September 2013 Kickoff Dinner

Thirty-one members and guests attended the Kickoff Dinner September 19, at Pema’s. It was wonderful to see so many happy faces.  A big thank you to Joanne Clark and Joanna Crane for making the arrangements, and informing us about the programs planned for the year. One guest joined on the spot:  We are pleased to welcome Cindy Douglass as a new Mt. Vernon Branch member.

It is going to be a great year in Mt. Vernon Branch AAUW!

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Members Participate

Members at Lorton Workhouse Celebration aug 2013Our Mt. Vernon branch was well represented at the Women’s Equality Day events at the Lorton Workhouse Prison Museum on August 25.  Branch members attending were Jeanne Gayler, DeJuana Jones, Mary Ellen Mehler, Sue Rardin, Cheryl Spohnholtz, Sharon Forrest, and Clare Coulter.  Events included a visit to the Workhouse Prison Museum where women seeking the right to vote were incarcerated in brutal conditions, a review of the American Suffragist Movement history by Professor Alice Reagan of Northern Virginia Community College, and a reenactment of the prison experience of Mrs. Robert Walker given by actress Lynne Garvey-Hodge.  The combination of AAUW members and League of Women Voter members resulted in a large, enthusiastic crowd that had to be moved outside to the tent area to seat everyone.

January 17 Branch Presentation

Scam Targets Seniors!

More and more often we are reading that headline.  Have you noticed:  Many of us are seniors; and did you realize we are all very vulnerable to scams?

Nobody wants to be made a sucker or to be separated from his or her hard-earned money without getting some value in return.  Yet it happens every day.  Unscrupulous scammers use the mail, the telephone, the internet to take advantage of the unwary.  At our branch’s excellent meeting on Senior Scams on January 17, I Cathy Krebs, branch president) scams meetingwoke up to learn that I too had been scammed — I had bought those fraudulent light bulbs!  So this was a very useful and educational program.

Branch member, Joanna Crane introduced former coworker, attorney Lisa Schifferle of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  Lisa, granddaughter of an AAUW member, outlined the types of scams they encounter. She also provided some information about the law enforcement cases handled by the FTC.

If you missed the meeting, please mark your calendars:  the FTC is offering a free public Forum on Senior Identity Theft at FTC headquarters, 301 New Jersey Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. on May 7, 2013.  Lisa Schifferle brought many really useful pamphlets, especially “Who Cares – Sources of Information About Health Care Products and Services,” “10 Things You can do to Avoid Fraud,” “Putting Telephone Scams on Hold – Recognize & Report Phone Fraud,” and “Identity Theft – What to Know – What to Do.”  These pamphlets and more are available from the FTC. More information at:




Holiday Luncheon, December 8


Holiday smiles adorned the Mt. Vernon Country Club on December 8.  Mt. Vernon Branch members enjoyed being together, eating a delicious meal and hearing an inspiring talk by Kristen Galles (top row, middle photo, far right), an LAF attorney specializing in Title IX Issues.  Following Kristen’s talk, some members of our branch made a special donation to LAF in her honor.




Branch Meeting November 15

Panelists, left to right, are Dr. Christopher Johnson, Hope Warsaw, Edourd Sooh, James Bourne, with DeJuana Jones on the far right.

On November 15, at the Heritage Presbyterian Church, approximately 45 people attended our branch presentation of the documentary Food Inc. Most stayed for the panel discussion afterwards.

It was a fabulous meeting! There were 45 members and guests present. We received front page write-up in the Mt. Vernon Gazette!  A big thank you goes to DeJuana Jones who planned the meeting and invited the panelists.

In the film, documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner uses reports by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser and The Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan as a springboard to exploring where the food we purchase at the grocery store really comes from, and what it means for the health of future generations.

On our panel was made up of Christopher Johnson, naturopathic doctor; Hope Warshaw, dietician and diabetes consultant; Edouard E. Sooh, food supplement representative; and James Bourne, organic farmer.  The panelists described their specialty and commented briefly on the film, then answered audience questions.

This program was a follow-up to the field trip to Arcadia Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Woodlawn Plantation in October, arranged by Joanne Clark.

Five branch members participated in Dining Out on November 12, and continued the theme of healthy eating by dining at Del Ray Café.  Del Ray Café is a French café serving local, natural and organic foods.  Lunch was delicious and everyone agreed we would have to return. Thanks to Elizabeth Lonoff who planned the outing.


