Tag Archives: AAUW_Mission

CSUS Internship

Branch Undertakes Exciting New Internship Project with CSUS By Liz Jordan

In November 2023, the board for our Sacramento Branch voted to create a new outreach program in cooperation with CSUS Sociology Professor Lina Rincon.  The program is a semester-long internship in which students research and learn about AAUW, how to establish a new affiliate club on the CSUS campus, etc.

Professor Rincon, sociologist and faculty developer for settings in higher education, has been meeting with Gloria Yost and Liz Jordan of our branch, working out funding for three internship positions. Dr. Rincon, who teaches and conducts research on race and ethnic relations along with migration of Latinx professionals and DEI in higher education, is also a member of our branch and the representative to National for CSUS.    She recently served as director of faculty diversity and inclusion at CSUS.

The paid internships, funded by both the Sacramento Branch of AAUW and the university, will begin in early February.  Several applicants have expressed their desire to take advantage of this opportunity.  This is an exciting new pilot program for the branch; we are excited to meet and help guide students through this project in cooperation with Dr. Rincon.

Interest Groups and Sojourner Truth Museum Tour

Interest Group Happenings By Vicki  Nicholson

  • Art & Architecture: February 2, 10:30 a.m., No meeting in January.  Next meeting to visit an artist’s studio on February 2, 10:30 a.m.  Contact Deborah Dunn
  • Great Decisions I:  resumes in February, 2024, on Zoom. Contact Cathy Locke
  • Great Decisions II:  Social meeting in January; first regular meeting Thursday, February 8, 6-8 p.m. on Zoom.  Contact Lynn Wood
  • Great Decisions III: Contact Margaret McCarthy
  • Healthy Heart:  Contact Jane Cooley
  • Reader’s Theater:  Tuesday, January 9, 1 p.m., “The Constant Wife” by Somerset Maugham at Mary Williams’ home. Contact Diane Peterson
  • Scrabble Just for Fun:  Monday, January 29, 1 p.m., game room at Eskaton.  Contact Vivian Counts
  • Singles Dining:  Sunday, January 7, 6 p.m.. Fabian’s Italian Bistro and Bar, 11755 Fair Oaks Blvd in Fair Oaks.  Contact Nancy McCabe

Sojourner Truth Museum Tour By Lisa Howard

Mark your calendars! The Sojourner Truth Museum and African Market field trip in October was a success so we are scheduling a second opportunity on Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. We will map out additional recommendations for a full field trip into Sacramento black neighborhoods that you might not have explored.  Set a date with a girlfriend and make a day of it.  More updates to come in January.
Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum, 2251 Florin Road, Unit 126, Sacramento

Book Groups for January

Book Groups Update By Sharon Anderson

Reminder there is a “books” page under “Activities” on our branch website (https://sacramento-ca.aauw.net/bookgroups/).  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.

January Book Groups

Book Group 1:
The Foundling
, by Anne Leary, on Jan. 18; coordinator is Joy Clous

Book Group 2:
Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus, on Jan. 9; coordinator is Carol Hayes

Book Group 3: 
Trust, by Herman Diaz, on Jan. 24; coordinator is Carolyn Meeker

Book Group 4: 
<Book Selection> on Jan. 10; coordinator is Pat Morehead

Book Group 6: 
TBD on Jan. 22; coordinator is Susana Mullen

Book Group 8: 
<Book Selection> on Jan. 29; coordinator is Diana Squire

Book Group 10: 
Why We Sleep:Unlocking the Power of Sleep, by Matthew Walker, on Jan. 18; coordinator is Sandi Schoenman

Book Group 12: 
Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck, on Jan. 4; coordinator is Linda Cook

Living Our Mission of Equity By Charmen Goehring

We hope you will join us in a monthly equity conversation where we look at our own biases, seek 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 meet the first 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: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7374203780  We will discuss our current book, Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under The Color Of Law by Richard and Leah Rothstein, on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. We will discuss Parts One and Two (through page 92). If you have questions and to RSVP, please email Charmen at charminme@yahoo.com.

Could the ERA help the Reproductive Healthcare Crises?

Could the ERA help the Reproductive Healthcare Crises? By Liz Jordan

AAUW Position on the Equal Rights Amendment: To guarantee equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse and inclusive society, AAUW advocates the passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

When we look at the issues developing around the crises in reproductive healthcare, we must ask: Could the Equal Rights Amendment be important to finding solutions?

My thinking is “yes!” Why?

  • Because the simple language in Section 1. says “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex. “

Specifically, the Dobbs decision in 2022 says that states can decide if their citizens have a “right to privacy in their personal decisions.”  So, a woman living in New York has a right to privacy in her personal decisions that she makes for herself, but a woman living in Idaho does not have that right to privacy.

Individual states would not be allowed to decide a woman’s rights.   The women in Texas, and in other restrictive states (see the Guttmacher Institute interactive map) have fewer rights than women living in California.

