April 15, 2021 - verobeach-fl.aauw.net - PO box 2143, Vero Beach, FL 32961

President's Corner
Jonnie Mae Perry
As we come upon the end of our 2020-2021 season, I want to thank our Board of Directors for their experience, knowledge and resilience shown throughout this challenging season. Your level of quality virtual presentations during this health pandemic was unprecedented, and I applaud everyone contributing to their success! I appreciate your commitment and service to AAUW and its mission. I felt fortunate to work amongst each one of you. 

“Each day is a Chance TO…”
Each day we wake up, we have another chance to…
We could do nothing, or we could decide to take a stance
Each day is a chance to…
We could take action
Each day is a chance to…
Show kindness to another, who don’t look like my sista or brotha
Each day is a chance to…BE YOU
 Poem by Jonnie Mae Perry

A Life of Diversity
"I don’t see color."

That is a phrase echoed by many well-meaning and well-intended individuals from all cultures and all walks of life. This sentiment is often shared by individuals uncomfortable with engaging in conversations regarding race. Acknowledging a person’s racial identity is not racist, barring their access to power and resources because of their racial identity is.  I don’t see color does not fix racism. I don’t see color does not promote diversity, equity, or inclusion. Becoming aware of the disparate treatment that plagues communities of color and actively engaging in work to promote fair and equitable treatment of all; that fixes races. Embodying the national anthem that says liberty and justice for all; that fixes racism. Passivism is a luxury those from ancestral dominance have benefited from, easing their discomfort as they encounter racial injustices. Passivity is not racist. It makes it easy to foster a culture of racism as the offender is never held accountable, while the victim’s wounds are washed with the salve of colorblindness and courtesy.

April is Celebrate Diversity Month

It is a time where we turn over the racial melting pot that erases individual identity to unearth the beautiful nuances of the mosaic art that is the diversity of ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, and races that co-create the communities we inhabit. We get to see each other wholly. We get to see each other in context. We get to acquaint ourselves with lived experiences that have been discounted, narratives that have been silenced with accusations of pulling the ‘race card’ to understand the problem that has been avoided and the magic missed due to fear of the monster in the room. There is no monster in the room, but there is a shadow. The shadow that appears scary is not being cast by marginalized communities but is stems from the accepted internalized miseducations based on stereotypes that family, society, media, and other trusted outlets have taught that taints the lens that many of us look through. That is why it is socially acceptable to walk into a Fortune 500 company and see a C-Suite full of White males and not bat an eye but express concern about an all women-led or all minority-led powerful organization. There is no colorblind; there is just color fear.

So how do we combat this fear?

Well, we can’t heal what hasn’t been diagnosed, so let’s name the fears that exist for all. That awareness gives us the ability to make deliberate choices to counter the symptoms of the illness’s toxicity. Let the declaration of this diversity month spur us to engage in meaningful and vulnerable conversations with individuals who don’t look like you, don’t worship like you, don’t love like you, don’t live like you with the intention to understand, not instruct. Get comfortable being in an environment that may seem uncomfortable, knowing that these healthy conversations are safe and needed for the growth and transformations that will heal our neighbors and heal us. And after you’ve heard the voices of those around you, act. No one can prescribe an action, but using your skills and strengths, do something to bring power to those who have obstacles that you have been exempt.

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing,” Albert Einstein. 
Have a courageous day!

Crystal Morris, MS, CTRT-E
How to Have Difficult Conversations:
A Webinar Invitation
You are Invited to a Zoom Webinar
When: Apr 22, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Topic: Diversity Equity and Inclusion Webinar: How to Have Difficult Conversations

In advance for this webinar REGISTER

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Envisioning Our Mission
Since February 2020, your Board of Directors has been discussing how to best carry on our activities without new volunteer leadership. All members of the Board agreed to stay on in their roles for the 2020-2021 season, which is about to end. 

As we discussed how to persevere and reduce our programming, we also wanted to create a new look for our branch. The idea was to look at what we do from a girl’s point of view instead of from an organizational viewpoint. While we have been proud of the graphic we’ve been using since 2017 to explain our dual philanthropy, both donations and volunteering, we began to take a different perspective. 
Both depictions of our work for the betterment of women and girls say the same thing but in a very different way. The newest graphic follows.

Submitted by Linda Barker
Names Honored
Jane Matyniak for her work on the Nominating Committee for more than one year.

Jane Howard for work with Leslie Carson on Book Review Breakfasts — great speakers and topics.

Julie Watson for leading our Science Fair Judging at the Indian River County virtual Science Fair — very helpful contribution from a new member.

Joan Foster for many years of significant contribution to the branch.
AAUW-FL Leadership Conference
and Annual Meeting

Free and open to all!

Register NOW!

Pre-Registration is required. You will be sent a Zoom invitation.
Guests are welcome at the Conference Sessions ~ 
Members Only at the Annual Meeting

Come together virtually to renew acquaintances and our commitment to equity for women at all stages of their lives. Programs and speakers will help you be:
  • An inspired leader,
  • Attuned to the issues of diversity and inclusion,
  • Able to address women’s economic insecurity.

