AAUW’s Diversity Statement
In principle and practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.

Stand Against Racism Challenge

Previously known as the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, the Stand Against Racism Challenge: A Virtual Community of Growth is the same program developed by YWCA Greater Cleveland and adapted nationwide.

You will be presented with challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience and more. Participation in an activity like this helps us to discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our community, to connect with one another, and to identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination. This is an exciting opportunity to dive deep into racial equity and social justice. We hope you will join us on this journey, and we can’t wait to get started,

The first official Stand Against Racism Challenge launches Monday, April 4th. With all new content and challenge material, you won’t want to miss this! Registration for the Challenge is open today!

Invest $21for21

Challenge yourself to invest in your racial equity and social justice development by joining $21for21. Racial equity work is consistently underfunded, and we need your help to provide high quality programming like the Stand Against Racism Challenge. Make a $21 investment in your anti-racist development and encourage 21 other people to take the challenge and match your investment.

Juneteenth in Medina

GraphicDon’t forget, Medina’s first Juneteenth event, celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two months after the Confederate Army surrendered to end the Civil War, the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war was over and slaves were now free.  June 19th or “Juneteenth” became an official state holiday in Texas in 1980.  As its observance grew across the country, it was declared an official federal holiday in 2021. The Medina Diversity Project are working together with help from the City of Medina and Main Street Medina to present a day of reflection and community, with a church service, entertainment, featured speakers, food and vendors.

Conversations on Diversity Book Club!

BookThe Diversity Book Group is meeting June 27 on ZOOM from 7PM to 8PM. Contact Jeannine Murray to get the online information to join the group discussion or to get a copy of the book at jmw597b@yahoo.com or 440-759-8806.

We are reading The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor. Please contact Jeannine Murray at jmw597b@yahoo.com for more information and to receive the ZOOM link.

As we begin the 2nd year of this reading group, it is a great pleasure to welcome you! We meet on the 3rd Monday of every month at 7:00pm, with a few exceptions around the holidays.

Last year, the books we read were suggested by the Medina County District Library’s Reader Advisory Librarian, Mary Olson.  They were all focused on fictional stories based on people of color. At the end of the year, our readers expressed a desire to expand reading choices to include stories about indigenous Americans, Latinos, Asians and the experience of other racial minorities.  Accordingly, this year’s reading list includes such stories as suggested by club members and Mary Olson.

I usually receive half a dozen books supplied from the library which, with advanced notice, can be picked up at my house, 3 blocks south of the library.  If you choose that as an option, let me know.

Let me know of any questions you may have and to be added to my list to receive the Zoom information.

Jeannine Murray
Cell: 440-759-8806

Check out the list of books and dates/meeting time of our monthly meetings. Again, welcome!

    • September 20, 2021    7:00 pm The Vanishing Half, 352 pages
    • October 18, 2021         7:00 pm Transcendent Kingdom, 288 pages
    • November 15, 2021     7:00 pm The Night Watchman, 484 pages
    • December 20, 2021     Holiday Social – Agenda TBD
    • January 17, 2022          7:00 pm Deacon King Kong, 371 pages
    • February 21, 2022       7:00 pm The House Made of Dawn , 212 pages
    • March 21, 2022            7:00 pm The Woman in the White Kimono, 352 pages
    • April 18,2022                7:00 pm When I Was Puerto Rican , 278 pages
    • May 16, 2022                7:00 pm Caste
    • June 27, 2022               7:00 pm The Women of Brewster Place

March, 2022 Diversity Program at the Brunswick Library

Drop in to check out a person for a 20 min. One-on-one conversation.  Ask questions, learn, grow and enjoy meeting someone new has overcome adversity, challenges or just has a really great story to tell!

Check outs are on a first come, first served basis when you arrive.  You can check out multiple “books” if desired. Here are some of the “book” titles you can “check out”:

  • Jessica Hazeltine “Mental Health and Addiction: Suicide Survivor with Dual Diagnosis”
  • Robin Rashid “American Female Muslim: Marrying a Muslim Man and Raising a Family”
  • Father Bob Stec “Man of the Cloth: A Call to Serve the Catholic Church”
  • Ron Stollar “One More Sunrise:  Surviving and Thriving After a Traumatic Car Crash”
  • Stanley Kaczynski “Living with Autism”
  • Alan Daubner  “Some Assembly Required: Life as a Transgender Man”

You can register on the library website. Or feel free to call AAUW member Mary Baker for more information.

