Chicago Women's History Center

Chicago Women's History Center A dynamic network of historians, teachers, archivists, writers, activists, filmmakers, community leaders, and others interested in Chicago Women's History.

Chicago Area Women's History Council is a dynamic network of academic historians, teachers, archivists, writers, oral historians, public history professionals, filmmakers, activists, community leaders and others interested in Chicago women's history.

Mission: Our mission is to discover, share and preserve Chicago women's history through research, interpretation and public programs.

Felicia Davis Named President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women | Chicago Defender
06/06/2019
Felicia Davis Named President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women | Chicago Defender

Felicia Davis Named President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women | Chicago Defender

Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) announced the appointment of Felicia Davis as president and chief executive officer. A lifelong Chicagoan and South Side resident, Davis brings to the foundation a strong commitment to public service and community engagement. Throughout her career as a law enforcem...

“Ask for Jane.” Those were the magic words that provided thousands of women access to safe abortions before the land...
06/04/2019
Ask for Jane: Meet the Underground Feminist Group That Provided Abortions Before Roe v. Wade

“Ask for Jane.” Those were the magic words that provided thousands of women access to safe abortions before the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. With abortion services outlawed in most of the country, women often had to risk their own lives in order to terminate pregnancy. So, in 1969, a group of women in Chicago decided to take matters into their own hands and set up a hotline, offering counseling and eventually providing abortion services themselves."

“Ask for Jane.” Those were the magic words that provided thousands of women access to safe abortions before the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. With abortion services outlawed in most of the country, women often had to risk their own live...

Out of the Closets & into the Streets Exhibit OpeningJune 1, 2019 by GerberHartDate - 06/01/20197:00 pm - 10:00 pmLocati...
05/20/2019

Out of the Closets & into the Streets Exhibit Opening
June 1, 2019 by GerberHart

Date - 06/01/2019
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Location
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives

The 1969 riots that began at New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn are widely considered to be the catalyst for the nationwide gay liberation movement. But the landmark event initially went unnoticed in Chicago, where a convergence of increased police harassment and homophile activism had collided earlier at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, mobilizing the gay community. A younger generation of LGBTQ activists emerged and began demanding “liberation” from society’s oppression, and homophile organizations like Mattachine Midwest, Chicago’s authoritative voice of gay rights at the time, became seen as too closeted and conservative to lead the way. Throughout the 1970s, this new movement of gay liberation would propel the conversation of gay rights “out of the closets and into the streets.”

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, “Out of the Closets & into the Streets: Power, Pride & Resistance in Chicago’s Gay Liberation Movement” traces the Gay Liberation Movement’s presence in Chicago from its beginnings in the late 1960s to the city’s first large gay rights protest in 1977 at the historic Medinah Temple in downtown River North. As new organizations and events sprouted up on college campuses and a rising number of lesbian and gay publications emerged, the voice of the movement and the LGBTQ community grew louder and more visible, producing a rich portrait of gay liberation in Chicago that survives today. This exhibit offers a closer look at the tools and organizers of the Gay Liberation Movement, providing a glimpse into the national issues that Chicago’s LGBTQ community faced and their intersection with other societal and cultural movements of the time.

The exhibit opening will be Saturday, June 1, 7:00 p.m., featuring remarks by Gary Chichester, co-founder of the Gay Liberation group Chicago Gay Alliance, and the exhibit curators. Drinks and desserts will be served. Opening tickets start at $15. There are a limited number of tickets, so get yours early!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/18/opinion/sunday/black-women-chicago.html?login=email&auth=login-emailOn Monday, Chicag...
05/19/2019
Opinion | Black Women in Chicago, Getting Things Done

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/18/opinion/sunday/black-women-chicago.html?login=email&auth=login-email

On Monday, Chicago will make history when Lori Lightfoot becomes the city’s first black female mayor. This victory sits alongside other firsts: her recent runoff against Toni Preckwinkle, a black woman and the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and the 2016 election of Kim Foxx, a black woman, as the city’s top prosecutor.

How the rest of the country can follow them.

We're History
05/12/2019
We're History

We're History

Happy Mother’s Day! Or is it Happy Mothers’ Day? Learn more about the history of the day in this wonderful 2015 We’re History article by Heather Cox Richardson. It’s one of our all-time favorite articles as well as one of our most popular.

In addition to being a renowned author and historian, Heather is also a mother! We wish her and all of the mothers out there a very happy, relaxing, enjoyable Mother’s Day. We hope you all get to do whatever you want today!

http://uri-eichen.com/The Supreme Court of the United States: Month 1MAY: Roe v Wade 1973.Opening Friday, May 10, 2019 6...
05/11/2019
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 South Halsted, CHICAGO

http://uri-eichen.com/

The Supreme Court of the United States: Month 1
MAY: Roe v Wade 1973.

