Skidaway Abigails  l  November 2021

In This Issue

President's Message

Upcoming Events

October Program 

Program Recap

Member Spotlight



Board of Directors

Mission Statement

Elected Officials

n This Issue

President's Message

Upcoming Events

Member Spotlight

Communications Update


Announcements: The Glorias

A Message from your Board of Directors


Mission Statement

Contact Information

President's Message

Hello everyone,

We are heading into the season of harvest and thanksgiving – and this year, unlike last year, many of us will be able to celebrate holidays with family – something certainly to be thankful for.

And we can all look for the blessings in our lives, large and small, for which we are thankful. We can also look at what we are harvesting – what new lessons have we learned, what new tools have we added to our toolboxes, what new friendships are enriching our lives?

We are still hopeful that we will be able to meet in person soon; however that is still to be determined – we will keep you all informed with the very latest information as soon as we have it. We do have two exciting programs in November – as you can see, one is in the evening for those of you who cannot always attend our daytime meetings, and I hope to see many of you at one or both of them.

My best wishes for a joyful Thanksgiving season for all of you!

With gratitude,

Betsy Beekman

 Upcoming Events

The Housing Savannah Action Plan

November 9

7:00 - 8:30 PM  Zoom meeting

Coordinated by Shanti Stone and Susan Terrio

Martin Fretty, Director 

Housing and Neighborhood Services City of Savannah

Affordable housing is one of the most important issues facing our area. It is so critical, that Savannah Mayor Van Johnson created the Housing Savannah Task Force to look into this vital issue.

This program will focus on The Housing Savannah Action Plan and other work just completed by this group. The Task Force was appointed by the Mayor and Aldermen in 2020 to assess the city’s housing needs and develop recommendations for increasing the availability and affordability of quality housing for all households regardless of income. The Task Force spent 11 months working together to develop the Plan. It was submitted to Mayor Johnson on July 12, 2021 and shared with the public the next day. A 30 minute video by the Co-Chairs that explains the history and the work of the Task Force can be found on

This program is open to Abigails and their guests ($10 Guest Fee) and Hamiltons.

Register for Abigails November 9 Program

The Census: Gerrymandering and Redistricting in Georgia 

November 18

3:30 - 5:00PM  Zoom meeting

Coordinated by Shanti Stone and Susan Terrio

Chadrick Mance, President  Savannah Chapter of the NAACP

Attorney Mance has been a featured presenter on civil rights for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the Georgia Bar, and the National Trial Lawyers Association. In January 2021, he was sworn in as the President of the Savannah Chapter of the NAACP.  As the 2022 mid-term elections approach, Chad Mance considers how the recent federal census could affect the redrawing of voting districts and lead to excessive partisan gerrymandering in Georgia. 

This program is open to Abigails and their guests ($10 Guest Fee) and Hamiltons.

Program Recap

The History and Current Mission of JUST (Justice Unites Savannah Together)

October 14

 Zoom meeting

Coordinated by the Abigails Advocacy Arm, WAG (Women Advocating for Georgians)

Asia Pitts, Lead Organizer of JUST at the DART (Direct Action and Research Training Center) Savannah

JUST Executive Committee Co-President – Dr. Rev. Stephen Williams, First Presbyterian Church of Savannah

JUST is a coalition of 35 congregations working together for justice in Savannah; especially as it relates to affordable housing for low income families. JUST is affiliated with the Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART), a National Network.  The Organization began in 2020 with a goal to create a vehicle through which diverse faith based congregations can come together and pursue the call to justice.

Every year JUST leaders meet with their member congregations to discuss urgent community problems. Common areas of concern emerge and then members vote to determine the focus for the year. This year, the priority issue was housing and poverty. JUST leaders gather statistical data from local experts and communicate with public officials who have the authority to implement solutions.  JUST then holds a large public meeting called a Nehemiah Action where they negotiate solutions with public officials.

JUST is presently working on housing as 40% of Savannah households (that is, 21,400) families struggle to afford quality housing.  They are presently in dialogue with the Savannah housing task force put together by Mayor Van R. Johnson.  They are also studying housing trust funds and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to determine if  $5 million in federal funds can be allocated for additional low-income housing in Savannah.

Rev. Williams, a panel member, informed us that JUST met with members of a similar movement in Charleston. They learned that it is preferable to have measurable and achievable goals and to speak with one voice when attempting to effect long-term change. JUST plans to emulate the approach adopted by the city of Charleston. Rev. Williams also mentioned that when advocating for housing funds, JUST has encountered opposition from the city council.  He and others within JUST advocate patience when pursuing ambitious goals. Skidaway Abigails members are eager to understand the underlying issues such as the criminalization of poverty, something that JUST will look into in the future.  

