Funds and the IBC Luncheon on January 26 by Kathleen Asay

The Funds year begins with another opportunity to meet local AAUW grant recipients. In this case, we’ll meet Kait Murray, who is using her Community Action Grant to support her campaign to increase girls’ opportunities in the sciences, and Andrea Morgan, who received a Career Development Grant while she studies public policy and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley. They will be the featured speakers at the annual InterBranch luncheon at Plates, Saturday, Jan. 26, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Reservations are $31, and payment needs to be received by Jan. 18. There will be no EventBrite or credit cards for registration. See the form linked here in the newsletter, and encourage your friends to go. Carpooling is a good idea because this is a popular event.

In addition to the speakers, the IBC luncheon brings together members of all the area’s branches for conversation and sharing, which is another benefit of attending! It’s also fun. This year, there will be a silent auction to raise funds toward the completion of the Alicia Hetman Research and Projects grant. If you have something you could contribute to the auction, let me or Donna Holmes know.

Sacramento Branch always has a good turnout for this event. Join us!

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes

Happy New Year!

Donna Holmes

We accomplished several goals in 2018 while maintaining our high standards for programs and outreach. Here is a partial list:

  • Once again, our branch was recognized, along with CHAR, for our joint program on the ballot initiatives.
  • In keeping with our theme and steps to get there, I completed my Start Smart/Work Smart training in November.
  • Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the ERA. Only one state to go, and Arizona is poised to do it! This is Liz’s special passion and my state from our =Means= work,
  • Several of us went to the state convention in Southern California where we learned a lot and received massive doses of motivation.
  • We completed our 100th Anniversary Research and Project Grant two years ahead of our original schedule and almost five years before National’s required due date.
  • Ran Speech Trek with our new campus partner, Cosumnes River College, hosting the competition. Sent six girls to Tech Trek. Gave four $2,000 scholarships. Our branch does it all EXCEPT sending young women to NCCWSL (pronounced ‘nick whistle’), the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. We hope to change that in 2019.
  • Topped the year off with our annual philanthropic holiday party. We collected 291 books for Love, Talk, Read, our group of choice for the third year. Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, Ph.D., spoke to us about how and why she started this program. Just one of her inspiring quotes; “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure. The One World Literacy Foundation reports that two-thirds of fourth graders reading below grade level will end up in jail or on welfare.” Celeste is currently collecting 8,000 books for Paradise as they lost five elementary schools and the public library. Our books will go towards that goal. In thanking Celeste, I invited her to join our branch – and she did! Welcome, Celeste.

Liz Jordan

We need to keep doing everything in 2019, plus help get the Sacramento Commission on Women off the ground and plan our 100th Branch Anniversary party for Feb. 25, 2020.

So, pat yourselves on the back. You all deserve it! And thank you from both Liz and myself.

Board Briefs: December Board Meeting, December 3, 2018 by Cherril Peabody

Here are the highlights of the December AAUW Sacramento Board meeting:

  • Co-President D. Holmes reported that AAUW California has resolved their tax status issues and has been classified as a public benefit organization again. AAUW California is working on plans for Equal Pay Day in April. Branch Public Policy Director A. Anglesey will follow up with state staff to obtain more details.
  • Holmes learned recently that branch presidents and Tech Trek volunteers will henceforth be asked to sign an MOU agreeing to the national rules regarding avoiding discrimination during the Tech Trek selection process.
  • Co-President L. Jordan reported that two members of this year’s Nominating Committee are unable to serve after all and have been replaced by Michelle Hobza and Becky Anton. The committee will begin meeting soon.
  • Tech Trek Co-Director J. Reiken reported that though the branch project has enough funding for eight girls for next summer, because of space limitations they must stay with the six slots they currently have.
  • Program Co-Directors D. Dunn and C. Locke reported that the November meeting featuring Mindy Romero from the California Civic Engagement Project went well, although smoke from the Camp Fire may have limited attendance. Pre-registration for the Holiday Luncheon has reached 50 members and guests. Other upcoming events are the Interbranch Council (IBC) Luncheon on Jan. 26 and the Speech Trek contest on Feb. 16. Plans for the March meeting are not yet finalized.

