Getting Paid to Cause Trouble: Careers in Social Justice

This annual event brings together young organizers from unions and community groups and Chicago area college students interested in learning about working for change. Panelists from Illinois Action Now, UNITE HERE, AFSCME Council 31, IEA-NEA and others will share their experiences as organizers. Some of the invited groups are looking for interns and new staff. 

Saturday, April 5th
11:00am to 1:00pm (lunch included) 
Gage Gallery, 
Roosevelt University, 
18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

To rsvp please contact: 
Carrie Breitbach cbreitba@csu.edu

Hear Jo Freeman Discuss Her New Book

If you are in the Washington D.C. area on March 24, 2007, don't miss this one.

The Department of U.S. Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. will host a book launch of Jo Freeman's We Will Be Heard: Women's Struggles for Political Power in the United States on Monday, March 24 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The discussion will be held at:

5th floor conference room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-3027 

The event is open to the public but you must RSVP to usstudies@wilsoncenter.org. Directions are available here. Please allow extra time for security; a picture ID is required. Admission to the discussion and the reception are free but seating is limited.

Jo Freeman is one of our most perceptive scholars about the role of women in American political history. She will be joined at the discussion by Mary Ellen Curtin, Lecturer in American History, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom, and Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center; A. James Reichley, Author and former Visiting Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University.

“While it is commonly assumed that women went into politics after getting the right to vote,” Dr. Jo Freeman writes, in at least some parts of the United States “it was the other way around. Indeed, one could argue that it was regular experience with political women that eventually convinced men that women were capable of and entitled to exercise the franchise.” Moreover, “political women” have been “active participants in the political process and influencers of public policy” at least since the late 1800s, and they ran for public office long before they could vote.

We all know about Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. Who, however, were the dozens of women who ran for president – and the others who ran for Congress – in the twentieth century? Is it true, as Freeman asserts, that Democratic women are “more likely to be elected from safe districts than Republican women”? and that women as a group might have less influence in Congress if their numbers increase to not much more than 30 percent?

Ida: A Sword Among Lions, Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching

Join author Paula Giddings for a reading and discussion of her new book Ida: A Sword Among Lions on March 10 at 6 pm at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum.

Ida B. Wells was one of the most fearless crusaders for civil rights and women's rights in United States history. She was a newspaper editor and publisher, investigative journalist, co-founder of the NAACP, political candidate, mother, wife, and the single most powerful leader in the anti-lynching campaign in America.

Wells came to Chicago in 1892, after her life was endangered in Memphis by a series of threats and ransacking of the newspaper offices where she worked. She had attracted this negative attention through her blistering articles condemning segregation, lynching and her support of women's suffrage. While in Chicago, she organized a boycott of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago with Frederick Douglas to draw attention to the crimes of lynching. She also worked with Jane Addams to successfully block the establishment of segregated schools in Chicago. In 1930, she ran for the Illinois State Legislature and became one of the first black women to run for public office in the United States.

Monday, March 10
6-7pm Book Reading and Conversation
7-8 pm Reception
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
Residents' Dining Hall
800 S. Halsted Street

The lecture will be the Chicago launch of Paula Giddings' new book Ida: A Sword Among Lions, Ida B Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching

More about Paula Giddings:

Paula Giddings, a writer, historian, and teacher, is best known for her authoritative social and political history of African-American women, When and Where I Enter (1985), and her history of the Black sorority Delta Signa Theta. A former book editor and journalist, Giddings has written extensively on political issues in both the popular press and scholarly journals. She was a United Negro Fund Distinguished Scholar at Spelman College; held the Laurie Chair in Women's Studies at Douglass College/Rutgers University, and taught at Princeton and Duke Universities before becoming Professor of Afro-American Studies at Smith College.

This program is co-sponsored by the Department of Gender and Women's Studies at UIC, the Department of African American Studies at UIC, and Women and Children First bookstore. Dr. Giddings will also appear at Women and Children First bookstore on March 11th at 7:30 PM.

Mardge Cohen to be honored at the annual Debs-Thomas-Harrington

When Mardge Cohen and her partner Gordy Schiff left Chicago for Boston, they were warned that their old friends in the Windy City would do what was necessary to drag them back here.

Mardge is one of the world's leading experts on the treatment of HIV/AIDS and a former CWLU member. Gordy is a prof at Harvard and has written extensively on patient safety.

Well, on April 25, Marge will be back in town to receive an award from the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America at their annual dinner. Les Orear of the Illinois Labor History Society and labor lawyer Laurie Burgess will be her co-honorees.

Rose Ann DeMoro of the National Nurses Organizing Committee will be the featured speaker on the theme," Universal Healthcare Now!

Details of the awards dinner are below:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cocktails at 6:00 p.m. 
Dinner at 7:00 p.m. 
$60 per person

Tickets must be reserved no later than Tuesday, April 22. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door at $70
per person. Make sure you and your organization appear in the program book!

For more details: call (773) 384-0327 or email chiildsa@chicagodsa.org or go to the Chicago DSA website. 

Auspices: Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation with 501c4 IRS status;
contributions are not tax-deductible.

