GoWomen: A Day Without A Woman
March 01 2017

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A Day Without A Woman.

What would our communities look like without the contributions of women?

On January 21, we saw what happens when thousands of women hit the streets to make their voices heard. Next week, we will see what happens when women stay home, refusing to participate in a system that devalues and subjugates them.

On March 8, women around the world will participate in A Day Without A Woman and the International Women’s Strike, concurrent actions intended to show women’s solidarity, and to highlight the ways in which women’s labor, both paid and unpaid, goes unrecognized or undervalued. Women in 40 countries will stand up in response to global attacks on women’s economic security, access to health care, and physical safety, and demand action from their governments.

History teaches us that when women act together, change happens. In 1909, Clara Lemlich, a 23 year old Ukrainian immigrant, led New York City factory workers to protest poor working conditions in what became known as the Uprising of the 20,000 and inspired a similar women-led strike in Chicago. Women have gone on strike in Poland to protest anti-choice legislation; in Iceland to demand equal pay (twice); to protest violence against women in Argentina; and for peace in Liberia. On August 26, 1970, women in the U.S. went on strike for equality, showing the country that the still-young Women’s Liberation Movement was here to stay.

Women are powerful when we stand together. On Wednesday, March 8, Chicago Foundation for Women will stand in solidarity with our sisters around the world by closing our office. We know that a day without pay is not feasible for all women; we encourage you to stand in solidarity however you can, and support the women in your lives in their participation.

How you can participate in A Day Without A Woman:

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• Take the day off – show the world what life would look like without women’s labor. Take the day off from the paid and unpaid labor that the economy depends on.

• Boycott – take the day off from spending; if you have to shop, go to a woman-owned or minority-owned business.

• Demonstrate – find a local demonstration in solidarity with the Women’s Strike.

• Show Solidarity – if you can’t strike, wear red in solidarity.

We have the opportunity to once again show the world that the strength of our communities depends on women and girls. If we are not part of public life, we all suffer for it. But when women rise, we bring our whole community with us


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Join us in celebrating these amazing women and their impact on Chicago on March 23, 2017. Get your ticket now.


CFW Makes 29 Grants Out of The 100 Day Fund

Chicago Foundation for Women announced 29 grants from The 100 Day Fund, totaling $50,000. Grant funds were awarded on a rolling basis, sponsoring participation in the Women’s March on Washington and the Women’s March on Chicago, in addition to longer-term projects to promote gender equity in the Chicago region.

“We’ve been proud to see the Chicago region step up and stand together to promote our shared values of diversity and equality,” CFW President and CEO K. Sujata said. “The grants from The 100 Day Fund will help sustain this wave of activism beyond the early days of this administration, and move us closer to our goal of gender equity in our lifetime.”

You can find the full list of grants through The 100 Day Fund online.

Women’s Philanthropy More Urgent Than Ever

(Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)

Inside Philanthropy covered an increase in the use of “emergency grants” to address a wave of new policies from the Trump Administration, especially among women’s foundations, with The 100 Day Fund serving as a prime example. “It’s hard to recall a moment when women’s philanthropy felt as urgent as it does now…Over the next year, keep an eye on outfits like the Chicago Foundation for Women as they emerge as leaders in the effort to resist Trump policies.”

Grantmakers Give Money Fast to Challenge Trump Policies

Funders across the country are adjusting their grantmaking strategies to address new issues raised by the Trump administration and a rapidly changing advocacy landscape. The Chronicle of Philanthropy covers the range of funder responses, from large, multi-year grants to shore up resources and strengthen nonprofit infrastructure, to smaller rapid-response grants, like The 100 Day Fund, to provide an infusion of funds and put money to work faster.

 Grantees Share Their 100 Day Fund Projects on WGN

Two grantees of The 100 Day Fund, Demoiselle 2 Femme and Silk Road Rising, joined Sujata on WGN to share the great work they are doing on behalf of women and girls in the Chicago region. While both organizations are grantees of The 100 Day Fund, they are addressing very different issues.

In the weeks since the inauguration, Silk Road Rising has hosted screenings of their short animated film “The Four Hijabs” to help non-Muslims explore the many meanings of the “hijab,” and to give the Chicago community tools to be a more informed ally in a time of heightened Islamophobia. Meanwhile, The Young Women’s Project for Educational and Economic Equity in Englewood (E4) will engage young women in conversations that will help Demoiselle 2 Femme create targeted community programming.


