The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.

The Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette (OML) Branch meets monthy and sponsors community outreach projects, interest groups and educational opportunities.

OML has achieved all 5 stars in AAUW’s Five-Star National Recognition Program for aligning our work with AAUW’s Strategic Plan and our initiatives that advance gender equity for women and girls.

OML In-Person General Meeting

9:30 am
Orinda Community Church
10 Irwin Way, Orinda

Join us outside in the Olive Grove for social time before we gather in Fellowship Hall.

Brunch buffet treats provided by Herbs & Spices Caterers and your favorite breakfast beverages will be available.

Inside, join us in honoring our Distinguished Woman
…and current OML President

Tables will display information on our branch priorities
and special interests.
A short business meeting will also be conducted in order to pass two proposed budgets.

Parking is available in the upper lot, which is marked with “Event Parking” arrows. Please leave parking in the lower lot available for anyone with mobility issues.  Thanks for helping everyone attend who needs closer access to the Fellowship Hall.

**COVID guidelines require that masks be worn at all times inside the building. We are requesting that all members attending this meeting be fully vaccinated.

In the event that new COVID restrictions are mandated, we will hold the SHOWCASE meeting via Zoom.
You will be informed via an email if changes are necessary. 

Shelby’s and Scholarships

At the September 21st meeting put your name in the hat for a chance for a $25 gift card to Shelby’s!  A suggested donation of $5.00 for 2 tickets will be appreciated to support our high school and Saint Mary’s college scholarships. Winner will be picked at the September meeting.

The scholarship committee is partnering with Shelby’s restaurant in Orinda for a restaurant day.  10% or more of the proceeds for the day will be donated to our scholarship fund.  Join us for lunch, dinner, takeout or both on Tuesday, October 19th ALL DAY.  There is ample free parking with validation in the garage.  If you order takeout, you can ask for curbside delivery at the restaurant, so no one has to get out of the car in case COVID is a concern. They also offer delivery.  Check their website for menus, ordering and reservations and takeout information at Tell your neighbors, family and friends to go to Shelby’s on that day!  Plan to go to lunch with AAUW friends after our October 19th meeting.  A couple of nice bottles of wine will be part of a silent auction held at the restaurant. (You need not to be present to win).


• What’s in your Go-Bag?
• What is your family’s evacuation plan?
• How will you recharge your phone?
• Is your gas tank at least half full at all times?
• Do you know how to get updated disaster information?
• What should you do with your pets?
• Can you harden your home to improve fire readiness?
• Want to improve your emergency preparedness in 30 minutes?


Join Noell Crosse, Public Education Coordinator for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and Taylor King, Fire Inspector with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in the Community Risk Reduction Division focusing on the Wildland.

Brought to you by the Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch of AAUW.

Zoom General Meeting May 18, 2021
9:30 AM Social   10 AM Program   Monarch Garden Project
To watch the presentation by Bobbie Preston CLICK HERE
Passcode: 8CRk=7cR   (Unfortunately it is only a partial recording of her talk with questions afterward.)

APRIL 18, 2021 View a Recording of this meeting – CLICK HERE   Passcode: i4m&5+9E

The annual Awards program will include an introduction of our seventeen Tech Trek campers, six high school awardees and two Saint Mary’s College awardees. Keynote Speaker: Cara Wolf
Cara is a former Tech Trek camper who participated in our STEM program and received an AAUW-OML college schol- arship. She is a senior at UC Berkeley studying Computer Science with a minor in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies.


CLICK HERE for Zoom recording from our March General meeting
Passcode:    ps@W1T8Z


Guest Speaker Leslie Pfeifer

OML member Leslie Pfeifer will speak on the history of the Flying Tigers in World War II and her experiences as a Vietnam War flight attendant taking troops to and from Vietnam in the 1960s.

The Flying Tigers were American fighter squadrons formed to defend the Republic of China against Japan during World War II.



Our February Speaker

Beverly Lane Local Historian

How did women gain the right to vote in California and the United States? Why did it take so long? Who were the woman suffrage warriors? Local historian Beverly Lane will provide a history of the American women’s civil rights and the suffrage movement which

began in the 1800s. Her presentation will cover suffragists’ campaigns to secure women’s California and National rights to vote.

