On a gloriously warm January Saturday, many of us from YWCA Evanston/North Shore and our friends and families joined hundreds of thousands in the streets of our cities to support women's rights and racial justice. And, on a recent cold and cloudy February Saturday, our senior staff and board of directors gathered to update our strategic plan. We know we have work to do.
YWCA has been at the forefront of major social movements for over 100 years, and we're not stopping now. We will continue to protect the gains made and work actively to promote legislation designed to protect and advance racial justice and civil rights, safeguard and support women's health and safety, and empower women economically. We know that you and thousands like you are looking to organizations like ours to develop the understanding and tools you need to support these goals, too.
We are ramping up our advocacy efforts and pledge that we will continue to keep you informed about what we're doing and what you can do to further gender equality and racial justice in northern Cook County and beyond.
Thank you for looking to us and for standing with us.
YWCA Evanston/North Shore was a proud co-sponsor of the State of the Communities gathering on Sunday, February 12, featuring Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and attended by over 400 people from around the area. YWCA Director of Racial Justice Community Programs Eileen Hogan Heineman (3rd from right), energized the crowd with her concrete ideas for taking action. Read her remarks below.
There are many of us to do this work
"Every single one of us has a role to play in addressing the growing inequities. At a MLK Day Celebration, Evanston Alderwoman Dolores Holmes said, 'We each need to determine what is our part, and then do our part with great heart.' And that is what we are about right now. We each have a part to play, whether this is the first time we've become active or have protested for years." These words were part of Eileen Hogan Heineman's remarks at the recent "State of the Communities" event sponsored by Open Communities in Winnetka.
Read Eileen's complete remarks.
Advocacy actions you can take now
Congress is on recess now, and members of Congress are back in their home districts until February 27. This is a great time for all of us to reach out to our representative and start new relationships or cultivate existing ones.
- Affordable Care Act: It is imperative that we urge the House and Senate to protect the gains we've made by putting forth proposals that are comprehensive, well-vetted and comparable to the current ACA. Any bill that does not protect women and families is an unacceptable replacement. Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents about how important accessible, quality healthcare is to YWCA and its clients and constituents across the country.
- Family and Medical Leave Act: On February 7, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act was reintroduced in Congress. YWCA USA, along with over 50 coalition partners, has formally supported this legislation. Over the coming months, YWCA USA will be working to highlight the importance of this legislation in Congress, with the hopes of garnering more cosponsors and pushing for passage of the legislation.
- Immigration: We encourage support of The BRIDGE Act (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy), bipartisan legislation which was reintroduced in January in both the U.S. Senate (S.128) and House (H.R. 496). The BRIDGE Act would protect undocumented young people brought to the United States as children should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued, and would provide temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to undocumented youth.
What can you do? Read about these and other actions you can take here.
Learn about Women's Economic Progress
March 8, 2017
In commemoration of International Women's Day, please join us for a conversation with women entrepreneurs, artists, and law enforcement on the economic challenges women face and the journey ahead.
This evening commemoration will feature keynote speaker Evelyn Diaz of Heartland Alliance and a special performance by "Louder Than A Bomb."
Free admission, but reservations are required and space is filling up fast! Reserve your space today.
Register for our Racial Justice Summit
April 6-7, 2017
We invite activists, educators, faith leaders, practitioners, and artists to (re)imagine with us. The Summit will feature a keynote address by Charlene A. Carruthers, National Director of the Black Youth Project 100, a scholar-activist panel, and workshop sessions.
The goal of the summit is to bring people - of all ages and demographics - together to deepen their understanding of their own racial identities, develop skills to work for change, formulate action plans, and engage with others. The summit is open to the public.
Learn more and register here.
Practice 'Passionate Philanthropy'
In today's world, there are so many issues that demand our attention, and so many ways to give--- whether it's your time, your talent, or a financial contribution. For most of us however, the biggest challenge is deciding which issues align with our hearts. How do we translate our fears, our anger, and our hope for the future into loving actions? How do we practice passionate philanthropy?
YWCA programs get to the heart of some of the most pressing issues facing our society today. Violence against women, homelessness, affordable housing, economic opportunity, racial equity- important issues that demand our attention.
Your gift to the YWCA helps address these issues. Your gift can provide long-term housing and support services for women who have experienced domestic violence.
Your gift can provide financial literacy education, economic advancement education, racial justice workshops and equity dialogues. Your gift can do the work that you care about.
How can you show passionate philanthropy? Give today to YWCA.