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TUESDAY BLAST: MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK

Chicago Foundation for Women's Weekly eUpdate

The week of July 3-9, 2007

View this update ONLINE

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"Peace will be lasting only if it is built on two solid pillars: social justice and democracy."
-Shirin Ebadi, 22nd Annual Luncheon speaker
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WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY? VIOLENCE IN ART AND MEDIA
Did you miss last week's panel on art and media's role in violence against women? Read our write-up of the night's discussion, part of the "What Will It Take?" Men's Initiative.

TUESDAY SPECIAL: SHIRIN EBADI
WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS. Shirin Ebadi, Iranian activist for women’s and girls’ rights and a Nobel Peace Prize winner (pictured right), will be our keynote speaker at the 22nd Annual Luncheon on Sept. 11. The event draws more than 2,000 Chicago-area leaders and advocates, and you will want to be a part of it. Stay tuned for sponsorship and ticket information. 

TUESDAY STAR
Stars and Stripes edition
HAPPY 231st BIRTHDAY. The country is 231 years old tomorrow (and the Tuesday Blast turns six months today). As we celebrate independence, let’s remember that not everybody achieved independence on the same timeline. Only 94 years ago, in 1913: Illinois women get the vote, and African American activist, Chicagoan Ida B. Wells-Barnett founds the Alpha Suffrage Club for black women. How women do in 2007 and beyond is up to us. Take a look at Chicago Foundation for Women’s history. Thank you for supporting the Foundation and your news and information service, the Tuesday Blast.

50 STARS IN ILLINOIS. Chicago Foundation for Women gave $600,000 to 50 stars—organizations helping Chicago-area women and girls live in safe, just and healthy communities. These grants—announced this week—bring the Foundation’s 2007 fiscal year grant total to nearly $2 million. Here is just one of our many grantee stars: The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, whose sexual health care access initiative will advocate for Illinois students to receive comprehensive sex education and health services. Read the full release online. Also check the fall grant deadlines if you are interested in applying.

WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK
GET YOUR CLUBS READY. Sign up now for The Fairway Network’s Charity Golf Tournament on July 26. Tee off at Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield, network with professional women and support Chicago Foundation for Women. Reserve your spot now.

NEWS IMPORTANT TO YOU
"THIS WEEK" SHOWS GENDER SAVVY
Cokie Roberts, Donna Brazile, Bay Buchanan and Ruth Marcus—four women—talked policy and opinion at ABC’s Sunday morning public affairs show “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on July 1. This weekly roundtable had no gender theme or reason—just four women who are experts on politics and media discussing the week’s events. Plus the executive producer and a majority of “This Week” staff are women (eight out of 11). We long for the day when this is not unique. But recent studies show a big gender gap on Sunday morning news talk, including “This Week.” 

KEEP THE FAITH IN ILLINOIS
Faith communities across Illinois are joining forces to urge the Illinois General Assembly to pass tax reforms to address pressing needs in healthcare, education and other social services. The assembly, now in an overtime session, has still not passed a budget, and many Illinoisans may not have access to quality healthcare and education next year. We join the Healthcare Justice Campaign in seizing this opportunity for change—read more.

U.S. HOUSE ASKS FOR JAPAN TO APOLOGIZE FOR “COMFORT WOMEN”
During World War II, more than 200,000 women in Japan were forced into the sex trade as “comfort women.” They were enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army, and U.S. Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA) in his bill, HR 121, is demanding an official apology from the Japanese government. Last week, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee passed HR 121 and it will soon go to the House floor for a vote.

TAKE ACTION
Bills and policies that need your energy. Vist our Action Center - quickly make a difference this week. 

FEDERAL ACTION
ABSTINENCE-ONLY: HOW THE MONEY FLOWS
Federal grants for abstinence-only education come from either Title V, which requires local money on top of their funding, or the Community-Based Abstinence Education program, which goes straight to abstinence-only organizations. Illinois does not match Title V money (about $1.8 million) with state funds, but private organizations put up those dollars. So, some consider this “free money” and impossible to pass up. But as our grandmother taught us, nothing in life is free. The cost for this money is taken out on every student who receives inaccurate and dangerous sexual health information from these programs, which research has shown are bad for children’s overall sexual health. The other funding source, Community-Based Abstinence Education programs, amounts to about $6 million and goes straight to nine Illinois abstinence-only organizations. Much of the monies fund “crisis pregnancy centers” that, while they advertise a full range of medical services, offer pregnant women only anti-abortion propaganda, misinformation, fear and shame. All this is money we can ill afford to spend: Ask elected officials to just say no to any funding of abstinence-only education. CONTACT YOUR SENATOR AND CONGRESSPEOPLE NOW.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE? A STRONGER FEDERAL HATE CRIMES LAW
President Bush has said he will veto a bill that would expand the definition of federal hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability status. CLICK HERE TO CONTACT CONGRESS NOW.

ILLINOIS ACTION
ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE IN OVERTIME SESSION ON BUDGET
Read the Voices for Illinois Children analysis of the Illinois legislature’s overtime budget talks for fiscal year 2008. Learn what compromises will help and which will hurt women, girls and families for the next fiscal year that began Sunday, July 1.

ILLINOIS WOMEN NOT GETTING THE CARE THEY NEED
Illinois women and girls - along with everyone else - need Illinois Covered. Tell your state legislators to vote YES on Illinois Covered. CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION NOW.
 
WHAT IS MISSING?
We add perspective to recent headlines

The story: Chris Benoit, the nationally famous wrestler, reportedly murdered his wife, Nancy, and thier son, Daniel, before he then took his own life. Headlines blame “ ‘roid rage,” intense aggression caused by illegal steroid abuse. Some stories mention the divorce his wife was planning and domestic abuse charges Benoit’s wife filed in 2003 but later dropped. But the violence in wrestling is rarely connected to Benoit’s rage, except ironically: “Because they lived in a world of scripted story lines, flying clotheslines and outlandish ring names, it took nearly a day for some WWE fans to believe that Benoit and his family were actually dead,” ESPN wrote this Sunday.

What is missing: A discussion of domestic violence and masculinity. Yes, steroids should be a part of this discussion, but we should focus on the fantasy of hyper-masculine violence they fuel and the danger women face when leaving a domestic violence situation. Women such as Nancy Benoit, who have been victims of domestic violence, are in extreme danger when they plan on leaving the relationship. Advocates know it, researchers have documented it. As for masculinity and wrestling, where is the responsibility for creating these characters? Former wrestler Bill Watts said: “You've got to realize that athletes generally handle their problems physically, so we’re probably not the best with relationships.” He continued: “You can't live this persona and turn it off when you go home and read the newspaper or watch the news. It becomes you.” Don’t boys and men deserve better role models and a higher ideal in their fantasy life?

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
NEXT WEEK

LATER IN JULY
JULY 26: The Fairway Network Annual Charity Golf Tournament, 1 p.m.

COMING IN SEPTEMBER
SEPT. 11: 22nd Annual Luncheon and Symposium featuring Shirin Ebadi, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

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

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
CAN-TV taped our panel, “Art and Media: Do they cause violence against women and girls?” on June 26. Stay tuned for the date and time it will be aired. In the meantime, read our write-up of the event.

Catch up on more at our Press Room or our Past Events page at cfw.org or our News page on whatwillittake.org.
 
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
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 lfletcher@cfw.org 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 lfletcher@cfw.org. More about the speakers bureau...


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