Monthly Archives: March 2016

Sexual Assault on College Campuses by Jessica Arauza

What Public Policy Is (and means to AAUW Members)

What Public Policy Is (and means to AAUW Members)

March concludes Women’s History Month, a month dedicated to rewriting women back into history and celebrating the innumerable contributions women have made to the country and world at large.  The month offers us both the opportunity to celebrate our strides and also assess how much further we have yet to go in achieving gender equity.

April marks the transition into Sexual Assault Awareness Month and enables us to engage in conversation on what superficially may seem like a simple topic of the gender equity scope: keeping women safe. Around 28 percent of women are targets of attempted or completed sexual assault while they are college students.  Laws such as Title IX, the Violence against Women Act and the Clery Act are some of the many public policies intended to hold college campuses accountable for making concrete efforts at ending sexual assault through education, empowerment and assistance of victims.

While these policies have undoubtedly resulted in tremendous changes and impact, strengthening sexual assault efforts also means advocating for more preventative measures through bystander intervention trainings and male ally groups on college campuses. Moreover, we need to be equally vested in training and educating law enforcement on how to properly address sexual assault cases and develop more streamlined measures to help victims who do not report directly to law enforcement. True gender equity will not prevail until we are able to find multifaceted and transformative solutions at institutional and societal levels to address violence against women.

Membership Matters by Shirley Wheeler & Pat Winkle; In Memoriam: Virginia Mueller by Cathy Locke

Membership Matters

membership benefitsPlease join us at the Author’s Luncheon on April 30, when we will acknowledge our 50 Year Honorary Lifetime Members. The women of our Branch who have achieved that status this year are JEAN BROWN, RUTH BURGESS, VIVIAN COUNTS, RUTH ANN HINES and BARBARA SMITH. Congratulations to each of you, and thank you for all you have contributed to AAUW!

On March 6, the Membership Committee hosted a meet-and-greet gathering for new members at the home of Gloria Yost. Approximately 10 new members were in attendance as well as seven longer tenured women. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet each other, share information about the Branch mission, and speak about the Scholarship Committee, Speech Trek, Tech Trek and WOW. Several of the new members have already been active in committees and interest groups. The gathering was so successful that members requested to hold another one in a few months.

Please welcome the following new AAUW members:

Lynn C. Anderson received her BA in English from the University of California, Davis. She was referred by Sharon Anderson. Lynn is a retired Policy Analyst with the State of California. She lives in Sacramento.

Karen Humphrey received her BA in humanities from the University of Southern California and her MA in public policy and women’s studies from California State University, Sacramento. Karen is

On March 6, Membership Hosted a New Member Social at Gloria Yost's

On March 6, Membership Hosted a New Member Social at Gloria Yost’s

a retired education administrator/elected official. She was referred by Pat Winkle and lives in Sacramento.

Ellynrose Sheehan received her AA from Rogue Community College in Medford, Oregon. She is currently attending Sacramento City College and plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento and major in art history. Ellynrose lives in Sacramento.

Monique Stovall received her BS in dietetics from Prairie View A&M University in Texas and her MBA from California State University, Sacramento. Monique works full time as a dietician for San Juan School District. She was referred by Lisa Howard and lives in Sacramento.


Reminder: AAUW Dues Renewal Forms will be mailed mid-April. Please renew by June 1! Thank you.

In Memoriam: Virginia Mueller by Cathy Locke

Virginia Mueller, a 50-year AAUW member and longtime Sacramento attorney, died March 14 of pneumonia. She was 91.

Virginia began practicing law in 1946 and was hired as Sacramento County’s first female deputy district attorney in 1959. She later worked for the Legal Aid Society, serving as a defense attorney. She spent many years in independent practice, retiring in 2009. She is remembered as a mentor to generations of younger women entering the legal profession.

Family members plan to hold a celebration of her life at the family home in Sacramento, probably in June. Friends and colleagues will be invited to share their memories of her.

A Community Forum on Human Trafficking in the Sacramento Region on March 10

Human Trafficking

A Community Forum on Human Trafficking

in the Sacramento Region

Human trafficking is a prominent and growing issue in the greater Sacramento area.
Join us to learn more about this issue and what is being done to help victims and to
address these crimes in our community.


Individual presentations and then panel discussion moderated by
Jenny Williamson; Q & A

Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.*
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 2391 St. Mark’s Way, Sacramento

*Please note that the doors open at 6:15 p.m.  We encourage everyone to arrive early to ensure the program starts promptly at 7.

Eventbrite - A Community Forum on Human Trafficking in the Sacramento Region

Speakers are:

Jenny Williamson, Executive Director, Courage Worldwide
Jan Scully, Former Sacramento County District Attorney; Founder and
Director, Family Justice Center
Holly Gibbs, Survivor and health educator
Sonia Satchell, Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento District Attorney’s
Office and member of the Human Trafficking Task Force


AAUW Sacramento Branch
AAUW Davis Branch
AAUW California State University Sacramento Branch
Assistance League Sacramento
Daughters of Penelope
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Sacramento Alumnae Chapter
Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento
National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc of Sacramento
National Council of Jewish Women
Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church

President’s Message by Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

Community service organizations are struggling to maintain membership and to interest new people in their missions. That is not headline news to anyone who is paying attention to social changes. AAUW is no different in that we lose about 30 members each year and then add about the same number during the business year. I would like to believe that women join our organization because of our charter to advocate for women and girls. We need to continually assess how well we are meeting our mission and evaluating what added value we contribute to the community.

