Volume 114 Issue 10

May 2023

2022-2023 Theme:

Supporting Marginalized Women and Girls

During This Time of Change

Message from the President

Dear Members,

Spring has Sprung!!! And on May 6th we will gather for the last of our monthly meetings for the 2022-2023 Administrative Year. We start new monthly meetings in September!

Please applaud and thank the Program Committee: Monica Ruiz-Mills, the Chairperson, as well as Mary Ellen Pratt and Judy Branch, for the very informative and interesting speakers they enlisted. They gave us information about supportive programs that are available to all youth in San Antonio and the surrounding area. There were programs that also alerted us the status of women in Texas and San Antonio.

We were able to advocate strongly for women through our participation in “Can We Talk?” and by moderating a panel addressing Title IX (gender equity) issues, which was under attack by past federal and state administrations. We were also able to market our organization and recruit new members as an additional benefit of each event.

We attempted a new fundraising activity and also continued with the former methods and raised over $3,100 for our scholarship programs. This was less than the 2021-2022 year, but not bad for a year plagued by inflation.

In February, we transitioned from Zoom monthly meetings because of Covid-protection protocols to in-person/hybrid meetings. Everyone seemed to enjoy seeing old friends and acquaintances in person after two years.

Last month we elected our new officers for the 2023-2024 Administrative Year. They will assume their duties effective July 1, 2023.

Congratulations to:

Diane Claiborne-Carr, President

Claudia Walker, President Elect

Deborah Andrepointe, Vice President Programs

Ruth Lyle, Vice President Membership

Mary Ellen Pratt, Secretary

Antonina Duridanova, Treasurer

Thank you to our Interest Group Leaders who worked hard to make it more interesting for our purely social get-togethers this year. We loved Wine, Women, and Wisdom but Helga Anderson will not be leading this activity next year. We are looking for a volunteer to head up this fun social activity. Also, we are still looking for Moviegoer, and Walking Group leaders. Call me if you’d like to help out.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Diane Claiborne-Carr


AAUW San Antonio



2022-2023 Branch Leaders

Executive Committee


Diane Claiborne-Carr       

President Elect


Vice President Membership

Ruth Lyle                         

Vice President Programs

Monica Ruiz-Mills               


Ashlee Martinez      


Adrien Frank  


Suzanne Benson

Standing Committees

Public Policy

Pat Sanford


Adrien Frank


Karen Reichensperger

Eleanor Skelley    


Martha Steele


Kimberly Henry


Malinda Gaul


Mary Ellen Pratt


Kimberly Henry





Patricia Tucker

Community Coordinator



Betty Russell


Michelle Burk

Member Outreach

Kathy Dicke



May 6, 2023

11:00 a.m.


La Fonda Alamo Heights

8633 Crownhill Blvd.

San Antonio

The price listed by the menu selection is the price you pay to RSVP.


Email Betty Russell at bwr239@gmail.com

Include: name, email, telephone, and menu selection including flour or corn tortillas.

Make check to AAUW-SA.

Mail check to:

Diane Claiborne-Carr

26024 Stone Canyon

San Antonio, TX 78260-2403


Now accepting Zelle as payment.

Click the bill pay tab in your bank account and select Zelle.

Use the email aauwsatx@gmail.com

to send money.

In the memo field identify the payment: AAUW May

Monthly Meeting.

Questions about Zelle:

Contact Diane Clairborne-Carr



April 30, 2023


May 3, 2023


Fish Tacos...$18

Two Fish Tacos in Corn/Flour Tortillas, Cabbage Slaw,

Zesty Cilantro Dressing, and Avocado

Served with Rice and Borracha Beans


Cheese Enchiladas...$18

Two Cheese Enchiladas

Served with Rice and Beans


Tacos Al Carbon...$20

Two Fajita Chicken Tacos, Guacamole, and Pico de Gallo

Served with Rice and Beans


Chicken Cheese Enchilada Plate...$19  

Two Chicken Cheese Enchiladas

Served with Rice and Beans


Grilled Salmon Salad...$24

Grilled Salmon served on a fresh bed of Spinach and Romaine

Served with Tomatoes, Red Onion, Pecans, and Queso Fresco


Includes Tea, Soda, Coffee

Gratuity Included



The presentation for our next meeting comes from the Scobee Education Center, a resource for the discussion on the importance of STEM Education for young women interested in STEM Careers. The focus in this presentation, “Providing Opportunities for Young Women in STEM,” will reflect on the programs Scobee has provided through the Artemis Academy for Girls, the Scobee STEM Summit and what research tells us about how general STEM careers currently reflect our population.