Read Here for Interest Groups, Book Groups, Birthdays and Save the Date for Speech Trek

Speech Trek

Save the Date
When:  February 16, 2019
Where:  Cosumnes River College Room—Winn 150
Entrance on Bruceville Road
Topic:  How can we—students, parents, faculty, our communities, and organizations—eliminate violence aimed at our schools?  What actions can we take to prevent another tragedy from taking place?

Click on this link to register for free via Eventbrite.

A Note from the Scholarship Committee by Anna Storey

For several years, our AAUW branch has been able to offer between three and four scholarships of $2,000 each to women 25 years and older who are working on their first baccalaureate degree and need financial assistance. At Showcase, the recipients of these scholarships share their educational plans, sometimes a few of their life stories, and their deep gratitude for the help these scholarships provide. These scholarships are the result of the donations made by members when they renew their memberships and through additional special gifts, often in memory of a loved one and or dear friend. Before she died, Ruth Burgess named Scholarships as an option for donations in her memory. Should you wish you make a donation to Scholarships in someone’s memory, send your gift to AAUW Sacramento Branch, 1361 Vallejo Way, Sacramento, CA 95818. The scholarship committee is very grateful for all the donations and all the support from branch members. Without you, we would have no scholarships to offer. Thank you!

Congratulations to AAUW Scholarship winner Emily Wirth and her family. In November, Emily and her family were formally given the keys to their new home, built by Habitat for Humanity as the first build for a veteran. Susana Mullen and Anna Storey attended the dedication, a festive and uplifting event. Emily and her family now have a lovely home and are moving forward to realize their dreams. The picture shows Emily’s husband, Mark, an Air Force veteran, receiving the keys to the house.

Save the Date for Our March 30 Branch Meeting at the Center for Sacramento History

March 30, 2019
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Our branch meeting will be at the Center for Sacramento History.
We will be touring the archives, looking at some items from our Sacramento Branch collection, and learning about what archivists do. However, we need your help to make this meeting and our 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2020 more meaningful. Please search for:

  • Photos you have of past AAUW events
  • AAUW Memorabilia
  • Meaningful/Funny Stories you could write up to share

Sharing artifacts and stories will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your efforts on behalf of our branch.

Lasting Friendships through AAUW: Meet the Happy Has Beens by Melva Arditti

What do Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin have in common?

This disparate geographical conglomeration produced a group who, via their participation in Sacramento AAUW, evolved into that august institution known as “The Has Beens.”

Not has-beens as in the common usage, such as “been there, done that, got the t-shirt,” but – with apologies to our English professors – we each “has been” an officer of AAUW and will be forever grateful for its nurturing our friendship.

We met, mostly as newlyweds new to Sacramento in the early 1970’s and individually sought out the organization as a way to meet new people and, with luck, keep our brains ticking. Can’t speak to the latter, but the friendships blossomed into a treasured sisterhood that has been through births and deaths, marriages and divorces, children and grandkids. And we each found our eventual careers enhanced by the skills and contacts we gained in AAUW.

Our shared AAUW experiences were the glue that brought us together, but our shared affinity for observing what we call the “Big O’s,” (birthday decade celebrations) has exercised our collective creativity in delightful ways over many years. For example, for the music teacher, we had a formal dinner in the middle of her favorite music store, with musicians serenading us as curious shoppers milled about. For the businesswoman/runner we set up a candelabra feast in the center of the track field at American River College, with – what else? – runners running around us. And for the supervising teacher a 1950’s-style lunchbox picnic in the middle of Alumni Grove at CSUS, featuring a surprise guest (her former student) who we flew up from Los Angeles to recite a poem about her.

Sadly, one member, Kit Mahnke, is now deceased, and another has moved three hours away. However, she has strengthened our connection by gathering us for lunch every few months when she comes to town, and for that we are grateful.

So meet Melva Arditti, Patti Dusel, Cheryl Fuller, Sue Whetstone and Susan Weeks, all of whom are indebted to AAUW for inaugurating their friendship. We wish you all the same good fortune.

Exploring Our Interest Groups by Cherril Peabody

You may have wondered what the Great Decisions groups do. They meet once a month from January or February through October and read about and discuss current events topics. The Great Decisions book comes from the Foreign Policy Association, and other groups besides AAUW use it. Each year’s edition covers a broad range of topics.

