com/AAUW.Nevada.  Please send any upcoming events or branch news to Katherine, yellek@aauw.org, and she will share it with the world.  You do not need a Facebook page or account to view the AAUW NV Facebook page, so even if you’re not a regular user of the social media site please stop on by the page and check it out.  For members who are on Facebook, it would be great if you could “like” our page and share it with your friends.  We’re excited that we have this new, free, easy, way to reach out to members and the public!  If anyone would like to help with social media outreach or has a suggestion for its use, please send those along to Katherine as well.

Member Spotlight

Laura (center) laughing with other members.

Laura (center) laughing with other members.

A big shout out this month goes to Boulder City branch member and e-student affiliate Laura Hutton!  Laura not only readily volunteers to help the branch with all of their usual activities and fundraisers, she also takes on new projects.  Laura was quick to offer to investigate how AAUW Boulder City can address local childhood poverty issues.  She is also working on building a relationship with the College of Southern Nevada.  Go Laura!

September Report

Nevada Monthly Report, September 2013

                AAUW of Nevada is getting started for the year with inaugural branch meetings.  Interest groups, bridge clubs, and hiking groups are also underway across the state.  Not just book clubs and opportunities to share meals, from Carson City to Reno to Las Vegas, members are meeting to discuss the important issues of our time: immigration reform, civil rights, and reclaiming women’s history in Nevada.

We also welcomed our new AAUW Nevada State Organizer this month.  Katherine joins us from Flagstaff, Arizona.  She has a background in philosophy, women’s studies, and grassroots community work focused on immigration issues.  A longtime resident of the southwest, Katherine is thrilled to be working with AAUW Nevada.  When Katherine isn’t talking with AAUW members, she enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and really good food.

            We had our first of many visits with the new State Organizer, Katherine.  September 26th through the 28th, Katherine stopped by the Reno area to meet with leaders and provide some training and offer advice on membership recruitment.  She’ll swing through the southern parts of our state October 21st and 22nd to work with members on a variety of subjects including Title IX and C/U partnerships.  Katherine will collaborate with members from around the state to strengthen the communication between our branches, and continue working together in meaningful ways. Recently, she and Julie Davies from the Las Vegas branch put their heads together and developed a presentation on AAUW of Nevada for the NAACP tri-state conference, and it looks like we should get some new members!

This promises to be an exciting year for AAUW of Nevada.  We will be hosting the AAUW Rocky Mountain Regional Conference in Reno this June.  In addition, our members are working with others in our community on Nevada Women’s Legacy: 150 Years of Excellence. This multifaceted history of women’s contributions to our state will include video clips, diaries, memorabilia, exhibits and more.  It is being done to celebrate 150 years of awesome women in Nevada. Here’s to a 150 more!

 

Public Policy Program

AAUW PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAM, 2011–2013

The Public Policy Program underscores AAUW’s mission of advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research and speaks to women’s needs, aspirations, and concerns across the life span. The work of AAUW builds upon more than 130 years of responsible public participation, and the following principles provide a basis for AAUW members’ actions at the local, state, national, and international levels. Implicit in each of our principles is support for government agencies administering programs, including adequate appropriations, effective and accountable administration, and provision for citizen participation. We advocate public discussion to ensure enlightened decisions on these principles. We work to increase the number of underrepresented populations, including women, in policy- and other decision-making positions. AAUW is committed to working in partnership with diverse allies and coalitions to break through educational and economic barriers for women and girls.

For more information, review the Principles and Priorities of the public policy program.