Indiana AAUW
Last updated September 23, 2001; comments to

Indiana Bulletin
~Winter 2002~
Vol. 68, no. 2

The Challenge of Change
[from our 
Regional Director]
Legal Advocacy Liaison – Elected or Appointed?
Calling all Editors
Get Excited – Get Three New Members
Preview – State Convention 2002 [need a ride???]
Gun Violence and Herstory Addressed by Association Convention Delegates
Exposure of AAUW
Progress in Equity Award
Book of the Month Club ¡Adelante! Style
Women and Children in Need
Remember Amanda Way?
Three Branches Awarded Trailblazing Grants
 Northern Illinois University Faces Sexual Harassment and Hostile Working Environment Charges


The Challenge of Change


Delinda Chapman, 
Great Lakes Regional Director

77 Cottage Grove, Springfield, IL 62707, (217) 529-9330;

September 11, 2001 has changed us, our world and will even change AAUW in ways we have yet to understand. Whatever is happening in our world will have an impact on what we are about. This is not the first time that AAUW members have been faced with similar challenges. Over our 120 years of existence, AAUW struggled through WWI and WWII, the Korean and Vietnamese wars, and the Cold War. Reviewing AAUW’s history, we find that in 1922 AAUW supported the progressive reduction of world armaments. In 1927, AAUW supported the ratification by the Senate of the prohibition of the use in war of asphyxiating poisonous or other gases and bacteriological methods of warfare. In 1935, AAUW favored federal control of the manufacture of and traffic in arms and munitions. In 1947, AAUW favored the drafting of women. In 1971, AAUW opposed the military use of new chemical and biological agents, and supported the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Southeast Asia war. In 1977, AAUW supported international cooperation in punishing terrorists. And, in 1983, AAUW supported the establishment of an U.S. Academy of Peace. So, whatever stance AAUW takes in this new challenge in world affairs, I have no doubt that it will be in keeping with past practices attending to positive societal change, tolerance and understanding.

One immediate change the AAUW Board of Directors is addressing is the restructuring of the board from 21 to 12 members approved at the June 2001 convention in Austin, TX. This change is a major one for AAUW. Planned changes, such as this one, can be as challenging to an organization as unplanned changes. I had carried around in my briefcase since the June convention the new Change Management Tool Kit expecting to read it any day. But, as I moved from project to project, I kept putting it off. Then in preparation for my meeting in October with the Wisconsin board, I read the Change Management Tool Kit. What an eye-opener it is! It changed my thinking in just one reading. It refocused my approach to the Association board restructuring. I am ready to make the best of this situation, be creative in defining roles and responsibilities of the Regional Directors, committee chairs and the new appointed directors-at-large. The Change Management Tool Kit is useful in reminding individuals, committees and boards that we can change and we will survive. Change is growth and from all the changes we have been experiencing, we as individuals and as an organization will grow from the changes and we will prosper and flourish.

Membership is another challenge we all face. For the past few years we have seen many of our branch numbers decline. The Change Management Tool Kit suggests we need to shift our thinking from what it has been to what it might be by making shifts in our vocabulary, our mode of planning, our activities, our partners, our image, our technology, our revenue sources, and yes, our governance and our member profile. Change in this instance doesn’t need to mean less. Like the stock market, we can and will rally. Our challenge is always to be growing. I’d love to see each branch set a goal to increase membership. I think one new member per month per branch is achievable. Pick up the Change Management Tool Kit, shift your thinking and revise your goals.

One aspect of the organization that has not yet changed is the Great Lakes Regional Conference. If you find comfort in tradition, be sure to attend the Great Lakes conference in Grand Rapids, MI in June 2002. It will be as exciting as always with something for all people inside and outside the AAUW organization. Bring a friend. This may be one way to sell a prospective member on AAUW. There’s nothing quite like an AAUW conference to stir one to action. Watch for more information in the next issue of the Indiana Bulletin.

In thinking about change, let me quote Jacqueline Woods from the Change Management Tool Kit in saying, "Join us on this exciting journey to find a new AAUW and a new legacy that would make our foremothers proud."

Gun Violence and Herstory Addressed by 

Association Convention Delegates

AAUW reiterated its stance on gun violence when convention delegates passed a resolution to promote the prevention of gun violence.

