GoWomen: Truth and dare.
August 01 2018

What does freedom for women & girls look like?


Truth and Dare

Many of us grow up playing truth or dare. The game goes like this: we are given a choice between telling a truth or performing a dare.

As we get older, the stakes for telling hard truths and daring to stand up to power get higher. We learn that there is rarely a difference between the two: telling the truth is an act of daring, and moments of daring often bring us closer to our core values, our truth. It stops being a game and becomes a daily choice: do I dare to speak truth to power? Do I dare to take action in the face of injustice?

On September 18 at CFW’s 33rd Annual Luncheon and Symposium, TRUTH+DARE, we are celebrating women and men who are daring to speak truth to power, including keynote speaker Aly Raisman and our amazing Symposium speakers, young people and youth organizers who are defying stereotypes of age to make change in their communities. And we are asking each of us to dare to build healthy, safe and just communities for women and girls.

Any meaningful change begins with an act of daring, large or small. Daring to have a courageous conversation about implicit bias. Daring to ask for what you’re worth. Daring to invest in women and girls.

How do you dare to take action for gender equity? Members of the CFW community are sharing how they are daring to make a difference for women and girls on social media with #IDare. See how others are daring to take action in their lives and our communities, share your own personal dare, and then dare a friend! Don’t forget to tag @ChiFdn4Women!

With highest hopes,

K. Sujata
Chicago Foundation for Women

P.S. Have you secured your seat for the Annual Luncheon and Symposium on September 18 at the Hyatt Regency yet? Tickets are going quickly – save your spot today!

33rd Annual Luncheon + Symposium: TRUTH+DARE

Tickets are available for the 33rd Annual Luncheon + Symposium, TRUTH+DARE, to be held Tuesday, September 18 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, and featuring a conversation between Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens. When you purchase a ticket to the Annual Luncheon, you make an investment in programs, services and advocacy by and for women and girls in the Chicago region. This event regularly sells out – secure your spot today!


Speakers for Youth+Dare, the free and public Morning Symposium on Tuesday, September 18, have been announced! Join CFW the morning of the Annual Luncheon to hear conversations between youth leaders and organizers. Featuring conversations between:

  • Elizabeth Cervantes, Director of Organizing at Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, and Hannah Doruelo, Community Organizer at AFIRE, on immigration and immigrant rights.
  • Grey Miller, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health’s CHAT Network, and LaSaia Wade, Executive Director of Brave Space Alliance, on LGBTQ rights.
  • A member of B.R.A.V.E. Youth Leaders of St. Sabina and Maxine Wint, co-founder of Youth for Black Lives, on community violence.

Connect with members of our community committed to ending injustice. Leave informed and inspired to perform your own acts of daring. Please note that space is limited, and registration is required to attend. Register here.



CFW Announces 75 Spring Grants

CFW announced 75 grants totaling $914,500 to support access to health, freedom from violence and economic security for women and girls in the Chicago region. This includes 17 grants totaling $121,000 made by the Giving Councils and Circles of CFW, as well as the second year of the Englewood Women’s Initiative. CFW’s spring grantmaking cycle focuses on access to health information and freedom from violence through direct service as well as advocacy. You can find the full list of grants here.

Help CFW Redefine Philanthropy (and be entered to win Southwest tickets!)

CFW has retained Become: Center for Community Engagement and Social Change (Become) to conduct research that seeks to better understand and celebrate the many diverse and generous people who are redefining philanthropy across the Chicago region. Please consider taking this 15-minute anonymous survey today.

You will be contributing to a body of knowledge that will be useful to leaders throughout the philanthropic, nonprofit and foundation sectors to more effectively engage communities of color in developing funding priorities and directing investments in communities of color. While the focus of this research is on donors of color, we invite everyone to take this survey to aid CFW’s and the Chicago philanthropic and nonprofit sector’s continuous learning and improvement related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Even better? When you complete the survey, you will have the option to enter your name into a random drawing to win two round-trip tickets to anywhere Southwest Airlines flies!

Cubs Women’s Empowerment Community Night

In support of CFW and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the Chicago Cubs are hosting Women’s Empowerment Night at Wrigley Field Thursday, August 23! The Cubs will be taking on the Cincinnati Reds, with a portion of ticket sales from Women’s Empowerment Night benefiting CFW and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. Find tickets here.  

ICYMI: Dare to Create

Dare to Create showcased a diverse lineup of artists and performers using their creativity and art to spark social change, challenge oppression and heal. The evening featured a conversation with Jacqueline Alcántara about diversity in children’s literature, Shakespearean monologues by The Viola Project, rousing poetry by Resita Cox, touching storytelling and interactive theater by temporary workers. Dare to Create was presented by CFW in partnership with Chicago Public Library and RVA.




R. Kelly is in the news once again with a new song, but K. Sujata’s latest column for Chicago Woman Magazine is focused on the Black women in Chicago working to hold accused abusers accountable and #MuteRKelly. “Our goal is to create a larger conversation [that] Chicago hasn’t really had,” A Long Walk Home co-founder and Executive Director Scheherazade Tillet says. “How does Chicago hold people accountable for sexual violence and create communities to become upstanders to violence?” Read the full piece here. 

