Welcome to the AAUW Boise Area Branch Website

The Boise Area Branch 

The Boise Area Branch was formed in 1909 and originally named the College Women’s Club. Jane Hoover served as the first president. At that time, the national organization was called the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA), and in 1910 a delegate was sent to the national convention in Denver, Colorado. Over the years, the branch has been a powerful voice for equity in Idaho’s capital city.women with signs at U.S. capitol

The branch meets monthly, September through May. Elected officers for the 2016-2017 term are:  Sylvia Chariton, president; Susan Lamberson, president-elect; Dena Duncan, membership vice president; Carolyn Lunstrum and Kathy Reavy, program co-vice presidents; Cathy Ransom, finance officer; and Kris Hooker, secretary. Find complete board information on our Contact page.

Members with AAUW banner at Idaho CapitolOver the years, members have developed a number of eclectic interest groups, which bring like-minded women together to address cultural and social topics, and to have fun!  See the Interest Groups page for more information and get in on the fun.

Sylvia Chariton, Lilly Ledbetter, Julie Custer June 2015

Sylvia Chariton, Lilly Ledbetter and Boise Area Branch President Julie Custer, June 2015

Upcoming programs will be posted to the Boise Branch Calendar as they become available; time and location are added as they are confirmed. For more information, consult the most recent newsletter, posted in the sidebar.  Visit our About page to learn more about us and what we do, and read more about the branch’s community involvement on our Special Projects page.

Otterness women

Three generations of Boise AAUW women!

State conventions are held every two years, hosted by an Idaho branch. The 2016 AAUW Idaho Convention will be hosted by the AAUW Coeur d’Alene Branch. Find state and national convention information on our AAUW Idaho website or the AAUW Idaho Calendar page.


Vote November 8, 2016

2016–2017 News Clips 

how to become president

Photo via By Duell, Sloan & Pearce Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

  • Women have been running for president of the United States since 1872 — before women even had the right to vote. This year, two high-profile women entered the race, and Hillary Clinton has now become the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. Here are some of the women who have tried to crack the ultimate glass ceiling. 
  • Branch members welcomed AAUW’s top policy advisor, Lisa Maatz, back to Boise in September, where she spoke at the 2016 Andrus Center for Public Policy Women and Leadership Conference. Maatz also attended the branch’s Happy Hour and spoke at the Welcome Back Brunch. View gallery photos at the bottom of our About page.
    Lisa Maatz

    Lisa Maatz addresses attendees at 2016 Andrus Center Women and Leadership Conference

    Tracy Andrus introduces Lisa Maatz

    Tracy Andrus introduces AAUW’s Lisa Maatz, keynote speaker at 2016 Andrus Center Women and Leadership Conference

  • The 2016 AAUW Idaho State Convention was held August 12-14, 2016 in beautiful Coeur d’Alene. Branch members from around the state enjoyed an excellent program and fellowship. Thank you to the Coeur d’Alene Branch team members who graciously hosted the gathering.
  • On May 7, 2016, the branch ended the program year with a bang at our annual Spring Luncheon and Silent Auction at the Riverside Hotel.  Next year’s slate of officers was installed, and 66 members and guests raised over $5,000 at the fabulous auction. Outgoing President Julie Custer received a special award for her service, and extended thanks to all the luncheon attendees for their generosity. An extra special thank you went to Kay Reed, Linda Anderson, Marci Lingo, and Mary Ruckh for their countless hours of hard work in making the year’s auction such a huge success. Another shout out went to Andy Gibson and Mary Slaughter for coordinating the luncheon and all the other special events this past year, and to Wes Gibson for his photos.
  • Mom’s Penalty, Dad’s Bonus
    Women around the country “celebrated” Equal Pay Day on April 12, but mothers (and most women of color) have to wait even longer for their paychecks to catch up. May 16 represents the symbolic day when the median pay of mothers who work full time, year-round, catches up to the pay that working fathers received the previous year. Mothers typically are paid only 73 cents for every dollar fathers are paid — mothers face a pay gap larger than the 21-cent gap between women and men overall.
    Local branch members commemorated Equal Pay Day, April 12, 2016, at Boise’s Whole Foods. Members enjoyed libations and talked about ways to close the gender pay gap.
  • ¡Adelante! Turns 20
    One gender gap we don’t hear about often is the literary gender gap. In 2014, 41 percent of books reviewed by the New York Times were by women; for Harper’s Magazine, it was 28 percent. And the numbers are even worse for women of color: 15 percent for the New York Times and 7 percent for Harper’s Magazine. That’s why we created the ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club: to spotlight engrossing stories and writing by women from all backgrounds. The 2016-2017 reading list is out! Use it to make plans for your book club and be sure to join in upcoming online author discussions.
  • April was Sexual Assault Awareness month. Our meeting speaker was Program Manager of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Melissa Ruth.
  • The Andrus Center hosted a “watch party” on March 30, 2016, for the launch of AAUW’s upcoming research report, Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership. The report was streamed live from the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  A panel of experts, moderated by Cokie Roberts, discussed the report’s findings and how our society as a whole can benefit from more women in leadership roles.  Download a copy of the new report here.
  • Read AAUW Boise member Amie Bruggeman’s Idaho Statesman Guest Opinion piece (March 2016) about the need to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
  • The 2016 Idaho Legislative session began on Monday, January 11, 2016 and adjourned Sine Die on March 25, 2016.  The AAUW Idaho Statehouse Lobby Corps was busy at the Capitol throughout, speaking with legislators, testifying at hearings, writing letters and op-ed pieces to voice positions. Follow the AAUW Idaho Advocacy page for a recap of the session.
  • On March 3, 2016, the branch held a ‘Getting to Know You’ gathering at the home of Marci Lingo and Dick Holden. Thank you, Marci and Dick, for hosting, and thanks to all the new and ‘old’ members that attended.
  • President-elect Sylvia Chariton wrote an Idaho Statesman Guest Opinion piece about Title IX.  Chariton succinctly summarized the law’s many benefits. Learn more about AAUW’s work on Title IX here.
  • Our branch actively supports STEM education! Visit our Special Projects page to see what STEM Chair Donna Looze is working on.
  • “Women, Their Rights, and Nothing Less”
    How can you use AAUW’s free online learning module about the suffrage movement?  Explore the module to learn how to implement this material into local high school and college and university partner classrooms.
  • AAUW is working to end sexual violence on campus.  Check out this resource for students, schools and advocates.