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March 2020 Newsletter

Please join the Business and Professional Women of Nevada County on

March 18 at 5:30p.m. in the Northern Queen dining room
for this month's program:

The celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of American woman suffrage is a great time for us all to learn a little about what it took for women to earn the right to vote. Suffragists began their organized fight for women’s equality in 1848 when they demanded the right to vote during the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. For the next 72 years, women lobbied, marched, picketed and protested for that right. Quakers played a prominent role in the struggle, coming as they did out of a religion where men and women were considered equally valuable in all aspects of life. Powerful links existed between antislavery and women’s right advocates. Most women’s rights supporters had been introduced to reform efforts through the abolition movement. This movement emphasized the right of women to gain equal access to education and employment, to equality in marriage, the family and religion, to a married woman’s right to property and wages, to control over her own body and custody of her children. The temperance movement combined the destiny of the woman suffrage movement with the anti-saloon one, more importantly along with such areas as prison reform, public health and improved working conditions for women. Together, these various strains forged a powerful, unstoppable force for woman suffrage and equal rights.

Come join your BPW members, friends and guests as we learn how women won the battle for the vote, the internal and external struggles and how important it is that we exercise this right that women gave their health, their comforts and even their lives to attain.

Our March speaker, Professor Janet Rankin, will both enlighten and lead us in a lively discussion of this topic on Wednesday, March 18. Professor Rankin teaches History and Women’s Studies at Sierra College through regular semester courses as well as through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program starting in February on the Nevada County Campus and in Roseville. Don’t miss this compelling and timely program!
Deadline for reservations is
Sunday, Sept. 16 at 5:00p.m.

Newcomers and guests
are always welcome!
Want to showcase your business or organization?
We encourage members and guests to bring business cards, flyers or pamphlets to place on the sign-in table at each dinner meeting.

We are always happy to have you dine with us before the meeting but you are quite welcome to attend just the program portion of the night for only $5.00. Coffee or tea is available for you.   
5:30p.m. Socializing + Networking
6:00p.m. Dinner

$22.50/person for dinner
or $5 for program only

If you are requesting a vegetarian meal,
please denote so in the "Comments"
section when you RSVP.

Wine will be available to purchase for $4/glass with proceeds going to the scholarship fund.
Interested in joining our dynamic group of women?
Want to take on a lead role in our organization?

We need active members who have time and interest
in being a board member: president, vice president, secretary,
treasurer or program committee.

For only a few hours a month you can guide future endeavors of our great group. Please contact Mary Sivila at 530-346-7192 or email her at to discuss the great possibilities!

President's Message

Women in history are remembered for their courageous, brilliant, or
sensational actions. Who did you learn about growing up? Who do you
think about as impactful in our world? Who do you celebrate? History is
something that has already happened. That means it could have occurred
ten, twenty, one hundred years ago or even yesterday.

I grew up in a religious household so the Bible was a major focus in my
early life. I have read it more times than I can count. Women played a
significant role in many of the Books. The ones who stand out for me are
Eve (Adam), Rachel (mother of Joseph), Delilah (Samson), and my name
sakes Mary and Martha (avid followers of Jesus). They played prominent
roles in the stories from which I should learn (not emulate). I was really only
encouraged to be helpful and devout like Mary and Martha.

Other women I remember from my childhood are Harriet Tubman,
Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Cleopatra, Martha Washington, Mary Todd
Lincoln, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Then there were the social influencers of
the day: Emily Post, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Gloria Steinem. Then there were
the cookbook authors Betty Crocker (traditional) and Bay Area favorite
Frances Moore Lappe (Diet for a Small Planet— vegetarian). Alice Waters
was a big hit—who didn’t want to eat at Chez Panisse!?

I seldom went to the movies and I watched limited TV. I missed out on Julia
Child but I liked the magic of Barbara Eden in “I Dream of Jeannie” and
Elizabeth Montgomery in “Bewitched”. I imagined what it would have been
like to have special powers to change people and their actions.

Nowadays, it is up to us to use our special power of voting! We need to
mark our ballot to choose the candidates who can make a difference in our
world and community. We need to support measures that benefit our
society now and in the future. We have the ability to unify and make
decisions about issues that impact our lives and the lives of others. Don’t
complain, Jane! Fight for your rights! Let your voice be heard—vote!

Moving Forward,

Mary Sivila

Lucy Stone
“The influence of woman will save the country before every other power.”  So says Lucy Stone, an abolitionist and woman’s rights advocate of the 1800’s.  She will be our spotlight for women’s history month which was acknowledged by Congress in 1987. The movement towards this proclamation started in 1979 with a Women’s History week in Sonoma County and was encouraged by President Carter declaring a National Women’s History Week in 1980. It’s been nearly 100 years since Lucy Stone left this earth until (before) we had a national recognition of a focus on women’s history for a month. Nevertheless we persist.

I have a special affection for Lucy Stone because my master’s thesis involved co-education at Oberlin College. Lucy graduated in 1847 from Oberlin when she was 29 years old after teaching and doing housework to pay her way. Oberlin was the country’s first college to admit both women and blacks so it was considered a radical place. She was asked to write the commencement speech for her class but women were not allowed speak in public so she declined having someone else read it for her. She was invited back to the 50th anniversary celebration as a speaker 36 years later. After she graduated she became a paid organizer for the American Anti-Slavery society and gave many speeches to promote abolition and women’s rights. Her speeches and her radicalism led to hostility and grumblings within the abolition movement that her emphasis on women’s rights might be diminishing the anti-slavery cause, so she arranged to speak on the two issues separately. Stone was one of the organizers of the first national women’s right convention in 1850. This was an expansion from the local 1848 Seneca Falls convention to a more national audience. Lucy’s speech at the event is said to have converted Susan B. Anthony to the cause.

