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AAUW Initiative Monmouth_ Illinois March 2007 Celebrating 82 Years

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									Monmouth, Illinois March 2007
Celebrating 82 Years of AAUW in Monmouth

From the Co-Presidents
Lila Blum and Marilyn Van Ausdall It was a proud moment and most enlightening at the February meeting when three of our own branch members, Ruby, Laksmi, and Isa discussed the status and progress of women in their respective countries. We were reminded that women’s struggle for equal status is ongoing and that progress is gradual. During the animated social period, hostesses Estelle Barnes and Jonalyn Heaton provided delicious refreshments. We have entered into a busy period of branch activities. The Women’s History Month Essay Contest is in progress with a large number of essays submitted by sixth graders in Warren County. Preparations for the District #238 school board candidates’ meetings are underway. Please read more about this important public event in a separate article. We invite you to consider attending the AAUW-IL convention in Bloomington on April 27-28. By that time we can enjoy the beauty of spring as we journey across Illinois. Whether or not you can attend the convention, we’d like you to think about being nominated for one of the two branch offices that will be vacant at the end of the year: Membership Vice President and Secretary. Kathy Lowe-Arthur and Joyce Hagemann, currently in these offices, are willing to answer your questions about their job responsibilities. You will enjoy being part of the leadership team with Ronda Willhardt, incoming President, and Nancy Buban, Vice President for Program, and Shirley 1

Dadonna, Treasurer. Please give it some thought. We were pleased to see so many branch members at member Jane Jakoubek’s interesting talk in “The F Word” series at Monmouth College. On March 28, at 7 p.m., member Ruby PentsilBukari will give a talk in the same series in the Morgan Room on campus. Our March meeting will be held at the Monmouth College Art Gallery on March 19 where Brian Baugh will give a gallery talk about the faculty art exhibition currently on display. We will hold a business meeting following the program. Please see the details of the March program and the directions for parking on campus in a separate article in this issue of the Initiative. We look forward to seeing you on the 19th!

Gallery Talk: The Monmouth College Art Faculty Exhibition
Lila Blum On Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m., we will meet at Monmouth College in the Len G. Everett Gallery located on the second floor of the Hewes Library. Our guest speaker will be Brian Baugh, Assistant Professor of Art, who will discuss the art works of seven art department faculty members which are currently on display. The exhibition features paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, and watercolors by Cheryl Meeker, Stacy Lotz, Stephanie Baugh, Brian Baugh, Tyler Hennings, Steve Ingram, and Mary Phillips.

Brian, who holds an MFA in painting from University of Florida, and a BFA in painting and printmaking from the University of Montevallo in Alabama, joined the Monmouth faculty in 2005. His art works have been in juried exhibitions at University of Florida and at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, Georgia. The still life works he created for the current show “come from a love of the process of drawing and painting from direct observation,” he says. Interested in the art of the past, he explains, “I draw and paint in a traditional style based on a study of the old masters’ techniques.” Brian teaches courses in drawing, painting, and design. Please join us for this special opportunity to view the show and learn more from Brian’s presentation about the variety of techniques and ideas with which all the artists are working. In compliance with a restriction on food from off campus, we will not serve refreshments at this event. Nevertheless we will enjoy our usual social time between the program presentation and the business meeting which will be held in Room 124 on the first floor. A word about parking: To park in the lot close to the library on the west side, take North 6th Street to Clinton Avenue, turn east toward the campus and proceed the equivalent of two blocks. The parking lot will come into view. Parking is also available along the street on East Detroit Avenue between North 9th Street and North 10th Street or in Vicki Young’s driveway which can accommodate up to four cars. (Vicki’s house is at 513 North 9th Street, but her driveway is accessed from Detroit.) After parking and walking the short distance to 9th Street, walk south and enter the campus between Cleland and Winbigler Residence Halls. The entrance to the east side of the library comes into view.

County Public Library on Monday, March 19, at 4:30. She will talk about the reading-writing connection and the way her life, particularly her childhood in Ethiopia, has affected her writing. Please come! You can read more about her at janekurtz.com.

