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             International/Diversity Committee

                                              Chair: Marticia Madory 845/471-857


Memories of My First Epidemic>>

Marti Madory


Keeping Up to Date with Us >>


Article by Ellie Charwat, AAUW member and Chair of Friendship Committee

Poughkeepsie-Oaxaca Friendship Committee>>

From the Fall 2019 Road Scholar Alumni Magazine.


Mid-Hudson Calendar of International/Diversity Activities>>





Can you answer these questions?  Could you answer them in an oral exam, speaking in English even if your native language is something different? *


A: Principles of American Democracy

  1.   What is the supreme law of the land?  
                    -- the United States Constitution
  2.    What does the Constitution do?
                     -- sets up the government
                     -- defines the government
                     -- protects basic rights of Americans
  3.  The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution.               What are these words?
                     -- We the People
  4.          What is an amendment?
                     -- a change (to the Constitution)
                     -- an addition (to the Constitution)
  5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
                     -- the Bill of Rights
  6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*
                     -- speech
                     -- religion
                     -- assembly
                     -- press
                     -- petition the government
  7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
                     -- twenty-seven (27)
  8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?
                     -- announced our independence (from Great Britain)
                     -- declared our independence (from Great Britain)
                     -- said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)
  9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
                     -- life
                     -- liberty
                     -- pursuit of happiness
  10. What is freedom of religion?
                     -- You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.
  11. What is the economic system in the United States?*
                     -- capitalist economy
                     -- market economy
  12. What is the "rule of law"?
                     -- Everyone must follow the law.
                     -- Leaders must obey the law.
                     -- Government must obey the law.
                     -- No one is above the law.

B: System of Government

  1.   Name one branch or part of the government.*                           
                       -- Congress
                       -- legislative
                       -- President
                       -- executive
                       -- the courts
                       -- judicial
  2. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
                       -- checks and balances
                       -- separation of powers
  3. Who is in charge of the Executive Branch?
                       -- the President
  4. Who makes federal laws?
                       -- Congress
                       -- Senate and House (of Representatives)
                       -- (US or national) legislature
  5. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? *
                       -- the Senate and House (of Representatives)
  6. How many Senators are there?
                       -- one hundred (100)
  7. We elect a Senator for how many years?
                       -- six (6)
  8. Who is one of your state's U.S. Senators now?*
                       -- Answers will vary.  (District of Columbia residents and
                       residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C.
                       [or the territory where the applicant lives] has no U.S. Senators.)
  9. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?
                        -- four hundred thirty-five (435)
  10. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years?
                        -- two (2)
  11. Name your U.S. Representative.
                       -- Answers will vary.  [Residents of territories with
                       nonvoting Delegates or Resident Commissioners may
                       provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. 
                       Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has
                       no (voting) Representatives in Congress.]
  12. Who does a U.S. Senator represent?  -- all people of the state
  13. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states? -- (because of) the state's population -- (because) they have more people  -- (because) some states have more people
  14. We elect a President for how many years?  -- four (4)
  15. In what month do we vote for President?  -- November

16. What is the name of the President of the United States now?* -- Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Trump

17. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now? -- Michael R. Pence, Mike Pence, Pence

18.  If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?  -- the Vice President

19.  If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President? -- the Speaker of the House

20.  Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?  -- the President

21. Who signs bills to become laws? -- the President

22. Who vetoes bills?  -- the President

23.  What does the Cabinet do?  -- advises the President

24.  What are two Cabinet-level positions? 

        -- Secretary of Agriculture

        -- Secretary of Commerce

        -- Secretary of Defense

        -- Secretary of Education

        -- Secretary of Energy

        -- Secretary of Health and Human Services

        -- Secretary of Homeland Security

        -- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

        -- Secretary of the Interior

        -- Secretary of Labor

        -- Secretary of State

        -- Secretary of Transportation

        -- Secretary of the Treasury

        -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs

        -- Attorney General

        -- Vice President

25.  What does the judicial branch do?

         -- reviews laws

         -- explains laws

         -- resolves disputes (disagreements)

         -- decides if a law goes against the Constitution

26.  What is the highest court in the United States?

          -- the Supreme Court

27.  How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

          -- nine (9)

28.  Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?

           -- John Roberts (John G. Roberts, Jr.)

29.  Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government.  What is one

       power of the federal government? (Choose one.)

           -- to print money

           -- to declare war

           -- to create an army

           -- to make treaties

30.   Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states.  What is one power of the

        states?  (Choose one.)