Our branch has three Great Decisions groups. They meet in members’ homes, which is why one group, Great Decisions II, is currently not taking any new members – there is no room for them! Great Decisions I meets on the third Monday at 7 p.m. The new chair of that group is Cathy Locke, and she says their group has room for several more members. You can contact Cathy at Great Decisions III meets in the daytime at 1 p.m., also on the third Monday, and Marlys Huez is the chair. They sometimes go out for lunch or have a potluck before they meet. They are welcoming new members, so you can contact Marlys at The group members live all over town, so they carpool, and you too can be a part of that if you join the group.

Deadline to Register for Our Annual Holiday Party is Today, December 3 by Cathy Locke and Deborah Dunn

If you are reading this on December 3, it is the deadline to register for the luncheon is today.  If you drop a check in the mail today, please contact Dawn Arnone Boyd immediately. Her information is available in your directory.

Please join us for our always-enjoyable holiday luncheon, which will again be held at North Ridge Country Club on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. The setting is lovely, and we are delighted to have Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, Ph.D., the founder and director of Love Talk Read, as our guest speaker.

Please bring new or gently used children’s books for Love Talk Read. Reading to children greatly enhances their chances for success in life. This group donates books for children up to 12 years of age to numerous organizations both here and abroad. If you want to make your book donation go further, you may want to check out the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library Book Den or your local branch’s book sales.

This is our third year collecting for this wonderful organization. This year, our goal is to collect 300 plus books.

The menu selections are burgundy braised short ribs with whipped potato and seasonal vegetables or butternut squash ravioli with brown sage butter, Parmesan cheese and glazed baby carrots (vegetarian). A vegan meal is available by request. Salad, bread, coffee, tea and chocolate mousse cake are included in the lunch. We have been able to lower the price from last year to $32. Parking is free, and there is a full no-host bar.

Eventbrite - AAUW Sacramento Holiday Luncheon

Reservations are due by Dec. 3. Click here to print the form if you wish to pay by check made payable to AAUW Sacramento. Mail to Dawn Boyd to her address in the directory or click here to register and pay with Eventbrite.

See you at lunch!

Holiday Gatherings: Listening to people with whom we disagree by Liz Jordan

Liz Jordan

Holidays bring us together with family and friends, yet people report that these get-togethers have become very uncomfortable in our current divisive political climate. Friends and family members reveal that they don’t enjoy being with people who have different opinions. Longstanding friendships have broken up over politics, policies and personalities. Nobody wants to listen; we really want only to tell others why we are right, and why they are wrong. We don’t listen to converse and learn anymore; we listen to reply.


My thesis: relationships are a great deal more important than our politics. Politics last for a few years; relationships can last for a lifetime.

The Big Question: How do we get along with people we might love but with whom we just don’t agree? I submit that if we treasure our relationships, we try to become a better listener. We don’t listen just to reply. We listen to understand. We might ask why or how Uncle Joe says what he says. With genuine curiosity, we ask MaryJane how she came to her current understanding.

Good Listening is the most difficult skill to acquire. Studies show that we only grasp between 17 and 25 of what we hear. We have to want to learn a skill requiring so much effort. We might not WANT to hear what someone else is saying, yet we expect others to listen to us! Moreover, they ought to agree with us! If they don’t, then we judge their competence, intelligence, common sense. Our impulse to judge based on what they say makes listening impossible. How can we actually listen to that guy if that guy is nuts?! But is he/she nuts? Might our family and friends have good reason(s) why they believe what they believe?

 My last point: Everyone has a legitimate a version of the truth; it is at least as legitimate as my version. If I know something they don’t know, perhaps the opposite is true — they know something I don’t know! If I love that friend or family member, it’s worth my effort to learn their truth.

If I surround myself with only people who think as I do, I am not learning anything. I’m stagnant. I cease to grow. I know only my own, narrow experiences, and my own thinking.

A friend I met in college has wonderful listening skills. Over the years of listening to me expound, she would ask a question that spurred me to think through to a new realization. She didn’t degrade my experience; she respected my piece of the truth. Her respect gave me the confidence to re-think. She changed my mind more than once by actually listening to me.

I think I will try practicing this holiday season on listening improvement. It may turn into a New Year’s resolution! May your family and friend gatherings be warm and rewarding this holiday season.