Suzanne Davenport to speak at the Chicago History Museum

As part of its Women's History Month celebration the Chicago History Museum will feature a program on March 6th called "Women On The Move: We Can Do It!" Among the presenters will be Suzanne Davenport of the CWLU Herstory Project . Suzanne was active in the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and has been a film maker and educational reformer.

Suzanne will be joined by Mary Ann Johnson of the Chicago Area Women's History Council and other presenters.

Thursday, March 6, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614

Visit the museum website for more info.


Book Launch and Reception

Wednesday, March 12, 20085 p.m. - 7 p.m.


333 S. Ashland, Chicago IL

On the Global Waterfront by Suzan Erem and E. Paul Durrenberger tells the story of the Charleston 5, who became an international labor cause celebre when they were falsely accused of inciting a riot after police attacked a longshore protest in Charleston, South Carolina. The dockworkers were protesting the attempt by a multinational shipping conglomerate to shift to non-union labor.

Suzan Erem is a former Chicago labor organizer who wrote the book Labor Pains about her experiences as a SEIU staffer here in the Windy City. You can meet Suzan and get her autograph on the book by attending the celebration at UNITE! HERE on March 12.

Race, Sex, Power: New Movements in Black and Latina/o Sexualities

Faculty from nine universities and colleges will hold the largest ever conference on black and Latina/o sexuality on April 11-12 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Race, Sex, Power: New Movements in Black and Latina/o Sexualities," the culmination of more than two years of planning, will bring together academics, activists, and artists to address topics ranging from intimacy and desire to HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy to humor and Hip Hop.

Organizer Cathy Cohen, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, calls the conference "a bold effort to rethink what sexuality means for the two largest racial minorities in the US." Dr. Jocelyn Elders, the former United States Surgeon General appointed by President Clinton, will open the conference on Friday morning, April 11.

One of the hallmarks of this conference, Cohen stresses, is its emphasis on collaboration and inclusiveness. The complex coordination of nine institutions permitted organizers to draw on a pool of expertise that no one college or university could hope to contain. The unusual blend of research, activism, and art encourages all participants to think outside their personal assumptions and the conventions of their fields.

Finally, the organizers hope to draw an audience of specialists and non-specialists alike. Asencio reminds us that knowledge about sexuality is hardly confined to those who make a profession of its study. Everyone, Asencio argues, is engaged in a critique of current sexual conventions. The conference is simply the space where such knowledge can be shared, rethought, and transformed.

LOCATION: UIC FORUM, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL


Chicago State University
Columbia College Chicago
DePaul University

The Graduate Center, CUNY
Northwestern University
Roosevelt University
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut at Storrs
University of Illinois, Chicago

Illinois Nurses Take on Their Most Difficult Patient: Corporate Medicine

The nursing profession faces enormous challenges in the coming years, particularly in hospital settings. Aggressive cost-cutting, higher patient acuity, physician/nurse relations, inadequate staffing and the intense physical and emotional demands of the work are driving experienced nurses from the field and discouraging new recruits. 

Join the RN2RN Network on Saturday, February 23 to learn more about these issues and their impact on patient quality of care at a conference sponsored by the RN2RN Network. Discuss strategies to address these challenges and chart a new course for the nursing profession.

The RN2RN Network was launched by nurses from Resurrection Health Care hospitals, who are part of HEART/AFSCME, to bring together nurses from around the state to organize for improved patient care and better staffing in Illinois hospitals.

Keynote Speaker: Suzanne Gordon , award-winning journalist and author. Ms. Gordon has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and Atlantic Monthly. She’s authored five books, including From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public and Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes, and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care. Ms. Gordon will be available for a book signing following her presentation.

Women in the Global City

Women in the Global City

6-8pm Tuesday, March 4th
The Rudy Lozano Public Library
1805 S. Loomis St., Chicago

In an effort to remake Chicago into a "global city" – one attractive to businesses and tourists worldwide – Chicago's educational, environmental, employment and housing policies have been rewritten over the last two decades. These changes in policy and funding priorities have effected Chicago residents differently by class, race and, as we focus on here, by gender.


Janet Smith, Director, The Natalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois-Chicago

Pauline Lipman, Professor of Policy Studies in the College of Education, University of Illinois-Chicago

Kim Wasserman, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Kim Daykin, Housing Opportunities for Women

For more information on this event please contact CCWCS steering committee members Carrie Breitbach at cbreitba@csu.edu or Winifred Curran at .'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text88416 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> 

Girls Rock! at the Music Box starting March 7

The Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls is a place where 8-18 year olds come from all over the country to learn Rock DIY-style--forming bands, writing songs and building community, and “Girls Rock !” is the movie about their journey.

Film makers Arne Johnson and Shane King have put together a story that focuses on 4 girls at the camp learning how to be the people they really are as they make a whole lot of joyful noise.

The film opens in Chicago at the Music Box Theater at 3733 North Southport.

Be There! Summit on Economic Justice for Women

Join the National Organization for Women Foundation, National Council of Negro Women, and the Institute for Women's Policy Research for the 2008 Summit on Economic Justice for Women, April 11-12 in Atlanta, Georgia. The summit is dedicated to "Bringing Together Research and Advocacy--from Local to Global--to Advance Economic Justice and Empowerment for Women"

Don't miss the reduced early registration fee. Make your plans now to join with grassroots activists, researchers, and academics to address the critical economic issues facing women in the U.S. and abroad.

