Our Mission

Sharon O/Hara, Branch President for 2014-2015 (l) congratulates the branch’s Ghidotti scholarship recipient, Adrienne Michael (m). Cheryl Morris (r) says that Adrienne is as charming as she is brilliant.

AAUW Nevada County Branch, established in 1937, is a mission- and action-based organization. Our mission is advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our actions focus on women and girls in Nevada County, but when a state or national effort impacts our county, we act at that level as well. The Strategic Plan for 2021-23 is available through this link.  Our goals, values, and policies are spelled out as follows:

  • MISSION STATEMENT: AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
  • VALUE PROMISE: By joining AAUW, we belong to a community that breaks through education and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance.
    VISION STATEMENT: AAUW will be a powerful advocate and visible leader in equity and education through research, philanthropy, and measurable change in critical areas impacting the lives of women and girls.
  • IMAGE STATEMENT: AAUW is California’s most active and diverse organization offering action for equity, personal and professional growth, community leadership, and friendship.
  • PRINCIPLES: Since 1881, AAUW has been the nation’s leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership.  If you hold an associate or equivalent, bachelor, or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university, you can join. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or class.
  • POLICY ON CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS: AAUW neither supports nor opposes candidates for partisan or elective office.  The Branch may choose to endorse candidates for nonpartisan office in accord with Branch policies and procedures..

Supporting Community/State Efforts

Melanie Heckel and Carol McMillan outside the California State Capitol in Sacramento, March 2023.

March 2023/Lobby Week: Carol McMillan and Melanie Heckel attended mandatory training on Zoom and learned that 120 members statewide had been recruited to participate from 50 branches In lobby week, advocating for bills that help women advance in the workplace. Five girls who just finished the Gov Trek training also joined in. AAUW was much more successful this year in scheduling meetings with legislators and staff. Some of the meetings are in person and some are on Zoom. Generally, AAUW teams of 4 or 5 make the case for the bills, while also describing AAUW and branch activities.

Senator Brian Dahle listened to Melanie and Carok, allowing enough time to present their ideas, despite the fact that his receptionist kept knocking on the door saying he was going to be late to his next meeting. According to Melanie, he seemed most interested in the bills that work to protect young girls, noting that he has a 13-year-old daughter.
They also had a scheduled meeting with a staff member for Assemblywoman Megan Dahle on Friday. Lobby Week for AAUW was a success, according to Melanie and she added, “it feels good to be heard!”

STEAM Expo for Students

AAUW members Candace Jewett, Stephanie Facchini, Ann Shulse, & Kathy Scott at the 2019 STEAM Expo

In 2019, for a third year in a row, AAUW Nevada County was among the organizations and companies participating in the Nevada County  Superintendent of Schools (NCSOS) STEAM Expo for students throughout the county, and their familiy and friends.

Through posters and product displays, the branch brought home the message of women’s role in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).

Advocacy at Work: Equal Pay Day at the Capitol

On April 1, 2019, our branch joined other Northern California branches at our State Capitol in Sacramento to meet in the Senate Gallery, interact with legislators, and discuss the Equal Pay Resolution. In front: Bup Greenwood, kneeling, (L to R): Shirley Zeff, Cece Royal, Melanie Heckel, Ann Shulse, Virginia Horowitz, Joan Demarce-Rutledge, Gretchen Corbin, Jeanne Duerst, Carolyn Feuille, and Chris Casey.