Mrs. Michelle Risse has 11 years of planetarium experience allowing her to explain some of the vast knowledge of astronomy to a broad audience, present material in a visually pleasing and engaging manner, and develop new programs and materials to heighten the planetarium experience. She has also taught several college courses in astronomy for several different colleges giving her experience the curriculum development, standard learning development skills, and adaptation of material to better help students learn. The Scobee Education Center hosts the Scobee Girls STEM Summit as a one-day conference style event each summer to provide role model connections and hands-on STEM engagement activities for 100 middle and high school girls who have expressed an interest in STEM career pathways. Along with the Artemis Academy for Girls summer camp and its predecessor Camp Challenger for Girls the center has a long history of supporting programs that promote STEM career pathways for young women. As a Solar System Ambassador, Mrs. Risse helps communicate the science and excitement of NASA’s space exploration missions and discoveries within the community, organize community events to engage with the community about our universe and the exploration of space.

Bingo Fundraiser for Greatest Needs

Join us for virtual Bingo on May 16, 2023 at 6:00 pm.

To get a Bingo card make a donation to AAUW Greatest Needs using the below link and then email

Malinda Gaul mgaul@satx.rr.com.

Link to Donate to Greatest Needs



My mom is a character! She wakes up singing, and goes to sleep singing, making up lyrics to any melody she hums. She loves the Hallmark Channel, NCIS, and any reason to shop! She is the best grandmother to her grandchildren and grand pets. She makes the best gluten free beef stew! Mom is also a very forgiving and trusting person. She and I are like Naomi and Ruth. We are inseparable – she has lived with me and my husband for the past 10 years taking care of us because even as adults, we still need mom. In fact, my siblings and I literally live next door to one another. Mom and I do not have the perfect relationship; we laugh, we cry, we argue, but we have a deep love for one another. My mom is a woman of faith, even during the midst of difficulty she clings to her faith and finds the beauty in the moment. Mom and I have been through a lot together, and through all of it she has always encouraged me to be a better version of myself. I am grateful for all she has done. “But Ruth replied, don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay” (Ruth 1:16).

-Monica Ruiz-Mills, PhD

My Mom was the most giving, generous, devoted mother on earth. But a lot of people will say that of their mothers. Why is my Mom different? I grew up in a communist country and Mom stood by me all the time when I was in school to protect me from the cruelty of people in this regime. I was in first grade when she transferred me to another school because the first grade teacher was taking bribes to give kids excellent grades.

My parents got divorced when I was nine and she enrolled me in a middle school near her to keep an eye on me and make sure I did not have any traumatic experiences. In high school she made sure that I had a tutor in math and hired a tutor in chemistry for a weekend to ensure that I would have an excellent understanding and knowledge in these subjects, which most kids do not like because they do not have good teachers.

Then, when I was accused by a classmate that I was not a good member of Komsomol (a youth's communist organization which all kids belonged to from 7th grade) Mom arranged with the principal to move me to another class, as I was facing expulsion from school because of this accusation.

Mom arranged for me to continue my education in former Yugoslavia, but that did not last. I was called back at the end of the first year. This and another frightening event at the border made me decide to escape. I called Mom to visit me in Yugoslavia and all in tears told her that I could not go back to live in a communist regime. Mom stayed with me for three days and saying goodbye to her forever was the hardest thing that happened in my life.

Mom did not tell me that families are punished for the anti-communist acts of a child. She kissed me goodbye and wished me well with tears in her eyes. I risked my life to escape but so did she, because the day I was flying to America on September 30th 1969, they called her to the police station and told her that she was fired as an enemy to communism and could not continue to be a high school teacher because she did not raise me in a communist ideology.

Mom came to the States thanks to President Ford, because of a treaty he signed for reuniting separated families. She devoted the rest of her life to helping me raise my three children. Mom's passing affected me tremendously and there isn't a day in my life that I do not mourn her and pray for her. People who read my book “New Beginnings - From Behind the Iron Curtain to America” say that I could have named the book “My Mom”.

I miss you, Mom, a lot; you are in my heart and thoughts every day. Rest in peace until we meet again.

-Antonina Duridanova

My Mom, Joan Tenner was a “woman of her time.” Born the year of the great Stock Market Crash (1929), the times, the events and the position of women during the war and after, set the inner fibers of the person she was to become. Raised during the depression and in a family of seven sibs, one had to be creative with what you had and with three six foot 5+ brothers, with a propensity for practical joking, standing up for oneself became a necessity. So, she grew-up to be spirited, vivacious, energetic and innovative, tackling any problem that got in her way. Yet, as a “woman of her time,” Joan was raised and taught, like most women then, that the expected role of a woman was to be the head of a household, a good wife and mother. And that she was!

