Welcome to the Springfield-Annandale, VA Branch of AAUW!

 

AAUW Mission Statement

To advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. Vision: Equity for all. Values: Non-partisan. Fact based.

AAUW Diversity Statement

In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks an inclusive membership, workforce, leadership team, and board of directors. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geographical location, national origin, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status.

AAUW-Virginia Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity https://aauw-va.aauw.net/diversity-inclusion-equity

 

JUNE MEETING – PICNIC AT OCCOQUAN REGIONAL PARK

The Branch is treating us to a wonderful picnic lunch in June. Irene McGhee and Ann Sauberman, co-Vice Presidents for Programming, have reserved Shelter #1 at Occoquan Regional Park for Saturday, June 18, 2022 at noon.

A picnic box lunch will be catered by Brickmaker’s Cafe. Details to follow soon about food. We will enjoy a river view. Bathrooms are easily accessible. Let’s meet up and enjoy each other, especially welcoming new members and guests.

The meeting will have a personal focus: Why did you join AAUW? Share your story and tell us how AAUW amplifies your concerns and gives us a place to enjoy our interests. Learn about Letters Against Isolation. Keep AAUW alive with your story. We will also recognize past officers and install new ones. The Turning Point Memorial is on the campus. There is the lovely River View Trail for walkers. See you then.

RSVP to Marcy Leverenz by the end of May whether you can make it. Orders for food will be taken in early June.

Marcy Leverenz and Sharon Orenick, co-vice presidents for membership

 

Be a Two Minute Activist

Fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, and equal opportunity in education from the comfort of your own home. Sign up to be a Two Minute Activist and get regular alerts and the opportunity to take action. AAUW.org/act/two-minute-activist/. It couldn’t be easier!

2022 AAUW OF VIRGINIA CONFERENCE

The Conference was held Saturday, March 26, 2022, in-person in Harrisonburg. Springfield-Annadale attendees included Irene McGhee, Judy Baldwin, Deborah Dodd, and Ginny Wells. For information about this conference, go to https://aauw-va.aauw.net/conference-2/.

 

APRIL MEETING HONORED STUDENT INCLUSION ESSAY WINNERS

The April general meeting, held at Pohick Reginal Library, was our first in-person meeting in a long time. Prizes were presented to the three winners of the Student Inclusion Essay contest.

First prize and $500 went to Su Jin Shin from West Springfield High School. Su Jin immigrated from Seoul, South Korea as a young child. She is president of her class and the Key Club; tutors in math, science, and computer science; and plays violin at senior living centers “to spread joy through music.”

Second prize and $300 was presented to Harper Tran from Falls Church High School. Her father came to the U.S. as a two year old after Saigon Fell to the North Vietnamese. She began learning more about unfamiliar cultures after tutoring an Afghan woman in English and through Student Council learned to focus on the needs of minorities within her highly multicultural school.

Third prize winner Tess Achtermann received $150. Also from Falls Church High School, Tess is a member of the Black Student Union, Girl Up and the Women of Color Club although she herself is not Black. She is active in her synagogue’s care and concern committee and inclusion committee plus studying to be a herbalist at a school of herbal medicine.

Good reading on combatting racism

“How to Be Less Stupid About Race” by Crystal Fleming. Ms Fleming is a professor of African Studies at Stony Brook University and a recognized authority on racism and anti-racism. This book is described as a “unique and irreverent take on everything that is wrong about our national conversation on race – and what to do about it.”

“Save the Tears, a White Women’s Guide” by Tatiana Mac. “Examine how you leave Black and brown women behind, particularly those who are disabled, trans, immigrants, and queer. White women experience …”

PUBLIC POLICY

Title IX – Celebrating 50 Years on June 23, 2022

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, protecting staff and students in any educational institution or program that receives federal funds. This includes local school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit schools, career and

technical education programs, libraries, and museums. Music, choir, sex education classes, and sports involving bodily contact are exempt from Title IX, as are religious institutions if the law would violate their religious tenets. Admissions policies at private undergraduate institutions are also exempt.

Title IX requires recipients of federal education funding to evaluate their current policies and practices; adopt and publish a policy against sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and violence; and implement grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee discrimination complaints. The law also prohibits retaliation for filing a Title IX complaint or advocating for those making a complaint.