If you would like to learn more about JUST please go to

Member Spotlight

Kerri McGinty

Kerri McGinty was born and raised in North Carolina and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in political science. During college, she had the opportunity to work in the office of Senator Terry Sanford where she wrote letters to constituents. Kerri recalls how much you discover about a community by what drives people to actually sit down and write a letter to their senator.

After college, Kerri returned home to Raleigh where she worked in telecommunication sales and management. She moved with her husband John to Georgia in 2000, and began her career in insurance. Working in insurance and studying flood maps made her aware of just how vulnerable we are here to sea level rise. This, combined with her love for our beautiful coast, led her to advocate for measures to address climate change and that support a clean coast. Kerri is also involved with the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and served as the local group lead from 2018-2020.

Kerri says, “It was at a chance encounter at a Buddy Carter town hall, that I met Cindy Gilbert who invited me to an Abigails meeting, and I was hooked. I feel so honored to have been able to serve on the WAG Steering Committee for several years where I was lucky to have worked with so many accomplished and inspiring women.”

Thank you, Kerri, for your commitment and service to our community.

Sheila Stallings grew up in North and South Carolina.   She graduated from  UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and later a Masters of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner.  For the last 16 years of her career she was on the faculty of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing in an administrative role. She has three daughters, three sons-in-love, and 7 grandarlings (all girls!).  She has recently become engaged to a wonderful man with 4 grandsons (finally some little boys!).

In NC Sheila enjoyed several volunteer activities.  She was a member of the North Carolina Public Health Reserve Corps and was a volunteer nurse working in the Red Cross Shelters after floods.  She was a nurse with Project Homeless Connect and worked as a volunteer nurse with the county health department to administer H1N1 flu vaccines in mass clinics and in the community.  She was a Certified Special Olympics Equestrian Coach and was so proud that her athlete and Sheila's horse won first place two years in a row.  She trained two of her dogs to be Therapy dogs and worked with children with reading difficulties and paraplegia with her dogs.  An animal and people lover, she served on the Board of Directors for a service dog organization that trains and places service dogs to assist individuals with mobility impairments and to alert to medical emergency conditions, such as diabetic hypoglycemia.

After moving to Savannah in 2015, Sheila enjoyed volunteering with New Neighbors activities, Wine for Wheels, Special Pops Tennis, and Landlovers. She enjoys bocce and has been the capo for an all women bocce team for 6 years.  For the past two years Sheila has been a part of the Diamondback Terrapin Rescue Project and the Bluebird Trail.  When Village Walk Pharmacy and Coastal Care Partners combined efforts to start a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, Sheila volunteered to help give injections and organized medical professional volunteers to staff the clinic.  Now that the clinic has opened up again she is doing the same again.


The weather is finally cooling down after a long, hot, and humid summer. Now is the time to renew your membership if you have not already done so. It only takes a couple minutes by logging onto our website at and viewing your profile. However, if you encounter difficulties, please don't hesitate to contact me.

If you know of anyone interested in joining, please refer them to our website or have them contact me to learn more.  

Elizabeth Cowell

Membership Chair

Click to Join or Renew


Election Day is November 2, 2021. Please don't forget to vote, even if there are only a limited number of things on the ballot. To check out where you can vote, go to You can also access a sample ballot and check your registration status.

Abigails Video Chat

October 26, November 2, 9, 16

3 PM  Zoom Meetings

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

Those who have participated in the Video Chats over the last 16 months or so consider it a vital lifeline that keeps the Abigails progressive women sane in these tumultuous and crazy days. Our conversations tend to be free-wheeling and profound and we learn from each other about what is going on in our community, locally and nationally. Are you missing being able to connect with other like-minded women? Please consider joining us for our next Abigails Video Chat. It's great to be able to talk openly about what we are learning and how we are feeling. 

The America We Need Discussion Group

Friday, November 19

9:30 am Zoom Meeting

Led by Joan Wade

In 2018, Christine Blasey Ford stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify in the Supreme Court nomination hearings of Brett Kavanaugh. Among the millions of people watching was perhaps the only person who could really relate: Professor Anita Hill, who'd appeared before the committee 27 years before. In this landmark episode, Professor Hill and Dr. Ford sit down for their first-ever public conversation -- about their shared experiences, their emotions, their lives beyond the hearing rooms, and their hopes for the future. It's a wide-ranging, intimate conversation between two women who are uniquely positioned to tell us what's changed since 1991, and what has not.

