American Association of University Women
The American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political. The AAUW mission began in 1881 when Marion Talbot and Ellen Swallow Richards invited 15 alumnae of eight colleges to a meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of the meeting was to create an organization that would find greater opportunities for women college graduates to use their education and to open the doors for other women to attend college. They formed the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA), the predecessor of AAUW. In 1885, joining with The Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor, the ACA led a study and published the report, “Health Statistics of Female College Graduates,” dispelling the belief that a college education would harm a woman’s health and result in infertility. This was a common belief promoted by Harvard educated, Boston physician Dr. Edward H. Clarke. In 1960, 31 university graduate women formed the Citrus Heights-American River Branch (CHAR) in California, becoming the 81st branch of AAUW in California. Today there are over 1,000 AAUW branches in the United States. CHAR is proud to be part of AAUW, one of the world’s largest sources of funding exclusively for women who graduate from college. Membership in AAUW, and by extension CHAR, is open to all graduates holding an associates, or equivalent, or baccalaureate, or higher degree from a qualified educational institution, and to students working toward a degree who want to support equity for women. The AAUW/CHAR is an active participant and supporter of the following AAUW activities: 1. Educational Opportunities Fund. Includes International, American and selected professions fellowships and research and projects grants. 2. Eleanor Roosevelt Fund. Focuses on eliminating barriers to girls’ and women’s participation in education, supports teacher fellows and research on gender equity in education. 3. Leadership Programs Fund. Helps women and girls break through barriers to acquire the skills they need to succeed and lead in their academic, professional, and personal lives. 4. Legal Advocacy Fund. Combats sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace through community and campus outreach programs. 5. Public Policy Fund. Encourages women to become involved in every level of the political process. 6. Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund. Provides grants for grassroots projects that empower women and girls in developing countries. 7. Tech Trek that California started November 11, 2000 and is now administered nationally that encourages young ladies to major in the math and sciences. 8. CHAR Local Scholarship Program. In 1987-1988 CHAR established a local scholarship program for women who are heads of households or single parents. The Scholarships are awarded yearly to qualified women students. In 2016 CHAR began an American River College (ARC) endowment fund that will allow CHAR to provide yearly scholarships for qualified ARC women students into perpetuity.