Title IX is not just for athletics. It affects all areas of education, including:

  • Recruitment, admissions and housing
  • Career and technical education
  • Pregnant, parenting, and/or married studentsScience, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
  • Sexual harassment and assault
  • Comparable facilities and access to course offerings
  • Financial assistance
  • Student health services and insurance benefits
  • Harassment based on gender identity
  • Athletics

My quick perusal of Fairfax County’s website provided an email address/phone number for the county’s Title IX Coordinator, but no name. The website page included a form for filing complaints of sexual harassment. This seems to be an area where we could usefully learn a lot more about how Title IX is being enforced in our local schools.

Link to AAUW’s Quick Facts about Title IX: https://www.aauw.org/app/uploads/2022/01/Title-IX-Quick- Facts-Jan-2022.pdf

Advocating for Women’s Health Care and Economic Security

While we wait for the U.S Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade to drop officially, it is important to recall how many of the public policy priorities that AAUW and AAUW-VA are committed to advancing directly support the well-being and economic security of women and their families. AAUW believes that everyone can make their own informed choices about their reproductive lives within the dictates of their own moral and religious beliefs. Further, AAUW believes that these deeply personal decisions should be made without government interference. For those many women with children who must or want to work outside the home or remotely, policies to facilitate that balancing act remain sorely lacking. Too many working women, particularly the lowest earners, have no paid sick days. Even more women have no paid family or medical leave, and no reasonable accommodations in the workplace to protect their health during pregnancy. Women everywhere lack affordable and reliable childcare, and this issue has become more acute during the pandemic. And, of course, the pay gap for women has only widened during the pandemic. The list goes on. AAUW-VA will continue to advocate for these policies by lobbying our elected officials on a national and state level. Please consider getting involved in AAUW-VA’s advocacy efforts. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with!

AAUW-VA Public Policy Zoom Meeting

Our next AAUW-VA Public Policy Zoom meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 15 at 5:00 P.M. Our featured speaker will be Greater Richmond Branch member, Tess Evans, who will address the student debt crisis, a long-time focus of AAUW National’s public policy efforts. The issue of the burden of student debt has been in the news lately, but AAUW has long sounded the alarm about the adverse and disproportionate impact of student debt on women, in particular women of color. Please join us to hear from a young member of AAUW-VA who will share her personal story of coping with student debt.

We will also discuss our planning for the next General Assembly session and GOTV efforts for the mid- term elections on November 8. Please be sure to join us for an informative hour! The Zoom link is below.

Topic: AAUW-VA Public Policy Meeting

Time: Jun 15, 2022 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88557551017?pwd=WG5lQTg5VWpySyszRUtxejkxNEYvQT09

 

Meeting ID: 885 5755 1017

Passcode: 022107 One tap mobile

+16468769923,,88557551017#,,,,*022107# US (New York)

+13017158592,,88557551017#,,,,*022107# US (Washington DC)

Susan Burk, Public Policy Chair

 

AAUW Funds

Our branch donated over $3,000 to AAUW Funds during the 2021 calendar year. This allows us siz named honorees at the state conference (one for each $500 donated.) After discussion, the six chosen by the Board are Judy Baldwin, Cathie Boivin, Susan Burk, Irene McGhee, Ann Sauberman, and Judy Titterton.

 

Movies at Midweek

Movies at Midweek will meet at Cinema Arts on June 15, followed by lunch and discussion at First Watch Restaurant. We will take a summer break, resuming on the third Wednesday of September (09/21/2022).

This year, from September 2021 to May 2022, we enjoyed “Confetti,” “The Rescue,” “Belfast,” “West Side Story,” (cancelled in January), “Macbeth,” “Cyrano,” “The Automat,” and “Petite Maman”; quite a range of films. As you know, we are governed by which movies are being shown in the morning on our selected Wednesdays. Sometimes there are several possible choices, some months it’s pretty slim pickings.

Having said that, all in all, I hope you Movie Goers have had as much fun as I at Movies at Midweek!

Ginny Wells, Movie Maven

Book Groups

Evening Book Group – Virtual

The Evening Book Group will meet via Zoom for the next meeting on Thursday, June 2, 7:00 P.M. The topic book is Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie and will be reviewed by Nelda Richards.

