Monthly Archives: April 2021

A Glimpse of the Future

AAUW Sacramento presents: A Glimpse of the Future By Gloria Yost

Saturday, May 15, 2021, 10 a.m. – 12:00, on Zoom

Please join our spring celebration as we wrap up our regular program schedule for the 2020-2021 year and take a glimpse of the future.  We will have a busy agenda, including the installation of our new officers as they begin their two-year terms.  They are:  Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew, membership co-directors, and Carole Cline, secretary.  The other elected officers are continuing.

A special treat will be the chance to hear our 2021 Speech Trek winner, Saher Haidari, present

Saher Haidari

her winning speech.  Saher is a junior at Pleasant Grove High School in the Elk Grove USD, where she competed against 15 students from six different district high schools. As the contest winner, Saher received the top award of $500.  She will be delivering her speech in person on the topic “Has social media helped or hindered the breaking down of barriers for women and girls?”

We will also recognize five new 50-year members — Dorie Bracchi, Susan McLearan, Elaine Moody, Pat Stilwell and Gloria Yost.  In addition, we’ll learn who our named-gift honoree recipients are for this past year.

Katie Valenzuela

Our special guest speaker will be Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela. She was elected in March 2020 to serve on the Sacramento City Council for District 4.  Valenzuela has over 10 years of state and local policy and community organizing experience. She was born and raised in Oildale, California, and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in community development from UC Davis.

We will hear about her journey to elective office, as well as her vision for the future of Sacramento, and learn what she sees as the greatest needs for the advancement of women and social justice reforms.

Please invite your friends and prospective members to catch a glimpse of the future and hear from Councilwoman Valenzuela as we celebrate together. To join us, please register at Eventbrite hereThe Zoom link will be sent to you two days before the event.

President’s Message

President’s Message By Angela Scarlett

Spring is here! I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather. While this is one of my favorite seasons, I know the temperate climate is all too short and that we will be heading into a hot and dry summer. As more of our members receive COVID-19 vaccines, we will review the feasibility of meeting in person. We will continue to offer programming online to allow our members to connect with our branch and mission.

Angela Scarlett

This month, on May 15, we will be installing our new officers, while members will be receiving renewal materials in the mail (thanks to our long-serving membership treasurer, Sharon Anderson!). Katie Valenzuela, Sacramento’s recently elected City Council member, will be speaking. Katie is a fellow “midtowner” like myself. One of her inspirations for running for office was the ballooning rents and lack of affordable housing in the downtown and midtown areas. While Katie also has a rich background in public policy and environmental advocacy, I have found her story to run for office to be a compelling one. What is your catalyst for getting more involved, be it volunteering for AAUW, women’s commissions, or running for office? I hope everyone can attend.

If you would like to get more involved with AAUW Sacramento, we have several positions open, including membership treasurer and Sunshine Lady. Jane Cooley has served admirably as our Sunshine Lady, sending out condolences and birthday cards.

If you would like to ensure that you receive AAUW National and AAUW California communications, consider this resource from AAUW CA ( This document has helpful emails from AAUW CA and AAUW National to add to your safe list so essential communications don’t land in folks’ spam folders.

AAUW Membership Renewal

AAUW Membership Renewal By Sharon Anderson

The branch renewal letters went out in the mail on Monday, April 19. The day before that, I sent out, to all our members, a mass email that includes National’s invoice form. If you will use National’s emailed invoice form to renew this year, to that we say: Yippee!  It saves us a lot of time and trouble, getting all the dues in the right slot very quickly.

The invoice was mailed out from my computer, but it doesn’t look like it because I have to use National’s program. The email will be from

National’s email invoice is easy, as you no doubt learned last year, but here’s a refresher, just in case:  1) open the email with your credit/debit card in hand; 2) click on the blue (aqua?) highlighted option 1: “Click here to use debit or credit card”; 3) fill in the blanks; 4) click “next”; 5) click the “submit” button at the end.  Besides dues, you can also donate to any of National’s Funds on this invoice.

