Celebrating Our Legacy, Enhancing Our Future

 

 

THE BRANCH

Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

 

Volume 31, Number 3                                                           62nd year of publication                                     http://www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org

Follow us at  www.facebook.com/AAUWPoughkeepsie2014                                                                                            November 2017

 

LIVE YOUR DREAM GIRLS’ CONFERENCE

Diana Babington & Lori Scolaro LiveYourDream2017@aol.com

 

Ø Volunteer to help November 4!
Your help is needed for an hour, two hours, ½ day or whole day – any amount of time you have to give!
Contact: Diana Babington, 471-5385 LiveYourDream2017@aol.com 

Ø Register a daughter, granddaughter, neighbor or friend in the 6th or 7th grade!  Send them to our website www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org and they will see the logo of our Girls’ Conference that will link them to all the information about the conference and everything they need to register.  If you know teachers in the 6th or 7th  grades give them a call and ask them to tell their students about our conference that only cost $5 for the day – includes lunch.

Ø Contribute to sponsor a girl’s attendance!  If you cannot volunteer on November 4th this is another way you can help insure the success of our conference

□ Diva -       $25 Covers the cost of one girl’s attendance.
□ Dreamer - $15 Buys a girl breakfast and lunch.
□ Darling -   $10 Gives a girl a journal and a memory
                               Diana Babington
                               7 Birkdale Court
                               Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

 

11th Annual Live Your Dream Girls' Conference

Dutchess Community College

53 Pendell Road, Poughkeepsie, NY

 

Directions and more information at

www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org  

 

BEING MUSLIM IN AMERICA

 

"THREADING MY PRAYER RUG: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim"

 

Author and Speaker:

 

Sabeeha Rehman*

 

Thursday

November 9, 2017

7:00 pm

 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie

67 S Randolph Ave., Poughkeepsie**

 

As fear of ISIS and Islamic extremism shades our perception of Islam, Sabeeha’s voice is a clear, radiant contribution to the national conversation.  She will provide insight into raising a family in Islam in America and reflect on how the United States can do a more effective job of weaving new citizens into its multi-colored tapestry of heritage – a nation of every race, ethnicity, and religion.

 

Copies of her book will be available for purchase at the meeting.

 

*More information, below.

 

**Directions: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie at 67 South Randolph Ave. can be accessed from Hooker Ave. OR take Route 9 to Sharon Dr (near Holiday Inn).  At the end of Sharon turn left onto Beechwood then the first right onto Ferris Lane, next an immediate left to S. Randolph.  The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie is on the right.

 

Questions:

Monique Jones, 849-1692, myj712@aol.com

Sandy Lash, 227-4650, sjlash@optonline.net

 

NOVEMBER CALENDAR

 Online Calendar at www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org

Contact: Kathy Friedman kfriedman33@gmail.com

 

2       Board Meeting: 7:00 pm

          St. John’s Lutheran Church, Wilbur Blvd., Pok

6       Word Games: 1:30 pm

          Hostess:  Sue Doyle (474-1232)

          Coordinator: Susan Doyle (914/474-1232)

8       Aventures en Soleil: 1:30 pm Tour

          9/11 Memorial and Museum

Contact: Margaret Nijhuis (635-8612)

          Coordinator: Janna Whearty (546-9190)

8       Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30

Amici’s, 35 Main St. Poughkeepsie

Contacts: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504) &

                   Kay Saderholm (229-8545) Ksaderholm@aol.com  

8       Mah Jongg & Canasta: Noon - 4:00 pm  

          Hostess: Jo Anne Abraskin (337-3848)

          Contact Blanche (462-3955) by November 6

          Coordinator: Blanche Bergman blanchebergman@gmail.com

9       Membership Program: 7:00 pm

          All members are invited and encouraged to attend

           – see details on page 1& 3.

10     “The Branch” deadline for December

10     Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

          Book: The General and the President by H.W. Brands

          The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy St, Pok.

