Past Programs

Equal Pay Day Rally!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Gather between 5:30 & 6 p.m.

Main Street Train Station,
5001 Main Street, Downers Grove

March from 6 – 6:30 p.m.
through downtown Downers Grove

Social time with a short program
beginning about 6:30 p.m. at Another Round,
5141 Main Street, Downers Grove

Raise your voices, ladies, (and gentlemen), and your signs and banners, and be seen and heard as we raise visibility on the important issue of Equal Pay for Women! Members of the Downers Grove Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the local League of Women Voters (LWV) will once again join forces, along with any family, friends, and other members of the public, to rally ’round the cause of Equal Pay for Equal Work.

Help us raise awareness among train commuters arriving home and other citizens out and about during that time. Our route will mainly cover the downtown area, ending at Another Round Restaurant on Main Street, a few buildings North of the parking garage behind Ballydoyle.

There we will gather in a closed-off area on the left of the interior for appetizer/pizza-type refreshments paid for by the respective participating groups; drinks will be paid for by those ordering them. The social, mingling time will include introductions between the groups and a short program of an entertaining and educational nature. Please note that those unable to march with us are still welcome to join us for the social time and program.  Join us!


Permaculture in the Midwest
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Social: 6:30 pm; Program: 7:00 pm; Business Meeting: 8:00 pm
Downers Grove Public Library

Ron and Vicki Nowicki, experts on permaculture and Downers Grove residents, will discuss the converging crises that we are facing such as deforestation, pollution, exploding human population, agriculture, and our dying oceans.  He will tell us how we as individuals can change course and create a sustainable future and a decent quality of life for our children.

How to discover your roots and climb your family tree.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Social: 6:30 P.M., Program: 7:00 P.M.; Business Meeting: 8:00 P.M.
Downers Grove Public Library
Attorney Kenneth Majewski, who is the Vice President of the Genealogy Society of Sarasota Florida, will speak on how to begin and organize a genealogy spreadsheet for your family.

 

Meet a Women’s Fiction Author
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Social: 6:30 P.M., Program: 7:00 P.M.; Business Meeting: 8:00 P.M.
Downers Grove Public Library

Local women’s fiction author Barb Warner Deane will join us.  She has written several historical novels including On the Homefront and Killing Her Softly.  She will discuss how she became an author.

 


Great Lakes Restoration and  

Protection of Our Fresh Waters

Tuesday, Nov 7, 2017
Social: 6:30 P.M.
Program: 7:00 P.M.
Business meeting:  8:00 P.M.
Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss Street
Guest speaker Melissa Soline will discuss the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence system (its ecology and significance to our region and two countries) as well as the restoration efforts and the challenges the Lakes and River face today.

 


Music & the Brain
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Social: 6:30 pm, Program: 7:00 pm, Business meeting:  8:00 pm
Location:  Woodridge Public Library

Join us to hear guest
Mary Helen Ekstam
speak about using music to enhance one’s mind, body & spirit.  Music will enhance memory and can enrich your life during daily stressors and challenges. Come join us for a fun and spirited program guaranteed to get your toes tapping and your heart singing.

 


Equal Pay Day March and Rally

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Meet at the Downers Grove Main St. Train Station (NE corner of Main St. and Burlington Ave.) at 6:15 P.M.,  where the march will begin at 6:30 P.M.

A joint program with the Downers Grove-Woodridge-Lisle LWV.  Be an active supporter of Equal Pay for Women while enjoying an evening with like-minded friends!  Make a creative sign about Equal Pay and carry it during the march.

Group will march down west side of Main Street, cross before Maple Avenue, and then proceed north on Main Street to Angelo’s Pizza on Curtiss.

Eat pizza and hear speeches at Angelo’s.
Hear a presentation about women by The PriMerry Players.
Tell your story or a story you know about.


Thursday, March 23, 2017
Program: 7:30 pm
Downers Grove Public Library

Andi Danis will share the latest AAUW research on Barriers & Bias: Women in Leadership. What has held women back in elected, corporate, and nonprofit positions?  How has this affected society?  We will discuss the reasons and what we can do. Why do men still vastly outnumber women in leadership positions?


Advocating for Children and Their Rights

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Program: 7:30 P.M.

Downers Grove Public Library

Learn of the valiant people, as well as programs such as CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), that help neglected, abused or otherwise-in-need children. Our own branch member Claudia Kappel is a CASA volunteer and branch member Maureen Murphy is a lawyer who specializes in Juvenile Abuse, Neglect, and Delinquency cases. They will be joining the main speaker, Beth Stremel, CASA’s Director of Development.  Following a short overview of the CASA program, each will share a bit of her experiences and then answer questions.


