Monthly Archives: November 2019

Greater Opportunities for Women Artists is Holiday Luncheon Speaker’s Goal By Cathy Locke

Katherine Lemke Waste

Women make up more than half the working artists in the United States, but only 3 percent to 5 percent of the artwork in permanent museum collections worldwide are works by women, according to the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The guest speaker for our annual Holiday Luncheon, Sacramento artist Kathrine Lemke Waste, will discuss “25 in 25,” an initiative launched in 2017 by American Women Artists to secure 25 museum exhibitions for its women artist members over the next 25 years.

The luncheon is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Northridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Ave., in Fair Oaks. (Please note that the starting time is an hour earlier than the time listed in the  membership directory.) Lunch will be served at 11 a.m.

Waste is a watercolorist whose paintings and writings about the Sacramento region’s agricultural riches were featured in a weekly visual column, “One Perfect Thing,” in The Sacramento Bee.

Her work was featured in Sunset Magazine’s Arizona Idea House, and her painting “Satsuma Mandarins” was selected for display in the California State Senate’s 8th Annual California Contemporary Art Collection.

Waste studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and taught for 15 years at California state colleges and universities, including UC San Diego and California State University, Chico. She teaches watercolor workshops at the Crocker Art Museum, as well as workplace workshops on creativity and innovation.

As at past Holiday Luncheons, we will collect new and gently used books for Love, Talk, Read. The organization particularly seeks books this year for children age 5 and younger.

Luncheon menu selections are chicken piccata with whipped potatoes and seasonal vegetables, or cheese ravioli with baby carrots with lemon crème sauce (vegetarian). A vegan meal is available by request. Salad, bread, coffee, tea, and limoncello raspberry cake are included in the lunch. The price is $32, Parking is free, and there is a full no-host bar.

Reservations are due by Monday, Dec. 9. Click here to print the reservation form if you wish to pay by check made payable to AAUW Sacramento. Mail to Cathy Locke – her address is available in the directory – or go here to register and pay by credit card on Eventbrite.

Presidents’ Message by Charmen Goehring and Liz Jordan

Charmen Goehring

Last month, two phenomenal opportunities to learn and aid our community were held, and yet nearly every member of our branch missed out.

On Nov. 2, the Capitol Counties Interbranch Council, of which Sacramento AAUW is a member, hosted a leadership training day here in Sacramento. The training was presented by AAUW CA Board member Elaine Johnson, who came from the Bay Area to work with local branches. Elaine also brought Kathleen Cha, former AAUW CA State President, and Carol Holzgrafe, another current state board member, to join the discussion. I was invited to join the agenda, as well. Topics included diversity, membership recruitment and outreach, appealing to younger members, branch collaboration with other branches and organizations, and remaining viable in our communities. Several of the Sac State AAUW chapter members were in attendance. There was just one member from our branch — me. It was a missed opportunity to benefit from our membership dues, which help to support activities such as this. It was also a missed opportunity for our branch to learn and engage around topics that are of great concern to us.

Our monthly branch meeting was held Nov. 16. We invited Lisa Culp, Executive Director of Women’s Empowerment, to speak to us about homelessness in Sacramento, especially as it relates to women and children. The numbers are staggering, and no one in government seems to have a good solution. Women’s Empowerment works to provide women with job skills training in a full-service approach. Women are provided classes in job search and resume building, given assistance in securing safe housing, provided childcare while they are in program, taught yoga, provided with a social worker, and given confidence. Approximately 92 percent of women go on to secure a job and housing. Two women who have successfully completed the program and gone on to do great things with their lives also spoke to the few members in attendance. Technical difficulties prevented us from viewing a great video about Women’s Empowerment made by the Today Show. In order to see the video and learn more about this valuable organization in our community, including how you can get involved, please visit Find them on Facebook and Instagram at @WEWorks.

Liz Jordan

We have a fantastic organization, but we are only as good as those who show up and participate. We won’t continue to be strong and viable if just the same 30 members take on leadership in the branch and attend programs. It takes all of us. Please consider getting more out of your membership and help us build a better, stronger branch as we enter our 100th year.



