Thursday, November 29, 2007

Take Action to Correct Elimination of Low Cost Birth Control

Since 1990, drug companies have offered low cost birth control to college health clinics and safety-net providers, making it affordable for the college students and low-income women who rely on it. However, deficit reduction legislation passed by Congress in 2005 which took effect this year inadvertently excluded over 400 clinics from this program.

This means that many women, especially college students, were suddenly and unintentionally excluded from receiving low cost birth control from their local safety-net healthcare provider or university health clinic. Over 3 million undergraduate students have seen their monthly birth control prices skyrocket, from $10 up to $40 or $50.

This sharp rise in the cost of birth control dispensed by college campus health centers and clinics serving low-income women has forced many women to choose between reliable birth control and other necessities. It has also caused many college health clinics to stop providing birth control because they can no longer afford to do so.

Efforts are underway in both the House and the Senate to correct this error. But, the Prevention Through Affordable Access proposal needs public support. You can lend your support by clicking on this link to the Two Minute Activist. (You don't have to be an AAUW member to use this service.)
Photo by Amber Bradley

American Association of University Women - Two Minute Activist:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

LEGAL ADVOCACY FUND: Highlights of our 25 Year History

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Board of Directors votes at the June Convention in Boston, MA for the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund as a two-year pilot program to provide moral and financial support to female plaintiffs in higher education sex discrimination cases. LAF national office staff is an extension of the Public Policy department at AAUW.


AAUW directs the Board of Directors to establish a permanent Legal Advocacy Fund. By 1983, LAF contributed $8,500 to the Cornell 11 (Zahorik, et al. v. Cornell University) and granted support status to two additional cases: Penk, et al. v. Oregon State Board of Higher Education and Haffer v. Temple University.


The LAF Board of Directors initiated Plaintiff Travel Grants with a generous contribution from LAF-supported plaintiff Colleen Roberts (Roberts v. College of the Desert ). These grants fund travel for LAF plaintiffs to speak at state and regional AAUW meetings. Based on the enthusiastic response, LAF continues to make a limited number of Plaintiff Travel Grants each year.


LAF supported its first case to go to the Supreme Court - Lever v. Northwestern University, et al. - a case of denial of tenure based on sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964.


LAF Update begins as a single page article in the winter issue of AAUW Outlook.


LAF recognizes Lani Guinier as its first Speaking Out for Justice honoree at the AAUW June Convention in Los Angeles, CA.

Lani Guinier's 1993 nomination as assistant attorney general for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Justice was withdrawn in a climate of intense controversy. Guinier argued that the existing legal education program in our country serves neither the needs of current students nor the legal profession.

LAF continues to present this award biennially during the AAUW Convention to those who have made a significant contribution to the betterment and well-being of women and whose focus of achievement agrees with the AAUW mission and that of LAF.


LAF makes headlines with Brzonkala v. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, et al. , a landmark rape case that went to the Supreme Court. Brzonkala sued for sexual harassment under Title IX and also for disparate treatment.


LAF releases A License for Bias: Sex Discrimination, Schools and Title IX , a publication issued to dispel the belief that Title IX is a sports equity law and to determine the effectiveness of the current legislation.


AAUW launches Network News, an online publication where LAF network attorneys and experts provide case updates.


LAF and the AAUW Educational Foundation release a joint research report: Tenure Denied: Cases of Sex Discrimination in Academia


LAF supports its 100th case, having provided over $1.3 million in funding for its plaintiffs.

LAF supports its first male case to go to the Supreme Court - Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education. This case is based on sex discrimination and retaliation under Title IX.


LAF supported plaintiff, Dr. Janet Conney is awarded $4 million from her sex discrimination suit against the Regents of the University of California. Conney had sued the university, along with three former male colleagues, for sexual harassment, retaliation, and pay inequity.

For additional information see

Thursday, November 15, 2007

11/15/07: Rembrandt lecture

On 11/15, Bernard Greenwald, art professor at Bard College, gave an informal lecture to a good-sized, receptive audience on how to view Rembrandt's work. The talk, held upstairs at the Kingston Library at 55 Franklin Street, was sort of a "sneak preview" for those who went on the 12/13 trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Greenwald gave a brief history of Rembrandt's life, showed us many examples of Rembrandt's artwork, and also some of his own.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

11/13/07: literary group discussed Stones From the River

On 11/13/07, the literary group met upstairs at the Kingston Library at 55 Franklin Street to discuss Ursula Hegi's book Stones From the River.
Virginia Kohli gave us some background history and information about the author.

Two Minute Activist - Support the Higher Ed Reauthorization Bill

"Thanks to the hard work of AAUW members and coalition partners, we are pleased to announce that the House version of the bill addresses many of the priorities that AAUW has been working on for years to make the dream of a higher education a reality for more women." -- LAF

Take a minute to urge our representatives to support the College Opportunity and Affordability Act.

The House version of the bill incorporates several of our AAUW priorities:
  • Graduate fellowships that will help diversify university faculty
  • Studies of both the gender and other biases in standardized testing and gender and racial equity among senior faculty
  • Campaign to expand the qualified pool of individuals in STEM fields
  • Financial aid for non-traditional students
  • Expand the definition of hate crimes on campus to parallel that used by the FBI
  • Increased support for campus child care programs

Clicking this link will take you to the AAUW Two-Minute Activist page that makes it really easy to send elected officials a message. (You don't have to be an AAUW member.) So, do it now!

American Association of University Women - Two Minute Activist:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bernadette Carpino -- Dedicated AAUW Historian

Bernie joined AAUW in 1972 when she was teaching first grade. AAUW gave her an opportunity to interact with big people from other fields. She has always found the programs and projects to be stimulating.

Now retired, she loves reading and gardening. She's passionate about nature and the environment. She has twin grand-daughters, now thirteen, who live in Virginia. Bernie looks forward to the time they spend with her each year.

As branch historian, Bernie has written some wonderful articles for our newsletter that we hope to publish here on the blog. She keeps up our scrap books and continues to work on our oral history. She notes that she finds the social aspect of AAUW as important as AAUW's commitment to education.