Volunteer Opportunities With Local Charitable Organizations

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Program: 7:30 P.M.
Downers Grove Public Library

Looking for new opportunities to contribute to your community, use your unique skills, and meet other people with shared interests? By all means, start with AAUW, but don’t feel you have to stop there; come learn about four very deserving local charities that aid those in need:

                                                                        pads  DuPage PADS (housing)
fish   FISH (food)
People's Resource Center  People’s Resource Center (various kinds of help)
family-shelter-service  Family Shelter Service (various kinds of help for victims of domestic violence)

The representative from each of these groups will give a brief overview of the group s/he represents, and will outline volunteer opportunities. Audience members may make donations as desired; this is NOT required.


Visit Our Booth at the DGJWC Handmade Market in Fishel Park during Rotary GroveFest this weekend!

Saturday, June 25 from 9 – 5 p.m.

Sunday, June 26 from 10 – 4 p.m.

We’ll have a small selection of leftover books to sell as well gorgeous handmade crayons.  There are also a few other treasures that were donated along with books last year.

Mollie’s War

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Program 7:00 P.M.

Elmhurst Library

Cyndee Schaffer, a member of the Glenview AAUW branch, discusses the role of women in the military and, in particular, her mother’s WWII experiences as a WAC (Women’s Army Corps). Cyndee and her mother co-authored “Mollie’s War,” a memoir describing the life of a WAC who followed the troops into England, France and finally Germany with the Army of Occupation. Using excerpts From Mollie’s letters written home, Cyndee provides a glimpse into the life of a woman in uniform, describing her mother’s experiences from her trip to basic training to the view of the Statue of Liberty when she returned home.

(The Elmhurst AAUW Branch is collaborating with Downers Grove Area AAUW to provide this special program for Women’s History Month.)


Tech Savvy

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Program 7:30 P.M.

First Church of Lombard

Tech Savvy, an AAUW sponsored program, is a daylong science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career conference designed to attract girls in sixth through ninth grade to these fields and to inform families about STEM education and careers. Although the program focuses on exciting girls about STEM, Tech Savvy also includes an important program for parents. This component encourages families to reinforce the girls’ interest in STEM. Our program is shared with the Lombard Area AAUW as both of our branches have provided volunteers and donations for the success of this program. Hear about the accomplishments of the Tech Savvy Steering Committee and volunteers at the first two Tech Savvy Conferences, at IIT -Wheaton and Triton Community College, and the plans for the next on April 16th at Oakton Community College in DesPlaines.


Literacy DuPage

Saturday, January 16, 2016, Program 10:30 A.M.

Downers Grove Public Library

Come and enjoy a light breakfast and coffee, then we will have a presentation from Sang Yup Lee, the Volunteer Outreach Coordinator at Literacy DuPage, which provides free tutoring for adults in DuPage County. Literacy DuPage trains people like many of our members to help a neighbor read, write, speak and understand English better, and their volunteer tutors have helped thousands of people achieve greater success in life through increased literacy. At present, they have over 200 adults waiting to improve their English skills.


The History of Quilting with Nann Blaine Hilyard

Thursday, November 5, 2015m, Program: 7:30 P.M.

Downers Grove Public Library

Every quilt tells a story! Call it art or call it craft, quilting has been a part of American life and culture since colonial times. In the early 21st century it is also a big business. Nann’s trunk show includes vintage quilts from her collection and quilts that she has made. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own special quilts and share their stories. (While Nann is not a certified historian, appraiser or professional, she is a knowledgeable enthusiast!)


Tunes & Tales & Feisty Females with the Pri-Merry Players

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Program: 7:30 P.M., Downers Grove Public Library

Xena, Warrior Princess, is one of just a couple of fictional women included in the list of real-life women from history who could be described as “feisty”; an interesting and varied selection of such females, from ancient Egypt to modern America, will be portrayed in this newest, original PriMerry Players (PMP) “read-‘n-actment,” or with script presentation. The females being featured cover different periods in history, various countries around the world, and a variety pf races, backgrounds, women’s issues and accomplishments. A talented cast of males and females, including AAUW members, will share these women’s lives through story and song, poetry, narration and dialogue, and comedy and drama in a program that should be both enlightening and entertaining!


Dames and Damsels of DuPage the ADDITIONAL Edition with the PriMerry Players
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Program: 7:30 P.M.
Downers Grove Public Library

Come and learn about the lives of some notable women in DuPage history, from among the county’s early settlers up to and including present-day women.  Some of the fascinating ladies from the original program (2006) will be touched on, but in less depth, along with fresh material on several delightful and daring dames and damsels.  This PriMerry Players (PMP) read-n-actment, or with-script presentation, written by Joyce Tumea, features drama and humor, narrative and dialogue, poetry and song, as well as fellow branch members in the cast.