More than 30 representatives from at least 20 branches met in October via conference call to discuss communication needs related to the website, Facebook and Instagram management. The result is a rejuvenated Tech Peer Group.  By joining you can help our Sacramento Branch, as well!



Issues to be addressed:

Website concerns and interests:

  • Assistance needed in updating and optimizing websites using the AAUW National template, including mobile view and the acquisition of additional website tools (widgets)
  • Education on the availability of different security levels of access to websites
  • Access to and use of free online photos
  • Creation of standardized content for the website and Facebook
  • Discussion of why are we using a .net domain instead of .com or .org and the impact on operations


  • Succession planning and password management to assure continued access to tools when people leave their roles
  • Education and discussion regarding why we need to consider using Facebook and Instagram in addition to having a website
  • Setting up donation buttons/tools on websites and within Facebook
  • Exploration of additional communication and event management tools such as Eventbrite, Nextdoor, and Meetup

If you would like to participate, please send an email to and request to be added to the group. A kickoff meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.


Part of our role as California leaders is to ensure the continuity of our California State Board of Directors in their efforts to support the mission and our branches.

A Nominations & Elections Committee member will contact you and ask for nominations from your regions or branches. It’s not too early to start thinking about nominating individuals with leadership talent and skills that will contribute to our state board.  In fact, we know you have it!  Please consider nominating yourself.

The AAUW California 2020 open board positions are:

  • Seven directors (2020-2022)
  • One secretary  (2020-2022)

Candidate nomination forms are due Dec. 1. Need more info? Click HERE or contact


Indrani Chatterjee, International Advocacy Committee Chair,

Click HERE for the International Advocacy page on the AAUW California website. It has a new design and a new purpose: to provide you with the latest news and information on issues relating to women globally.
Inside you’ll find these features and more:

  • In the News: Recent articles about women around the world.
  • Branch Events and Programs: Branch events related to women’s involvement in global issues.
  • Important Dates in History for Women: Includes “this month in history,” and other featured dates.
  • Important Date: November 25, 2019, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Share your upcoming branch events related to International Advocacy by sending the details to for posting on the AAUW California calendar. Share past events by sending the details to

Shelley Mitchell, SPF President,

The AAUW California Special Projects Fund (SPF) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt corporation that
supports AAUW California projects (Tech Trek and Speech Trek) and AAUW California branch
projects and local scholarship programs. It serves as a pass-through fund, enabling projects
to collect tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations, and from grants and
endowments, without having to establish themselves as a separate non-profit entity.

Now the new Special Projects Fund website has updated information and new forms. The current website also has an online form for contacting any of the SPF board members. Emails using prior SPF addresses will no longer be forwarded by the AAUW California office.

AAUW’s Strategic Plan and how It Impacts Our Branch by Liz Jordan


In 2017, AAUW National undertook a thorough and difficult self-examination.  AAUW had been spending beyond its revenues for about a decade and had already sold the AAUW building of which we were all so proud.  The board hired Kim Churches, who helped the Board of Directors examine every project, every committee, every pot of money and fund that AAUW has developed over the years and refocused it to see just those elements that clearly identified AAUW.  From these discussions, they developed the three pillars of the AAUW 2018 Strategic Plan Beyond Aspirations: Advancing Equity for Women and Girls. You can access a copy of this plan on the website.

Strategic Plan

At the heart of the plan are Research and Mission.  As the plan states: AAUW’s work is always grounded in research-based on acts and rigorous analysis…Based on the plan’s robust objectives, we will partner with research organizations, such as universities, think tanks, nonprofit organizations and others to deliver on the proposed research agenda. The mission will remain as our guide, “to advance gender equity for all women and girls.”

The three pillars are:

  • Education and & Training (paying close attention to career and technical education, certificate or apprentice programs leading to lucrative careers and ensuring economic security)
  • Economic Security
  • Leadership

The Strategic Plan spells out 1-3 goals for each of these objectives.  See these listed on pages 9-12 of Beyond Aspirations

All three of these pillars require the 4th Governance and Sustainability.  This final pillar is the one that keeps the other three standing – good governance of our organization and the budget to allow for the flexibility to sustain those pillars as needs change.

