photo of 13 women (including Lilly Ledbetter) surrounding the Kay Ivy, governer of Alabama, seated at a shiny table as she signs a bill. U.S. and Alabama flags in the background.

A Special Letter from AAUW CEO Kim Churches

Dear friends,

This newsletter combines Mission & Action and Membership Matters (our newsletter for branch leaders) to provide a unified message during this time of crisis. We at AAUW are deeply concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on our members, supporters, fellowship alumnae and their families around the world. Your health and safety are our top priority. For those who have been planning conventions and local activities, we fully support you as you make difficult decisions about postponing or cancelling events. Please, follow the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. AAUW is doing the same: Our office, like thousands of others across the country, has switched to mandatory telework for as long as needed. Our team can work with you to find safe alternatives for connecting with your branches, whether that be via teleconference or email. Also, please join me for a member webinar about the impact of the virus on March 24 at 3:00 pm, and weigh in on our short survey on how you’re staying connected.

Our mission to advance equity won’t change; we’ll just adapt how we get there. Our work has never been more relevant. AAUW’s research shows that women stand to lose the most when financial disruptions hit, since they have more debt, lower pay and less retirement savings than men. We’re all in this together. And together, we can make a difference.

Stay healthy,

In Focus

Our Work to Ensure Women’s Financial Futures
As part of our 2020 Gender Policy Agenda, AAUW is pushing for policies that will protect women and their families, including paid leave, access to high-quality health care and stronger Social Security benefits. In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, those priorities are even more urgent. That’s why we’re partnering with other organizations to advocate for paid sick leave for public health emergencies. It’s critical for women to be able to take care of themselves and their loved ones without worrying about a lost paycheck or retaliation from their boss. 

The Status of NCCWSL
The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is currently scheduled May 27-30 at the University of Maryland. AAUW is, of course, monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and committed to ensuring the health of our supporters. We are assessing the situation daily and will post updates on the NCCWSL website as quickly as possible regarding the status of the conference. Please stay tuned.


Apply to Be a Member of AAUW’s Board of Directors
Are you are interested in helping guide AAUW’s priorities, exercising your leadership skills and working towards shared goals with other passionate equity advocates? If so, please apply for AAUW’s Board of Directors by March 27. Board members serve three-year terms and can serve up to two consecutive terms.

AAUW Group Exemption Season Opens for IRS Tax Filing 
All AAUW-affiliated entities must file a tax return with the IRS each year. If your annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less, you can file Form 990-N. AAUW can also do this on your behalf if you complete the group exemption form in the Member Services Database, which is available beginning April 16. IRS regulations state that automatic revocation of federal tax-exempt status occurs when an exempt organization fails to file Form 990-N for three consecutive years. Please provide your information to ensure your Form 990-N is filed in a timely manner.


Kudos to Branches on their 5-Star Program Progress
We’re impressed by the branches making incredible progress in AAUW’s 5-Star Recognition Program! Congratulations to the following branches on their achievement this past month: (California) Marin, Mid-Peninsula, Napa County; (Virginia) Alexandria, Virginia Beach; (Texas) Northeast Tarrant County; (Florida) Daytona Beach; (Pennsylvania) North Hills Pittsburgh, Indiana County; (Washington) Bellingham; (Oregon) Ashland; (Florida) Venice; (Minnesota) Saint Paul; (Michigan) Wyandotte-Downriver; (Illinois) Rock Island-Moline. We look forward to hearing more good news from these branches and others as well!

News and Notes

#AAUWAsks: How Are You Handling the Crisis?
Affiliate leaders, AAUW wants to know: What steps has your branch or state taken in response to COVID-19 in maintaining connectivity and compassion with our members? Take our short survey to weigh in.

Every Voice, Every Vote
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act — two critical milestones in ensuring women’s right to vote. It’s an important time to remember that many individuals, particularly people of color, still face voting suppression. This year, AAUW will strongly advocate for policies that expand and protect people’s voting rights. We encourage branches to integrate this priority into their work too. For example, the AAUW Boise Area Branch has an ongoing voter registration project called What The Vote!, which is targeted to high school and college students. The project’s aims are to teach students how to research candidates and register those of voting age. Since the project's inception in 2018, the branch has registered 5,084 students.

Key Dates
March 24 Webinar with CEO Kim Churches on AAUW and the Impact of the Coronavirus
March 27 Deadline to apply to AAUW Board of Directors
March 31 Equal Pay Day
April 8 Voting opens for AAUW National Election

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