Hidden Voices: Mexican American Women of World War II
By Marietta Gonzales
Marietta Vigil Gonzales of the AAUW Sierra College Committee represented Roseville–South Placer AAUW at the Cesar Chavez lecture/panel discussion on March 26, and contributed this report.
Each of the four women on the “Hidden Voices” panel had a similar message: “We are all here because we stood on someone else’s shoulders”. With this common message they encouraged the students to find mentors and that their responsibilities were in turn, to pass it on and be mentors to others.
The main speaker, Consuelo Macias, who was a Sergeant in the 1st Marine Division, 1942-46, spoke of her limited background coming from a small Wyoming agricultural town. Joining the first women marines at the beginning of WWII opened a new world to her. Although women were not allowed in combat, she and her older sister were the Women Marines assigned to the Utilities Division in San Francisco. This sister, who was her constant mentor, challenged Consuelo to join with her, and continued to support her in the Marines and through her 37-year career with Hewlett Packard. Although she did not attend college on the GI Bill she encouraged the students in the audience to do so and to look for mentors.
When Sylvia Rubalcaba Rodriguez, Brigadier General and now college professor, spoke of her mentors, she noted that they were all men, as there were no women in her position as the was coming up in the ranks. She said, “I am here now, and I can be that mentor that young women need on the way up”.
The enthusiastic audience of young students eagerly posed for pictures and shared information. The high energy in the room gave this writer a new burst of hope for the coming generation of educated young women. We need to be there for them.
Sierra College Hosts Cesar Chavez Speaker
One of the opportunities in our partnership with Sierra College is the invitation to attend the upcoming annual Cesar Chavez Higher Education Speaker, a panel discussion that inspires intellectual thought and understanding. This year’s topic is Hidden Voices: Mexican American Women of WWI, to be presented March 26, 12:30 in Dietrich Theater.
Panelists include Consuelo “Connie” Macias, Sergeant in the Marine Corps, WWII; Maggie Rivas‐Rodriguez, Associate Professor of Journalism at the U. of Texas, Austin; and Mirtha Villarreal‐Younger, Deputy Secretary Minority Veterans Affairs, California Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
Ms. Rivas-Rodriquez, a native of Roseville, was the director of state personnel at the California Military Department, where she served in multiple positions since 2001, including deputy director of state personnel programs, state equal employment officer, deputy director of public affairs and command information officer and chief of community relations.
All AAUW members are welcome to attend the program.
Roseville-South Placer AAUW Gains Visibility at Sierra College
by Sue Miller, Chair Sierra College Leadership Program
Roseville Branch AAUW has been visible on the Sierra College campus numerous times in October and November. We were invited to have a display table during Wolverine Week, Pride Week, and Political Awareness Day, staffed by members of the branch Leadership Committee. These are opportunities to share the benefits of AAUW to students through becoming student affiliates. We were also invited to participate in the Sierra College Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event, which brought girls from high schools in Placer County to the campus to learn more about STEM careers.
By the end of the fall semester, we will have presented $tart $mart five times, reaching over 200 students. In these classes students learn to access resources that contain benchmark salaries for many jobs, and techniques for utilizing this information during job interviews in order to negotiate fair and equitable salaries. Instructors request $tart $mart presentations because the information we present is so practical and useful for young people preparing for careers.
The college’s Gender Equity Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, exists as a formal body whose mission includes facilitating a safe and equitable campus climate through cultural, social structural legal and academic change. AAUW’s strong stand on equity issues was a primary reason our branch was invited to fill the committee position of community representative on the committee. This involvement is also an opportunity to acquaint faculty about AAUW, and perhaps even recruit new AAUW members!
More Disturbing Facts!
And what are WE doing about it?
By Michele Stark
On average, how much does a female college graduate lose in wages over a life of full-time work, compared to her male counterpart with the same college degree? $1.2 million! Is it the same everywhere and for all women?
AAUW’s 2013 edition of The Simple Truth states the following disturbing facts:
- The pay gap hasn’t budged in a decade. In 2012, as in 2002, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid 77 cents to the male dollar.
- Women in every state experience the pay gap, but some states are worse than others.
- In Washington, D.C. women were paid 90 cents to the male dollar in 2012. Wyoming women were paid just 64 cents.
- The pay gap is worse for women of color.
- African American women were paid 64 percent; Hispanic women 53 percent.
- Women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation.
- The pay gap grows with age.
- Younger women are paid about 90 percent of what men are paid. From around age 35 through retirement, women are typically paid 75–80 percent of what men are paid.
- At every level of academic achievement, women’s median earnings are less than men’s earnings.
- The pay gap also exists among women without children.
What does the branch Sierra College Leadership team do to address the gender wage gap? We deliver $tart $mart workshops in classrooms. $tart $mart gives students the knowledge and tools to earn the wages they deserve.
Sierra College is an AAUW College Partner Member, which give the college priority consideration for AAUW programs, grants, and scholarships. We collaborate with the college on the following programs:
- $tart $mart, is a workshop to empower students with the skills to negotiate equal pay and benefits.
- Elect Her-College Women Win! is an all-day training which gives students the skills to run for elected positions in campus student government and beyond college.
- National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL): A college woman is sponsored to attend the annual 3-day leadership conference held in Washington D.C.
- E-Student Affiliate Members are college students who can join AAUW for free. They receive notices, electronically, about branch events, campus workshops, and scholarship opportunities.
- “Know Your Body Week,”a campus event to instill good health; AAUW information is distributed.
- Social Justice Week: a campus-wide event, during which we do a $tart $mart workshop, distribute AAUW information, and recruit student affiliate members
- Additionally, we send information to staff and students about the Campus Action Project grant, scholarships, membership, workshops, and events.
Much appreciation to Sierra staff for their ongoing interest and support of AAUW programs:
Willy Duncan, President
Brook Oliver, Counselor & Coordinator for Career Connections
Sheila Dobbins, Secretary
Tim Haenny, Student Senate
Stephanie Coday, Psychology
Megan Seely, Sociology Chair
Lynn Medeiros, History
Kathleen Taylor-Fillebrown, Womens Studies
Leslie Ramirez, ASSC President
And thank you to the numerous instructors who have invited us into their classrooms to present workshops and to all the college students who extend their appreciation to us.
Sierra College Leadership Committee Members:
Sue Miller – Chair
Please join the Sierra College Leadership Committee!
Contact Sue Miller – firstname.lastname@example.org