How you can welcome male spouse ALA members at all Auxiliary levels

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It doesn’t take extreme efforts to welcome male spouses to Auxiliary meetings, events, activities, and programs. Treat these men the same as you would other ALA members. Try to be as inclusive as possible to everyone. Following are a few additional suggestions:

  • Conduct “getting-to-know-you” icebreakers at meetings and events for everybody, especially new members. Avoid singling out men in the group. Include the male spouse Auxiliary members in discussions and planning, and in activities and events. Be open to what they have to say or contribute. They may offer different perspectives, talents, ideas, and resources.
  • You can ditch the phrases “world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization” and “ladies’ Auxiliary” in reference to the American Legion Auxiliary.
  • When speaking or writing, consider using non-gender-specific words.
  • Consider changing any gender-specific references on the websites and social media accounts representing your ALA unit, district, department, etc.
  • The same thing goes for ALA-related paperwork, including your governing documents, promotional materials, communications vehicles (such as newsletters), and forms. Feel free to continue using your existing membership applications if you want — just write in a box for “male spouses/widowers” in the “applicant’s relationship to veteran” area, and add another box for “other conflicts/service periods” in the “veteran served” section for those who served during a time not currently listed.

Please contact your department for additional assistance on, or questions about, adapting existing membership applications to reflect these two recent changes to eligibility criteria. Updated versions of our Auxiliary membership application can be printed from the ALA national website at www.ALAforVeterans.org.

One comment

  1. WOW! Thank you!!! Unfortunately I have encountered some resistance (which I expected) but I am hanging in there believing that things will get better as time goes on. I understand and get that after 100 years of ALA being exclusive to females there will be a learning and acceptance curve so I am not taking the resistance to heart. What does not kill me makes me stronger! I am very proud to be a ALA member and am looking forward to a very bright future with my involvement with the ALA and for the overall future of the ALA. Here is to the next 100 years!!!

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