Artifact as Inspiration – “Point of Departure” with Dianne Kirtley
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Program: 7:30 P.M.
Downers Grove Public Library

The beginning of the program focuses on the artifacts Ms. Kirtley utilized to research and write the historical fiction account of the history of her husband’s great-great grandmother. In 1841, fourteen-year-old Charlotte Mailliard’s Papa has decided to move his family from France to America. Now Charlotte can only think of a strange state called Illinois and the “savages” she will encounter on her long journey. The family’s trek to that frontier brought them to a Kentucky slave auction, an experience that would forever change their lives. Earlier, another Frenchman named Henri Moreau, a street urchin of Paris, had made his way to that same Illinois, where life was a pleasant mix of his and native customs. But in 1832, that peace was destroyed by the Blackhawk War. As the nation and the Mailliard and Moreau families mature, it is the common theme of war that causes Charlotte to realize she is but one cog in the endless cycle of love and loss, the bane of a country where another Illinois native son will not abide “a house divided.” Our members and guests are invited to read the book, Point of Departure by Dianne Kirtley, in advance of the program in order to fully appreciate the research and participate in the discussion of this subject.


Build Her a Myth – Carrie Ann Schumacher
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Program: 11:00 A.M.
Schoenherr Gallery, Fine Arts Center
North Central College, Naperville

“Build Her a Myth” showcases the couture dresses Schumacher creates from the pages of romance novels and she will be with us to illuminate her concept. The collection examines the demands that feminine culture places upon women by utilizing the garment as a social signifier. Fashion magazines became the bibles that guide the creation of self-image. Romance novels echo this sentiment, as they represent an impossible alternate reality, one where love and relationships are all-consuming and eternally passionate. Reality never touches either the fashion or romance realms, but the former is advertised as a way to obtain the latter.  “Build Her a Myth” reflects this seductive beauty, as well as the complete uselessness of the feminine myths we have created and passed down generation to generation.


The Lost Girls of the Sudan

A panel from the Sudanese Community Association of Illinois
with Sean Tenner and Neima Tarifa
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Program 7:30 P.M.
Lisle Public Library

The Sudanese Community Association of Illinois includes several hundred members from DuPage County; many of them fled genocide and civil war in their home country and are working hard to build new lives in their new home. The stories of some of the women in the community who live in DuPage are particularly poignant. In addition to facing severe violence – and likely the deaths of friends and family members – in Sudan, those women who did come to the United States have to adjust to dramatic differences in culture and expectations. The Sudanese Community Association of Illinois helps Sudanese women empower themselves in a country where they have more opportunities – to start a career, to pursue higher education, to engage in civic and political life. With these also come challenges such as dealing with a more complicated financial system and balancing traditional roles expected of women in Sudanese culture with these new opportunities.


ERA: Now More than Ever–with Marti Sladek
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Program: 7:30 P.M.
Downers Grove Park District Recreation Center

 Every national Constitution written since World War II has something the U.S. does not: equality for women (and men) under the law. Now, the Equal Rights Amendment is back, with good reason given what has been happening the past few years in state capitols and in the courts. Most Americans support its goals, but believe it passed in the 1980’s! Only a few states are needed now for ratification. You will get an update on the current status of the Equal Rights Amendment, including the two strategies for getting it ratified. What is happening with ERA in Illinois, where we are very close to victory? What will the Era actually do—and not do? You will leave with talking points, and actions you can take to help get this done.

The Wheaton-Glen Ellyn, Lombard, and Hinsdale-Oak Brook branches will share this meeting


LAF Plaintiff, Danielle Hoffman

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
7:00 p.m. Program
First Church of Lombard

We have been invited by the Lombard Area Branch to share a program with Lombard and Elmhurst branches given by Legal Advocacy Foundation plaintiff, Danielle Hoffman.  Ms. Hoffman spoke at the 2013 Illinois and Missouri combined convention this spring to rave reviews.  This is an opportunity for those of us who did not attend the convention to hear her story and experiences.  Free-will donations to LAF will be accepted.


Bullying

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Program: 7:30 p.m.
Downers Grove Public Library

Julie Nicolai, M.S. Ed., a fourth grade educator, has been fighting to eradicate bullying for years.  As a facilitator and member for the Bully Task Force in her school district, she created a code of conduct form addressing bullying behaviors, specifying appropriate levels of intervention and responses from teachers, administrators, and students.  She has developed and directed role-playing scenarios about bullying, led student/parent/community meetings on bully prevention and continuously collaborates with parents, students and staff to establish an anti-bullying atmosphere in her school.  She was also interviewed as a teacher representative in a Hollywood-produced documentary entitled “Bullies 101″.


Preserving Women’s Stories

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Program 11:00 a.m.
Lisle Public Library

Diane Dassow will discuss with us women as keepers of wisdom and history and explore and question our obligation to record our experiences as girls and women, particularly for our daughters and for the younger women in our branches.  Ideas will be presented on ways to record our stories and preserve them through existing repositories.  Diane is a member and former officer of the Lombard Area AAUW Branch.


Navigating your Next Adventure
Managing Your Income in Retirement

Monday, February 10, 2014
Program: 7:30 p.m.
Lisle Public Library

Program given by DG branch member and Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Jennifer Wilkin. During the seminar, we will examine how to plan for the unexpected–such concerns as inflation, health-care expenses, and market volatility–and even how you can prepare for the unexpected. Please plan to join us for this thought provoking workshop.