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.

Fire Giving by Liz Jordan

Everyone is aware of the terrible tragedy that has been unfolding to the north of us in Paradise California.  We have received the following message from AAUW CA:

Based on an email from Paradise branch member Carol Holzgrafe, nearly all of the of the 45 Paradise members have lost their homes or fear they are gone.  Three members, Mary Peterson, Linda Menicucci, and Carol Holzgrafe, have homes that have miraculously survived.

We realize that we can’t use any branch or state money to help our members who lost their homes, but we encourage you to urge members as individuals to help.

There are three ways members can provide help:

  1. Members can donate gift cards to stores such as Target, Penny’s, Macy’s, KMart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, Walmart, Raley’s, etc. Send any gift cards to our state office:

AAUW of California
1331 Garden Highway, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95833

AAUW CA manager will send them to a contact in the Paradise branch for distribution.

  1. Paradise members need housing in Northern California. If you have any information about rentals, please contact Carol Holzgrafe at 530-774-4009 or email her at
  2. Donate through recognized 501(c)(3) organizations
  •   The North Valley Community Foundation.
  • For animals:  The North Valley Animal Disaster Group. They rescued and are caring for a couple thousand dog and cats plus horses, donkeys, pigs, llamas, rabbits, birds, tortoises, pet snakes and more.

Jane Niemeier and Cathy Foxhoven
AAUW CA Co-Presidents


Board Briefs November Board Meeting, November 5, 2018 By Cherril Peabody

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

  • Co-President D. Holmes reported that AAUW California has given recognition to the October ballot initiatives program presented by McGeorge School of Law faculty and students that was co-sponsored by AAUW Sacramento and AAUW CHAR (Citrus Heights/American River).
  • Co-President L. Jordan reported that she and A. Scarlett attended the Nonprofit Board Certification workshop presented by the Interbranch Council. The presenters talked about state and federal laws that AAUW branches must follow. Two important needs for board action are a written harassment policy and a system for tracking volunteer hours.
  • Peabody announced that S. Anderson will be the new book group coordinator.
  • Tech Trek Co-Director A. Gilreath said that the committee has been researching how other AAUW branches evaluate their programs.
  • Program Co-Directors D. Dunn and C. Locke reported that the October meeting was very successful with more than 100 people attending, and the November meeting featuring Mindy Romero from the California Civic Engagement Project is slated for Nov. 15. Registration for the November meeting and the Holiday Luncheon are available on the website.
  • The Membership Committee hosted a new member tea at Ettore’s in October and plans to sponsor another new member event in the spring. A new Dues Assistance form has been posted on the branch website for the benefit of members who might need a one-time emergency assistance grant to help in paying their dues.
  • A new project sponsored by the Interbranch Council has been proposed to the board that would assist girls living in poverty in other countries with kits containing personal hygiene products that would enable them to attend school during their monthly menstruation periods, which they cannot currently do. This proposed project will be investigated for further action.

Exploring Our Interest Groups – Film Fans by Cherril Peabody

Film Fans is a group that I started maybe 10 years ago. On the third Tuesday of each month, our members meet at the Tower Theater or some other theater and see a movie together. Then those who have the time get together nearby afterward for lunch or a snack and talk about the movie and whatever else comes up. It’s a very friendly group, and we always have a lot of laughs.

To choose the film we will see, I come up with several suggestions that I think the group will enjoy, and those who plan to attend vote on them. Members can suggest another film if they like, providing that it is showing at about the same time we usually meet and at a theater that isn’t too far from the center of the county. We like independent movies and foreign films a lot, so we often go to the Tower, where most of those movies are shown. In October an especially large group of us – 12 – went to see “Colette,” a biopic about the rather scandalous French writer. We all really liked it and had a great discussion afterward. Other recent films that we have enjoyed are “The Wife” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”

If you are interested in getting on the email list for the group, send me an email: We have around 60 people on the list, but most of them don’t come frequently. We have a core group of about 12 members who attend often. You are welcome to join us whenever you can.



Ruth Burgess: February 21, 1940 – November 16, 2018 by Kathy Asay

Ruth Burgess showing her Legacy Circle pin

Let me tell you a story about Ruth. I first met her in 2000 when I was new to this area and looking for AAUW members who lived near us. Ruth and I had lunch. She was still working then and not active in the branch, though she was a former branch president. I got her to agree to go to meetings with me when she could, and we got acquainted. One thing she told me was that she did not go to lunch “just for fun.” Well, I did, so I got some other AAUW friends to do just that occasionally – lunch for the fun of it.

Eventually, Ruth retired, so I asked her again about lunch. She hesitated but agreed. Maybe five of us dined together. For a couple hours, we talked, laughed and sought answers to the world’s problems. On the way home, Ruth admitted that lunch “just for fun” was a valuable thing to do if you do it with interesting people.

You see, to Ruth, doing good in her world was serious business. From her work for Roseville Hospital’s foundation to Rotary to church to the Placer Community Foundation to AAUW, she found ways to aid others. To family and friends, she cared and continued to care. She was also one of the smartest people I’ve known. Right to the end, she was curious and eager to learn. Maybe something she learned could help her help others.

