Monthly Archives: October 2023

November Program: The Rights Stuff

“The Rights Stuff”: Episode Three By Hedda Smithson and Gloria Yost

Saturday, November 4, 2023 10 AM until noon
Carmichael Library, 5605 Marconi Ave, Carmichael

We turn our lights and camera to the Right to Personal Safety and Second Chances at our next branch meeting.

Representatives from My Sister’s House, St. John’s Program for Real Change, WEAVE and Women’s Empowerment have been invited to speak. Each is dedicated to improving the lives of women in our community who are dealing with serious issues like domestic violence and homelessness. Each speaker has been given a series of questions to address as they speak to us. We will look for ways to focus on our Action or Actions to support these efforts.

Doors will open at 10 a.m., and the meeting will begin at 10:30. Light refreshments will be available.

To make sure we have enough chairs for everyone, kindly register on Eventbrite by clicking <here>. Or contact Hedda Smithson, whose contact information can be found in the Membership Directory. Registrations will close on Nov. 3. Please wear your AAUW name tag. If you haven’t had time to visit Shop AAUW and order one of these cool items, a name tag will be provided. For future events, name tags can be ordered at, then choose Accessorize.

Here are the speaker bios for our panelists:

Women’s Empowerment’s mission is educating and empowering women who are homeless with the skills and confidence necessary to get a job, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children: this is the mission of Women’s Empowerment.

Zoe Fishman joined the Women’s Empowerment team in March of 2019 bringing a plethora of experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors.  As an advocate for underserved and marginalized folks, Zoe believes that there are many ways to get involved, but inaction is not an option, and applies that philosophy in everything she does.

My Sister’s House’s mission is to serve Asian and Pacific Islander and other underserved women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a culturally appropriate and responsive safe haven, job training, and community services.

Grace Yoon, Esq. Grace Yoon is a staff attorney for My Sister’s House.  In 2022, the Sacramento County Domestic Violence Prevention Collaboration recognized Grace with a Symbol of Service Award for her commitment and service to the survivors of domestic violence in our community.

St. John’s Program for Real Change mission is to unleash the potential of women and children in crisis. We accomplish our mission by adhering to our vision — breaking the cycle of poverty and dependence, one family at a time.

Julie Hirota is an accomplished business executive and CEO for Saint John’s Program for Real Change. She has more than 25 years of extensive leadership and operational experience in private, public, and non-profit sectors driving meaningful outcomes.

WEAVE’s mission is to promote safe and healthy relationships and support survivors of sexual assaultdomestic violence and sex trafficking.

As the CEO of WEAVE, Beth Hassett has led the charge to promote safe and healthy relationships and support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and sex trafficking since 2006.  She is committed to ensuring that WEAVE’s programs are accessible, respectful and culturally responsive so clients from all communities can heal and rebuild their lives.  In 2020 Beth received two honors from the Sacramento Business Journal, the Corporate Citizenship Award as Non-Profit Executive of the Year and she was named one of Sacramento’s Most Admired CEO’s.

Presidents’ Message, AAUW Priorities and Public Policy

President’s Message By Nancy McCabe

By now we are hoping that a cool fall has arrived. It is time for moving on with holiday preparations and fall activities. I am also hoping that it brings a renewed interest in our branch’s event schedule. The upcoming plans are spoken to in other articles, which will give you reasons to join in.

An important reason that AAUW is able to continue to provide superior programming is the continuing contributions of a group of ladies who have served as president, often several times. The program vice-presidents are both former presidents, as are six in appointed positions. The list of all former branch presidents is in the back of your directory. The following ladies are all former presidents. Those with a * have served in terms separated by years, and those with a # served more than one term consecutively. Terms go back as far as 1974-75. Please acknowledge these ladies when you see them and offer a friendly hello and thank you: *Marilyn Orrick, Susan Whetstone, Linda Whitney, *#Gloria Yost, Linda Sparks, *#Hedda Smithson, Pat Morgan, Mary Williams, Jean Bonar, Jane Cooley, *Marty McKnew, #Molly Dugan, Cherril Peabody, *# Nancy McCabe, #Donna Holmes, #Elizabeth Jordan, *Charmen Goehring and #Angela Scarlett. Also, note that Charmen has been a president in five branches and state president once. Many other past presidents remained members until their death.

Our branch depends on our members doing what they can, so if you are able, please volunteer to be on a committee, be a greeter, bring refreshments to a monthly meeting, or help clean up after a meeting as we must use someone else’s space for our events. Volunteering is a great way to meet other members, which is a benefit to joining in.

