Lake/Sumter AAUW offers members an array of learning opportunities, including General Meetings, Racism Discussions, Book Club, Great Decisions, and Day Trips.
The branch holds General Meetings on the third Saturday of the month from September through May at the Allamanda Recreation Center (1515 St. Charles Place) in The Villages. Doors open at 9:15 a.m., social time starts at 9:30 a.m., and the meeting starts at 10:00 a.m. Each meeting includes a short business meeting as well as an educational program. General Meetings are open to the public. When local conditions dictate, the meetings are held via Zoom.
Racism Discussion Series
In the wake of George Floyd's murder our DEI committee launched an online Racism Discussion Series, which was free and open to members and non-members alike. Discussion topics were: Racism 101, White Privilege, Anti-Racism, Implicit Bias, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, Microaggressions, Confederate Monuments, Systemic Racism in Housing, Systemic Racism in Voting.
We asked discussion participants to prepare for each session by viewing a short video and/or reading a short article about the topic as background. A list of those "curricular" requirements is available on request from the DEI Committee.
Another product of the discussion series was recommended reading lists we call "Great Reads About Race and Racism." We created two lists collaboratively with discussion participants who came from our branch and from AAUW branches and friends across the country. Both the Volume 1 and Volume 2 are available for download.
The Lake/Sumter AAUW Book Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month, year 'round. At its August meeting, members recommend and select books for the coming year; the December meeting is devoted to a holiday lunch. The group discusses recommended books in the other 10 months of the year.
Typically, the Book Club meets live at North Lake Presbyterian Church from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Interested members then go to lunch. During the pandemic, the Club met via Zoom; that option continues to be available as conditions dictate.
2022-23 Book Club Selections
You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles
West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson
The Last Apothecary by Sarah Penner
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys
The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni
Our branch participates in the Foreign Policy Association's Great Decisions discussion group. The group meets weekly for eight weeks from January through March each year. The discussion is based on the Foreign Policy Association's briefing booklet, which contains eight articles relevant to our times. Topics for 2022 included: Outer Space, Climate Change, Russia, Myanmar and ASEAN, The Quad Alliance, Industrial Policy, Drug Policy in Latin America, Biden's Agenda.
Great Decisions usually meets live, but during the pandemic, discussions were held online via Zoom. That remains an option, depending on local conditions.
The Great Decisions discussion group is open to all member as well as non-members. Both pay for their briefing booklet; non-members also pay a nominal fee.
Each year, Lake/Sumter AAUW's Day Trips Committee organizes two to three outings for members, who may invite friends if they wish. Destinations for Day Trips are within a 1 to 1 1/2 hour drive from The Villages. Past trips have been to Cross Creek, the home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and lunch at The Yearling restaurant; lunch at the Mission Inn, a tour of the Howie Mansion, and a stop at Yalaha Bakery; and a luncheon cruise on the St. Johns River out of Sanford. Although the committee selects the venues and makes the arrangements such as reservations and transportation, each participant pays her own way.
Stimulating programming for college-educated women