          Coordinator: Leona Miller (471-0777)

11     Bridge III: 10:00 am

          Hostess: Raina Maissel (297-8466)

          Coordinator: Donna Reichner dlr0804@verizon.net

13     All those books...: 2:30 pm

          Book: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

Hostess: Ruth Kava, kavaru1@verizon.net

          Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

13 & 27 Days for Girls: 3-6:30 pm

          Vassar Hospital Conference room A, see page 3 &6

14     Movie Night: Time TBD by show

          Movie: Group members will be notified the

          Thursday before - sign up with Sue.

          Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

          Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

                    sosterhoudt@yahoo.com

          Producer: Diana Gleeson

15     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

          Hostess: Sheila Zweifler (462-6478)

          Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745

15     Photography Club: 7:00 pm

          Hostess: Contact Coordinator

          Coordinator: Carol Demicco (845-204-9553

16     Diversity: Out of One Many People: 5:30 pm

          Inclusion and the African Immigrant

          Speaker: Rotunda Daisy Bopela

          Boardman Road Library

          Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish

                   mcnish@sunydutchess.edu

17     Poetry and Plays - Emily D to Tennessee: 2:00 pm

          Joy Harjo’s How We Became Human and

other indigenous American poetry

          Hostess: Cathy Auguello (473-2188)

          Coordinators: Jackie Sweeney (518/947-6682) &

                   Barbara Hugo BHugo2@gmail.com

20     Manderley Literary Society: 7:00 pm

          Book: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Hostess: Pat Gullick (221-0042) pgullick@aol.com

          Coordinator: Shelly Friedman (462-4996)

29     Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

          Book: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Hostess: Ann Wade (229-5267)

          Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                   Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

30     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

          Project: Stamped Cards

Hostess: Pat Luczai (462-4662)

          Coordinators: Pat Luczai (463-4662) &

                   Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)          

 

INTEREST GROUPS CHANGING DATES OR NOT MEETING THIS MONTH

 

Dec 1         Art on the Go:

          Combining Nov and Dec meetings

          Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)

Bridge II:

          Coordinator: Cathy Kinn cathy@kinn.org  

Cuisine:

          Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger

                   brlemberger@yahoo.com

The Ediss Book Group:

          Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

Pedal Pushers:

          Watch for our return in April.

          Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler  sheilaz@optonline.net

Trekkers:

          Check your email for a note from the Coordinator

          Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)

                    torilsmith.home@gmail.com

World Travelers:

          Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)

                   AAUWtravelers@gmail.com         

 

LOOKING AHEAD

 

Dec 14: “Five Cent Cookies”—A Journey to Senegal

          Presented by Amy Thrasher at the Unitarian

 Universalist Fellowship, below

 

Apr 15, 2018: Writers’ Tea & Auction, The Links,

below

 

Apr 20-22, 2018 AAUW-NYS Convention, Cortland

 

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Maria DeWald *266-4960* mfdewald@yahoo.com

 

Democracy, by design, is a messy affair.  It is certainly not the most efficient or speediest form of government, just like building consensus at a meeting is more difficult than top-down leadership.  As the old saying goes, “a dictator can easily make the trains run on time,” whereas our system purposefully puts “institutional brakes” on the decision-making process, just as a true leader purposefully tries to build decisions all can live with even though it takes more time.  We can’t have a healthy democracy or board or community without moving out of self-selected bubbles and into civic discourse and by breaking down the obstacles that prevent it.

 

Fast track to today when I went to a “Walk-A Mile In Her Shoes” event, an event meant to stand up against domestic violence, battering, and rape.  The message is brought clearly home by many marching men in high heels walking that painful mile!  A survivor of domestic violence spoke before the walk began about her journey from the day her stepfather threw acid into her face as a teenager to her life today.  You may have heard this story in the news, certainly you have heard many like it, but she is now an advocate in every regard.  She is not hiding from the world, or angry at the world or ashamed of her scarred face.  She is dedicated to having her voice heard to help change the climate for other victims, other survivors because, in her own words, “her mother raised her to be a strong woman, not a defeated woman.”  She is not a dictator…she can’t make it happen by herself.  But she can speak up, spread hope and light, and work with larger and larger groups, such as the sponsor of this event, until a chorus of voices cannot be ignored or, at least, many individuals are helped.  In short, she learned how to change pain into power through community service, civic conversation, collaboration and friendship.  Along the way of course, she helped not only herself, but her community.

