Empire State Virtual NY Branch AAUW Diversity

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

                                     Heide                                      Anital Nahal
                        Heide Parreño,  Diversity Director, ESVB          Anita Nahal, D&I Consultant, ESVB

This year has seen the Empire State Virtual Branch (ESVB) launch out in a focused and targeted way in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives (D&I). Based upon an anonymous on-line survey to determine what members believed the ESVB did in D&I and what areas needed focus, the Empire State Virtual Branch now has four initiatives for 2016 and 2017 as our commitment to D&I. These are:

  • More  informative and user friendly web presence for D&I initiatives on our ESVB website,
  • Yearly award for ESVB AAUW members for work done on Diversity and Inclusion. Criteria to be developed with in-put from members and the NYS VP on programs,
  • Holding D&I programs /events /lectures / representation at District Meeting, State Convention and Leadership Conference in Cazenovia,

Our ESVB D&I team, Heide Parreño, director, and Dr. Anita Nahal, consultant will develop action items in each of the initiatives. Here’s an action for the first initiative regarding the website from Anita.

  • To provide links to AAUW State and National D&I initiatives
  • To provide general resources related to D&I, eg., conferences on D&I in NYC or a list of some useful publications and/or links to relevant D&I websites in the US and globally
  • Seek input from ESVB members as to what they would like to see on their website related to D&I

Diversity and Inclusion is the heart and conscience of AAUW. The value of diversity and inclusion should be embedded in the infra-structure of AAUW’s awareness, consciousness, intentionality and in all that we do. (Heide Parreño).


More quotes on diversity, inclusion and Unconscious Bias from Anita Nahal at her blog: http://diversitydiscover.blogspot.com/

AAUW Empire State Virtual Branch

Has Title IX helped women compete in the Olympics?

TitleIX-gymnast-FBcover-update-2016-768x284As you know, every two years, the Olympics ignite fervor, national pride, and competitiveness as the world’s greatest athletes come together. For female athletes in particular, the Olympic Games is a rare opportunity to garner international attention for their performances.

At this year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, women outnumber men on the U.S. team for a second straight games — 292 women to 263 men — setting the record for most ever female Olympians competing for a single nation. Thanks in part to Title IX, the 1972 law combating sex discrimination in federally funded education and athletics, U.S. women have secured greater access to play and compete, thereby expanding their opportunities to succeed athletically at both professional and Olympic levels.

Empire State Virtual Branch Goals

Empire State Virtual Branch Goals

Maria EllisAs we plan our new programs for this fiscal year, we will keep in mind the following goals.

GOAL 1 – AAUW’s premier-quality member service, community engagement, and multichannel communications foster a growing, global community of members, supporters, students, and others who advance the AAUW mission.

Community Engagement: The ESVB has a very successful Mentoring Program at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx, NY. Thank you to the following ESVB member, Roli Wendorf, Jane Pendergast, Joan Monk, Lorrin Johnson, Dr. C.S. Rani and Maria Ellis for their participation in the Mentoring Program. If you would like to participate in this Mentor Program, please join us at our Mentor Orientation and Opening Dinner has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 20 at 5 pm. All are welcome.

Our multichannel communications: In addition to our teleconference calls, we engage our community via our Virtual Times quarterly newsletter, facebook page and twitter account.
Twitter: AAUWVirtualNY

GOAL 2 – AAUW’s powerful advocacy voice helps achieve educational and economic equity and civil rights for all women and girls.

Economic Equality: The ESVB continues to teach the Start Smart Workshops both in the Fall and Spring at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx and at the New York Institute of Technology in NYC. A new 3-year license to both C/U Partners, the NYIT and the College of Mount Saint Vincent were awarded by the NYC Metro Fund. Many thanks to Roli Wendorf, Pendergast and Maria Ellis for being Workshop Facilitators which makes possible teaching these salary negotiation workshops. The next Start Smart Workshop at the NYIC has been scheduled on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 from 4-6 pm. All members and friends are welcome to actively participate in these workshops.

Civic Rights: We feature public policy articles in our quarterly newsletter, Empire Virtual Times. Thank you to Nancy Mion and Donna Seymour for their continue contribution to our Public Policy articles and for their encouragement to become more active on public policy priorities including voter education campaigns.  Special thanks for Dr. C.S. Rani and Maria Ellis for being the part of our Editorial and Writing Team.

