Our March 2019 speaker was Dr. Fred Wood, the Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community District. He is an articulate and enthusiastic advocate for our junior college system, which currently serves over 51,000 students at three colleges and two centers. He spoke about the future of DVC and the other associated colleges. A very informative evening. A special thanks to Muriel Fry for bringing 61 cupcakes to celebrate her 61 years in AAUW!
Our February 2019 speaker, Dianna Vanni Stephenson, though she loved her classes in science and math, told the story of her experiences as a female science student in all levels of university study. She explained how difficult it was for women science majors to pursue an education, not because of their intellect, but because of extreme, callous, and accepted discrimination by professors and male students. Dianna’s story and the popularity of Tech Trek encourage all of us in AAUW to raise money for science scholarships and to encourage young women to follow their interests and their dreams like Dianna did, despite the short-sighted and unfair barriers.
Our annual, well attended, AAUW Soup Supper in January 2019 was a very successful evening in spite of the rain. So many homemade soups, delicious cornbread, sourdough bread, and wonderful desserts were enjoyed by all! Our speaker, Budd MacKenzie, told us his journey to help Afghans rebuild their lives and country. An inspiring and heartfelt story. Quite a wonderful evening.
The 2018 Candy Cane Lane Holiday party was fun and entertaining.Check out the red and white attire. Great food and company. Sandy Woufe provided us with engaging entertainment. Lots of smiles, laughs, and groans. Happy Holidays to everyone.
Our November Program speaker, Betty Reid Soskin, presented a fascinating and compelling description of her 97 years, beginning with her childhood in New Orleans to her adult life in the East Bay, including becoming a famous National Park Ranger at the Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park museum in Richmond. Betty calmly and honestly depicted life at its best and its hardest for an African American Creole woman from the 1920s to now.
Magic was in the air! Our branch was treated to a special show at California Magic Theater in downtown Martinez. We didn't have far to go to enjoy a delicious dinner and mesmerizing magic. A very entertaining evening, enjoyed by all.
At our October 2018 Program, Kay James, from the League of Women Voters, explained the state propositions to us. Everyone attending was given a “cheat sheet” listing the propositions, and she reviewed the pros and cons of each. It was quite a list. Now we have to deterimne how to vote. This was a very well attended program and extremely informative.
Our September 2018 Welcome Brunch was lovely as always. Seeing friends and meeting new members. The Tech Trek girls are always the highlight of the morning, when they tell us about their camp experiences. Great food. A sunny day. We learned about all of the upcoming events, programs, interest groups, and more.
Our June 2018 Brunch included awarding scholarships to local high school seniors and tech trek middle school girls, installing our new officers, as well as honoring several of our members. Congratulations to Gayle Miner for receiving the yearly Barbara Newacheck Award, and Jennifer Apcarian and Claudia Bass for beingthe Names Gift Honoree recipients. Another lovely event to end this year's acitivities. Great food and company.
At our April 2018 Program, Mary Volmerthe, founding Director of the Saint Mary's College honors program and Collegiate Seminar and an English instructor, told us about women of the California Gold rush and women's rights' reformers in the years following the American Civil War. She is the author of two novels: Crown of Dust and Reliance, Illinois. She earned a BA from Saint Mary's College, where she also played basketball, and an MA from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where she was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Mary treated us to a great discussion.
Charmen Goehring, the Public Policy Co-Chair for AAUW CA, spoke at our March 2018 Program about our AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund. She has had 2 terms on AAUW's National Board and is in her 2nd term on the California State Board. She explained how LAF reviews all legislation coming before the California legislature and that they have chosen 31 bills that AAUW will actively support this coming year. She detailed 4 to 5 cases nationally that LAF is giving financial support. Charmen was a very delightful and energetic speaker, answering questions at the end.
Our February 2018 speaker, Ann Notarangelo, a former award winning Bay Area journalist, is currently manager of Shell Martinez Refinery’s internal and external communications department, community outreach, and social investment programs. She is involved in the community and helps with various nonprofits, emceeing events throughout the East Bay, volunteering her time for many organizations including SHELTER, Inc. and The Contra Costa Women’s Commission. We enjoyed Ann's presentation, and her dedication to her work.