            -- to provide schooling and education

            -- to provide protection (police)

            -- to provide safety (fire departments)

            -- to give a driver's license

            -- to approve zoning and land use

31.  Who is the Governor of your state now?

             -- Answers will vary.  (District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. does nor have a Governor.)

32.  What is the capital of your state?

             -- Answers will vary.  (District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital.  Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.)

33.  What are the two major political parties in the United States?

             -- Democratic and Republican

34.  What is the political party of the President now?

             -- Republican

35.  What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?

             -- Nancy Pelosi

C:  Rights and Responsibilities


1. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote.  Describe one of them.

              -- Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote).

              -- You don't have to pay (a poll tax) to vote

              -- Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.)

              -- A male citizen of any race (can vote).


2. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?*

              -- serve on a jury

              -- vote in a federal election


3.  Name one right only for United States citizens.

               -- vote in a federal election

               -- run for federal office


4.  What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?

      -- freedom of expression

      -- freedom of speech

      -- freedom of assembly

      -- freedom to petition the government

      -- freedom of religion

      -- the right to bear arms

5.  What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?

      -- the United States

      -- the flag

6.  What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?

      -- give up loyalty to other countries

      -- defend the Constitution and laws of the United States

      -- obey the laws of the United States

      -- serve in the U.S. military (if needed)

      -- serve (do important work for) the nation (if needed)

      -- be loyal to the United States

7.  How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?*

       -- eighteen (18) and older

8.  What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?

       -- vote

       -- join a political party

       -- help with a campaign

       -- join a civic group

       -- join a community group

       -- give an elected official your opinion on an issue

       -- call Senators and Representatives

       -- publicly support or oppose an issue or policy

       -- run for office

       -- write to a newspaper

9.  When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?*

        -- April 15

10.  When must all men register for the Selective Service?

         -- at age eighteen (18)

         -- between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)

Individuals seeking to become American citizens must answer 100 questions to qualify for naturalization (source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services).  Watch this space for the next question, and compare your score with your colleagues'. 


* Applicants who are 65 or older and have been legal permanent residents of the US for 20 or more years may study just those questions marked with an asterisk.   




World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley, an all-volunteer organization, was founded in 2003 as a forum for citizen education and participation in international issues.  It is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America and serves Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties.  www.hvworldaffairscouncil.org


Germania of Poughkeepsie has acted to preserve German-American heritage for more than 165 years, sharing our culture, customs, arts, and language to promote awareness of German contributions to American life and history for all Hudson Valley residents and visitors.  In the German tradition of Gemutlichkeit, the entire Hudson Valley community and beyond are invited to explore each of Germania's many festivals, heritage and sport clubs, events, and activities. www.germaniapok.com


La Voz is the only Spanish language magazine serving the 140,000 Latinos who live in the Mid-Hudson Valley.  6000 copies are printed each month throughout the Valley.  It has an estimated readership of 30,000 readers.  https://lavoz.bard.edu/



Poughkeepsie Public Library District offers a variety of activities and events for people interested in international topics at both of its locations, Adriance Memorial Library in the City of Poughkeepsie and Boardman Road Branch Library in the Town of Poughkeepsie.  At the Adriance, there is a special emphasis on programming for Spanish speakers and those interested in learning and practicing Spanish. www.poklib.org


Mid-Hudson Chinese Language Center is a non-profit organization run exclusively by volunteers.  It provides a family-oriented, engaging and interactive environment where students of all ages and backgrounds, come together to learn the Chinese language, its culture, and the arts.  www.mhclc.org




Mid-Hudson Heritage Center is a non-profit community organization that is dedicated to enriching our area through arts and cultural events. MHHC operates Art Centro, the Heritage Center Gallery, the Historic Glebe House, and PUF Studios.  www.midhudsonheritage.org  


Every Monday  Community Tai Chi  6 pm - 8 pm   Free; donations accepted.  No experience necessary.  Heritage Center Gallery, 317 Main Street  Info.HeritageCenter@gmail.com





Dutchess County Interfaith Council, Inc., offers a place of education, understanding, and inclusion of all faiths. It engages in programs and opportunities that foster openness and dialogue through the leadership and participation by congregations across the county.  The Council stands united against divisive rhetoric from all sources, the use of one's religion as a tool for discrimination, and calls to close borders at any level that apply solely to the followers of one faith. www.dutchesscountyinterfaith.org


Many Mid-Hudson churches offer foreign-language worship services, including the following:

Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, Episcopal, Kingston http://www.holycrosskingston.org/

          Spanish service Sundays @ 4:30 (Dec – March), @ 6:00 (April-Nov)         