  • The equal protection of the 14th Amendment protects people from discrimination based on race, religion or nationality. Gender is not a protected class and therefore not entitled to “strict judicial scrutiny.”  This results in a lower success rate when bringing gender discrimination suits before the Supreme Court.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia said in 2011 that there is nothing in the US Constitution that protects women against gender-based discrimination.  For women to become a “protected class” under the Constitution, we must be added, specifically and clearly, to expect constitutional protection.

Yearly, thousands of women swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, but nowhere in the Constitution is a woman protected by the Constitution.  Gender should also be a protected class entitled to “strict judicial scrutiny.”

Women living in every state should have equal access to all reproductive healthcare, and their lives and liberty should be protected by the US Constitution.

Why should the Archivist publish, or be told to publish, the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution?

  • Because the only two requirements for an amendment, stated in the US Constitution, have been met for the 28th Amendment (ERA).
  • 2/3 of both houses passed in 1972.
  • Ratified by 3/4 of 50 states, 38 states, in 2020.
  • Because the issue of the seven-year deadline, or three-year extension to 1982, is without merit.

The deadline is arbitrary.  Deadlines for ratification have been applied only in the last 100 years.  The deadline for the ERA does not appear in the text.  It appears only in the Preamble to the Amendment.

The 27th Amendment became part of the US Constitution in 1992.   It was sent out for ratification in 1789, just after the Bill of Rights was ratified, and was lost in the process.  The 27th Amendment governs how Congress may vote itself a raise in compensation but may not receive it in the same Congressional session.  This amendment was quite popular, when it was finally ratified 203 years after it started the ratification process, because Congress was very unpopular with the electorate in the 1980s.

There were questions raised about its legality, but Congressional leadership believed it was not politically smart to delay publication.  The 27th Amendment was published immediately, without ceremony but with certification, into the Constitution.

Why does an amendment that governs congressional pay compensation get swift treatment, while the amendment protecting equal treatment for more than half the population of the country must satisfy an arbitrary deadline that does not appear in the language of the amendment itself.

  • Because Congress is incapable of removing the deadline. For four years, over three successive Congressional sessions, they have attempted to remove the deadline by joint resolution.  Yet women wait.  And wait.  And wait.  For over 100 years we have waited.

President, Joe Biden, campaigned on a promise to get the ERA/28th Amendment into the US Constitution.  He has, also, publicly supported all congressional resolutions that nullify the arbitrary deadline. 

  • Because no state has ever successfully rescinded its ratification after it voted for an amendment.

More than one state attempted to rescind it’s vote for the 14th Amendment, the amendment that provided the rights of citizenship to “formerly enslaved persons.”  Some states were compelled to ratify the 14th Amendment as a requirement to be accepted back into the Union.

I propose that we ask some hard questions. 

  • Let us ask every politician holding federal office, from the President to your local senator and member of House of Representatives, what she or he has done, is doing, will do to secure equal protection for women in the Constitution?
  • Let us write to every woman working for a major television and/or radio news channel to ask when will they do programing about the conundrum of the Equal Rights Amendment, especially as it relates to the unequal access to healthcare?

Questions we could ask:

Why isn’t the 28th Amendment part of the US Constitution? 

  • Why doesn’t President Biden tell his new Archivist, Colleen Shogan, to publish the amendment?
  • Would we have the Dobbs decision with the Equal Rights Amendment as a part of our Constitution?
  • Why don’t national news reporters ask Biden about the ERA at news conferences?
  • If women political leaders and military members swear to protect the Constitution, why aren’t they protected by it?
  • Is there a political agenda preventing the certification and publication of the Equal Rights Amendment?

Write letters and/or emails to:          

Women in News Media

Margaret Brennan, Face the Nation, CBS, 2020 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 457-4481; facethenation@cbsnews.com

Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Rachel@msnbc.com; *Jen Psaki, Inside with Jen Psaki on MSNBC; *Joy Reid, The Reidout on MSNBC; *Nicole Wallace, Deadline Whitehouse on MSNBC; *Alex Wagner, Alex Wagner Tonight on MSNBC; *Stephanie Ruhle on 11th Hour on MSNBC.

The news women listed above may all be emailed at MSNBCTVinfo@nbcuni.com

Lindsay Davis, ABC News Live Prime, https://www.linseytdavis.com/contact/

Political leaders

For our California senators:

Alex Padilla                                                                 Laphonza R. Butler

112 Hart Senate Office Bldg.                                      G12 Dirksen Senate Bldg.
Washington DC 20510                                                 Washington DC 20510
501 I Street Ste 7-800                                                  https://www.butler.senate.go
Sacramento, CA 95814

For Your House of Representatives:

Find your representative: www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

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 aauw.source4.com, 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.

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. https://www.guttmacher.org
  • 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.

