Skidaway Abigails  l  September 2021

In This Issue

President's Message

Upcoming Events

September Program 

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,

I hope everyone had a healthy and fun summer and that you are all ready to get back to some interesting programs and activities with Skidaway Abigails! We did hope to be able to meet in person this fall but the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus had other ideas so we will continue to have our meetings on Zoom until the situation resolves. I do hope many of you will join us in September, and that you take advantage of the Video Chats and Reel Time and discussion groups that our activity chairs work hard to organize and facilitate.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and engaged new year of Abigails for us all.

Betsy Beekman

 Upcoming Events

Living Past Christmas

September 9

3:30 - 5:00PM  Zoom meeting

Kate Blair, Executive Director of CASA

Julie Wade, Executive Director of Park Place Outreach

This program kicks off the year with a focus on youth poverty in Chatham County. The presenters lead organizations that provide critical services to youth who have experienced neglect, abuse, and homelessness. They ask the critical questions related to at risk youth. How do local youth end up homeless or in foster care? What are the systemic barriers they face? What kinds of investments are needed to change the long-term outcomes for the young people CASA and Park Place serve? As a community how can we support their mission?

CASA advocates for the best interests of young people in foster care because of the neglect and abuse they have experienced at home. CASA takes a holistic approach to meet the psychological, physical, educational and social needs of the child while working to reduce the time they spend apart from their families. Park Place provides emergency shelter and support services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. The goal of Park Place is to stabilize young people in crisis, increase their ability to function in social and educational settings, and reunify families whenever possible.

Register for Abigails Program

Member Spotlight

Cindy Gilbert

Cindy Gilbert grew up in Chevy Chase, MD. She met Harvey at UNC-Chapel Hill and they married after graduation. After moving to Savannah, Cindy worked at an innovative, community-based program for the chronically mentally ill for over six years and forged lasting friendships with her Open Door Family. After a move to Atlanta, Cindy earned her Masters in Urban Studies. She worked in Atlanta and Raleigh at Central Atlanta Progress, the Downtown Raleigh Development Corporation, the Georgia Research Alliance and Georgia CASA, to research, plan and implement social service programs and policies.

Cindy and Harvey moved back to Savannah in 1995. Cindy became Development Director of the Savannah Symphony, moved to Greenbriar Children’s Center to oversee Programs and Development, and served as Development Director for Senior Citizens. In 2004, Harvey formed a commercial real estate company and Cindy joined him as Office Manager. She continues in that role and loves working with her husband and son.

Cindy says that the center of her life (and motivation to work for a better world!) is their three grandchildren, Henry (3), Margaret (2), and Emma (1). In Cindy’s own words, “At one of my first Abigails meetings, I was recruited to serve on the WAG Steering Committee and work on programs…I’ve loved meeting so many talented and passionate leaders and helping spread the word about the wonderful advocacy work going on in our state and community. The Abigails are amazing women! It’s so inspiring to me that every Abigail has chosen to spend time continuing to learn about the many issues we face as a society and community and WORKING to make things better!” Cindy, we are grateful for your tireless work with progressive issues and your service to our community.


Welcome to the opening of the Skidaway Abigails 2021-2022 program year.  For many of us during this past year, Abigails has been a way for us to connect with each other in meaningful ways and help us get through these unusual times.

This year we are planning some interesting programs for you and  we are hoping many of them can be in person, but we will continue to use ZOOM if the current situation dictates. Likewise, we are conducting book clubs, discussion groups, and our Reel Time film group either in person or virtually. 

Last year we instituted a new software system that enables us to manage all facets of the Abigails activities, including membership.  I encourage you to visit our website at, and check out all the information you can find there, including the different activities that we offer. 

Notices are sent out periodically to remind members to renew and pay online with a credit card with only a few keystrokes.  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.


Looking forward to getting to know you all this year!

Elizabeth Cowell

Membership Chair

Click to Join or Renew


Abigails Video Chat

August 31, Sept 14, 21, 28

3 PM  Zoom Meetings

Coordinated by Sheila Grossman

Those who have participated in the Video Chats over the last 15 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. 

1619 Project - Redux

The America We Need Discussion Group

Friday, September 17

9:30 am Location TBD

Led by Annette Carnow

When The New York Times on August 2019 dedicated its entire Magazine section to the 1619 Project, it marked a major revision in how the editorial board had come to view Racial issues in the United States. While there has been legitimate criticism about historical inaccuracies, the general charge that “systemic racism" was baked into the very foundation of our Nation has found support in many quarters and caused enormous blow back in others. The hue and cry against the teaching of any aspect of the 1619 Project or “critical race theory” has created a hotbed of division over intellectual freedom for our teachers and how children are suppose to be educated about U.S. history.

For our next discussion please read: (“I helped fact check the 1619 Project - The Times Ignored Me”) (“Historians clash with 1619 Project - the fight is not about the facts")

And listen to the Podcast:

The Ezra Klein Show (July  30, 2021) - Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Fight over U.S. History


Please join us for our discussion, Friday morning, September 17 at 9:30. The location of the meeting and whether we will meet in person or via Zoom will be decided closer to the meeting date. If you are out of town and we do have the meeting in person, you will still be able to join the group via Zoom.

Register for America We Need

The Trail of Tears

Reel Time

August 25

4 PM Zoom Meeting

Coordinated by Annette Carnow

In our continuing exploration of a more honest and complete vision of American history, Reel Time will discuss Episode 5 of "The Trail of Tears" - "Our spirits don’t speak English - Indian Boarding Schools". Watch this film at your home on Amazon Prime, then join our discussion on August 25, 4pm on Zoom.

Although this film was made more than ten years ago, this topic has made headlines recently with the horrific discoveries in Canada of hundreds of bodies in unmarked graves at their schools for indigenous children. You may wish also to read The New York Times article from June 23, 2021 “U.S. to search Native American Schools for children’s remains” and/or listen to the the NPR episode of “ On Point” from July 28, 2021- Canada’s Indigenous School Survivors. 

I hope you will join us for this conversation.

There will be no Reel Time in September.

We welcome your suggestions for relevant films. Please contact: if you have any recommendations. 

Register for Reel Time


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 8 members and is looking to add two 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 is reading "Innocents Abroad" by Marc Twain.  Maureen Treat will facilitate the discussion.  The PM Book Club is currently full but we would be happy to start a new one if there is member interest. If you would like to participate in a book club, please email us at

Message From Your Board of Directors

Your 2020-2021 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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