I left academia and Alabama for a job in Milwaukee, WI. New to the area, I knew this would be my home and wanted to forge connections and make friendships immediately. My first call was to the local AAUW Milwaukee Branch--one of the oldest women's organizations in the STATE--and began my membership. It meant I had to bravely walk into a room of strangers and meet many people at once for each monthly meeting, but they were so welcoming and eager and we all already had things in common--Feminism, AAUW, Education and more.
I used AAUW as my linchpin from place to place.
I give back to AAUW through my leadership (I'm often a program speaker, am currently Vice President of Programming and President Elect and begin my two year term as president in June.
We're philanthropic within our community, we're nestled among many institutions of higher learning, we have long-tenured members who share fantastic experiences and we're the perfect forum to never stop learning. Our programs are diverse, exciting and reach out to groups and organizations that need publicity and attention.
This organization, particularly the Milwaukee Branch, has the potential to be a leader in the community and we are steadily on our way there.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Leadership roles, speaking roles, fellowship/scholarship roles and programming.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Continued one-sighted focus on STEM leaves behind the value women find in the humanities. We're not all searching for the best paying job, we're searching for happiness.Higher education is a struggle in all fields and the arts & humanities are being slashed. They are just as important as women in science & we're not treating them equally. Also, professional women--30-50--need mentoring too, but the org is heavily FOCUSED on young women & heavily led by RETIRED or much older women. A gap that needs attn.