Impact on Donations to Association

When AAUW asks you for your donations now, it is to Greatest Needs Fund, which allows the organization to guide our efforts to accomplish the other three.  In addition to member donations, AAUW is competing in the donation marketplace with about 400 other equity nonprofit organizations.  The recent $500,000 grant from Coca-Cola funding the renewal of Work Smart is an example of success in this competitive marketplace.

One effort of the Greatest Needs Fund is to provide for new technology for AAUW.  Our current technological assets are 20 years old, ancient in terms of such a rapidly changing field.

What are branches supposed to do?

How do states and branches get involved in meeting the requirements set forth in Beyond Aspirations?  By competing for accomplishment recognition awards.  Remember the 5 Star Award Program from the early 1990s?  It’s back in the 2019-2020 version and accessible in detail on the national website.  Following, however, is a graphic way of understanding what we want to work on as a branch over the next several years.

5 Star Award Program

From the website, we can read, “the Five Star National Recognition Program rewards affiliates (states, branches, other organizations) for aligning their work with the AAUW strategic plan and other initiatives that foster the organization’s mission of advancing gender equity for women and girls. The program … promote[s] cohesion between AAUW national and affiliates and increase[s] understanding and implementation of the strategic plan goals. National recognition allows AAUW National to acknowledge and celebrate affiliates that advance AAUW’s mission.”

Programs — Do All

  1. Host 3-5 strategic plan related programs in FY20; e.g. Forum on economic security, Work Smart Training Day, Operation Equity; Reading for Results participation, a panel on women and leadership
  2. Branch Representatives complete community resource mapping exercise

Advancement – Do Two

  1. $30 per capita for greatest needs fund/shift branch giving to greatest needs by 50%
  2. Retain 90% of membership and submit dues by 9/30
  3. Increase Legacy Circle members in State by 10%

Communications & External Relations Do All

  1. Website/social media presence has Economic Security Focus and WorkSmart online and on the homepage.
  2. Monthly WorkSmart posts on social media

Public Policy & Research – Do All

  1. Annual meeting with U.S. Rep/Senator or state legislators around strategic plan area of focus
  2. Have Branch Public Policy chair collaborate with State Public Policy Chair
  3. Host one public event where Action Network  signups are collected

Your Board of Directors plans to work this year and into next year analyzing current Sacramento programs and practices for compliance with the 5 Star Award Program.   Our goal is to create the needed programs and practices that will earn our branch all 5 stars.  We encourage you to join the effort!!

Governance & Sustainability – Do All

  1. Align planning with state and AAUW National Strategic Plans.
  2. Branch Board institutes a succession plan to ensure new ideas and perspectives are included in future leadership.

To ask questions or to offer help, contact:

Book Groups, IBC Luncheon, Branch Birthdays and Printable Articles

  • Folks, our new Interest Group co-ordinator, Becky Anton, will be back with an up-to-date interest group listing next month. Please reach out to current group coordinators directly for any December events
  • Click here for book groups
  • Click here  for branch birthdays
  • Click here for IBC luncheon reservation form
  • Click here for the printable version of the newsletter articles

A Very Brief History of AAUW Sacramento Scholarships by Anna Storey

In the early days of the Sacramento branch, in keeping with our mission to empower women, financial aid became available to women over 25 who were working on completing their college education in Sacramento County and who demonstrated financial need. This aid was in the form of loans. Over time, collecting these loans became unwieldy and difficult, so the program shifted to the awarding of scholarships. The application has also evolved so that it is more specific and can now be completed online.

The early amounts were by today’s standards modest, but very helpful given the cost of education. In the 1970s, scholarships were $100. Gradually, the amounts of the scholarships rose to reflect the rising cost of education. Today, scholarships of $2,000 are awarded to women over 25 who are already enrolled in one of the Los Rios Schools (Sacramento City College, American River College, Folsom Community College, Cosumnes River College) or California State University, Sacramento and are working toward their first baccalaureate degree. In the past eight years, the Sacramento Branch has awarded approximately $58,000 in scholarship aid.

