Aug. 5-11, 2008
Thanks for going clubbing, TFN
The Fairway Network, always a generous donor, once again hosted a golf outing to benefit the Foundation.
More than 100 women and men descended upon the Ruffled Feathers course in Lemont for golf, skill contests, a silent auction and the chance to mingle with fellow pro-woman professionals.
Thank you to everyone who participated and to all the wonderful supporters at TFN. We appreciate the Network’s seven straight years of supporting Chicago Foundation for Women and the work we do. See more photos in our slideshow.
Also this week
Peruse the final summer list of recommended classic books, meet the book contest winner and don't miss the apology for slavery the U.S. House quietly made—examined in our Margaret Garner section.
Congratulations to Donna Pecore, a Tuesday Blast subscriber and the winner of our summer book contest. See her recommendation below. Donna is a poet, a mother, a caregiver to her 86-year-old mother and a self-proclaimed “armchair activist.” She says she is encouraged by “the successes and achievements and possibilities of the women mentioned” in the Blast. Thank you for your kind words, Donna, and enjoy the great books and Chicago Foundation for Women swag we're sending your way.
Meet the first all-woman-of-color presidential ticket in U.S. history: Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente, the presidential and vice-presidential nominees of the Green Party. McKinney was the first African American woman to represent Georgia in the House, and Clemente is a journalist and organizer who once directed the Hip Hop Caucus. Democracy Now spoke with both women about their historic achievement (audio and transcript available).
Summer Books: Readers' classic picks
These titles are available from Chicago's feminist bookstore, Women and Children First.
The Moon Is Always Female by Marge Piercy (Alfred A. Knopf, $16)
Donna Pecore, our contest winner from Chicago's Northwest side, says, "Marge Piercy strikes a nerve not down my back but within my heart, like a best friend who shares your basest and most elevated moments. She ties a knot of sisterhood with her quiet eloquence."
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (HarperCollins, $13.95)
Lara R. of Rogers Park in Chicago submitted this standard-bearer of the African American literary canon. She said, “What a fantastic idea to highlight great books about women or by women! You guys rock!” Well put, we think.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (Picador, $15)
Shayne B. of Chicago was one of several who recommend sent in this title, one of her favorite books "by and about women.” Told in the voice of Dinah, Jacob's daughter in the Bible, the book delves into ancient rites of womanhood.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, $16.95)
Jaspreet C. from Silver Spring, Md. and other readers (including Foundation staff) made sure Kingsolver made our list. In the story, a Baptist missionary family travel from Georgia to the Belgian Congo in 1959.
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (Harvest Books, $15)
Audrie B., who lives in Milwaukee but works in Chicago, shares this classic essay on an imagined sister to Shakespeare, whose creative genius would have been lost.
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (Plume Books, $15)
Melissa A., from Chicago’s Northcenter and spending the summer in El Salvador, says, “I like the fact that the chapters are the different perspectives of the sisters”—the Mirabal sisters, real women who were murdered in 1960 for plotting to overthrow the Dominican Republic.
Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen by Alix Kates Shulman (Farrar Straus Giroux, $15)
Anne Ream, writer and executive director of the Voices and Faces Project (one of our grantees), calls this little-known 1972 book “both important and somehow, even today, timely. Reading it again (which I did recently) made me sad and reminded me that too much has not changed for us.” The book has been reprinted with an introduction by feminist activist Jennifer Baumgardner.
Essays and anthologies
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa (Kitchen Table, Women of Color Press)
This book blazed a trail for women of color when it was published in 1981. Thanks to Lynae M. from North Lawndale for sending it in. Though now out of print, check your local library using the link above. We also recommend the 2002 follow-up, which is still in print: This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and AnaLouise Keating (Routledge, $39.95).
When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America by Paula Giddings (Amistad Press, $15.95)
Sacella S. of Chicago says Giddings “provided one of the most critical, open and honest analysis of feminism and its failure to fully include or acknowledge the black woman’s involvement in the movement” with this 1984 book.
