Monthly Archives: January 2021

AAUW Funds Afternoon

AAUW Funds Afternoon By Donna Holmes

Please join us for the annual Capitol Counties Interbranch Funds Meeting
Saturday, January 30, 2021 – 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
FREE Via Zoom which opens at 1:45 PM
Register on Eventbrite to get the Zoom link:

Our speakers are: Tracey Quezada a documentary filmmaker and journalist. She has produced and edited documentaries that address the school-to-prison pipeline, immigration and race in America. Her current documentary examines one of the most taboo issues of our time—child sexual abuse—an issue that the U.S. CDC has called a “public health crisis.” Her research investigates the fundamental systemic and structural issues that contribute to society’s failure to grapple with intergenerational sexual abuse.

And, Elizabeth Kopacz’s research  examines the relationship between popular genetic and transracial Korean adoption, and the structures informing kinship, identity, memory, narrative and loss. Through an analysis of state archives, digital communities and the emergence of the “DNA cousin” relationship, she explores the ways in which adult Korean adoptees reckon the unknown and unknowable in personal and community histories. During the fellowship year, she will focus on dissertation writing.


Plus, guest speaker Lisa Maatz! Lisa M. Maatz is a nationally sought-after speaker, writer and political analyst. Maatz was with AAUW from 2003 to 2017. During that time, she also spent 16 months serving concurrently as the interim director of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund.

Speech Trek Contest

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

The 14th Annual Speech Trek contest will be held on Feb. 20, 2021 from 9 a.m. to noon via Zoom.  The link will be sent a few days before the event to those who have registered through EventBrite.  You can still register to attend by going to this link:

Students from the Elk Grove Unified High School District will be participating.  The topic this year is, “Has social media helped or hindered the breaking down of barriers for women and girls?” Students are very excited and engaged by it.  They will be delivering 5- to 6-minute speeches for cash prizes.  We hope to see you there!

President’s Message

President’s Message By Angela Scarlett

Hi folks,

I have always been astounded by our members’ long-term dedication to the Sacramento branch of AAUW.

We can count among us members who have many decades of membership, years of volunteering for committees and boards, and friendships developed over a lifetime of common purpose. This commitment both inspires me and worries me. As our branch ages, the need for willing and able volunteers to help sustain the branch increases. As president, it is my job to fill quite a few positions for both the board and critical committees.

Right now, our branch has several pressing needs:

  1. Nominating Committee Members. We need to appoint two members to serve with several past presidents. The nominating committee helps develop leadership and recruits people to serve on the board. If you are interested in cultivating leadership for our branch, please consider serving.
  2. A new secretary. Our official secretary, Della Knowles, had a situation come up that meant she could no longer serve in this position. One of our members has been temporarily serving, but we need someone permanently in this position. If you are great at tracking details and taking notes, consider this position.

For either need, you can contact me via my information in the branch directory.

Yours in Service,
Angela Scarlett

In Memoriam: Ruth Ann Hines

In Memoriam: Ruth Ann Hines
By Molly Dugan

Ruth Ann Hines, a devoted 50-plus year AAUW member and steadfast branch and state leader, died Dec. 25 in her home. She was 76.

AAUW is but one beneficiary of Ruth Ann’s energy; she also held leadership positions in the Parent-Teacher Association, and was an active volunteer for her church, the California State Fair and Sacramento State athletics.

But AAUW had a special place in heart, her family and friends said.

“She looked at a lot of us as part of her family,” Marilyn Orrick, a longtime friend and AAUW member said. “As an only child, we took the place of some extended family for her, as well as (providing) intellectual stimulation.”

Chuck Hines, Ruth Ann’s husband of 49 years, said she cherished Tech Trek in particular. She served on the founding Tech Trek committee and as a “dorm mom” for several camps.

He said she was also proud of her work on the branch’s “Vanishing Victorians” and recalled spending hours with her in the basement of a government office to conduct research for the book, which was published in 1973.