V-Day: Recommitting to Ending Violence Against Women

In her Valentine’s Day blog post, K. Sujata reminds us of the necessity of programs aimed at reducing violence against women, funding for which has recently come under threat at the federal and state level. With the Trump Administration’s early threat to cut 25 Violence Against Women Act grants totaling $568.5 million, and Illinois domestic violence providers left without state funding for more than six months, we risk undoing the progress we’ve made towards eliminating violence against women. You can read the whole piece on the Huffington Post.


Illinois Women Moving Forward

CFW has signed on as a partner in Illinois Women Moving Forward, a coalition of nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups and statewide elected officials focused on improving the status of women in Illinois. Illinois Women Moving Forward has proposed a legislative agenda to protect and improve women’s health care and economic security, and to promote fairness and equality. The legislative agenda includes paid sick time and paid Family Medical Leave for working families, strengthening the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and protecting access to safe and legal abortion.

Get Out Your Dancing Shoes

It’s here! Dance the night away at the LBTQ Giving Council’s annual International Women’s Day Dance this Saturday, March 4, 2017! The event will be held at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, and all funds will go back into the LGBTQ community through LBTQ Giving Council grants. Get your ticket online today!

Talk It Out This Month!

Join CFW as we Talk It Out the week of March 26. Gather your neighbors, friends, family, or colleagues as part of our weeklong, region-wide conversation series focused on ending gender bias in the Chicago region.

You don’t have to be an expert, just willing to create a welcoming and respectful space for real conversations. We need your stories, your creative solutions, and most importantly, your voice at the table.

You can register to host Talk It Out, and find additional resources, online. You can also join us for a Twitter chat at 12 p.m. CST Wednesday, March 29 using #TalkItOut.

CFW Partners with Goodman Theatre to Talk It Out

Big thanks to Goodman Theatre for being part of CFW’s Talk It Out! To find more information about upcoming performances, including Women’s Night 2017 on March 16, visit goodmantheatre.org.

Leave a Legacy of Purpose with CFW

Have you considered leaving a legacy at Chicago Foundation for Women? There are many creative and flexible planned giving options that can benefit both you and CFW, whether it is naming Chicago Foundation for Women as a beneficiary in your estate plan or life insurance policy or gifting other assets. For more information about creating your lasting legacy at CFW, call Katy Thomas at 312-577-2836 or email kthomas@cfw.org


The Partnership for a Safer Lake County Hosts Summit of Leaders

With support from The 100 Day Fund, The Partnership for a Safer Lake County brought together community leaders, including the County Board President and State’s Attorney, to address a recent rise in threats against marginalized communities. As part of the Summit, leaders reaffirmed a commitment to maintaining a welcoming and inclusive Lake County and signed on to Lake County’s Welcoming and Inclusive Community Pledge.


Women United Giving Council Cooks Up a Fun Night Out

Cooking Demonstration

The Women United Giving Council ate well while doing good, learning new skills and raising money for their upcoming grants through a healthy cooking class at Whole Foods.

Nonprofit Fallout as Illinois Continues Without a Budget

Nonprofit Quarterly details the challenges facing Illinois nonprofits as the state continues to hobble along without a budget. With a bill backlog of $11 billion, many service providers have gone months without payment for services, including the state’s domestic violence agencies. “The organizations have claimed they’re owed over $160 million and there has been “irreparable injury” from a lack of timely payments, including layoffs and program cuts.”

Including Disability in the Diversity Conversation

Crain’s Chicago Business spoke with Access Living and ADA25 Advancing Leadership about how boards can increase representation among individuals with a disability. Access Living and ADA25 offer professional development for emerging leaders with disabilities. Both organizations advise making your organization more accessible – from event spaces to websites – in order to increase participation and engagement among people with disabilities.

Women in Film Chicago Honors CFW Alum Mary Morten

Women in Film Chicago honored CFW alum Mary Morten with a 2017 Focus Award. Mary served as Associate Director, Interim Executive Director and Board President of Chicago Foundation for Women, and went on to film Woke Up Black (2011), a 60 minute documentary following the lives of five black youth in Chicago. She is currently in production for Woke Up Black Again.Congratulations, Mary!