School Board Candidates’ Meetings
Marilyn Van Ausdall Lila and I hope that branch members who live in the Monmouth-Roseville School District will be able to attend one or both of the scheduled forums. The first one will be Tuesday, March 27, at M-R High School auditorium in Monmouth at 7 p.m., and the second one will be the following Tuesday, April 3, in the M-R Junior High gymnasium in Roseville at 7 p.m. Helpers will be needed to distribute notecards and pencils to those in attendance who wish to submit questions, and then to deliver the questions to the moderator. A list of questions was developed by some of our members and submitted to the candidates on Saturday, March 3. The answers are due back by March 19, and will then be combined into an article and submitted to newspapers in Monmouth, Roseville, and Galesburg. The school board election will be Tuesday, April 17.

Public Policy
Jan DeYoung As we look forward to our AAUW-sponsored candidates’ forums for Monmouth-Roseville District 238 School Board on March 27 and April 3, we need to be well informed on some of the many issues facing educators and school boards today. Naturally, a majority of our questions will focus on local issues, but we need to recognize some facts which influence the quality of the education we provide for our children and grandchildren based on the way schools in Illinois are funded. Did you know that although Illinois is the fifth largest state in population and personal income, 2

Author Jane Kurtz to Speak at Warren County Public Library
Jan DeYoung Noted children's author and Monmouth College graduate Jane Kurtz will speak at the Warren

and 12th highest in personal income per student, we rank 47th in the amount of funding the state provides for public education? Did you know that we have the worst gap in per pupil spending on education, from a high of $23,000 per child to a low of less than $5000 per child? (Monmouth-Roseville’s per-child spending is $6,537.29, very near the low end, and slightly higher than the state minimum foundation level of $5,164.) As a result of this disparity, the gap in achievement between highand low-spending districts is one of the highest in the country and growing rapidly. The No Child Left Behind Act penalizes schools that do not meet certain standards, and yet funding in Illinois favors districts with the highest Equalized Assessed Valuations and penalizes districts with high numbers of poor, minority, and disabled students — those who need the greatest support! One thing our local board members can do is join the A+ Illinois coalition and work hard to lobby the Illinois General Assembly to change the way Illinois schools are funded. A+ Illinois espouses the following five principles: 1. Ensure that all children receive a quality education by establishing adequate, reliable, sustainable funding for Illinois schools. 2. Develop state-based tax revenues based on a fair, efficient, stable, responsible, and transparent system that is not regressive, that encourages responsible and accountable use of public funds, that helps create responsible economic development, job creation and sound regional planning, and that helps close the state’s structural deficit. 3. Support proven strategies that build capacity to improve student learning and close the student achievement gap. 4. Put our state on more sound fiscal footing to protect education, human services and community programs that are vital to the wellbeing of children and families, particularly those Illinoisans most in need. 5. Break the strong correlation between individuals’ addresses and the quality of their schools, availability of their housing options, and 3

the health of their local communities and economy. The A+ Illinois website (www.aplusillinois.org) has an enormous amount of well-researched and clearly written material to help citizens understand the connection between inequitable funding and the achievement gap. Please take time to check out some of the material! If you haven’t signed the petition, please sign it online or at the next branch meeting. And be prepared to ask our candidates how hard they are willing to work to get this problem corrected Other Issues in Education At the federal level, the Continuing Resolution, keeping the government going, expired in February. As the President worked on the FY2007 and 08 budgets, increases in both the Pell Grant program an No Child Left Behind were questionable, as were adequate funding of the Women’s Equity in Education Act and Perkins loans. AAUW will continue to work to ensure that these programs which are essential to achieving equity are adequately funded. We will also need to continue to monitor Title IX to maintain the important protections provided by this legislation. Well be looking for YOU at one (or both) of the Candidates’ Forums!

