AAUW and Diversity Equity Inclusion
November 11, 2021
Presenter: Melissa Ingram, the National Chair for the Inclusion and Equity Committee
Summary: Melissa earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Prior to that, Dr. Ingram completed her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hawaii Pacific University, in Honolulu, HI, and her master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH. She currently serves as the Department Director, Theories and Principles of Adult Learning, Squadron Officer School at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Dr. Ingram will provide updates on what the national committee is working on, the four goals of the committee, and how they changed from last year to this year. She would also like to have an open forum and feedback session. She wants to know what the state needs to help with our DEI goals.
Paid Family Leave Workshop
November 17, 2021
Presenter: Karen Showalter, a dynamic speaker from MomsRising (https://www.momsrising.org/),
Organizer: AAUW State College
Summary: With the increased unemployment due to COVID 19, the pressing need for paid family leave has become more evident. Most developed countries have guaranteed paid annual leave but in the United States only 10% of workers have access to this through their employers, while all others are on their own. What happens if they have a seriously ill child or parent, their spouse is deployed, etc.? The workshop provided lots of important information and engaged listeners in an interactive exercise.
Increasing and Retaining Membership — It’s an all-member project
October 14, 2021
Moderator: Sue Johnston, Central District Coordinator
Kim Glavin Membership Chair, West Chester-Chester County
Virginia Mauk Membership Co-Chair, Carlisle
Peggy Eyer Membership Chair, Indiana County
Susan Wheatley Branch Website Manager, Indiana County
Summary: Membership matters. We all hear that, and know it is true for the health of our branch. We don’t focus enough on retention and growth, which is where we can improve.
A panel of membership chairs from branches that have been successful in increasing and maintaining membership will present what they have done that works. There will be time for your questions. AAUW Pennsylvania Membership VP, Randi Blauth, will be available to answer questions.
All members are encouraged to attend, because branch membership growth is everyone’s responsibility.
Pay Equity and Domestic Violence
September 29, 2021
Presenters: Aishwarya Sinha, Prevention Specialist, and Kristen Herman, Director of Prevention, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Summary: A woman who works full-time in the United States earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This difference translates to an average loss of 530,000 dollars over the course of a woman’s lifetime. This wage gap has several negative impacts on women, both economically and on their health. Many of these negative impacts are also known risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV).
Pay equity in turn can improve women’s access to education and opportunities, which will increase the economic and social empowerment of women. Eliminating the wage gap will lead to women being viewed as more valuable in society, ultimately reducing the risk factors for IPV. This presentation aims to explore the gender wage gap, the common myths, and trends behind the gap, how it impacts a person’s likelihood of experiencing risk factors for IPV and theorizes how these connections might form. The presentation will also look at potential action steps aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap and IPV.
Understanding Pennsylvania’s School Funding Lawsuit
May 18, 2021
Presenters: Susan Spicka, Executive Director Education Voters PA; Paul Socolar, the communications director from the Education Law Center; attorney from the Public Interest Law Center.
Summary: Get a behind the scenes, insider’s perspective, of the lawsuit filed in 2014 by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and Education Law Center- PA on behalf of individuals, school districts and organizations, making the complaint that the funding system in Pennsylvania is not only wrong, it violates the state Constitution. The webinar provides general information about the lawsuit and be an opportunity AAUW members to hear directly from attorneys in the case about opportunities to support the lawsuit in their communities.
This is important because throughout Pennsylvania, our schools have not received adequate and equitable funding to meet our children’s educational needs. But our Constitution says, “The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” The state government is breaking its own law, underfunding our schools by billions of dollars, and our kids are suffering.
AAUW Pennsylvania cares because as stated in the AAUW Pennsylvania strategic plan, we advocate to support a quality system of public education, and one component is support for a fair and adequately funded system of public education.
$15 Minimum Wage: Who Needs It & Why Should I Care ?
April 14, 2021
Presenter: Jackie Rogers, AAUW Pennsylvania Public Policy Co-Chair
Summary: Minimum wage in Pennsylvania is the lowest allowable by federal law and has been $7.25 for over 12 years. There is nowhere in Pennsylvania, or anywhere else in the country, where a single person can live on $15,080 a year. Every state surrounding Pennsylvania has a higher minimum wage and more than 70% of PA voters are in favor of raising the minimum wage.
So, why haven’t voters been heard ? Jacqui answered this question and how this affects us all. She shared the latest economic data, the myths about minimum wage, and current legislation to make the minimum wage a livable wage in Pennsylvania.
Thermal Radiation of Worlds Beyond our Solar System
March 10, 2021
Presenter: Jennifer Carter, assistant professor of physics at Susquehanna University, won a research publication grant from AAUW.
Event Sponsor: Huntingdon AAUW and Juniata College
Summary: The presentation focused on how we can describe the temperature distribution of exoplanets using their emitted light.
Since we can now detect the presence of planets orbiting distant stars, we want to determine as many details of them as possible. Planets orbiting far-away stars mirror the planets of our solar system, but many do not match our previous expectations. For example, the first exoplanets discovered orbit their host stars in less than 3 days whereas the orbit of Mercury is 88 days in length. Since these first discoveries, we have launched several missions to study exoplanets using a variety of techniques.
In this talk, Carter focused on one technique that offers the opportunity to detect light emitted directly by the exoplanet, including thermal light. Like a hot iron, closely orbiting exoplanets are hot enough to glow with visible light. As instrumental precision increases, we will require more accurate models of this thermal radiation. After reviewing current methods of modeling thermal radiation, Carter introduced her new model and compare how well each model explains data gathered from exoplanet systems under different conditions.
The Humanist Omniscient Narrator or the Voice of Reason in Chedid’s Works
February 18, 2021
Presenter: Mireille Rebeiz, assistant professor of Francophone Studies and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Dickinson College; AAUW Fellowship Recipient.
Event Sponsor: Huntingdon AAUW and Juniata College
Summary: Mireille Rebeiz, will discuss the role of the omniscient narrator in Andrée Chedid’s works La Maison sans Racine and Le Message.
The omniscient narrator is the most contested literary voice in literature. Abandoned in contemporary literature as outdated, it is a “morally suspect” voice that acts like God, that pretends to have a deep knowledge of human nature, and that has a privileged access to all the protagonists’ thoughts and actions, irrespective of time and space.
Despite these problems, Andrée Chedid’s La Maison sans Racine and Le Message are told by an omniscient narrator who stands at equal distance from all protagonists, irrespective of their gender, socio-economic status or political affiliation, monopolizing the narrative voice and silencing the belligerent voices. The narrator depicts the Lebanese civil war from a “decolonized” humanist point of view.
Drawing on a wide range of critical theory, particularly Genette and Barthes, Rebeiz argues that the negative traits for which the omniscient voice have been abandoned are sought traits in narratives dealing with war and gender inequalities, where the narrative voice plays the role of moralist, reminding protagonists and readers of our shared human values.