Speaker: Marilyn Lawler (District 2 Director; AAUW-IL, Inc.)
Click HERE to download Marilyn's comments as a
Since 1984, the Agent of Change Award has been presented annually to an AAUW- Illinois member who has served as a catalyst to bring about positive societal change. All efforts relating to AAUW's mission are considered, with special emphasis placed on activities that relate to current AAUW priorities and initiatives, such as education, equity, diversity, and public policy. Selection is made by the directors of the five AAUW-Illinois districts.
This year's recipient is a “WOW.” She is without a doubt a woman who lives the AAUW mission and purpose. Her energy and intellect reflect her dedication and willingness to effect change. For providing an outstanding example to promote AAUW through the Jane Addams Day event this past December, and for directing the exceptional SWAN Day event in March 2011, our 2012 Agent of Change Award goes to Jan Lisa Huttner.
Jan, would you please join me at the podium?
“Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now” (WITASWAN) is a grassroots effort to mobilize audience support for creative women in all media. Jan took the initiative to create WITASWAN in 2002 when the AAUW-Illinois Board responded to a biased and ridiculous article in the New York Times which asked a good question, "Why are there so few women filmmakers?" The response, however, that women are the ones to blame, brought our Value Promise to the forefront reminding us that "by joining AAUW, we belong to a community that breaks though educational and economic barriers so that all women have a fair chance." In 2005, the Illinois Board again addressed the issue of women in the arts and announced their support for an International SWAN Day event. Under her direction, Jan advanced equity for women and girls through the WITASWAN ideals and the SWAN Day project she has completed. The 2011 SWAN Day proved once again that Jan's actions are ingrained in AAUW's mission, purpose, and diversity.
And in case that wasn't enough, Jan has been active on yet another front. After the Carbondale Branch pushed for legislation to create Jane Addams Day, Jan pushed for a celebration. Logistically it made sense for the Chicago Branch to host the celebration and to render honor to Jane Addams as one of their co-founders. Jane Addams lived and worked for social justice. Without any hesitation, Jan fulfills the purpose of the Illinois Board, "in collaboration with other groups sharing a common vision of social justice," by celebrating Jane Addams' life. The December 10, 2011 event featured special guests, Anita Hill, an Addams' historian, Louise Knight. IWPA (the Illinois Woman’s Press Association) co-sponsored the meeting and Jan portrayed Jane Addams in costume.
It is without hesitation that Jan Lisa Huttner embodies the boldness and beauty of a modern, American woman. All forms of media, especially cinema, are powerful avenues toward cultural understanding. Jan Lisa Huttner created a way to begin the necessary changes which will occur in this male dominated arena. Jan always says she needs AAUW to remind her that societal change is possible. So after the 10th Anniversary of WITASWAN and the 5th anniversary of Jane Addams Day, it is now time to be a part of her activism and embrace her work by honoring her with the Agent of Change Award for 2012.
Thank you, Jan.
Most Photo Credits: Richard Bayard Miller (4/28/12)
Photo with Rich Miller: Alice Smith (4/28/12)
4/28/12 Post © Jan Lisa Huttner (5/1/12)