Beverly Lane has lived in Danville since 1973 and has been active in local government and civic organizations for decades. Beverly was the found- ing president of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley and is a curator and exhibit coordinator at the Museum. She is a past president of the Contra Costa County Historical Society and the Eugene O’Neill Foundation Tao House. Beverly is currently a Director of the East Bay Regional Park Dis- trict (first elected in 1994) and is a past Danville Town Council member and three-time mayor of Danville.

Listen to her presentation HERE    Passcode: Wf$S7^7*

You can listen to the recording of the presentation to AAUW-OML by Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan.

She gave a Legislative Update on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 with a focus on legislation impacting equity for women.  The Assemblywoman is on the Select Committee on Reproductive Health and the Women’s Legislative Caucus.  Her priorities for the year are The Miles Hall Foundation working on the LifeLine Act (an alternative to 911 for person’s experiencing a mental health crisis), environmental equity, and gender equity.

Click Here

Listen to the remarks from our September Zoom conversation with our AAUW National Leader Kimberly Churches.  Use this  Link

The passcode is 3d=Wbkkk
(please note: the first 19 seconds were missed so you will wait a bit before she begins speaking.)

Kimberly Churches, the CEO of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), began her career as a high school teacher. She then worked in development for several universities before landing at the Brookings Institution, one of Washington’s most renowned think tanks. She took over at the AAUW, an organization committed to empowering women through education and economic security founded in 1881.

August General Meeting via Zoom
What Helps During the Covid-19 Crisis

JILL WEST, Nutrition Consultant, will talk about strategies that help build immunity, including specific foods, exercise and stress reducers.

Use this LINK to view the meeting.

To learn more about Jill, go to her website




Click Here for the list of books that Pat Rudebusch from Orinda Books provided in her presentation at the first ever AAUW Zoom April General Meeting.


Congratulations to OML’s Distinguished Woman of 2019-20
Jan Cushman

On Tuesday, March 17th – the Irish Day – a few of us from the distinguished woman committee went to Jan Cushman’s house to notify her of this honor.

OML’s Distinguished Woman for 2020, Jan Cushman, was crowned!  So many things are changing in these challenging times, and happily some things stay the same.  We didn’t have a March meeting, so you didn’t get to see Jan’s surprise when we showed up at her door on March 17th at a safe distance.

Jan’s many contributions to the branch’s activities provided plenty of data for many members of our branch to write nominating letters.  Jan has passion for our mission and from the beginning volunteered for multiple jobs and soon became a pillar of our Tech Trek program.  She has a real passion for mentoring these girls in the STEM fields and has the academic and professional background to make those connections strong and oh so worthwhile.  This has spilled over into her other activities in the community where those same skills provide a strong program for senior Girl Scouts.

Nominators cite the many, many ways in which Jan works among us.  She is a rock at the discussions the board engages in with ever thoughtful and “right-on” analysis.  She acts and speaks with poise and quiet confidence, borne of experience.  Other adjectives include “extremely competent, reliable, resourceful, considerate, organized, professional, and a welcoming leader and a dear friend.”  Wherever the need or opportunity arises, Jan steps up.  When she takes on a responsibility, and she often does, the job is as good as done.

She has been a leader at AAUW Fund, at Tech Trek, with the original effort to bring a Tech Savvy conference to OML, with the STEM conference beginnings in curriculum development and for that conference the best safety plan the Saint Mary’s safety manager had ever seen.  She is now our Tech Trek lead and serves as branch coordinator, dorm mom, and tireless fund raiser, and step-in-worker wherever needed.  Her quiet confidence and willingness to engage her creativity and energy are applauded.  All are united in wanting Jan on their team and several said they couldn’t imagine the branch without her presence and contributions.

We are proud and grateful to have you with us.  Congratulations, Jan Cushman!

