Election issues for women, children in spotlight a...

Election issues for women, children in spotlight at Sept. 8 AAUW forum

In a turbulent election year with local, state and national offices at stake, MTSU will host a nonpartisan forum Thursday, Sept. 8, to identify practical issues important to women and families.

AAUW Mboro logo web“What’s At Stake for Women and Children in This Election,” sponsored by the American Association of University Women’s Murfreesboro branch, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8 in Cantrell Hall at MTSU’s Tom Jackson Building.

The event is free and open to the public.

Attendees may park in the Midgett Building parking lot, and parking passes will be available at the event registration table. A printable campus parking map is available at

Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks

Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks

Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, former director of the Tennessee Economic Council for Women, will moderate the panel. Panelists include Sara Beth Myers of Advocates for Women’s and Kids’ Equality of Tennessee, Zulfat Suara of Business and Professional Women of Tennessee, Emily Passini of Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee and Peggy Swann of AAUW Tennessee.

“These nonpartisan organizations spend a good deal of time on the hill in Nashville and work with Tennessee’s congressional delegation on practical issues that improve the lives of women and families in our state,” said AAUW Murfreesboro President Dia Cirillo.

Tennessee ranks dead last among all 50 states in voter turnout, according to the most recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Institute on Women’s Policy Research ranks Tennessee 42nd in the country in female voter turnout.

Dia Cirillo

Dia Cirillo

“It’s not uncommon to hear friends or colleagues talk about not voting,” said Cirillo. “Despite that fatigue, we make a difference when we hit the polls and bring our friends along.”

MTSU’s Women and Gender Studies Program, the June S. Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the American Democracy Project, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the AAUW student organization are all university co-sponsors of the button web

In addition to organizations represented on the panel, other sponsors include the League of Women Voters, the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, Women in Higher Education in Tennessee and AdvanceRutherford, a nonpartisan consortium of organizations and programs serving women and girls in Rutherford County.

AAUW works for equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. AAUW membership is open to college students and anyone with a college degree, including a two-year degree. For more information, contact Cirillo at 773-677-4238 or

— Gina K. Logue (