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.

Operating as usual

Professor Linda Zerilli (Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and former faculty dire...
09/17/2020
The rise of women in U.S. politics—from the 19th Amendment to Kamala Harris

Professor Linda Zerilli (Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and former faculty director of the CSGS) discusses the 19th amendment, misconceptions about the first wave of feminism, and the upcoming election!

The rise of women in U.S. politics—from the 19th Amendment to Kamala Harris

A Mighty Girl
09/07/2020

A Mighty Girl

Jane Addams -- the pioneering social reformer and women's rights activist who became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize -- was born on this day in 1860. The co-founder of the famous Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago, Addams was instrumental in bringing the needs of mothers and children to greater public awareness and is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States.

Born in Illinois in 1860, Addams was a voracious reader as a child and was inspired by Charles Dickens' writing on the lives of the poor to spend her life helping those in need. As an adult, she learned about the settlement house movement -- a social reform movement that began in the late 19th century to provide education and healthcare resources to the urban poor. After visiting the world's first settlement house, Toynbee Hall in London, Addams was inspired to open Hull House in 1889. Hull House offered an adult night school; clubs for older children; a gym and bath house; music, theater, and art lessons; and an employment center, among many other services; at its height, 2,000 people a week walked through its doors.

Addams encouraged women to become “civic housekeepers," working for the betterment of their communities. At one point, in 1894, she served as the first woman appointed as sanitary inspector and, with the help of the Hull House Women's Club, made over 1,000 reports of health department violations. She was also a vocal advocate of women's suffrage as she recognized that human welfare concerns would not be given adequate attention by the government without the voices and votes of women.

A staunch supporter of Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party, Adams was elected president of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1915. In this capacity, she headed a commission which organized the first significant international effort to mediate between the warring nations. As a pacifist, she faced severe criticism once the US entered the war, and was even branded as unpatriotic. Following the war, however, President Calvin Coolidge and the public at large supported Addams and the WILPF efforts in the 1920s to ban poison gas -- which was achieved in 1925 with the signing of the Geneva Protocol.

Addams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 -- the second woman in history to receive the honor -- for her pioneering social reform work and her leadership of WILPF's peacebuilding efforts. Remembered as an individual who had transformed the lives of so many, especially women, Addams once said that the “[o]ld-fashioned ways which no longer apply to changed conditions are a snare in which the feet of women have always become readily entangled.” Thanks to her tireless efforts for suffrage and women’s rights, there are fewer snares in all of our paths.

There are two wonderful picture books about Jane Addams' inspiring story -- "Dangerous Jane" for ages 6 to 10 (https://www.amightygirl.com/dangerous-jane) and "The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams" for ages 5 to 9 (https://www.amightygirl.com/the-house-that-jane-built)

Addams is also one of the thirteen groundbreaking American profiled in President Barack Obama’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters,” for ages 5 to 10 at https://www.amightygirl.com/of-thee-i-sing

For teens, she is one of the courageous changemakers profiled in the book "She Takes A Stand: 16 Fearless Activists Who Have Changed The World" for ages 12 and up at https://www.amightygirl.com/she-takes-a-stand

Adult readers may enjoy Jane Addams' classic book about the history of the remarkable institution she founded: "20 Years at Hull-House" (http://amzn.to/1wcTHrG) and the biographies "Jane Addams: Spirit in Action" (http://amzn.to/21LWl7K) and "Jane Addams And The Dream Of American Democracy" (https://amzn.to/356uHgh)

And, to inspire children and teens with more stories of real-life girls and women who fought for change and stood up for justice, check out our blog post, "50 Books About Women Who Fought for Change," at https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=14364

08/28/2020
Strength in Suffrage - CWHC on Twitch

If you missed the live broadcast of our Strength in Suffrage program you can watch it here for the next week:

CWHC went live on Twitch. Catch up on their VOD now.

