Excitement of Women's March continues at AAUW State Convention at MTSU AAUW National CEO to Keynote

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Want to build on the energy of the Women's March? Get your tickets today for the American Association of University Women's 2018 State Convention, set for March 16-17 on MTSU campus.

Co-hosted by the MTSU June S. Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students as part of National Women's History Month, the 2018 AAUW-TN convention is themed "Keep Marching: Activism for All Women," building on the momentum of the recent women's marches.

"The convention is open to the public. AAUW Murfreesboro is turning 105 this year and began at the founding of MTSU."said Dia Cirillo, president of AAUW Murfreesboro. "We are delighted to have this opportunity to host the annual AAUW State Convention in partnership with the June Anderson Center as part of programming for the National Women's History Month."

The two-day event will be headlined by AAUW National CEO Kim Churches and starts with the flame of history.

Speakers and sessions will focus on the inspiration, tools and opportunities needed to make positive change in our communities and across the state, as well as inspire the next generation of women.

The convention starts at 3 p.m. Friday, March 16, with "Circle of the Watchfire," presented by Rebecca Price, founder and CEO of Chick History and co-facilitated by Barbara Scales, director, MTSU June S. Anderson Center.

"On Friday at 3 p.m., our students will participate in reading the suffrage speeches of great Tennessee women, such as Mary Church Terrell and Sue Sheldon White," Scales said. "This event is open to the public and dispels many myths about suffrage history."

Price and Scales will facilitate the student-lead interactive session that is modeled after the perpetual fire that suffragists kept aflame at the White House in 1917. Circle of the Watchfire is a modern adaptation of the historic protest where participants will read historical selections both for and against giving women the right to vote.

The momentum continues Saturday with a keynote address by Kim Churches, who will discuss the future of AAUW and the work the 135-year-old organization does on behalf of all women.

"Tennessee refuses to sit idly by and wait for federal action on equal pay. The state joins 38 red, blue, and purple states across the nation that are taking matters into their own hands by reaching across the aisle to introduce bills aiming at closing the gender pay gap, once and for all," Churches said.

"These actions reflect Tennessee's long history of advancing women's equity," Churches added, referring to Tennessee's role in ratifying the 19th amendment and granting women the right to vote.

During her visit, Churches will be meeting with city of Murfreesboro and MTSU leaders.

Churches' background includes serving as managing director of the Brookings Institution, a public policy think tank. She also has extensive experience working collaboratively on education as well as on capacity building among grassroots groups and national and international nonprofits.

"Having national AAUW CEO Kim Churches speak at the State Convention really highlights the partnership among national, state and local affiliates to support women as leaders, professionals and students," Cirillo said.

Churches will be joined by AAUW Grassroots Advocacy Manager Elizabeth Holden, who will update the organization on policy initiatives across the nation and at the national level.

A panel discussion involving several organizations serving women will discuss legislative proposals in Nashville this year impacting women and girls. AAUW has invited Tennessee Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Free Hearts, American Muslim Advisory Council and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee to join the discussion.

To cap off the day, AAUW-TN will acknowledge the work of State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, who is the chief sponsor of the equal pay bill in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Registration ends on Friday, March 9 and can be found on Eventbrite at this link or by searching for "Keep Marching." Tickets for the two-day conference are $50.

Have a friend who might be interested? There is a $35 Saturday day pass for non-AAUW members, which covers breakfast and lunch.

About AAUW Murfreesboro

Organized in 1913, AAUW Murfreesboro 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.

This branch does this through advocacy, education, philanthropy, 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 seven branches in Memphis, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Martin, Knoxville, Maryville, and Oak Ridge.

Schedule of Events

Starting on Friday afternoon, March 16 and running through Saturday, March 17, the American Association of University Women's 2018 State Convention offers several sessions on engagement and action in shaping the public debate. Registration ends on Friday, March 9 and can be found on Eventbrite at this link or by searching for "Keep Marching."

Friday, March 16
3:00 p.m. Interactive Program on Suffrage History: "Circle of the Watchfire"

Saturday, March 17
8:00 a.m. Registration and breakfast
9:00 a.m. Kimberly Churches, AAUW CEO: "The Future of AAUW"
10:00 a.m. Honoring Rep. Clemmons' fight for pay equity
10:45 a.m. Panel: "Agenda and Action: What We Can Do for Women and Girls This Year"

Noon Lunch

12:45 p.m. (A) Student bystander intervention training: "Power of One"
12:45 p.m. (B) Elizabeth Holden, AAUW Grassroots Advocacy Manager
2:00 p.m. Business meeting
3:00 p.m. Adjournment

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