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Thursday, 7/15: Set sail with AAUW Kingston’s charter cruise!

Come join us for an evening cruise on the beautiful Hudson River on Thursday, July 15!

AAUW Kingston will be hosting a charter cruise aboard the Solaris, the solar-powered ship
operated by the Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM), 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY 12401.

We’ll set sail from the Rondout at 6:15 PM, cruise for 2 hours, and return at 8:15 PM.

The boat, which accommodates 16 passengers, is filling up fast, so please call or email
Susan Holland (845-389-3961, susan-holland@usa.net) as soon as possible if you want to
come along. Then, bring a check made out to AAUW Kingston with you on Thursday:

Cost: $40 (AAUW members)
$45 (non-members)

What to wear
The tour boat Solaris has a roof, but dress for the weather.
All boat tours are rain or shine.
It can often be up to 10 degrees cooler out on the water,
so HRMM recommends a light jacket or sweater on cooler days.

Plan to arrive early! Parking is often very limited in the Rondout,
so make sure you leave enough time to find parking (for more info,
see: http://www.hrmm.org/parking).

The boat will leave promptly at 6:15 PM, so leave enough time to use the
restroom beforehand. (The Solaris has a composting toilet for emergencies,
but HRMM recommends that everyone use the museum restroom before boarding.)

We will all meet in the big gazebo in the museum yard (through the gates near
the museum entrance). Please be in the gazebo by 6 PM sharp!

What to bring:
– water (and/or optionally other drinks – including alcohol, though HRMM recommends
limiting the quantity consumed on the boat! 😉
– snack (keep it simple! – bring easy finger foods and think “carry in, carry out”)
– camera

What not to bring:
– coolers
– luggage
– pets
– strollers
– very large bags

We’re looking forward to cruising with you on Thursday – see you then!…Susan H.

Today, 6/17: Branch Meeting and Annual Picnic at 4

AAUW Kingston Branch Meeting and Annual Picnic
Thursday, June 17, 2021
4 PM to 6 PM

We’ll be meeting at the beautiful
Robert E. Post Memorial Park
515 Park Road, Kingston

Even if you didn’t pre-order a meal, please come anyway!
Bring food, drink, and a place setting for yourself, if you’d like.

We have the small pavilion for the entire day if you want to come early and enjoy the Hudson River. Bring a folding chair if picnic benches are not your favorite.

We’ll also have live music featuring Barbara Dempsey and Company.

More info: Lynn Gore, 845- 687-9210, lynngore54@gmail.com

Thursday, May 20 at 3 PM ET: May Branch Meeting with Guest Speaker (online)

AAUW Kingston May Branch Meeting
Thursday, May 20 at 3 PM ET (online)

Guest Speaker: Lisa Cypers Kamen
Stress Overload Syndrome and Pandemic Life:
The Path to Recovery, Healing the Invisible Wounds

Come experience a return visit from our speaker Lisa Kamen from last spring’s popular series.

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” – Elizabeth Edwards

Stress Overload Syndrome (SOS) is a by-product of prolonged exposure to adversity. Although modern life is full of demands, deadlines, frustrations, hassles, and challenges, the pandemic life has been the thin mint. In fact, stress is so common that we have adapted to it being a normal way of life. SOS is not fun or pretty regardless of when, where, why, or how stress rears its ugly head.

Join us to reflect upon the stressors and successes of life amidst Covid and learn strategies to shift your mindset and bolster emotional fitness.

Lisa Cypers Kamen is a lifestyle management consultant who explores the art and science of happiness in her work as a speaker, author, and happiness expert. Through her globally- syndicated podcast, books, media appearances, and documentary film, Kamen has impacted millions of people around the world. Check out her podcasts here: www.harvestinghappiness.com

If you need help with Zoom, email Lynn Gore (lynngore54@gmail.com) prior to the meeting.
Also, please contact Lynn to request the 5/20 meeting information. Join us on Zoom!