08/26/2020
Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

Please join us at Chicago Women's History Center as we present a virtual centennial event with artists Ginny Sykes and Carron Little this eve at 7pm CT! https://www.twitch.tv/cwhc.
AND
join our zoom conversation with the artists after the presentation at 7:30 Topic: Strength in Suffrage
Time: Aug 26, 2020 07:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82501951291?pwd=aGZja0EwZS9Eek5SUzJJWkVueU4yQT09
Meeting ID: 825 0195 1291
Passcode: 707208
A selection of Ginny's banners are on view at Woodson Regional Public Library
#votesforwomen #19thamendmentcentennial #vote2020 #ginnysykes #carronlittle #chicagowomenshistorycenter #Votesforwomen #19thAmendment #vote2020

Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, confer...

Please join us on August 26th for this exciting Women's Equality Day event with artists Ginny Sykes and Carron Little!St...
08/20/2020

Please join us on August 26th for this exciting Women's Equality Day event with artists Ginny Sykes and Carron Little!

Strength in Suffrage:
Tracing 100 Years and 100 Stories of
Women's History
------------------------
Live Broadcast via Twitch
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020
Women's Equality Day
7pm CDT
Online: https://www.twitch.tv/cwhc

CWHC hosts this virtual program on our new "Twitch" channel to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Woman Suffrage Amendment in 1920.

The program features the work of two talented Chicago artists, Ginny Sykes and Carron Little, who will address the individual emancipation of one hundred women through image and one hundred years of lived experience transformed into lyrical poetry.

Ginny Sykes' project, 100 Women: Collaborations Beyond the Veil, creates a public monument to celebrate women's lives using banners in an homage to the suffrage movement. The banners, depicting 100 women of diverse backgrounds, ages, races and personal histories, all posed in the same position, with one hand on the heart and one on the abdomen, are a reference to the original suffragists' powerful use of banners with slogans such as "How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?"

Sykes interviewed and photographed 100 Chicago women in her studio for her project. For the Aug. 26th program she will present her photography along with a video interview in which she provides background and context for her work.

Carron Little's public engagement project Spare Rib Revisited is based on interviews she did with women from diverse cultures, in different cities and countries, ages twenty to one hundred. Her project investigates how women's lives have been impacted and changed over the last hundred years.

In her Aug. 26th presentation, Little will perform poetry she wrote about these women, tracing their lives as an anthropological map of a place over time. Little sees the centennial as a marker of time to investigate the physical, emotional and social tools for liberation, transformed into poetic performance.

The program will conclude with an audience Q & A session with both artists present. The technical aspects of this program are provided by Carron Little.

To join the event: Go to: https://www.twitch.tv/cwhc on Aug. 26th at 7pm CDT

For more information about the event: [email protected]

Woodson Regional Chicago Public Library Installation: A portion of 100 Women: Collaborations Beyond the Veil, consisting of five panels depicting Chicago Black women, and the photography video will be on display at the Woodson Library, 95th and Halsted St., for three months beginning on August 26, 2020.

This program is free and accessible to the public.

Paul Durica’s Chicago History Virtual Trivia Night tonight, 7PM – 8:30PM.  Any donations received by this event will go ...
08/13/2020
Pocket Guide to Hell Virtual Trivia, Chapter 3: August

Paul Durica’s Chicago History Virtual Trivia Night tonight, 7PM – 8:30PM. Any donations received by this event will go to Chicago Women’s History Center thanks to historian Ann Keating!

Here’s more info about the event from their announcement:

In the third installment of Pocket Guide to Hell's virtual trivia, we'll play three rounds focused on the month of August in Chicago history.

This includes questions about Chicago before it was Chicago, crazy corrupt aldermen, and the city's role in the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting suffrage to women.

Between rounds, we'll be joined by historian Ann Keating (author of Rising Up From Indian Country and The World of Juliette Kinzie); Scott M. Priz as First Ward Alderman John "Bathhouse" Coughlin; and Justin Amolsch, performing songs from the early days of Chicago and the Suffrage movement.