Another Diversity Event

Join Cleveland Cavaliers VP of Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement, Kevin Clayton and Amy Demlow, Managing Member of Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd., for a discussion about “Leading and Leveraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” This free event is sponsored by Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd. with support from the Medina County Community Fund is on Wednesday, March 2,   2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Zoom. 

“As business leaders, we all have the responsibility to serve as catalysts for change in our respective workplaces,” remarked Amy L. Demlow, Managing Member of Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd. “Critchfield is honored to sponsor this important discussion.  We understand that DEI can improve organizational and team performance, and we look forward to Kevin providing us with knowledge and a framework for positive action.”

Kevin Clayton leads the strategy, program planning and execution for diversity and inclusion initiatives to strengthen and expand the Cleveland Cavaliers efforts to maintain a robust, welcoming and inclusive workplace culture.

The Cavaliers have a long-standing respect and appreciation for diversity and inclusion. The team is proud to have one of the highest minority full staff percentages across all major league sports, as well as ranking in the NBA’s top five franchises for women and women of color at the Vice President level and above. Additional efforts were recognized in 2018 when the team was awarded the “Best-in-Class Award” for Senior Management Diversity by the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP).

For more information visit https://leadershipmedinacounty.org/inspire_events/post-event-talk-with-cleveland-cavs-kevin-clayton/, email info@leadershipmedinacounty.org, or call 330-721-7118.

Annual Black History Month Program

Thursday, February 17, 2022
 7-8:00 PM on Armstrong channel 100 or channel 4

GraphicThe program was taped at Medina Fellowship Baptist Church hosted by Pastor and Mrs. Peterson. AAUW chairwoman of Diversity, Allison Lee, and her committee prepared this year’s fantastic program. Some highlights of the program will be as follows:

  • The Voices of the Fellowship Choir led by Pastor Michael Wilson singing “We Come this Far by Faith”
  • Former AAUW president Kathy Kraus telling the true story of “Henry in the Box”
  • Senesa Peterson reading “The History of Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America
  • Mrs Hawa Buie singing “Alabaster Box” by Cece Winans
  • Dawan Buie, Associate Pastor of United Methodist Church, speaking about his family’s history.
This is the link that will take you to the Armstrong Neighborhood Channel Youtube Page for:

The video will premiere at 7:00 PM on Thursday February 17. It will air on channel 4 and 100 in Medina and Orrville at the same time, and will re-air throughout next week at 12:00PM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 8:00 PM on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Many thanks to Michael Tuchek from Armstrong Cable, for his help in taping this program and making it widely available to the Medina community. We hope you will enjoy it.

Diversity Book Club – Toni Morrison Lecture

After the last Diversity Book Club meeting, member Robin shared a video of a lecture by author Toni Morrison that she thought members would enjoy and appreciate.

Medina Diversity Project Event, August 9

The Medina Diversity Project, in partnership with the Medina County District Library, is presenting a virtual program, “Understanding Your Jewish Neighbor,” on Monday, August 9th, at 6:30 pm.

Rabbi David Horowitz from Temple Israel shares the basic beliefs and practices of Jewish people, common stereotypes and misconceptions, and what it’s like to be Jewish in America.  The Zoom link will be emailed to all registered participants before the event.  You must have the link to access the event. Register at Medina County District Library.

Medina Diversity Project Event, June 29

The Medina County District Library and the Medina Diversity Project are partnering to present a virtual program, “Understanding Christianity,” on Tuesday June 29th at 7:00 pm.

Five Medina County clergy members will participate in a forum moderated by Rev. Beth McGuire, formerly with Hospice of Medina County.  The participating clergy are: Father Tony Sejba, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church; Rev. Laura Fitt-Baird, First Christian Church; Rev. Arthur Ruffin, Second Baptist Church; Rev. Luke Lindon, United Church of Christ Congregational, and Rev. Tal Lewis, Medina Methodist Church.  They will share traditions and beliefs within their respective denominations, as well as how they interact with other denominations.

Registration is required.  Go to the Medina County District Library website, www.mcdl.org to register or use this link: Understanding Christianity The Zoom link with be emailed to all registered participant before the event.  You must have the link to access the event.


Juneteenth will be celebrated by the Diversity Program this Saturday, June 19, 2021 at the Pizza Palooza on the Square, 9 AM to 2 PM.