After the war, women were sent back to the old established roles of housewife and child bearer. Women had few opportunities or outlets to expand their new-found inner talents and abilities. Women were blocked from typical avenues that were afforded men to rise above this single role. They were often silenced, when topics of politics and other worldly affairs came up. So, efforts to achieve above and beyond their expected roles were difficult. Joan Tenner, however, had one special thing going for her, a talent that evolved at the early age of sixteen. She began to write. Her impressions and thoughts took the form of poetry. Joan’s poetry became her voice that expressed her ideas, her opinions, and her impressions and reflections of her world and that of the world beyond her kitchen window as she washed the dishes, cleaned her house and cared for her children.

My siblings and I fondly remember our mother constantly creating poetry. She was great at devising poems for holidays especially her Halloween poem that she wrote for us, any other family members and friends. We talked our mom onto having her poems published. In her first book of published poetry, “Consider the Humbler Poet’”, published in 1979, Joan shares many of her points of view and reflections of a typical enlightened housewife “of her time.” The highs and lows; the joys and sorrows of being a woman in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and even today, resonate and can easily be relatable within her work. The gamut of experiences and events that she covers in this book gave it the nickname of “The Mothers’ Book.” Yet, you will find so much more than the stereotypical housewife and mother as you read. Her second book was published in 1984.

After my mother’s death, my sibling and I collected all her unpublished poems into another book that will soon be published. This book is a collection of her Halloween poems that we so enjoyed while growing up. I would like to share one of her works with you.


by Joan Tenner

Longfellow wrote of the “humbler poet”

Whose “songs gushed from his heart”

Who writes the “simple and heartfelt lay”

To soothe the spirit and peace impart.

I am the “humbler poet,”

Humble in words and humble in thought.

I pen in a simple way,

Whether ever to be read, or not.

Who is to say what is pleasing?

Who is to judge what is trite?

The greatest poet on earth might be

A man never taught to write.

I am the humblest of poets,

If you would but call me so,

Not learned or clever in manner,

But sincere, for this I know.

There is poetry all around us!

All life is a poem, no less.

We must search beyond the obvious

In our quest for happiness.

If I should write one simple poem,

That would soothe one single soul,

Then happy this “humbler poet”

And blessed my humble toil!

-Mary Tenner

I lost my mother 39 years ago when I was 36 years old and I can still feel her hug. My mother gave unconditional love to my sister and me and treated us exactly the same. I remember her being concerned if she spent $10 more on one of us at Christmas. My mother loved people and taught me how to be a friend. Mom did not have a college degree and was a stay-at-home mom, but there was no doubt she ran our household. Dad was allowed one check while Mom handled all the finances. When Dad retired from the military and went into a new business, she was at his side. When my sister and I went to college, she went back to work at the bank on Randolph AFB, where she worked the drive through.....so she met everyone! She always had a smile and a kind word for her customers not to mention time to listen to their concerns. I have lived longer without my mother than with her, but her influence on me has lasted a lifetime.

-Malinda Gaul


Here is some useful information about the May 6th Municipal Elections, provided by the League of Women Voters:

You can go to VOTE411.org for nonpartisan election and candidate information. Their Voters Guide is available on their home page and at all public libraries prior to early voting. Review it to see who and what is on the ballot in your voting precinct so you can be an informed voter.

Find a Bexar County vote center where you’d like to vote at the Bexar County Elections Department website. Early voting sites are posted two weeks before early voting starts, and Election Day sites are posted shortly before that day.

You must be registered to vote. Confirm your current Bexar County registration information is correct or learn how to register to vote. When voting in person you must present an acceptable photo ID or acceptable alternate ID. It is a good idea to bring your voter registration card with you, as well. If you would feel more comfortable wearing a mask, please do so.

Early voting is April 24 through May 2. Election Day is Saturday, May 6.

Visit the Bexar County Elections Department website or call 210-335-8683 for answers to all your voting and elections questions.


Have you heard the one about two people talking about politics? One said to the other, “The Texas legislature only meets every other year!” The second one replied, “Thank goodness!”

I heard this when the legislature was in session during the time I worked as an educator in San Antonio. You may have heard it too. I bring it up now because April and May are the months when the legislature is at its busiest acting on house and senate bills. This year more than 5,000 bills were filed. Too many of them have potential to wreak havoc on life as we know it. Thus, the “Thank goodness!” response. These bills range from limiting the availability of abortion to almost zero, to dictating the use of a high school curriculum that limits sex education to abstinence only, to banning books with LGBTQ themes in school and city libraries, to reducing public school funding and diverting it to educational savings accounts (ESAs) to be used for private schools, and much more. AAUW Texas, AAUW national, and our branch have been urging members to take action by contacting legislators via phone, letter, email, The Two Minute Activist, and in person. We further urge you to act now. The following bills focusing on education and women’s health require your attention. Please take a few minutes out of your busy day to make your voice heard.

