Author Archives: cmaidment

Woman Religious Leaders Panel – Nov. 21

You will be fascinated by this membership meeting/program slated for Tuesday, November 21 – Women Religious Leaders. Our panel will consist of four women religious leaders: a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian Minister, a Representative of Islamic faith, plus our moderator, a former Catholic Nun and now a leader with NETWORK, a national Catholic social-justice lobby. They will share their roles and experiences as women in religion. Time will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Location to be announced.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018  – Usher in the New Year at our monthly membership meeting, our program keynote speaker is Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 – Make plans to attend this annual joint luncheon with our friends from AAUW-Shawnee Mission at JCCC. Our keynote speaker will be Michelle Carter, professional journalist, author of From Under the Russian Snow—memoirs from her 1995 journalistic travels in Russia, and AAUW-KC member.

March 2018 – Be intrigued by Dianna Carlin Pierson, keynote speaker at our program Women Trailblazers. Dianna is renowned for her work as biographer for Michelle Obama. Time and location to be announced.

We look forward to seeing you there!Joanie Shores and Judith McGunegle, Program Co-VPs

Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award – Recap of 2017

Local authors and guests gathered at the Kansas City Central Library for the Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award luncheon on October 7. The award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn, a longtime book editor at The Kansas City Star. He supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially local authors and artists.

The 2017 Thorpe Menn award was presented to Loring Leifer for her book, Angels with Angles: The Rogue Nuns behind Operation Breakthrough. The finalists were A.J. Culey for her book series titled Tyrabbisaurus Rex and Erich Wurster for The Coaster.

Special thanks to our keynote speaker Patrick Dobson, honored writer, scholar and poet; the attentive staff at the Kansas City Library; and all of our table hosts.

We are already making plans for our 40th annual event set for October 5, 2018. If you would like to nominate an author, click here for guidelines and instructions. The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2018.

2017 Reentry Scholarship Recipients

On April 22 the Kansas City InterBranch Council presented the annual Reentry Woman of the Year Award to six outstanding women who returned to the college classroom after an absence of five or more years. While all applicants were worthy candidates, these six women best exemplified the courage and personal resolve to overcome significant barriers to pursue their academic, career and life goals. Each of these women aspires to make a difference in the lives of others and in their community.
The 2017 IBC Reentry Award recipients are (l-r) Stephanie Leonard, Nursing and Marcia Princivalli, Mortuary Science, Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC); Amy Hill-Koleiny, Teaching, MCC-Penn Valley; Nancy Russell, Occupational Therapy, MCC-Longview; Toni Thornton Award recipients: Jiatong Lynch, Accounting, Park University and Debbie Plake, Paralegal Studies, KCKCC.

Recap of 2017 Events

Busy, busy, busy, aptly describes April 4 (Equal Pay Day) for many AAUW members! Public Policy Committee Co-Chair Carol Cowles organized a bus load of members from AAUW-Kansas City and -Independence, as well as members of the League of Women Voters and serveral other interested activists to travel to the Capitol in Jefferson City for Equity Action Day, organized by the Missouri Women’s Network. They joined over a hundred women (and a few men) from St. Louis, Columbia and throughout the state to dialogue with, learn from, and lobby legislators. Topics included pay equity, reproductive justice, human trafficking, and the victims’ employment safety and security act. In addition to members of AAUW and LWV, those in attendance included members of Planned Parenthood, National Council of Jewish Women, National Organization of Women, Vision 2020, and Coalition of Labor Union Women.

Following an introduction to Issues of the Day, the group lobbied their senators and representatives. During lunch, legislative briefings by Sen. Lauren Arthur, Sen. Gina Walsh, Sen. Scott Sifton, and Rep. Jean Evans provided opportunities for questions and answers. An afternoon lobbying session and meeting with State Auditor Nicole Galloway concluded the day. 

Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Public Policy Co-Chair Riva Capellari and College/University Partnership Chair Patti Jachowicz joined the UMKC Women’s Center, UMKC Career Services and Department of Labor Women’s Bureau to present information on the gender pay gap to UMKC students. Students received an equal pay button (=$) for their participation. Also, female students were given a large cookie and men a small cookie, with the opportunity to earn more cookies by answering questions about gender pay equity.

In addition to handing out AAUW’s Spring 2017 national report, The Simple Truth About The Gender Pay Gap, AAUW gave out PayDay candy bars. A total of 68 students took part. AAUW-KC signed up 33 enthusiastic new student members including quite a few men! In coordination with the event, the UMKC Bloch School of Business presented a workshop on salary negotiation. Riva and Patti enjoyed many rich and fulfilling conversations with the students who attended.

As the daily political news hits, remember that a personal AAUW response is only a “click” away. A“Two-Minute Activist” tab on the national AAUW website ( is an easy and efficient way to stay in constant contact with your Senators and Representatives.