October 25, 2022
Chris Baxter, Executive Director and Founding Editor-in-Chief of Spotlight PA, the largest statewide newsroom in Pennsylvania dedicated to holding the Pennsylvania State government to account. Chris began his career as a local reporter for The Morning Call in Allentown, subsequently worked as a statehouse investigative reporter at The Star-Ledger, received a Knight-Wallace Fellowship in investigative reporting from the University of Michigan, and served as editor for data and investigations at NJ Advance Media. Chris’ work as an investigative reporter and editor has regularly prompted meaningful change in the form of new laws and regulations, criminal investigations, resignations, legislative hearings, and more. He has garnered numerous state and national awards, including the 2014 Livingston Award in Local Reporting, the 2018 Investigative Reporters & Editors Freedom of Information Award, as well as the 2019 Knight Award for Public Service and the 2019 Investigative Data Journalism Award from the Online News Association.
Summary: As executive director, Chris oversees a team of nearly a dozen journalists based in the capital. The mission of Spotlight PA is to hold powerful private and public forces across Pennsylvania, especially governments, businesses and special interests – to account through urgent and compelling investigative journalism that drives change and strengthens our democracy, the state and all who live here. In this program, Chris explains how Spotlight PA got started, how he and his team approach election coverage, the beats assigned to journalists, and what makes the newsroom unique. Of particular interest is how the decimation of the Capitol press corps in the past ten years has led to the rise of misinformation /disinformation/dark money operations, and how Spotlight PA is tackling ‘fake news.’
Communicating Across Generations
October 19, 2022
Jordan Glover is AAUW-PA’s Central District Coordinator. Previously, she served as the AAUW PA DEIB Chair from 2018-2022. Jordan has been involved in AAUW since college, when she was the president of the Penn State student organization. Since joining after college, Jordan has gotten involved nationally on the Inclusion & Equity Committee, and in her local community as the DEI chair, and now Membership Co-Vice President. Professionally, Jordan has extensive experience in large-scale events and campus visits in enrollment management at Penn State. Managing student interns and involvement on the CIVSA (Collegiate Information & Visitor Services Association) national board are professional highlights.
Ajla Laussegger is AAUW-PA’s Diversity and Inclusion Chair. She is passionate about social justice and equality and pursues opportunities to advocate on behalf of marginalized populations. Ajla is Associate General Counsel for Quaker Houghton, a global chemical company headquartered in the Philadelphia area, specializing in a number of legal areas, such as privacy and cybersecurity, environmental law, and labor and employment matters. Ajla received her J.D. at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and also has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo, where she also competed as a heptathlete on a national level. Ajla was a member of the USA Women’s Bobsled Team! Her family immigrated from Bosnia and is married to an Austrian national, which has granted her the ability to travel extensively since childhood.
Summary: Responding to branch needs, this timely and interactive program designed by AAUW-PA’s three District Coordinators and Diversity & Inclusion Chair focuses on learning how to work with generational diversity in your branch and in your outreach. Organizational structure and design, goal setting, and membership communication and support are among the topics discussed by presenters Jordan Glover and Ajla Lausseger. This presentation (approximately 40 minutes) is followed by small group discussions in breakout rooms, which are facilitated by Kathy Quinn (Eastern District Coordinator), Jordan Glover (Central District Coordinator), and Paula Tomko (Western District Coordinator).
Where Do Your State Legislators Stand on AAUW Issues?
September 29, 2022
AAUW PA Public Policy Chair Sandra Miller and Issue Specialists Barbara Price, Ann Pehle and Jacqui Rogers
Summary: You may have heard that there is an election on November 8. All the ads on television and those coming in the mail are focused on the PA Governor and US Senator races. However, there are other races that are just as important if not more so. All the PA House is up for election as is half of the PA Senate (all senators that represent even numbered districts). Our PPC Issue Specialists explain what’s at stake in this election and take a deeper look at incumbent and candidate records or views on issues of concern to AAUW PA: Senate Bill 106 (PA Constitutional Amendment Legislation); Paid Leave; Pay Equity; and, the Living Wage
This program is part of our Mission critical series, which focuses on where our advocacy can make a difference. It’s intended to help members understand PA legislative issues and where their legislators stand on AAUW public policy priorities.
While new to AAUW, Sandra Miller has been involved in the public policy world since her days in the Governor’s office under Governor Thornberg. Her passion for policy and how we as citizens can affect our government has led to many opportunities in education policy over the past 20 years. Currently, Sandra is the Advocacy Coordinator for Education Voters of PA and has been working with the campaign, PA Schools Work, for many years. Newly retired after 16 years as a school director at Saucon Valley School District, she hopes her volunteer time with AAUW will be an asset to the organization and looks forward to working with all the branches and other statewide organizations in fulfilling the mission of AAUW – empowering women through advocacy. A member of Easton and Bethlehem branches, she is ready to support all efforts to engage our members in the coming year.
