About Us

Since 1926 AAUW Tennessee has worked with AAUW branches across the state in efforts to achieve equity for women and girls. AAUW Tennessee embraces the mission, value promise, and vision of our founding organization. We are proud of AAUW’s longstanding and successful history.

AAUW’S MISSION, VALUE PROMISE AND HISTORY

National Mission: AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Value Promise: By joining AAUW, you belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance.

Our Vision: AAUW will be a powerful advocate and visible leader in equity and education through research, philanthropy and measurable change in critical areas impacting the lives of women and girls.

History: Since 1881, AAUW (American Association of University Women) has been the nation’s leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls.  We have a nationwide network of over 170,000 members, 1,000 branches and nearly 900 college/university/institution partners.

For over 130 years AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic and political.  Our commitment to our mission is reflected in all aspects of our work.

  • Public Policy Advocacy
  • Community Programs
  • Conventions and Conferences
  • Scholarships
  • Voter Education Campaign
  • Leadership Development
  • Diversity Initiatives
  • International Connections

AAUW TENNESSEE’S SERVICES TO BRANCHES AND MEMBERS

AAUW Tennessee was founded in 1926 to further AAUW purposes and policies and to promote, encourage, and coordinate the work of the branches within the state. The state serves its branches and members in a number of ways. (NOTE: This link is for the full document to facilitate printing and sharing with all branches and members.)

Branch Networking—There are nine AAUW Branches in the state of Tennessee. AAUW Tennessee works to keep branches connected through the following:

State Convention State Newsletter Publications Facebook
Summer Leadership Summit State Web Site Twitter

Branch Assistance—The state provides support for branches in the following ways:

  • Assistance with Bylaws Revision—The state Bylaws Chair alerts branch presidents when bylaws revisions are needed and assists branches with meeting national requirements for bylaws.
  • Assistance with Membership—The state Membership Chair is available to help branches with new membership recruitment and membership retention.
  • Assistance with Mission-based Programming—The state leadership encourages branches to focus on the mission of AAUW through branch programming.
  • Assistance with Social Media—The state Communications Committee works with branches to provide webinars and tip sheets on how best to use social media.

Leadership Training and Opportunities—The state has twelve leadership roles to fill each year and invites branch members to run for elected offices and to apply for appointed offices, giving members the opportunity to build on their leadership skills. Also the annual AAUW-TN Summer Leadership Summit gives essential leadership training. Every other year, the state provides funds for two state leaders to attend the national convention where they prepare for their state leadership roles.

Public Policy Resource—The state Public Policy Program focuses on issues, such as equal pay for equal work, important to all AAUW members in the state. The state Public Policy Committee invites and assists branches in planning advocacy activities and events and provides branches with materials to support those activities and events, such as the Tennessee Voter Registration Guide and position papers on public policy issues. The state Public Policy Committee also offers branch members opportunities to participate in public policy initiatives through the following:

  • Responses to Action Alerts
  • Group meetings with state legislators
  • Grants to branches for public policy work

AAUW-TN NCCWSL Scholarships—The state invites branches to nominate college students for AAUW-TN Scholarships to attend the annual National Conference for College Women Leaders. The scholarship covers the student’s conference fee and is supported by the state’s NCCWSL fund raising activities.

Communication with AAUW Members-at-Large in Tennessee— The state also encourages National Members in Tennessee to support AAUW’s mission by staying in communication with them. MALs receive state newsletters, invitations to state meetings, and most other notices that branch members receive. Many of our state national members were previously members of branches that are now disbanded or live in areas where there is not a branch.

The state organization supports the work of its branches and recognizes that a strong AAUW presence in Tennessee depends on the communication, collaboration, and coordination between branch and state. The state leadership values branch representation on the state board of directors where as members of the Advisory Committee, branch representatives have an important role in determining the goals and programs of the state.

This link is for the full document to facilitate printing and sharing with all branches and members.

AAUW-TENNESSEE — 2015-2016 ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

In 2015-2016 AAUW Tennessee celebrated its 90th anniversary and—

Awarded state scholarships ($500 each) for three students to attend the 2016 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL)

Ran a successful bumper sticker fund raiser–I AM WOMAN WATCH ME VOTE–that yielded over $1000 to offset state operational expenses

Co-sponsored the Tennessee Economic Summit for Women (October 25-26, Nashville)

Received an AAUW National Impact Grant for the second year

Conducted a successful public policy program in support of Equal Pay (and fulfilled Impact Grant goals) by

  • Building an effective partnership with the House Democratic Caucus on the existing Pay Equality Act (HB1947/SB2298). Through this partnership, the state developed the Pay Transparency Act (HB1948/SB2297), provided testimony at the hearing for Pay Equality, and served as the go-to organization on all matters regarding pay equity
  • Hosting a delegation of 11 individuals at 4 scheduled legislative visits during Women’s Day on the Hill (Tennessee General Assembly, March 16th), one visit each with a Republican and Democrat of each chamber to advocate for pay equity
  • Creating a Voter Registration and Turn-Out Guide, which will serve AAUW-TN for years to come
  • Collaborating with 7 branches and 20 organizations to host 4 Equal Pay Forums across the state in Knoxville, Martin, Memphis, and Murfreesboro—with a total of 181 attendees
  • Garnering media coverage in four publications and on one TV newscast
  • Sending out 5 action alerts to the state’s 1500+ action network members
  • Conducting a Twitter Storm on Equal Pay Day

Created a Communications Team which

  • Produced and widely disseminated a one-page core document that describes the work of AAUW Tennessee
  • Completed a revision of the state website
  • Expanded the use of social media to promote AAUW in Tennessee and provided members with Twitter Tip Sheets
  • Revised a listserv for contact with AAUW Members-at-Large in Tennessee
  • Published three newsletters sent to branch members statewide and to AAUW Members-at-Large in Tennessee

Focused on the need for membership diversity by encouraging branches to name Diversity Chairs, publicizing national’s Diversity/Inclusion Tool Kit and diversity webinar, and surveying branch progress on reaching state diversity goals

Presented an outstanding annual convention–“Examining Equity in Education and Employment”–hosted by the Nashville Branch at the Scarritt Bennett Center(April 8-9, Nashville) with 47 registrants (an increase of 13 attendees over the previous convention) and a program with two national speakers and one local speaker.

Report submitted by:
Ayne Cantrell, President
2015-16 AAUW-TN

Continuing the AAUW legacy in Tennessee…

  • Remove the barriers that block women from full equality.
  • Provide programs to enhance skills and the ability to make significant contributions to society.
  • Inform the public regarding women’s issues by publications, workshops, public meetings, and other supportive activities.
  • Lobby state and national legislators on issues important to women and to improve women’s economic welfare.
  • Advance women’s and girls’ equal access to education by championing increased funding for public education, working to eliminate harassment and bullying in schools, and ensuring that women and girls are not left behind in the increasingly important fields of math, science, and technology.
  • Provide the opportunity to join others in active pursuit of women’s equity — but also to take time to enjoy each other’s company.
  • Give financial aid through the Legal Advocacy Fund to women looking for judicial redress for sexual discrimination.
  • Promote gender equality in the classroom.
  • Educate school girls by providing programs for frank discussion of gender issues and provide opportunities through such programs as Sister-to-Sister and Shades.
  • Support women scholars and fund research into women’s status in schools and the workplace.
  • Provide fellowships to deserving women for graduate study.
  • Train the next generation of women leaders through funding support for selected Tennessee college students to attend the AAUW National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.