TUESDAY BLAST - Chicago Foundation for Women's Weekly eUpdate

June 10-16, 2008

Saturday, Nov. 1
"Margaret Garner"

Denyce Graves portraying Margaret Garner
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Tuesday Special

Charitable giving: Beyond tithing
The last of our three-past series “A Foundation for Your Financial Future” is 6-8 p.m. tomorrow, June 11 at the National Mexican Museum of Art. This final workshop titled “Giving Beyond Tithing” will address the state of philanthropy, how much women give and how they can give it. Coin with dollar signAlso covered are the tax implications of donating and how to choose charities that match your giving plans.

The two presenters are Gwen Cohen, wealth adviser and estate planning consultant, Morgan Stanley, and Janice Rodgers, partner and chair of tax exempt organizations group Quarles & Brady LLP. We are lucky to have both women on our Alumnae Council as former Foundation board members. Join us for this highly informative workshop. Learn to make your donations count even more. RSVP directly to Marisol Ybarra at or (312) 577-2836, or register online with a $20 donation.

Tuesday Stars

Our stars this week are women who make an impact. Health care activist Byllye Avery said at our Impact Awards program last Thursday, “We are women from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet.” And that means we must take charge of Dr. Elders, Ms. Avery, Mary F. Morten, Ms. Mooreevery decision that affects us. Avery and our other two honorees, Jo Moore and Amber Smock reminded us of the importance of women’s advocacy and action. Special guest and former Surgeon General Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders also delivered a powerful message of empowerment and education. “We’ve got to get out and make things happen,” she said.

And indeed the crowd of more than 200 family, friends and supporters who attended made the event a wonderful evening to remember. Moore, who received the Action Award, told us about her growth as a philanthropist and the friends she has met as a feminist activist. Smock, Founders’ Award recipient, illustrated the importance of combining disability rights with feminism by recalling her visit to Alton, IL, to organize a memorial for Dorothy Dixon, a disabled woman who was tortured and killed. Elders introduced Pioneer Award recipient Avery with a rousing call for health care activism by all of us. In accepting her award, Avery stressed the Sunny Fischer, Ms. Smock, Iris Krieg, Ms. Peeplesimportance of a reproductive justice framework that moves beyond pro-choice rhetoric to embrace more issues pertinent to women’s health, their families and their communities.

(Chicago Foundation for Women has a $100,000 challenge grant from The Catalyst Fund to fund reproductive justice work led by women of color. Click here to learn more.)

Thank you to everyone who came to the Impact Awards, donated money and cheered on this year’s amazing and very deserving honorees. See more Impact Awards photos in our slideshow.

Correction: In the May 27 Tuesday Blast, we wrote that Action Award recipient Jo Moore "has been integral to the success of many women’s organizations," including the Evanston YWCA. In fact the organization's name is the Evanston Shelter for Battered Women.

News - analysis, what's missing, Foundation updates


June 7 was the 43rd anniversary of the 1965 Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which established access to contraception as part of the right to privacy. On this anniversary, a national anti-choice protest said contraception is chemical abortion—“The Pill Kills Babies” was their tagline. Read more about their protest at RH Reality Check. Then, read an accurate medical explanation of contraception by Dr. Dana Stone at Feministing.

What's missing
     Double Feature
"Bridezillas" bus shelter ad with torn, stained wedding gownThe story: Or rather, the ad: Reality series “Bridezillas” just began a new season on cable channel WE TV. The show documents brides-to-be at their worst, whether bullying their fiancés or overreacting to small problems. Ads on bus shelters in downtown Chicago highlight the theme: “This season the family fights back!” The bus shelter ads are more than a poster—a three-dimensional window contains a torn and stained bridal gown on a dress form. The photo shown is from the bus stop at State and Lake streets in front of The Chicago Theatre.
What’s missing: The dress makes it seem that the woman wearing it was attacked. The implication is that women like the stars of “Bridezillas” should expect violence. What’s even more upsetting is the gown’s juxtaposition with the theme of family retribution. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Women should not expect and do not deserve violence, no matter what they say or do—especially from family members they love and trust. Period. ACTION CONTEST: If you see offensive ads or other media, take photos and share them. If we get enough, we hope to put them up for a vote—submit pictures to and include your name and daytime phone.