There are many programs that the national organization encourages us to incorporate into our branch, but due to lack of member involvement, we are unable to pursue very many. They would like us to have a daylong event for the girls who applied to but were not chosen to attend TechTrek camp. They would like us to contact the schools in our area to see if they are training staff on the legal requirements of Title IX and give them information that national can supply. We should be reaching out to promote diversity in our membership. The potential for dynamic programming is endless. National supplies the structure, but we have to supply the woman power. Be in touch if you would like to participate in these or anything else that you see on their website. I would like for us to be known as the most dynamic organization in town!

As it is, we have focused this year on adding programming that is beneficial to our membership and the greater community. On March 10, we are hosting a blue ribbon panel discussion on human trafficking in our community. You will receive information on this event and how you can participate. You can get involved by being a greeter, helping with refreshments, or by attending and bringing your friends. This is an opportunity to expand your knowledge as well as to raise our community profile. We have invited other organizations to cosponsor as we feel it is a program not to be missed. It is our largest event of the year. I hope to see you all there.

Exploring Our Interest Groups: The Foodies by Cherril Peabody

Dining at Star Ginger

Dining at Star Ginger

We all like to get together with friends or loved ones to eat delicious food and share conversation, and we have three interest groups whose goal is to do just that.

Singles Dining Out meets the first Sunday evening of each month. Our president, Nancy McCabe, has been chair of the group for several years. The group dines at a different restaurant each month, with recommendations coming from group members. Some of the restaurants are fairly upscale gourmet destinations, while others are inexpensive and casual ethnic cafes. There is a core group that comes regularly, but other members only come occasionally. For more information, contact Nancy McCabe at (916) 383-8405 or

Couples Dining Out meets the last Sunday evening of each month. The chair is Sharon Norris. Husbands are included in this group, and therefore the places they eat tend to feature substantial food offerings and not a lot of ethnic cuisine. To accommodate conversation they distribute themselves among separate tables of no more than eight people. The entrée prices per person tend to be in the $20 to $30 range. Like the singles group, most of the couples come regularly, but some only come once in a while. For more information, contact Sharon Norris at (916) 381-4166 or

The Healthy Heart group meets in member’s homes and for that reason is limited in the numbers they can accept in the group and is currently at maximum. They meet on the second Sunday evening for a sit-down dinner comprised of healthy foods. Many but not all of the dishes they prepare are vegetarian. The hostess of each dinner prepares the main course, and the rest of the attendees each bring something to complete the menu. They plan the meals in advance. It’s a casual process, but they may have a theme or specialize in a color. Jane Cooley is the chair of the group. If you’re interested in starting a second Health Heart group, contact her at (916) 483-0302 or

We Need a Few Good Women! By Cherril Peabody, Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee has been fortunate in identifying great candidates to serve in many of the board positions for next year. However, we still have three positions open, and we would appreciate your help. We still need two Program Co-Directors and a President-Elect.

We are encouraging newer members to step up and volunteer to serve. Serving on the board of directors is a wonderful way to give back to our organization and our community, plus it provides an opportunity to get to know other branch members better and develop new friendships. I can certainly attest to the many friendships I have made while serving on the board in various positions. You may feel you don’t know enough about the job or the organization, but there are many long-time members who will be willing and able to help you as committee members or as knowledgeable resources with the answers to your questions via phone or email.

nominating committeePlease contact a Nominating Committee member (see below) to find out more about either of these volunteer opportunities. I guarantee you won’t be sorry!



Chair Shirley Wheeler: 916-972-7298;
Deborah Dunn: 916-803-1112;
Cherril Peabody: 916-973-0821;
Sandi Schoenman: 916-966-2535;
Hedda Smithson: 916-961-7214;

Speech Trek 2016 Winners Announced by Liz Jordan

The Sacramento Branch Speech Trek Project announces the results of our speech competition on Saturday, Feb. 20. We had four winners out of 11 Elk Grove Unified District high school student competitors in grades 9-12.

Speech Trek 2016 Winners

Speech Trek 2016 Winners

From left, Gabriel Aduna, 11th grader at Monterrey Trail High School, won the Honorable Mention $50 Award; Gabriela Martinez, 12 grader at Cosumnes Oaks High School, won the third place $100 award; Neomi Shivani Parikh, an 11th grader at Cosumnes Oaks High School, won the second place $200 award; and Kathy Le, a ninth grader from Pleasant Grove High School, won the first place $400 award.

