The Long Beach Branch of AAUW has a long and prestigious history. The full fascinating history of our 85+ year-old branch, written by Norma Grady, is available as a PDF. Click here for the full history. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read the file. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat. For the informative overview please continue reading.
85 Years of AAUW – Long Beach
From the full history by Norma Grady
1920 – 1940:
The small group of college-educated women who had formed the College Women’s Club of Long Beach in 1911 became affiliated with the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, forbear of AAUW, in 1920. Given that this was the same year that the 20th Amendment extended voting rights to all American women, the Branch joined with the League of Women Voters to establish a school for voters. During these early years they also created a Toy Loan Library, an Inter-Club Legislature, a city-wide Creative Arts Festival, and a Community Arts Survey. The Branch’s focus on education emerged early—in the 1920s members were holding Scholarship Teas and raising money for scholarships.
1941 – 1945:
During World War II, the Branch set up a Speakers Bureau in connection with consumer research, worked with the YWCA in finding rooms for defense workers, bought $5000 in War Bonds, and, with American Women’s Volunteer Service, established, helped furnish, and staffed a Servicewomen’s Club.
1945 – 1970:
In the post-war years, AAUW-Long Beach conducted a survey of recreational facilities that resulted in supervised playgrounds, updated the Arts Survey of Long Beach, and did a study of juvenile problems in Lakewood, resulting in supervised recreation in Pan-American Park. Members began a Braille Transcribing Section that produced hundreds of books for blind students.
1970 – 1995:
In cooperation with other organizations, the Branch was instrumental in developing and presenting the first of the popular Literary Women’s Conferences. Among other contributions to the local community, members published Choosing Childcare: a Directory of Child Care Facilities in Long Beach. The group successfully raised money for three named EF fellowships during these years.
1995 – 2005:
The past ten years have seen an explosion of new activities by the Branch: an outstanding program where members have mentored over fifty middle- and high-school girls at risk of not achieving their potential; support of Tech Trek scholarships for twenty-one local girls; provision of reading tutors for Constellation Middle School; and a Math-Science workshop for middle-school girls. At the same time, the Branch has completed another named EF fellowship and has consistently been one of the leading California donors to the Legal Advocacy Fund.