— Susan Holland, susan-holland@usa.net, 845-389-3961

Vote by 5 PM ET on 5/17 in the very important 2021 AAUW National election

Have you been getting emails about the AAUW National election? For example, I got the
first one on April 7 from Shannon Wolfe — Subject: Vote now to shape AAUW’s future.
Check your in-box for this (or a similar) election email from AAUW National.

Before you vote, please make sure you review the following important election information:

2021 Vote: Bylaws Amendment (Very Important! Eliminates the degree requirement!)

We’re also voting on:
Candidates for the Board of Directors (https://ww3.aauw.org/board-candidates/)
Public Policy Priorities (https://www.aauw.org/resources/member/governance-tools/national-election/2021-comment-ppp/)

Now, click on the big orange Vote Now button in your election email from AAUW National.

In a new tab, you will see the 2021 AAUW NATIONAL ELECTION screen with your name, address, member ID, and voter PIN. Make your selections, then click the green Review and Vote button. Review your selections, then click the green My ballot is complete. Cast my vote button. You will now see the 2021 AAUW NATIONAL ELECTION screen again, now with this message:
Thank you for voting.
Your vote has been recorded.

For questions about the voting process, call AAUW National at 800-326-2289 or email:

So, please remember to vote by Monday, May 17 at 5 PM ET!

Let me know if you need more information.

— Susan Holland, susan-holland@usa.net, 845-389-3961

3/18 at 3: Branch Meeting with Guest Speaker Fred Dust

AAUW Kingston Branch Meeting with
Guest Speaker Fred Dust, author of
Making Conversation 
Thursday March 18, 2021
at 3 PM on Zoom

Making Conversation: Seven Essential Elements of Meaningful Communication

Conversations are one of the most fundamental means of communicating we have as humans. At their best, conversations are unconstrained, authentic and open–two or more people sharing thoughts and ideas in a way that bridges our individual experiences, achieves a common goal. At their worst, they foster misunderstanding, frustration and obscure our real intentions.

How often do you walk away from a conversation feeling really heard? That it moved the people in it forward in some important way? You’re not alone. In his practice as a designer, Fred Dust began to approach conversations differently. After years of trying to broker communication between colleagues and clients, he came to believe there had to a way to design the art of conversation itself with intention and purpose, but still artful and playful. Making Conversation codifies what he learned and outlines the four elements essential to successful exchanges: Commitment, Creative Listening, Clarity, and Context. Taken together, these four elements form a set of resources anyone can use to be more deliberate and purposeful in making conversations work.

Fred Dust is the founder of Making Conversation, LLC and works at the intersection of business, society and creativity. As a designer, author, educator, consultant, trustee, and advisor to social and business leaders, he is one of the world’s most original thinkers, applying the craft and optimism of human-centered design to the intractable challenges we face today. Using the methodology in his book Making Conversation, he has been working as the Senior Dialogue Designer with The Rockefeller Foundation to explore the future of pressing global needs; and with The Einhorn Collaborative and other foundations to host constructive dialogue with leaders ranging from David Brooks, Reverend Jenn Bailey, and Vivek Murthy to rebuild human connection in a climate of widespread polarization, cynicism and disruption. He is also proud to be faculty at the Esalen Institute.

As a former Global Managing Partner at the acclaimed international design firm IDEO, Fred works with leaders and change agents to unlock the creative potential of business, government, education, and philanthropic organizations.

For the Zoom link, abd/or if you need help with Zoom, email Lynn Gore (lynngore54@gmail.com).

There will be break-out rooms and time for questions after the presentation.

This meeting is open to AAUW Members, SSIP members and friends.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow, March 18 at 3 PM. We will open the meeting at 2:45 PM so that everyone can get settled in and greeted.

2/18 at 3: February Branch Meeting (online)

February is Heart Health Month and AAUW Kingston will be having a special presentation, Stress and Your Heart, from the American Heart Association, on Thursday, February 18 at 3 PM.