Ruth Ann was a two-time Sacramento branch president, in 1986-1987 and 1999- 2000, and a longtime parliamentarian. She was a named-gift honoree multiple times.

She was also a well-known figure at the state. She served on the AAUW-Ca Governance Committee, the state’s Legal Advocacy Fund and Bylaws committees and was a familiar face at AAUW events at the State Capitol.

Ruth Ann participated in Great Decisions, Reader’s Theater and the now-defunct AAUW puppeteers and book sale fundraisers.

“She was generous to a fault,” Orrick said. “There wasn’t anything you could ask of her that she would refuse.”

A native of Arcata, Ruth Ann earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Humboldt State University and worked as a third-grade teacher at Lone Tree Elementary School on Beale Air Force Base. After marrying and moving to Sacramento, she worked as teacher’s aide and substitute teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Sacramento (now defunct).

Her involvement with public schools did not end there. She was active in the Parent-Teacher Association for decades – even after her son Aaron graduated – and served as the PTA president for the third district of California. She even decorated the PTA’s 100th anniversary Rose Parade float in Pasadena, Chuck said.

Ruth Ann and Chuck worked together at women’s and men’s Sacramento State basketball games for nearly 40 years, Chuck at the scoreboard and Ruth Ann at the shot clock. They sat courtside together for every home game. The couple also volunteered at the California State Fair for 39 years, primarily working in the “counties” building and running bingo games.

They attended the American Lutheran Church of the Cross and volunteered for the St. John’s Program for Real Change (formerly the Shelter for Women and Children), and Ruth Ann’s always-in-motion knitting needles created an untold number of hats and cold-weather gear for the WIND Youth Services, a program for homeless youth.

At the time of her death, Ruth Ann was caring for 14 feral cats.

In addition to her husband and son, Ruth Ann is survived by two grandchildren and numerous friends. Services will be private.

Donations may be made to AAUW Sacramento Scholarships in Ruth Ann’s memory. Please be sure indicate Ruth Ann’s name on any donation. Checks can be sent to Finance Director Liz Jordan, who is listed in the directory.  

If you are interested in donating any knitting or crochet to WIND in Ruth Ann’s honor, please contact Donna Holmes.

Membership Matters

AAUW MEMBERSHIP MATTERS By Bonnie Penix and Jan Stuter

Thankfully, President Joe Biden’s inauguration went smoothly. When you read this we will be well into the second month of 2021. But I’m fairly certain that many of us will still be in pandemic mode, waiting for the first of two vaccinations or waiting for the second. We will still be mostly isolating, not meeting person to person at our branch meetings or in our interest groups. Some are hoping that life will return to “normal” by the summer; others are predicting that it may take as long as 2022 before we can safely re-engage. Whatever happens, AAUW Sacramento is facing serious difficulties in recruiting new members during the Covid19 pandemic.

Janice Stuter

In the past, we have relied on in-person sign-ups at monthly, public branch meetings, extending invitations to acquaintances we might meet in other organization meetings, making presentations to different groups of people who might be interested in joining once they hear about our goals and local activities, email requests for information on joining, referrals from existing members, and personal friends and relatives. Unfortunately, because of current public health concerns, our potential recruitment circle has been severely impaired.

At our January board meeting, we were charged with establishing an ad hoc committee to explore methods to increase membership focusing on two particular areas:

1) Monthly branch program presenters (i.e., possible one-year honorariums?),

2) Individuals whom board and general members meet who have the potential to become active members of our branch but do not have adequate finances to join.

Our immediate goals would be to determine:
a) What qualifications are necessary to identify potential new members in those two categories?
b) What methods of financing are possible for our branch to offer an initial membership year (e.g., a designated new member Starter Fund)?
c) How to evaluate the success of the program.

We would also appreciate help in designing and implementing other methods for increasing our membership. We are planning to hold several Zoom meetings in the near future to brainstorm an overall plan. I am hoping to recruit a five- to seven-person committee.