Civic Rights: Starting this AAUW fiscal year on June 30, 2016, the ESVB has joined the 2020: Project Women. Votes for Women 2020, National Woman Suffrage Centennial to inspire, educate, celebrate and promote the history of women’s right to vote with a focus on the past and looking forward to the future.  Special thanks to Susan Zimet, Founder/President of the 2020: Project Women.

GOAL 3 – AAUW’s expanding collaborative network uses mission-based programs and research to empower women with the tools, training, and support they need to become strong leaders and effective advocates for women and girls.

ESVB enjoys working with other AAUW branches, such as the Westchester Branch in implement programs such as Start Smart and EYO Explore Your Opportunities (EYO) Annual Conference for 7th grade girls held at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx, NY.

The following dates/times have been confirmed for upcoming EYO planning meetings: Sat, Oct. 8, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am; Fri. Nov. 11 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm; Sat. Dec. 10th from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.  Please let me know if you would like to join us at any of these EYO planning meetings.

GOAL 4 – AAUW’s strategic philanthropic efforts support AAUW programs that provide women and girls with opportunities for a lifetime of success.

The ESVB participates in LAF fundraising events. It is our goal to work on more Fundraising ideas to support AAUW’s strategic philanthropic efforts.  We welcome your ideas.

 GOAL 5 – AAUW’s sustainable fiscal strategies and dedicated stewardship meet current and future needs, address challenges, and capitalize on opportunities.

The ESVB participates in fundraising events. It is our goal to increase our Fundraising to support AAUW’s current and future needs. Your fundraising ideas are greatly appreciated.

GOAL 6Increase membership and renewals.

The ESVB currently has 30 members.  To renew your dual membership, please issue a $5 check to the Empire State Virtual NY Branch, AAUW.

GOAL 7 -Obtain more membership participation in creating more mission based programs and attendance.

The ESVB is seeking for members interested in volunteering for the following ESVB board positions: Membership VP; Program VP; Cultural Director & Young Women’s Task Force (YWTF) Liaison.  All volunteers are welcome.

GOAL 8Implement some of the Diversity and Inclusion Program recommendations made by by Heidi Parreno, ESVB Diversity Director and Anita Nahal, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant.  See below a brief summary of their Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

  1. We have added a Diversity & Inclusion category to the ESVB website. http://empire-ny.aauw.net/diversity-inclusion/
  2. We plan to issue yearly awards to friends and members of ESVB AAUW- for work done on Inclusion and diversity.
  3. We will hold Diversity & Inclusion programs/events/lectures. During our Leadership Meeting in Cazenovia College in July 2016, we recommended that our District V Conference in the Fall 2016 be about Diversity & Inclusion. The ESVB will participate in the planning of this District V Conference scheduled for Sat. October 15th.
  4. The ESVB’s Diversity and Inclusion team executed a Diversity and Inclusion survey with our membership which resulted in these recommendations.
  5. The ESVB will continue to circulate information about the resources available at AAUW website:  http://www.aauw.org/resource/diversity-and-inclusion-tool-kit/

Maria Ellis, MBA
President, Empire State Virtual NY Branch AAUW
Twitter: AAUWVirtualNY

AAUW NYS Leadership

Congratulations to the AAUW NYS board members
for a great Summer Leadership
July 22-24, 2016, Cazenovia College

Summer Leadership PicIf you missed, this conference, we focused on Programming and Leadership! Some of the topics included Leadership workshops, Recruiting Leaders, Committees Leadership and Developing Branch Leadership.

Some of the program highlights included a Leadership presentation by Deepti Gudipati, Vice President Programming AAUW and the Work Smart + Start Smart Workshop presentation by Deepti Gudipati to empower women with the skills and confidence to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages.

Empire State Virtual Branch Won Many Awards!

NY State Convention Logo 2016Congrats to all the ESVB members and friends who made possible winning so many awards at the AAUW NYS Convention April 15-17, 2016, Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn, NY


1) Award of Distinction for our quarterly Empire Virtual Times newsletter
2) Award of Distinction for our Website
3) Award of Merit for Social Media
4) Award of Excellence for Visibility
5) Membership Award with 10% increase for recruiting and maintaining members
6) 21st Century Program — Silver Award for the  Mentoring
at the College of Mount Saint Vincent
7) Public Policy Award for Voter Registration & Education Award
8) Public Policy Award for STEM
9) Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) Star Branch      Fourteenth (14th) Place Per Capita
Contributions. Specials thanks to our generous members including Dot McLane,
Dr. Chigurupati Rani, Joan Monk!