Join us for a 45-minute overview about stress and its effects on your heart, followed by tools and activities that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life, presented by Danielle Schuka, a Registered Yoga Teacher, of the American Heart Association. You’ll need a quiet spot, an outfit you can move your arms and legs in comfortably, a pad of paper, pen or pencil, and an open mind.

More information and a Zoom link will be sent out closer to the date.

2/10 at 4: February Branch Social Hour

AAUW Kingston and
Barbara Van Itallie, AAUW-NYS Treasurer
& AAUW Poughkeepsie member,
Invite you to a

Virtual Social Hour & Gab Fest
A Lighthearted Goodbye to 2020

Wednesday, February 10, 4 PM

With interactive Zoom activities: music, videos, chatting, quizzes, humor.
Bring pencil and paper. Barbara has a whole bag full of ice breakers and
tricks to keep the event lively. Join us and bring a friend who has not
participated before.

Contact Ruth Bean for Zoom information.

Read with the AAUW Kingston Literary Group, 2020-2021

AAUW Kingston Literary Group: Reading List for Sept. 2020 to July 2021
3rd Tuesdays at 1 PM* (on Zoom – email Susan H. for info) – *1/19/21 at 11:30 AM*
Group leader: Judee Irwin

September 15       Middlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides
I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver’s license…records my first name simply as Cal.”
So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling,
Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

October 20        The Vikings (2014) by Neil Oliver
Neil Oliver’s historical storytelling is unique and enjoyable. He weaves together his narrative with strands of literary, archeological, linguistic, and genetic evidence. He accompanies all this with descriptions of his experiences as he travels to the many places associated with the Vikings. Why did the Vikings leave Scandinavia and go so far? Why are they no longer here?

November 17             My Home is Far Away (1944) by Dawn Powell
This is the most precisely autobiographical of Powell’s 15 novels. In this family chronicle set in early 20th century Ohio, young Marcia Willard’s family struggles to keep up with the rapidly changing times, and Marcia endures disillusionment, cruelty, and betrayal to forge a survivor’s sense of independence. This novel is one of the very few examples of a book written for adults, with an adult command of the language, that maintains the vantage point of a hungry, serious child throughout. It might be likened to a memoir that has been penned not with the usual tranquility of distance but rather with the sense that everything happening to the characters is happening right now, without any promise of eventual escape, without any assurance that childhood, too, shall pass away. This novel had been out of print for 60 years when Steerforth reissued it in 1995. It received immediate widespread acclaim, and was featured on the cover of the NY Times Book Review, where Terry Teachout called it “one of the permanent masterpieces of childhood, comparable with David Copperfield, What Maisie Knew, and the early reminiscences of Colette,” and where he proclaimed Powell to be “one of this country’s least recognized great novelists.”

No December 2020 meeting.

January 19, 2021 at **11:30 AM**        Speak, Memory (1966) by Vladimir Nabokov
The late Vladimir Nabokov always did things his way, and his classic autobiography is no exception. No dry recital of dates, names, and addresses for this linguistic magician–instead, Speak, Memory is a succession of lapidary episodes, in which the factoids play second fiddle to the development of Nabokov’s sensibility. There is, to be sure, an impressionistic whirl through the author’s family history (including a gallery of Tartar princes and fin-de-siècle oddities). And Nabokov’s account of his tenure at St. Petersburg’s famous Tenishev School—where he counted Osip Mandelstam among his schoolmates—offers a lovely glimpse into the heart of Russia’s silver age. Still, Nabokov is much too artful an autobiographer to present Speak, Memory as a slice of reality–a word, by the way, that he insisted must always be surrounded by quotation marks.

February 16                A Place for Us (2018) by Fatima Mirza
An Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best? A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home. A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today.

March 16      The Girl with Seven Names (2015) by Hyeonseo Lee
This memoir gives us extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom. As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realize that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet”? At 17, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be 12 years before she was reunited with her family.