 

We here in AAUW try hard to lift our voices as advocates, educators, humanitarians and researchers.  We try hard to foster civic discourse.  One of our fellow members captured this in another way as she reflected on one of our monthly programs. She said that we all have a personal responsibility to search for truth.  How much easier that is when you have others with you on that search, whether for political action, social or economic justice, or social activities such as book discussions or riding a bike with friends.

 

So, I truly hope you will take advantage of all AAUW has to offer.  I truly hope you will share your voices and your time and your ideas with us and with the community.  I truly hope you will all educate yourselves on the candidates and on the two proposed amendments and the controversial question of whether NY should hold a constitutional convention.  I truly hope you will all vote on Election Day.  That is, of course, what I love about AAUW…I truly know you will!

 

As the seasons turn over, during these beautiful fall days, I know that I am most pleased to have all of you here with us on this journey.  We need your voices now more than ever.

 

 

Continued from above...

SABEEHA REHMAN

Marticia Madory  *471-8577* mmadory@att.net

 

Sabeeha Rehman came to the United States in 1971.  When her sons were school age, she earned her master’s in health care administration and began a career as a hospital administrator.  After her grandson was diagnosed with autism in 2008, she founded the New York Metro Chapter of the National Autism Association and served as its president.  She has spent several decades working for interfaith dialogue and was director of interfaith programs at the American Society for Muslim Advancement and Chief Operating Officer of the Cordoba Initiative.

 

Sabeeha lives with her husband, a retired hematologist/ oncologist, in New York City.  The pair made several appearances at the past summer’s sessions at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York.  Her presentation will be based on her memoir, “Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim.”  It will undercut stereotypes and offer a refreshing view of an American life through Muslim eyes.  She balances the joy of making small discoveries about American culture and life-changing epiphanies about who she is with an immigrant’s isolation and struggle adapting to a new society.

 

DAYS FOR GIRLS

Sabashnee Govender *914/850-0195* Sabashnee@aol.com

 

A big thank you to all who have volunteered with the Days for Girls (DfG) project.  Our members have been busy with making liners, shields and drawstring bags for the DfG Kits

 

Contributions needed!!  To complete the kits we need to add wash clothes, underwear and gallon size zip lock bags.

 

Guidelines for underwear (panties): Girls sizes 10, 12, 14, 16 and Women's 5 (Girls size 16 and Women's size 5 are the same size).  Preferably a cotton blend brief (nylon causes chafing).  No thongs, no boy shorts and No faces or animals. See page 6 under fabrics for color, etc.

Washcloths: Should be new

 

We welcome your donations to help complete the kits.  There will be a donation box at our some of our monthly membership meetings starting in November

 

Fabric is also needed but must follow these guidelines:

 

Fabrics for DfG Kits should be NEW:

 

For Shields: Quality, durable 100% cotton (sometimes called Quilter's cotton)

For Liners: Quality 100% cotton flannel

For Bags: Quality, durable 100% cotton or cotton/poly (cotton/poly okay for bags only).

 

Continued below…

 

COURT WATCH

Ann Pinna, Chair.  The Court Watch Team: Elaine Andersen, Susie Blecker, Mary Lou Davis, Joanne Dyson, Mara Goldstone, Liz Graham, Sandy Lash, Flo Mondanaro, Margaret Nijhuis, Sandy Sherman, Rae Slingerland.

 

HAVE NEWS WILL TRAVEL!

 

AAUW Court Watch is getting known far and wide!  If you remember in March 2017, two NYC attorneys from The Center for Court Innovations met with our team in order to obtain more information about our court watch program.  They left with a packet of information that is being used to develop a “toolkit” for their own court watch program not only in NYC, but one that can be used to reform justice systems throughout the U.S. and around the world.

