New column to feature the impact of women

By Carolyn Boggot

American Association of University Women

How do women impact the city of Austin?  What is their role in creating a vital community?  Many times, women work quietly behind the scenes with little or no recognition, but without their efforts, Austin would be a very different place.

Carolyn Boggot
American Association of University Women

The mission of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Members of the Austin Branch of AAUW have been impacting positively the lives of women and girls in Austin since 1937, by, among other things, providing scholarships to college students, by holding candidate forums before elections, and by advocating for initiatives that benefit everyone.

For 12 years, our branch has sponsored a Women’s History Project contest for students in American History at Austin High School and an all school assembly featuring outstanding women speakers including Kiann Vanenover, FBI agent  and Ann Bancroft, Explorer. Our branch members serve in volunteer roles throughout the city, county, and state.  We have served on city boards and in government. We work to make our community a better place to live.

Austin has a legacy of strong women: Pat Piper, Edna Schrafel, Ruth Rasmussen, and Eulalah Adwell to name just a few. Think about all the women who have worked tirelessly for their churches and PTA groups throughout history.

It was a group of women who started the Ladies Floral Club which was responsible for starting the public library in Austin. The Parenting Resource Center began when two women had a vision to help parents.  Women started the Christian Education Center and the food coop. Women had the inspiration and worked with vigor to bring about the renovation of the Hormel Home.  The Austin Artworks Festival was the dream of Belita Schindler, former Austin Mayor Bonnie Rietz and several other women.

Now, in conjunction with the Austin Daily Herald, the Austin Branch of AAUW will be featuring Austin women who have made and are continuing to make a positive impact on our community. We look forward to highlighting some of the many and varied ways that women make a difference in our lives. We hope you will enjoy their stories over the coming months and appreciate all that they have accomplished.

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