March 2022 Newsletter


Meet the Board:  Julie Mackaman

With this issue, we are launching a new column: Meet the Board. The first board member to be introduced is Julie Mackaman, board secretary.

? Vermont’s Reproductive Liberty Amendment Heads to the November Ballot: First in Nation?  by Julie Mackaman

Julie delivered our AAUW Bennington testimony via Zoom as the last person on the roster of scheduled speakers.  Read the full testimony here.

? Feature Article: Ellen Swallow Richards–The Co-Founder of AAUW by Gudrun Hutchins

Since few professions other than teaching were open to women. Swallow wanted to find a way to deepen her knowledge of chemistry; she also wanted to help expand women’s boundaries. Before she could open doors for others, however, she had to pry them ajar for herself.  Gudrun tells a captivating story of her struggles and successes.

? Women in the News: Women Face a Concrete Ceiling, from the March Issue of THE 19th.

Judy Murphy spotted this excellent article in the current issue of THE 19th* about the scarcity of women college presidents. It includes a quote from AAUW CEO Gloria Blackwell and refers to a “concrete ceiling” for women in elite universities. It features Juliet Garcia, Latina former president of University of Texas at Brownsville. Coincidentally, Dawn Rodrigues was on the faculty during Dr. Garcia’s tenure and recalls Dr. Garcia’s support for her and for other women faculty on grant applications and tenure decisions.


Read-Around Meeting on March 2 at 1:00 pm – 

Absolutely no preparation beforehand. Just sign onto Zoom at 1:00 pm. Branch member Ruth Giordano, our facilitator,  always finds fascinating stories, essays, or short plays and displays the text on screen. Don’t want to be a reader? You’re welcome to join the  meeting as a listener and take part in the conversation after each reading.

? Book Group: Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson — March 16 at noon at the Martha Canfield Fisher Library in Arlington.

All welcome!  Bring a bag lunch.  Suzanne Kirkpatrick is the discussion leader this month.

? Women and Work: Increasing Leadership and  Equity — March  16 at 2:00 pm.  A National AAUW Event

Join the new AAUW CEO, Gloria Blackwell, as she leads a panel discussion about the transformation we need to achieve equity at work. The panel will address the double burden and expectations of women’s paid and unpaid work and solutions for bolstering women’s economic participation in the workplace. Registration:

Great Decisions Special Interest Group: Drug Policy in Latin America March 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm, at the UU Fellowship Hall.

This is the second program in the Great Decisions series. All welcome. Please  read the chapter on “Drug Policy in Latin America” before the meeting. The Great Decisions Briefing Book is available at the Bennington Free Library. 

? March Branch Meeting: New Housing Hails the Future! Tuesday, March 29, 7 – 8:30 pm at the Old First Church Barn. 

This is a public meeting, so friends and family are welcome!  Thanks to Judy Kniffin and Sheila Mullineux for lining up what promises to be a fascinating program with time built in for us to socialize.

? Save the Date April 14, 2022. 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Vermont is the only state that has never elected a woman to Congress, but that may change in November 2022. Three Vermont women have already declared their candidacy for Vermont’s sole seat in the House of Representatives.  Join us for “A Woman’s Journey into Politics,” a free Zoom event featuring those three women: Becca Balint, Molly Gray and Kesha Ram Hinsdale. More information and details will be in the April Newsletter. But mark your calendars now!

? Schedule of Events:  March – June, 2022

Consider Writing a Column  for the Newsletter

Are you willing to write a column for us? It might be a book review, a few items of interest in the news, a topic from the national AAUW website, a poem, a few pictures from your window, a bio-sketch of an AAUW member, or a  feature article on a topic of your choice.  

Send an email with your idea to newsletter editor, Dawn Rodrigues (