Take the Diversity Challenge at the Diversity Table.  Can you identify these Black and Brown  leaders, actors, athletes, authors?  How many clues do you need to identify them?

Need more suggestions? Check out our ideas for celebrating Juneteenth


The Green Book: Driving While Black

Not even a pandemic could stop AAUW’s Black History Program titled “Driving While Black.” We started our Zoom journey with the song, “Route 66” and a prayer for safety by Jill Heck. Kathy Kraus as Victoria, with her black friend Matilda, took us on a journey from Cleveland to Georgia, using The Negro Motorist’s Green Book. This travel guide was written by Victor Hugo Green in 1936. It provided Blacks with the names and addresses of restaurants, motels, tourist homes, gas stations that would welcome them. This guide could be purchased at ESSO gas stations. In the 1950’s in all fifty states 50 thousand copies a year were sold. Most Blacks traveling at that time packed their own food and pillows. They took a can just in case they could not access a restroom. They also had a code word to signal “get in the car now” in case they encountered any problems.

They had to travel the back roads because they were not welcome at facilities on the main highways. The guide stopped publication in 1966 when most of these travel businesses opened to everyone as a result of the Civil Rights Act.

Allison Lee gave a short biography of Victor Green. A Florida acapella choir sang the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Alana Arnold delivered an inspirational keynote address. She reminded us that “democracy may be delayed, but never permanently defeated. We must find solutions to unite all people, to find common ground and understanding.” Colleen Rice provided the technology expertise to make the videos work. The program closed with a prayer by Senesa Peterson and the song “This Little Light of Mine.” Over 75 people attended the Zoom presentation. Thanks to Kim Oliver, AAUW diversity chairwoman, for her leadership in planning this program.


A follow up to the Black History Month program on the Green Book
By Pat Chaloupek

Lincoln Hills, Colorado was the only vacation resort west of the Mississippi owned and operated for African- Americans at a time when there were limited opportunities for blacks to find accommodations.

The Lincoln Hills development, 38 miles west of Denver, was originally established as a County Club Community in 1922 with over 100 acres. Plots were made available for $50 – $100 each, with as little as $5 down. People could build cabins or camp on their property. When it was officially dedicated in 1928, it had cottages and a lodge, including Wink’s Panorama Lounge that featured noted black performers such as Lena Horne, Count Bassie and others who would come from gigs in Denver. The resort was accessible by railroad as well as automobile.

At the time of the resort’s founding, the KKK was dominant in Denver politics and the Colorado Governor was a Klan member. Lincoln Hills catered to middle class blacks from the Denver area and other west and mid-west locations. It provided an “escape” from city life and the pressures of Jim Crow restrictions with activities such as camping, hiking, swimming, fishing and being outdoors in the Colorado Rockies. There was also a YWCA Summer Camp on site.

It officially closed in 1966, after its founder died and Civil Rights laws were passed. Some years later, Lincoln Hills was designated an Historic Site, and eventually bought by an organization dedicating itself to providing outdoor opportunities to disadvantaged youth.

  • For more information, go to its website: historiclincolnhills.com.
  • For a half-hour video, go to “Colorado Experience: Lincoln Hills.”

Other dedicated resorts at the time were Idlewild, MI, known as the “Black Eden of Michigan,” and Oak Bluffs, MA, the only town on Martha’s Vineyard that welcomed black tourists.

Pam Miller, Chair, Medina Diversity Project

On Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30 PM the Medina Diversity Project will partner with the Medina County District Library to present a 1-hour virtual program: “Introduction to Coded Language.” No registration is required and the event is limited to the first 100 people to join. Click here to access the program:

Caitlin Hawkins of the Northeast Ohio Diversity Council will talk about the definition, history, and implications of coded language (also called dog-whistles). Language and communication can be explicit and implicit. It is a component of culture that is coded with meanings, attitudes, beliefs and power dynamics.

Over time, our language and its meanings become layered and can therefore function in different spaces in different ways and for different purposes. In other words, meanings of words and their implications change over time.

This program will increase your awareness of the coded language that many of us use in our daily lives and will offer practical skills around how to critically assess one’s own language and how to respond when others use coded language.

Diversity Book Group

Growing out of our recent Diversity program, Let’s Talk, we have created a new book discussion group. Chaired by Kim Oliver and Jeanine Murray, the group will be reading a variety of books focusing on diversity. Contact Kim Oliver for more information.