The South Side Queenmakers

The South Side Giving Circle was highlighted by Block Club Chicago for the Circle’s hyperlocal efforts to invest in black women and girls. “We come from all walks of life so some of us work in the non-profit industry, some of us are in higher education, etc., but the values that we all share is that we are passionate about the success of black women and girls and helping them reach their full potential,” co-founder Nicole Robinson said. Read the full article here.

MVPP: Felicia Davis, South Side Giving Circle Co-Founder

Felicia Davis, a co-founding member of the South Side Giving Circle, was named the Steve Cochran Show’s MVPP (Most Valuable Person on the Panel) on Thursday, July 26. Felicia spoke with host Justin Kaufmann and Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer about the formation of the Giving Circle to invest in initiatives led by Black women and girls. Listen to her interview here.



A Long Walk Home Takes Over Douglas Park

Participants in CFW grantee A Long Walk Home’s Girl/Friends program showcased their artwork and performances in a one-day public art program called Visibility Project: Black Girls Take Over Douglas Park on Thursday, July 26. Aja Reynolds, program coordinator for A Long Walk Home, told Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens they hope the program helps “to raise awareness and speak the names of people who typically don’t get a march for them, whose names we typically don’t raise, so that people never forget these people lived and were here — particularly black girls and black women who’ve been killed or are missing in Chicago.” Read the full piece here. 

Black Girls Take Over Douglas Park was also covered by Teen Vogue as “the Empowering Party of the Summer.”

All-Women Prison Reform Task Force

The Women’s Justice Institute is leading an all-women task force dedicated to reducing the number of women in Illinois prisons by 50 percent over the next seven years. The task force, comprised of experts, current and former prison officials and formerly incarcerated women, will look at legislative and policy solutions, as well as meeting the needs for services for women after they are released. Why look specifically at the needs of incarcerated women? Upwards of 75 percent of incarcerated women have been victims of abuse, and 8 out of 10 incarcerated women are mothers, many the primary caregiving parent. Read the full piece, including profiles of formerly incarcerated women, here.

Chicago Housing Segregation and Breast Cancer

A new report from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign suggests that racially segregated neighborhoods negatively impact women’s breast cancer outcomes, increasing rates of late-stage diagnosis and mortality. Dr. Anne Marie Murphy, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, attributes the disparities to “a segregation of resources (here) in addition to overall segregation.” Read the full article here.

Money Bond as an LGBTQ Issue

Irene Romulo, Director of Advocacy at Chicago Community Bond Fund, wrote a guest column for the Windy City Times on the intersection of criminal justice reform and LGBTQ issues. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are incarcerated at three times the rate of the general population. Romulo writes: Disproportionate targeting from policing coupled with increased barriers to education, housing, employment, and increased likelihood to live in poverty all contribute to the overrepresentation of LGBQ, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, especially people of color, in the criminal legal system. The use of money bonds, which require posting of money in exchange for freedom, further increases their disproportionate pretrial jailing since many are simply less likely to have the personal financial resources or family support required to pay bond. Read the full piece here.

Planned Parenthood Speaks Out Against Title X Changes

Planned Parenthood of Illinois spoke out against proposed changes to Title X, the federal healthcare program providing help with family planning and birth control, which would limit women’s access to information about the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion. Read the full article here.



Raisman, Sister Survivors Receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was joined by more than 140 fellow survivors to accept ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award in honor of their bravery sharing their stories of abuse and survival. “To all the survivors out there: Don’t let anyone rewrite your story,” Raisman said. “Your truth does matter. You matter. And you are not alone.” Read the full story here.

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: Aug. 7

Each year, Equal Pay Day for All is held in April, but when we look at the wage gap for women of color, the gap is far greater. Black/African American women earn only 63 cents on the $1, compared to white non-Hispanic men. This means the typical Black woman must work until August 2018 to be paid what the typical white man was paid at the end of December 2017. This year’s Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is being observed on Tuesday, August 7. Join CFW and our partners for a social media storm to #demandmore using #blackwomensequalpay at 1 p.m. CSTLearn more and sign up for updates and resources here.

Pinkslipped Premiere: August 16

Have you heard about @Pinkslippd? It’s a new web series that follows the lives of 3 Latinx best friends making their way through careers, relationships and the societal realities for women of color at work. The premiere is in Chicago Thursday, August 16! Tickets are free – but registration is required to reserve your spot. Register here.

Register for Fall Board Member Boot Camp!

Registration for the fall session of Board Member Boot Camp is open! Board Member Boot Camp is a comprehensive and interactive two-and-a-half day training for individuals interested in nonprofit board service. This training is designed for individuals with limited or no experience on nonprofit boards. Participants gain an understanding of board roles and responsibilities, nonprofit financials, fundraising, and diversity, equity and inclusion in board development. Participants will meet with local organizations to explore ways to begin their nonprofit board service at an evening networking event.

Fall 2018 Boot Camp will take place on October 13 and October 20. Early bird registration closes on Friday, August 17 at 12:00 p.m. Need-based scholarships are available. Learn more and register here.

Climb for CFW

Brooklyn Boulders will be hosting a week long climbathon benefitting Chicago Foundation for Women August 19 – 26. Celebrate the hard week of work with our finale bash on Sunday, August 26 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. BKB will be hosting free workshop classes like Intro to Climb Like a Girl, support women owned business, screen a female leading film, and enjoy some food. Join the climbathon here.

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.