OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTER
The Tuesday Blast is Chicago Foundation for Women's e-newsletter, delivered to nearly 10,000 inboxes. The Tuesday Blast is now being delivered monthly.
Subscribe to the Tuesday Blast now.
This edition's email subject:
Tuesday Blast: Closer to her dreams
Delivered: March 4, 2014
TICKETS SELLING FAST FOR THE 2014 Impact Awards Honorees:
Join us on Thursday, March 13th for the 2014 Impact Awards! All proceeds benefit CFW's grants and outreach.
- $100 for Patrons
- $60 general admissions
- $30 for students
Learn more about the 2014 honorees.
Sponsorships are still available. To learn more, contact Ilda Lagunas at (312) 577-2810 or email@example.com.
March 2014 Edition
|The Eleanor Network at Chicago Foundation for Women supports an array of economic security strategies.
From STEM afterschool programs for girls to grassroots advocacy campaigns with grandmothers, we believe in expanding economic security across the lifespan of a woman.
U.S. Army Reservist Fatimah Muhammad dreams of one day opening a restaurant. The CFW funded program Women Vetrepreneurship Program (WVP) of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is helping her do just that.
Staff Sergeant Muhammad has 10 years of military service under her belt. She has been in the Army Reserves since 2006 and previously served in the Army National Guard from 1999-2001. Although she comes from a military family, (her father is a Vietnam veteran, one of her brothers is in the Army, and her cousin died in the U.S. Army Blackhawk crash) Fatimah said the camaraderie of the military is what attracted her to serving.
During her tenure in the Army Reserves, Fatimah was deployed to Iraq for a year and Afghanistan for a year. She is one of the 2 million American troops that has fought in the Middle East since 2001. Fatimah's MOS or Military Occupational Specialty is Civil Affairs Specialist. While deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan she was responsible for improving the Rule of Law in those nations. In Iraq she worked with the U.S. State Department on a Provincial Reconstruction Team or PRT as the Rule of Law Coordinator. These duties earned her several military awards and the prestigious U.S. Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award given to her by former Ambassador to Iraq, Chris R. Hill. While deployed to Afghanistan she was in a Joint U.S./NATO Rule of Law Command where she served as a Rule of Law Field Support Officer in several key districts of the Kandahar Province.
Her day-to-day activities during her deployments included but were not limited too: improving the justice system by working with civilians, Iraqi & Afghan government officials, Judges, Law enforcement, human rights organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), village elders, women and women's rights organizations.With the assistance of a linguist, Fatimah assessed complex needs and assisted the Afghan and Iraqi communities. For her accomplishments in Afghanistan Fatimah was awarded The Bronze Star Medal.
Now that she’s back in Chicago, Fatimah is working as a paralegal. Many veterans who return from active duty encounter a difficult transition to civilian life. No parades or celebrations to welcome them home from war. Instead, they come back to a poor economy in which jobs were scarce and a housing market crash. Finding a job that matches their education and military experience proved tough. Most businesses are unable to take advantage of veterans’ transferable skills. Like most civilians, vets seek a job they actually want to work.
There are approximately 76,000 new veterans already living in Illinois and 18% of the veterans are women.
(SOURCE: Report from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation)
Fatimah was unemployed for a year after returning from Afghanistan. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012 annual report on veterans employment, 8.3 percent of women veterans faced unemployment, while male veteran unemployment dropped to 6.9 percent. Although the statistical sample for women veterans is small, the fact that their unemployment rate did not decline in similar measure to their male counterparts highlights the urgent need to take bold action.
Fatimah receiving her Bronze Star Medal
CFW is proud to fund the Vetrepreneurship program at the Women’s Business Development Center. It builds on our tradition of supporting innovative solutions, based on expertise in identifying the evolving challenges facing women and girls.
Illinois had the 4th highest unemployment rate of all states for new veterans in 2010, at 13%.
(SOURCE: Report from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation)
The Women’s Business Development Center recognized that the qualities veterans possess, including being a resourceful problem solver, persevering through adversity, being willing to take risks and having a can-do attitude, are the same ones that make successful entrepreneurs. So, they took action. After a year of research, the WBDC discovered that there was only one program in the United States (Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)) that provided women veterans, active duty and female family members, with the tools they need to become successful entrepreneurs. In January 2013, the WBDC partnered with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to form the Women Vetrepreneurship Program, a unique opportunity for women veterans who are pursuing self-employment or business ownership as a pathway to economic security, independence and empowerment.
As luck would have it, during her time of unemployment, Fatimah heard about the Women Vetrepreneurship Program and immediately signed up. Although the program was new, Fatimah said that she believed in the program. “I felt comfortable with them [the WBDC team] and around them. I trust them with helping me with my dream,” Fatimah said.
This year, the Women Vetrepreneurship Program will engage over 50 women veterans in 250 hours of business counseling through 6-8 workshops. The program hopes that at least 25 women will complete their business plans. Women veterans in the program also receive no-cost child care services during program participation.
Nicole Mandeville, a Desert Storm Army veteran who serves as the director of the WBDC's Women Vetrepreneurship Program says, “We've received a great response to the program and I'm looking forward to helping these vets get their businesses started."
