GoWomen: Undaunted - Changing Milestones and Minds
September 09 2020


Undaunted – Changing Milestones and Minds

My youngest son recently started his college journey a few weeks ago out of state. As a family, this milestone was different from all the other college drop-offs. Because of quarantine restrictions, we couldn’t take part in moving him into his dorm. With the passage of Labor Day, millions of K-12 students begin a new school year learning remotely. For those of you who are parents, grandparents, guardians, and those taking care of school-aged children, I am sending “virtual” hugs and support as you navigate the return to school. I fondly remember taking “the first day of school” photos when my children were younger. Granted, this year those photos may look slightly different, but it doesn’t change the milestones they represent.

I also have in my thoughts young people that are experiencing treasured milestones like beginning high school or college during this unprecedented time. With all the uncertainty we face, what I know for sure is that all we can do is be present for the young people in our lives and each other. Whether navigating working remotely, e-learning, or hybrid education models, we must continue to adapt, rethink, and reassess our individual and collective journey.

Like many of you, I continue to be profoundly affected by the continued instances of state violence and civil unrest. With a few notable exceptions, justice for those murdered or injured seems elusive. Our Black communities continue to experience pain and trauma. We at CFW stand with the Black community in actively calling for an end to intersectional, destructive, and divisive systems of racism and oppression. Recently, I had the honor to join 20 Women of Color philanthropic leaders in sharing a statement on anti-Black racism that included a call to action for organizations on their journey of awakening in order to address these ongoing issues. I also had the opportunity to share more about this statement on All Things Considered on WBEZ

As we continue to adapt and rethink our programming for the year, CFW is exploring ways to connect with our supporters and donors in new, meaningful, ways. During the fall, each year, CFW typically hosts our Annual Luncheon. This year, we would mark 35 years of hosting this momentous occasion, which started as a Mother’s Day event. As in year’s past, we would be preparing to host nearly 2,000 people to have lunch, enjoy each other’s company, and listen to a thought-provoking featured speaker. However, COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our lives. As such, we have decided not to host our Annual Luncheon as the safety and security of our supporters is of utmost importance. This decision is the right decision, but we did not come to it lightly.

As our signature fundraising event, our Annual Luncheon would help us raise over $1 million to support our grantmaking efforts. We can’t come together in-person, but we can come together in support of women and girls that have been most impacted by COVID-19. The luncheon may be canceled, but the needs of women and girls are not. Despite the cancellation, CFW is committed to investing $1 million in support of those most disproportionately affected by this ongoing pandemic. We’ve launched our Unluncheon campaign as part of our effort to meet our grantmaking goal. I invite you to join us in this effort to meet the needs of women, girls, transgender, and gender non-binary individuals across Chicago.

Lastly, I am offering something to look forward to next month. I am thrilled to share that CFW is partnering with Master Sommelier Alpana Singh for our Wine From Home event on October 8. Alpana will share her personal journey to becoming the youngest woman and the only South Asian ever to achieve the Master Sommelier level. The event will include wine tasting and pairing guides using two wines made by BIPOC Women. If that isn’t reason enough to join us, it will also be a “virtual” birthday celebration for me. Spaces are limited, so make sure you reserve your spot today and join us for some fun.

As always, please continue to take care of yourself and each other.

Sending love and light,

Felicia Davis
President and CEO
Chicago Foundation for Women

Community Resources

Support Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
– Search by various criteria the City of Chicago minority and women-owned businesses here.
– Bossy Chicago has curated a list of women-owned businesses in various sectors across Chicago, which you can find here.

Mental Health Resources
– The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has compiled a list of mental health resources you can find here.

Anti-Racism Resources

For White Allies
– Compiled resources for our white community allies or those seeking to become allies can be found here.

For Latinx Allies
– Compiled resources in Spanish for our Latinx community allies or those seeking to become allies with Spanish as their preferred language can be found here.
– Recursos recopilados para aliados de nuestra comunidad Latinx o aquellos que buscan convertirse en aliados y su idioma de preferencia es el español se pueden encontrar aquí.

For Talking About Race with Children
– Compiled resources for ways to speak to children about racism can be found here.

