Engaging with Our Community
AAUW Morgan Hill actively supports our local community, both as an organization and as individual volunteers, Our members have created and implemented local programs for girls and women, in addition to supporting AAUW California and national AAUW programs at a local level. The branch also provides grants, recruits volunteers, co-sponsor programs, and provide publicity for local non-profit organizations. Branch support is conditional upon the organization’s goals being consistent with AAUW’s mission: AAUW advances gender equity for women and girls through advocacy, education,and research.
We are proud to have recently (March 2019) received recognition from the Morgan Hill Unified School District for our “outstanding support of gender equity and education for women and girls in our community” and our commitment to MHUSD.
We take a lead in engaging Morgan Hill’s citizens in the democratic process. Specific activities and programs include:
- Candidate Forums: During election years, AAUW Morgan Hill hosts or co-hosts a local candidate forum. In addition, the branch publicizes other local, non-partisan candidate events.
- “Make Your Voice Heard” Community Education Programs:
The above videos are from the 2020 AAUW Morgan Hill Candidate forum for the 3 open city council and school board seats.
Video of AAUW’s program on civic engagement (running for office and expectations of local elected officials) created by the City of Morgan Hill.
- Voter Registration Drives: Each June AAUW Morgan Hill spends a morning on campus at Live Oak and Sobrato High Schools (during senior checkout) to register high school seniors to vote. We also conduct voter registration drives at Gavilan College.
AAUW member contact is Yvonne Randolph.
The success of our annual Wildflower Run enables us to now provide multiple grants of up to $1000 each to local non-profit community organizations, for projects whose goals are consistent with AAUW’s mission. Applications are due in the fall for grants issued for the following year. Click here for past recipient information, guidelines, and an application form. AAUW member contact is Susan Rife.
AAUW Morgan Hill co-sponsors the annual Silicon Valley Reads guest speaker program at the library. The branch also publicizes other Friends of the Library events. For more information go to Friends of the Library; AAUW member contact is Carol O’Hare.
This is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. It provides background information and policy options for the the eight most critical issues facing America each year and serves as the focal text for discussion groups across the country. The Morgan Hill members of this organization meet monthly for eight months of each year to discuss a specific international topic. AAUW member contact is Joanne Rife.
KIVA provides micro loans in developing countries. with special focus on education. Go to KIVA Team Morgan Hill for more information and/or sign up with Team Morgan Hill on the KIVA website. AAUW member contact is Margaret McCann.
This nation-wide study, coordinated by AAUW, assesses equity in high school sports and compliance with Title IX regulations. For more information go to Know the Score. Several years ago, the Morgan Hill branch of AAUW worked with the local high schools on an assessment of local compliance with Title IX. For details of local compliance and contact information for local Title IX coordinators, go to the Title IX page of the MHUSD website. AAUW member contact is Joanne Rife.
Lauren Jenkins STEM Workshop For High School Girls
In memory of long-time AAUW Morgan Hill member Dr. Lauren Jenkins, our branch has presented several STEM workshops for high school girls. Topics include agriculture, engineering and microbiology. AAUW member contact is Mary Cox
AAUW Morgan Hill encourages our members to expand their contributions to–and leadership within–the Morgan Hill community. Each year we sponsor branch member participation in this community leadership development program. For more information go to Leadership Morgan Hill. AAUW member contact is Janet McElroy.
Branch members volunteer regularly at the Center, helping immigrant women develop English proficiency. The branch also has adopted the Center as the annual holiday beneficiary of member gift card donations and they have been the recipient of AAUW Morgan Hill Community Action Grants (for class materials). For more information go to Learning and Loving Education Center. AAUW member contact is Barbara Palmer.
AAUW Morgan Hill provides docents for the Morgan Hill House and Historical Museum at Villa Mira Monte. The branch also publicizes Historical Society events to members. For more information go to Morgan Hill Historical Society. AAUW member contact is Kathy Sullivan.
This is an AAUW California sponsored annual speech competition. Locally we offer the competition to all high school students attending Morgan Hill schools. The Speech Trek program creates a forum for students to gain exposure to gender equality issues and to develop their communication skills. The contest involves high school students writing and delivering a persuasive speech at a local branch meeting. The top three competitors in the state advance each year to a state-wide competition (and our branch has had two students advance to the state level). Go to Speech Trek. AAUW member contact is Joanne Rooney.
The South Valley Science and Engineering Fair organizes an annual science fair. SVSEF’s mission is to promote youth engagement in STEM through both community outreach and providing a safe, inclusive, juried competition for 6th – 12th grade students in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and San Martin. For more information go to SVSEF. AAUW member contact and lead event organizer is Susan Oldham-Fritts.
Teen Leadership: Women’s Advocacy Clubs & Young Women Leaders
A branch member provides advice to the Women’s Advocacy Clubs (WAC) at Live Oak and Ann Sobrato High Schools. WAC is committed to promoting equality on campus and in the community through educating people on the power of words and defying societal expectations to empower women to reach their full potential as strong contributors to the world around them. AAUW also guides these clubs along with a chapter of Girl Rising (and Oakwood School) in creating and implementing an annual Young Women Leaders Conference each spring. AAUW member contact is Margaret McCann.
Morgan Hill Wildflower Run Research and Projects Grant Endowment
This endowment, established in 2014 and completed in 2019, was funded through some of the annual proceeds from the Wildflower Run. Now completed, it will fund community action and career development grants. Another branch endowment, the Blaine/Cate Endowment for Graduate Fellowships (#1802) was completed in 2001. It funds an annual graduate or postgraduate fellowship. (For more information on this and other national AAUW priorities, go to National AAUW Programs.)