Why Does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matter to AAUW?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are words that organizations can use when seeking to create meaningful, systemic change toward more equitable environments that eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of historically marginalized groups. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people.

Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance. Verna Myers

Since 1881 the vast majority of AAUW members have been upper class, cisgendered, white women. This in turn has shaped, good and bad, the organization we have today. Acknowledging where we have come from is the first step in creating a sustainable future for AAUW. Understanding that the people we surround ourselves with have a direct impact on the way we see and engage with the world is a necessity for change. If our circles of peers all look and think the same, then we are not growing or challenging our notions of the world.

As educated women, we should all be familiar with the rigor of peer reviewed study, thought provoking studies, and critical discussion based learning. Those same principles can be applied to AAUW, in the way we create programs, the language that is used to market our organization, the images used on press releases and posters. Taking the first step to creating an inclusive environment is recognizing there is an opportunity for change. We must all look critically at our involvement in AAUW and ways we can begin to ask all members of our community to dance at the AAUW party.

Learn More:

Books Available At Your Public Library:

  • What if I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People by Verna A Myers
  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
  • Microaggressions in Everyday Life by Derald Wing Sue
  • An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, PhD