Written by Lenore Gallin, Vice President, Oakland-Piedmont Branch of the American Association of University Women

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is looking for opportunities to contribute our energy and skills to local organizations and projects and to elicit local input for our national programs.  We are a tenacious and trailblazing organization advocating for women and girls since 1881.  We fight to remove the barriers and biases that stand in the way of gender equity and advocate for federal, state and local laws and policies to ensure equity and end discrimination.  AAUW was amicus curiae (friend of the court) when Aileen Rizzo’s pay discrimination case was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Our lobbyists in Washington helped pass the Lily Ledbetter Act.  We train women to negotiate for pay and benefits  –  check out our “Start Smart” and “Work Smart” programs.  Our public forums emphasize building women’s leadership and feature speakers who embody our goals, including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff and Aileen Rizzo.  We sent a delegation of women to Cuba and helped reopen and staff the library at Martin Luther King School in Oakland.  One of our proudest achievements is our sponsorship of STEM Teck Trek camps for 7th grade girls in Oakland and throughout California.

The Oakland-Piedmont Branch of AAUW has seen its agenda drastically change during the pandemic.  We have used the quarantine to strategize for the post-Covid era –  from how we can  do a better job of publicizing  AAUW  programs in our community, to learning about the needs of agencies and organizations working toward our shared  goals, and collaborating and partnering with organizations with common  values.  Always in mind is our mission “Advancing gender equity through research, education and advocacy.

Toward revitalizing our Oakland-Piedmont Branch, we are seeking contact with agencies and individuals who support our mission and would be interested in:

  • Partnering with us on joint projects related to the well being and advancement of women and girls.
  • Encouraging membership in our respective organizations.
  • Offering volunteer opportunities to AAUW members who want hands-on activities that advance our mission.
  • Referring your members to help us carry out AAUW Branch  projects and programs:  a mutual great learning and leadership opportunity.
  • Inviting us to your board meetings and events where we can connect and share our mutual goals.
  • Sending representatives to our Board meetings (virtual for the time being) to tell us about your organizations and get feedback and support for ours.

We believe that being a part of the Alliance for Girls facilitates this productive inter-agency collaboration.  We are honored to join this extraordinary community both as an organization and through individual member community advocates, and hope you will allow us to get to know you better.  Our Board meets via Zoom on the first Thursday evening of the month, the public Community Advocacy Group on the fourth Monday evening of the month. You can find out about our other special interest groups by visiting our website (oaklandpiedmont-ca.aauw.net) and on Facebook (facebook.com/AAUW-Oakland-Piedmont-CA-Branch).  To talk more about partnering or collaborating, please contact Lenore Gallin, Branch Vice President at lgallin@dvc.edu.