For any donations that you wish to make to any of Sacramento’s programs with your renewal, please include a check mailed with your renewal form, because National will not process our branch donations.

If you have any problems, please call me. Please be sure to postal mail back your paper application to me, as we do need it for our bookkeeping purposes. If the emailed invoice gets lost in your inbox, just let me know and I’ll send you another one.

If you haven’t renewed as you read this, renew now! Thank you!

Sharon Anderson, Membership Treasurer

Membership Matters

AAUW MEMBERSHIP MATTERS By Bonnie Penix and Jan Stuter

Janice Stuter

Our term as Membership co-chairs is ending. It’s been a challenge and a privilege to hold this responsibility. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, AAUW Sacramento branch has welcomed 22 new members over these past two years. Two of them live locally but are national members only. Four did not renew this year. So the total of continuing new members acquired over the last two years is 16. It’s invigorating to meet more women who wish to help advance equity for all, and to learn from their different experiences, points of view and new ideas.

A big welcome to our two most recent new members:

Bonnie Penix

Margi Park lives in Midtown. She holds a BA in French from SUNY Binghamton and an MS in health from Columbia University. She is retired from her work as an education programs consultant for the State of California. Margi would like to be involved with AAUW Funds and Public Policy. She also looks forward to participating in a number of our interest groups. Margi is a longtime friend of Bonnie Penix.

Jennifer Krebsbach lives in Folsom. She is a graduate student at Sac State. She holds a BA in psychology, an MS in applied behavior analysis and autism studies, and will complete her MA in education-gender equity from CSUS this month. Jennifer plans to help with Speech Trek and the Scholarship Committee. She also wants to participate in Board Games and Bridge.

Please join us at the May 15 installation meeting when we will also honor five of our longtime members: Dorothy Bracchi, Susan McLearan, Elaine Moody, Pat Stilwell and Gloria Yost, each of whom will receive a special Honorary Life Membership certificate and pin to mark a great milestone — 50 years of membership in and contribution to the goals of AAUW.

The Nominating Committee has put forth the names for the next slate of officers for our Sacramento Branch. Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew will be the next Membership co-chairs. We feel these experienced and dedicated women will be excellent stewards of membership as we move into a new year of opportunities and possibilities for AAUW and for all women.

Funds Update, Legacy Circle, and Living Our Mission of Equity

AAUW Sacramento Funds Update By Charmen Goehring

Many thanks to those of you who send in regular gifts to AAUW to help our beloved organization advance our mission of gender equity. Making a regular monthly gift that is automatically withdrawn from your account is very easy to set up online. No more remembering to write the check! I love how easy it makes it to give on a regular basis, and it also allows AAUW to plan for the contributions.

I was talking the other day to an AAUW friend, who is on the state board, about the Legacy Circle. She revealed to me that she thought one needed to have a healthy bank account in order to become a member. I thought that if she has this assumption, others might as well. The answer is, no, you do not need to be well off to be a Legacy Circle member! A Legacy gift is not something you give during your lifetime — it is given by your estate. There are many ways to leave a gift, including making AAUW a beneficiary on an insurance policy or annuity (this is what I have done), donating a set sum or a percentage of your estate, creating a charitable gift annuity, or even creating a COD account at your bank (You deposit money now, either one time, or several deposits, and it is payable to AAUW upon your death). Knowing that I am a part of helping secure the future of AAUW, an organization that I have contributed my time and talents to for 28 years now, makes me feel proud.

I would love to welcome more AAUW Sacramento members to the Legacy Circle. Please reach out to me for more information! Or go right to the AAUW website to enroll!

Living Our Mission of Equity By Charmen Goehring

We invite you to join us in a monthly equity conversation looking at our own biases and what

Charmen Goehring

actions we can take to attract diversity to our branch and become better people in the process. We are reading the book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson 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 Part 3 on May 12 at 7 p.m. If you have questions and to RSVP, please email Charmen at

AAUW Sacramento: Take me to your leader!

