IM-K AAUW Branch receives ‘Our Mission Matters’ Award

IRON MOUNTAIN – The Iron Mountain-Kingsford Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) received the “Our Mission Matters” Award at the 2014 AAUW of Michigan Convention, held recently in Detroit. Jan Van Gasse, local branch president, accepted the award, which was given for making an impact to achieve equity for all women and girls.

The Iron Mountain-Kingsford Branch continued a mission-based project, which is the annual book sale. The book sale provides money for local scholarships.

This philanthropic outreach includes awarding four scholarships of $1,000 each on an annual basis. One scholarship is for a non-traditional student, who is 22 years of age or older and planning to enter or return to college. The other three scholarships are offered to three graduating seniors of local high schools.

The group also invited a speaker from the AAUW of Michigan state board to promote awareness of “human trafficking” by presenting to local branch members. Dr. Penny Larsen, AAUW of Michigan vice president for membership, was the speaker at the January branch meeting on this topic.

The branch increased membership by more than 10 percent during the past year. They have received publicity in the local news media on numerous occasions and supported Equal Pay Day 2013 with an article in the newspaper.

The branch also networked with other community organizations that support the mission of equity for women. They partnered with the Diversity Club of Bay West Community College during Women’s History month, holding a panel discussion on feminism and showing the film “Miss Representation.”