Play by yourself or in teams of up to 8. Event is free but please consider making a donation to the Chicago Women's History Center: http://www.chicagowomenshistory.org/

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pocket-guide-to-hell-virtual-trivia-chapter-3-august-tickets-116119469459

Test your knowledge of Chicago history and experience some talks, performances, and reenactments at this free virtual trivia event

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in our thoughts and prayers as she once again struggles with health concerns. This article by Jef...
07/27/2020
How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Moved the Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in our thoughts and prayers as she once again struggles with health concerns. This article by Jeffrey Toobin from the New Yorker, 2013, details how she brought cases before the Supreme Court that transformed its view of gender issues.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/03/11/heavyweight-ruth-bader-ginsburg?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_SundayArchive_072620&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9f77f24c17c6adf0de688&cndid=52811897&hasha=ae390fc356a8936d0fcca2d6b7d9c3fb&hashb=b4e6d3e2660e4615294fe4489cbe2a1da765473d&hashc=66efc26299f8856ce3309b3b3d3e56e0ded8ebc8be0894092786890e57e02b01&esrc=frm_act_Daily_subs&utm_term=TNY_SundayArchive

As a litigator, Ginsburg brought cases before the Court that transformed its view of gender issues. Yet, one observer says, “she’s very cautious, conservative in a Burkean sense.”

We have lost a true hero today.Rest in power dear sir“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Ou...
07/18/2020
Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Dies At Age 80

We have lost a true hero today.

Rest in power dear sir

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” - Rep. John Lewis #Vote #GoodTrouble

The Georgia Democrat, who was called the "conscience of Congress," has died.

With your generous help, we have raised over $5000 for the making of our documentary about the creation of a monument fo...
07/18/2020
A Monument for Ida B. Wells – A documentary about the making of the Ida B. Wells monument

With your generous help, we have raised over $5000 for the making of our documentary about the creation of a monument for Ida B. Wells by Chicago sculptor, Richard Howard Hunt and about Wells’ life, her work and her influences on the current anti-lynching laws and fight for women’s rights and for racial justice! Huge thanks to all our amazing donors during the IdaB Birthday Challenge! ❤️ amonumentforidabfilm.com

Wells was a fierce activist for civil rights and women's rights. Born into slavery and with odds stacked against her, she managed to rise above adversity and become an outspoken voice against lynching, then later a leader for women's rights and black women's suffrage. Wells settled in Chicago after....

Happy Birthday #IdaBWells  it’s Ida B. Wells’' 158th bday today! Please join us for the Ida B bday Challenge! $158 or ab...
07/16/2020
The Light of Truth: A Monument for Ida B. Wells organized by Rana Segal

Happy Birthday #IdaBWells it’s Ida B. Wells’' 158th bday today! Please join us for the Ida B bday Challenge! $158 or above gets you a #MouseBookClub Ida B. Wells booklet! Please help us make the documentary film about the making of the monument by the sculptor Richard Howard Hunt, and help us honor her life and legacy and her influence on the racial justice struggles of today! No amount is too small. And please share with your friends! Thanks!

We are raising funds for our new film called The Light of Truth: A Monument… Rana Segal needs your support for The Light of Truth: A Monument for Ida B. Wells

July 16th is #IdaBWells' 158th bday. Let's raise $15,800 by 7/16 to get the documentary film made about the monument tha...
07/14/2020
The Light of Truth: A Monument for Ida B. Wells organized by Rana Segal

July 16th is #IdaBWells' 158th bday. Let's raise $15,800 by 7/16 to get the documentary film made about the monument that will honor her life and legacy. Join us for the Ida B bday Challenge! $158 or above gets you a #MouseBookClub Ida B. Wells book! #amonumentforidabfilm.com, #RichardHowardHunt, #MichelleDuster,#RanaSegal, #JudithSingleton, #IdaBWells, #GetteWilson, https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-light-of-truth-a-monument-for-ida-b-wells

We are raising funds for our new film called The Light of Truth: A Monument… Rana Segal needs your support for The Light of Truth: A Monument for Ida B. Wells

Let's do this! Only $13,197 to reach $15,800 by 7/16, the 158th birthday of #IdaBWells, to support the creation of a doc...
07/13/2020
The Light of Truth: A Monument for Ida B. Wells organized by Rana Segal

Let's do this! Only $13,197 to reach $15,800 by 7/16, the 158th birthday of #IdaBWells, to support the creation of a doc film about her life & the making of the monument in her honor. Amonumentforidabfilm.com

We are raising funds for our new film called The Light of Truth: A Monument… Rana Segal needs your support for The Light of Truth: A Monument for Ida B. Wells

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth
06/19/2020
The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a monumental yet often overlooked event in our nation’s history. On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Galveston Bay, Texas, were notified by Union troops they, along with all other enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree.

