President’s Message

   President Sharon Lee, Past Presidents, outgoing and incoming board and fellow members, thank you to all for a productive, successful albeit challenging year to conduct our activities during a pandemic year not seen in over 100 years. Thank you President Sharon Lee for your leadership, humongous work, innovativeness, enthusiasm and guidance, humor and wipes during this horrific Pandemic year. You were wise to start conducting board, planning and organizing meetings in May 2020 and throughout the summer months. I loved your fundraisers from Trunk of Treats, Auction with pamphlet of item pictures, description, value and buy-now prices, Holidaze Champagne and mock cocktails and auction bidding by text, and finally our current Basket Raffle. These items provided by SIG groups and Becky Saylor. You gained strong support from all of us adding our time and talents.

I would  like to acknowledge and thank your husband  Michael. Michael donated so much of  his time patience and humor in support of our many activities.  Thank you to Michael Astle as well as many of your husband’s and children and friends who we roped into working with us from the rummage sale thru all our activities this year.  Sharon Lee I know you have been involved in all of our events and functions for several years and look forward to your continuing support to our North West Valley Branch and being Chair of Fundraising.

Looking forward to my year I can see how much time and energy goes into the smooth running of this club. I’m going to have to make the meetings on time and I welcome your feedback, ideas, as well as your service.

As I think back over the past 3 years since I joined AAUW I realize how much you have helped and inspired me; you’ve offered guidance,  friendship and time to get to know me.

There are so many dedicated, talented and hard working members.  Joye Kohl exemplifies like many if you “when the going gets tough the tough get going. She and Ann Mitchell, another past president, were able to resurrect their connections to colleges that had slowed down.. They also forged a successful and a growing relationship with the YWCA. Working with CEO, Debbie Esparza, they merged activities. Harriet Grau kept her STEAM relationships viable. Joye’s membership survey found that we knew little about STEM. Fortunately, this year of necessity advanced the membership STEM knowledge. We all gained an appreciation for Zoom Meetings. Our programs like about the Flagstaff Observatory and “How to Talk to Your Doctor” to mention just a few. Thank you Sara Schmitt and Joyce Olson. A big welcome to Karen Bunting who stepped up to be our President Elect. One if my favorite Stem programs was on Automated Vehicles presentation which Karen and Fran Cohen brought to our branch. I am grateful  Dorothy Alexander and Ronda Clark are continuing to making us all feel apart of NWV/AAUW  Branch due to their colorful, interesting, informative Monthly Magazine. I am delighted that Barbara Lashmet will continue as our Honoria and Sheryl Saddoris as our Sharing and Caring Chair using the lovely donated paintings of our Artist members. Sharon Phelps is ever a cornerstone of our branch always lending a hand.. Thank you to Sarah Tyree and the work, ideas and energies she’s brought to our branch. While we may not have embraced her ideas for changes to attract more diversity. She gave us a wake up call for what to focus on this year.

Thank you to long serving Bonnie Boyce-Wilson who is stepping down as Public Policy Chair. Lu Marchese and her committee kept our important Scholarship focus on track and generous. Thanks to Beryl Flathman-Braaten and her team for mentoring new members. Cindy Ferguson and Gayle Peterson took the $500 state education grant and inspired member donations and tax offsets aimed at the support of their two school programs for close to an additional $6,000.

Thank you Dale Moran for continuing as our informative Health & Covid19 Protocol Officer. Mary Jo Blum, another past president’s creatively kept the SIGs humming this year and after many years is stepping down. I’ll be looking forward to Linda Styrwoll and Karen Diaz leading0k SIGs. Leading membership Betty Merwin fostered fantastic growth and amazing retention this year, Linda  Styrwoll also produced amazing Auction brochure. Can’t forget my thanks to our treasurer Melva Hull who will continue as Correspondence Secretary leaving our long time AAUW member, though new to our branch this year, Tina Byrne in charge of finances. Thank you so much to Kathleen Long and Pat Bowers for their minutes and timely Board Notes.