AAUW will promote the establishment of meaningful gun violence prevention in the United States by encouraging states and branches to initiate discussion in their communities and to contact lawmakers on the issue. It took 70 years for the statue of Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to be hauled from the crypt to the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. And we’re still waiting for one statue there to depict an African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian American woman. AAUW will support legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (IL CD7) to have a statue of a woman who is NOT of European origin placed in the U.S. Capitol building. According to many Native Americans – not to mention Webster’s dictionary - "squaw" is a disparaging term. The word often referred to women who weren’t deemed good enough to be called wife, women who were considered property of their male partner, or prostitutes.

These resolutions were passed at the 2001 Association Convention in Austin, Texas.

Three Branches Awarded 

Trailblazing Grants

The Indiana Board of Directors awarded Trailblazing Grant monies to the Anderson, Goshen, and Madison/Hanover branches. Each has a project they would like to pursue and the state is pleased to assist them financially.

Anderson’s project is to assist branch member Margaret Ross in her endeavor of teaching women in India to sew, knit, embroider, and other similar skills thereby enabling them to better care for their families and provide a source of income. Margaret spends time each summer there and takes sewing machines, irons, and ironing boards along with other supplies with her. The branch received $250 from the state for help with this project.

The Goshen branch is hosting a speaker at their April 2002 meeting whose presentation will be "Bullying, Teasing, and Harassment in Schools." The program will be open to the public and nearby AAUW branches will be invited. They were awarded $150 of grant monies.

Madison/Hanover wants to attract younger members to AAUW by beginning a Summer Networking Program for young women. The focus will be college students home for the summer and recent high school graduates. The program will include guest speakers, field trips to area colleges to encourage the high school graduates to pursue further education, support groups for those returning to college each fall, and contact throughout the year. This branch received $500 to use toward their endeavor.

These are all very worthwhile projects and deserve our support. We’ll be hearing more about each as their plans develop and the events take place.

Book of the Month Club ¡Adelante! Style

AAUW recommends the following books:

December – Saffron Sky: A Life Between Iran and America, by Gelareh Asayesh

Description: To have the spiritual culture of the East and the material luxuries of the West may seem like paradise, but Asayesh has spent her life trying to acclimate herself to such a situation--to be accepted in St. Petersburg, Florida, and to retain the language, religion, rituals, and ceremonies of Iran. As a girl and young woman, Asayesh longed to be considered cultivated and Western as opposed to the Eastern stereotype of backward and primitive. Now, in her thirties and a mother of two, she has maintained an Iranian culture within an American home. Asayesh reveals not only the prejudice she has faced in the U.S., but she explains how Iranians view their culture as inferior to that of the West. Asayesh draws from her childhood during the Shah's reign to objectively compare life in Iran before and after the 1978 revolution. She is even critical of herself. This emotional biographical journey is Asayesh's reclaiming of her heritage, a part of herself that she abandoned years ago. It is politically and historically informative and will help bridge the gap between East and West for many readers.

January – For Crying Out Loud: Women’s Poverty in the United States, edited by Diane Dujon and Ann Withorn

Description: Shifting between personal testimony and academic inquiry, these essays vividly explore the links between all women and connect families who draw public funds with those who don't. By addressing self-defeating actions as well as cultural conditions that strip away options, the book helps defuse certain arguments aimed against welfare activists. Homelessness, single motherhood, battering, immigration, and building coalitions are among the issues discussed.

February – Possessing the Secret of Joy, by Alice Walker

Description: {From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Mary Hope Whitehead Lee} Through intense character development, innovative plot structure, and dazzling manipulation of point of view, Possessing the Secret of Joy attacks the practice of female genital mutilation and the mythologies various cultures use to sustain this horrific practice. Well into her adolescence, Tashi chooses to have a clitorectomy -"the only remaining definitive stamp of Olinka tradition" - to help ensure the solidarity and preservation of her African tribe. She almost dies, but she survives and marries. It is only later that she comprehends the full implications of what has happened to her and is filled with a desire for revenge. While many would abhor the action she takes, it ultimately frees her. In Tashi's living and bedroom, with medical doctors and on a psychiatrists' couches, in tribal villages and in an African jail and courtroom, Tashi works to understand and overcome her pain and rage. The novel is witnessed through Tashi, her husband and son, other family members, acquaintances, friends, and enemies. Tashi's suffering is neither silent nor singular; that "mutilation," "enslavement," "the domination of women," and "the collaboration of our mothers" constitute the unholiest of alliances can no longer be denied after one experiences Alice Walker's telling of Tashi's tale. This is a "magical journey," an initiation into ways of knowing, and an indictment of all that is cruel.