The Scholarship program has always been ably led by directors and committee members who have shaped the program to meet the changing times. The program will continue to grow and change as we look to the challenges of the 21st century. But always, the program exists because of the steadfast and generous support of our members.

Great Books Memoir By Georgia Richardson

AAUW Sacramento – Empowering Women for 100 Years

The Sacramento Branch of AAUW had a well-established Great Books Reading and Discussion section in the early 1970s led by Sacramento City College professor Catherine Patterson. When Ms. Patterson chose to retire from her long tenure as section chair in 1972, some members wished to continue this monthly section.

I was chairing the Book Sections groups that year and was asked to include Great Books. As reading good books has always been a personal passion, I agreed. This decision resulted in a more than 30-year commitment to the Branch and to those members interested in reading and discussing the great authors and ideas of the world as chosen by the University of Chicago professors Hutchins and Adler and published by the University’s Great Books Foundation.

Reading texts from ancient and classical times, medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, Romantic, and modern eras including philosophy, religious writings, governmental treatises, drama, poetry, and more was most satisfying. More so were the shared inquiry discussions at each meeting.

Learning factual material, philosophical concepts, honing critical thinking and listening skills, and keeping the discussion on track kept me on my toes. I will always treasure the many people I met over the years as Great Books section chair. I say people, not just women, as some men joined and/or visited the Great Books section from time to time. It was interesting to see things from a male perspective, but most great ideas are not gender-specific.

I vividly remember that at the height of the Women’s Movement we read Shakespeare’s Macbeth. We departed some from the Questions for Discussion booklet that accompanied our Great Books series and posed the question, “Would Lady Macbeth have acted differently had she had the Women’s Movement behind her?” This made for some lively discussion. There were many times when the selections were ripe for current analysis. Great ideas and concepts are timeless.

The core series is still published and used by many Great Books study groups. In the 1980s, a new series, “A Search for Meaning,” was introduced. We covered that, as well.

I am now living on the beautiful Mendocino coast with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean just minutes from groves of majestic California redwoods and still enjoy reading and discussion, but there is no AAUW Great Books section or even an AAUW Branch here on the coast. However, my experience will always be with me, and I am grateful to Sacramento AAUW for that rich opportunity.


Speech Trek Contest Updates By Ann Arneill, Speech Trek Committee Co-Director

The Speech Trek Committee has been busy in November conducting workshops at the Elk Grove Unified School District high schools, recruiting students to compete in the contest. Most of the high schools yielded some students that are serious about competing in the contest. The topic is “ARE MEN AND WOMEN TRULY EQUAL TODAY? OR ARE THE SUFFRAGISTS OF 1920 STILL SUFFERING IN 2020.”  Most of the students will likely say that the suffragists are still suffering because we have not yet achieved gender equality. They will narrow down the topic to discuss gender equality in various aspects of society, such as school, the military, the workplace, or the media. We urge you to come to the contest because the students will present very interesting speeches. The contest will be held on Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon at Cosumnes River College, Room Winn 150.

AAUW Sacramento Scholarships Benefits From Generous Gifts By Anna Storey

Sometimes, the good we do is well remembered. This September, I was contacted by Charlene Rasmussen, who wished to donate to scholarships. Charlene does not live in Sacramento anymore and searched for us on our website. She wanted to make a donation to scholarships in gratitude for the help she had been given years ago. In the note she enclosed with her donation, she wrote: “As a former beneficiary of this same AAUW Scholarship Program (1974/75), I am pleased to “pay it back” in 2019. I was a re-entry woman catching up on my education with two children to parent at the same time.” Ms. Rasmussen has donated $4,000 to our scholarship program — enough to fund two scholarships. We are delighted that she not only is grateful but also that she remembered us with such a generous gift.