St. Mary St. Peter, Roman Catholic, Kingston https://stmarystpeterkingston.org/

          Spanish service Sundays @ 11:00

Christ Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie http://www.christchurchpok.org/ 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Spanish service   Sundays @ 1:00

Holy Trinity, Roman Catholic, Poughkeepsie https://holytrinitypoughkeepsie.com/mass-schedule    Filipino mass in Tagalog 3rd Sunday @ 4:00

St. Mary-St. Joseph and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Roman Catholic, Poughkeepsie

https://smsj-olmc.org  Spanish (St. Mary) - Sundays @ 12:00 and Tuesday & Thursday @ 7:30 pm Polish 3rd Sunday @ 9:30 (OLMC)

Thanks to International Relations-Diversity Committee member Jackie Vierno for  researching and compiling this listing of foreign-language religious services.  Additions to the list will be most welcome. 


Race Unity Circle meets monthly to study the vexing, persistent racial divisions that plague the Poughkeepsie Community, to nurture and grow interracial bonds of friendship and cooperation, and to groom speakers and facilitators.  www.meetup.com/The-Race-Unity-Circle-of-Poughkeepsie

Rural & Migrant Ministry, Inc., is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that works alongside disenfranchised rural residents and agricultural workers in New York State through programs of youth empowerment, education, and leadership development.  www.ruralmigrantministry.org




The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network is a coalition formed by local faith communities and concerned residents to provide a network of safety and support for our immigrant friends and neighbors, who are valued members of our communities.  ulsterimmigrantdefensenetwork.org



Vassar Haiti Project is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that promotes Haitian art, fosters sustainable development in Haiti, and mentors student and community volunteers in the principles and practice of global citizenship. haitproject@vassar.edu


The Women’s Professional Network is an educational and networking organization that provides a supportive environment for enterprising women in New York's Hudson Valley to form professional relationships, inspire one another, and develop an entrepreneurial spirit. 
Lea Bishop      

Days for Girls workshops are an ongoing international activity of the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW.  Joined by volunteers from throughout the community, the monthly workshops produce feminine hygiene kits for girls living in developing countries, refugee camps, and shelters in the United States.  Without the kits, which last for 3 - 5 years, the girls would miss 5 - 7 days of school each month.  Some of the volunteers engage in sewing, but many other skills are utilized in the production and assembly process, as illustrated in these photos.  Volunteers are welcomed without appointment or reservation.  Sabashnee Govender 

(Days for Girls International, active for the past 10 years in several countries including the United States, has produced and delivered 103,000 kits to girls worldwide.  According to Michelle Obama's Global Girls Initiative, 98 million adolescent girls are not in school throughout the world -- and some of those may not be attending classes because of their menstrual cycle.  Days for Girls offers us a way to help them complete their education.)


The Poughkeepsie Days for Girls Team -- including members of AAUW, the Poughkeepsie Meeting of Friends, First Dutchess Quilters, and The American Sewing Guild -- has created and distributed a total of 192 kits (186 international and 6 domestic) -- a whopping 111 kits in 2019!  Our goal was 100; we have more than met the gold standard for Days for Girls International.



December 2019



Here are some of the volunteers at our February 16, 2019, workshop:








The following scenes from the November 17, 2018, workshop illustrate the volunteers' efforts.  On this day, we were joined by two Vassar College students who will be among the team that will deliver kits to girls studying in the school assisted by Vassar's Haiti Project.  The isolated school and its nearby hospital, also part of the project, suffered significant damage during a recent earthquake.

Scenes from the Days for Girls workshop on October 20, 2018, when two dozen volunteers -- including 12 students from Marist College - worked for 3 hours completing the many tasks involved in kit production:

For further information about the worldwide Days for Girls program, go to www.daysforgirls.org.   


This Year's theme for the International Relations Committee is “International in Our Own Backyard”

We are making an effort to identify the international facets of our local community – including  foreign students and faculty, immigrants – both experienced and recent arrivals and refugees, diplomatic and consular staff with homes in our communities, foreign employees of local corporations and institutions – and forming personal relationships with the women among them.  We are examining the ethical, religious, and ethnic aspects of our differences, as well as our similarities, with a goal of achieving tolerance, understanding, and compassion.  And we will share our cultures – our food, our music, our literature, our crafts – as a way of expanding all of our horizons.

Join us and help make these activities meaningful experiences for all who participate.

First International Pot-Luck Picnic - July 27, 2019: 

Picnicking with Global Friends

The day was hot, but the sun was glorious, and our first international pot luck picnic generated lots of new fellowship and great ideas. 



Past Events/Projects 2014-2016>>




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Website comments are welcome and may be directed to Mary King. This page last updated on May 9, 2020