Friday, April 16

4 – 4:30 pm Zoom Sign-in Zoom rules reviewed. Social time 

4:30 – 5 pm Time to Share

  • Video: View a medley of statewide branch contributions of photos and accomplishments to demonstrate how women came together to overcome the many hurdles of 2020 and COVID-19.
  • Recognition of AAUW Legacy Circle members
  • Named Gift Awards: Ellen Roche, AAUW FL Director for Development 
Recognition of honorees selected by their branches. 
  • Recognition of AAUW Florida Named Gift Honoree

5 – 6 pm Keynote Speaker
Janet E. Petro Deputy Director, NASA, Kennedy Space Center. Graduate, U.S. Military Academy West Point Topic: “Adapting to New Challenges” 

Saturday, April 17

9:30 – 10:30 am  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Moderator: Jonnie Mae Perry, Chair, AAUW FL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee 
  • Key elements of AAUW National’s DEI Toolkit will be explored, including the 16 dimensions of diversity and the meaning of “intersectionality.” – Erin Conn, Member, AAUW DEI Committee, and Melissa Ingram, Member, AAUW DEI Committee, DEI Toolkit Developer. (You’re encouraged to check out DEI resources and the toolkit before the conference.) 
  • How the Lake Sumter branch used DEI resources for a series of programs, including “How to Start Difficult Conversations.” – Linda Carpenter and Jacquie Latzer, Co-Chairs DEI Committee, Lake Sumter

11 am – Noon   Economic Security

Moderators: Ellen Roche, AAUW FL Director for Development and Kay Lee-Smith, AAUW FL Director for Public Policy 
  • The essentials of women’s economic security: 
  • Women face economic downturn during COVID-19 pandemic. – Barbara Ritter, Dean, Davis College of Business, Jacksonville University.
  • Important elements in defining financial literacy for women today. – Laura Mattia, Certified Financial Planner. 
  • Review of current policy issues before the Florida Legislature. – Lori Berman, State Senator, Florida’s 31st District. 

Sunday, April 18
9:30 – 10:30 am   Shared 2020 Successes 

Moderator: Bea Holt, AAUW FL Director for Program 
  • View a compilation of 5-minute video presentations created by branches to demonstrate how they used leadership skills and innovative ideas to overcome the obstacles presented in 2020 amidst the worldwide pandemic. 

11 am to Noon  Annual Meeting 

Presiding Officer: Patricia DeWitt, President, AAUW Florida 
  • Meet nominated slate of officers, 
  • Election of officers for unopposed positions,
  • Review proposed bylaws changes. 
The Leadership Conference is a Biennial Event.

We’ll reset our agendas for 2021-22 and come away with an action plan that is Tenacious and Trailblazing and achieves a vision of equal opportunity for all.
It’s Your AAUW--Your Voice Counts
Voting is now open! *** Members are asked to vote on:

1) Officers: Elect members to the national AAUW Board of Directors

2) Policies: Vote on changes to the bylaws that would open membership and on changes to the Public Policy Priorities.

Here you’ll find all the information you need to vote…

Bylaws Amendment on Open Membership (2/3 vote required): Learn More About the Proposed Changes

Public Policy Priorities (marjority vote required): Learn More About the Proposed Changes

Here you'll find FAQs about the voting process.

***Voting closes at 5:00 pm ET on Monday, May 17, 2021

Source: AAUW FL Website

Member Spotlight
Joan Edwards
Each One – Teach One

Joan Edwards was not naturally drawn to teaching–at first. Reflecting back on it today, she can’t imagine a better choice, one that brought unexpected riches in relationships, knowledge and community connection.
“My father had teachers in his family and sold me on the idea that, ‘It’s a safe and secure job you can always fall back on.’ I was lucky that family members helped me with school costs, which I pay forward with my mission to help people go to college. My husband and I supported scholarships and chose 9 great nieces and nephews with a bright future and helped them a bit each year.”
Mind Reading

After studying the brain and what makes talent in each individual, Joan expanded her knowledge to grow the impact she made. She learned to teach a whole class while focusing on individual interests.
“I loved the study of the mind and how to get kids to understand the world, first as a teacher of language and math in an integrated school in Vero Beach and then as a teacher for gifted children in grades 1-5 in multiple elementary schools.”
What makes them different?

