June 2017 Content Suggestions

#1 Faces of Student Debt

AAUW’s new research report Deeper In Debt has shown that women bare a disproportionate amount of student debt. These six women invested in themselves and their future by pursuing higher education. But those degrees came at large price.
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Image link: http://www.aauw.org/files/2017/06/College-of-DuPage-Celebrates-50th-Commencement-2017-118-min.jpg
Caption***: (Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/codnewsroom/”>COD Newsroom</a>)
***You must use this as a caption to give proper credit to the photo’s source

#2 Three Musts for Intersectional Feminism
Intersectional feminism is to acknowledge multiple overlapping social identities and related systems of oppression. So, while we may want to work under the umbrella term “women,” there is not one global women’s experience. Here are three ways to make sure that your feminism is intersectional.
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Image link: http://www.aauw.org/files/2017/02/Create-Community.jpg
Alt text: Younger Women’s Task Force – Greater Lafayette Chapter

#3 Reflecting on the First AAUW Lobby Day
With our 49th AAUW National Convention coming up this June, take a minute to look back at our very first Lobby Day. This takes us back in time to 1989 and the 35th AAUW National Convention, where the theme that year was “Choices, Changes, and Connections.”
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Image link: http://convention.aauw.org/files/2017/05/Lobby-Day600.jpg

Honoring the AAUW NYC Fellows at the Harvard Club!

The Empire State Virtual NY Branch in collaboration with AAUW NYS and AAUW National, hosted a very successful Dinner Recognition for our AAUW NYC Fellows at the Harvard Club in NYC on Thurs. March 16 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.  This event was funded by the NYC Metro Funds. Thirty five friends joined us including AAUW NYC Fellows and AAUW leaders from AAUW NYS Board & District V Branches.

National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL)

welcomes and encourages undergraduate, graduate, and international students to the conference!

Register today!  https://www.nccwsl.org/registration/

Wed-Sat, May 31 – June 3, 2017
University of Maryland, College Park

NCCWSL hosts dynamic, leadership-building workshops.

For details see page 5 of Empire Virtual Times, Vol. 5, No.2, Spring 2017 newsletter.

Empire State Virtual Branch Won Many Awards !

Congrats to all the ESVB members and friends who made possible winning many awards at the AAUW NYS Convention
April 21-23, 2017
Doubletree, Syracuse, NY


1) Award of Platinum for our Programs

2) Award of Merit for our quarterly Empire Virtual Times newsletter

3) Membership Award with 7% increase for recruiting and maintaining members

Vote in the AAUW Elections

“SUFFRAGE noun “ a vote given in deciding a controverted question or electing a person for an office or trust”   Merriam-Webster

We, members of AAUW, have a vote in determining AAUW’s tomorrows. As Mark Hopkins, interim AAUW CEO (New one will start June 1) says “Every two years AAUW members have a unique opportunity to shape the future of this storied organization. What will be our focus? Who will be our leaders? These questions are too important to let someone else answer for you”.

On April 17 and again on May 8th those of you with an AAUW up-to-date email address received an email with instructions on voting online in AAUW’s 2017 National Election. The email address containing the information and your personal voting code number is 1member1voteAaaauw.org.  Voting will end June 15.  You will be voting o members of the Board of Directors and proposed By-Laws  changes, such as the membership requirement, and the Public Policy Platform. Be an informed voter.

You can find out more about these proposed By-laws changes and their rationale, by going to http://www.aauw.org/aauw_check/pdf_download/show_pdf.php?file=2017-OMOV-Voter-Guide. They are also presented in the latest issue of the OUTLOOK.

Of particular interest to you might be:

PROPOSAL 1. Shall Article IV of the AAUW Bylaws be amended to create an “advocate” category of membership?*

*Voting on this bylaw amendment should be made without consideration of proposal 2, the amendment that eliminates the degree requirement. If this proposal is adopted, it will be implemented only if proposal 2 is not adopted.

PROPOSAL 2. Shall Article IV of the AAUW Bylaws be amended to eliminate the degree requirements for individual members?

PROPOSAL 8. Shall the bylaws be amended by changing the number of members required to establish quorum and make a vote countable from 5 percent to 3 percent.

Exercise your franchise (Merriam-Webster definition-“ the right to vote”). Be a part of deciding the course AAUW will take in empowering women.

Nancy Mion
AAUW Empire State Virtual Branch Public Policy Director

Meet AAUW NYC Fellows!

For over 15 years, Ronna Popkin has taught about and conducted research on women’s health and adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the United States. In her dissertation, Ronna examines the consequences of recent advancements in genetic testing technologies and how expanded screenings are shaping communication, beliefs, and decisions about genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Her goal is to conduct policy relevant research on gender, sexuality, and health as a university professor.


Erin K. Maher is a recipient of the 2015-2016 AAUW American Fellowship. Erin is a Musicologist who specializes in twentieth-century concert-music culture in the United States and France, focusing on issues of exile and migration, national and religious identities, gender, and disability in the lives of musicians. She received her Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed her dissertation, “Darius Milhaud in the United States, 1940–71: Transatlantic Constructions of Musical Identity,” as a 2015-2016 AAUW American Fellow. Erin has presented her research at local and national conferences–as well as at last year’s annual meeting for AAUW North Carolina–and her guide to scholarship on Milhaud is forthcoming in Oxford Bibliographies Online. She currently teaches at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.


Charlotte Walker-Said is an American Fellow. Charlotte is Assistant Professor of History in the Department of Africana Studies at the City University of New York-John Jay College. She completed her PhD at Yale University and has taught at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and Webster University. Her research focuses on Christianity and law in Africa and their effects on women’s rights.  She works on gender and persecution in West Africa has led her to work with female asylum seekers and refugee populations seeking entrance to the United States and the United Kingdom.  Her book on the history of Christianity and Law will be published in 2018.