 

If that isn’t impressive enough, our Court Watch team is proud to announce that yet another attorney is seeking assistance in developing a similar court watch program----- this time, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Just recently, in August 2017, Jessica Flynn, Esq., Director of Law & Policy for the YWCA in Kalamazoo, Michigan, called to say she had read about our court watch program and was interested in obtaining more information in order to create her own program in Kalamazoo.  She further indicated that she wanted to adapt our program with its focus on domestic violence to also include human trafficking.  As a result of her request for assistance, we were able to send her guidelines and handouts for a day-long training for monitors and one that will, hopefully, prove to be successful for her in Kalamazoo as it was for us right here in Poughkeepsie.

 

We are pleased that the word is spreading about our AAUW court watch program and that others throughout the U.S. and possibly the world will join us in our attempt to bring justice and fair treatment to all.

MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM

Monique Jones, 849-1692, myj712@aol.com

Sandy Lash , 227-4650, sjlash@optonline.net

 

December 14, 2017

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie

 

“Five Cent Cookies”—A Journey to Senegal

 

Sometimes Travel to New Places Leads to Great Transformation: Believe it or not, that was printed on the slip of paper inside my fortune cookie from a Chinese takeout dinner, just a few days before I left for my month in Senegal.  I can’t think of anything more timely or auspicious!

 

AAUW member, Amy Thrasher, has just returned from a month-long assignment in Dakar, Senegal with IBM's Corporate Service Corps (CSC) and she will share her experiences and photos of Senegal with us. ■

 

MEMBERSHIP COUNTS

Susie Blecker *462-7074* iblecker@aol.com

Sheila Zweifler *462-6478* sheilaz@optonline.net

 

Welcome to our newest members:

 

       Jane Austin           Carolyn Bersak

Deborah Farber     Ellen Jacobs

Susan Kinney       Ruth Nelson

Jane Richlin          Manjla Singh

       Jacqueline Vierno

 

We hope all of you enjoy being a part of AAUW and that our organization becomes a big part of your life.

 

Our New Member Reception on October 12th was a huge success.  Many of our new members joined us and had an opportunity to get to know each other and our board, as well as being treated to great food and a fantastic program.  As we have said before, the secret to getting the most from your membership in our organization is to become involved, so I was thrilled to see so many of you at the meeting.

 

We want to thank the following people for making the New Member Reception a success, our Program Chairs, Sandy Lash and Monique Jones for presenting fabulous speakers; Mary Ann Hogarty, Margaret Nijhuis, Pat Lucai, and Barbara Lemberger, Maria DeWald for helping us put together the dinner; the board members who brought the yummy desserts and finally a big thank you to Mary Coiteux who is always there when we need her. ■

 

“HATS OFF”

Mary Coiteux *226-8275* mcoiteux@frontiernet.net

An expression of admiration for someone's achievement or contribution and our acknowledgment for it.

 

Hats Off to Carole Peterson for her quilt “Ode to William Morris” which was awarded Best of Show in the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show.

 

Hats Off to Carol Loizides who has had several showings of her paintings this year.

 

Hats Off to Honorah Hinkle and Carol Mastropietro. They will be showing their art work at the East Fishkill Community Library.

 

Hats Off to Bonnie Auchincloss and Pat Luczai for their on-going efforts to catalog Branch Member photo portraits.

 

Hats Off to Cathy Kinn, Joanne Scolaro and Maria DeWald for Poughkeepsie AAUW’s new communication vehicle AAUW Alerts and to Barbara Hugo for the amazing logo for AAUW Alerts.

 

Hats Off to Susie Blecker and Sheila Zweifler and their committee for a very successful member drive this fall. ■

 

 

MARIST LIBERTY PARTNERSHIP, May 2017

Kris Puzza *845/221-3488* kpuzza@aol.com

 

One of our STEM projects involves working with the Marist Liberty Partnership.  Below is a description of the event from last spring.  All members interested in such a project are encouraged to contact Kris (see above).

