AAUW, SALISBURY BRANCH
AAUW: Since 1881 AAUW Salisbury Branch: Since 1951
Thursday March 8, 2012 6:30 PM
Trinity Oaks Retirement Community
Second Floor, Special Events Room
The AAUW, Salisbury Branch met on Thursday March 8, 2012 at the Trinity Oaks Retirement Community at 6:30 PM in the Special Events Room. The following members were present: Brunetta Franklin, Eileen Hanson-Kelly, Holly Czuba, Kathy Taber, Dixie Scott, Billie Simmons, Kathy Pulliam, Harriet Murphy, Nancy Bilson, Edith Alcorn, Greg Alcorn, Linda Hauze, Carol Cody, Lollie Streiff, Betty Fellows, Patricia Trueblood, and Ruby Walker. The following members were absent: Lori Eberly, Ann Medlin, Becky Hammill, Bonnie Hodges, Erma Scarlette, Zebbie Bradley-Bondurant, Nicole Sherrill-Corry, Elaine Stiller, Norma Goldman, Linda Kesler, Alyce Lanier, Renee McCachren, Jeannie Sherrill, Judy Grissom, Catrelia Hunter, Carolyn Blackman, and Donna Wiseman.
Guests were: Pat Murtaugh, Donna Wilson, Lorene Leane, Kim Fahs, Ruth Meade, Pat Beck, Herb Maier, Richard Taber, Ed Hanson-Kelly, and Watson Murphy.
Brunetta Franklin, President welcomed everyone to the meeting and said that today was special in the sense that it was International Women’s Day. She also introduced our new members Ruby Walker and Dr. Patricia Trueblood. Both ladies spoke briefly about themselves and both said that they looked forward to getting active and being involved with the Salisbury Branch.
Eileen Hanson-Kelly spoke briefly about International Women’s Day, which has been celebrated since the early 1900’s in March. It was started as a way to celebrate the economic, political, and social accomplishments of women past, present, and future. Eileen introduced Dr. Roxanne Newton, Director, Humanities & Fine Arts, at Mitchell Community College who was tonight’s guest speaker. Her program was titled “Fabric of Hope and Resistance: Women on Strike”.
She was interested in labor studies and women studies due to the fact that her father was a textile mill worker in Mooresville, NC and later a brick mason and her grandparents as well as her mother were mill workers. She set about to interview women for her study but found the pool of women to talk to very small due to the low rate of unions in NC and only a few strikes occurring here. She did find one woman to talk to that was involved in the General Textile Strike of 1934 and to several others in the areas of textiles, tire workers, paper workers, and telecommunications. They all agreed to speak to her if their identity was kept confidential. She centered her talk on five women-Naomi, Linda, Annie, Millie, and Kim.
Naomi was a paper worker and participated in the paper strikes of 1974 and 2001. She was forced to quit when she became pregnant but was rehired to the “swing-shift” after her child was born. She decided the best jobs went to men so she decided to take advantage of the union’s encouragement of women to get training. She took the training to become an electrician because she felt she could be “as good as the boys”. Due to health impairments she was unable to fulfill this and the plant closed. Not being retirement age she only got a fraction of her pension. Linda worked for Southern Bell when it was mandated in 1978 that telecommunications include women and people of color. Men didn’t want women working with them and tended to talk down to them according to Linda. All workers had to climb poles with cleats as part of the training and Linda recalled sexual remarks being said when she climbed the poles and many times she was sent on jobs to neighborhoods that the men said were “too dangerous for them to go to”. Annie crossed picket lines for a union job in 1934 in Charlotte, which she found out was due to women not getting equal pay. During WW I, the union helped women to get equal pay but as soon as the war was over, these same women were fired and men were hired. Annie organized for the union and was illegally fired for this. She won after a six-year battle and received back pay and seniority. She found that fear influences people so much that many will not join a union. Roxanne noted that this is still a prevailing trait in NC thus leading to our low union participation of just 2.7% statewide. Millie is an African-American tire worker and she participated in the 1999 United Steel Workers Strike. At her plant of 1,100 workers, there were 13 women and Millie along with others assumed leadership roles in the union. Millie said, ”women will get stuff done.” Kim said in her interview that she may not have the same things in life as others but she would stand by you. She went on strike for an hour with her company in solidarity with an African group of steelworkers. Roxanne ended her program and there was discussion on women’s issues in the workplace and labor movements and ways we can be involved. Eileen thanked Roxanne for providing us with such an informative program and presented her with a copy of Sketches of Old Rowan.
Before the Business part of the meeting the refreshment break was held and Lollie Streiff and Linda Hauze provided the refreshments.
Kathy Pulliam, Secretary, presented the minutes from the previous meeting. A motion was made by Kathy Taber and seconded by Harriet Murphy to accept the minutes as presented. The motion passed.
Billie Simmons reported that the Annual Picnic would be held on June 14th at Rufty-Holmes Center in the picnic area. She said that they would be finalizing food in the next several weeks and would let us know the cost per person at that time. Edith Alcorn along with Carolyn Blackman had been instrumental in getting the plans for the picnic done.
Brunetta reported that Nicole had made the final arrangements for the Annual Brunch on April 14th at the Salisbury Country Club. The cost of the meal is $18.00 per person and reservations/checks need to be sent to Eileen before that date. Bruentta said that she would be sending out an email to all concerning the Brunch.
AAUW By-Laws Revision and Change:
Edith Alcorn reported the By-Laws change/revision memo had been forwarded to everyone and she will make sure that we are in compliance with the national AAUW By-Laws.
Holly Czuba gave an update regarding the Title IX suit victory in Indiana over the girls’ basketball games. She also spoke of an opportunity to attend a free program on March 23rd entitled “Be Who You Want to Be” by Mia Smith. Holly also told everyone that she had been accepted to be a workshop speaker at the NCCSWL conference in June. Her topic is “Your On-line Presence: Control your Brand”. She said that she would need assistance to help cover the $400 registration fee to attend. Brunetta suggested that since we only had one NCCSWL applicant, Allison Andrews, that Holly be sent in the second allotted slot. Edith Alcorn made the motion that this is done and Eileen seconded it. The motion passed. Holly thanked everyone for our assistance in this way and she looked forward to representing us at the conference.
Brunetta reminded everyone of the AAUW NC Annual Meeting on March 30-31, 2012 at the Country Inn Suites in Burlington, NC. She would be attending and anyone else was welcomed to attend as well.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30.
Kathy G. Pulliam