Our annual, well attended, AAUW Soup Supper in January 2018 was a very successful evening in spite of the rain. Seventeen homemade soups, delicious cornbread, garlic bread, specialty bread, and wonderful desserts were enjoyed by all! Note Harriett's perfect soup bowl. Former Congressman George Miller entertained the audience with his wit and wisdom while discussing the political climate of his forty years in Washington and the changes since then. A fun evening indeed!
Our November 2017 program was a fun filled adventure. Our members had the opportunity to visit the S.T.E.A.M. (Science-TechnologyEngineering-Arts-Math) lab at Las Juntas School in Martinez. After an introduction by Crystal Castaneda, Principal, we met Shell engineers, Katie Clasen and Jackie Brew, active participants who helped set up the lab. We had hands on experience in the Lab – robots, electrical circuits, lego challenge cards, engineering projects and so much more. We saw how teachers are working to integrate S.T.E.A.M. into the school experience. We were amazed!
Sally Van Slyke, our October 2017 Program speaker, talked about her Hollywood career and her award-winning Wild Thyme Catering and Event Management Company. She related her experiences as the Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa County taking on the role of Culinary Training Director for a new and innovative program, giving back to the community.
Our September 2017 Welcome Brunch was lovely as always. Seeing friends and meeting new members. The Tech Trek girls are always the highlight of the morning, when they tell us about their camp experiences. Great food. A beautiful day. We learned about all of the upcoming events, programs, interest groups, and more.
Our July 2017 Summer Social was spectacular. The theme was Celebrating Together! A total of 136 years. 70 years (Martinez Branch), 60 years (Pleasant Hill Branch), and 6 years (Pleasant Hill-Martinez Branch TOGETHER!). Thank you Nancy and Kent Hobert for hosting this fabulous event. Gourmet food. Great company. Check out the picture below of all our combined presidents.
Our May 2017 Brunch included awarding scholarships to local high school seniors and tech trek middle school girls, installing our new officers, as well as honoring several of our members. Congratulations to Trinka March for receiving the yearly Barbara Newacheck Award. Another lovely event to end this year's acitivities. Good food and great company.
Dena Al-Adeeb, an AAUW fellow and Ph.D Candidate, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, spoke at our April Program about the 2003 invasion of Iraq from an Iraqi feminist point of view. All attendees enjoyed a potluck dinner and time to get to meet Dena.
Martinez resident Tim Farley shared his fascination with government and politics at the March AAUW program. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Contra Costa County Community College District and Director of Government and Community Affairs at Saint Mary’s College. Tim discussed the Electoral College history and procedures, and his being able to vote on it two times. He taught a January term class on the inauguration and what it entails, and took his students to the inaugural and the women’s march. He closed with some fascinating political trivia – such as the meaning of the 5 huge flags hung behind the speaker’s dais at the inauguration.
Pleasant Hill-Martinez AAUW members celebrated Black History month at our February meeting. Gayle Garrison reviewed the lives and art of black artists, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Clemintine Hunter. Suzanne Mesetz discussed quilts and their history in the black community, as described in the book "Hidden in Plain Sight". She showed a quilt she made and pointed out the meaning of each of the squares. Suzanne Salter led us in singing several black spirituals, and Gayle ended the meeting with a pop quiz to see how knowledgeable we were about black history. We then feasted on baked potatoes with a variety of toppings and cornbread.
Our Annual 2017 International Soup Supper was a huge success, as always. What a variety of delicious soups, desserts and bread. Dianna Vanni Matthias, a local Martinez retired DVC Oceanography Instructor, discussed "Plastic Pollution Around Oceanic Islands", entailing her six summers spent as a volunteer on Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. Dianna honored her UC Berkeley mentor, Carol Baier, one of our Pleasant Hill-Martinez Life Members. Carol, being a trailblazer, was Dianna's inspiration that encouraged her to pursue this vital environmental work.
