2017 – 2018 Annual Report

AAUW Alexandria, Virginia Branch
2017 – 2018 Annual Report

Branch bylaws proposed amendments:
Increase branch dues by $3 (from $13 to $16) for the 2019-2020 membership year.
Exemption of branch dues for Give A Grad A Gift memberships. (Currently exempt from National dues but pays State dues.)

Gail Kalin and Lane Stone

This year was filled with traditions and experiments. Next year look for more brand new efforts!

The tried and true included-
Our fourth Elect Her event.
Thanks to a six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch rabbit we raised a generous amount for AAUW’s Educational Opportunities Fund.
Meetings with Title IX coordinators. Lane met with the Alexandria city public schools representative and with NVCC Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Bess Harper. Just today Bonnie Hershberg and Lane met with Dr. Harper again.
In June, Bethlehem Getaneh and Francesca Raoelison attended NCCWSL, supported by us.

In the new to us in 2017-2018 column-
We were granted an AAUW-Virginia mini-grant for a social media/email project publicizing AAUW public policy priorities, conducted by the Northern Virginia Community College’s Braden Center for Women, Gender, and Social Equity.
On May 6 we fielded a team of walkers for Alive! Alexandria’s Walkathon to support their early learning center.
This year we added a new program: Members’ Roundtable to check in and listen to you.
Thanks to web maven, Eugenia Burkes, our website is looking good!

We need your input for the next year! So far our plans for 2018-2019 include-
Participating in Virginia 2021 5K race to bring attention to gerrymandering. The date is October 13. (OneVirginia2021.org for more information.)
Cross Cultural Women’s Initiative. Next step is the Aug 14, 7p, meeting. The contact is Bonnie Hershberg.
We’ll start a Great Decisions Group to look at global issues. See Lynn O’Connell.

Lane Stone and Danielle Beach

On Friday, February 23, we held our fourth Elect Her event at NOVA’s Alexandria campus. Students from all campuses attended: Alexandria 8, Annandale 8, Loudoun 3, Manassas 2, Woodbridge 2. Here’s the link to an article about the event: http://www.localdvm.com/news/virginia/elect-her-training-program-for-women/988556924

The event was a joint project with Running Start and NVCC’s Jean Braden Center for Women, Gender and Social Equity, formerly the Women’s Center. Clare Bresnahan English from She Should Run was our moderator. After the event Clare wrote, “Fantastic! Thank you again for inviting me to facilitate the training. It’s an honor and inspiration.”

This will be our last year participating in Elect Her. We truly value our relationship with NVCC and will continue it in other areas, including working to establish a womens center at every campus.

Margaret Zebrowski and Jan Jaynes

Our branch provides and serves an evening meal on the 5th Wednesday of the month at the Christ House Soup Kitchen located at 131 South West Street in Old Town Alexandria. Branch members contribute salads and desserts and make cash donations toward purchasing pizza. At our holiday luncheon, we raise additional funds through a raffle and with the sale of Glam Spa gift cards that are purchased for $45.00. We usually serve 50-60 people at the cost of $ 200.00 for three kinds of pizza. Members were very generous providing food and funds to support four Wednesday suppers this year on August 30, November 29, January 31 and May 30.

Sylvia Linke and Susan Werner

While several members were not able to renew their membership, the Branch gained 14 new members during the 2017 – 2018 year: Margaret Blair Dewing, Courtney Diffley, Ellen Harmon, Donna Hayford, Elizabeth Hendrix, Bonnie Hershberg, Catherine Hughes, Amanda Lindsey, Raili Maultsby, Renee O’Brien, Mary Shine, and Linda Winfrey. Ronna Curelea is our newest Student Affiliate Member, and Shanice Myers is a Graduate Student member. Sylvia developed the Friendly Foursome imitative so that current Branch members might meet and get to know our newest members in a small group environment. Two Friendly Foursomes met during the spring of 2018, introducing a total of five new members to some of the senior leaders of the branch and to each other. Conversation was lively and revealed that the newcomers are a very talented group of ladies. AAUW National approved one new membership under the authority of Article IV, Section 2, a. of the National Bylaws which authorizes AAUW National to approve credentials for membership which are based upon degree equivalence. The Branch has also earned one free National membership, which it hopes to use in the near future. Currently, Sylvia and Susan are working with Treasurer Anne Simpson on the membership renewal process. This process will continue during the summer.