The story: The New York Times reflected on the demolition of a Wisconsin house where a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed his ex-girlfriend and five of her friends. He later killed himself in woods nearby. Tyler Peterson, age 20, visited 18-year-old ex-girlfriend Jordanne Murray’s house early one day after a night of sending upsetting text messages. When Murray’s friends told Peterson to leave, calling him a “stalker boyfriend,” he did—but returned minutes later and shot everyone with a semiautomatic rifle. Local pastor Bill Farr, who helped raise funds to destroy the house, called the house an “infection.”
What’s missing: The exact type of tragedy is not named: Violence against women, and specifically stalking. As the families and neighbors try to heal from the tragedy, whether an “infection” or “A Pain No One Can Bear to Live With,” as the Times headline read, we suggest a focus on the epidemic infection of violence against women. As this story shows, after all, violence against women hurts not just individuals but entire communities. By the numbers:

  • One-third of female homicide victims reported to police are killed by intimate partners, the FBI reports. Every day, about three women are murdered by current or former partners.
  • About one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, according to the National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Stalking is the most prevalent form of violence against women and the strongest indicator of extreme violence. Women are most at risk from their partners when they leave a relationship. A national survey by the U.S. Department of Justice found about 1 million women over 18 say they have been stalked—but in only 10 percent of those cases did women feel safe enough to call the police.

Grantee news

Click here to vote for Nichyria Byrd from Girls on the Run - ChicagoGirls on the Run – Chicago participant Nichyria Byrd, 11, has been nominated for ESPN’s first-ever “Earn Your Stripes Youth Achievement Award,” part of the network’s 2008 ESPY Awards. Nichyria is a 5th grader at Ariel Community Academy in Chicago. At Girls on the Run – Chicago, one of our grantees, she not only received training to run her first 5K race, she also learned about health, positive body image, self-esteem, leadership and community involvement. To win, Nichyria has to get the most votes of the five nominees. Please watch her video and vote for her before voting ends this Sunday, June 15.

Read more at our Press Room and our Past Events at


 Cook County health services back on track

On June 3, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved President Todd Stroger’s final four nominees for the Bureau of Medical symbolHealth Services’ 11-member Interim Board of Directors. Thanks to your advocacy and the hard work of the Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services (of which the Foundation is a leader), the Bureau of Health Services has been turned over to a group of well-qualified, dedicated individuals. These leaders can help make this one of the greatest health care systems in America.

We welcome the members of the newly created Bureau of Health Services Board of Directors and thank them for their service. The new members are: Jorge Ramirez, Warren Batts, Sister Sheila Lyne, Dr. David Ansell, Heather O’Donnell, Quin Golden, Benn Greenspan, David Carvalho, Dr. Luis Munoz and Andrea Zopp. The County Commissioners will be represented on the new board by 3rd District Commissioner Jerry Butler.

The board’s first and most imperative task over the next six months will be to select a new Chief Executive Officer to oversee the county’s nearly $900 million health care system. The Emergency Network plans to monitor the board’s progress. Already we have seen positive media coverage on the new board, from editorials in the Chicago Sun-Times (PDF) and Daily Herald (PDF) to letters printed in the Sun-Times (PDF) and Chicago Tribune

Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.

Our Events
Our website calendar lists all our programs, events and cosponsorships.

In the spotlight
JUNE 11 (Wed.): Reproductive Justice Telephone Briefing: Young women impacted
     by the sex trade
, 3-4:30 p.m.
JUNE 11 (Wed.): A Foundation for Your Financial Future: Giving Beyond Tithing (all-council
     event series), 6-8 p.m.
JUNE 19 (Thu.): Grantees: Curbside Consulting (Building Nonprofit Management Skills),
     9-11:30 a.m.
JULY 17 (Thu.): Trivia Night at T's Bar (with Young Women's Leadership Council), 6:30-9 p.m.
JULY 23 (Wed.): Mix and Mingle (with Lesbian Leadership Council), 6-9 p.m.

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