We need your help! Please volunteer to be on our committee and/or suggest new member recruitment techniques for pandemic times, funding ideas and evaluation methods. We’re easy to contact. Please check the branch directory for our email addresses and telephone numbers. And a special thank you for taking the time to think about how to expand our membership in these trying times!

We have just celebrated the inauguration of Kamala Harris as the first female, first Black and first Asian-American Vice President of the United States. An exciting achievement! Did you know that before VP Harris, there was another Black woman who was nominated for that position? Her name was Charlotta Amanda Spears Bass. Charlotta was born on Feb. 14, 1874. She was an American educator, newspaper publisher-editor and a civil rights activist. She attended Brown University and the University of California at Los Angeles. She ran on the Progressive Party ticket in 1952. While she was not elected (Eisenhower/Nixon won on the Republican ticket), Charlotta gave much of her time to the causes of housing rights, police brutality and harassment, voting rights and labor rights — causes AAUW still works to advance today. Charlotta was buried in Los Angeles in 1969 at the age of 95.

We are very happy to welcome Anne Rhodes back to AAUW Sacramento after an absence of nearly 2 years. Anne received her BA in English from CSU, Fresno and an MA in education, with a reading emphasis, from the University of Guam. She is retired from a teaching career and continues her education involvement with a special interest in our Speech Trek and Tech Trek programs. She also is planning to enjoy Art & Architecture activities, Cultural History discussions and Scrabble. Anne will celebrate her 87th birthday on April 1.

Branch Scholarships Deadline

Application Deadline Approaches for 2021-22 Branch Scholarships By Molly Dugan and Cathy Locke

AAUW Sacramento is accepting scholarship applications for the 2021-22 academic year.

Thanks to the generosity of our members, the branch is offering $2,000 scholarships to women age 25 and older who are pursuing their first baccalaureate degree at American River College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College or California State University, Sacramento. The deadline for applications is March 1.

Our scholarship program is listed on the financial aid office websites for the various campuses. Information also has been provided to mentoring organizations, student services centers and community groups, including Women’s Empowerment and Saint John’s Program for Real Change. We encourage members to assist in outreach efforts by passing along information to other organizations and individuals that might be interested in the scholarship program.

Academic and other criteria for applicants are available at Applications may be completed and supplemental materials submitted using this link.

Prospective applicants may direct questions about the program or application process to Molly Dugan or Cathy Locke at

Sacramento AAUW Public Policy Update

Sacramento AAUW Public Policy Update By Arlene Cullum

In early January, we experienced some of the darkest days in our nation’s history. One can only hope that our country will heal over time after the inauguration and we will have the opportunity to reflect positively on our path.

Days after the crisis, you received an email from Kimberly Churches, our national AAUW chief executive officer, who reassured the organization that AAUW is “proud (to) join in solidarity with leading gender justice and equity organizations … to hold responsible individuals accountable for their actions.”  The hope is that the unified message will inspire those in power to action.

On Jan. 11, the Sacramento AAUW Public Policy Committee processed the events in DC and then received a Federal Update from Karen Humphrey.  She informed us that the Department of Education may be initiating an Office of Gender Equity, and our new Secretary of Education may be putting sexual harassment and gender equity back on the table.

Arlene Cullum then provided a presentation on the Maternal Health Public Policy Update.  She outlined the opportunities to impact prematurity, the costs of prematurity, and the high unintended pregnancy rate in California and the United States (up to 48-50 percent).  Multiple federal maternal health bills were introduced in the House and Senate last year, and the themes of voluntary state expansion of postpartum care to one year, data collection and perinatal collaboratives, and impacting disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality were discussed.

The committee also reviewed a form and process to submit public policy requests to the board.

Reminder: A webinar on “How To Speak To Your Legislator” training will be held on March 22, 2021 at 7 p.m.  Please sign up on the California AAUW website under upcoming trainings.  The State AAUW Lobby Day will be held on March 24, 2021.  There is still time to sign up!

