Aug 22, 2022
The year was 1881 when 17 women gathered for an unprecedented meeting called by recent college graduate Margaret Talbot and her mentor, Ellen Swallow Richards. Having defied social norms by attending college and pursuing careers they were determined to increase women’s access to higher education. Their persistence led to the founding of the American Association for University Women, which has championed the civil, educational, and economic rights of women for 140 years. AAUW is devoted to achieving equal pay for women and to closing a pay gap, that disproportionately harms Black women and Latinas. Gloria Blackwell, who started her career educating girls in sub-Saharan Africa, led several of AAUW’s signature initiatives, including its celebrated Fellowship program and trainings in salary negotiations, before becoming its President and CEO. She honors the women who came before her by engaging a new generation of girls in fighting stereotypes to excel in STEM, advocating for paid family leave, affordable childcare, and student loan forgiveness. She is supported by a community that includes 170,00 members, donors, and supporters. Like Gloria, they want all women to know their rights and their value.