NYSE: Empowering Women & Girls to lead

nyse-600x320 (1) NYSE Press Photos | American Association of University Women
March 30, 2016 | Opening Bell

It was with great pleasure that Edwina Martin, AAUW NYS president, Melissa Guardaro, UN representative and Maria Ellis, AAUW NYS C/U Director & ESVB President participated in the New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell on March 30, 2016.  Representatives and guests of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) visited the New York Stock Exchange to highlight Women’s History Month.  In honor of the occasion, AAUW CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE and AAUW Board Chair Patricia Fae Ho, rang the NYSE Opening Bell®.

Attendees included AAUW’s national staff, our Public Relations manager, Ryan Burwinkel, Nicole  Phillips and representatives from Verizon and Symantec and other AAUW corporate partners.

Public Policy

Cases Settled!

by Nancy Mion, Public Policy Director
Empire State Virtual NY Branch

It is exciting to know that three cases supported by LAF have been recently settled. The cases are: Moshak, Mason, Schlosser vs University of Tennessee which was successfully settled for over a million dollar in January 2016 found; Jaureguito and Wartluff finally settled with Feather River Community College after ten years. Check the LAF Webpage at http://aauw-nys.org/laf_casesupport.htm and the Spring 2016 Focus.

Thank you to the following members of the Empire State Virtual NY Branch for their generous contribution to LAF Fund: Dorothy McLane; Heide Parreno, Chigurupati Rani & Maria Ellis.


UN Announces First-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment

 by Donna Seymour
AAUW NYS Public Policy VP

The United Nations announced the first High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The panel will give recommendations for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve economic outcomes for women globally and improve women’s leadership in sustainable economic growth.

“The empowerment of the world’s women is a global imperative,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Yet despite important progress in promoting gender equality, there remains an urgent need to address structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment and full inclusion in economic activity. If the world is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need a quantum leap in women’s economic empowerment.”



What is happening in Diversity?


Heide Parreño
Diversity Director
Empire State Virtual Branch

In September 2015,  Governor Andrew Cuomo  announced a new “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy” for the State University of New York . It was immediately adopted by the SUNY Board of Trustees. The plan  requires  a chief diversity officer in each of the 64 SUNY campuses. The officer will   promote inclusiveness and implement best practices for diversity.  Included in the policy’s plan is a tool where students can voluntarily self identify their sexual orientation and gender identity. The goal of the plan is to define diversity broadly to include race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. It also includes more options for registering age, socioeconomic status, status as a veteran, disabilities, first generation students and whether or not a student plans to work on or off campus while in school. The policy includes plans to increase diversity among students faculty and staff. ((Democrat and Chronicle, Saturday, September12, 2015, p. 9a)

There has been a surge of protests nationally from colleges and universities about racial discrimination and lack of diversity. Across the nation, students demand an end to systemic and structural racism on campus. The top 7 most common demands at 51 U.S campuses are: 1). Increase diversity of professors, 2) require diversity training, 3) fund cultural centers, 4) require classes for students, 5) increase diversity of students, 6) track race related offenses, and 7) expand mental health resources. These has been collected on a website called THE DEMANDS.


Locally, in Rochester, New York, the University of Rochester medical students focused their protest on racism as a public health concern. “ We, as future physicians, could not stay silent because we know that medicine is not immune to the racism that is rooted in our education, housing, employment and criminal justice system.” Guylda Richard, president of the Student national medical education.

Where is AAUW in all of these?

On December 15, 2015,  a Webinar was held to take a first look at AAUW’s New Tool Kit.
How many of NYS Board of Directors attended, branch leaders, diversity officers?
What is a follow-up in public policy?
Where do we get the information?

At ESVB we continue to have a Facebook page. I recruited a new member of our diversity team.  Her name is Dr. Doris Meadows. I will do a formal introduction in our next newsletter. I welcome suggestions for our diversity team and active participation in our membership in diversity and inclusion.

Student Leadership Development and Career Fair at the NYIT

AAUW Logo               NYIT Logo

The Empire State Virtual NY Branch AAUW & The New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
invite you to join us at Student Leadership Development and Career Fair at the NYIT
NYIT, 16 W 61st St, New York, NY, 10023, 11th floor Auditorium
April 22, 2016, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Free for all students!

Come join us to learn how to negotiate your first job and learn about what employers are looking for in potential employers.

Register at http://goo.gl/forms/eBWMRZXrYO

For more information, email Michelle Messenger at mmesseng@nyit.edu
Or Maria Ellis at mellis@fsacap.com