 

Marist Liberty Partnership’s first workshop was Tuesday,

May 2.  Volunteers included Pat Luczai, Iris Turkenkopf, Gwen Higgins, Suzanne Turetzky and Kris Puzza.  Kris planned a twist on the classic Egg Drop project.  Students worked in teams to design and build a container to protect a raw egg dropped from 6 ft.  The materials were provided, but they had to "purchase" the materials - paper cups, Styrofoam cups, rubber bands, tissues, paper towels, tape, etc.  There was a price list and tallies were kept for each team's “bill.”  The team that built the least expensive container that also successfully protected the egg won.  Items purchased could be returned for only half credit, so careful planning was encouraged.  All of this was preceded with a short lesson on the Apollo 13 space mission and 2 film clips from the Apollo 13 movie to highlight the challenges of working with a group of engineers all with different perspectives and having to be creative with materials.

 

Wrap Up from a Volunteer’s Perspective.

Suzanne Turetzky

 

I am very pleased to report that this presentation went very well.  The students were very enthusiastic and willing participants.  Excerpts from the Apollo film were a clever idea and introduced the importance of engineering to the group as a whole, stressing the importance of knowledge of engineering plus the ability of being able to "think on your feet."  The teams jointly presented ideas that were gleaned from "brainstorming".

 

Students formed independent groups and leaders just naturally occurred.  Some shyer students had to be prompted to give their thoughts but once they started they seemed more comfortable offering their opinions.  I found it interesting how leadership occurred and felt that these students were probably the classroom leaders as well.  The students had a good time and came up with some very creative ideas, including wrapping the egg in scotch tape and making a parachute for the descent of the egg.  And having to keep a budget added a terrific mathematical component to the project, though I suspect that the students didn't even realize this.

 

This is a wonderful program and I would love to see it presented to students from the 6th grade on up.  It’s never too early to suggest areas of study to students.

 

I enjoy being a part of this important program and hope to continue with it.

 

GET INVOLVED – ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO ENTER THE STEM FIELDS!!!

 

WRITERS’ TEA & BENEFIT AUCTION

Linda Roberts *227-5287* olsen241@aol.com  

 

Sunday, April 15, 2018 will be our eighth annual Writers’ Tea & Benefit Auction, held once again at the Links in Union Vale.

 

This is the only fundraiser that we do all year to support our various programs and initiatives.  Every year our results have been excellent and have improved thanks to the support and participation of our wonderful members and the continuing work of our committee.  I really want to thank everyone for the splendid job done last year and the beautiful items that were donated to the Auction.

 

All of the proceeds from this event are used to support our amazing community services and scholarships, the very things that make our branch as wonderful as it is.

 

I will be writing an article every month leading up to the April 15th event.  Besides your attendance at the Tea what we need most from members are items to be included in the Auction.

 

Some of the best sellers at the Auction have been:

 

Items for children and babies

Gift cards and certificates from local businesses

Original Art and craft items

Jewelry

Creative gift baskets

Activities: lunches, trips, etc.

 

All of our Interest Groups have been very supportive by donating items.  Some have assembled baskets that have sold well and others have provided gift certificates.  We are hoping to obtain some big-ticket items this year, please let us know if you have some ideas.  Last year members came up with some very creative, unusual things for our Auction.

 

I would like to welcome all of our new members and hope that you will participate in this most important event.  There are plenty of jobs for everyone so please contact me if you are willing to help and/or have any new ideas.

 

Also, I have to thank our many members who have contributed items to this event every single year!  In addition, my thanks to my outstanding committee, most of whom have been with Lula and me for the last eight years.  I will list the committee members in the next newsletter with their contact information.

 

Please contact me to join our amazing long-standing committee.  We have fun as well as doing very good work.■

 

PERUSING OUR PAST

Barbara Hespenheide and Eileen Hayden

 

This month our emphasis will shift from the past to exhibits where we can learn more about that past, as well as places to visit during the Centennial of New York Women’s Suffrage.  If your travels bring you to any of these places, check out the exhibits.  Make plans to visit places that honor our women who persisted.  Check the web for other celebrations and exhibits.