See you soon! — Nancy

AAUW Priorities By Kathy Papst

Hello Members,

I am proud to be the new director of the AAUW Sacramento branch AAUW Priorities. AAUW advocates for “equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society”.

PRIORITIES include four areas of concentration: Public Policy, Civil Rights Advocacy, Title IX and AAUW Funds. Charmen Goehring is continuing as chairperson of Funds, and I am chairperson of Civil Rights Advocacy, Title IX is currently vacant, and we have a new, young member as chairperson of Public Policy, Marissa Floyd. Welcome Marissa!

We will report to our branch on what is happening with national, state and local legislation and policy updates. The reports will be uploaded to the Sacramento branch website. I hope that our members will read these reports, and keep abreast of important information about equity and rights.

I now want to make a plea for someone to take on the chair of Title IX. I feel that this issue is very much misunderstood, yet very important. If you want to get involved on the board, this would be a great place to start. Chairpersons do not have to attend the monthly board meetings. I look forward to working with such talented and involved members.

CA Public Policy

From Amy Hom and Melissa Maceyko, Co-chairs, AAUW California Public Policy Committee

Please click <here> for the latest issue of Public Policy News. This issue contains an article on the outcome of the Legislative Session , and other important updates and resources.

Membership Happenings

Membership Happenings By Gloria Yost, Vicky Lovell

Are you in the loop?
Do you know what different activities are happening?
Did you accidentally unsubscribe to AAUW Sacramento?
Do you know who to contact?

Being in the “know” is a useful way to take advantage of all the opportunities your AAUW Sacramento membership has to offer, and to get the most value from your dues dollars.

  • Our newsletter Capital Ideas is our primary way of communicating important branch information, so we hope you read each one thoroughly!  Watch for them close to the end of each month. When you get an “AAUW Sacramento” email, it’s branch news!!
  • Eblasts are sent out multiple times with details before our branch events. Read them, mark your calendars, forward them as invitations to friends and more. Note if an RSVP is needed.
  • Check our website,, to read the Membership Resource Handbook and learn more about all our various activities.
  • Open California Connections, the AAUW CA eblast – a quick and often humorous read.

 Member in the News

 AAUW member Monique Stovall has recently been promoted from assistant superintendent to chief business officer in Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento.


Meet our New AAUW Sacramento Members!

Please join the membership team in welcoming six new members to the Sacramento Branch!  If you meet them at an event or a book group or interest group, let them know what you enjoy and appreciate most about our branch — after telling them how glad you are they joined.  These folks joined our branch in July through September 2023:

  • Susan Cox
  • Joyce Humphrey
  • Sascha Mowrey
  • Tom Smithson
  • Joy Allender
  • Robin Howlett

Join our growing Membership Ambassadors Group

  • Bring a guest to a meeting – get your name on our wall of honor
  • Bring in a new member – get your name added to our basket
  • Drawing at every monthly branch meeting for a prize
  • Recruit the most new members and WIN – a free AAUW membership for 2024-25

Our goal is to strengthen our AAUW Sacramento connections and friendships

Your Membership team is Gloria Yost and Vicky Lovell. You can find our contact information in the Membership Directory.

Glee Scully Celebration of Life

You are invited to member Glee Scully’s Celebration of Life on Friday, November 17 at the Firehouse, 1112 Second Street, Sacramento. Note that the RSVP deadline is November 1st! More information about the memorial can be found <here>.  The family is requesting , in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Scully Social Justice Endowed Scholarship at McGeorge School of Law.


Celebrating November Birthdays! 

Happy Birthday to All!

  • Kathleen Asay                                    11/2
  • Esther Gaines                                    11/3
  • Alicia Hetman                                    11/7
  • Ann Arneill                                         11/11
  • Eileen Heaser                                    11/12
  • Joy Allender                                       11/13
  • Donna Holmes                                  11/14
  • Linda Lawrence                                11/16
  • Carole Cline                                       11/18
  • Jennifer Henderson                          11/19
  • Elaine Ellers                                       11/23
  • Elaine Moody                                    11/30