For our next “America We need Discussion group, please listen to this impactful podcast and think about the ways we and our descendants have been, are, and will be affected by sexual harassment. Are we experiencing change?

Register for America We Need

Reel Time

October 27 at 4:00PM via Zoom


Coordinated by Annette Carnow

This past month being the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, it is an appropriate time for the release of the film Worth. Starring Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci, this is the story of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.  Loosely based on Kenneth Feinberg’s book, What is Life Worth, the film deals with the urgent need to stabilize the economy in the aftermath of the carnage, to arrive at a just settlement for the families and to persuade the majority of families, to sign on and not sue independently.

This film is full of moral dilemmas as well as questions of about artistic liberties taken with historic subjects. Watch this film on Netflix and then join our discussion via Zoom on October 27, at 4pm.


Coordinated by Sue Kantor

We are happy that Abigails Canasta is thriving. Our group has become quite large and is now closed.  However, if there is enough interest, we can start a second, separate group. This new group is welcome to set themselves up to suit their players. Playing whatever day and time works for them, as long as it does not conflict with other ongoing Abigails activities.

Please remember, all members of Abigails Canasta groups must be members in good standing.

If you would like to play or help organize this group please email

Book Clubs

The AM Book Group currently has 9 members and is looking to add one more.  The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 10 am. Each month one member chooses a book they have read and would like to share with the group.  The recommending member then facilitates the discussion of the book.  The book choice rotates among all the members and is usually announced 2-3 months in advance to give everyone time to read the book. If you would like to join this group please contact Sheila Jannino at

The PM Book Group will be reading The Promised Land by Barack Obama in November.  The reviewer will be Kathy Dole.  The PM Book Group has one opening.  This group is meeting on the third Wednesday of each month at 4 pm in the afternoon. If you would like to join us please email

Message From Your Board of Directors

Your 2021-2022 Board of Directors, like you, are proud Abigails members.  We are committed to serving the mission, and the members, of Skidaway Abigails.  We look forward to a great year with our Abigail friends and sisters in action!


Betsy Beekman


Susan Terrio


Susan Kurtain


Betsey Andersen


Programming Co-Chairs

Shanti Stone

Susan Terrio

Social Co-Chairs

Nikki Berdy

Sue Kantor



Elizabeth Cowell

Activities Chair

Pat Wallace

Communications Co-Chairs

Anne Boynton

Sheila Stallings

IT Co-Chairs

Sheila Grossman

Susan Kurtain

Advocacy Chair

Sandi Parshall


Sheila Grossman

Mission Statement

The Skidaway Abigails is a nonpartisan organization of progressive, liberal women whose purpose is to provide engagement opportunities for social, educational and advocacy activities to its members. We welcome women who support our values to join us, regardless of residence, race, ethnicity, age, religion or gender identification.

What We Value

A strong commitment to women's health and safety including family planning; health education, screening and research; and protection from domestic abuse and the full range of offenses against women, from harassment in the workplace to sex trafficking.

A society that provides services for its poor and its children including basic shelter, food, physical and mental healthcare, quality fact-based education, childcare, pre-K development and college opportunity.

Fair and equitable treatment for the working class including a livable minimum wage; pay equity for women; reducing the gap between the average employee's compensation and corporate executives'; affordable health care; a future in our country for working immigrants; and equitable treatment under the criminal justice system.

Fair and equitable treatment for our Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/ Transgender population in all aspects of our society. We support their right to marry and create a family,

Regulation that respects individual freedom while protecting the community including the licensing and control of firearms; and eliminating unwarranted surveillance, personal data collection and criminal profiling.

Protecting our planet from mankind's impact on earth's climate and precious natural resources ranging from fresh water to the honey bee. We want to better understand opportunities to enhance sustainability.

Being informed and represented on political issues related to our values including voter registration and the right of citizens to vote; the stated positions of local, state and federal candidates; and access to articles and subject-matter-experts on value-related issues.

Current Elected Officials Contact Information

Governor Brian Kemp
206 Washington St, 111 State Capitol. Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-1776

US Rep. (Dist. 1) Earl "Buddy" Carter

6602 Abercorn St, Ste 105B, Savannah, GA 31405

(202) 225-5831

US Senator Jon Ossoff

Hart Senate Office Building, Suite 825 B&C

Washington, DC 20510

202-224-3521 (DC)

US Senator Raphael Warnock

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Suite B40D

Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-3643 (DC)

State Senator Ben Watson

320-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg, Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-7880

State Senator Lester Jackson

110-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 463-5261

State Representative Jesse Petrea

408-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg, Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 657-1803

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