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.
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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.

Operating as usual

History Matters: Debates About Monuments Reflect Current Divisions
04/10/2021
History Matters: Debates About Monuments Reflect Current Divisions

History Matters: Debates About Monuments Reflect Current Divisions

As represented by statues and school names, American history has long overlooked the flaws of mostly dead white males. Taking down their monuments risks a different kind of simplification.

04/01/2021
Join us this Saturday, March 27th from 2:00PM-3:00PM for a program about Chicago activist Hazel Johnson, "Mother of Envi...
03/26/2021
The Legacy of Hazel Johnson

Join us this Saturday, March 27th from 2:00PM-3:00PM for a program about Chicago activist Hazel Johnson, "Mother of Environmental Justice." Cheryl Johnson will speak about her mother's life and the legacy she left behind as an environmental justice activist. Her stories will be accompanied with archival photographs and manuscripts from the People for Community Recovery Archives, an organization founded by Hazel Johnson to fight environmental racism on Chicago's heavily polluted southeast side.

This Women's History Month program is co-sponsored by the Chicago Women's History Center.

How to Attend
This event takes place on Zoom. Register at least 24 hours before the event. Only one registration per household is needed. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting about 24 hours before the meeting. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Library Use Guidelines.

This event uses a third-party website and may be hosted by an organization CPL has partnered with. We recommend you review the privacy policies of any third-party sites before providing them with any personal data. For more information, please see our Website Privacy Statement.

Questions about attending online events? Check out our Events FAQs.

Accessibility
Need captioning for this event? Please call (312) 747-4015. Requests must be made at least 14 business days before the event.

(Photo image: Cheryl Johnson)

Program:Women’s HistorySuitable for:Adults
Type:History and Genealogy
Language:English
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Join us for a program about Chicago activist Hazel Johnson, "Mother of Environmental Justice." Cheryl Johnson will speak about her mother's life and the legacy she left behind as an environmental justice activist. Her stories will be accompanied with archival photographs and manuscripts from the Peo...

Irish American Heritage Month: The Most Dangerous Woman in America
03/24/2021
Irish American Heritage Month: The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Irish American Heritage Month: The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Did You Know that a 72-year-old Irish woman, beloved by millions, was once called the most dangerous woman in America? Her name was Mary Harris Jones, and this feisty little Irish lady was also ca

5 New Books on Women's History
03/14/2021
5 New Books on Women's History

5 New Books on Women's History

Women’s History Month is here again and there are abundant opportunities for educators to engage it in the classroom. But there is also an...

High Tea at Hall: The Women of Hall Branch
03/13/2021
High Tea at Hall: The Women of Hall Branch

High Tea at Hall: The Women of Hall Branch

Make yourself a cup of tea and join Chicago Public Library archivist Beverly Cook for an overview of the women of George Cleveland Hall Branch. Hall Branch opened in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood in 1932. The library quickly became a center for researchers interested in African American history...

Random History of the Day
03/11/2021

Random History of the Day

March 8, 1839: American inventor Josephine Garis Cochrane was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio. She was the inventor of the first commercially successful automatic dishwasher, which she constructed together with mechanic George Butters. After receiving a patent on December 28, 1886 she showed her invention at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and won the highest prize for "best mechanical construction, durability and adaptation to its line of work".

https://www.thoughtco.com/josephine-cochran-dishwasher-4071171

#JosephineCochrane #Dishwasher #InternationalWomensDay #WomensHistoryMonth #TodayInHistory

Join us for a program about Chicago activist Hazel Johnson, "Mother of Environmental Justice." Cheryl Johnson will speak...
03/02/2021
The Legacy of Hazel Johnson

Join us for a program about Chicago activist Hazel Johnson, "Mother of Environmental Justice." Cheryl Johnson will speak about her mother's life and the legacy she left behind as an environmental justice activist. Her stories will be accompanied with archival photographs and manuscripts from the People for Community Recovery Archives, an organization founded by Hazel Johnson to fight environmental racism on Chicago's heavily polluted southeast side.
This Women's History Month program is co-sponsored by the Chicago Women's History Center.