HB 4340 Frank, James(R) Relating to the establishment of the Education Savings Account Program to allow certain children to use public money to pursue educational alternatives to public schools and an insurance premium tax credit. Any time you see ESA, it is a voucher by another name. AAUW support free public school education.

HB 5261 Frank, James(R) Relating to public education, including parental rights and public school responsibilities regarding instructional materials and the establishment of an education savings account program. Again, vouchers.

SB 8 Creighton, Brandon(R) Relating to public education, including parental rights and public school responsibilities regarding instructional materials and the establishment of an education savings account program. Vouchers.

There are also bills that need our support. Bills that extend Medicaid benefits to women for 12 months following childbirth. Bills that eliminate sales tax on feminine hygiene products. Bills that propose raises to teachers; bills that provide a COLA to retired teachers. We know not much will be done to legislate changes in gun laws; however, there is a bill relating to the reporting of mental health issues for a federal firearm background check. Act now to voice your support of the following bills by contacting your legislators now, before they cast crucial votes that have the potential to vastly affect our lives.

HB 12 Rose, Toni(D) Relating to the duration of services provided under Medicaid to women following a pregnancy. Allows moms to keep Medicaid health insurance for 12 months post-partum.

HB 70 Howard, Donna(D) Relating to a sales and use tax exemption for certain feminine hygiene products. Eliminates sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

HJR 182 Harris, Cody(R) Proposing a constitutional amendment regarding public free schools and prohibiting certain state regulation regarding private educational settings. Schools accepting voucher money would be required to follow the same policies that govern public schools.

SB 10 Huffman, Joan(R) Relating to benefits paid by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

SB 728 Huffman, Joan(R) Relating to the reporting of mental health and intellectual disability information with respect to certain children for purposes of a federal firearm background check.

You may not know who your legislators are or how to contact them. An easy way to obtain contact information is by using the Texas Legislature Online website. Use this link.

The link will take you to the TLO homepage. There are three columns. The one on the right is outlined in red and has a light gray background. This rectangle contains six smaller rectangles. Go to the fifth one from the top. It is labeled “Who Represents Me?” Enter your address and then click on the Submit button. This takes you to the next page that lists your House and Senate representatives. When you click on a name you go to the next page that identifies each Texas legislator by district, name, party, office room, phone number, and committee assignments. The TLO website contains a wealth of additional information that allows you to search for a particular bill or area of interest and to find out where a bill is in the legislative process.

Contact your legislators now to demonstrate your support of the AAUW mission of advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Ask them to vote against bills that do not support our mission and to vote in support of those that do.

Pat Sanford

Public Policy Chair

AAUW Texas Public Policy Advisory Committee


National dues now $72.

AAUW Texas, still $13.

San Antonio Branch, still $16.

Total $101


AAUW national will send three reminders to each eligible member informing them that it is time to renew.


To pay by Zelle: Click the bill pay tab in your bank account and select Zelle. Use the email aauwsatx@gmail.com to send money. In the memo field identify the payment: AAUW Membership. Questions about Zelle - Contact Diane Claiborne-Carr 571.330.1039

You can pay by check, but it is not preferable. Make check payable to AAUW-SA, and mail to: Diane Carr, 26024 Stone Canyon, San Antonio, TX 78260.

Questions contact:

Ruth Lyle

Vice President Membership


210-722-1732 (call or text)



Invite a friend or family member to attend a monthly meeting or one of our special activities. If possible, let me know ahead of time that you are bringing a prospect and I will have membership information available. If their decision is made after attending an event, let me know and I will follow up.

If they join after attending a San Antonio AAUW event or meeting, the National dues are only $36, plus AAUW Texas $13, and San Antonio Branch $16 for a total of $65.

Thank you for supporting AAUW!

Ruth Lyle

Vice President Membership





AAUW members worked hard and dug into their pockets to provide funds for seven $500 Textbook Scholarships. Four of the recipients attended the April 1st branch meeting and were our guests for lunch where they received their certificate and their $500 award. They are Elissa Gallegos, Yameleth Guzman, Jamie Jihyun Kwak, and Pierrette Tombo. Kristin Link, Sarah Merlo, and Olivia Solis were unable to attend the gathering so their certificate and check were mailed to them.

