Speech Trek

Eleanor Stem Allen Memorial Speech Trek

Speech Trek is a speaking contest open to all California high school students. 

Speech Trek, in its eleventh year, is an AAUW California Project that begins on the branch level with a speech tournament for local students and culminates with three top statewide finalists performing their five-minute speeches at the AAUW California convention/annual meeting in April. 

2016-2017 Contest Topic


The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. In 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time.

Several attempts to ratify the amendment were made in 1972, 1978 and then a possible ratification in 1982, but it still has never been put into law.

Actress Patricia Arquette, who made headlines and brought new attention to the gender pay gap with her infamous 2015 Oscar speech has started a petition to assure the passage of ERA NOW!

"People think it's a women-only issue but it's not," Arquette told PEOPLE magazine. "It's an equality issue.

Filmmaker Kamala Lopez's new film, Equal Means Equal, examines the startling effects of gender inequality in the United States, the inadequacy of current laws in place and the dedicated advocates who've been fighting for decades to rectify the situation.

Is it time to pass the Equal Rights Amendment?  If so, how can this be accomplished?  How can organizations such as AAUW help in getting this amendment ratified once and for all?

Branch Speech Trek Coordinators, download these files for use in producing and presenting your contest.

·        Branch Toolkit 2016-2017

·        Student Forms 2016-2017

·        Brochure 2016-2017

The complete Speech Trek policy and rules are outlined in the Speech Trek Policies and Procedures.

Make sure your members know that donations to Speech Trek are tax deductible.  Checks must be written to AAUW CA SPF, write Speech Trek in the memo line. For more information, contact AAUW CA Speech Trek Coordinator, Cathy Foxhoven, speechtrek@aauw-ca.org.

2015-2016 Speech Trek Contest Finalists

Watch their videos HERE

Sharon Lu - 1st Place

Alhambra-San Gabriel Branch

Sharon was involved in Speech and Debate, Basketball, Mock Trial, and National Honor Society. She will attend Wellesley College in the fall of 2016 where she plans to major in Political Science with the goal of becoming a foreign diplomat.

Caitlyn Jordan - 2nd Place

Roseville-So. Placer Branch

Caitlyn plans to attend UC Berkeley in the fall of 2016 as an English major and eventually become a journalist.  Caitlyn was president of her school’s Speech and Debate Club and Creative Arts Club, volunteered with the local homeless shelter, and served on her county’s Youth Commission.   

Clare Gorham - 3rd Place

Mariposa Branch

Clare has been the president of her local 4-H club, the secretary of MCHS’s CA Scholarship Federation chapter, and active member of French Club.  She hopes to attend college at California Polytechnic State University, Fresno State University, or UC Davis.  She would like to become a veterinarian.


Created: 08/10/2008 Updated: 08/05/2016