AAUW President’s Letter – from Beth Nienow

Seasons Readings

Are you looking for a good book to read over the winter holidays?  I may have a suggestion or 2.

In “Shunning Sarah” by award winning Minnesota mystery author Julie Kramer, TV reporter Riley Spartz investigates a homicide in the closed religious society of the Amish in southeastern Minnesota.  The murder victim is a 18 year old female, yet no young women near the small tourist town have been reported missing.  Riley finds a clue that the police missed, uncovering a dark web of deceit and fraud in the community.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune described Kramer’s research into the Amish world as “impressive and integrated skillfully” into the plot of the novel.  An experienced television journalist, Kramer is informative about TV news, Minnesota, and the inner life of a professional woman.  I am pleased that Kramer will be our Saturday evening speaker at the AAUW Minnesota Convention that will take place here in Rochester April 26-28.  I am looking forward to hearing her speak about her books, her research, and her life.

At the state convention we will also have the opportunity to discuss Lilly Ledbetter’s memoir “Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond” in breakout sessions on Saturday afternoon, April 27th.  There will be 2 sessions so everyone who is interested will have an opportunity to participate.  The sessions will be led by Pixy Russell, a familiar name to those of you who participate in the LIFE program at RCTC.  In “Grace and Grit”, Ledbetter describes her experience as one of the first women hired at the management level at Goodyear, where she faced discrimination and sexual harassment and eventually learned that she was making thousands less per year than the men in her position.  She filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear which she won but later lost on appeal.  Over the next several years, her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court where she lost again because the court ruled she did not file suit soon enough.  However, Ledbetter continued to fight and became the namesake of President Obama’s first official piece of legislation.  “Grace and Grit” is a deeply inspiring memoir and a powerful call to action.

You will have the chance to meet Lily Ledbetter if you wish to travel to the AAUW national convention in New Orleans on June 9-12, 2013.  Thoughts of a jazz cruise and dinner on the historic steamboat Natchez, haunted graveyards and courtyards of the French Quarter and beignets at Cafe Du Monde are tempting on this Minnesota evening where there is snow in the forecast.

Happy Holidays to you and your families.

Beth Nienow, AAUW Rochester President

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