Women Vetrepreneurship Program's launch of
"Back to Basics: Building Your Business Boot Camp" (B2B)
WBDC celebrated the first anniversary of the Women Vetrepreneurship Program by launching "Back to Basics: Building Your Business Boot Camp" (B2B) in partnership with The PrivateBank. Women veterans had the opportunity to sign up for a free, 16-week "basic training" program to help them take a business concept from dream to reality. The B2B training series functions as the entrepreneurial arm of the WVP designed specifically for women veterans and sponsored by The PrivateBank. The PrivateBank will operate and manage a microloan fund specifically for the B2B program graduates, as well as provide content advisors and mentors to participants. The bank will offer loans of up to $10,000 for start-ups and a maximum of $25,000 for qualifying existing business.
Fatimah believes that the WVP is going to assist her in obtaining three dreams at once: financial stability, a solid business and a legacy for her family. “To me, entrepreneurship is a good foundation for community development. My family doesn’t own anything outside of homes and I want to change that. I want to leave a legacy.” Within the next two years, Fatimah anticipates opening her restaurant which she says will have foods with lots of spices. She has already named her head chef and in April, she will host her first menu tasting. “I know the WBDC will help connect me with the right people so I can get this off the ground. I’m going to be on someone’s best new restaurant list very soon!”
I for one am looking forward to putting it on my favorite places to eat. How about you?
CFW's Philanthropic Mentoring Program 2014 Cohort
CFW's Philanthropic Mentoring Program
CFW's Philanthropic Mentoring Program is engaging feminists across generations. On February 18, participants of CFW's Philanthropic Mentoring Program (PMP) attended a kick-off dinner where the participants met their match. The PMP brings together experienced professionals and philanthropists from CFW’s network with emerging members of the Giving Councils who are in the early stages of their philanthropic development. The goal of the PMP is to promote and cultivate philanthropic leadership among women and to support the advancement of philanthropic and professional development.
Tweet-Up for International Women's Day
Join us for a Tweet-Up for International Women's Day about immigrant women's economic contributions! The event will take place on Friday, March 7th from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at CFW's office, 1 E. Upper Wacker Dr., 16th Floor. Come meet experts working with immigrant women business owners and learn about the work IWCIR is doing. Coffee and pastries will be served. Space is limited, so please RSVP here. Follow the conversation @ILWomen4CIR. You can also let others know about the event with this tweet: Join a tweet-up about #immigrant women & their contributions to the economy for #womensday w/ @ILWomen4CIR 3/7 @ 10:30 am CT #womentogether.
Save the Date for a Screening of Inequality for All!
Woods Fund Chicago and the Wieboldt Foundation, in collaboration with Chicago Foundation for Women, Polk Bros. Foundation, and Roosevelt University, invite you for a screening of Robert Reich’s film, Inequality for All followed by a short panel discussion. The screening is on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30pm at Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave. Space is limited, so RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. **Please note: two RSVPs per organization.**
CFW is partnering with the ITVSand WTTW Channel 11 for their Community Cinema Chicago screening of Young Lakota. Young Lakota is the story a of three young people living in the Pine Ridge Reservation try to forge a better future. When the first female President of Oglala Lakota defies a South Dakota law criminalizing abortion by vowing to build a women’s clinic in their sovereign territory, the young tribe members are faced with difficult choices. The screening will take place on Saturday, March 22nd from 2:00 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center located at 78 E. Washington Street. After the film there will be a discussion with tribal elders based in Chicago - Susan Power and Clovia Malatare, along with young leaders Janie Pochel and Lisa Bernal. The moderator is Dr. Dorene Wiese, president of the American Indian Association of Illinois. The event is free and open to the public.
Board Development: Skill-Sharpening for Women Currently on Nonprofit Boards
Are you a current nonprofit board member looking to take your participation to the next level? Do you have board members ready to delve deeper in their responsibilities? If you answered yes, then you should join us for Board Boot Camp: Reboot. This program includes interactive training sessions where participants will increase their skills in topics such as board governance, nonprofit finance, and fundraising. There will also be a networking session in June where participants can learn about nonprofit organizations in need of board members. Please note: this program is designed for women who have had 5 years of experience or less, without assuming an officer position. Board Boot Camp: Reboot will take place on March 24th, 26th, and 31st in the Chicago Loop. The final registration deadline is March 10th. Please see the application or you can visit our webpage HERE.
JARC on CNBC
JARC was recently featured on CNBC's “Where the Jobs Are” segment which airs each month when the unemployment numbers are released. The segment highlights JARC’s model and includes an interview with JARC's Executive Director, Guy Loudon. Vide the video HERE.
Want to Fight Sexual Violence? Look to the Labor Movement
CFW grantee Rape Victim Advocates has been meeting with labor organizers from Chicago worker centers like the Chicago Coalition of Household Workers, CFW grantee Latino Union, ARISE-Chicago and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos and with other anti-rape advocates, attorneys and government officials. The group hopes to bridge the anti-rape and labor rights movements through dialogue, resource sharing, and collaborative education for workers and activists. Read more about this collaborative work HERE.
Visit our website calendar to see all our upcoming programs and events.
13: 2014 Impact Awards
24, 26, 31: Board Boot Camp: Reboot
11: Vegetarian Cooking Class with the LBTQ Giving Council
CFW grantees: Want to be sure your news clips and awards get in the Blast?
Email Blast editor Sharonda at email@example.com or share the good news on our Facebook and Twitter pages!
Click here to unsubscribe from the Tuesday Blast or change your Chicago Foundation for Women email preferences.