Let’s Talk

When the dust from most of the recent protesting settled, a group of women, the board members of the Medina Branch of the American Association of University Women, decided the next logical step was to have a discussion about race relations. Kimberly Oliver, Medina AAUW’s Diversity Chair and candidate for Medina County Juvenile/Probate Judge, contacted Colleen Rice, Director of Leadership Medina and Pamela Miller, Chair of the Diversity Project, an offshoot of Medina AAUW. The three groups partnered to offer a Zoom community discussion on July 23, 2020.

The title of the community discussion, which was widely advertised, was “Let’s Talk: A Discussion on Systemic Racism.” The purpose was to encourage people to talk about an uncomfortable topic—race relations. But the goal, according to Oliver, was “to gauge the state of race relations in Medina County, to identify strengths and weaknesses in the community, to inspire self-examination and to engage with others to acknowledge, confront and advance the goal of a better community.”

Seventy-five community members participated—from high level corporate executives to retired concerned citizens. Participants were fairly representative of the community in terms of sex, race, and age.

Everyone was divided into groups of 5-7 participants, a facilitator, and a scribe to take notes. The following pre-prepared questions were presented by the facilitators for group discussion:

-What do you think “systemic racism and institutional racism mean?” Are there differences between the two?
-Have you ever witnessed someone being treated unfairly because of their race? If so, how did you respond and how did it make you feel?
-What does “white privilege” mean to you? How do you think white privilege affects people’s attitudes about racism in our community”
-Have you ever wondered why people of color are not doing as well as whites – in education, employment, housing, health, wealth? Why do you think that is? What are the barriers they face?
-How have recent events made you think differently about racial disparities? Have these events inspired you or discouraged you from reaching out?
-What are some actions you’d like to encourage the community, businesses, or government to take to address systemic racism? What are you willing to do?

After an honest discussion in which participants acknowledged that systemic and institutional racism were problematic in the United States, everyone talked about what might be done and what they could do to help alleviate the problems faced by African Americans.

Message from National AAUW CEO, Kimberly Churches

We join the country in mourning the losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other people of color who have been unjustly killed across our nation. Our country needs healing. But healing will only come with racial justice.

In addition to taking care of yourself and your loved ones, today we are asking you to do three things: listen, learn, and then vote.

First— listen. Listen to the Black and Brown leaders and members of your community when they speak. Remember that many people are struggling with enormous pain and despair, so we urge self-educating instead of asking Black and Brown people to work for the benefit of your learning. (If you need somewhere to start, we recommend “New Era of Public Safety: A Guide to Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing” with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and “Racism 101” with Showing Up for Racial Justice.) When listening, minimize questions to a simple, “Is there anything I can do to help you today?”

Second— learn. Read our recent statement highlighting AAUW’s stand against racism and this Washington Post article by 2016-17 AAUW American Fellow alumnae Keisha Blain about the problematic history of policing in this country. Systemic racism is firmly rooted in the United States— from police brutality to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Then talk to your family, children, and friends. Talk to them about how today’s injustices mirror our own country’s shameful history. Saying “Black lives matter” is important and needed. This is an historic moment that requires your vocal support.

Third— vote. And make sure everyone is able to access and exercise this important right. Our democracy works when everyone can fully participate, but people of color often experience discrimination at the ballot box. With a pivotal election ahead, persuading policymakers to expand voting rights is a powerful way to support marginalized communities.

Change begins with understanding and ensuring that all are being heard.

New Diversity Book Club

This can be a difficult experience. But it’s incumbent on all of us to do the hard work. We at AAUW also acknowledge as an organization that we have work to do. We invite you to join us in learning and supporting this work towards long-term and lasting change.

AAUW is a powerful and positive force for change— let us truly listen, learn and ensure everyone’s voices can be heard.

As a next step to the collaborative Conversation on Race, AAUW Medina County Branch has started a new book club.  Its goal is to provide a forum for conversation.

The books that have been chosen present stories about human relationships – love, friendships, families – and show how racial and cultural imprints influence the characters and their actions.

Monthly discussions about the books can lead to readers comparing their reactions to the story line and characters. The hope is to create new connections across neighborhoods and strengthen relationships within Medina County.