Interest Group Happenings for November

Interest Group Happenings By Vicki  Nicholson

  • Art & Architecture: Nov. 3, 10 a.m., Crocker Art Museum tour of “Marriage of Arts & Crafts” exhibit.   Contact Deborah Dunn
  • Great Decisions I:  resumes in February, 2024, on Zoom. Contact Cathy Locke
  • Great Decisions II:  resumes in January, 2024, on Zoom. Contact Lynn Wood
  • Great Decisions III: Nov. 20, 1 p.m.  Contact Margaret McCarthy for location.
  • Healthy Heart:  Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m., Seasons 52, 1689 Arden Way, Suite 1065, in the Arden Fair Mall. Contact Jane Cooley
  • Reader’s Theater:  Nov. 14, 1 p.m., “Appropriate” by Brandon Jacob-Jenkins, home of Mary Williams. Contact Diane Peterson
  • Scrabble Just for Fun:  Nov. 27, 1 p.m., in game room of Eskaton Village. Contact Vivian Counts
  • Singles Dining:   Nov. 5. 6 p.m., at new downtown restaurant Pazza Notte. Contact Nancy McCabe

Book Groups for November

Book Groups Update By Sharon Anderson

Reminder there is a “books” page under “Activities” on our branch website (  If you wish to see what others are reading, or get ideas for your book group or yourself, please find the books page and take a look.

Each book group has its own tab, by book group number.  (These book group numbers correlate with page 6 of the branch Membership Directory.)  On each list, the meeting days, times and coordinator are listed.  Feel free to call me if you have trouble locating it.

November Book Groups

Book Group 1:
The Last Days of Night
, by Graham Moore, on Nov. 9; coordinator is Joy Clous

Book Group 2:
All the Lonely People, by Mike Gayle, on Nov. 7;  coordinator is Carol Hayes

Book Group 3: 
No meeting in November; coordinator is Carolyn Meeker

Book Group 4: 
Desert Queen, by Janet Wallach, on Nov. 8; coordinator is Pat Morehead

Book Group 6: 
Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life, by Alice Wong, on Nov. 20; coordinator is Kim Rutledge

Book Group 8: 
The Milky Way, by Yaa Gyasi, on Nov. 27; coordinator is Diana Squire

Book Group 10: 
Your Table is Ready, by Michael Cecchi-Azzolini, on Nov. 16; coordinator is Sandi Schoenman

Book Group 12: 
The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict, on Nov. 2; coordinator is Linda Cook

Living Our Mission of Equity By Charmen Goehring

We hope you will 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. Each month, we read a section of our selected book then meet to discuss what we have learned, along with exploring other issues related to race and equity. We generally meet the first Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom. This book group is a joint AAUW Sacramento and CHAR event and open to all.

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

We will be discussing “How the Word is Passed” by Clint Smith (pages 85-206) at 7 p.m. Nov 1. If you have questions and to RSVP, please email Charmen at

Our book for December is The Talk” by Darrin Bell (graphic novel).


Programs: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Programs: Looking Forward, Looking Back By Hedda Smithson

Sacramento Branch of AAUW Presents

Episode Four of “The Rights Stuff”: The Right to Higher Education

Lights, Camera, Action!!

Saturday, December 9, 2023 11 AM

North Ridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Avenue

 AAUW Sacramento was founded in 1920. Some of us helped celebrate our 100th birthday on Feb. 29, 2020. One of the first projects these early members started was a scholarship program.

For our December gathering we will invite our current scholarship recipients — Elizabeth, Erin, Nichole, Wahida and Nataliia  to join us for lunch at the lovely North Ridge Country Club.

A choice of entrees will be offered and an opportunity to “take a future grad to lunch” by helping to pay for the lunches of our scholarship guests. There may be a chance to do other giving as well.

More information and how to RSVP for this event will be provided in an upcoming eBlast.

Recaps: September and October of the Rights Stuff

The first two episodes of “Lights, Camera, Action”  are “in the can”. Both were SRO (standing room only!!). Running out of chairs is a good thing? Here are the highlights:

September 23 at the Arcade Library on Marconi Avenue

  • Members approved the budget for the 2023-24 membership year as presented in the September issue of Capital Ideas.
  • Seven Tech Trek campers shared stories of blood draws, food science, and playing with lights and sound at the Mondavi Center in Davis. Each received a Tech Trek bear.
  • Two National Conference of College Women Student Leaders participants told us what they had learned during three days of intense workshops and networking.
  • We learned how to be Membership Ambassadors and earn a star!!
  • New members include Susan Cox, Joyce Humphrey, Pam Harder, Kim McDaniel, Sasha Mowrey, Joy Allender and Tom Smithson. Be sure to watch for and welcome each to future events.
  • We were invited to join a group tour at the Sojourner Truth Museum on Oct. 7 for an African Marketplace, featuring live music, food, and shopping opportunities.

