GoWomen: A More Perfect Movement
July 10 2019

Our commitment to community.


A More Perfect Movement

Several years ago, I attended a community meeting in Little Village and was immediately schooled on responsible community engagement.

I was there representing a major institution with big ideas about how to help the neighborhood thrive. But as my colleagues and I started to share that grand vision, someone held up their hand and stopped us: “Little Village will tell you what it needs.”

It was an important and powerful reminder. The organizations attending that day, who worked on the ground day in and day out with the people who call Little Village home, had come together and developed a clear vision for their community. We were there to listen, to learn and to work with them to determine how to best help them achieve their goals.

As a community-based funder, Chicago Foundation for Women is committed to listening to, learning from and working alongside the many organizations, neighborhoods and individuals that make up our Chicago community.

Over the past few months, CFW has hosted a series of convenings and conversations with our grantee partners focused on how we can collaborate to shape our region’s gender equity movement to be intersectional, impactful and more inclusive. How we can, together, build a movement for women and girls that truly fosters open dialogue, shared values and uplifts community voice. A movement that is accessible and accountable to our community members.

As always, we continue to learn from and alongside our grantee partners, and we look forward to growing and expanding this conversation. As we continue to build a stronger movement for women and girls, CFW is here to support, to champion and to amplify the incredible work currently being done in communities across the Chicago region. I am committed to ensuring we keep listening and learning.

As part of our commitment to Chicago communities, CFW recently announced $931,400 in grants to build healthy, safe and just communities for women and girls, including over $104,000 in community-led grantmaking by the Giving Councils and Giving Circles of CFW.

Thanks to thousands of supporters and community partners across the region, CFW is making critical investments in building safe and healthy communities for all women and girls who call Chicago home. We look forward to building on these investments with you in the year to come.

Let’s get to work,

Felicia Davis
President and CEO
Chicago Foundation for Women



CFW Announces $930k in Investments

Last month, CFW announced 68 grants totaling $931,400 to support access to health, freedom from violence and economic security for women and girls in the Chicago region. As part of its spring grantmaking, CFW will increase investments in women and families in Englewood and expand the Englewood Women’s Initiative to 10 partner agencies.

Coming Up: Luncheon Tickets on Sale

Tickets for the 34th Annual Luncheon: Flip the Script will go on sale online Tuesday, July 16! Sponsorships are currently available. Secure your spot at www.cfw.org/luncheon.

Get the Whole Story

For too many women, violence, economic insecurity and lack of access to health care are defining parts of their life’s story. To flip the script and change the narrative for women and girls, first you have to know the whole story. Join CFW, Chicago Public Library, Heartland Alliance and the Office of the City Clerk of Chicago on Wednesday, August 14 to get the latest data, policy recommendations and opportunities to take action for women and girls in your community. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP today to secure your spot.

Apply to be a Warrior

Applications are now open for the third cohort of the Willie’s Warriors Leadership Initiative at Chicago Foundation for Women. Created in honor of the Reverend Willie “The Little Warrior” Barrow, Willie’s Warriors continues Rev. Barrow’s legacy of bringing women together to learn from and support each other as we work to advance equity and justice in Chicago. Willie’s Warriors focuses on building skills around systems change, economic empowerment, communications and building alliances. Learn more and apply here. Applications close Monday, September 9, 2019.

Welcome New Board Members

CFW’s newest board members left to right: Anita Mital, Deborah B. Cole and Jessica Sohl.

CFW is pleased to announce the election of Kelly Smith Haley as Chair of the CFW Board of Directors and Michael Narciso as Treasurer, effective July 1. Patricia Costello Slovak will serve as Past Chair. Joining the Board of Directors are Deborah B. Cole, Anita Mital and Jessica Sohl. Meet our new board members here.

CFW is Hiring!

CFW is looking for a Manager of Communications. The deadline to apply is August 5, 2019. Learn more about this opportunity here.



Keep Families Together

In May, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a proposed rule to prohibit families from receiving rental assistance if at least one person isn’t eligible because of their immigration status. CFW joined ten other philanthropic organizations to speak out against this proposed rule, on the grounds that more than 100,000 people across the country, including 55,000 children, face eviction if the rule goes into effect. Families would have to split up to continue receiving housing assistance or forego the assistance altogether. Read the full letter opposing the rule change here.



Protecting Choice

On June 12, Governor Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act, which ensures Illinois remains a safe haven for reproductive choice in the Midwest, where abortion care is treated as health care. The Reproductive Health Act was passed thanks to unwavering advocacy by CFW grantees the ACLU of Illinois, Planned Parenthood of IllinoisEverThrive IllinoisMujeres Latinas en Accion, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent HealthMidwest Access ProjectNational Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, among many others.

The New Leaders of Chicago

From left to right: Analia Rodriguez, Page May and Luis Gutiérrez

Analia Rodriguez, executive director of Latino Union; Page May, co-founder and organizing director of Assata’s Daughters; and Luis Gutiérrez, founder and CEO of Latinos Progresando, are among the 14 Chicagoans selected as part of “The New Leaders of Chicago” program supported by the Field Foundation of Illinois and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The award “recognizes a range of established and emerging leaders who work across boundaries to build a Chicago that is responsive and equitable to all.” More than half of this year’s winners are women, and all of them are people of color. The full list of recipients can be found here.Congratulations to Analia, Page, Luis and all of the New Leaders!



July 13: Rally to End Detention + Deportation

CFW has joined a coalition of progressive organizations to speak out against the continued detention, separation and deportation of people and families seeking asylum and a better life in the United States. Join immigrant rights, social justice and grassroots organizations on Saturday, July 13 to add your voice in solidarity and to voice your support for a welcoming Chicago region. RSVP here.

50/50 by 2030

The Chicago Network, made up of women leaders from across Chicago, has announced a new campaign asking companies and organizations to achieve 50 percent representation of women in leadership positions by 2030. 72 companies have signed on to abide by the Equity Principles: to remove barriers, define success, evolve culture, enhance community and maintain accountability. Read more about the campaign in Crain’s Chicago Business here.

Impact Awards Nominations Open

Do you know someone making a difference in the lives of women and girls? Nominate them for a 2020 Impact Award! Nominations are open to individuals of all identities and backgrounds working to build a safe, healthy and just Chicago for all women and girls. Nominations close September 30, 2019. Nominate someone in your community today.

Leave a Legacy of Purpose with CFW

A former welder, and the daughter of farmers, Reverend Willie Taplin Barrow does not fit the stereotypical image of a philanthropist. But as a leader in Chicago’s civil rights movement, Rev. Barrow believed in breaking barriers and challenging the status quo. Thanks to her estate, Rev. Barrow’s legacy and fierce commitment to justice lives on through The Willie Taplin Barrow Fund for Black Women’s Leadership at Chicago Foundation for Women. There are many ways to leave your legacy at Chicago Foundation for Women. To learn more about planned giving, visit www.cfw.org/plannedgiving, or contact Katy Thomas at 312.577.2836 or kthomas@cfw.org.