Monmouth WITASWAN Film Discussion Group
Donna Sproston The Monmouth WITASWAN Film Group will meet on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the home of Nancy Buban, 207 S. 8th Street. Come celebrate Women's History Month with us. We will watch Iron Jawed Angels, a 2004 HBO film by Katja von Garnier starring Hilary Swank, Anjelica Huston, and an outstanding cast. This made-fortelevision movie tells "the remarkable and little-known story of a group of passionate and dynamic young women led by Alice Paul and her friend Lucy Burns who put their lives on the line to fight for American women's right to vote."

Third Annual WITASWAN Program
Marilyn Van Ausdall On March 31, from 12:30-3:00 p.m., at Landmark’s Century Center Theater on Clark and Diversey in Chicago, Somebody's Child: The Redemption of Rwanda, will be shown. Five Illinois organizations are collaborating on this Women’s History Month program under the banner of WITASWAN. Felicia Middlebrooks, the director/producer of the film, will be the honored guest. For more details, and a link to the reservation form, go to http://www.films42.com/witaswan/march-07.asp.

Professor Bruce received a Fulbright Fellowship to spend a semester in Russia. She will show slides of Moscow, St. Petersburg, a few rural towns, the universities, and discuss Russia's complex culture as well as its rapid, brutal transition to capitalism. The program is in the Whiteman-McMillan Highlander Room at the Stockdale Center, with free admission. An optional buffet lunch is available for $6.50. To make a lunch reservation, please email Assistant Professor Leisa Kauffmann at lkauffmann@monm.edu.

Membership Update
Kathy Lowe-Arthur We have over 40 members, so our new goal is to have 50 members. Thanks to all who have suggested possible members and who have brought guests to our meetings. Continue talking up AAUW!

Adelante! Book Discussion Group
Vicki Young Ruth Wright has graciously offered to host the April 12 meeting at her home (332 South 8th Street, Monmouth). We will meet at 7 p.m. and have a short discussion of March, followed by a discussion on Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards is scheduled for May 10. Both of these books are available at the Warren County Public Library.

AAUW-IL State News
Nancy K. Daugherty
President, AAUW-IL, Inc.

International Luncheon
Erma Smallwood The next International Luncheon is Wednesday, March 28, at noon. Professor Mary Bruce will talk about “Russia: Flavorful and Complicated as Borscht.”

AAUW Staff Announcement Mary Robinson, has joined AAUW's staff and will serve as Boards and Governance Manager. She is assigned to the Executive Office and will be primarily responsible for providing staff liaison support and managing communications with both boards, regional directors, standing committees chairs, and state presidents. The Legal Advocacy Fund 2007 Progress in Equity Award information is on the AAUW-IL website: Each year the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund's Progress in Equity 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. Online registration is now available for the AAUW Convention in Phoenix on the AAUW website.

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March March 31 March 31

April 25 April 27-28 June 7-9

Women’s History Month Witaswan Film Event in Chicago Deadline: "Annual Notice of Election to Participate in Group Exemption" form due to the Association from each branch Pay Equity Day AAUW-IL Convention in Bloomington National Conference of College Women Student Leaders in Washington, D.C.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research.

Association website: www.aauw.org AAUW-Illinois website: www.aauw-il.org Monmouth Branch website: http://department.monm.edu/aauw/
Initiative Editor: Amy Zesbaugh,

Has your branch or state thought about providing a scholarship for some lucky college woman to attend this leadership conference?

zestib@hotmail.com

Jane Kurtz Talk: March 19, 4:30 p.m., Warren County Public Library Branch Meeting: March 19, 7 p.m., Monmouth College Library WITASWAN: March 22, 7 p.m., 207 S. 8th Street Candidates’ Forum: March 27, 7 p.m., Monmouth-Roseville High School auditorium The F Word: March 28, 7 p.m., the Morgan Room, Monmouth College Candidates’ Forum: April 3, 7 p.m., MonmouthRoseville Junior High School gymnasium Adelante! Book Group: April 12, 7 p.m., 332 S. 8th Street, Monmouth

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