Opening Friday, May 10, 2019 6pm-10pm
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted Chicago IL 60608 [email protected]

Angela Davis Fegan, work in progress New work by Amy Leners, Amina Ross, Angela Davis Fegan and Mary Clare Butler

Roe v Wade- the right to choose is under attack in the United States today. Join us to see new work from four women and fem identified artists at Uri-Eichen Gallery. See Angela Davis Fegan's work on paper Anointed Agency, Mary Clare Butler's cyanotype group Viability, Amy Leners’ participatory installation We Have Always Done What is Necessary, and conceptual work from Amina Alexander Ross.

Image: Viability, Mary Clare Butler.

Opening reception discussion at 7pm: The attacks on Roe v Wade today with the Clinic Vest Project and the artists on their work.

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) is a landmark decision issued in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of the constitutionality of laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions. The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state's interests in regulating abortions: protecting women's health and protecting the potentiality of human life. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the third trimester of pregnancy.

URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 South Halsted, CHICAGO

"The convention of the American Rosie the Riveter Association will be June 7-9, based at the Isle of Capri, Bettendorf, ...
05/11/2019
Quad Cities to host gathering for women who were 'Rosie the Riveter' during World War II

"The convention of the American Rosie the Riveter Association will be June 7-9, based at the Isle of Capri, Bettendorf, with a meeting, time to share stories, a cruise on the Celebration Belle and a tour of the Rock Island Arsenal." Organizer Patricia Woepking wants to find and invite as many "Rosies" as she can. If you or anyone you know qualifies, please contact her at 319-212-0187 or [email protected].

Martha Wahe, 97, of Moline, will relive her "Rosie the Riveter" days at a national convention of female World War II workers who did traditional men's work.

"Northwestern University student with a passion for counter storytelling found inspiration for this year’s Waa-Mu Show...
05/11/2019
Waa-Mu Show at Northwestern to focus on women ignored by history

"Northwestern University student with a passion for counter storytelling found inspiration for this year’s Waa-Mu Show in the untold stories of women and people of color who were neglected by history."

A student-created musical at Northwestern University will tell the stories of women ignored by history.

"On Wednesday, May 1 at 10 a.m., eight transgender women will file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certai...
05/01/2019
Transgender Women to Challenge Constitutionality of Illinois Name Change Statute - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive - Windy City Times

"On Wednesday, May 1 at 10 a.m., eight transgender women will file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain statutory restrictions on name changes in the State of Illinois as applied to them.
The current Illinois Name Change Statute is one of the most restrictive in the country, requiring individuals convicted of a felony to wait ten years following the completion and discharge of their sentence. The law also institutes a permanent ban on legal name changes for certain felony and misdemeanor convictions. The plaintiffs challenge these restrictions as an unconstitutional infringement of their rights of speech, self-expression and due process."

CHICAGO — On Wednesday, May 1 at 10 a.m., eight transgender women will file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain statutory restrictions on name changes in the State of Illinois as applied to them.

"The Equal Rights Amendment was written almost a century ago, just following the adoption of the 19th Amendment finally ...
04/30/2019
Congress should join the campaign for constitutional equality

"The Equal Rights Amendment was written almost a century ago, just following the adoption of the 19th Amendment finally giving women the right to vote. Almost 50 years later, Congress passed the ERA in 1972 and sent it to the states for ratification with a seven-year deadline. Following an initial fast wave of ratifications — 22 states in that same year — ratifications slowed. Despite an extension of the deadline to 1982, the amendment fell three states short of the 38 needed by the time the deadline expired."

Congress can remove the deadline for states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and help promote true equality.

"The House Judiciary Committee expects to hold the first hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in 36 years on Tuesday, A...
04/30/2019
Equal Rights Amendment will get a hearing before House Judiciary Committee next week

"The House Judiciary Committee expects to hold the first hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in 36 years on Tuesday, April 30, committee chairman Jerrold Nadler recently announced. Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said that passage of the ERA is long overdue, and called it an “embarrassment for our nation” not to have an unequivocal statement in our Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women when most other countries do."

The House Judiciary Committee expects to hold the first hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in 36 years on Tuesday, April 30, committee chairman Jerrold Nadler recently announced. Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said that passage of the ERA is long overdue, and called it an “embarrassment for our nation” ...

Directed by Rachel Carey, the film is set in Chicago in 1969 and tells the story of the Jane Collective, a whisper netwo...
04/29/2019
‘Ask For Jane’ Tells The True Story Of Women Who Created An Illegal Abortion Clinic

Directed by Rachel Carey, the film is set in Chicago in 1969 and tells the story of the Jane Collective, a whisper network for illegal abortions created by University of Chicago student Heather Booth. The secret organization helped women obtain safe and illegal abortions during a time when women were dying left and right due to dangerous back-alley abortion procedures.

The upcoming film tells the incredible story of the Jane Collective, a whisper network that provided safe abortions before Roe v. Wade.

"As Chicago's tech industry grows stronger each year, so too do the efforts to make sure it's a more inclusive space for...
04/23/2019
7 women in Chicago tech discuss the city’s culture of inclusivity

"As Chicago's tech industry grows stronger each year, so too do the efforts to make sure it's a more inclusive space for all people interested in working in it. In what was once a male-dominated field, the tides are changing as a wave of inter-company diversity initiatives and community-based, women-focused programs wash over the world of tech. One tech mecca at the forefront of this progressive movement is Chicago."