Spotlight on "Margaret Garner"
As a collaborative partner on the Chicago premiere of “Margaret Garner,” we share stories that illuminate Garner's plight, slavery’s tragic legacy and the difficult choices women must make. (Read the opera’s story here.)
At “The Kitchen Table” blog, Melissa Harris-Lacewell addresses the House of Representatives' resolution from last week apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow—“stains upon what is the greatest nation on earth and the greatest government ever conceived by man,” it said. But slavery is not part of America, as the apology says—“It is America,” says Harris-Lacewell, who teaches politics and African American studies at Princeton. (Misogyny is America, too, as "conceived by [white] man" reminds us.) Free labor and the other benefits of white supremacy “made the greatness of America possible.” But she goes on: “America is more than that too. America is also the land of the enslaved people who fought back, who carved out dignity and faith in the face of intergenerational human bondage…. This is the land of people [who] loved their children even though they could be sold away from them with impunity.” People such as Margaret Garner, whose story is only 150 years old and far from unique, as our ongoing discussions about Garner’s plight continue to reveal. “America is both the evil of slavery and the triumph of the enslaved,” Harris-Lacewell writes—and that is what we hope our partnership with the Margaret Garner production illustrates. Read the resolution and learn more at NPR’s website. Harris-Lacewell was an expert panelist at our F-Word Series on feminism and women of color.
Tomorrow: Pursue social justice for formerly and currently incarcerated women at Women of Power Alumni Association’s 6th annual “Getting It Together” conference. Stop in from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the Westside Technical Institute (2800 S. Western Ave.). Chicago Foundation for Women is a proud co-sponsor. No RSVP necessary.
Read more at our Press Room and our Past Events at cfw.org.
New: We add our support to Children's Savings Accounts
What if every child in Illinois had a savings account to pay for education, buy a home or start a business? Chicago Foundation for Women supports a policy to do just that: the creation of children’s savings accounts, or CSAs. We join our grantee, the Voices for Illinois Children, and the Illinois Asset Building Group, who hope CSAs will give children a more secure financial future. The accounts would be seeded with an initial deposit and used only after age 18. The accounts would also be linked to financial education about credit, payday loans, retirement and more. CSAs would be progressive, with higher initial deposits and incentives for lower-income families as well as non-discriminatory policies about public assistance.
Victory! President signs PEPFAR into law
President Bush signed into law the PEPFAR bill on July 30, and we celebrate its higher budget and its lifting of the travel ban for HIV-positive U.S. visitors. (The Los Angeles Times has more on what U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt must do to end the ban.) But PEPFAR left out some common-sense reforms, supported by the Foundation and others in the Chicago Women and Girls HIV Prevention Coalition. PEPFAR-funded agencies must keep HIV prevention separate from family planning; sign a pledge opposing prostitution, limiting their work with women in the sex trade; and file a report if less than half their funding goes to abstinence and fidelity programs. Although our advocacy didn’t prevail, stay tuned for future efforts to ensure that our global relief meets the real needs of all women and girls. Read more from the Kaiser Network.
Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.
Our website calendar lists all our programs, events and cosponsorships.
In the spotlight
AUG. 12 (Tue.): Meeting: Lesbian Leadership Council, 6-7:30 p.m.
AUG. 13 (Wed.): Advocacy 101: Young Women’s Leadership Council
(members-only program), 5:30-7:30 p.m.
AUG. 19 (Tue.): Meeting: Asian American Leadership Council, 5:30-7 p.m.
AUG. 22 (Fri.): Grants: Letters of intent due for Bayrach and Catalyst funds, 5 p.m.
SEPT. 9 (Tue.): Small Plates, Big Taste: Indian Tapas with Ranjana Bhargava
(Asian American Leadership Council fundraiser), 6-8 p.m.
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