AAUW Lakewood is almost as old as the City of Lakewood, which was incorporated in 1969; current population is 150,000 citizens. Lakewood Branch was founded in 1972 and now has more than 100 members. From the start, members embraced the new branch, as they developed into leaders and agents of change. Two members became Mayor of Lakewood, two became Colorado State Senators, two became Colorado State Representatives and several have served on the Lakewood City Council.
Adhering to the AAUW mission (AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.) AAUW Lakewood for 33 years raised money to help support the AAUW Funds by successfully organizing our Holiday Home Fair, which grossed $53,000 in six hours at its peak. The branch has continued to raise funds in a variety of ways, as with several spring plant sales and, currently, with our Spring Tea and Silent Auction.
Over the years, we have advocated for women and girls in a variety of ways. We worked hard to help pass Title IX and ratify the Colorado ERA Amendment. (Unfortunately, the ERA Amendment failed national ratification.) We have followed relevant bills in the Colorado State Legislature and lobbied for causes that support our mission. Some of us have trained to teach $tart $mart sessions to college women, so they can negotiate more effectively for fair career salaries. For several decades, we have hosted a Great Decisions discussion group for members and the public.
We have participated in our community in many ways:
- We continue to provide monthly meals for the Action Center Shelter.
- We raise funds for Second Wind of Metro Denver, a teen suicide prevention organization.
- For several years we have enabled middle school girls to attend Expanding Your Horizons, a day-long event that includes hands-on activities in STEM.
- During election years, we hold political forums for the public and our members.
- In the past, we helped to place Lakewood’s Stone House on the National Register of Historic Places; commissioned a life-size bronze statue, sculpted by a member; raised funds to place another sculpture outside the Lakewood Heritage Center; supplied the Action Center with its first computer server; mentored young women in high school; and have supported Stride, which helps women work toward self-sufficiency.
With help through the nationwide AAUW network, Lakewood Branch focuses on education equality, intellectual growth, individual worth and development opportunities for women and girls.
To relax, as well as build camaraderie, our members play bridge and mahjong, indulge in luscious food, and share their favorite or latest thought-proving books through five book groups. In addition, Diversions are a one-time opportunity to explore the unknown, learn something new or be entertained.