Tuesday Blast: Make A difference This week

Chicago Foundation for Women's Weekly eUpdate

The week of April 24-30, 2007
View this update ONLINE

Our yearlong anti-violence initiative
"What Will It Take?"is paid for in part by a grant from the State of Illinois.

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Tomorrow, come to The Note in Wicker Park for a town hall on violence prevention for young women (6:30-9 p.m at 1565 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

Then at 10:35 p.m. tune to ABC 7 Chicago's town hall on violence against women and girls.

7 p.m. May 3 at the Park West
"You don’t understand why women stay in abusive relationships.
"You think you’re too independent, too tough, and too smart to ever get in that situation.
"Until you’re there. Suddenly, you understand all too well."
An excerpt from the poem “You” by Sally Shields
Get tickets to this one-night-only performance.

There is a gender gap in health care coverage. Women face more barriers when it comes to health care, according to a study released last week by the Commonwealth Fund. Women have greater health care needs than men, more difficulty affording health care services and greater difficulty paying premiums. Therefore, the national report concludes, women are in “greater need of comprehensive coverage.”

ACTION: Provide every woman and girl with health care: Support Illinois Covered, a comprehensive health plan for all Illinoisans.
  • Attend our May 4 policy briefing on uninsured women and girls and how Illinois Covered could help. We will release our own study of the state landscape for uninsured women.
  • Learn more about the potential of Illinois Covered in our state budget analysis.

It’s Equal Pay Day—though it’s not a time to celebrate. Today, women’s pay finally catches up with men’s from last year, almost four months late. But we can take action: Support the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338/ S. 766) and the Fair Pay Act, which together strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963. 

ABC TOWN HALL: WATCH IT. Invite friends and colleagues to watch ABC 7 Chicago and be part of the “Night of 100 Viewings.” The hour-long special on violence against women and girls airs tomorrow, April 25, at 10:35 p.m. Share the message of “What Will It Take?”...

PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST YOUNG WOMEN. Come to a town hall at The Note (1565 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in Wicker Park tomorrow from 6:30 to 9 p.m. hosted by our Young Women's Leadership Council. What will it take? Artists, activists and you, so please join us...

Bills and policies that need your energy

Increase the EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC) in Illinois for low-income families: support Senate Bill 12. Read the fact sheet.

LEGALIZE CIVIL UNIONS in Illinois: support Illinois House Bill 1826. Read the fact sheet.

ABSTINENCE-ONLY EDUCATION: Make schools abstain.
  • Urge Gov. Blagojevich to turn down federal abstinence-only funding and cut state money for it as well. Learn more on
  • Support the Responsible Education About Life Act in Congress (S.972/H.R.1653) to fund medically accurate, comprehensive sex education. Read the fact sheet. 
The Supreme Court upheld the 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Act, which bans a procedure without an exception for women’s health. The courtroom is the wrong place to be practicing medicine.  Read our response…

How did intact dilation and extraction become “partial birth” abortion? The medically inaccurate term earned legitimacy when the media used it again and again. The words “partial birth” played a key role in shaping the debate. Where did they come from? And what is the media’s responsibility for adopting an inaccurate, politically-charged term? Read more at AlterNet…

Rape is not a metaphor—it’s a crime. Young Women’s Leadership Council member Natalie Evans told ESPN Radio’s Mac, Jurko and Harry show, to change the way they talk. After the radio DJs talked about the impact of the Olympics on Chicago, by saying “If rape is inevitable, then just lay back and enjoy it.” Evans wrote—the hosts apologized. Read more…

Domestic violence survivors need employment rights, from taking time off without penalty to qualifying for unemployment insurance. Senate subcommittee hearings last week addressed these workplace issues and introduced the Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act in the Senate (S. 1136). We will keep you posted as the bill moves forward.

What is missing?
We add perspective to recent headlines

The story: Seung-Hui Cho may have killed 32 people because of fellow Virginia Tech student Emily Jane Hilscher, Australia’s Daily Telegraph reported April 18. The headline read: “Was gunman crazed over Emily?” Next to her photo, the story read: “THIS is the face of the girl who may have sparked the worst school shooting in US history.”
What it didn’t say: Sensational victim-blaming headlines are not only poor and lazy journalism but a way out of complicated issues. Why did Cho stalk and harass women on campus? And why didn’t anyone take these threats seriously? Stalking is one of the most pervasive forms of violence against women and the strongest indicator of extreme violence. Yet, law enforcement first approached Hilscher’s death—one of the first two in Cho’s rampage—as a “domestic dispute” and wondered if Hilscher had “jilted Cho, cheated on him or led him on” to cause her own death, James Ridgeway wrote in Mother Jones. As a result, no action was taken to lock down the campus. Read the Mother Jones story…

The story: “Tweens 'R' Shoppers” was a Sunday story in the New York Times about the purchasing power of the 12-to-15 set. Read the article.
What it didn’t say: The story is a commercial for various products that market to tweens. It presents the commercialization of children as an important new trend—going so far as to say shopping offers children a “safe” outlet in these troubling times. No experts are used to talk about research that shows a negative effect between materialism and the development of children. Numerous studies cited by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood say the central premise of marketing—buying things will make us happy—is not true. Actually, research shows the pressure to spend and consume actually makes people less happy. Read a fact sheet on the issue...

In case you missed it
Rape Victim Advocates will honor Mary Morten, the Foundation’s associate director, and Sunny Fischer, one of the Foundation’s co-founders, at their 2007 Visionary Awards Gala on May 9. Read the Windy City Times story.

Catch up on more at our Press Room or our Past Events page at or our News page on

Mark your calendar
APRIL 25: Town Hall – Chicago’s Wicker Park, 6:30-9 p.m., with the Young Women’s Leadership Council (“What Will It Take?” program)

Televised Town Hall on ABC 7 Chicago and "Night of 100 Viewings," 10:35-11:30 p.m. ("What Will It Take?" program)


MAY 3: Portraits: Stories of Hope and Survival, 7 p.m. (“What Will It Take?” special event)

MAY 4: Policy briefing on uninsured women and girls, 9-10:30 a.m.

MAY 5: Volunteer for the Rescue and Restore Outreach Day, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. ("What Will It Take?" program)

MAY 8: Ending violence against women: What are faith-based communities doing? 8-9:30 a.m. ("What Will It Take?" program; co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League)

MAY 10: Race for a Safe State: A 5K Run, Walk and Roll, 6:30 p.m. (“What Will It Take?” special event)

MAY 16: Town Hall - Chicago, 6-8:30 p.m., with the Lesbian Leadership Council ("What Will It Take?" program)

JUNE 7: Music Matters Concert: Singers and Songwriters Unite Against Violence featuring Jill Scott, 8 p.m. (“What Will It Take?” special event)

For more programs and events see our calendar page or the "What Will It Take?" statewide events page.

WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN “WHAT WILL IT TAKE?” If you see our PSAs on TV or hear them on the radio, or if you see one of our ads in newspapers, on buses or on billboards, email saying when and where the ad appeared. We will enter you in a drawing for a t-shirt and a few surprises. Please include your name and a daytime phone number.

Speakers bureau: Want a free speaker to come and tell you or your organization about “What Will It Take?” Contact Laura Fletcher at (312) 577-2824 or More about the speakers bureau...

JULY 12 tickets to "The Color Purple" in Chicago on sale now, to benefit the Sojourner Fund of the African American Leadership Council.

JUNE 13: The 2007 Impact Awards, in Chicago
SEPT. 11: The Foundation's 22nd Annual Luncheon and Symposium, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago

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