Pledge Your Support for Fair Wages and Earned Sick Time in Missouri

Missouri Jobs with Justice and numerous other state organizations are participating in getting signatures from Missouri registered voters to support a statutory mandate to:

• Incrementally raise the minimum wage in Missouri to $15 per hour by 2026.

• Provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

We, AAUW members, have a terrific opportunity to participate and get this initiative on the 2024 ballot.

Pledge Your Support for Fair Wages and Earned Sick Time

Signature collecting training and more information available by calling Caitlyn Adams, 816-668-4849.

Alice Kitchen, AAUW-KC, Public Policy Chair

Announcing The 2023 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Winner

Desideria “Desi” Mesa (center) was the winner of the 2023 Thorpe Menn Book Award for literary excellence on Saturday, October 7, 2023 for her debut novel Bindle Punk Bruja. Second Place went to Catherine Browder (left) for her book of short stories, Resurrection City: Stories of the Disaster Zone, and Third Place to Olivia Hill for her memoir, Travel North Black Girl: 3,000-Mile Journey in Search of Love, Peace, and Home. Desi was awarded $300, and Catherine and Olivia each received an award of $100. They all received a framed certificate of their award.

Alvin Brooks, 2022 Thorpe Menn Book Award winner for his memoir, Binding Us Together, was the keynote speaker at the Award Luncheon before 61 attendees. The luncheon was held in the Auditorium at Woodneath Library Center, Mid-Continent Public Library. This was the 45th year the award, sponsored by AAUW-Kansas City branch, was presented to authors residing in the Greater Kansas City area.

Congratulations to these authors nominated for the 2023 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award.

My Brother Speaks in Dreams: Of Family, Beauty & Belonging by Catherine Anderson

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

By the Side of the Road by Marla Bernard

The Fall of Faith by Jeff Berney

Orion O’Brien and the Ghost of Samuel Grayhawk by Fran Borin

Salt Holds No Secret But This by Steve Brisendine

To Dance with Cassiopeia and Die by Steve Brisendine

Resurrection City: Stories from the Disaster Zone by Catherine Browder

made of earth by Alisha Christensen

Ripple: A Long Strange Search for a Killer by Jim Cosgrove

Home is the Road: Wandering the Land, Shaping the Spirit by Diane Glancy

Love of Ornamental Fish by Beth Gulley

Travel North Black Girl: A 3,000-Mile Journey in Search of Love, Peace, and Home by Olivia Hill

The Fork Who Ate Cake by Alyssa Suzanne Hodges

The Thread by Andrew Michael Johnson

Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD by Jason Kander

One-Match Fire by Paul Lamb

The Undead Truth of US by Britney S. Lewis

Stealing Chaos by Sarah Leyton

Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

Comets: Relationships That Wander by Annie Klier Newcomer

From the Heart of the Hood to the Pinnacle of Paris by Steve Penn

An Old Woman Walks into a Bar by Deborah Shouse

The Salt of My Tears by Latonya Stephens

Memory Box by John L. Swainston

Call Me Fool by William Trowbridge

2022 Wagy Award Recipients

A grand total of $9,240 was awarded to local organizations to help fund their programs that promote equity, education, intellectual growth, individual worth, and development of opportunities for women and girls, at the Wagy Awards & Holiday Luncheon on December 3 at Pierpont’s in Union Station.

2022 Wagy Award Recipients:

• Front Porch Alliance received $2,800 for their Beyond Sex Ed Program.

• Kansas City CARE Clinic received $1,800 to fund three patients in their Dentures for Women with Low-Incomes Program.

Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy received $1,800 to fund Xello Curriculum for their Changing Lives Through Education Program.

Salvation Army – Kansas & Western Missouri Division received $1,440 to fund new under garments, socks, and hygiene/beauty products for Gloria’s Closet.

• Unicorn Theater received $1,400 to fund performers salaries for the regional premiere production of Marys Seacole.

Please consider making a donation to the Wagy fund! Make checks payable to AAUW Wagy Fund/Amer01 and mail to: Kelli Doyle, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, 1055 Broadway, Suite 130, KCMO 64105. Or donate online

Elected Officers 2021-2022

President Dr. Luna Mukherjee

President-Elect Corrine Mahaffey

Program Vice President Wanda Perkins

Finance Officer Linda Berube

Membership Vice President Pat Taylor

Secretary Lynette Procopio

Recap: 2021 Reentry Scholarship Awards Ceremony

Debra McArthur of the Parkville Branch and IBC Reentry Chair hosted this virtual celebration on Saturday, April 17. Debra introduced the keynote speaker Joni Wickham, chief of staff in former Mayor Sly James’ office. Joni is the author of the book, The Thin Line Between Cupcake/Bitch: Taking Action, Driving Change and Getting Results. The title reflects encapsulating the conflict and tensions women in politics often experience in an older, white male dominated world. Her personal experiences inspired her to develop the thesis of the book which is that women should use their POWER to overcome bias vis-a-viz Preparation, Ownership, Wisdom, Energy, Emotion and Respect. She explained in detail with a slide presentation the concept of POWER and ended her presentation by congratulating the Reentry award winners and encouraging them to use their own power in the fulfillment of their goals.

Debra introduced the IBC scholarship winners, all of whom are nursing students. They include: Electra Arzola, Park University; Angela Bennet, Maple Woods; Adra Sanchez, Blue River MCC; and Tomisha Woodruff, UMKC.

The Toni Thornton Award recipients were congratulated by John Thornton who explained the background of the award, a legacy provided by his deceased wife whose name honors the award and who figured very prominently in AAUW.  The winners are Argelia Fagre-Rivas, a student at KCKCC in the respiratory therapy nursing program, and Emily Holmes, also a student at KCKCC in the nursing program.

The Reentry scholarships were awarded to two more students this year! The additional funds were provided through the gracious donation of AAUW-KC, due to the disruption in the face-to-face program for 100 High School Girls. The recipients are Amanda Kuhn and Patricia Stover, both KCKCC students. Amanda is an accounting student and Patricia is enrolled in the medical assistant program.

The program ended on a high note with congratulations to all the outstanding and deserving recipients and a fervent hope by Debra that the awards ceremony can be held in person next year!