Our 2016 Razzle Dazzle Holiday Party was very festive and relaxing. Good company, food, and enjoyable entertainment. Happy Holidays to all.
John Trtek, a volunteer at the Richmond Red Oak Victory Ship, related the history of the ship and why it is especially symbolic of our country’s ideals. It was a very interesting and informative program.
Bart Director Gail Murray, our October 2016 Program speaker, discussed the $3.5 billion Bond Measure RR on the November ballot to rebuild their aging system to increase safety, and reliability as well as help with traffic relief.
Our September 2016 Welcome Brunch was lovely as always. Seeing friends and meeting new members. The Tech Trek girls are always the highlight of the morning, when they tell us about their camp experiences. Great food. A beautiful day. We learned about all of the upcoming events, programs, interest groups, and more.
Our June 2016 Brunch included awarding scholarships to local high school seniors and tech trek middle school girls, installing our new officers, as well as honoring several of our members. Congratulations to Janice Walker for receiving the yearly Barbara Newacheck Award. Another lovely event to end this year's acitivities. Good food and good company.
Our April Program speaker, Camille Minichino, a scientist, teacher, and writer, talked about her experience as a physics major, at a time when very few women pursued careers in science. Her explanation of transitioning to a mystery writer was very entertaining. What a remarkable woman.
In March, members and friends enjoyed a Game Day of Bridge, Mah Jongg, and dominoes to support AAUW Funds and Tech Trek, a math/science camp for middle school girls.
At our March Program, Phyllis Bratt talked about the journey to achieve the women’s right to vote both in Britain and America. She shared some pictures of her collection of suffrage memorabilia which include postcards, newspapers and magazines, handbills, photographs, china, buttons, and badges. Phyllis told us stories of the amazing women to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.
Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, a women's rights' advocate, told us about her life experiences at our February meeting. Growing up in a Latino family, she overcame so many obsticles to become a highly-decorated military veteran and bilingual STEM Consultant to K-12 school districts. Her stories were inspirational.
The January Soup Supper event is always so popular. Great soups and desserts. Marty Brounstein told a fascinating true to life story with a personal family connection.
Here are the soups and the soup makers. You may contact them for their recipes.
The 2015 Razzle Dazzle Holiday party was quite popular. Great food, good company, and delightful entertainment by the Alhambra High School String
Thank you, Marilyn Thelen, for hosting our September 2015 Brunch in your beautiful backyard. We always enjoy hearing the camp experiences of the Tech Trek girls. The Brunch food was delicious, provided by our generous members. We all look forward to this event.
The 2015 Summer Social was a relaxing, enjoyable time for all who attended. A great setting. Thank you Shelley Jacobson for chairing this event.
Our May 2015 Brunch included awarding scholarships to local high school seniors and tech trek middle school girls, installing our new officers, as well as honoring several of our members. Congratulations to Sherrie Moore for receiving the yearly Barbara Newacheck Award. Another lovely event to end this year's acitivities. Good food and good company.
Alicia Helman was an inspirational speaker addressing Title IX issues at our April 2015 Program. Our Pleasant Hill-Martinez branch hosted the event with the Concord AAUW branch.
For our March 2015 Program, we were treated to “Taking Tea in the English Manner” by tea expert Susan Leech, followed by a lovely tea of tasty sandwiches, scones and desserts. Our members presented their best china and tea cups to create beautiful table settings for us. Janice Walker and her Tech Trek committee did a great job providing food and a grand decor. All for a worthwhile cause -- to send four of our local middle school girls to Tech Trek math/science camp this summer. A wonderful time was had by all who attended.
Superintendents Rami Muth of Martinez Unified School District and Mt. Diablo USD superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer discussed the successes and the issues facing our local school districts, at our November 2014 Program. They explained the transition to the common core state standards and gave examples of the impact this has for teaching and learning. It was an excellent program highlighting the challenges facing our schools.
Our Book Club meets monthly to review and discuss current and classic books.
Bridge and Mah Jongg are two popular Interest Groups. Mah Jongg is new this year, and Bridge has many groups, players of different levels.