California Suffrage Centennial/ Women’s History Month
The Thousand Oaks Branch has been the creator of “living history” in California for many, many years. This year they outdid themselves with a full celebration of the California Suffrage Centennial. They wrote four California suffragists’ scripts that are available to all branches, presented “Rally For The Vote” at the Thousand Oaks Library on March 12, 2011 and included Suffrage music and songs. They continue to provide the “Women’s History Project” in schools throughout Ventura County. If you are interested in the “suffrage scripts”, please firstname.lastname@example.org. Thousand Oaks Branch also has three volumes of women’s scripts that are simple and easy to re-enact.
The Santa Barbara County Interbranch Council Annual Luncheon featured Laury Oaks, PhD, UCSB Associate Professor, Feminist Studies who spoke on “Womanpower: The Impact of Women’s Suffrage.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Branch presented an original play of My Mother Marie (Marie Curie), written and directed by member,Jacqueline Mason, and performed by the AAUW/PVP Readers Theatre. Jacqueline is willing to share this play with other branches. The PVP branch newsletter, “Coast Lines” also provided a Marie Curie Quiz in their April issue.
The Paradise Branch observes Women’s History Month by purchasing and donating books on women’s history to local school libraries.
The Concord, San Carlos and California Online Branches sponsored a “Pay Equity Teleconference” on April 12, 2011 that provided information on how to identify direct & indirect forms of pay inequality, as well as many other helpful information.
The San Diego Branch developed “The 12 Days to Pay Day” in preparation for “Equal Pay Day”. They encouraged members and the community to share information and statistics which shed light on current circumstances of America’s working women in relation to pay equity.
Laguna Hills Branch sponsored a Coffee that featured Miriam Matthews, a doctoral candidate in the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University. She spoke about “Perceptions of Prejudice”, examining the motivations and emotions that stimulate prejudice and discrimination against people of the Muslim world.
The Sunnyvale/Cupertino branch November program was entitled “Mercy Beyond Borders”. Sister Marilyn Lacey, RSM, a member of the Sisters of Mercy order, spoke about her work in Africa.
The Chico branch enjoyed Gayle Kimball talking about the status of women and girl globally. Former Tech Trekker Oya Ross-Walcott shared her experiences in Mexico working with women and girls in impoverished areas. This was part of her education for a full semester.
The San Mateo branch’s “International Womens’ Issues” committee sponsored an outdoor film screening of Hassan Zee’s Bicycle Bride, a comedic film about an Indian girl in San Francisco who decides to challenge her cultural and religious beliefs of arranged marriages by seeking a life-partner on her own. Featuring the “Burlingame Bollywood Dancers” before the film screening gained community awareness and involvement. Homemade cookies and sodas were sold for 77 cents for women, $1.00 for men, bringing attention to pay equity. Proceeds went to the Virginia Gildersleeve International Funds. Two members of another branch joined San Mateo because of the uniqueness of the event, and three other women who attended joined the branch.
Branches interested in screening Bicycle Bride can contact email@example.com for more information. Other suggestions for international advocacy films are CARE’s documentary Half the Sky, or Tapestries of Hope.
The Santa Maria branch’s November program entitled “Our Changing World” (Looking at Women’s Issues and Cultural Diversity) featured Adelina Alva Padilla, the Spiritual Leader and Cultural Advisor for the San Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Ms. Alva-Padilla is known throughout the world for her knowledge and ability to share her perspective of our changing world in a friendly and understandable manner. Just one of her many accomplishments was serving on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in South Africa with Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Rigoberta Manchu.
The Sonora branch sponsored a Half the Sky panel discussion that included Pat Atkins of the “Emancipation Network”, Lauren Saunders with “Center for a Non-Violent Community”, Linda Trindell of “:Courage to be You”, and Liz Sewell, Executive Director of the Center for a Non-Violent Community. These women talked about the aspects of the book – human trafficking, education for women and girls, maternal health and gender inequality.
The Berkeley branch had the honor of hosting Dr. Auma Obama, Technical Advisor for CARE’s Sport for Social Change. The program was entitled “Power Within: Empowering Girls to Learn and Lead”. Dr. Obama led a discussion on how CARE is empowering girls, particularly in Africa by using sport as a tool for social change.
The Amador branch held an event to assist the women of Uganda through sales of the homemade beads BEAD FOR LIFE. The monies garnered went towards improving the lives of the Ugandan women and their families.
Women’s Equality Day
The Benicia/Vallejo branch presented an outstanding celebration of Women’s Equality on August 26th, that not only included our AAUW CA Public Policy Director, Sue Miller, but also the Solano County Women Legislators and other local leaders.
The Stockton Branch continues to have the “Title IX Shirt Project”. Members are encouraged to buy a t-shirt for the “Game of the Month”, wear it with the AAUW name pin and root for both teams. When people inquire about the group, the members quietly offer them AAUW information.
The Petaluma branch reports that they have been supporting a girls’ softball team in their city by providing needed drinks and snacks for the games. They seem to be the only sponsor ever showing up!
Red Bluff-Tehama County earned money by baking and selling cookies for the grand opening of a Bank of America building. The branch paid for construction of a scorekeeper’s table for the local school’s girls gym with the profits. Sadly, later the gym burned and the table with it!
San Jose branch has a Sports Equity Program. One of their projects is a Program In A Box rolled out by National last year, Know The Score. Bouncing off a speaker on Title IX that inspired some members to look for “something to do” about Title IX, they were in the perfect position to take it on. Know The Score checks Title IX compliance in local schools.
The program is easy to do (not at all “daunting”). The Program In A Box gives step by step instructions that are easy to follow. Each school takes no more than two or three hours of work (meeting with administrator, internet research and attending a couple of games). Even better, it’s fun and satisfying. Branch members are learning more about Title IX and the opportunities available to girls through sports (not just kicking a ball, but academic success, scholarships, career and life-skills). They are raising awareness both of Title IX and AAUW at local schools.
Another project of the Sports Equity Program they call BITS (you can choose the “B”: butts in the seats or be in the seats) to get members and friends to attend women’s sporting events. the branch encourages members to be there to demonstrate support for women in sports.
There are excellent college teams in the area and the branch publicizes a game a month and encourages members to attend together with friends and family. Being at the games is the only real way for interest and support to be “counted”. San Jose wants branches to know that they can do both, get members out to attend games AND do the Know The Score project.