March – Pretty in Punk: Girls’ Gender Resistance in a Boys’ Subculture, by Lauraine Leblanc

Description: Wendy Simonds, author of Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic and Women and Self-Help Culture:  Pretty in Punk is cutting-edge feminist and cultural studies research....The stories [Leblanc] relates offer inspirational evidence of rebellion against stereotypical gender arrangements--of girls empowering themselves in unique ways.

Kathleen Blee, professor of sociology and director of women's studies, University of Pittsburgh, and author of Women of the Klan:  The author's first-person accounts of her life as a punk girl are particularly effective at bringing her analysis of punk girls to life... Original and very insightful. Each book relates to a different group of people and encourages each of us to view things from a different perspective than we may have now.

Read these yourself and/or form a group to discuss them. Everyone can benefit from the exchange of ideas.

Note about descriptions: all came from if you haven't used the online book vendors, try them. listings often include not only a description of the book [or other item], but also, professional reviews, reader reviews, tables of contents, even multi-page excerpts!] 

Legal Advocacy Liaison – 

Elected or Appointed?

Susan Wahls, 
corresponding secretary

The Indiana Board of Directors at its July 2001 meeting voted to change the position of Legal Advocacy Liaison from appointed to elected. Therefore, the following bylaws change is proposed and will be voted upon at our annual meeting at the state convention April 19-21, 2002. The changes are shown in italic.


Section I. Elected Officers, Appointed Officers. The elected officers of this state shall include a Director of Membership, Director of Finance, Director of Educational Foundation and Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) Liaison to be elected in even-numbered years, and a President-elect, Director of Programs, Secretary, and Director of Public Policy in odd-numbered years. Appointed officers shall include a Director of College/University Relations, Director of Communications, Parliamentarian, Issue Chair(s) and Director of Diversity Affairs. Appointments are to be made by the incoming president and approved by the elected officers following their election and prior to July 1.


Section 1. Composition. The board of directors shall include President, President-Elect, Director of Program, Director of Membership, Director of Finance, Secretary, Director of Public Policy, Director of Diversity Affairs, Director of College/University Relations, Director of Communications, Director of Educational Foundation, Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) Liaison, Issue Chair/Chairs, and Parliamentarian.

Note: Education Foundation is also changed to Educational Foundation in both paragraphs.

Exposure of AAUW

Mitzi Witchger, director of public policy for Indiana AAUW and president of the Indianapolis branch, shows us all how to gain public exposure of AAUW. She writes letters to the editor which are published in the Indianapolis Star, she has written articles as a guest editor for that same publication, and was featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal in September 2001, re: Why I’m a Member column.

You can do the same. Write articles on issues of interest to AAUW to your newspaper. Respond to local events and other letters to the editor when they address AAUW’s priorities – or on any occasion when women, girls, or equal education are the topic.

Help get out the word about AAUW and its work – and perhaps you’ll boost your local membership as well!

Northern Illinois University Faces Sexual Harassment and Hostile Working Environment Charges

The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) agreed to provide financial support to the case of Susan Whittaker v. Northern Illinois University. Whittaker alleges sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and claims she was regularly harassed by her coworkers and treated differently based on her gender. She was one of the only females in building services.

"How the university treats women in all departments and divisions characterizes that institution’s commitment to equity," said LAF President Sylvia Newman. "Northern Illinois University must take the proper steps to prevent hostile working environments for women and change the climate on campus." The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund has awarded $10,000 to Whittaker’s case.

