This is one in a periodic series of profiles of Ashland service clubs submitted by the clubs. We welcome such submissions. Sent 500 words with a bit about club history, mission, membership and meetings to betling@dailytidings.com. Questions? Call 541-631-1313.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Ashland advances equity for women and girls through philanthropy, education, research and advocacy. It is one of more than 1,000 branches of AAUW National, a network of more than 165,000 members and 800 college and university partners.

Since 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day: educational, social, economic, and political.

The greatest achievement of the AAUW Ashland branch is the scholarship program which benefits women attending Southern Oregon University (SOU) and Rogue Community College (RCC). In addition to awarding more than $60,000 in scholarships over the past three years, the Ashland branch recently initiated campaigns to make their Endowment Funds at SOU and RCC self-funding.

Scholarship recipients are honored each spring at the annual Celebration of Scholars event. Women-In-Need (WIN) is a program that supports women and children at Dunn House, the only domestic violence shelter in Jackson County. Working with Dunn House staff, AAUW identifies a specific project each year. Past initiatives have included new bedding, kitchen utensils and small appliances, and bedroom security locks.

In 2014, Community Works awarded their prestigious Visionary Award to AAUW Ashland. The Public Policy Team conducts on-going research projects. The current focus is sexual assault in middle school, high school, and the university. They work closely with the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and provide financial support for development of curriculum for use in schools.

Public Policy initiated discussions with SOU’s administration regarding the prevention and reporting of sexual assaults on campus and studied the Ashland Police Department’s nationally recognized “You Have Options” sexual assault program. The research results and programs are presented to AAUW members at branch meetings. In addition to the generous contributions of members, AAUW Ashland sponsors various fundraising events to support mission-related programs.

This year will mark the 20th year of the annual Spring Garden Tour. Donated furniture and household items are sold at “$$$ (Dollars) 4 Scholars”, a multi-site garage sale. Salons are a social time “by Members, for Members, and about Members.” Each session spotlights a member’s career and achievements. Proceeds benefit national efforts in the areas of equal pay, STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), women candidates, etc.

Branch interest groups grew out of AAUW’s commitment to lifelong learning. They encourage ongoing intellectual growth and long-lasting friendships. Current groups include books, music, films/plays, gourmet dining, genealogy, and more.

Learn more by visiting ashland-or.aauw.net.