AAUW Asheville is an affiliate of the national organization American Association of University Women (AAUW), which is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since its founding in 1881, AAUW (link to AAUW.org) members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW Asheville participates in these areas by working toward improvements to meet the needs of the female community of Asheville and Buncombe County by focusing on the current AAUW priorities of 1) Education and training, 2) Economic security, and 3) Leadership.
AAUW, is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization that through donations awards $4,000,000 annually in fellowships and grants to support 259 women and nonprofit organizations. AAUW is comprised of 170,000 members and supporters, 1,000 local branches, and 800 college and university members.
AAUW Asheville was founded on March 27, 1915, by sixteen local women with college degrees who met and established the Western Carolina Branch of the Southern Association of College Women. Through combining with other women’s groups, this became AAUW.
AAUW Asheville identifies with and adheres to the mission, vision, values , and diversity statement of AAUW:
Mission : To advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy.
Vision: Equity for all
Values: Nonpartisan, Fact-based, Integrity, Inclusion and intersectionality
In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks an inclusive membership, workforce, leadership team, and board of directors. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geographical location, national origin, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
Membership requirements and an application can be found at (link Join AAUW tab)
The branch meetings, which include a community speaker and a short business meeting, are held monthly. This is an opportunity to meet and greet other members and find out what is going on in AAUW Asheville. (link to Programs tab)
Part of the success of AAUW Asheville are the Special Interest Groups (SIGs). This format of smaller group settings allows connection with other members with like interests, fostering socialization and networking. (link to SIG’s)
Collaboration with The GEM Fund
AAUW Asheville works closely with our sister AAUW affiliate, The GEM Fund, in fundraising for scholarships for AB Tech and UNCAsheville female students whose education has been delayed or interrupted. For the 2019-2020 academic year, GEM has awarded sufficient funds for 15 scholarships to UNCAsheville and AB Tech female students. (link to GEM)
A monthly branch newsletter is sent to all members and is available on the website (link to Newsletter tab) There is a website members-only section with access to the membership directory, Bylaws, and AAUW Asheville Board of Directors’ meeting minutes. Branch meetings provide the opportunity for updates and questions for members and a chance for prospective members to get to know the people and priorities of AAUW Asheville (link to Programs)
SEE WHAT OUR MEMBERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT AAUW ASHEVILLE
“When I moved here 15 years ago, I was a stranger with no friends. My first AAUW encounter brought me into a room full of smart, savvy women and I was a stranger no more. This group continues to keep me thinking and caring and laughing.”
”As a longtime activist for the Equal Rights Amendment, I appreciate the AAUW’s steadfast support for the ERA at the branch and national levels. Our members know how important it is to have equal rights for women and men enshrined in the US Constitution.” In sisterhood, Robbie
“I’ve met more women that I enjoy spending time with by joining the Asheville branch than I ever imagined. I was not a “joiner” for years – too busy with work and family – and although I still consult I am deliberate in making time for both the branch and friends. They are both an invaluable part of my life!” From Susan Ikerd