“Gifted students need personal objectives. Open-ended assignments mean each student can pursue a unique direction. One year, I had 34 students rather than the expected nine. The kids worked like debate teams; anything one said had to be PROVED to the others. We planned lots of oral presentations and entered tri-county competitions. We invited speakers and parents to speak to the class. I became a quick study and kept up with designing new curriculums.”
Sharing life's experiences

The recent Vero Beach 100 celebration was a gathering of many people Joan helped in one way or another. “One of my former students is the County Administrator; another is a state legislator. I had one Haitian child who went home to teach her parents what I’d shared. When they say ‘teaching gifted students is making smart people smarter,’ they miss the positive that often the kids are very social and turn around and teach five of their friends.”
“I traveled and taught geography, political culture, economics and finance from the societies I visited. My curriculum included man made and natural wonders of the world. One first grader knew all the fish in the Great Barrier Reef – keeping up was great fun!”
Today, Joan is indispensable to multiple volunteer outlets.
“Florida history is a lifelong interest I developed while teaching. I’ve served on the Cultural Council Board and led downtown Vero Beach walking tours since 2000 and History Trolley Tours for the 2020 Centennial.
“While at Osceola Elementary, Roy Howard (Jane’s husband) and a team of others (my husband and I included) started the first Lagoon Day for 4th graders. (Note: He has not been given enough credit for his vision.) Now it’s an ELC initiative that attracts 1,300 kids. For adults, I lead boat tours around Pelican Island, some for Lifelong Learning courses.”
She’ll soon begin her second stint as President of the Treasure Coast Pilot Club (the women’s version of the Rotary).
“The organization’s international focus is brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. We fund tracking bracelets for patients, train dogs to help veterans and provide food to the Food Bank. This year we’re adding Protecting Lives, which gives seeds for the Shining Lights Garden. Other projects include collecting socks for the homeless, working with the Sheriff’s program to collect old cell phones that provide 911 capabilities for seniors and participating in the Autumn in the Park festival.”
I started a summer camp for my grand kids to introduce them to the art museum and local highlights. I love having them with me. They enrich my life as I watch them grow.

Women in Science: Grace Hopper
Grace Hopper was a trailblazing computer programmer who helped develop multiple computer languages and is considered one of the first programmers of the modern computing age.

Armed with a master's degree and PhD in mathematics from Yale, Hopper went on to have an influential career in the private sector and the US Navy. She joined the US Naval Reserve in 1943 to help with the American war effort, and throughout WWII she worked in a prestigious lab responsible for top-secret calculations such as calibrating minesweepers, calculating the ranges of anti-aircraft guns and checking the math behind the creation of the plutonium bomb.

Her career also contributed to modern computer vernacular. While Hopper was developing some of the earliest electromechanical computers -- MARK I and MARK II -- she dismantled a malfunctioning computer to find that a dead moth was causing the problem. She became the first person to call computer problems "bugs" in the system.

Photo credit: Bettman Archive via Getty Images
FL Tech Trek Plans
In June 2019 there were two Tech Trek Camps, with 48 girls attending each camp. In June 2020 we had planned for two camps, one in DeLand at Stetson University and the other at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter but we could not move forward with those plans due to COVID-19.

In 2021 we will hold two virtual camps: one for the girls selected for the 2020 camps and one for the girls to be selected in March 2021. The girls who apply will be able to choose which session of the camp they prefer to attend. The 2021 camps will be held July 19th through July 23rd. The camp formats will be similar but the core courses and the workshops will be different and offered at different times of the day. At one camp the core classes will be the morning and at other camp they will be in the afternoon. The field trips will be virtual visits to Florida STEM locations.

Applications have been mailed to girls who were nominated by their teachers by the February 17th deadline. All of the girls who returned completed applications by the March 8, 2021deadline will be interviewed virtually by a committee of local AAUW members.

Source: aauw-fl.aauw.net/
To experience moments of what Tech Trek is like, click to watch an appealing video that may make you wish you could be a rising eighth grader again!
Wrap Up: April 17th Final Branch Meeting
April Branch Meeting: April 17 at 11:30

Phone in: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 915 1500 4098
Passcode: 018256
Speak Up

We're planning next year's speakers, activities and interest groups and would love your input! Please phone, text or email your thoughts and ideas:

Carole Strauss: 772-532-4712  seaviewcl@gmail.com Gail DeGioia: 772-321-9156  gail.degioia@gmail.com
Kathy Martin: 908-334-3648  k2014martin@gmail.com

--Submitted by Carole Strauss
Change for Handbook
Change of Address:

Hourdequin, Mary: New address...

8825 W. Orchid Island Circle
Vero Beach, FL 32963

Thank you for updating your Membership Handbook.
Please Renew Now for Next Season
Membership Renewal

Welcome, renewing members.

Please click on link for renewal application to pay by check:


Send check for $ 101 (plus any specified donations) to:

AAUW Vero Beach Treasurer
PO Box 2143
Vero Beach, FL 32961

About Books
Please DON'T FORGET our
Little Free Libraries, especially during vacation!
Preschool books
needed at these locations (Click one for a map):

You can help make a difference!

'Til We Meet Again

HOTLINE Submissions
Due before August 5th to aauwverobeach@gmail.com
Subject: HOTLINE

See you !!!

--Hotline Editor, Dee Sattler
--Final Editor, Elaine Spooner