Founded in 1971, with Kathryn Bryan as President, the Tarrant County Branch of the AAUW was formed to meet the needs of working women, as well as women of all backgrounds, who wanted to make a difference in the community. For the past 20 years TCB AAUW has been a pioneer in mentoring young women and encouraging them to further their education.
TCB raises funds annually to be divided between the Tarrant County College Scholarships, AAUW Educational Fellowships and Grants and the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF). They have funded two Research & Project Grants on the national level. One grant was in the name of the Tarrant County Branch for $35,000. The second was in memory of member Martha Ann Post, also for $35,000.
TCB grants were used to support Community Action Grantee Con Mi Madre’s Senior Support Program in Austin, Texas in 2012. This program helps high school seniors with college selection, the application and financial aid processes, and transition issues. It involves the mothers throughout the process so that they become their daughters’ biggest advocates.
TCB raised funds for a grant in memory of member D. A. Kollmeier and a fellowship in memory Senator Barbara Jordan. Currently the branch makes contributions to the Ann Richards Fellowship.
Since 2000, TCB has sponsored the Sister-to-Sister Summit, a full day event held annually for middle school girls from five FWISD schools: Meacham, Kirkpatrick, Elder, Stripling, and Riverside. Due to continued growth, this event is now held at TCC-Trinity Campus. TCB members train college women student volunteers from TCU & TCC to mentor the middle school girls in small groups. The curriculum addresses current concerns of girls at that age, regarding good decision-making, body image, and the value of completing high school, as well as aspiring to attend college. Over the years approximately 1000 middle school girls have participated in this program.
TCB has endowed Scholarships with the Tarrant County College Foundation since 1998. After starting with $25,000, the endowment has grown substantially. TCB currently offers three $750 scholarships for each semester to deserving students at TCC.
TCB started a new monthly Community Service Group in September, 2012. This group works in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the community through volunteerism. Some of the projects AAUW-TCB members have participated in were: volunteering at the Tarrant Area Food Bank, packing Holiday Gift Bags for the Homeless at Unity Park, and serving at a mobile food pantry.
AAUW Tarrant County Branch has been a donor to The Women’s Center since 1995, both financially and through advocacy. They have been a sign sponsor and had a team in the Victory Over Violence Walk/Run every year . Members have volunteered at Christmas by wrapping gifts and donating wish list items when needed. For several years AAUW TCB has had a Community Service Project to help fill VOV participant bags each year.
In 2010, TCB hosted a Centennial Celebration at the downtown YWCA Branch to honor 3 women’s organizations that have contributed one hundred plus years of service to women: the AAUW, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences and the YWCA.
TCB members participated in the following local civic events:
- Co-sponsored the Women’s Policy Forum educational collaborative program, “Curbing the Dropout Rate.”
- Participated in the “Infant Mortality Silent March” in downtown Fort Worth in 2009 to increase awareness of the high infant mortality rate in our city.
Early Years of TCB:
In the early years TCB was very involved in environmental issues. One project was planting trees for the city of Fort Worth along the Trinity River.
In 1978 TCB co-hosted the Southwest Central Regional Conference of AAUW.
In 1982 TCB organized the first Women’s Appointments Forum, rallying members to file for positions on city boards and commissions. Member Kathryn Bryan was appointed as the first woman to the Electrical Advisory Board, followed by member Joan Rambin. Member Jean Tant served on the Mechanical Advisory Board.
Also in 1982 TCB hosted a 30-minute radio program focusing on TCB AAUW with information on community activities, programs and speakers.
From 1994-97 TCB co-sponsored with Northeast Tarrant County Branch the “Cinderella Doesn’t Live Here…Anymore!” Seminar for high school girls to encourage them to continue their education and to become “anyone they wanted to be.” Women of various professions, including scientists, engineers, pilots, doctors, and astronauts, were invited to participate in the program to introduce nontraditional career paths to the girls.
This grew into the Sister-to-Sister Summit previously mentioned. TCB worked collaboratively with the AAUW Northeast Tarrant County Branch (NETC) to develop the Sister-to-Sister workshop model which brought girls to a college campus. NETC then replicated the event at the TCC Northeast Campus.