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 www.womens-empowerment.org/volunteer. Find them on Facebook and Instagram at @WEWorks.
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.