These high schools students delivered their original 5-6 minute speeches to a packed audience in the Community Room of the Valley Hi-North Laguna Library. The speech topic this year is Gender Bias and Inequality. What is gender bias and inequality? What is its impact on people? Why should organizations such as AAUW continue to work to change its practice?

The volunteer judges for this year’s competition were:

  • Virginia Kidd, PhD., Communications Professor Emeritus from CSUS and AAUW member,
  • Nancy Swanson, J.D., retired legislative advocate and Oak Ridge High School teacher, and a new member of our branch,
  • Mora Som, BS in Psychology from UC Dacis 2013 and owner/operator of Sacramento’s only Cambodian restaurant, A Taste of Angkor.
Students, Judges and Speech Trek Committee

Students, Judges and Speech Trek Commitee

Speech Trek thanks these wonderful judges and our member Kathy Papst, Timekeeper, for their time and effort. Additionally, Speech Trek thanks Linda Patterson, Program Director and one-woman hospitality committee for the delicious refreshments; Gloria Yost for providing Barbara Smith and Hedda Smithson as greeters; and Branch President Nancy McCabe for the helpful signage. Speech Trek Committee members Shari Beck, Ann Arneill, Mary Ann Flemming and Liz Jordan also thank new member Andrea Klinenberg for her technical help in filming the speeches.

The next step in the contest is providing a video of our winner to the State Semi-Finals, which will select the top five speeches from branch competitions held around California. The 4th and 5th place winners are named and awarded $250 and $150 respectively. The top three speakers will compete at the State Convention on Saturday, April 16, at the San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Hotel.

For questions or comments, please contact Liz Jordan, 916-354-9608,; Shari Beck, 916-451-5143,; Ann Arneill, 916-942-9227,; or Mary Ann Fleming, 688-3417.


Progress Report on 100th Anniversary Grant by Donna Holmes & Marty McKnew

All the numbers are in for 2015, and we have amazing news! We have now reached 54.6% of our fundraising goal for the 100th Anniversary Grant! Funds financial year runs January-December, unlike the regular branch year. In 2015, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and Installation Tea were also fundraisers for our 100th Anniversary Research and Project Grant. Our members also donated generously. Finally, each year Marty and I solicit sister branches for donations to our grant. Here is the breakdown:

Branch Fundraisers: $2,655.93Funds Thermometer March 2016
Branch Members: $4,580.00
Nevada County Branch: $3,750.00
Santa Barbara-Goleta Branch: $104.00
Bakersfield Member: $200.00
Nevada County Members: $850.00
San Carlos Members: $450.00
Santa Barbara-Goleta Members: $1,875.00

2015 Total donations: $14,464.93

Grand Total to date: $40,966.93


In 2015, we received $7,229 from our sister branches with our great appreciation! Together we are reaching our goals. In only 30% of the time allotted, we have 54.6% of the goal. When you receive your membership renewal packets, please help us keep this ball rolling. We thank you, and those who will benefit in the future thank you!

It’s Almost Time to Renew Your Branch Membership by Pat Winkle

MembershipIn March, the Membership Committee will be busy preparing the renewal forms, which will be mailed to each member in mid-April. We would appreciate it if branch members would also prepare for their renewal so that timely payment can be received by the branch.

In the past, the branch has received requests from members to pay their dues on a payment plan. However, we do not have a financial system that can accommodate such payments and do not want to create an additional burden for the treasurer, who already volunteers an incredible amount of time maintaining our records. Since the dues amount of $85 in 2016 and the deadline of June 1 are known in advance, we suggest that members set aside funds so when the renewal form is received, it will be less of a financial burden to pay by the deadline.

Additionally, the Board has adopted the following:

Sacramento Branch Dues Assistance Process

In the past, the Sacramento Branch implemented an informal system to assist members who are temporarily unable to pay their dues renewal due to unusual financial circumstances. These guidelines are intended to formalize that process to provide better consistency and application.

  1.  Since members were advised in prior newsletter articles about the Dues Assistance Fund, the renewal form will not provide information about it, other than retaining a line for members who wish to make donations to the Dues Assistance Fund.
  2. Assistance will only be provided if there are monies in the Dues Assistance Fund. No monies will be committed out of the general operations budget.
  3. Members seeking assistance must submit their request in writing/e-mail to the Membership Director(s) explaining the general circumstances giving rise to their current financial need.
  4. The Membership Director(s) will share the request with the President, Membership Treasurer and the Financial Director so that the criteria in these guidelines can be addressed.
  5. The Membership Director(s) will review the request and apply the following criteria:

a. The member is not eligible if they received assistance in prior years.’

b. As this is intended to be a fix for a short-term problem, are the circumstances in the                      nature of short-term rather than long-term need?

c. Determine their level of participation and contributions to the branch in the past                            year. Involvement in branch meetings and committees will be given more weight                            than special interest groups.

d. Require a payment from the member to cover, at a minimum, the state and branch                      dues (in 2016 that is $36.00).

6. The Membership Director(s) will make the final decision and respond to the applicant after         consultation with the President, Membership Treasurer and the Financial Director.