Finally I am so glad that Becky Saylor has been such an enthusiastic and hardworking member. In addition to important information she distributed to membership regarding public policy important items, she lead the Sun City Branch in our joint Fourth if July 2020 successful Drive-By for our Food Bank. The Food Bank received enough food to feed 1600 families. Becky donated an ERA basket.  Thank you Becky for all you do.

A special thank you to Joan Miner for continuing in her role as Webmaster and doing the plethora of eblasts in a timely manner. Thank goodness Nancy Wilson will continue doing the directory as well as producing flyers direction signs and support everywhere.

I’d like to take this time to thank you for your confidence in me.  I am honored to follow the line up of people who have provided guidance for our club in the past especially my original mentor Rosemary Dougherty and the two Sharon’s.  I was fortunate to serve under each of them. The Rooster of  Past Presidents have brought a different vision with them and all have proven to have different strengths.  I suppose I am no different. I have some ideas for changes I would like to see within the club.  I hope when you look back on 2021-22 we will have had a year full of laughter, fellowship and friendships within our club. We will always continue along our path of giving our promoting the betterment of women’s lives within our local and national communities.

While it’s not always possible for us as individuals to change the world overnight, your membership and commitment to our branch keeps each of us striving for more. As we support our activities and  live out our mission to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy together we do make a difference. I am  looking forward to working  together with you as we begin the next year of opportunities.

Suzanne James, President, NWV AAUW 2021-2022



 Suffragists parade down 5th Avenue, 1917. (Photo courtesy of New York Times Archive)

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a milestone in feminist history. But the amendment, widely thought of as giving women the right to vote, did not fully deliver on its promise. Native Americans and Chinese immigrants were not granted voting rights. And, due to Jim Crow laws and other voter-suppression tactics, Black women and Latinas couldn’t cast their ballots until the Voting Rights Act was passed 45 years later.

The same inequalities — racism, sexism and voter suppression — that made the amendment an imperfect achievement in 1920 are fueling the social and economic upheaval we see in 2020. Clearly, our work is not done. Here are five suggestions for delving deeper:

• Read AAUW CEO Kim Churches’ reflections on this milestone in NBC’s Know Your Value.
• Get insight into Black suffrage activist Ida B. Wells, who faced racism within her own movement.
• Peruse a roundup of content that puts the anniversary in historical context.
• Watch a webinar about how to advance racial and gender equity in 2020.
In Focus
 Education and Training Title IX in Trouble
Last week, the Trump Administration implemented a harmful rule rolling back protections for student survivors of sexual harassment and assault. Despite this setback, we won’t stop fighting for students’ rights.
Applications for 2021–22 Fellowships and Grants Now Open
Do you know any women pursing postgraduate studies, furthering their careers, or working on a program to benefit women and girls? Point them to our fellowships and grants applications. Deadlines run from November to December.
 Leadership Five-Star Achievements
It’s been more than a year since we rolled out the Five-Star National Recognition Program, which acknowledges the work of AAUW affiliates towards advancing our mission of gender equity. We’re pleased to report that dozens of our branches have earned stars in that time — and yours can, too. The program extends through June of 2021.
 Economic Security


Black Women and the Pay Gap
August 13 was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which marked roughly how long Black women must work into the new year to get paid what white, non-Hispanic men made at the end of the previous year. According to U.S. Census data, Black women were compensated 62% of what non-Hispanic white men were paid in 2018. Get the facts.
News and Notes
New Legal Advocacy Fund Cases
AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund has accepted two new cases into its portfolio. They include:
• Beth Paige, et. al., v. Mark Green, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): a pay equity case between three senior foreign service officers and USAID, relating to the problems with relying on salary history to establish compensation.
• Glasson v. Google: a pregnancy discrimination case brought by a former Google employee who also claims she was retaliated against.
Stay tuned for more information on the LAF section of our website, where you can read about other cases AAUW is funding.

Every Voice, Every Vote
Please give today to AAUW’s Every Voice, Every Vote campaign. Make no mistake: The issue of equity will be on the ballot this November. But we can only win when every voice is heard. With your help, we can lead our communities to register to vote, learn about the issues of vital importance to women and girls, and empower everyone to cast their ballot.