In 1988, Whittaker was hired at Northern Illinois University as a building service worker or janitorial worker. She worked under different male supervisors and received above average performance reviews until she complained of the harassment. She was subjected to sexual advances and derogatory remarks made by her supervisors and male colleagues. Whittaker reported the harassment to union authorities and university administrators. Her complaints were not addressed. Rather, she was continuously assigned to work with two of the men that she had reported. As a result, she was subjected to increased surveillance and arduous tasks that were against her union agreement.

Despite other faculty members’ positive comments of Whittaker’s "cheery demeanor," her performance evaluations described her as "not getting along with others and resisting changes in her assignments."

Because of the hostile environment, Whittaker took a leave of absence in May of 1999. Soon thereafter, her job was posted without her knowledge. She then filed her lawsuit against Northern Illinois University alleging sex discrimination under Title VII.

Since 1981 LAF has helped students faculty and administrators challenge discriminatory practices involving harassment denial of tenure or promotion and aid for women’s athletics programs. LAF has provided more than $700,000 in financial support – plus thousands in technical assistance – for 65 lawsuits. AAUW is the nation’s leading advocate for education and equity for women and girls.

Get Excited – 
Get Three New Members
Treva May
director of membership

The more we get excited about something, the more we will talk about the excitement. Your excitement rubs off on someone. This is a way to get new members for AAUW. Anyone who comes within three feet of you should hear about AAUW. Exciting things are happening in AAUW. Please get involved. Watch for events that are coming soon, locally and statewide. Invite someone to attend these events with you. Who knows what will happen. One-to-one works best.

Here are initiatives to help you. First, if you get someone to join at the time of your event, they need only pay half the Association dues. If two people join at the same time, they pay $20 each for Association dues (again half). Of course, the state and local dues will need to be paid. The branch can earn a membership to be used to honor someone or get a new member, or use it however they wish.

The second initiative is one you can probably use easier. It is the Give a Grad a Gift program. I am sure you know someone who has recently graduated or soon will. Give them a membership in AAUW. She (or he) will be a member-at-large until state and local dues are paid. There is no cost to you. I believe some branches also give those members local membership. You must use AAUW’s website to sign someone up for this program. You only need their name, address, degree, and a couple of other small details. This must be done prior to February 1, 2002. The program will begin again about May 15, 2002 for spring graduates. If you don’t have Internet access, send me the information and I’ll be glad to do it for you.

Remember, I give a gift to every new member. If you recruit someone, I give you a gift. My ESP doesn’t work well enough for me to know who you are. I do have a mailbox, a telephone, and e-mail. Please let me know who you are!

If we all work at the job of recruiting members, I am sure we can recruit 150 new members this year. That is a 10% increase.

I understand the word is out that I am recruiting a new member whom I talked to at Taco Bell. Yes, I believe in the three-foot rule.

Let our actions show that we believe in AAUW.

Calling all Editors

The state will sponsor a branch newsletter contest for the 2002-03 fiscal year. Categories will be based on number of branch members. The award term will be newsletters published from August 2002 until April 1, 2003 and three copies of each issue must be submitted to the state newsletter editor.

The criteria will be determined and published in the next issue of the Indiana Bulletin. Suggestions will be entertained and should be sent to the state newsletter editor. Anyone wishing to serve as a judge should so inform the state newsletter editor.

So, get out your pen, pencil, or keyboard and participate – with your ideas, as a judge, or as your branch newsletter editor. Let’s see how many great newsletters really are out there – and receive an award in the process!

P.S. This is also a great way to share ideas – so keep an eye out for the determining criteria. Awards will be presented at the 2003 state convention and the winning issues will be on display.

Mitzi Witchger
director of public policy

The Public Policy Impact Grant awarded to Indiana AAUW and nine other states keeps me busy working on the various strategies to improve our participation in political advocacy. One strategy we are working on: We hope that by developing a letter to send to Indiana AAUW Members-at-Large (MAL) we will attract many of these MALs to join a local branch or to create a new one: such as a branch in Bloomington, Lafayette, or another city near you where there are a good number of MALs.

Please get the e-mail addresses of your branch members to me so I can add them to the Indiana AAUW Public Policy list. Members can opt out if they don’t want to receive pertinent and timely information about AAUW’s education information on national issues, and their request for individual advocacy by members. My e-mail address is

The state convention in April will have a public policy component. Read more about it in the spring Indiana Bulletin.