Take me to your leader! By Hedda Smithson

Our governing body consists of elected and appointed positions (Membership Directory p. 8.) In April of 2020, Article X of our Bylaws, (Officers) was modified by defining the term of service (two years or until successors are found) and who is elected when.

Secretary and Finance Director are elected in even-numbered years while President-Elect, and the Directors of Membership, Program and Funds are elected in odd-numbered years. To help find candidates as needed, three branch members are elected to a Nominating Committee and two members are appointed by the President.

The nominating committee for the 2020-2021 membership year consisted of Molly Dugan, Donna Holmes and Liz Jordan (elected in April of 2020), plus Hedda Smithson and Linda Sparks, appointed by President Angela Scarlett. They met via Zoom and presented a slate that was announced and elected in April.

Newly elected and continuing officers are listed below. See if you can match the name with a description. For the answers (and all the scoop) , continue to Part 2.

  1. Carole Cline, Secretary                                    A. Testified before Board of Supervisors
  2. Charmen Goehring, Funds Director             B. Wanted to be an actress
  3. Donna Holmes, Membership Co-Director   C. Wrote the skit for the Anniversary Celebration
  4. Liz Jordan, Finance Director                           D. Plays Scrabble virtually
  5. Nancy Lawrence, Nominating Committee   E. Worked as a newspaper copy editor
  6. Marty McKnew, Membership Co-Director    F. Attended AAUW meetings with her mom.
  7. Cherril Peabody, Nominating Committee    G. Her grandfather was a state senator
  8. Kim Rutledge, Program Director                    H. Started an Oral History Project
  9. Angela Scarlett, President                               I. Was a CA State officer
  10. Linda Sparks, Nominating Committee          J. Needed to talk to educated women

AAUW Sacramento is fortunate to have such talented and dedicated members who are willing to accept these very important leadership positions. We ask you to think about this question: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Think about it!! Our branch is your branch! How will you lead?

To meet our new and continuing leaders, click here.

Three Chosen to Receive 2021-22 AAUW Sacramento Scholarships

2021-22 AAUW Sacramento Scholarships By Molly Dugan and Cathy Locke

Three Sacramento-area students have been selected to receive a total of $10,000 in AAUW Sacramento scholarship funds for the 2021-22 academic year.

Recognizing the increasing cost of a college education and the economic impacts of the pandemic – including the loss of part-time jobs for some students – the Scholarship Committee opted to award fewer, but larger scholarships this year.

Scholarship winners Mariana Arellano, Merranda Kairn and Hassina Paiman stood out among the seven finalists.

Mariana Arellano, 33, plans to attend California State University, Sacramento, this fall, majoring in nursing. She is the mother of two children and is the first member of her family to attend college. Her goal is to become an ER nurse and eventually a nurse practitioner. Because the tuition at the university is significantly higher than at a community college, the committee decided to award Mariana a $4,000 scholarship, with $1,500 to be paid in the fall and $2,500 at the beginning of the spring semester.

Merranda Kairn, an accounting major at American River College, and Hassina Paiman, a nursing student at Folsom Lake College, were each awarded a $3,000 scholarship.

Merranda, 26, seeks a bachelor’s degree in business accounting and a CPA license, with the initial goal of working as a state budget analyst. Her dream, long term, she said, is to be “the CFO of a respectable company.” She is the mother of two children.

Hassina, 34, also has two children and plans to become a registered nurse. She said she would like to combine nursing experience with her interest in business to pursue a financial management position in the medical field.

We look forward to hearing from the three recipients during a virtual or in-person branch meeting this fall. Our thanks to branch members for your generous support of the scholarship program through regular contributions, memorial gifts and bequests. We are pleased to announce that one of the scholarships this year will be given in memory of longtime branch member and past president Ruth Ann Hines.