In addition to this most welcome surprise, the scholarship program has benefitted from the generosity of members who wished to fund “Named” or “memorial”

scholarships. AAUW Sacramento Branch member Maggie Roth deeply loved and admired her sister, Loretta, and was moved to honor her with the Loretta Ann Roth

Memorial Scholarship. A distinguished artist in her own right, Loretta’s murals, paintings, and drawings were honored in local, state and national exhibitions. A teacher as well, Loretta reached out to her students and showed them that their artistic talent gave them a road to the future. She was thrilled when learning about their successes. She rejoiced that their lives had room for beauty. Loretta was passionately supportive of her students, many of whom were first-generation. This comment from one of her former students captures her gift as a teacher: “She was my favorite teacher and she cared about me like a parent. She was honest and blunt if she needed to be, but also soft and funny. She was a fantastic teacher and artist. In everything I have done professionally, I have always thought about her influence and what she would think of my achievements now.” Thank you, Maggie, for honoring your sister in this way.

Donna Holmes, AAUW Sacramento Branch member, is a third-generation AAUW member and the eldest of Mary and Donn Random’s three children. Her grandmother, Rebecca Suhr, was the first woman to graduate from the Stanford School of Law, class of 1903. Donna’s parents valued education and understood how much it enriched their lives and broadened minds. Her father had to drop out of high school after his father died in 1931 to support the family. He continued his education by life-long study. Her mother had a scholarship to Stanford, but it was 1937 and her family could not afford her housing and clothes. So, she lived at home, walked to the University of Nevada, worked the whole time, and graduated in four years in June 1941! Donna and her siblings were assured there would always be money for school. Donna and her sister, a doctorate in chemistry from Case Western and member at large, fulfilled their goals. Although Donna’s brother went into the military rather than college, his four daughters have all gone to college and three have graduated. The opportunities and friendships that education make possible is a gift Donna wanted to keep giving in her family’s name. It is just a small way she can say “thank you” for having such wonderful parents. This year marks the eighth recipient. Thank you, Donna, for your steadfast generosity.

Finally, because of the generous outpouring of donations in memory of Ruth Burgess, we are able to award a scholarship in her memory. Ruth was a leader in the community, in her church, and in our branch. Ruth was a past president of the AAUW Sacramento Branch and a leader in fundraising, both in the branch and in the larger Sacramento community. Ruth was quick to address needs and see projects to a successful conclusion. Most recently, she had directed Funds. She was the leader who began the planning for the branch’s 100th-anniversary celebration, which will take place Feb. 29, 2020. Ruth also remembered the branch with a legacy. In addition to this year’s scholarship, enough donations have come in to fund three more years of a memorial scholarship. We were pleased that Ruth’s husband, Russell, was able to present this scholarship at our annual showcase. Thank you to all who have given so generously to make this tribute to Ruth possible.

Funds Updates by By Kathleen Asay and Merrie McLaughlin

It’s holiday season again

Kathy Asay

Kathy Asay

It’s time to think about food, family, gifts, and … tax deductions? If you’re like us, you’re receiving requests for donations almost daily in the mail or in your email inbox. We hope that if you are thinking about making a tax-deductible charitable gift that AAUW Funds are on your list. We also hope that you have read our reports in the last two newsletters and thus are aware of the changes to the funds programs. If you haven’t, a donation to the Greatest Needs Fund #9110 covers all the bases and is flexible, too. This fund has no specific earmarks, so it is available to be used by our national organization where it’s needed most or to meet a new, unexpected need or opportunity.

Donations to 9110 can be sent to our branch’s finance officer, Donna Holmes, 8725 Sotheby Court, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. Checks should be made out to AAUW and marked for Fund 9110 or the fund of your choice. To donate by credit card, go to and donate directly through the website.

We also hope you are thinking ahead to the January Sacramento area InterBranch Council funds luncheon. This annual event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Plates. Come for good food, the fellowship of AAUW members from the seven local branches, a little gentle fund-raising, but mostly the opportunity to hear from AAUW grant recipients studying nearby. These are impressive women with sometimes difficult backgrounds but always lofty goals. It’s thrilling to meet them knowing we’ve had a part in enabling them in their quests for equity for women and girls. Reservations will be due Jan. 18. Watch for the January newsletter or an e-blast. There will also be a silent auction for funds at the luncheon. If you have an item to donate, please contact Donna Holmes.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!