Field Trip to Arcadia Center at Woodlawn, September 29, 2012

Maureen Moodie, our guide

Arcadia Farm: Restoring “Woodlawn grown” Food to Local Tables

Our group gathered at 10:00 a.m. and toured the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. This wonderful farm is right in our neighborhood, on the property of Woodlawn Plantation, the home of George Washington’s niece, Nellie Custis. 

Mobile Food Market

Info about the farm: The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture is a landmark partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Arcadia has established its operations on the grounds of historic Woodlawn Plantation, once a part of George Washington’s farms at Mount Vernon, combining education about healthy food and its sources with better logistical connections between local farmers and the urban and suburban core of the region.

Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture was launched by Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG), a business working to ensure the highest level of quality food for its restaurants, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and cultivating a network of purveyors of new non-profit farming and food initiatives.


Branch Meeting October 11, 2012

The October 11 Branch Meeting was informative and interesting. 

Sex trafficking in Virginia

Cathy Krebs, State Senator Adam Ebbin, and Jeanne Gayler

In 2010, police and social agencies received 5,701 referrals for sexual abuse in Virginia, including shocking incidents of child sex trafficking in Northern Virginia.  The average age of sex-trafficking victims is between 12 and 14 years of age.

Senator Ebbin was the prime sponsor of State Senate Bill 259, approved on March 21, 2012.  The bill brought together the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services to develop awareness and training materials for parents, counselors, teachers, community leaders, and the general public.

Celebrating Women’s Voices in Politics and Art

The reception at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on March 1, hosted by AAUW was lovely!  Five Mt. Vernon Branch members proudly attended.  The venue was beautiful, the food was delicious and the opportunity to gather with AAUW members and invited guests was perfect.  We had a great time!


A great group came out to hear Holly Kearl speak about AAUW’s research report Crossing the Line and her book Stop Street Harassment.  Holly’s talk was informative and inspiring.  Holly works as a program manager for AAUW in the Legal Advocacy Fund department. She co-authored AAUW’s report Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School. Outside of her job, she founded the website and wrote her book on street harassment in 2010.

She was awesome!  As a result, Elaine Kolish will donate a copy of Stop Street Harassment to Sherwood Hall Regional Library with a branch nameplate inside.  Several members will take Crossing the Line to schools with which they have an association.  As many as 20 copies of Crossing the Line may be ordered free at

Sandy Lawrence, left, and Angela Booker were also at the February 23rd meeting.  They are both members of the Woodbridge Branch.  Sandy is the state Northern District Rep and she talked about the upcoming state conference in Newport News:  Making Waves, April 20-22.  Angela is nominated for state Co-Vice President for PublicPolicy .








AAUW advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.  Founded in 1881, we are 170,000 strong!

The Mt. Vernon Branch was founded in 1956.  We meet monthly, usually the third Thursday, from September through June.  Our programs and activities reinforce the vision of AAUW.  We would love for you to visit with us any time! 


Mt. Vernon Branch is a 4-Star Branch!  We earned our stars in Programs, Advancement, Communications & External Relations, and Public Policy & Research.


Take action on issues impacting women and girls by joining AAUW’s Action Network. As a Two-Minute Activist, you will receive urgent email notices when your advocacy is needed most. We’ll provide all the tools you need to call or send messages to your members of Congress, write letters to the editor for your local newspapers, contact your state legislators about pressing issues, and more.


In 2018, AAUW adopted its strategic plan, providing the foundation and vision to advance gender equity for women and girls. Since then, we’ve achieved many milestones toward our goals. As we approach 2021, we’ve honed in on key areas where AAUW can continue to lead with an improved set of strategic objectives — call it the 2.0 version — that align with the enormous social, political and organizational changes we’ve seen since in the past two years.

AAUW Strategic Plan


AAUW Stands Against Racism

AAUW joins the country in mourning the losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other people of color who have been unjustly killed across our nation. Our country needs healing. But healing will only come with justice. As an organization we condemn racism. Read more here.

We have a variety of active groups in which our members participate.  Our group activities build cohesion and enable us to work together extremely well to achieve the AAUW Vision.

  • Take a look at our newsletters and see what all our branch is doing. 
  • Take a look at our programs.  The 2020-2021 program schedule has been posted.
  • Scroll below and read about some of our past programs.
  • Under the About Us tab, you will find the schedules for our book group, fundraiser and other activities.

By joining AAUW, you can belong to an organization that works to break through educational and economic barriers so that all women have an equal opportunity.


In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks an inclusive membership, workforce, leadership team, and board of directors. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geographical location, national origin, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.