The 2016 Agent of Change – Andi Danis
The 2016 AAUW IL Agent of Change, Andrea (Andi) Danis, joined the Aurora Branch of AAUW in 2000 because of her love of books. Once she started participating in the “Books by Night” group, she started finding out what AAUW was about. Since that time she has filled nearly every role on the local level and many on the state level.
Andi’s commitment to AAUW brought her to Aurora’s Mutual Ground, Inc. This non-profit organization provides programs that focus on safety, healing, and prevention for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Andi’s commitment to this organization started when she wondered, “How can the mission of AAUW ever be implemented without a person’s being safe and protected?” She believes that women and children, and at times men, must first have support and safety in their community and have genuine protection within the courts in order to have any chance to improve their own lives.
Andi has served for twenty-five years as a staff member in the School of Education at Aurora University and is an active participant in campus life and on committees. Even in her demanding positions at the University she has made time for community activism and commitment to AAUW and Mutual Ground.
Andrea Danis’s philosophy is to embrace immediate activism and a full-bodied commitment to all she undertakes. Her adult life has centered on learning where change is needed and being an instrument to help bring about change for the betterment of the community and for the improved futures of women and girls.
The History of the Award
The Agent of Change Award was instituted in 1984 by the Board of Directors of the then Illinois State Division, now AAUW-IL, Inc. This prestigious award is to be presented annually to a branch member or AAUW member who has served as a catalyst to bring about positive societal change and visibility to AAUW. The five District Directors are charged with selecting the Awardee from nominations submitted by AAUW-IL branches.
All efforts that relate to AAUW’s missions will be considered, with special emphasis placed on activities that relate to current AAUW priorities and initiatives. For example, individuals who have actively promoted change in the areas of education, equity, advocacy, philanthropy, and /or public policy and brought visibility to AAUW should be among those considered as nominees for this prestigious award.