We were good friends. I valued her in my life and will miss her. I’m sure she would say there is still much work to be done.      –Kathleen Asay

Funds Update by Kathleen Asay

By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will have past, and it will soon be Christmas. This is a season for giving thanks and giving gifts, and for reflection. One thing I am especially thankful for is my membership in AAUW: 43 years, five branches and three states! Each time we moved, I sought out the local branch knowing I would find friends there. But more than that, I would come to know and understand my new community, to feel at home and to grow. AAUW gives me that and so much more.

I am thankful for all this organization has done for me, for all it has done for communities everywhere I’ve lived, for all it has done for women. Because of that, among the many gifts I will be giving this season is a donation to AAUW. The Alicia Hetman Research & Progress Grant (#4374) has yet to be completed in order to award stipends. The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund (#9170) uses its monies each year and always needs to be replenished. Fund 9110 is undesignated and can be used wherever needed. There are other options as well. If you’re considering showing your thanks to AAUW and wondering how to go about it, contact me.

I’m so proud and grateful, I’m bursting to tell anyone who asks! Happy Holidays!

AAUW’s Early Education Equity Efforts: “Short-Changing Girls, Short-Changing America” in 1991 and “How Schools Shortchange Girls” in 1992 by Linda Whitney

AAUW helped spark a nationwide debate on gender bias with the 1991 release of “.” Based on a nationwide poll of students ages 9-15, the report examined the impact of gender on self-esteem, career aspirations, educational experiences, and interest in science and math. The study found that girls experience a significantly greater drop in self-esteem during adolescence than boys do. The poll confirmed a growing body of research that indicated girls are discouraged systematically, if unintentionally,  from a wide range of academic pursuits – particularly in math and science.

In 1992, “How Schools Shortchange Girls” was released. Wellesley College Center for Research on Women prepared the report under a contract from the AAUW Educational

Foundation. The report concluded that “20 years after the passage of Title IX, girls continue to receive an unequal education in California schools, and across the nation. By any measure – test scores, curriculum, or teacher/student interaction – girls are being shortchanged. This systemic gender bias in the education system denies girls the opportunities they deserve, and denies California the contribution they can make.”

 Potential solutions included

  1. Awareness of the facts and suggested actions
  2. Training for teachers, administrators and counselors
  3. Teaching which uses gender-fair methodologies
  4. Tracking which encourages girls to select math and science courses and pursue non-traditional career fields
  5. Testing methodologies that are gender-fair, and
  6. Educational Reform that strengthens our educational system recognizing the needs of girls.

The Sacramento Branch formed an “Initiative for Educational Equity Committee,” chaired by Dorothy Harvey. We co-sponsored educational roundtables, branch meetings, and committee members (including Jean Bonar, Carole Fedderson, Nancy Lawrence, Pat Morehead, and Linda Whitney) made presentations to our branch, local teachers, and women lawyers and physicians, as well as other groups. We submitted a grant proposal that proposed “the Sacramento Branch of AAUW offers a three-phase GESA (Gender/Ethnic Expectations and Student Achievement) Training of Trainers project for 30 public school teachers and five AAUW branch members between January and May 1993.” Dorothy Harvey, Theresa Bates, Anne Just, Pat Masonheimer, and Myke Taylor had primary responsibility for the grant.

AAUW California and our branch were working hard for equity for girls and women many years before STEM began!

Midterm Election “Debriefing” and Tools for Civic Engagement by Cathy Locke and Deborah Dunn

Did the polls and pundits get it right?

Mindy Romero

Join us Thursday, Nov. 15, for a post-election presentation by Mindy Romero, founder and director of the California Civic Engagement Project.

Romero will discuss recent research, including the effects of vote-by-mail and voting centers on voter turnout, as well as how to ensure access to and accountability of ballots in California and nationwide. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

We will meet at 7 p.m. in the Arcade Branch Library Community Room, 2443 Marconi Ave.

The non-partisan California Civic Engagement Project, affiliated with the USC Price School of Public Policy in Sacramento, conducts research aimed at promoting participation of youth ages 18 to 24 and historically underrepresented communities in the election process.

Romero, who earned her Ph.D. at UC Davis, formally launched the project in 2012 to provide research that could have an impact in the hands of those who seek to inform policymakers and elected officials, and for use by grassroots groups in promoting discussion of social and economic issues.

Romero and CCEP’s research is frequently featured in the media. She is a participant in The Sacramento Bee’s “The Influencer Series”

as well as interviews with Beth Ruyak on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight.” Her Tedx talk on “The Power of the Youth Vote” is available on YouTube.

The CCEP’s recent policy briefs include the impact of the Latino vote on the political landscape and how the public is using the Ballot Initiative Transparency Act. An election series covers California Latino and Asian voter registration rates, how future demographic shifts could affect the makeup of the electorate, and the use of online voter registration across the state by geography, race, age, income level and party affiliation.

In partnership with the Yolo County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/ Registrar of Voters and Yolo County Office of Education, the CCEP developed a new high school class unit called “The Power of the Youth Vote” to help high school students understand how voting affects them and their communities.

The November program is free of charge. You may register here via Eventbrite.  Click This Link to Register on Eventbrite

We ask only for your name, email and whether you are an AAUW member. Alternatively, you may register by emailing Dawn Boyd at