Together we march!
06/18/2020

Together we march!

Connect to history today
06/18/2020
Connect to history today

Connect to history today

Our mission—to share Chicago’s stories, serving as a hub of scholarship and learning, inspiration, and civic engagement—is the foundation of the Museum’s programs and events, exhibitions, educational initiatives, publications, and collecting activities that touch the lives of all Chicagoans and help them make meaningful and personal connections to history.

Brain Pickings
06/16/2020

Brain Pickings

One of the first black women to attend college, Edmonia Lewis was accused of making two classmates ill. She was brutally beaten and left for dead. Having barely survived, she—not her assailants—was arrested. Eventually acquitted, she became a celebrated sculptor. Her sculpture "The Death of Cleopatra" was lauded as the most beautiful work at the first World's Fair in America. Learn more about this forgotten pioneer: https://www.brainpickings.org/2020/06/10/edmonia-lewis/

Black Women's Activism MattersA Statement of SolidarityWe are living through a national and global uprising as millions ...
06/15/2020
Protest in the Archives

Black Women's Activism Matters
A Statement of Solidarity

We are living through a national and global uprising as millions of people take to the streets to protest the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald and countless other innocent Black Americans. These protests, calling for justice, police accountability, and an end to systemic racism are not a new phenomenon. They are but the latest manifestation of a long Black freedom struggle that stretches back 400 years to its roots in resistance to the horrors of slavery.

Chicago has been the site and center of many chapters in this long struggle for justice. While the history of our city is built upon sustained practices of discrimination, segregation, and racial violence, it has also been a center of resistance and important movements for social justice and racial equality.

The mission of the Chicago Women’s History Center (CWHC) is to document, preserve and share resources for a more complete understanding of the history of Chicago women. Our approach is intersectional with a commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and respect for the voices and experiences of often unheard and marginalized women. Our research, documentation, and public education projects have emphasized the rich and influential history of Chicago women’s activism and struggles for social justice.

In this pivotal historical moment, CWHC stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Black communities, and all protests against systems of white supremacy, police brutality and state-sanctioned violence.

In addition, we renew our commitment to documenting and sharing resources for a fuller understanding of Black women’s activism in Chicago throughout its history. We know that Black women have been at the forefront of social justice movements in the city and, although often unrecognized, have been influential community-based leaders. We work to document this vital history through oral history interviews, identification and preservation of archival resources, and the development of interpretive materials. Through this work we hope to create new narratives about Black resistance and liberation movements in Chicago.

As a basis for this work we offer the following:

Our book Women Building Chicago 1790 – 1990, A Biographical Dictionary, edited by Rima Lunin Schultz and Adele Hast, contains the biographies of nearly fifty Chicago Black women pioneers including Ida B. Wells Barnett, Lucy Parsons, and Lorraine Hansberry and many others.

Our current project “Documenting Women’s Activism and Leadership in the Chicago Area, 1945 – 2000” includes a database of over 500 women and oral histories with women involved in the Civil Rights Movement, community organizing, women’s health, and many other social justice movements.

“Protest in the Archives” a new Black Metropolis Research Consortium resource announced by Marcia Walker-McWilliams, CWHC Board member and director of the BMRC. The new website page is a living document designed to increase awareness of how and why archives document protest, the ethnics of documenting protest, and Chicago area collections that document protests for racial justice in America. For more information: https://bmrc.lib.uchicago.edu/protest-archives/

“The Light of Truth: A Monument for Ida B. Wells” a new feature documentary in production with CWHC board member and Chicago filmmaker, Laurie Little (Producer), local filmmaker, Rana Segal (Director/Producer) and scholar, anthropologist and public health expert, Judith Singleton (Producer). CWHC is supporting the development of this film about Black Chicago Pulitzer Prize winner Ida B. Wells . For more information: http://amonumentforidabfilm.com/

Address

2109 N Humboldt Blvd
Chicago, IL
60647

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Chicago Women's History Center posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Chicago Women's History Center:

Category

Our Story

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

Nearby museums


Other History Museums in Chicago

Show All