AAUW Sacramento – Empowering Women for 100 Years
The 2010s began with the Sacramento branch’s involvement in a landmark case of Title IX in the Mansourian et al v. Regents of California et al. Several women enrolled at UC Davis on wrestling scholarships, but the men’s wrestling coach would not let them compete. They lost their scholarships and began a seven-year litigation, resulting in a partial win. Many of our members supported the women plaintiffs and attended the trial.
We co-sponsored the celebration of women winning the right to vote 100 years prior in California. Women had campaigned for 72 years, and the right was finally granted in 1911. We now are looking forward to the 100-year celebration of the national right to vote. Hopefully, the Equal Rights Amendment will pass this year.
The same year the first local Tech Trek was held at UC Davis with our Lisa Beauchamp as the camp director. They did a wonderful job of organizing, and we continue to send six girls annually. We would send more to this wonderful program if there was space available!
Our first Start Smart presentation was given to a Women’s Studies class at California State University, Sacramento. Our Speech Trek winner won at the state level in 2012, and our branch was represented at state finals several other times throughout the decade, as well.
We have had some very well attended events in these 10 years. Paths to Public Service was presented by Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye and former Secretary of State Debra Bowen. Four amazing experts presented on Human Trafficking in the Sacramento region, what was happening locally, and how the community was responding. Three large productions were fundraisers: Pride and Prejudice, The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Legally Blond. They were a lot of fun and raised money for our local programs. We had a tea honoring 17 past presidents who were present and five of our 18 50-year members.
We have given scholarships to career re-entry women and have been so proud of their success! We funded a $75,000 Sacramento 100th Anniversary Research and project grant and helped complete the $75,000 Alicia Hetman Research and Project Grant. Our members are very generous, as are other branches who contributed.
Part of our membership dues go to the national AAUW organization, and part of their mission is research. In this decade they have published many important studies, including Why so few: Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Women in Community College: Access to Success; Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans; and The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap. Throughout the decade, we have had interesting, well-attended programs on many of these issues.
The interest groups have remained mostly the same with a few starting or ending. Our membership has hovered around 250 with a high of 265, which is considered high both in the state and nationally. We can never take that for granted and need to actively recruit new members to maintain the vibrant organization we all love.