Watch for news about forums that are in the works from the Impact Grant award. One on "how to be a more effective advocate for issues that are important to you" is being planned for the Indiana’s Capitol Women come to the Capitol day during the 2002 Indiana General Assembly this winter. AAUW is pleased to be working on this event with the Indiana Commission for Women.

Remember our APPLEs: A=AAUW, P=Public Policy, L=Leadership, E=Expertise.

Progress in Equity Award

Each year the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund’s Progress in Equity (PIE) Award recognizes a college or university program that has resulted in significant progress for women on campus. Recipients receive a stipend of up to $10,000 and public recognition throughout their communities, campus, and AAUW.

Programs nominated for the award must –

The PIE Award has recognized efforts in these areas: AAUW members and nonmembers can nominate programs by filling out a nomination form available at, or by calling 202-785-7719. Entries must be received by March 15.
Remember Amanda Way?

One hundred fifty years ago a 22-year-old woman named Amanda Way introduced a resolution at a January 1851 Congregational Friends Meeting in Greensboro, Indiana, calling for Indiana’s first woman’s rights convention. The convention was held October 14-15, 1851 in Dublin, Indiana.

Amanda Way was an agent on the Underground Railroad, the first woman in the country licensed to preach in the Episcopal Methodist Church, the first woman Grand Templar of the Knights of Templar National Lodge, and a Temperance leader. After her rousing speech in 1851, Indiana had one of the first statewide woman’s rights organizations in the country. She served as a battlefield nurse during the Civil War and afterwards led the Indiana Suffrage Rights Association.

Indiana Women’s History Archives, an affiliate of the Indiana Historical Society, celebrated the sesquicentennial of woman’s rights in Indiana with a reenactment of this first convention. Citizens from all over the state gathered once again in Dublin on October 6, 2001to vote on the original resolutions and enjoy an old-fashioned picnic.

(Information courtesy of Jill Chambers, Indianapolis branch)

Preview – 
State Convention 2002

Visit and enjoy historic West Baden Springs and French Lick. Take part in AAUW’s learning, networking, and social events. All this and more you’ll find on April 19-21 when the Evansville branch hosts our State Convention at West Baden Springs.

For those preferring to leave the driving to someone else, the board would like to have a special AAUW bus travel from north to south picking up members along the way. Please let any state board member know of your interest in this so arrangements can be made.

We’ll begin Friday evening with a social get together featuring the video "Honey, pass the clicker" and live actresses and actors in various vignettes. The business meeting will take place Saturday morning followed by the keynote speaker. An issues forum is planned for the afternoon. A casual dinner where the entire family is welcome will take place that evening. We’ll wind up on Sunday morning with a town hall meeting.

All members are invited and encouraged to bring their families. Tours of the area will be offered so even if you don’t drive, you’ll be able to see some historic sites.

Watch the spring issue of Indiana Bulletin for details and registration.

Women and Children in Need

While we as a nation have grieved and given to the victims of the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we hope that Americans will also remember the women and children of Afghanistan, in particular, who have been victims of over two decades of drought, human rights abuses, war and now gender apartheid under the brutal Taliban regime. Under the Taliban, virtually no women or girls are allowed access to healthcare or the opportunity to work or be educated. (See Indiana Bulletin, Summer 1999 issue, "Gender Apartheid")

Long before the current US military action in Afghanistan against the Taliban and the terrorists, many US-based groups had been working in the country and in neighboring refugee camps to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people. Other groups have worked here in the US to educate Americans on the plight of Afghan women and girls. Afghans make up the world’s largest refugee population. Conditions in the camps are extremely dire and in need of immediate funding. Conditions for women and girls in the country and in the camps are even worse.

The humanitarian groups highlighted here have been working on behalf of the people of Afghanistan for some time. They are thoughtful and legitimate groups and three simple ways to contribute to the very important humanitarian work they are undertaking are given.

These agencies have been carefully researched by Women Leaders Online (contact them at if you have questions). Please remember that just $1 American dollar goes such a long way. In some cases, it can mean the difference between life and death.

(Ed. Note: this was taken from an e-mail published by Women Leaders Online [])

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