President’s Message



It has been my honor to serve as President AAUW-NWV 2021-2022. Indeed, successful 2020-2021 President Sharon Astle with her enthusiasm and drive was a hard act to follow. It has been another exciting and challenging year continuing to keep things moving during the vicissitudes of the continuing Pandemic of Covid-19 and variants like Omicron, and technology glitches. When you come to the end of any experience, there is always a mixture of emotions – relief that responsibilities are coming to an end, and sadness that what you’ve come to enjoy will no longer be there for you.

Due to our dedicated talented members, we were able to get an amazing amount done this year for which I am thankful.

Many thanks to our Board, Chairs and Appointees, and members who worked through last summer 2021 to be ready for our Kick-off Annual Breakfast General Meeting in September.

Kudus to our President-Elect Karen Bunting who was a constant pillar of strength and laughs for me, and a capable back-up. Karen has ably spearheaded our Fundraising efforts even with the disappointment of the cancelation of our primary Scholarship fundraiser, the January Fashion Luncheon.

Our Membership committee led by Co-Vice Presidents Cynthia Ferguson and Betty Merwin were able to grow back our membership to close to 200 members. Thank you for this amazing feat during a pandemic.

Our Program VicePresidents Sara Schmitt and Joyce Olson brought us a year of education via fabulous programs with diverse topics given by experts in their fields via in person, taped, or via Zoom. Sara has also been our technology expert.

Kathleen Long and Marge Whitman have been diligent in producing timely Board and General Meeting Minutes. In addition, they produced Board Highlights, which were eblasted prior to General meetings.

Tina Byrne picked up quickly the demanding task of Branch Treasurer and Budget Chairman.

Corresponding Secretary Melva Hull sent out appropriate correspondence as well as assisting her Treasurer successor.

Sheryll Saddoris kept sympathy and get-well messages flowing.

We are truly indebted to our long serving Eblast facilitator Joan Miner. She was exceptional keeping our many, many requests sent to our membership in a timely fashion.

Many thanks to Nancy Wilson, who has produced our Directory as she has for many years.

Our monthly news magazines have been fabulous–colorful, thorough and informative. Thank you Dorothy Alexander and Ronda Clark for your dedication and creativity.

Bonnie BoyceWilson led the memorial and scholarship contributions for our beloved member Patty Lang. Patty was honored by the many contributions in her name to our scholarship fund. Sadly we lost other important members such as past presidents Deborah Channel and Dawn Humay.

Many thanks to Rosemary Dougherty and Sharon Phelps, our Hospitality Co-Chairs, for making NWV a welcoming place for members and guests. Rosemary dazzled us with our fabulous publicity, usually a half page attracting new members and guests.

Our college connections Co-Chairs Ann Mitchell and Joye Kohl grew our relationships with colleges and collaborated with the YWCA led by President Debbie Espinosa and Professional Business Women.

Lu Marchese, Scholarship Chair, and her committee kept our six positions filled with worthy candidates most of whom are pursuing STEM studies.

We all appreciate Dale Moran, Health Officer, for keeping us up to date on the Pandemic and relating health concerns with measures to be safe.

Karen Diaz and Linda Styrwoll, SIG (Special Interest Groups) Co-Chairs kept the most loved part of our branch, the SIG groups, flowing and introduced new SIGs. They led an effective fun Fall SIG fest.

Our important Women’s History Group held a delightful tea which honored our Arizona Architect Mary Jane Coulter.

Past president Barbara Lashmet again served as our Honoria.

Karen – all the best for the year ahead.  You bring enthusiasm and a determination to build a better branch, which I think is outstanding.  You are going to have a fantastic year, and I’m looking forward to working alongside you and our members to make 2022-2023 happen.  So, the time has come and, with great pleasure, I now hand over the presidency to Karen Bunting, President of AAUW-NWV 2022-2023.

Suzanne James, President – AAUW NWV 2021-2022

P.S. There are many more of our members I appreciate. I’ve said it before, but the real value of this club is

its members—their skills, talents, personalities,

and sense of fun and enjoyment.

Thank you to you all.

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.