Lane Stone, President
Sarita Gregory, Administrator
AAUW: The American Association of University Women is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1881 by a small group of female college graduates for the purpose of opening the doors for women’s career advancement and to encourage more women to pursue higher education. The history of AAUW mirrors the challenges for and progress of women in the United States. Today, AAUW is a nationwide grassroots organization of 170,000 members and supporters whose mission is to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. We are intersectional, inclusive, intergenerational, and empowering.
AAUW of Virginia: The first branch in Virginia was established in Richmond in 1909, and AAUW of Virginia was established in 1925. Today, Virginia has 24 branches with over 5,000 members and supporters who are dedicated to accomplishing our mission. By joining AAUW, you belong to a community that takes positions and advocates on the fundamental issues of the day affecting women and girls — educational, social, economic, and political — so that all women have a fair opportunity for advancement.
AAUW of Virginia and its branches offers its members opportunities for continued learning, growth, and development of leadership skills. Local community action projects demonstrate AAUW’s commitment to positive societal change. The AAUW of Virginia Board of Directors holds a yearly statewide Summer Leadership Meeting and an annual members’ conference.
AAUW of Virginia awards mini-grants to qualifying branches each year to support local programs that advance AAUW’s mission. Recently, mini-grants have promoted STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs for girls by funding Science Camp grants and STEM Conferences for secondary school and college girls; programs on Cross-Cultural Friendships and on Human Trafficking; Start Smart Workshops teaching salary negotiation skills; and a diversity and inclusion reading activity for elementary school children, among other activities.
AAUW of Virginia promotes its legislative agenda at the national and state levels. The state legislative agenda has recently focused on achieving ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. AAUW members wrote letters and postcards, authored letters to the editor and Op-Eds , participated in ERA rallies, made presentations throughout the state, delivered the state publication ERA Unfinished Business to all state legislators, and lobbied in Richmond to achieve ratification in 2020 of the ERA by the Virginia legislature. AAUW of Virginia is also advocating for legislation to achieve pay equity, raise the minimum wage, address human trafficking, and address Title IX issues. On AAUW’s invitation, Virginia governors and local governments have issued proclamations on Equal Pay Days.
AAUW is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates or political parties. However, we firmly believe that when women vote, we change the conversation. We are proactive in supporting robust Get Out the Vote activities by registering voters, providing voting information, advocating for fair districting, and collaborating with the League of Women Voters in holding Candidate Meet and Greet events.
AAUW of Virginia has increased its focus on diversity and inclusion. This was the theme of the 2019 state conference, and a new position of Diversity and Inclusion Chair was added to the State Board that same year. Branches have appointed a point-of-contact to liaison with the State Diversity and Inclusion Chair to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives in their branches. A full page of resources has been added to this website to assist branches in their diversity and inclusion activities.
Lane Stone, President of AAUW of Virginia
Lane Stone has been associated with AAUW for 20+ years—first as a national member and then as a member and officer of the Alexandria Branch. She is the immediate past co-president of the branch (2017-2021) and currently serves as the newsletter editor. She was the branch’s college/university chair for several years and served on the AAUW of Virginia State Board as the C/U chair.
Under Lane’s leadership, the Alexandria Branch achieved four stars in the 5-Star Program. She fostered close collaboration between the branch and the Women’s Center at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and served on the Center’s External Advisory Board. The branch pursued a robust voter registration schedule on the NOVA Alexandria campus and offered multiple sessions of Elect Her, AAUW’s training for college students on how to run for public office, as well as underwriting two students per year to attend NCCWSL. The branch also supported the “Women Helping Women” program run by First Lady Jill Biden, who teaches at the college. Lane is a founding committee member of the branch’s landmark project, developing a Human Trafficking Rescue app, in conjunction with the Alexandria Police Department.
Lane is a prolific, published mystery writer. Her first series was the “Tiara Investigation Mysteries,” followed by the “Pet Palace Mysteries.” Her art thriller trilogy, “The Big Picture,” launched in May 2022, with the publication of “The Collector.” The first book in the “Old Town Antique Mystery” series, “Dead Men Don’t Decorate,” will be published in November 2022, written under the pseudonym, Cordy Abbott.
When not writing, Lane enjoys traveling (last stop was Antarctica) and volunteering for worthy causes. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation. Lane, a graduate of Georgia State University, serves on the political science department advisory board and has an antiquities theft and art crime post-graduate certificate. She lives in Alexandria with her husband, Larry Korb, and dog Cordy.
Sarita McCoy Gregory, Ph.D. joined AAUW in 2019, after relocating to the Hampton Roads area. She currently serves as the public policy chair and webmaster of the Hampton Branch. As public policy chair, Sarita has coordinated several events with the branch program vice president, including a Promoting Equity Virtual Conversation series, featuring Jennifer Carroll Foy, Eola Dance, and a book discussion of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste with Hampton Branch member Dr. Margaret Bristow.
Sarita has taught at highly selective liberal arts colleges, a large state university, and served as chair of the Department of Political Science and History at an elite HBCU. In addition, she has written Experience HBCU!: What Every High School Counselor Should Know About HBCUs. She has recently ventured out of higher education and launched 7 Cities–a strategic event management and lecture series agency.
Sarita is very active in the Hampton Roads community. She has given a keynote address for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Voting Rights Forum. She serves on two boards, Giving Black Philanthropy with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula. Sarita is trained as a political scientist. She is a graduate of Tuskegee University and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Sarita lives in the Hampton Roads area with her husband, Darryl, three children, and fur baby, Nani.