We heard from women at seven local tech companies about what they think makes Chicago a great one for women to pursue careers in technology.

Working Women's History Project
04/10/2019

Working Women's History Project

This month, The Black Women's Expo returns to McCormick Place to celebrate 25 years of uplifting and empowering African-...
04/10/2019
The Black Women's Expo returns to McCormick Place

This month, The Black Women's Expo returns to McCormick Place to celebrate 25 years of uplifting and empowering African-American Women. On Thursday, April 11, 25 Chicago-area women will be recognized for their accomplishments at The Black Women's Expo.

The Black Women's Expo returns to McCormick Place to celebrate 25 years of uplifting and empowering African-American Women.

"Both candidates repeatedly have acknowledged the historic nature of the campaign since emerging as the top two vote-get...
04/02/2019
A historic decision: Voters will choose between Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle to become Chicago's first African-American female mayor

"Both candidates repeatedly have acknowledged the historic nature of the campaign since emerging as the top two vote-getters among a record field of 14 candidates in February’s first-round election."

Chicago voters will make history Tuesday when they head to the polls and pick either former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot or Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to become the city’s 56th mayor.

"In setting her agenda, we encourage the new mayor to utilize a gender lens to address the implications of any policy on...
04/01/2019
What Chicago's first female African-American mayor can do for girls, women

"In setting her agenda, we encourage the new mayor to utilize a gender lens to address the implications of any policy on women and girls of every race and ethnicity, gender expression, citizenship status, faith and ability level. And we urge her to act decisively on these priorities for women and girls..."

A generation of Chicago’s girls will come of age in a city led by an African-American woman. This must go beyond the symbolic to a specific commitment to improving the lives of women and girls, and building a safe, just and healthy Chicago for all.

"Nearly a century after the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, the growing public role of women in the U.S. ha...
03/31/2019
Poll: Most See Women Equal to Men in Politics

"Nearly a century after the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, the growing public role of women in the U.S. has produced major changes in politics, culture and policy. The #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct helped propel a record number of women onto the campaign trail in 2018. Now, the House is anchored by the most women ever to serve at once, with Nancy Pelosi the only woman to have held the post of speaker."

An all-time high of 84 percent of Americans believe women are just as suited emotionally for politics as men, according to a new survey that comes as the largest-ever field of women are running for president and...

"Whoever wins, Chicago will elect its first black female mayor on April 2nd, to replace the two-term incumbent Rahm Eman...
03/29/2019
Chicago Prepares to Elect Its First Black Female Mayor

"Whoever wins, Chicago will elect its first black female mayor on April 2nd, to replace the two-term incumbent Rahm Emanuel, who announced last fall that he would not seek reëlection." - The New Yorker by P. Slevin

On policy, little separates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, but, as one political strategist put it, “This was always going to be a change-versus-old-guard election.”

“History isn’t what happened. It’s who tells the story.”— Sally Roesch Wagner, a women's studies scholar and a...
03/19/2019
Women’s History Myths, Debunked

“History isn’t what happened. It’s who tells the story.”

— Sally Roesch Wagner, a women's studies scholar and author

Almost everything we know about women’s history is wrong. This week, a few of the biggest myths get busted.

"From books with big pictures to books with big words, there's no question that all of the stories are big. In the last ...
03/17/2019
Fresh 2019 titles for Women's History Month

"From books with big pictures to books with big words, there's no question that all of the stories are big. In the last six months, publishers have been quickly putting out new titles to share the history of leaders, artists and makers who changed the world. Celebrate Women's History Month with these new books for kids."

Line your shelves with these new titles.

Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer will become the first woman to serve as Chicago’s chief federal judge after Judge Ruben Castil...
03/17/2019
Rebecca Pallmeyer to be 1st female chief judge of Chicago's federal court

Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer will become the first woman to serve as Chicago’s chief federal judge after Judge Ruben Castillo steps down from the role this summer. Court officials announced in a statement Thursday that Castillo will be stepping down on June 30, and Pallmeyer will succeed him on July 1. “As I reflect on the 200th anniversary of our Court and on this International Women’s Day, I’m delighted to make way for the Northern District of Illinois to be led by its first female Chief Judge, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer,” Castillo said in the statement.

Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer will become the first woman to serve as Chicago's chief federal judge after Judge Ruben Castillo steps down this summer.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to shed some light on the women before us. Opening doorways into new eras...
03/15/2019
Historical Women From Chicago

In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to shed some light on the women before us. Opening doorways into new eras and breaking the norm and stiff traditions, here are some bold, beautiful, and monumental women from Chicago.

Trailblazers, advocates, and rebels with a cause, here are some historical Chicago women who opened a doorway of possibilities.

Below is just a partial list of sites dedicated to the memory and work of phenomenal women.
03/14/2019
8 places to visit for Women's History Month

Below is just a partial list of sites dedicated to the memory and work of phenomenal women.

Create your own Women's History Month trail through historic homes and women's graves in Chicago area.

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