Join us for a program about Chicago activist Hazel Johnson, "Mother of Environmental Justice." Cheryl Johnson will speak about her mother's life and the legacy she left behind as an environmental justice activist. Her stories will be accompanied with archival photographs and manuscripts from the Peo...

Please join us for another wonderful event this March!
02/22/2021
The Legacy of Hazel Johnson

Please join us for another wonderful event this March!

Join us for a program about Chicago activist Hazel Johnson, "Mother of Environmental Justice." Cheryl Johnson will speak about her mother's life and the legacy she left behind as an environmental justice activist. Her stories will be accompanied with archival photographs and manuscripts from the Peo...

Please join us as we celebrate our board member and VP, Maureen Hellwig's new book,A Neighbor Among NeighborsErie Neighb...
02/21/2021

Please join us as we celebrate our board member and VP, Maureen Hellwig's new book,
A Neighbor Among Neighbors
Erie Neighborhood House
150 Years as a Home with no Borders
on March 3rd from 6:30-8:00 pm for this online presentation and discussion on the history of Eirie Neighborhood House, Chicago's oldest settlement house.

Click here to register https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYkcu2spzojHd3bO0pbU6MF0nPetwHrZo_v

01/20/2021
Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

I’m here today because of the women who came before me.

American Library Association
12/31/2020

American Library Association

Dr. Jill Biden is joining ALA Midwinter Virtual! A lifelong educator and literacy advocate, we’re excited to welcome her as closing speaker for the event where she’ll be in conversation with ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.

Registration for the memorable session and several others closes on January 15 at noon: http://bit.ly/2McnFPs

Riva Lehrer's On Her New Memoir 'Golem Girl'
10/10/2020
Riva Lehrer's On Her New Memoir 'Golem Girl'

Riva Lehrer's On Her New Memoir 'Golem Girl'

Scott Simon speaks to the acclaimed painter, writer and teacher about her new book, which recounts a life growing up with spina bifida.

Congtulatins Riva! “TUESDAY! 🚀 🚀 🚀 🚀 🚀 !PLEASE SHARE! PLEASE COME! (Please forgive all the exclamation points, you only ...
10/03/2020
Virtual Book Launch: GOLEM GIRL by Riva Lehrer

Congtulatins Riva! “TUESDAY! 🚀 🚀 🚀 🚀 🚀 !
PLEASE SHARE! PLEASE COME! (Please forgive all the exclamation points, you only launch once.)”

Join us for the virtual book launch celebrating Golem Girl by Riva Lehrer! For this Zoom event, Riva will be in conversation with Audrey Niffenegger. This event will include ASL interpretation and closed captioning. REGISTER THROUGH EVENTBRITE What do we sacrifice in the pursuit of normalcy? And wha...

The artist Grace Lynne Haynes describes her process for portraying the American abolitionist Sojourner Truth's fight for...
09/29/2020
Why a Prominent American Artist Paints Skin Pitch-Black

The artist Grace Lynne Haynes describes her process for portraying the American abolitionist Sojourner Truth's fight for broader equality in her first New Yorker cover.

https://www.newyorker.com/video/watch/why-a-prominent-american-artist-paints-skin-pitch-black?verso=true

The artist Grace Lynne Haynes describes her process for portraying the American abolitionist Sojourner Truth's fight for broader equality in her first New Yorker cover.

Women in Film and Video: New England
09/22/2020

Women in Film and Video: New England

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg

When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou... When great trees fall,rocks on distant hills shudder,lions hunker downin tall g...
09/20/2020

When Great Trees Fall
by Maya Angelou...

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

#rbg
#thenotoriousrbg
#ruthbaderginsburg
#gratitude

When Great Trees Fall
by Maya Angelou...

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

#rbg
#thenotoriousrbg
#ruthbaderginsburg
#gratitude

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

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2109 N Humboldt Blvd
Chicago, IL
60647

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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.

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