The public is invited to attend the Lompoc-Vandenberg Branch of the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) annual Speech Trek competition, 4-6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Lompoc City Council Chambers, 100 Civic Center, Lompoc.

The timely topic for this year’s Speech Trek contest is: Are men and women truly equal today, or are the Suffragettes of 1920 still suffering in 2020?

In addition to public speaking, the competition offers students an opportunity to develop and strengthen their research and critical thinking skills. Speech Trek promotes the value of public speaking as an invaluable life and leadership skill.

Videos of previous winners and project details are available at

Participants are high school-aged students of all genders from local high schools. Speeches will be judged by a diverse panel of community professionals and the top three students will be awarded $250, $150 and $100 respectively.

Thanks go to community sponsors CoastHills Credit Union, The Bookstore and Foursquare Church for supporting Speech Trek and our high school students.

AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. As a grassroots organization, it works to improve the lives of millions of women and their families through research, campus leadership, science technology engineering and math, public policy, legal advocacy and education funding.

All genders welcome as AAUW members.

For information on how to join AAUW Lompoc-Vandenberg Branch, contact the organization at or visit