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GFWC Executive Committee Attends White House Brief

January 22, 2015

Organization Engages in Dialogue On Domestic Violence, Early Childhood Education and Veterans’ Issues

January 22, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) – The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Executive Committee, led by International President Babs J. Condon, attended a White House briefing on Wednesday, January 21. Key Administration staffers engaged with GFWC leaders for an informative dialogue that encompassed a variety of issues and initiatives that are high priorities for both the Federation and Administration.

“GFWC was honored to have such an opportunity to discuss with the White House vital issues that have literally shaped our Federation through the years,” said GFWC President Condon. “As an organization dedicated to community improvement, we must take time to discuss important topics that impact the quality of life for all–especially those related to women and girls, early childhood education, and veterans’ services. With more than 3,000 clubs and 100,000 members across the country and internationally, GFWC is uniquely positioned to educate communities about Administration initiatives in these areas, as well as others highlighted in the President’s State of the Union Address.”

The Executive Committee received an overview from Hallie Schneir, Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, which focused on the profound effect of local level impact and grass roots engagement–a characteristic that has defined GFWC for well over a century. Schneir complimented both the breadth and scope of GFWC’s work and provided insight into possible future areas of engagement.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Deputy Director of Public Engagement, touched on many of the points President Obama laid out in his recent State of the Union Address–middle class economics, costs of education, keeping good and high-paying jobs in America, and setting strong environmental standards. The dialogue that followed allowed GFWC leaders to point out scholarship support that has long been part of the fabric of the Federation. It also led to a conversation about GFWC’s work in the areas of conservation and environmental sustainability.

Kyle Lierman, Associate Director of Public Engagement, focused on the “It’s On Us” campaign, which seeks to engage and educate those who are not victims of sexual assault to take action and change that culture within their communities. Lierman also described “Invest In US” to the Executive Committee. This program challenges public and private partners, business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, elected officials, and individuals to build a better nation by expanding high-quality early childhood education.

Dr. Tiffany McNair, MD, MPH, a White House Fellow in the Office of the Vice President, spoke more in-depth about the Administration’s outreach on college campuses and demand for local police to respond to and help prevent campus sexual assault. McNair also briefed the Executive Committee on the White House’s efforts to empower young girls at risk of HIV/AIDS. These topics resonated with GFWC leaders as they represent some of the most powerful and pervasive objectives of many of the Federation’s clubs.

“We are proud to have an audience with the White House on these issues that are of such importance to us all as Americans,” said Condon. “We look forward to working with the Administration and position GFWC as an agent of positive change for the future just as we have been for 125 years, by Living the Volunteer Spirit.”

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