COVID-19 Resources

We have compiled and categorized a list of resources for nonprofits, families, and individuals, related to the current pandemic. If there is a resource you have found that is NOT on this list, please share it with us via email at ccordovaherrera@cfw.org, and we’ll make sure to add it. Find the list here.


Our luncheon is canceled; the needs of women and girls are not. 

CFW is unable to host our signature Annual Luncheon this year, where we would typically raise over $1 million to support our grantmaking. We may not be able to gather in-person, but we can come together to meet the needs of the women and girls that have been most impacted by COVID-19. CFW needs your support today so that we can invest $1 million in grants through our Response, Recovery, and Resilience Fund for Chicago’s Women and Girls by the end of 2020. GIVE TODAY at cfw.org/unluncheon 

Wine From Home with Alpana Singh

Join us for an evening with Alpana Singh, where she will share her personal journey to becoming the youngest woman and only South Asian to ever pass the final level of Master Sommelier. She will share tips on how to taste wine – like a pro! Learn more and register here

Gathering Ground with Mary Morten: Celebrating 35 Years of CFW

Mary Morten, a long-time supporter and at one-time CFW Board Chair, is hosting a podcast taking a look at CFW throughout its history as we celebrate our 35th anniversary. Guests will include Felicia Davis, CFW President and CEO; Sunny Fischer, CFW Founder; Iris Krieg, CFW Founder; and Kelly Smith Haley, CFW Board Chair, among others. To tune in to what will be a great conversation, register here.

Why People Give: A Focus on Black Philanthropy

On Monday, August 31, CFW celebrated Black Philanthropy Month with a poignant conversation about giving in the Black community. Felicia Davis, CFW President/CEO, joined Akira Barclay, Founder of Fresh Philanthropy; Sharon Bush, Executive Director of Grand Victoria Foundation; Jessyca Dudley, Associate Director of Arabella Advisors; Dominica McBride, Founder and CEO of BECOME; and Dr. Patricia Carey, Executor of the Barrow Estate and goddaughter of Rev. Willie Taplin Barrow. Learn more about the featured speakers and watch the livestream recording here.

WBEZ All Things Considered Segment: Women of Color Statement on Anti-Black Racism

Felicia Davis, CFW’s President and CEO, joined Becky Vevea to discuss the recent op-ed statement about anti-Black racism published in Crain’s Chicago Business, penned by a group of twenty Women of Color who are leaders in Chicago’s philanthropy community. Listen to the segment here.

Column: Democrats highlighted the Violence Against Women Act at this week’s convention. But it expired last year. What gives?

Felicia Davis, CFW President and CEO, along with Amanda Pyron, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, commented on why the Violence Against Women Act is critical legislation that should be renewed. Read the full article here.

Chicago Tonight: Biden Selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as Running Mate

“Chicago Tonight” analyzed Joe Biden’s choice with Felicia Davis, President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women; Delmarie Cobb, political consultant and founder of Ida’s Legacy; and Jaime Dominguez, an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University. Watch the video here.

Information Technology – Request for Proposals 

CFW is seeking an Information Technology Managed Services provider. Please find the full Request for Proposals information here.

Grant Cycle Application Now Open 

CFW is accepting proposals for its Response, Recovery, and Resilience Fund’s initial grant cycle. The grants will provide funding to eligible community-based organizations serving communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit our How to Apply page.


YWGC Virtual Open House

Get to know our Young Women’s Giving Council through one of their virtual open houses! Tuesday, September 22, 5:30 – 7 pm or Friday, September 25, 12 – 1 pm. Learn more and register here.

LBTQ Discovery Sessions

Our LBTQ Giving Council is hosting discovery sessions so that those interested in becoming members can learn more about the Council. Join us on Tuesday, September 22, 1 – 2 pm or Thursday, September 24, 6 – 7 pm. Learn more and register here.

Your Home is Someone’s Workplace

Join the Office of Labor Standards and the National Domestic Workers Alliance for informational webinar sessions for employers and workers in English and Spanish discussing Domestic Worker Rights and Employer Responsibilities. Learn more here.

Microsoft Grant Opportunity

Microsoft’s new community skills program will award unrestricted grants of up to $100,000/year for three years to up to 50 Black- and African American-led nonprofits that provide digital skills and workforce development to Black and African American communities. Learn more and apply by September 30th here.