2020 Equali-Tea becomes part of MTSU's Women's History Month programming

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The 2020 Equali-Tea has moved into March, announced organizers with the American Association of University Women, Murfreesboro Chapter.

The hats-optional high tea is traditionally held on Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, the next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages. For the past 25 years, it has been held in April but recent wage data from the U.S. Census shows women have made gains, moving the symbolic date earlier in the year.

According to 2019 data, the median salaries for all full-time, year-round workers showed women earn 81.6 cents for every dollar men earned in 2018. The median salaries of all full-time, year-round workers showed women earning $45,097 compared to $55,291 for men in 2018. The wage gap is even wider for women of color, whose wages show little change compared to those of white men between 2017 and 2018.

To bring attention to the wage gap, the 2020 Equali-Tea will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18 in the Student Union Ballroom, 1768 MTSU Blvd. on MTSU campus.

(Campus parking map: http://bit.ly/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors permit: www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php).

The event coincides with MTSU's Women's History Month programming (https://www.mtsu.edu/jac/nwhm.php), which is themed this year "Nevertheless She Persisted: Valiant Women of the Vote."

The (hats optional) High Tea raises scholarship funds for MTSU college women students, and also marks Equal Pay Day, the day that symbolizes how long women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

The Equali-Tea raises scholarship and programming funds for the Middle Tennessee Fund for Women and Girls, a nonprofit organization in support of the mission of AAUW Murfreesboro: to level the playing field for women and girls in education and in the workforce.

The funds raised go toward two AAUW Murfreesboro scholarships that are offered to MTSU students.

The Ruth Houston Memorial Scholarship supports women 24 years and older who are returning to finish their undergraduate degree. Applicants must demonstrate academic promise and financial need.

In 2015, the group marked its 100th anniversary by creating a second scholarship, named for long-time AAUW members Mattie Butler and Leola Fouts.

The Butler-Fouts Memorial Graduate Scholarship is presented to female graduate students from underrepresented ethnic or racial groups. Applicants must demonstrate academic promise and financial need as well as be enrolled in a graduate program at MTSU.

Each scholarship will provide $1,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The event is also the stage for the annual presentation of the Tempest Award, which is given to a community leader who has worked to better the status of women and girls in Tennessee.

The 2019 Tempest Award recipient is who will be honored for her career-long fight to ensure women athletes have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

For the inaugural Tempest Award, former Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg was honored in 2017, Dr. Phyllis Washington was honored in 2018 and MTSU Associate Athletic Director Diane Turnham was named the 2019 Tempest Award honoree.

Reservations are required and offered at no cost and can be made through Eventbrite. Attendees will be invited to make a contribution to the Fund at the event. Your sponsorship of the event and your donation are both tax-deductible.

Equal-TEA is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of Pinnacle Bank. Sponsorships are still available.

For more information about the 2019 Equali-TEA, visit Equali-TEA.org or email us at contact@equali-tea.org.

About AAUW Murfreesboro

Organized in 1913, AAUW Murfreesboro (murfreesboro-tn.aauw.net) is a membership organization of college-educated individuals from all walks of life who share a common purpose--to level the playing field for women and girls in education and in the workplace.

Our branch does this through advocacy, education, and research. We are part of a national and state network that supports our work right here in Murfreesboro. Our national organization (200,000 members strong) is a powerful voice on women's issues in Washington, D.C. Our Tennessee organization unifies our presence throughout the state, bringing together all nine branches in Memphis, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Columbia, McMinnville, Martin, Knoxville, Maryville, and Oak Ridge.

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