April 20     The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) by Milan Kundera
This intricate, cyclical novel charts the lives of Tomas, a successful surgeon, his wife Tereza, his lover Sabina, and Sabina’s lover Franz. The narrative skillfully blends the characters’ experiences of love, political activism and happiness with philosophical musings on the “lightness” of existence, creating an engaging novel which encourages readers to reflect on the meaning of their own lives. Milan Kundera was born in Czechoslovakia, where he had a successful career as a university lecturer and author until the country was invaded by Soviet forces in 1968 following the Prague Spring. His books were banned by the Communist regime, and he moved to France in 1975. He has won a number of prestigious literary awards, including the Jerusalem Prize (1985) and the Czech State Literature Prize (2007).

May 18       Loving Frank (2008) by Nancy Horan
I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current…So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives. Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan’s Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamah’s is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that re-shape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novel’s stunning conclusion. Elegantly written and remarkably rich in detail, this novel is a fitting tribute to a courageous woman, a national icon, and their timeless love story.

June 15             Freedom (2011) by Jonathan Franzen
Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. S Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outrĂŠ rocker and Walter’s college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom’s characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

July 20                    American Dirt (2020) by Jeanine Cummins
Lydia Quixano PĂŠrez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and 8-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia – trains that make their way north toward the U.S., which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the count-less people trying to reach el norte. this novel will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poig-nancy, drama, and humanity on every page. Already being hailed as “a Grapes of Wrath for our times” and “a new American classic,” this novel is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

Register Today! 1/23 Branch Meeting & Fundraiser Luncheon with guest speaker!

AAUW Kingston
Branch Meeting & Fundraising Luncheon

Saturday, January 23, noon

Women Empowering Women:
How you can get involved –
It’s a lot easier than you think!

Guest Speaker: Jordan Scruggs and students

Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Jordan arrived in the Hudson Valley by way of Connecticut, where she received her Masters of Divinity from Yale in 2015. She worked as the Director of Community Ministries for Saint James United Methodist Church in Kingston for six years, where she connected members of the congregation with the local community in faith-based social justice work for poverty alleviation and building social equity.
Presently, Jordan works for SUNY Ulster Community College as the director of New Start for Women. New Start helps women in Ulster County with limited resources to obtain an education, skills, and the professional network needed for gainful employment and provides the necessary supports to eliminate barriers to their success. As a result of this work, Jordan is passionate about asset-based development and cultivating human resilience in the face of trauma.
In addition to her work with New Start, Jordan is also a member of several local boards, including Kingston Midtown Rising, Inc. and the Rising Hope Prison Education Initiative.
Jordan lives with her spouse, Kevin, and their daughter, Sage, in Kingston, New York.

This is an important fundraiser for our group.
Please consider donating generously to allow us to
continue to provide scholarships to area students.

We will have a brief business meeting.
There will be time to greet our friends and share our thoughts in breakout rooms.
We’d love to see your lunch! There will be time to show us your lunch creation, too.

Please send a donation of $35 (recommended) by Thursday, January 21.
Pay as little or as much as you want for our scholarship fund.
Send checks made out to AAUW Kingston to our treasurer:

Marjorie Bot
58 Twin Ponds Drive
Kingston, NY 12401

RSVP: Lynn Gore*, lynngore54@gmail.com
The Zoom info will be sent to registered attendees on 1/22.

* From Lynn: “If you have never tried to Zoom, please email me.
I would be happy to help you ahead of the meeting.”

January literary group: 1/19/21 at *11:30 AM*

Please note the time change for this month!
January literary group
Tuesday, 1/19/21 at 11:30 AM
Speak, Memory:
An Autobiography Revisited (1966)
Vladimir Nabokov ‘s classic autobiography is no dry recital of dates,
names, and addresses. Instead, it is an impressionistic whirl through the author’s family history (including a gallery of Tartar princes and fin de siècle oddities). And Nabokov’s account of his tenure at St. Petersburg’s famous Tenishev School — where he counted Osip Madelstam among his schoolmates — offers a lovely glimpse into the heart of Russia’s silver age.
Call, text, or email Susan H. (susan-holland@usa.net, 845-389-3961)
and she will send you the Zoom information. Join us!