Printable Newsletter Articles

Click here for Printable Newsletter Articles.


October Program Preview

Sacramento Branch of AAUW Presents (By Hedda Smithson)

Episode Two of “The Rights Stuff”:
                               The ERA and Reproductive Rights 

                             >>> Lights, Camera, Action!! <<<

Saturday, October 14, 10 AM in the Sacramento Fine Arts Center,
5330 Gibbons Drive, Carmichael

A joint meeting with *CHAR

                         Coming Attraction!!      Save the date!

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Do you know in which century this was first proposed? Do you know its current status? Are you aware of the repercussions of the Dobbs vs Jackson decision? For all this and more, join us! For this episode, would you like to be an actress, facilitator, or greeter? Please contact Liz Jordan; her contact information is in the membership directory. This episode is still holding auditions and rehearsals. We envision a lively presentation of a play, some geographical data and lots of small group discussions. We will be looking for ways to ACT!!

*Citrus Heights/American River Branch of AAUW

AAUW, Equity and Inclusion

AAUW, Equity and Inclusion By Charmen Goehring

This past weekend, I attended the California Teacher’s Association’s Equity and Human Rights conference. I was both a presenter and participant.

I was heartened by the more than 500 attendees, all educators with social justice mindsets, eager to do their part to dismantle systemic racism and biases that are hurting our students and, more widely, our nation and world. It felt good to know that I was not alone in this fight and to be validated about the importance of equity and inclusion work.

How does this relate to AAUW? In education, most teachers (73.4 percent in California) are female, yet most administrators and those in spaces where decisions are made are male — like the halls of government. We know that women bring a more collaborative, inclusive manner to discussions, whether in a school, board room, the floor of Congress or on the Supreme Court bench. Therefore, having more women in those spaces is beneficial for all, especially women and girls. To this end, AAUW has programs like Tech Trek, Gov Trek, Start $mart and Work $mart, and the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), all geared toward helping young women gain the skills and confidence to enter male-dominated spaces and thrive.

But we need to do more. Women of color have largely been left out of the conversation, in

Charmen Goehring

general and in AAUW. The women’s rights movement did not include them and until the late 1950s, neither did AAUW.

One glance around any AAUW meeting anywhere will show the effects of that exclusion — after 142 years of storied existence, AAUW is still predominantly an older, white woman organization. We have missed out on the passion, creativity and ideas of all those women who have the same concerns and interests but look different than us. We continue today to work on similar goals separately, despite knowing that “stronger together” isn’t a theme for nothing!

Lest you think I am advocating that we run out and find women of color to join us, I am not. I strongly believe that we each, and as a branch, have work to do first. When others join us, we want them to feel welcome and like they belong. And, for that to happen, we must examine our own biases (we all have them) and learn about the ways that our financial, educational and cultural systems have marginalized those who do not look like us. It’s the only way we can make lasting change that will ensure “equity for all”, which is, after all, our AAUW mission.

Some suggested resources:
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/- online Implicit Association Test

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald, explains the science behind implicit biases that we all have

“The Color of Law “by Richard Rothstein — our Equity book group is reading this now, about the blatant racism built into housing policies in the US from the turn of the 20th century (some linger today)

https://www.ted.com/talks/ibram_x_kendi_the_difference_between_being_not_racist_and_antiracist?language=en – Ted Talk by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, who is amazing

Focus on Women’s Health

Focus on Women’s Health By Lisa Howard

With the Dobbs decision from the Supreme Court in May 2022, access to women’s health care was put at risk across the country.  Many of us have granddaughters, daughters and friends of child-bearing age that live in states where pregnancy now holds greater risk than it has for previous generations. The choice of pushing the decision back to the states has left many women who live in jurisdictions with government leadership supportive of women’s health wringing our hands about how to help as the horror unfolds in other states.  For the Sacramento AAUW women that gathered to discuss the threat to women’s health (the Reproductive Choice Committee), our first task was to gather resources.

While we haven’t yet figured out how to take action on this knowledge, we recognize that a first step we can each take is to share information with others so that more people understand what and where restrictions are being built into the law. Perhaps a small step each of us can take is to share the legal actions being taken and the resulting stories of impact on women’s individual lives with friends and families who are constituents of the leaders seeking to remove their rights.

Resources for you:

AAUW National Position on Women’s Health Protection
The Rally for Abortion Justice — and Beyond

Pass the Women’s Health Protection Act!

  • Contact your elected officials.
  • Write a Letter to your Editor
  • Build Community

AAUW members have been participating in Planned Parenthood events – https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/rightfully-ours/bans-off-our-bodies#events

Kaiser Family Foundation maintains a dashboard of state actions against women’s health – https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/dashboard/abortion-in-the-u-s-dashboard/

There are at least two women who have dedicated themselves to investigating and surfacing human stories that really provide personal context to the issues – https://substack.com/profile/535611-jessica-valenti