Mystery Book Discussion Group
Susan Werner

The Mystery Book Discussion Group has been meeting for over 19 years, discovering the wide range of the mystery novel. The Group has explored new authors as well as reading the books of favorite authors. Included in this year’s schedule: American masters of mystery fiction such as Sara Paretsky (Critical Mass) and Sue Grafton (Y is for Yesterday), foreign authors such as Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen (The Keeper of Lost Causes) and Japanese author Hideo Yokoyama (Six Four), and master of southwest Indian culture, Tony Hillerman (Hunting Badger), just to name just a few. Books are chosen from suggestions made by members of the Group. The Mystery Group meets at the homes of members with an occasional restaurant destination thrown in for variety. Discussions are lively addressing issues both current and historic. New members are always welcome.

On the Go with AAUW shows produced from July 2017 to May 2018
Ruth Bennett

291) Washington West Film Festival
Brad Russell, founder and CEO of the Washington West Film Festival, talked about the festival that takes place in venues in the DC area October 24 – 30. All profits are donated to charity.
Host: Jennifer Disano
Producer: Ruth Bennett

292) Alan Cheuse International Writers Center
Matt Davis, Director of the Center, and Bill Miller, Director of the George Mason University MFA Program and a Center Board member, discuss the goals of the newly established Center and some of the recent activities. They will award grants to two MFA students each year, host international writers to GMU, and partner with embassies and writers to bring special programs.
Host: Jennifer Disano
Producer: Ruth Bennett
Staff Production – 7/17/2017

293) Fall for the Book 2017
The book festival takes place Oct 11-14 – 4 Days and 150 authors. Bill Miller, Executive Director, Kara Oakleaf, Festival Director, and Suzy Rigdon-Williams, Festival Manager discuss some of the authors and books that will be featured during the Festival with host, Jennifer Disano.
Producer: Ruth Bennett
Staff Production – 7/17/2017

294) Fantastic Fungi (JAN 2018)
Meredith Keppel, homeschooled senior, and Jill Caporale, host, discuss Meredith’s interest in and study of fungi.
Producer: Ruth Bennett

295) Fairfax County Public Library
Jessica Hudson, Fairfax County Public Library Director and Ted Kavich, Director of the library’s programming and services talk about the library with host Jennifer DIsano.
Producer: Ruth Bennett

296) A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time
Paula Tarnapol Whitacre, author, discusses her book about Julia Wilbur who lived in Alexandria during the Civil War with host Dianne King.
Producer: Ruth Bennett

297) Britepaths
Lisa Whetzel (Executive Director) and Catherine Read (Board Member) discuss Britepaths’ mission and programs. They offer assistance and training to people in need who live in Fairfax County.
Host: Jennifer Disano
Producer: Ruth Bennett

298) Shelter House
Joe Meyer, Executive Director and CEO of Shelter House, and Host Jennifer DIsano discuss Shelter House and the programs they operate for the homeless and domestic violence victims.
Host: Jennifer Disano
Producer: Ruth Bennett

299) Fairfax Station Railroad Museum
Deb Mueller, museum Board member, and David Perry, high school museum intern discuss the history of the museum, the programs the Museum offers and how they became Museum volunteers.
Host: Jennifer DIsano
Producer: Ruth Bennett

300) Apothecary Museum
Guests Gretchen Bulova, Acting Director of the Office of Historic Alexandria, and Lauren Gleason, Site Manager of the Apothecary Museum discuss the museum with host Jennifer Disano. The apothecary was established as a business in 1792 and is a historical intact apothecary.
Producer – Ruth Bennett

301) Ebong TheatriX
Guests Arindam Ghosh and Dinyendu Paul discuss the theatre with host Danielle Beach.
The theatre has presented a variety of plays dealing with the immigrant experience. Their latest play was a retelling of a traditional village play and presented in Bengali with English subtitles.
Producer – Ruth Bennett

Virginia Kress & Lynn O’Connell

Our AAUW Alexandria Branch was pleased to offer 10 member programs throughout this year. Thanks to the membership for your attendance and support.

Potluck Meet & Greet – We began our year with a Sunday social in September to greet new members and learn about our programs. Special thanks to Danielle Beach for hosting!

AAUW’s CEO Kim Churches – With other Northern District branches we heard AAUW National’s vision and held a Q&A session with our new CEO.

