PROGRAMS 2024

 **A BRAVE NEW WORLD OF AI**

On FEBRUARY 22, 2024  AAUW WA Online Branch hosted a panel of AI experts, and we explored the following topics:

What is AI? History of AI; Benefits; Concerns; Regulation  With panelists we learned about uses of AI in Education; Communications; Data Ethics; Concerns about data bias and misinformation.  Hear and see the discussion:

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FIND PANEL POWERPOINT WITH ALL RESOURCES HERE

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Branch Program DECEMBER 6, 2023, 

‘LET FREEDOM READ’*: The Unprecedented Book Banning Movement and Why We Need to Get Involved

Thought-provoking discussion of the history, strategies and threats posed by the 21st century book banning movement. Key areas of exploration will include the historical context of book banning movements in the United States, the status of book banning and educational reform initiatives, the evolving politicization of these issues, and what you can do about it.

Scope of the problem:  Between January 1 and August 31, 2023, the American Library Association (ALA) reported 695 attempts to censor library materials and services and documented challenges to 1,915 unique titles. This marks a significant 20% increase over the record setting year of 2022. A substantial portion of these banned books are either written by or centered around members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.

Panelists:

  • Kimberly (John) Cassetto – Walla Walla High School, Library Media Specialist. Kimberly has been awarded the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce 2023 Educator of the Year award, a district Staff Achievement Award, and recognition from WA Secretary of State Steve Hobbs.

  • Gavin Downing – Kentridge High School, Teacher-Librarian. As a school librarian, he was the proud recipient of the Candace Morgan Intellectual Freedom award in 2022 for his fight against book bans.  For his work in equity in education, he won the Student Involvement Award from Washington Education Association in 2023.

  • Ava Kirtley – Former Student at Walla Walla High School, currently a University Student. As a High School Junior, unwilling to let a group of people who wanted to ban certain library books banned go unchallenged, Ava established a Banned Book Club and activated her community to get involved.

Click Here for Power Point from program  Final AAUW WA Online Book Ban Education Reform Panel 122023 13v

* The American Library Association theme for 2023 Book Banning Week in honor of record-breaking efforts to censor books now sweeping the nation’s libraries and schools. ‘Let Freedom Read’.

2024 Program Details coming soon:

FEBRUARY 2024:  A PRIMER ON GENERATIVE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI):  WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS ON EDUCATION, POLITICS AND WORK?

APRIL 2024:  CLIMATE CHANGE–WHERE ARE WE NOW?

JUNE 2024:  STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS: UNDERSTANDING POLLING AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE