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AAUW NJ September 2023 Newsletter
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WELCOME to AAUW NJ’s mission-focused newsletter – equi{tea}!  


President's Note

Dear friend,

As the season comes to an end, September starts with that age-old question. “What did you do over the summer?” Sipping on my tea I can say I had a mission-based summer.


In July, I attended registration day for Tech Trek which was once again in-person on the campus of Stockton University. I am proud that this program which the state has supported since 2015 continues to expose so many girls to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. That's STEM, not the steam from my tea!


Attending a private bill signing with Governor Murphy was a first for me.The Menstrual Product Bill was long overdue — kudos to all the organizations that pushed for this bill to become a law in the state of New Jersey.


My new summer adventures didn't end there! My stamp society conducted a John Lewis Stamp Celebration in August which inspired me to see if AAUW NJ could do the same for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I contacted Rutgers Law School looking for a speaker which led to us collaborating on the event.


Still sipping my tea (Lemon Zinger), I reflected on Women’s Equality Day and the March on Washington; we have come a long way but still there is more that needs to be accomplished. Let's FALL into hot tea!

For equity,
Sharon Suber

Note: You can now donate to National Programs, the Charitable Fund (which funds Tech Trek and Branch initiatives) and the State of New Jersey. Visit our website under DONATE!


Rest in Power LG Sheila Oliver

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, the first Black woman to hold statewide elected office in New Jersey, passed away on August 1, 2023. In 2010, she became the first Black woman to lead the predominantly male State Assembly. As tributes poured in, Senator Bob Menendez put in best — “If it was your problem, it was her problem — she took it to heart.”

AAUW NJ submitted our own tribute to the trailblazer for her memorial book. You can watch the funeral service on a website honoring her legacy here.

Freely accessible menstrual products coming soon to a school bathroom near you

On August 23, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill (S-1221/A-1349) requiring school districts to provide menstrual products free of charge in every public school teaching students in grades six through twelve. Under the new law, applicable schools will be required to provide menstrual products in at least half of all their female and gender-neutral bathrooms. Any costs incurred by a school district in supplying menstrual products to meet the needs of its students will be borne by the State.

AAUW NJ board members Sharon Suber and Anjali Mehrotra were on hand for the bill signing in Trenton. In the official press release from the Governor’s office, Mehrotra highlighted the fact that the final bill was amended with gender neutral language to be inclusive of trans youth and expanded across all school districts.  

RBG put her stamp on U.S. law — and now she gets her own stamp

On October 2, 2023, the United States Postal Service will release a new Forever stamp commemorating the legacy of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and celebrating her groundbreaking contributions to justice, gender equality and the rule of law.

Ginsburg will be the first Supreme Court justice to get a solo stamp issue since 2003, when Thurgood Marshall was honored. The USPS noted Ginsburg's legacy of fighting for equal rights, including her "important majority opinions advancing equality and strong dissents on socially controversial rulings."

AAUW NJ will be conducting a celebration in New Jersey on October 16 to mark the occasion. This program is a collaboration between AAUW NJ, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers Law School and Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections.


Lobbying 101 - We need a vote on the ERA!

On Wednesday, August 30, Mary Hager, AAUW NJ Public Policy Director and six leaders who are constituents of Rep. Tom Kean Jr. met with Christopher Hall, the Congressman’s Legislative Director to lobby for the ERA. They asked Rep. Kean to sign the discharge petition on House Joint Resolution 25 (H.J. Res. 25) to remove the ratification deadline and affirm the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.

We encourage all members to arrange for a meeting with their representatives to discuss AAUW’s priority issues. If you need help, please contact Mary Hager and check out the AAUW lobbying kit here.


Leaders in training at NCCWSL


AAUW NJ sponsored one student, Renee Samuel, from Seton Hall University and three students — Jasmine Sampong, Angelica Torres and Onoshope Itunoya-Musa — from Centenary University for NCCWSL this year. All the attendees had a fabulous time as evidenced by their comments following the conference. Said Samuel, “I learned how to make my voice heard in the workplace and how to carry myself in situations where I might be the only woman or person of color.”

Torres found the program to be very much relevant to her future goals and Itunoya-Musa said she “learned that it’s never too late for a woman to rewrite her story and begin her journey.

Teen Girls get hands-on at Tech Trek



Tech Trek 2023 at Stockton University welcomed back 25 alumnae as volunteers on Saturday, July 22, who participated in a Python coding workshop, and a Choose Your Own Adventure workshop. These former campers from 2016–21 came together for dinner, made new friends, and stayed overnight to get ready for the 35 rising 8th grade campers who arrived on Sunday.

This year’s campers represented 17 of the 21 counties in New Jersey. They stayed for the full week of camp, taking core classes in Robotics, Biotechnology, and Aeronautics, augmented by workshops in making lasers, food chemistry, e-sports, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and environmental science.

The program puts AAUW’s groundbreaking Why So Few? and Solving the Equation research reports into action in a female-led, inclusive, residential university setting. Tech Trek’s formula follows the reports’ recommendations, introducing girls to role models and career choices while giving campers the opportunity to reside on a college campus.

NOTE: If your branch is forwarding the AAUW mission in some way, please share your activities with We want to celebrate you!


UPCOMING EVENTS 🗓️ — Mark your calendar!

September 14 AAUW NJ Board Meeting

October 16 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stamp Celebration

October 27 NJ Conference for Women

November 9–10 NJEA Convention

November 12 AAUW NJ Executive Committee Meeting

January 7, 2024 AAUW NJ Executive Committee Meeting

January 11, 2024 Human Trafficking Awareness Day

February 13, 2024 AAUW NJ Statewide Black History Month Program

March 13, 2024 AAUW NJ Board Meeting

April 13, 2024 AAUW NJ State Annual Meeting

⏰Tea Break — What we are loving!

This has of course been the summer of Barbie! Women across the world are embracing the nostalgia of their childhoods and heading to the movie theater in full Barbie pink gear. The feminist message of the movie has appealed to young and old alike, making Greta Gerwig the most successful female director of all time. Last week Barbie surpassed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 to become Warner Bros.’s highest-grossing movie ever. We loved Kate McKinnon as “Weird Barbie”  a character that encourages young Barbie fans to lean into their own individuality and nonconformity, and you can now get your own version of the character as imagined by Mattel,   

Not to be missed is America Ferrera’s fierce monologue on the impossible double standards that women are held to. If you have not seen the movie yet, or want to relive the experience you can read the full transcript of the speech here.

Meet our VP of Communications Anjali Mehrotra

What made you join AAUW NJ?                                                  

I first learned of AAUW, when my twin daughters were awarded scholarships by my local branch, Summit College Club in 2015. In 2017, crushed by the results of the 2016 election, I was spurred to take action against the patriarchy and was looking for feminist organizations to become active in. Along with my local Summit AAUW branch, I joined National Organization for Women (NOW) and the local chapter of League of Women Voters.

What issue would you like to see AAUW focus on that is not getting enough attention?

Along with women, our LGBTQ community is under attack as never before. We are seeing attacks on gender, race and sexual identity in our education system as states and local Boards of Education seek to pass policy targeting equality and equity. I would like AAUW to take a stronger stand against these harmful messages, and get involved in the fight to keep our public education system fact and science based.

What’s your favorite "me" thing to do?

During the pandemic, I started doing the New York Times crossword with my daughter and now I am hooked. I start every day with the Mini and then move on to Spelling Bee and the Crossword. |

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. AAUW of New Jersey is the state affiliate representing approximately 1200 members in 20 branches throughout New Jersey.


Connect with us on social media @AAUWNJ