Lucy was described as a soul as free as the air by her employer William Lloyd Garrison of the Anti-Slavery Society. As such she thought she would not marry but Henry Blackwell courted her for two years and she was won over. Henry’s older sister was Elizabeth Blackwell who became the first woman physician and his brother married Antoinette Brown who was the first woman ordained as a minister.  When Lucy and Henry married they read a statement renouncing and protesting the marriage laws of the time, and announcing that Lucy would keep her name. 

Lucy retired from her speaking tours for a short time after their daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, was born. During that time she refused to pay property taxes on her home which had been kept in her name, giving her independent income. She had no vote so it constituted “taxation without representation.”  Sound familiar?

After the Civil War, the 15th Amendment caused a schism in the suffrage movement since it mentioned “male citizens” explicitly. It became even more challenging for Lucy and others to support both black and woman suffrage.  During the 1869 American Equal Rights Association meeting, after Frederick Douglas spoke Lucy considered that women were less threatened than black men and more controversial as voters.  She said “Woman has an ocean of wrongs too deep for any plummet and the Negro, too, has an ocean of wrongs that cannot be fathomed… Thank God for that 15th Amendment.  I will be thankful in my soul if anybody can get out of the terrible pit.”  National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, opposed the 15th Amendment. Lucy’ s faction, the American Woman Suffrage Association, was characterized as the more conservative of the two suffrage groups. Lucy and later daughter Alice edited a weekly suffrage newspaper called the Woman’s Journal. This became Lucy’s “voice” after she ceased the lecture circuit and it was an historical record of woman’s suffrage. It wasn’t until 1890 that Alice Stone Blackwell and Harriot Stanton Blatch were able to reunite the two branches of the movement. 

I see a direct line from Lucy Stone’s struggle to keep both black and woman suffrage causes advancing to First Lady Hillary Clinton’s declaration “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Right are Women’s Rights” speech at the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

I think about how much she contributed to the empowerment of women while sticking to her principles of righting the wrongs of slavery. Her family and her legacy are probably not as well-known as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton but her impact was huge. It reaffirms for me the importance of educating girls and women and supporting equity in all aspects of their lives. In a speech late in her life Lucy said, “I think with never-ending gratitude, that the young women of today do not and can never know at which price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned.” Lucy died of cancer in 1893 and her deathbed words to her daughter were said to be “Make the world better.” I do believe Lucy did that.

~ by Shirley Zeff




The BPWNC Scholarship Board will be selling a natural goat milk hand lotion and soap set at our monthly Wednesday evening meetings in March, April and May for $20.00 per set gifted wrapped (cash or check).
This is a Win - Win - Win fundraiser in that we are buying these items from a woman entrepreneur that operates in Grass Valley.
You get to purchase a great gift for your family or friends for their special day (and it's already gift wrapped) or a treat for yourself.
Laptop and Color Printer For Sale to Benefit Scholarship Program
A member has donated two items to benefit our scholarship program that may be just what you, or someone you know, is looking for:

1) an older HP Pavilion Entertainment PC (laptop) loaded with Windows Vista and WiFi access, and

2) an Epson WorkForce 630 Color Printer (with extra black cartridges, Guidebook and Matte Paper) that can print, copy, scan, fax and also connect with WiFi.
Both items are available now for purchase to the highest bidder(s) with all proceeds to go to our scholarship fund.

Look online to see the specifics on this equipment, then contact Lynn Wenzel at <>, or Judith McCarrick at <>, or Susan Rogers at <> to submit your bid. 
Thank you for your support of our scholarship recipients!
Club Business
We want to thank our members, guests and friends for their generosity in supporting our Dolores (Dee) Eldridge scholarship fund and our Helga Rohl Encouragment Award. During 2019 you donated $478 to Good$Bad$; $254 for wine donations; and the holiday auction sales totaled $504. Thanks to everyone for investing in women and their education!
 ~ The Education Fund Committee.

LET'S GET THE BPW WORD OUT OF ALL THE GOOD THINGS WE DO!  Please send names and emails of family and friends you would like to receive the monthly BPW newsletter to Phyllis Orzalli at  
~ Membership, Deb Armanino 415-786-1160
*** Please add Phyllis Orzalli e-mail ( to your address book to ensure it does not go to junk!
Mission Statement
The mission of the Business and Professional Women of Nevada Countyis to support and promote equity for women in all aspects of their lives.
~ To promote personal and professional development for working women.
~ To advocate on National, State, and Local legislative issues of importance
to working women.
~ To support the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
~ To promote the education of our members and the community in matters of women's equality as it relates to economics, employment, health, education, housing, civil rights, and other issues of equal opportunity.
March 18, 2020

April 15, 2020

May 20, 2020

June 17, 2020

November 18, 2020
BPWNC Meeting - Women's History Month

BPWNC Meeting - Hospice of the Foothills

BPWNC Meeting - Women on Fire

BPWNC Meeting - Installation of new officers & Reverend Becky Goodwin

BPWNC Meeting - The Friendship Club
Mary Sivila - 530.346.7192
Vice President
Becky Goodwin
Shirley Hall - 916.826.8944
Shannon Cotter - 530.798.1192
Deb Armanino - 415.786.1160
Our members - Submit an idea to the board.
Lynn Wenzel - 530.477.0746
Judy McCarrick - 530.478.0677
Elaine Sierra - 530.274.0738
Phyllis Orzalli - 530.913.8473
Phyllis Orzalli - 530.913.8473
Patricia Wolf - 530.273.0605
BPWNC Facebook
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Business & Professional Women of Nevada County · P.O. Box 2642 · Grass Valley, CA 95945 · USA

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