 

ALBANY

The New York State Education Department and the Office of Cultural Education will present a large-scale exhibition and companion catalog titled, Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial, at the New York State Museum (222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12230) between November 4, 2017 and May 13, 2018.  Another exhibit, located in the Capitol corridor, which connects the state house to the Empire State Plaza, includes imagery of pro- and anti-suffrage propaganda with historic photographs of the women who organized and marched until the vote was won.

 

LONG ISLAND

Votes for New York Women: A Centennial Exhibit. Suffolk County Historical Society Museum, 300 West Main St., Riverhead, NY.  The Long Island exhibit is open Wed-Sat,

10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. until December 22. 

 

ITHACA, NY

Exhibition: Fight to the Beginning, at the Mann Library, 237 Mann Dr., Ithaca, NY.  This exhibit will be a spotlight on the struggle to enact women’s suffrage in the Empire State and the United States at large.  November 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018

 

PLACES TO VISIT DURING THE CENTENNIAL:

Susan B. Anthony House, 17 Madison St, Rochester, NY 14608.  Rochester has a fascinating history related to women’s suffrage because this was the home and headquarters for the National American Women’s Suffrage Association when Susan B Anthony was the president.

Women’s Rights National Historical Park tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY on July 19-20,1848.  136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148

 

Finally, during November take time to reflect and be thankful for all those women who did so much that we may have the right to vote.  VOTE ON NOVEMBER 7, AND IN EVERY LOCAL, STATE AND NATIONAL ELECTION THEREAFTER. ■

 

Continued from above…

DAYS FOR GIRLS

 

ALL fabric should be: Appealing Medium / Dark colors, preferably with patterns that help hide stains.  Botanical, geometric, batik, etc. patterns are best.  No light colored fabrics that will easily show stains.  No prints with faces/eyes (animals, fish, people, etc.).  No insects or snakes (butterflies okay).  No Camouflage / Guns / Hunting.  No solid saffron fabric for Asia (monk robe yellow). Patterns okay.  Avoid Cartoon / TV / Pop Culture / National flags / Words / Glam.

 

 

Bed sheets should not be used because the threads are usually smaller and therefore not as durable or strong as the quality fabric you buy at a fabric store.

 

Thank you for your assistance and please feel free to join us to work on kit making on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the Month at Vassar Hospital Conference room A, 3-6:30 pm. Please contact me if you have questions.

 

AN AFTERNOON WITH THE AUTHOR

Steve Roberts

 

One of the items offered for bidding at the Auction last April was "A Conversation with Jim,”  an afternoon of private conversation donated by Jim DeFelice, NY Times Bestselling Author of American Sniper.

 

The winners of this auction event: Rolf Nijhuis, Bill Harrel, Walter Jablonski, and Gabe Roy met on an afternoon in June at the home of the host, Steve Roberts.  Some of the winning bidders had served in various branches of the service.  An array of summer delicacies was offered for the delectation of the group.

 

The afternoon was spent discussing Jim's current projects, such as his history of the Pony Express and his recently released book, Fighting Blind, which tells the story of Green Beret Ivan Castro who lost his eyesight in Iraq.  Jim also fielded various questions on military ordnance and tactics, especially those employed by Special Ops forces, such as SEAL Team six.  Jim, a diehard Yankees fan, was more than happy to hold forth on the team's history and offered his predictions of its future glory.

 

An afternoon that was designed to last three hours lasted closer to five.  All agreed that the donation for a good cause paid off handsomely in its return.

PUBLIC POLICY

Patricia DeLeo *883-5181* pattide2@optonline.net  

 

A Day in the Neighborhood

 

What do you see when you look out your window? Children playing?  UPS or FedEx trucks?  Probably.  How about sex/human trafficking?  Sexual assault?  Ill children?  Not in your neighborhood!  It looks like a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  But can you be sure? 