Textbook Scholarship awardees present (left to right):

Pierrette Tombo, Elissa Gallegos, Yameleth Guzman, and Jamie Jihyun Kwak


The four $2,000 Graduate Scholarship awardees were recognized at the April 1st branch meeting where they were also our guests for lunch. They are Eman Attar, MS in Psychology; Briana Cardenas, Master’s in School Psychology; Miranda Garcia, MS in Psychology; and Stephanie Silva seeking a PhD in Counseling Psychology, all at OLLU.

We are thankful for the women who bequeathed funds to the branch so that we can award Graduate Scholarships each year.

Ashley Martinez, a former graduate scholarship winner and member of AAUW was introduced.

Graduate Scholarship awardees present.

Top left to right: Eman Attar and Briana Cardenas.

Bottom left to right: Miranda Garcia and Stephanie Silva.

Another exciting bit of news is that we registered three young women to attend NCCWSL, the premier leadership conference in the US, at the end of May. These women are supported by funds from AAUW Texas, our San Antonio, Inc. branch, our reserve fund, and an anonymous donor as well as themselves. They were not present at the April meeting but their pictures were shown on the screen when their names were announced. They are:

Brandi Revillas

Abigail Lopez

Bianca Rawlings



The Bexar County Elections Department is having classes for new Election Poll Workers this month. For new Election Judges classes are on April 18 and April 29, 9am-5pm. A class for new clerks is scheduled for April 13, 10am-1pm. You can also take Texas’ Online Poll Worker Training Program.

In person classes are held at the Bexar County Elections Office, 1103 S. Frio, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78207.


Recertification exams for existing judges are due to Bexar Elections by June 20, 2023.

Interest Groups


Wednesday, May 24

4:30 pm



239 E. Grayson Street


RSVP to Helga Anderson

By Sunday, April 23



Thursday, May 11

9:55 am NOTE TIME

See below for more info.

Majestic Theater Tour

224 E. Houston Street

San Antonio TX 78205

Lunch 11:45 am

Range, a Jason Dady restaurant

125 Houston Street

At Embassy Suites

San Antonio, TX

RSVP by Monday, May 8 at noon

Ali Heller




Monday, May 15

12:00 noon


14424 San Pedro Ave. 78232

Contact Pearl Eng





Saturday, May 21

10:00 am

This is the annual meeting to choose books for the year.

RSVP to Diane Carr for the Zoom link


Culinary Adventures


Parking can be expensive downtown.

A few days prior to the event I will send a list of addressees so you may arrange your carpools.

Nearby parking:

Houston Street Garage

Valet parking at Embassy Suites

Travis Street Garage

Majestic Tour by Las Casas Foundation

Uncover the rich history, diverse architectural elements, and unique renovation process of the Majestic and Empire Theatres during an interactive walking tour. Reminisce on memories from the past and discover one of the best-kept secrets San Antonio has to offer.

Space is limited.

Email Ali Heller at hahhah82@gmail.com and send $10 per person to Venmo @Ali-Heller-1 or Zelle to 210-617-8189 to reserve your spot.

Contributions will be donated to Las Casas Foundation who is conducting the tour.

Deadline to reserve - Monday, May 8 at noon.

Please note:

Lots of walking plus steps on the tour. Wear your walking shoes. Restaurant is a few blocks down Houston Street.

Bring a sweater or jacket to wear in the theater. A/C will be running and without hundreds of bodies, it may be chilly.

Children’s Ballet of San Antonio will be rehearsing for their performance of Sleeping Beauty so we may hear a few words about their group during our tour.

2022-2023 Officers

President Diane Claiborne-Carr

Vice President Programs Monica Ruiz-Mills

Vice President Membership Ruth Lyle

Secretary Ashlee Martinez

Treasurer Adrien Frank


You can donate to the AAUW San Antonio Branch for Scholarships by making a check out to AAUW SA and sending it to Diane Carr, 26024 Stone Canyon, San Antonio, TX 78260.

You can also donate to AAUW Greatest Needs

by clicking HERE.

The Two-Minute Activist
The Two-Minute Activist is a source of information on topics relating to women’s issues. It also enhances our ability to send emails and texts to legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, equality in education and more. Sign up on the AAUW webpage to get regular alerts to be able to take timely action.
You can also text “AAUW” to 21333 to get AAUW action alerts via text. 

Follow AAUW San Antonio on:

Facebook www.facebook.com/aauw.sanantonio

Twitter @AAUW_SanAntonio

LinkedIn AAUW San Antonio

For more information visit the AAUW websites: