University Woman Texas
Volume 72 l Issue 2 l October 2020




Message
From The President
My heartfelt thanks to the members of our first AAUW Texas webinar team – Melodía Gutiérrez, Barbara Cager, and Ann Berasley for the hours of work spent planning the "Retrospective of RBG and the Future of SCOTUS” and to Lisa Maatz for her most informative presentation. Not so much thanks to the internet Gremlins that popped in at the last moment and prevented many of you from accessing the webinar at the time. We had 22 persistent folks who actually made it to the Zoom site, but well over 100 of you who found the Facebook Live stream. If you haven’t heard Lisa yet, or want to listen to what she said again, go to our AAUW Texas website and click on the link there.

As we approach election day, please keep these important dates in mind and share them with others. 

AAUW Women VOTE

October 13   First day of early voting in person
October 23   Last day to apply for ballot by mail
October 30   Last day of early voting in person
November 3 Election Day (deadline for receipt of mail ballots 7:00 p.m.)

Gloria Long
AAUW Texas State President
November Zoom Conference Calls
 
Please RSVP to the Board Member who is hosting
to receive the Zoom link.
 
November 10, 2020, 5:00 p.m. - Membership with
Barbara Cager bcager@sbcglobal.net
 
November 12, 2020, 5:00 p.m. – AAUW Funds/Fundraising with
Margie Poole margiepoole11@yahoo.com
 
November 17, 2020, 4:00 p.m. – Public Policy with
 
November 19, 2020, 4:00 p.m. - Program with
Melodía Gutièrrez mellowdia1@gmail.com
 
 
Remember that Zoom calls can be accessed by phone
for anyone unable to connect virtually.

AAUW Communicates!!

In 2020 our national office has presented a series of webinars on a great variety of topics. There have been “state of the union” messages from CEO Kim Churches and the National Board. There have been interviews with authors, information from the public policy team, and inspiring talks on racial justice and equity. All these events have been presented live and have also been recorded and made available to watch at your convenience. You can access these recordings directly from our AAUW Texas website.

Each of the AAUW Equity Network Webinars are Topic Specific and Very Informative

The next time you receive an invitation to attend one of these events, please join us.
Click Here to View the AAUW Town Hall on the
Degree Requirement and Dues Increase
AAUW Statement on the Passing of
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
September 18, 2020: America lost one of our most beloved role models tonight, a pioneering jurist and iconic feminist who blazed new trails not only in her own life but in the lives of the countless women she championed and inspired. On behalf of AAUW, its members and supporters who recognized Justice Ginsburg with a 1999 AAUW Achievement Award, we extend our condolences to her family, her colleagues, and to every American whose lives and hearts she touched.  The nation owes it to her – and to all women – to honor her final wishes and refrain from naming a replacement until a new president is elected.
AAUW Membership Matters

It is up to each of us to continue to grow our membership. Our AAUW membership makes our powerful voice even louder on critical issues affecting women and girls. During these difficult times, AAUW Texas branches must continue to do the critical work necessary to advance gender equality and push AAUW’s mission forward.  

Growing our AAUW membership is essential! 
I am challenging each member to continue to invite friends, neighbors, and new acquaintance to branch Zoom meetings and activities. We can increase our membership during these challenges of virtual meetings. Together we are stronger!

Barbara Cager
Membership Vice President
AAUW Texas
Recruit a Member
Social and Racial Justice
Support at TAMU

The Women’s Basketball Team at Texas A&M is now known for more than just 3-pointers. They are now one of many athletic programs promoting social and racial justice reform. 

Facebook posts got my attention when the Women’s Basketball Team posted an editorial. It read in part “With the support of our staff and administration, we will voice our ability to advocate for the foundation of current and future women and Black Americans in this country. This is us, and we are uninteresting in being quiet.” 

With that, I began building a coalition of support for the TAMU Women’s team. I contacted organizations with whom I had a strong relationship and asked if they were interested in helping to support these women. The support came quick and strong.

Soon, AAUW was on board, sending items to the team in the form of care packages, suggested by the coaching staff. NASW – Texas (National Association of Social Workers) were also on board, assigning an intern to work to identify Texas communities in need that the team could lend support and assist in the coordination of support. 

I contacted A. J. Renold, executive director of the Heart of Texas Chapter, American Red Cross and we came up with the idea of a blood drive. She worked with the TAMU athletic department to coordinate a blood drive, sponsored by the Women’s team.

Amid this coronavirus pandemic, the Red Cross has seen a significant decrease in African American blood donations, down at blood drives held at educational institutions from over 15,000 last year to about 2,700 this year. Sickle Cell patients, most of which are persons of color, depend on these blood supplies to assist in their treatments.

Words of encouragement on social media came from the president of the student affiliate group AAUW Texas A&M, Kelby Kosel. “As a current student and President of AAUW-Texas A&M, a student organization that seeks to advance equity for all at A&M, I wholeheartedly support and stand in solidarity with this amazing group of women who are seeking justice and positive changed in our society. The Texas A&M community must do better to create a climate where women and minority students feel safe, respected, heard, and valued.”

The fight is not over, and we must sustain it. I want to thank AAUW members who have come forward with a variety of support; Texas social workers in NSAW who have been instrumental in these efforts; and to Heart of Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross who have scheduled a blood drive at Reed Arena on the A&M campus in support of the Black community on October 23.

With the support of these individuals and organizations in coalition, we can continue the fight toward social justice for all – all it says in the last three words of the Pledge of Allegiance. It is not over.

Lynn Hagan, PsyD, LCSW
AAUW-TX, Heart of Texas American Red Cross board member, Brazos Valley Interim Chair, NASW-TX
College/University Partnerships

With so many classes being given virtually or partially virtually, people just are not in touch with each other to exchange ideas that come up in the course of conversation. At the same time, this may be an ideal time to think about a nearby college or university (C/U) becoming a partner with AAUW. When a C/U is an AAUW member, their students are automatically eligible to be e-members without charge, i.e., free.

We have only 3 or 4 C/U reps in branches in the entire State of Texas. So, if you are a faculty member of a C/U, maybe you want to take the helm and broach this subject with someone in administration, the dean of students, or head of the women’s study program at your C/U. We don’t want our women students to miss out.

Some of the student benefits are:

  • AAUW fellowships and grants — including summer/short-term grants — which provide funding for research projects or degree programs.
  • Local scholarships to undergraduate and graduate women through AAUW branches.
  • Regional and national scholarships to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) that empowers women leaders from across the globe.
  • Bring an AAUW Start Smart salary negotiation workshop to campus to teach college women about negotiating salaries and benefits in their first jobs.
  • Become part of AAUW’s Equity Network, a community of students and young professionals committed to gender equity and allyship.

Contact me for information you can use as well as details on student e-membership.

Karen Reichensperger
ESTATE PLANNING WEEK, OCTOBER 19-25

IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES
The bonds of friendship and commitment continue to be sources of strength for AAUW and our members. We care passionately about achieving equity for women and girls and we care deeply about one another. 

As the pandemic passes grim 6-month and 200,000-death milestones amidst continued upheaval and uncertainty on many fronts, we’ve heard from members who are wondering about its impact on gifts they’ve arranged or are considering. Some have a plan in mind. Others simply want to think out loud with us as they weigh the options. We want all our members to know: If you have questions about current giving or a planned gift or just want to talk things through more generally, we’re here for you. Whether you are looking for how to get started or want details about gifts that pay income to you now, provide support for AAUW in the future, or impact our crucial, mission-focused work today, we welcome your questions and are available to help provide the information you seek. Whatever your situation, we are most grateful for everything you do to advance equity for all.

DID YOU KNOW?
Established by Congress in 2008, Estate Planning Awareness Week is observed annually during the third week in October to recognize the need, importance, and benefits of estate planning. This is an important reminder not only to make sure your own estate plan is up to date, but also to talk to your family members about your wishes. 

In a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States say that they don’t have a will or trust, even though 76% of people surveyed think estate planning is important.

Estate planning is often a difficult subject to broach, as it brings the unpleasant topics of aging and death to the forefront of our minds. Nevertheless, creating an estate plan can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones by ensuring your life savings are protected, plans are in place in the event of an illness, and property is passed down according to your wishes. 

Whether you would like to learn more about estate planning in general or tax-wise ways to include AAUW as a part of your legacy, we are here to help. You may contact Heather Miller, AAUW Advancement Director at millerh@aauw.org

We would also be delighted to welcome you to the Legacy Circle—AAUW’s recognition society for visionary members who are committed to advancing equity for women and girls long into the future. Both Heather Miller and Jackie Littleton of the AAUW Legacy Circle Team [jackielit@hotmail.com] are available to assist you. You can also find information on AAUW’s website.
Fundraising Ideas

1. Virtual Walk or “No Run Run”
Encourage members to keep active safely, by walking outside or on their treadmills. Miles can be logged through health monitoring apps on smartphones and watches. You can even solicit sponsorships and registrations. Afterwards, celebrate your highest achievers through a Zoom party.

2. Online Auctions
Silent auctions are very popular for branch fundraising, and moving these online can make the events even easier. You would collect items in advance, publicize your start and end dates, and market the event through your website and newsletter. You can set up a page for all the items to be reviewed and bid upon.

3. Virtual Cooking Lesson or Wine Tasting
Do you have any members who are gourmets or gourmands with connections to a local restaurant? Consider holding a cooking lesson, where you identify a recipe with easily attained ingredients. Charge your attendees to sit in as they are guided on how to prepare a delicious meal.

Similarly, you could encourage members to purchase a bottle (or more!) of wine for a guided virtual wine tasting. Or even combine both ideas for a unique pairing experience.

4. Guided Tour
Garden and home tours can be a good source of ticket sales and fundraising. While the pandemic precludes a large in-person tour, you can still collect a fee to stream a virtual tour of any interesting space you may have access to.