Thanks to this years DW Committee members: Gail Chesler chair, Sandy Fox-Sohner, Marielle Boortz, Bobbie Dodson, Pat Lopker




Walnut Creek Woman’s March a Successful Event

Women’sMarch Contra Costa will post the AAUW logo with a link to our website. As members of AAUW, “we are non-partisan, but we are not non-political.  It is the policies that are inconsistent with our mission that we are protesting when we march.  We have been and are proud to be identified with a movement that supports issues important to women.”  (Kathi Harper, AAUW CA Public Policy.)

Thousands took to the streets across the Bay Area on Saturday, January 18th for the fourth annual Women’s March, joining thousands more at an estimated 180 Women’s Marches nationwide.  Rallies focused on issues such as voter registration, climate change, education, pay equity, reproductive rights and immigration.  Women’s March Contra Costa, held in Walnut Creek, drew over a thousand with the theme of Voting is Our Super Power.  AAUW-OML had 11 members attending.  The march included a rally and was followed by a walk through Downtown Walnut Creek.  Women dressed as suffragettes commemorated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote.  Stay tuned for more opportunities to become involved as we move toward November.

Laura Monin & Jan Coe.  Public Policy Co-Chairs


The BEST way to become involved with AAUW Public Policy is to sign up to be a two-minute activist.  Click this link:TWO MINUTE ACTIVIST This will allow you to sign up with your email and connect  with both state and national calls to action.  Make your voice heard!

Now we are thrilled to announce the NEXT STEP IN AAUW ADVOCACY: Two-Minute Activist mobile.

Complete this form to opt in to Two-Minute Activist mobile — or simply text the word “AAUW” to phone number 21333

The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is the gap between what men and women are paid. Most commonly, it refers to the median annual pay of all women who work full time and year-round, compared to the pay of a similar cohort of men. Other estimates of the gender pay gap are based on weekly or hourly earnings, or are specific to a particular group of women.


Download Summary of 2018 Research Report
Frequently Asked Questions About the Gender Pay Gap

An Interview with Kim Churches and Ruth Bader Ginsberg on Gender Pay Inequity

Click Here

Kimberly Churches is the chief executive officer of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), an organization devoted to advancing equity for women and girls through education, advocacy, philanthropy and research. Prior to joining AAUW, Churches served as the managing director of Brookings Institution. The views expressed in this commentary are her own.

Know Your Rights: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault under Title IX

Image by Tony Cairns, Flickr Creative Commons

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It covers women and men, girls and boys, and staff and students in any educational institution or program that receives federal funds. Local school districts, colleges and universities, for-profit schools, career and technical education agencies, libraries, and museums are all covered under Title IX.  Read more.

How Sexual Harassment Contributes to the Gender Pay Gap
New research from AAUW finds that workplace sexual harassment can take a toll on women’s physical and mental health and reduce their lifetime earnings. The report is based on an AAUW analysis of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data, a review of academic studies on sexual harassment and an exclusive nationwide survey of AAUW members and their networks.

It shows that the experience of sexual harassment is not often one that women can quickly put behind them. Rather, its impact continues to reverberate throughout their lives, increasing their risk of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other long-term health problems. And that’s not to mention the financial repercussions: In AAUW’s survey of 311 women, 38% of women who’d been harassed said it contributed to their decision to leave a job early, and 37% said it disrupted their career advancement.

AAUW Stands against Bias and Bigotry

AAUW has always stood up against discrimination since its inception. AAUW’s history speaks for itself on how it has raised its voice against intolerance and injustice.

Once again it’s time to unite together and support refugees and immigrants to preserve diversity which makes America so strong and powerful. Continue reading.


Women take on more student debt than men … but are paid less after college

Between 1976 and 2014 the price of college attendance more than doubled, but household incomes barely budged. Today most students must bridge the gap between income and cost with student loans—followed by student debt. Women take on more loans and take longer to repay their debt, thus women hold almost two-thirds of the outstanding student loan debt in the United States.  To learn more read the research report from AAUW National.

Latest AAUW Report

Why do men still vastly outnumber women in leadership positions? AAUW’s newest research report, Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans. Women’s success in postsecondary education is shrinking the gender pay gap and opening up opportunities, but at what price? Women not only take on more student debt than men do, but women also pay back their loans more slowly because of the gender pay gap.