A young woman with nothing to live for is persuaded to embark on a suicide mission to find a missing scientist. When a number of leading scientists disappear without trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community.

Evening Book Group members have been asked to submit two topic books to be voted on by the group. The winning titles will comprise the reading list for the next membership year.

Debbie Gilligan will be the new contact for the Evening Book Group in the 2022-2023 Membership Year. Thank you, Nelda Richards, for heading up this dynamic reading group.

The complete list of the reading selections and reviewers for each month will be in the 2022-2023 Directory.

 

Morning Book Group – Live

On Thursday, June 9, 10:00 A.M., the Morning Book Group will meet at Deborah Dodd’s house to choose books for the coming year, and then have lunch.

The complete list of the reading selections, meeting locations, and reviewers for each month will be in the 2022-2023 Directory and on the website.

 

Did You Know?

You can sign up now to start your free, online salary negotiation workshop. Just go to https://salary.aauw.org/ to begin.

AAUW Start Smart is designed for college women who are approaching the job market.

AAUW Work Smart is designed for women in the workforce at any career level

 

Presidents’ Notes Nancy Miller and Cathie Boivin Co-Presidents

May is generally such a delightful month, I thought we’d enjoy some encouraging and enlightening stories! First, congratulate Margaret Griffiths, at 100 years old, is taking computer classes at her local library. She shatters that disparaging adage about old dogs and new tricks.

Then, for inspiration and sheer determination, look up the story of Kate Jayden of Great Britain. She completed 100 marathons in 100 days (a world record) which is the equivalent of 2,620 miles, to raise funds for Syrian refugees.

Closer to home, two residents of Fairfax City were recently named 2022 Women of Influence: Hildie Carney and Carolyn Sutterfield. Ms. Carney is very active in garden clubs, manages the Kitty Pozer Garden in Old Town Square, volunteers as docent at Blenheim house, and served as an assistant to Betty Friedan for 14 years. Ms. Sutterfield serves on the regional Fairfax Area Commission on Aging and has served on various local committees. She is a professional writer and editor who “want(s) ‘live life connected’ to apply at all ages so that people can still be contributing actively to their community.

Finally, I encourage you to ‘google’ Kate Waller Barrett. She was raised in an enslaving family prior to the Civil War, married an Episcopal minister who encouraged her to get her medical degree, and had an astonishing revelation following the birth of her first child when a woman ‘of shame’ came to her door for food for herself and her infant. Dr. Barrett had a painful realization that this indigent woman, save for the luck in choice of spouse, could have been herself. In the early 20th century, she was a leader in women’s suffrage, human trafficking, and progressive movements. Widowed at 39, with six children, she began the Crittenton homes, with which you may be familiar. She was also an early member of the League of Women Voters and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). It’s an extraordinary biography.

These women may lead ordinary lives, but they are an example within their communities of what each of us can do. We may not be rich, famous, or powerful, but we are able to show for our friends, neighbors, and communities, what perseverance and dedication can achieve. Let us not become discouraged by political setbacks, but continue to support by our words and actions our goals of equality for all women.

Nancy Miller, Co-President

 

AAUW National Website  https://www,aauw.org

AAUW-VA Website  https://aauw-va.aauw.org

Like us on Facebook

Please look for Springfield-Annandale AAUW on Facebook and like us. You can keep up with some of our activities there. In the search box, put “Springfield-Annandale AAUW” When  you click on our page, “like” it.

“Share our news. After you have “liked” out page, you will get our news in your news feed. At the bottom of the post choose “share” and “share now with friends.” The page will be sent to your friends.

Going to an event? We will post our events on Facebook. You may make one of three responses – “Going” “Interested” or “Not Going.”Your response goes back to the organizer and is shared with your friends. By responding in this way, we get the word out to many people.

******************************************************************************

To join our branch, please use the Contact Us page and select the VP’s for Membership. They will answer your questions and provide a membership form to return with a dues check.

******************************************************************************

Please note that phone numbers and street addresses are not used in the main body of the website. Consult your membership directory or the online directory on the Members Only page or use the Contact Us page.