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The American Association of University Women (AAUW) was founded in 1881. Its national membership of 170,000 seeks to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

The Kansas City Branch of AAUW was founded in 1893 to provide meaningful projects to support the education and equity of women and girls locally.

In principle and practice, AAUW values and seeks diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or class.


cedawDo you want to end gender discrimination in the Kansas City area? Close the wage gap between men and women? Stop gender-based violence and prevent domestic homicides? Adopting CEDAW—U.N. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women — as local law has been proven to address all these issues and more.

Gail James and Alice Kitchen will be our special guests on November 10 (Minsky’s Pizza on Main) to speak about their efforts on bringing the “100 Cities for CEDAW” initiative to Kansas City.  History of CEDAW: In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed CEDAW, but the U.S. Senate has never ratified it. In 1995, 40 municipalities, 20 counties and 15 states passed resolutions endorsing CEDAW ratification. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, these resolutions have made a measurable difference in public safety, budgetary allocations, employment, pay equity, and more. Learn how we can join this effort right here in Kansas City!

We will gather at 6 p.m. to enjoy a pizza and salad supper.  Program is from 6:45-7:30 p.m. with Q&A following. Dinner/Program $15. Mail your check by Tuesday, November 3, payable to AAUW-KC: Cities for Cedaw, 4428 Harrison St., Kansas City, MO 64110. Questions? Email spedram45@kc.rr.com.

Thorpe Menn Event Celebrates 26 Local Authors

Over 100 authors and guests gathered at the Kansas City Central Library for the 37th annual thorpemenn2015Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award in early October. The award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn, longtime book editor of The Kansas City Star, who supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially local authors and artists.

The 2015 Literary Excellence Award was presented to Barbara Stuber for her book Girl In Reverse. The other two finalists included Arlin Buyert for “Oh Say Can You See” and Alarie Tennille, Running Counterclockwise. Congratulations to all of the 26 nominated authors!

AAUW-KC honored Vivien Jennings, founder and president of Rainy Day Books, for over a decade of generous support of the Thorpe Menn Award.  Special thanks to keynote speaker Maija Rhee Devine, noted Korean-born author and 2014 Thorpe Menn winner, and all of our table hostesses and volunteers.

We are already making plans for the 38th event in October 2016. If you want to nominate an author, email thorpemenn@gmail.com or go to the Thorpe Menn page under “Events” for official rules and guidelines.

Exciting Close to Equal Rights Action Day

equalpayrallyAfter a morning of meetings, inspiring speakers and marching, we set about as citizens’ lobbyists to visit with legislators. We distributed copies of AAUW’s booklet, The Simple Truth, while requesting their support to close the gender pay gap. To our surprise, we learned of the convening Senate committee hearing. We attended and witnessed bill SB 144 Equal Pay Legislation pass out of committee. The bill will next move to the floor of the Senate for debate.

aauwequalpaypicsSB 144 requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to establish guidelines relating to gender pay equality. Once this bill becomes law, we women’s advocates will push for an amendment stipulating penalties to be applied to employers in violation.

Equal Pay Legislation is on the move in Missouri! What more fitting close to an exciting, productive day at the Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.

While our AAUW sisters were in Jefferson City, Patti Jackowicz and Winnie Weinrich went to UMKC to help set up for an Equal Pay Day event on campus in the Miller Nichols Library. Each of the four participating sponsors met with students and explained their connection and commitment to fighting the gender pay gap. Of the 139 students who visited our booth, 110 of them signed up to receive more information about AAUW and the free student membership. We have since followed up with these new young contacts and look forward to them joining us soon!

Two Annual Events Award Education Scholarships to Local Women and High School Senior Girls

REENTRY2015On April 11 the Kansas City InterBranch Council presented the annual Reentry Scholarship Award to six outstanding women who returned to the college classroom after an absence of five or more years. While all applicants were very worthy candidates, these six women best exemplified the courage and personal resolve to overcome significant barriers to pursue their academic, career and life goals.

2015 KC-IBC Reentry Award Recipients: Cyrillian Ayoola, Nursing, Penn Valley; Natalia Zanders, Sociology-Family Studies, UMKC; Jennifer Christine Clark, Social Work, Park University; and Susanne Johnson, Social Psychology, Park University; Toni Thornton Award Recipients: Aubrey Kent, Radiology, Blue River; and Johnique A. Jordan, Business Management, Park University/Longview Community College.

100HSGIRLS2015The annual 100 High School Girls celebration was held on Sunday, April 19 at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center in Kansas City. This event sponsored by the AAUW-KC branch honored metro area senior girls who participated in an essay competition. Their submissions focused on academic goals, leadership experience, and volunteer work.

In attendance, along with the high school young ladies, were family members and friends, school representatives, and AAUW members.

These young women were recognized for their accomplishments and received certificates. The following girls received $1,000 scholarships to the college or university in which they are enrolled: Mi Dohn, East High School; Hannah Wilczewski, Southwest Early College Campus; and Shereese Brown, Ruskin High School.

The guest speaker was Dr. Marjorie Williams, a former superintendent of the Hickman Mills School District and a well-known educator – she gave an inspirational presentation about opportunities for young women as they attempt to reach their educational and life goals.


Special thanks to the 100 High School Girls committee for their dedication in making this annual event such a great success!