Panel Discussion with Women Theater Leaders in Northern Virginia – November’s program featured a panel on local theatre: Carolyn Griffin (MetroStage), Leslie Kobylinski (First Draft) and Eileen Mandell (1st Stage).

AAUW Annual Holiday Brunch –We collected toys and gift cards as holiday gifts for the women and children in the Alexandria Domestic Violence Shelter and made a contribution to Alexandria Scholarship Fund.

Video Presentation: GerryRIGGED – This film explores the issue of fair and nonpartisan legislative redistricting in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We were joined by representatives from One Virginia.

History Revealed’s Dr. Esther White – This presentation focused on “Shopping Stories: Learning about 18th Century Women’s Lives through Ledgers.” Surprising information on how independent some of early Alexandria’s female residents were.

“Pioneers in Women’s Education” – AAUW Archivist and Historian Suzanne Gould joined us to share stories about the history of AAUW members and their contributions towards advancing women’s education since 1881.

AAUW Alexandria Branch Members Roundtable – In April, we met to discuss proposed national bylaws amendments which include 3-year staggered terms, opening board positions to non-AAUW members, and dropping the degree requirement for membership. We also heard from members on ideas for next year’s programs and interest groups.

EOF Fundraiser in Partnership with Mount Vernon AAUW Branch – On May 1, we hosted our annual LTA fundraiser including a robust reception and a live performance of “Harvey.” Thanks to all for your generosity in purchasing tickets, inviting friends, bringing desserts, and making additional donations to the EOF.

June Annual Dinner Meeting – With this meeting, we finish out our year. See you in September!
Public Policy Wrap-Up
Leslie Tourigny

Throughout the past year, our branch members set a high bar for public policy advocacy, through a variety of activities.

Public Policy Mini-Grant: Our branch was one of the nine branches awarded a mini-grant from AAUW of Virginia. We received $300 for a social media and email campaign about AAUW public policy priorities, in collaboration with the Northern Virginia Community College Center for Women, Gender, and Social Equity.
AAUW Action Fund Lobby Corps Members: Branch members Sue Bodilly, Nancy Kula, Mary Shine, and Ann Simpson, belong to AAUW’s esteemed Lobby Corps. Since 1972, Lobby Corps has made tens of thousands of visits to Congressional offices on Capitol Hill giving voice to AAUW’s public policy priorities and impacting legislative action.
Federal Lobby Day: On October 5, 2017, AAUW of Virginia held its annual Federal Lobby Day where branch members join with regular Lobby Corps members to lobby on Capitol Hill. Branch members Cheryl Blum, Maria Rubio, and Leslie Tourigny participated in this advocacy event.
Get Out the Vote Activities: Our branch held three voter registration drives this past year at Northern Virginia Community College-Alexandria.
State Lobby Day in Richmond: Four branch members, Sue Bodilly, Cheryl Blum, Nancy Kula, and Leslie Tourigny, participated in AAUW of Virginia’s annual advocacy event in Richmond on February 7, 2018. They joined 26 other members from nine other branches to meet with Governor Ralph Northam and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax about our public policy priorities, as well as to visit their respective lawmakers’ offices.
AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) Flurry of Funds: Once again, our branch raised funds to donate to LAF, which challenges sex discrimination in higher education and employment through legal support, ranging from community outreach programs to backing of major cases. Through our generosity, we donated $ 1145!!

AAUW Treasurer’s Report, 2017-2018
Anne Simpson

The attached Treasurer’s Report represents all but the last month of the July, 2017 – June, 2018 year. There are a few things left. We are expecting to be reimbursed $150 for the mini grant at some point. This will be after the second payment of $150, so it may be next fiscal year. We might have $40 more coming in for the Little Theater raffle, and possibly a $35 donation. There should be no expense, as the end of the year dinner is provided individually.
Although money has come in for next year, it is not shown except in the bank balance at the top left. It will be shown as income next year. We used $300 of our reserves to break even for this year, assuming we get reimbursed for the grant. $300 is quite low, since we did not pay for anyone to go to conventions.
We have $2,547.50 to give the Educational Foundation in December and we made a $1,160 contribution to LAF. Our Christ House fund provided meals once a quarter, costing a total of $880. It is supported by spa cards, which has left it with a balance of $2,671.43. We also earned $400 at the Christmas lunch for the Alexandria Scholarship Fund.
We underestimated the cost of the Christmas lunch. This required moving $158.81 from the general fund to make it come out even. We plan to avoid this in the future.