June 24-30, 2008
Annual Luncheon at McCormick Place
It's official: On Oct. 31, 2008 we will hold our centerpiece event--the 23rd Annual Luncheon and Symposium--at a new location: McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Tables and sponsorships are available now, and individual tickets will go on sale Sept. 1. We hope more than 2,000 people again join us and this year's celebrated guest, Denyce Graves--the renowned mezzo-soprano who stars in the Chicago premiere of "Margaret Garner."
Each year our annual luncheon is our largest fundraiser, allowing us to continue to advocate for all women and girls as well as award grants to Chicago-area programs focused on their health, safety and economic security. We hope to see you there.
Chellie Pingree, former president and CEO of advocacy group Common Cause and a panelist at our 21st Annual Symposium on media responsibility (pictured at left), won a Democratic congressional primary in Maine. According to the Feminist News Wire, she will run for a 1st District seat in the House of Representatives after besting five other contenders. As a historically Democratic district, Pingree is expected to win the seat in November. Though both Maine’s senators are notably women, Pingree would be the first Democratic woman representing Maine in Congress. We remember Pingree’s pearl of wisdom at the symposium: “We can’t always count on the press to cover the stories and keep them as active issues.… Stay in their faces. Run for office. The biggest way you can affect change is to be someone knowledgeable.”
Groundbreaking medical trials begin soon on women and microbicides. Microbicides, used in a gel or foam to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, will be tested on women who may become pregnant to determine their safety for pregnant women and developing fetuses. As a member of the Chicago Women and Girls HIV Prevention Coalition, we at the Foundation support continued research into the efficacy and safety of microbicides, which could put HIV prevention into women’s hands. Learn more at the Microbicide Trials Network--or hear from experts by registering for a microbicides program tomorrow, June 25, from 6-8 p.m..
The Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program lives on. CBAE, a federal funding stream for abstinence-only education, was renewed by a House Appropriations subcommittee last week. According to an ACLU statement, “It’s hard to imagine a good reason why, in these tight economic times, Congress would intentionally flush taxpayer dollars down the drain by spending them on disproven, ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. As opponents to abstinence-only education, we concur. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2008 it anticipates giving “80 to 90” CBAE awards of “between $250,000 and $600,000” from an expected $40 million program allocation.
Women who give get a lot of satisfaction. A special section of the June issue of Town & Country magazine, “A Woman’s Guide to Giving,” looks at women’s impact on philanthropy. Women, the article states, are “learning to act as strategic philanthropists,” using their funds and skills to fuel causes that matter to them. The article also notes “the huge growth in women’s philanthropy over the past 15 years offers up some revealing research in the area, such as the fact that women who give want to change society for the better and make a difference." Or, as one survey respondent replied, "Philanthropy is a better mood booster than shopping.” Though not online, the magazine is on newsstands and at your local library.
The American Medical Association passed a resolution to limit home births, RH Reality Check reports. At a meeting in Chicago, AMA members agreed to advocate for legislation to name a “hospital or a birthing center” as “the safest setting for labor, delivery and the immediate post-partum period." The AMA resolution (Word document) also calls for tighter regulations on midwives’ practices. The AMA and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which takes a similar position, may put some midwives and mothers at risk of prosecution. Former talk show host Ricki Lake opposes the AMA’s move. Her 2008 documentary, “The Business of Being Born,” supports mothers’ right to choose how to give birth and “questions the medicalization of childbirth,” according to Chicago Tribune health writer Julie Deardorff. The photo at right from the film shows Cara Muhlhahn, Certified Nurse Midwife (left) with Mayra and David Radzinski. As advocates for reproductive justice, we encourage readers to pay attention to how national health groups like AMA and ACOG respond to women’s health needs and choices.
Spring 2008 grants are official: Forty-two Chicago-area nonprofit organizations working with women and girls received nearly $400,000 for projects and programs supporting freedom from violence, health and economic security for all women and girls, with a focus on advocacy projects. This cycle grants were focused on girl-serving organizations—two-thirds of our Sophia and General Fund grantees—as well as neighborhood-based groups. Read more in our press release. Stay tuned next week for announcements about our fall grants.
Chicago Foundation for Women's Leadership Councils took time to celebrate and reflect at an all-council gathering on June 10. Members from each council shared thoughts on past events, grantmaking and upcoming programming, and discussed how to work collectively in the upcoming year. The councils also revealed their 2008 grantees, now available in our press release. Councils also acknowledged co-chairs: Neeta Nadkarny, Jenny Delumo and Wendy Yu, who will be stepping down from the Young Women’s Leadership Council, and Sylvia Puente, a founding member of the Latina Leadership Council. Thank you all for your service and support to the Foundation and the councils.
Read more at our Press Room and our Past Events at cfw.org.
Update: Latest on reforms to Cook County health system
The newly formed independent board of directors, to oversee the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, held its first meeting June 18, and Chicago Foundation for Women along with others from the Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services were there to observe. Warren Batts, former CEO of Tupperware Corp., was chosen to head the new board, and the remaining officer positions will be selected at a later date. The board also plans to find a temporary chief financial officer. Five standing committees were formed: 1) Finance and Audit; 2) Management Human Resources Compensation; 3) Quality Assurance, Joint Commission and Compliance; 4) Purchasing and 5) Strategic Planning. As the officers and committees begin their work, we’ll keep you abreast of the latest news.
Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.
Our website calendar lists all our programs, events and cosponsorships.
In the spotlight
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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