May, 2016 Ten-State Regional Conference


~~Shirley Breeze, Reporting

Attendees at the 45th Biennial Regional Conference were treated to a wide variety of exciting activities, speakers, and networking opportunities at the meeting in Kansas City, KS on June 3-4.  Keynoting the event was Dr. Catherine Hill, AAUW National Research Vice President.  In her remarks she addressed the most recent report, Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership.  Although statistics are improving for women holding major academic and corporate leadership positions, women still hold a small
percentage of the policy-making offices. Katie Simon, National Associate Director of Field Operations, addressed the importance of getting out the vote in this contentious national election year.  She also introduced the new materials AAUW has prepared for any activities the branches might take in the next six months.   Claudia Richards, AAUW National Senior Branch Relations Manager, joined from the National office and addressed how branches can use new approaches in membership recruitment.

At the Conference Luncheon, Paul Thein, an LAF Plaintiff, discussed his case against the Feather River Community College.  The case resulted in major changes for his career and in his family.  It is the longest-running case AAUW has supported; he expressed his appreciation to AAUW for the donation of funds for him to pursue it.

On Friday evening, attendees were given an opportunity to view the film The Hunting Ground which addresses the rampant sexual abuse on college campuses.

A wide variety of breakout sessions included public policy issues and information on AAUW activities and procedures.  Speakers reviewed the latest in procedures on membership recruitment, fundraising events, and AAUW public policies.  Attorneys Denise Lieberman and Peggy Glenn gave insight into Voter Fraud and Achieving Results Through People respectively.  Dr. Kelly Sartorius discussed her research on how academic deans of women promoted AAUW from its very beginning.  Human Trafficking was addressed by members of the Ballwin-Chesterfield Branch and the St. Charles Coalition Against Human Trafficking in their presentation, which has won financial support through an AAUW Community Action Grant.  Dr. Mary Mosley addressed the relationship between racism and sexism and how this is reflected in some recent actions locally and around the country.

The Conference ended with an Open Forum where attendees could have their questions answered concerning current activities and regulations of AAUW and future plans of the organization.

Click on any picture to view it full-sized, or as a slideshow.  Thanks to Barbara Gatewood, of Manhattan, KS for the photos.