 

The Children's Home in Poughkeepsie is housing girls who were abducted by human traffickers.  From where did they come?  Our neighborhoods, both too near and not so far.  Some were saved by the Safe Harbors Program and others were saved by neighbors' watchful eyes.  But many have disappeared or vanished, and their photos appear in Facebook pleas, news alerts and on milk containers.  Sex trafficking is a growing global industry and occurs in a wide variety of venues within the sex industry, including residential brothels, online escort services, fraudulent massage businesses, strip clubs, and on the streets.  Until I heard about the program at The Children's Home, I thought sex trafficking was a national/international problem-not a neighborhood one.

 

Have you been to the Marist Center for Lifetime Study?  Vassar for Powerhouse?  Dutchess CC for Continuing Ed?  Bard for art?  CIA for dinner?  SUNY New Paltz for lectures?  Most students attending these neighboring colleges have been protected by Title IX.  Title IX is best known for breaking down barriers in sports for women and girls.  It also opened doors for women and girls to pursue STEM careers as well as math and science study, required fair treatment for pregnant and parenting students and protected students from bullying and sexual harassment.  But their comfort level could be about to change as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos begins a process to rescind the 2011 Title IX guidance related to schools' obligations to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence.  Her agenda is to award more rights to the accused and require stronger proof on the part of the victim for rape, sexual attacks, and sexual harassment.  The neighborhood is getting scared as DeVos's policy blames the victim rather than the victimizer. 

 

Attacks on women and children continue out of the classroom and at the neighborhood pharmacy.  According to new rules issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services, employers may now have more leeway to withhold birth control coverage on religious grounds.  The rules would let a broad range of employers -- including nonprofits, private firms, religious groups and publicly traded companies -- stop offering contraceptives through their health insurance plans if they have a "sincerely held religious or moral objection."  The new rules undermine the Obamacare mandate that requires birth control be covered with no co-pay.  This could impact many of the 62.4 million women who now receive contraceptives at no cost under the current plan.  Congress just allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provided low-cost health insurance to 9 million children, to expire.  If action is not taken soon to restore the funding, the effects will become obvious in schools across the country as many children will be unable to see a doctor for routine checkups, immunizations, visits when sick and other emergencies. 

 

Use the Two Minute Activist to contact your congressmen and senators.  Tell them to protect Title IX, support funding for Planned Parenthood to guard women's health, fund health care initiatives and support the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

 

"Won't you please, Won't you please?  Please won't you be my neighbor?” Fred Rogers

 

SUPPORTERS OF THE BRANCH!!

 

Annual contributions from members help defray the expense of publishing The Branch and other communication expenses.  All patrons and sponsors are listed in each monthly newsletter unless anonymity is requested.

 

Patrons ($25 or more)

Anonymous, Marge Barton, Sharon Clarke,

Lillian DePasquale, Ruth Gau, Gloria Gibbs,

Sandy Goldberg, Elizabeth Harrel, Shaileen Kopec,

Margaret Nijhuis, Jacqueline Prusak, Mary Ann Ryan

 

To add your name to the list, mail a check payable: “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” to Margaret Nijhuis, 9 McAllister Drive, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569

 

Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2017-2018

 

President                                Maria DeWald                         266-4960

Program Co-VPs                   Monique Jones                        849-1692

                                                Sandy Lash                              227-4650

Membership Co-VPs                      Susie Blecker                           462-7074

                                                          Sheila Zweifler                        462-6478

Development VP                   Jocelynn Banfield                    454-5551

Communications VP            Bonnie Auchincloss                635-5191

Secretary                                Katherine Friedman 485-8671

Treasurer                               Diane Jablonski                       485-6228

Membership Treasurer        Mary Anne Hogarty                221-0203

Association website:  www.aauw.org                                  

NY State website: www.aauw-nys.org

Poughkeepsie Branch website: www.aauwpoughkeepsie.org 

 

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

 

In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership.  There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.

 

The Branch is published ten times a year, September through June, by the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc.  Send articles to the editor: Margaret Nijhuis, MargaretNijhuis@gmail.com (635-8612).