October 14 at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center on Gibbons Drive

  • Members from Sacramento and Citrus Heights/American River Branches met for more than a month to put together this program.
  • Representatives from Planned Parenthood Mar Monte spoke to us briefly about their local focus.
  • We listened to stories from The Abortion Chronicles and discussed what we heard.
  • We heard how medical students and doctors have had to make choices about their futures.
  • We learned about maternal care deserts both before and after the Dobbs Decision.
  • Each participant was given a packet full of information, including two pages of actions that each of us could take.
  • Our lesson in government included how amendments become part of the US Constitution and what we can do to have the Equal Right Amendment published.

Speech Trek Update

Speech Trek Update By Ann Arneill

Speech Trek is getting into full swing with our busy fall season.

All nine campuses in the Elk Grove Unified High School District participate in our public speaking contest. Now is the time we recruit students to participate by distributing our promotional materials and having students sign up for workshops scheduled for November, which Shari Beck and Ann Arneill will conduct. At these workshops, we inform students about the contest rules, present the topic, give them resources for researching the topic, and provide public speaking tips. Once the students who decide to participate have completed their speech drafts, we will give them feedback on their speeches.

The topic this year is very timely:  If an educated population is essential to a nation’s prosperity, then how can we ensure a robust public school curriculum that is accessible to all and teaches historically accurate information?

The contest will be held on Feb. 10, 2024 at Cosumnes River College, so put that on your calendars!

Don’t forget about the Speech Trek Challenge, which will be held via Zoom on Jan.13, 2024.  Members will have a chance to discuss the topic in advance of the contest to pique their interest.

The Speech Trek Committee would like to expand its membership. Working on Speech Trek is very gratifying. You are helping high school students develop a skill that is no longer taught in public high schools. Public speaking will help them in their future schooling and their careers. There are a variety of tasks that committee members can do with varying degrees of responsibility. Please consider volunteering for this committee.

Reproductive Healthcare

Reproductive Healthcare Part I By Liz Jordan

AAUW Position on Reproductive Healthcare: AAUW supports choice in determining one’s reproductive life and increased access to health care and family planning services.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, in a Joint Branch meeting, the Sacramento and CHAR branches presented a program about the current state of reproductive healthcare in the United States.  The program presenters did a dramatic reading of several pre-Roe (1973) stories from The Abortion Chronicles, written by Lynn Wenzel of Nevada County.  Integrated into the second half  of the program, the facts/informational part, were more stories of women’s experiences since June 2022, when the Dobbs decision was handed down.

We learned many facts about what is happening all over our country. Some important points that were made are:

  • California is one of 4 only states labeled Very Protective for reproductive healthcare protections on the Guttmacher Institute interactive map. We are one of 14 states are considered Protective; on the other hand, 36 states are considered Restrictive to Most Restrictive because they limit or ban abortion.
  • Healthcare records, nor providers of reproductive care, are safe from prosecutions, even in states where many women travel to get reproductive care. Nineteen states (19) have challenged a Health and Human Services Department order protecting healthcare records of people who travel to another state for healthcare services; they cite that these records might evidence of a crime in the patient’s home state.
  • Reproductive Healthcare providers are leaving many states to practice where their actions are not considered felonious until proven innocent. For example, according to the New York Times, 75% of Oklahoma’s OBGYNs are either leaving or considering leaving the state.
  • A growing number of U S counties are considered Maternity Deserts where there is limited or no access to birthing hospitals, birth centers offering obstetric care or obstetric providers. For example, in Texas 53% of counties are considered Maternity Deserts! Where You Live Matters: Maternity Care Deserts and the Crisis of Access and Equity | March of Dimes
  • Furthermore, nearly 60% of medical students are avoiding practice in states with abortion restrictions.
  • The Gender Equity Policy Institute reports that women, living in states with abortion bans, are three times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth; their babies are 30% more likely to die in the first month of life.

This movement, to control reproductive care, does not plan to stop at the status quo.

So, what can we do, here in our Protective State with only a few Maternity Deserts? One idea expressed at the meeting is a clear gender protection in the U S Constitution.  If we had a gender-equity protection, as a 28th Amendment, the Supreme Court could be less-likely to make a decision like Dobbs.

Next month, we will answer what happened to the Equal Rights Amendment?  And what can I do about it?

Click <here> to access Paola Mendez’s report on legislation that went through the legislature this year that deals with issues around healthcare.

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