5. Product Sales
There are many industrious AAUW members among your branches who may have more time on their hands now than they did before. We’ve seen many cases where members are making masks and other unique items for online purchase. If the items also feature AAUW branding, you’re further spreading awareness of our organization in your community!
Time To Vote
 
At the present time, many social issues confront our country. We are realizing how the November 3rd election's choices of candidates, all the way from federal to state to local positions, may affect our democracy and way of life for years to come. We have witnessed recent protests against racial inequity and repeated episodes of social unrest, and we wonder what we can do to prevent more violence and how we can help those who are hurting and expressing anger and frustration. Fortunately, we do have some choices, and focusing on getting out the vote is extremely important.
 
As we know, the election has actually begun, since some states have allowed early voting to begin, but in Texas there may still be time to encourage undecided voters to participate. Direct inks to online information about ballot lists to select and print by county and voter I.D. details are easily available at www.sos.state.tx.us and its VOTETEXAS.GOV page. 


Here are the remaining important voting dates:

October 13   First day of early voting in person
October 23   Last day to apply for ballot by mail
October 30   Last day of early voting in person
November 3 Election Day (deadline for receipt of mail ballots 7:00 p.m.)



VOTE
Greetings from Texas Central District

As you might surmise, it was not a typical “garden type variety” kickoff for our AAUW year. Most branches delayed, postponed or ZOOMED their initial membership drive given the pandemic of COVID-19. But true to form, most branches are adaptable and flexible in how they are coping with social distancing using some help from the State of Texas AAUW by reimbursing branches for cost in this first year of ZOOM.

Branches have taken advantage of the trendy technology tool to present important information to members, particularly relevant as we head into the November General Election. For example, the San Antonio Branch hosted the Bexar County Election Administrator, Jacque Callanen via ZOOM on September 5 who shared impressive stats about running the election in Bexar County at a cost of nearly $2 million and assured participants that their early votes would be counted and indeed counted first. Georgetown Branch similarly hosted the President of the League of Women’s Voters, Chris Spano on September 12, via ZOOM to explain the process and protocol and problems of voting in Williamson County, including the imminent need for poll workers. The Austin Branch used a virtual format to hear summaries from their UT research grant awardees.

Coming up, the Hill Country Branch will have its first virtual meeting on October 10th with a program preceded by a Saturday morning Social Hour.

Just in case you missed it, the AAUW-Texas sponsored a Webinar with Lisa Maatz, former VP for AAUW Government Relations on September 26th. With the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, she focused on the major contributions of the Justice with comments on the likely successor nominee of President Trump, Judge Amy Comey Barrett, and her own (Lisa’s) prognostications about races in the House, the Senate and the White House and possible implications of a new and conservative Supreme Court. I’m sure it was recorded and would be available to our branches. Meantime she gave us a great resource number as an election protection hotline. It is 866 OUR VOTE. Let's GOTV and have a Happy Fall.   

Marsi Liddell
Central District Representative
Bexar County Election Administrator
Jacque Callanen
San Antonio Branch
Lisa Maatz
AAUW Texas Webinar
North District News

Here's what's happening in some of our North District branches:

North Dallas branch is partnering with the Carrollton/Farmers Branch Council PTA to hold a voter information forum, via webinar/Facebook live, featuring candidates for the upcoming CFBISD school board trustee election. Their latest branch Zoom meeting featured a showing of the suffrage movie "Iron Jawed Angels.”

Plano branch is exploring ways to fundraise for scholarships during these challenging times. Their first Zoom meeting, "AAUW 101-Demystifying AAUW”, concentrated on a review of AAUW’s mission, and the many ways that AAUW recognizes women’s achievements and contributions to society.

Tyler branch has incorporated the AAUW National Five-Star Recognition Program into their strategic plan and has formed a committee to formulate plans to achieve Five-Star status. Their “Culture Club” interest group left Tyler, virtually, for a tour of the Musée d’ 0rsay Museum in Paris on the banks of the Seine.

Dallas branch had a recent kick off Zoom meeting featuring a panel discussion of activists focused on “The future of the 19th Amendment.” It also included a session by Texas AAUW Board member, Dr. Lynn Hagan, on self-care and coping with stressful times. The branch has a contemporary literature group that meets monthly.

Sara Wood
North District Representative
Elected Officers  
Gloria Long
Melodia Gutierrez
Barbara Cager
Margie Poole
Diane Roberts
Mary Smith

Elected District Representatives
Betsy Calabro
Marsi Lidell
Sara Wood
Emelia Hoefle
Lucy Barrington

Standing Committees
Ann Berasley
Pat Rehm

Appointed Positions
Crystal Gacia
Lynn Hagan
Karen Reichensperger
Marina Rivers

Communications Team
Malinda Gaul
Janani Janakiraman
Pam Wolfe


President
Program VP
Membership VP
AAUW Funds VP
Finance Officer
Secretary


South District
Central District
North District
North District
West District


Bylaws/Parliamentarian
Public Policy


Diversity and Inclusion
SHARE Grant Coordinator
College/University Rep
Branch Services


UWT Editor/Email Communications
Website
Website/Facebook