Pennsylvania Reproductive Rights after Dobbs
August 25, 2022
Resources: Reproductive Rights Resources
Sue J. Frietsche, a senior staff attorney and founder and director of the Women’s Law Project’s Western Pennsylvania office and recently appointed as co-director of the Women’s Law Project, a public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing and defending the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people in Pennsylvania and beyond.
Dr. Sarah Horvath is the Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Keystone, an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State University and a Complex Family Planning sub-specialist. She leads the Family Planning Care and training at Hershey Medical Center, serving as both the Ryan Program Direct and the department Vice Chair of Research.
Summary: Our distinguished speakers explain the current state of abortion rights in Pennsylvania, since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision in June, what we are looking at over the near future and already seeing on the medical frontline as providers, patients and those helping them are impacted. The stress on the provider network in our state, the popular doubt and confusion sowed by Dobbs, the stigma of care, and health disparities are among the critical issues addressed in this extensive discussion. The Q&A which follows is moderated by Barbara Price, who has a long history of advocacy at the state and national levels.
Lifting as We Climb: Our Journey with AAUW
March 29, 2022
Presenters: Dr. Lisette Garcia, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, Penn State University and Dr. Kimberly S. Adams, Professor of Political Science, East Stroudsburg University.
Summary: Our speakers are distinguished in their careers and serve on AAUW’s National Board of Directors. Hear about their passion for AAUW’s mission; history of AAUW involvement; their career journey; and why they think AAUW is relevant and needed today.
follow the money…to school
March 16, 2022
Dr. James Scanlon, retired WCASD superintendent
PA Senator Carolyn Comitta, Chester County
Mr. Lawrence Feinberg, Public Education Advocate, PA Charter Change
Summary: Education is critical to our future. The majority of PA students attend publicly funded schools. These include charter and cyber-charter schools. How are they performing?
How are they funded? Are our tax dollars advancing students and working for us?
Women in Mali — International Women’s Day Presentation
March 8, 2022
Presenter: Mariam Dembele, AAUW Fellow, currently studying for her MBA at the Wharton School
Event Organizers: AAUW Doylestown, AAUW Makefield Area, AAUW Lower Bucks
Summary: Mariam Dembele has five years of experience in investment banking and management consulting in financial services. Her post-MBA goal is to return to West Africa and contribute to accelerating economic growth by working at the intersection of finance and development. She grew up in Bamako, Mali, and earned an undergraduate degree in management at Toulouse School of Business and a master’s degree in finance at Schema Business School in Paris
#Time To Care – Paid Leave
February 24, 2022
Presenter: Marianne Bellesorte, National Implementation Director, Family Values @ Work
Summary: Over the course of our lives, we will all need time to care for ourselves or our loved ones – and they will need #timetocare for us. We must ensure #paidleaveforall is passed so every working person has both the time and money needed to survive. The pandemic highlighted the need for caregivers and families across the nation to have #timetocare for their loved ones and themselves. We do not have paid leave in Pennsylvania or at the Federal level.
The virtual meeting started with the showing of #TimeToCare. This is a 20-minute film that shines a light on the needs faced by working women and men. It is a follow-up to the film Zero Weeks. This portion of the virtual meeting was not recorded.
Following the video, Marianne Bellesorte, the 2017 AAUW PA Gateway to Equity Awardee link for her work on paid leave, will provide an update on legislation and what advocacy steps you can take.
Now is the time to act to ensure that we are the generation that passes #paidleaveforall.
Leadership Development and Membership Growth Start with YOU
February 15, 2022
Presenter: Una Martone, President & CEO of Leadership Harrisburg Area
Summary: AAUW PA members and guests – if you are looking for ready-to-implement strategies for leadership development and membership growth, please join the AAUW-PA District Coordinators on February 15 when we welcome Una Martone, President & CEO of Leadership Harrisburg Area. Una will facilitate an interactive session from 7-8:00 PM. Here’s a little insight into her program – leadership development and membership growth start with YOU. Why are you a member of this organization? Why do you choose to lead? Your WHY will inspire others. Feel free to prepare for this session by watching an 18 minute Ted Talk featuring Simon Sinek at the link below. Everything starts with WHY. https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en
The Status of Women and Politics, A Conversation with Dr. Dana Brown
January 18, 2022
Presenter: Dana Brown, Ph.D., Executive Director, Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University and Assistant Professor of Political Science
Dr. Brown will review the status of women and politics and host a conversation with your observations and questions about why it is important for women to get into politics to effect change at every level.
The Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University was awarded the AAUW Pennsylvania Gateway to Equity Award in 2018.