Update from our First NCCWSL Attendees By Gloria Yost

In 2019, the Sacramento Branch sponsored Billie Veerkamp and Alexis Jimenez to attend the prestigious National Conference for College Women Student Leaders — NCCCWSL.  Here, Billie and Alexis reflect on what NCCWSL meant to them and share their new plans.

Billie and Alexis fly for the first time as they travel to NCCWSL

My name is Billie Veerkamp, I’m currently a senior at Sacramento State, majoring in women and gender studies with a minor in anthropology. I’m graduating in May and plan to remain in the Sacramento area and work for a year or two before pursuing further education. I have been involved with the student chapter of AAUW for four years now, and have had many opportunities to learn and grow from my experience with the organization. In May 2019, I had the privilege of attending the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. One of the most important things I learned at NCCWSL was not to take myself out of the running. Out of the many workshops and panels I attended, this small piece of advice stuck out to me because it is the encouragement I need to push back against limiting beliefs of what I can accomplish. I’ll be keeping that piece of advice in mind over the next year or so while I apply for jobs and master’s programs.

Hello, I am Alexis Jimenez in my fourth year of college at Sacramento State. I’m double majoring in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology and biology, and women’s and gender studies. Currently, I’ve been working as the women’s and gender studies department student peer mentor, and my planned graduation is spring 2022.  My connection with AAUW started in 2019, where I’ve been able to develop personal and educational growth. I was luckily able to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and, through this honored experience, I got to meet amazing people and take away knowledge from each keynote speaker. NCCWSL exposed me to so many fresh and invigorating minds. My most prominent takeaway was being able to be in a room with so many young people, all aspiring for better change in their communities. I, too, am striving to create spaces for thoughtful and cooperative change in my communities. It’s special and liberating to be involved with others, and understand their efforts for equity in their work and bring that experience to my future academic endeavors.

Thank You from Speech Trek

Speech Trek Contest Celebrates Its Donors By Ann Arneill

The Speech Trek Contest season is drawing to a close. We urge you to attend our final event, the May 15 branch meeting, where our first-prize winner, Saher Haidari, will deliver her speech on the topic:  “Has social media helped or hindered the breaking down of barriers for women and girls?”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many branch members who contributed to Speech Trek in 2020.  Because of your generosity, we can award $1,075 in cash prizes to our winners each year.  Donors include Becky Anton, Ann Arneill, Kathleen Asay, Alice G. Bauer, Shari Beck, Jean Bonar, Margaret Brown, Karen Burley, Deborah Dunn, Judy Foote, Lori Franz, Cheryl Fuller, Joan Hammond, Jennifer Henderson, Marlys Fredrickson Huez, Elizabeth Jordan, Nancy Lawrence, Catherine Locke, Vicki L. Nicholson, Carol Nyman, Marjorie Patzer, Bonnie Penix , Diane Petersen, Diane Preece, Elizabeth Rose, Karen Ann Rystad, Mary Schneider, Sandi Schoenman, Kathryn Schrumpf, Gloria Sears, Hedda Smithson, Linda Sparks, Anna Storey, Shirley Wheeler, Linda Whitney, Patricia Winkle, Sandra Winter, Leitha Wyant and Gloria Yost.

Branch Birthdays, Book Groups, Printable Newsletter Articles, and Interest Groups

Branch Birthdays, Book Groups, and Printable Newsletter Articles

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

Interest Groups

You can find out about the Interest Groups offered by the branch by looking at the banner on the home webpage (just under the branch photo) and clicking on “Activities”. Click on “Interest Groups” and you will find a list of all Interest Groups, when they meet, and the group leader to contact for more information (email addresses and phone numbers can be found in the Branch Membership Directory and Handbook).

Some Interest Groups are taking a break during the pandemic, but a number are still meeting – virtually! According to the Interest Group Coordinator, Vicki Nicholson, here are the groups that are currently meeting:

  • All Book Groups
  • All 3 sections of Great Decisions
  • Art & Architecture
  • Film Fans
  • Reader’s Theater
  • Travel

Feel free to contact a group leader to learn more about the Interest Group. They would love to have you join in!