Find out more about an inter-racial book club here:
Manasota Interracial Book Club |
GUEST EDITORIAL: Manasota Interracial Book Club, learning to read one another

WHEN:  Monday, September 21st, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

WHERE: ZOOM. A link will be sent on request. Email your interest to Kim Oliver at klo44321@yahoo.com

BOOK ACCESS:  Medina County District Library, Book Club Agent, Jeannine Murray. Call her at (440) 759-8806 to arrange for contactless book pick up at 562 Wadsworth Road, Medina (3 blocks south of the library).

We hope you will join us for our first ZOOM  book discussion on Monday, September 21st, 6:30pm to 7:30pm

“THE HATE U GIVE”, by Angie Thomas
This story is about a young woman from a poor neighborhood who attends a white preparatory school. She witnesses a crime and is then torn between the two different worlds she in which she lives. The book was made into a movie in 2018, and was nominated for several NAACP Image Awards.


Diversity Chairperson, Kim Oliver was awarded First place for “Diversity and Inclusion”, for 2020 at the AAUW annual meeting. Thank you Kim for all your hard work!

AAUW and Community Organizations Host a Virtual Racism Discussion

The Medina Diversity Project, American Association of University Women (AAUW) Medina Branch and Leadership Medina County jointly hosted a community conversation on race, that took place virtually July 23, that was just as much about listening as it was about talking. During the session, participants were split into small groups for discussions. 

“We need to be listening,” said Medina Diversity Project Chair, and AAUW member Pamela Miller. “We need to get others engaged so we can come together as a community.” The facilitated format will allow community members to talk person-to-person.

“I believe listening and awareness are the first step towards a solution, and that is what we are aiming for here,” said AAUW Diversity Chair Kimberly Oliver.

18th Black History Month Program Salute to Veterans: The Fight for Freedom
Feb., 2020

Veteran Tonya Jones next to her picture.

“This year’s event acknowledged and saluted the Black Veterans of the United States of America Armed Forces who fought and continue to fight for all of our freedom even when they had or have none of their own,” announced Kim Oliver, Medina Branch Diversity Chair. The program was highlighted in a recent edition of The Medina Gazette.

The Black History Month program, which has become a tradition in our community, was held Thurs., February 20, at the Second Baptist Church, 451 Bronson St., Medina. Co-sponsors with AAUW were the Second Baptist Church and Fellowship Baptist Church.

From Civil War regiments to Tuskegee Airmen and in present day military incursions, black soldiers have distinguished themselves with valor; they were celebrated in song, poetry and historical readings.

The Claggett Middle School Choir, the Medina Community Choir, and Local VFW #5137 also participated in the program. A “pick-up” community choir sang that evening, having come to the church an hour before the program for practice. AAUW members brought plated snacks and dessert items to the Fellowship Hall for serving following the program.

AAUW Medina County Branch members, Ashley Powell, Kathy Kraus, and Jill Heck. Kraus was one of the planners of the event and offered attendees a look into the life of Col. Robert Shaw.


Oliver chaired the program with assistance from branch members Kathy Kraus and Alanna Arnold, and Pastors John and Senesa Peterson of Fellowship Baptist Church and Arthur Ruffin, of Second Baptist Church.






Young dancers in African dress

The 17th Annual Black History Month Program was held in partnership with Second Baptist and Fellowship Baptist Churches on February 21.  The program celebrated African-American culture in song, dance and personal contributions. The middle school choir, a “pick up choir”, a praise group and little dancers highlighted the evening.

2018 Annual Black History Month
Sponsored by AAUW Medina Branch and Second Baptist Church, drew a record crowd of over 300 enthusiastic persons of all ages. The “Celebrate Unity in Our Community” theme was highlighted by musical presentations from the Diversity Choir, elementary and middle school choirs and drum corps, a local soloist, and several community business persons–all who inspired us to catch the spirit of the evening. More on the Programming page.

2017 Black History Month Program was a huge success: a record crowd attended the 15th annual event held on Feb. 23, 2017.


How does Medina County score on Title IX compliance? See a commentary from our October 2016 program and panel discussion on Programming page.

13th ANNUAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROGRAM:  Medina County Branch AAUW and the Second Baptist Church hosted “A Community Conversation: Does Race Matter?” oblack history monthn February 12. At the end of the program, a number of persons expressed interest in continuing the dialogue. Branch member Pamela Miller and the Rev. Cornell Carter met with community members. From these sessions, the “Medina Diversity Project” was conceived. Contact Miller for more information.