Welcome to WEF
The Women’s Equity Foundation, established in 2005, provides positive, energizing programs promoting opportunities for all women and girls through community outreach education and activities. National, state, and local research define issues in Tennessee for which the Foundation makes recommendations for implementation of solutions. WEF is incorporated as a supporting organization of AAUW Maryville Branch and was granted nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable status by the IRS in October 2005. The Foundation inherits over 130 years of historical advocacy for women through the American Association of University Women.
East TN Freedom School
The Women’s Equity Foundation awarded a 2019 grant to the East Tennessee Freedom School to support the hiring of one Female Servant Leader Intern to be assigned to the school site in Blount County. Tennessee currently has 60% of K – 12 students reading below grade level and this statistic is higher for children of color and those who are economically disadvantaged. The Freedom School Model is focused on serving economically disadvantaged families in Blount County. They utilize research-based models and data support the success of their programs. A key component of the program is the utilization of college students who serve as role models. Participating as a Servant Leader has the potential to alter a college student’s perception of the power they may have to be a change agent in their community or the world.
The Freedom School Organization shares the WEF vision that by empowering girls and young women, we can change their lives and their communities. WEF members were able to volunteer during the session and attend and photograph the final program.
Clockwise: Site Director, Caroline Tate; Student Leader Interns Catherine Siravantha, Caleb Moore, Olivia Willey; Group presentation; East TN Freedom School poster with theme.
Women’s History Month Celebration 2019
This year, local high school and Maryville College students entertained and inspired us with the words of America’s finest female thinkers and writers. An enthusiastic audience cheered our readers for a delightful evening at Vienna Coffee House.
AAUW Maryville Branch member Wendy Pitts Reeves moderated the evening. Many parents and friends came to appreciate and cheer on the participants.
Expanding Your Horizons 2018
For the third year, WEF and AAUW Maryville Branch have sponsored Expanding Your Horizons (EYH), a daylong conference for middle school girls. This event includes hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) led by real women scientists. At the conference, girls met STEM role models and learned more about careers in those fields. Our ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st Century challenges.
Keynote speaker was Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA who described opportunities for those skilled in mathematics. 2018 workshops included “Body of Evidence,” “Engineering Design Activities,” “Fun with Forensic Chemistry,” and “Knoxville Zoo–All About Animals.”
Leading Ladies 2017
Our third successful celebration of Women’s History Month! Local women leaders share a favorite reading or musical selection from a poem, novel, play, essay, book, song, or their own work. A diverse evening of readings and music entertained and inspired the audience at Vienna Coffee House on February 24. The evening was co-sponsored by the Women’s Equity Foundation, AAUW Maryville Branch and the Chilhowee Club.
Leading Ladies 2017. Back: Kaurri C. Williams-Cockfield (K.C.), Jane Groff, Sandy Curtis, Ellie Morrow, Frances B. Henderson, PhD, Melanie Tucker, Nichole McCord. Front: Michelle Hankes (emcee), Sharon Brothers, Anna M. Love, Colleen EM Maillie. Photo Courtesy of Chelsey Williams Photography
Leading Ladies 2017 photos
Photos courtesy of Chelsey Williams Photography
See photos from Leading Ladies
See Our History in Photos and Music!
In 2006, we were recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 supporting organization of AAUW Maryville Branch. We celebrated our 10-year anniversary with a gala even that included a 13-minute movie of highlights, Celebrating 10 Years of Empowering Women and Girls. It can be viewed here.