Gender Pay Gap

2069? 2369? 2451?
By Ginny Hatfield, AAUW California Public Policy Committee

How long will it take? What can we do to make it happen sooner rather than later? These are questions that AAUW has been grappling with for decades.  As we mark Equal Pay Day on March 31, perhaps there is hope that we can make progress in decreasing the gender pay gap in 2021, given a new administration that is committed to social justice and leveling the growing disparity between the haves and have nots.  We also now have women in the highest echelons of national leadership, and as we all know, when women are in charge, things get done!

According to the 2020 update to AAUW’s “The Simple Truth”, it will take white women until the year 2069 to achieve parity with men based on the projected earnings ratio compiled between 1988 and 2019. For women of color the numbers are even worse. Black women will have to wait until the year 2369 – 350 years – as their earnings ratio has advanced only a mere 7 percent from 1988 to 2019.  And Latinas find themselves in a worse scenario as their earnings ratio has increased only 4 percent, from 51 percent to 55 percent, during this time period, projecting their year of parity to 2451! (AAUW, The Simple Truth 2020 update)

The reasons for these disparities in the gender wage gap are known – and understanding what’s causing the problem is the first step to meeting it head on.  Members are urged to read the summary of “The Simple Truth” update on our National website, which lays out the problem, its causes and solutions.

AAUW is leading the charge to effectuate change, and you are part of the solution with the work your branches undertake on behalf of women and girls. The more we educate ourselves and others about the scope of this gender wage gap with programs like Start Smart, Work Smart, NCCWSL, etc., the more we chip away at the disparity.  What is your branch doing to make a difference in the gender pay gap? Let us know what creative ideas you have come up with to spread the word in these days of social distancing. We’ll share them on the web (send to

Upcoming AAUW Vote

Upcoming AAUW Vote By Liz Jordan and Karen Burley

2021 Comment Period: Bylaws Amendment

This spring AAUW members will vote on proposed changes recommended by the AAUW Board of Directors and AAUW Governance Committee that would eliminate the degree requirement for membership. Now through Feb. 5, 2021, you can comment on the proposed changes. All submitted comments or proposed changes will be reviewed by AAUW’s staff and the AAUW Governance Committee. Debate on open membership will take place in national town halls, and state and branch meetings this spring.

Here is how to comment or propose a change:

  1. Read the current AAUW bylaws and review the proposed changes at
  2. Submit any comments or proposed changes by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.

The Reason behind this Proposal

AAUW’s mission is to advance gender equity, yet the requirement for membership explicitly denies access to membership to those without college degrees. AAUW does not promote equity for all women and girls if the organization maintains exclusionary membership requirements. The membership requirement is not fair, is not right, and is not equity. This is simply the right thing to do.

For this proposed amendment, the Saving Clause in the bylaws is eliminated as it refers to degrees from institutions which have lost their accreditation and will no longer be necessary if the proposed amendment is approved by the membership. The Student Associates clause is removed as students become eligible for full membership with the elimination of the degree requirement. Language has been added to the Dues section to give the AAUW Board of Directors explicit authority to set a dues rate of $0 for students or any other category of membership the Board deems appropriate.

Mission of Equity, Branch Birthdays, Book Groups, Printable Newsletter Articles 

Living Our Mission of Equity

We invite you to join us in a monthly equity conversation looking at our own biases and what actions we can take to attract diversity to our branch and become better people in the process. We are reading the book “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo and discussing what we have read, along with exploring other issues related to race and equity. We meet the second Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom.

The Zoom meeting code is 737 420 3780, or you can join using this link:

We will discuss chapters 14 through 17 (last chapters) on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. If you have questions and to RSVP, please email Charmen at

Branch Birthdays, Book Groups, and Printable Newsletter Articles

  • Click here for Branch Birthdays for February
  • Click here for Book Group books for February
  • Click here for Printable Newsletter Articles