Team Building and Collaboration Workshop AAUW NYS Convention, April 22, 2017

        Mary Holland

This workshop, with participants working together in a creative environment, focused on interactive problem-solving, hands-on-activity. As a result, we learned the importance of collaboration and team-building in achieving a common goal.  The workshop was led by Mary Holland, a Program Coordinator in the Office of Student Activities at Syracuse University where she assists over 300 student organizations. She holds a B.A. in political science and economics and an M.A. in higher education. Cate O’Connor is a graduate student developing and implementing leadership workshops for student leaders.  She has been selected as the Assistant Director of Evening and Weekend Programs at the University of North Carolina.

We began the exercise with everyone trying to shake hands with someone as if they didn’t want to! So we rose from our chairs and walked around pretending not to like shaking hands! Not easy and impossible for yours truly! Then we took a quiz that established whether we were blue, gold, green or orange as category of our basic personalities.  Although all of us have bits and pieces of the four color personality types, it is interesting to me to see what challenges each of these four groups face.

For instance, Gold is goal oriented, organized, structure oriented and punctual.  Golds tend to be very frustrated with lateness, lack of an agenda and see themselves as responsible, reliable, etc. Golds also dislike inefficiency, procrastination, lack of control and changes.

Whereas Oranges are spontaneous, optimistic, flexible, easy-going, using humor to lessen tension and are adaptable and understanding. They dislike interruptions, deadlines, criticism and micro-managing.

Blues, mediators, are relationship oriented, nurturing, sympathetic. Blues see when other people are being hurt.

Greens are logical, independent, interactive, calm etc. and dislike noise, unfairness, control. They resist being boxed in.

The workshop leaders asked us, What are your strengths? What makes you feel successful and satisfied?  Are you confident, persistent, insightful and inventive?  What areas do we need to stretch in?  Are you challenged and stressed?  Their advice, let it go!  Agree to disagree!  Discuss: what can we do to make this better?

Respect the other person’s gifts.  Be aware of buttons you may push that annoy other people.

So, take a deep breath, know thyself and try to see things through the lens of the personality of the person you are working with for optimum results!

Julie Klesczewski
ESVB Member

2017 AAUW NYS Convention Pictures



  AAUW-NYS President  Roli Wendorf

AAUW-NYS Past Presidents: Edwina Martin, Diane Haney, Nancy Mion

Interim Executive Officer Mark Hopkins
AAUW-NYS President Roli Wendorf


Louise Bernikow                                                                      Susan Daria Landino (formerly Burhans)
Saturday morning the opening plenary                           LAF litigant, speaker at the Saturday lunch

Michelle Rivera Clonch, PhD
director of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center
The keynote speaker for Saturday dinner

Convention Attendees


Diversity, Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias Intersectionality

Diversity, Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias Intersectionality

By Anita Nahal, Phd, CDP, D&I Consultant, ESVB
Heide Parreño, Diversity Director, ESVB

 “Perspectives: Have there been times when you were personally discriminated against?

Crenshaw: I have a story I tell a lot. A member of our study group at Harvard was the first AfricanAmerican member of a previously exclusive white club. He invited the rest of the group—me and another African-American man—to visit him at this club. When we knocked on the door, he opened it, stepped outside, and shut it quickly. He said that he was embarrassed because he had forgotten to tell us something about entering the building. My male friend immediately bristled, saying that if black people couldn’t go through the front door, we weren’t coming in at all. But our friend said, “No, no, no, that’s not it—but women have to go through the back door.” And my friend was totally okay with that.

Perspectives: How did that affect you?

Crenshaw: I understood that we can all stand together as long as we think that we are all equally affected by a particular discrimination, but the moment where a different barrier affects a subset of us, our solidarity often falls apart. I began to look at all the other ways that not only the race and civil rights agenda but the gender agenda are sometimes uninformed by and inattentive to the ways that subgroups experience discrimination.”

 (http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/perspectives_magazine/women_perspectives_Spring2004CrenshawPSP.authcheckdam.pdf )

The term “intersectionality” was first coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, a snippet of whose conversation in an interview appears above. Crenshaw had argued in her research that “…the experience of being a black woman cannot be understood in terms of being black and of being a woman considered independently, but must include the interactions, which frequently reinforce each other.” This same kind of intersectionality, many individuals feel and go through, though not always due to race or gender.  It could be these two, plus nationality or religion or sexual orientation, or immigrant status. Or it could be any other combination as well.  When individuals find themselves standing at the center of various intersections that can define them within their own understanding, or others can employ to define them, it becomes a challenge for diversity and inclusion.  And since the intersection is not stagnant or set in stone, individuals keeps interacting with so many diversities (their own and those of others), they can lap and overlap causing even more confusion. That is why the DIAL method for understanding our various layers was developed (Nahal). It stands for Diversity and Inclusion Applied in Layers.  Read more here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/layered-applied-diversity-inclusion-ladi-model-nahal-ph-d-cdp  In another write up we shall discuss this more. Indeed the concept of intersectionality is very critical, one that Michelle Rivera-Clonch, PhD, Director of the Omega Women’s Leadership Centerone also noted it in her keynote speech at the 2017 NYS AAUW convention.

We need to remember that individuals are not mono-lithic, and no one race, group, etc. is monolithic either. Thus we need to make sure when interacting with individuals that we don’t type cast them.  We need to reduce the impact of our pre conceived notions, and unconscious bias that our first visual impressions give us. Princeton University psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov conducted research published in the July 2006 issue of Psychological Science, which showed that it only takes seven seconds to form an opinion about others.  However, that is based on simply visual representation.  And individuals are much more than what is apparent to the eye. Next time we will discuss the Iceberg theory related to this.  Cheers!