Goals for this unique conference include expanding the body of knowledge on critical economic issues; increasing our understanding of the global economic challenges women face; building and strengthening alliances in the economic justice movement; developing recommendations and strategies for enhancing women's economic empowerment; and informing policies globally and locally, including helping to shape the 2008 U.S. presidential election debate.

Submit a workshop or research paper. Workshops will blend research and grassroots action, offering participants an opportunity to hear from experts and apply action strategies to address economic inequality. The deadline to submit a proposal is Feb. 15.

If your chapter or organization would like to be a sponsor, exhibitor or advertiser, learn more online or contact us by email or phone at 202-628-8669, ext. 117.

Paula Kamen talks about Finding Iris Chang

Come to Women and Children First Bookstore on Thursday, November 8 to hear Paula Kamen talk about new book, Finding Iris Chang

2007 marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of Iris Chang’s landmark book, The Rape of Nanking, which chronicles the Nanking massacre -- the torture and murder of Chinese citizens at the hands of the Japanese. The book brought Chang worldwide fame as a human rights pioneer, yet Chang herself was a mystery.

 In 2004 she shocked the world when, at age 34, she committed suicide. Chicago writer Paula Kamen was a longtime friend of Chang’s. In this intimate and inquisitive biography, she examines letters, diaries, archives, and personal correspondence to shed light on the enigmatic life and death of a brilliant woman in the prime of her career.

EMMA is coming to Chicago

EMMA, a play by Howard Zinn about the renowned American anarchist Emma Goldman will be opening at the Trap Door Theater on October 18 in Chicago. For more detailed info please visit their website.

It is being directed by Kate Hendrickson, the daughter of Ayrie Moore, who belonged to the Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU) and Rising Up Angry.

Written by: Howard Zinn
Directed by: Kate Hendrickson

Howard Zinn (The Playwright): Historian, author, and a pivotal figure in the American Left, Howard Zinn has written over a dozen books. Among them are his now classic "A People’s History of the United States". He is professor emeritus at Boston University. Zinn has recieved the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Non Fiction and the Eugene V Debbs award for writing and political activism. His plays "Emma" and "Marx in Soho" have been performed internationally.

Zinn's drama “Emma” is based on the life of American Anarchist Emma Goldman. Passionate, audacious, and notorious Emma was also a popularizer of the arts, a defender of civil liberties, a proponent of birth control, and a free love advocate. Emma explores not only her political life but also the friendships, and tumultuous love affairs that sustained and inspired her. "Emma" has been performed in New York, Boston, London, and Tokyo. This is its Chicago premier.

Opens: Thursday, October 18, 2007 at 8PM
Closes: Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 8PM
Runs: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM

Admission: $20 (2 for 1 on Thursdays)
Benefit for Planned Parenthood Friday October 26. Tickets to this special event are $30.00

Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494. www.trapdoortheatre.com

Finding Iris Chang is due on Oct 22

Paula Kamen's bio of writer Iris Chang is due in the bookstores on October 22. Iris Chang committed suicide in November 2004 after a long battle with depression.

Iris Chang's best known book was The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. The book tells the story of the infamous 1937-1938 Nanking massacre which took place during the Sino-Japanese War.

Paula describes the book as also being a memoir and investigation as the two women were friends going back to their college days.

Paula will be giving readings and talks about the book across the country starting on October 21.

Sunday, October 21, 7:30 PM
1005 West Burnside, Portland, OR

Monday, October 22, 7:00 PM
Beacon Hill Branch of the Seattle Public Library (Elliott Bay Bookstore event)
2821 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle, WA

Monday, October 29, 5:30 PM
Woman Warrior Festival
Conaway Center, Columbia College Chicago
1104 S. Wabash, 1st Floor

Tuesday, October 30: Milt Rosenberg show, 9-11 PM, WGN radio Chicago

Thursday, November 1, 4 PM
Tufts University Medical School
The Sackler Building - Auditorium B
145 Harrison Avenue
(Lecture on last book, All in My Head, on women and chronic pain)

Friday, November 2, 3:00 PM
Harvard Bookstore
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA, 02138

Tuesday, November 6, 7:30 PM
Barbara's Bookstore at UIC
1218 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL

Wednesday, November 7, 7:00 PM
57th Street Books
1301 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Thursday, November 8, 7:30 PMW
Women and Children First
5233 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL

Monday, November 12, 7:00 PM
(in conversation with Beth Merrick, editor of This isn't Chick Lit)
McNally Robinson Booksellers
52 Prince St., New York, NY, 10012

Tuesday, November 13, 7 PM
Museum of the Chinese in the Americas
half-hour talk with 15-minute Q & A.
70 Mulberry Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10013

Friday, November 16, 6:00 PM
A Room Of One's Own
307 West Johnson, Madison, WI

Monday, November 19, 7:00 PM
Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop
4093 North Oakland Avenue, Milwaukee, WI, 53211

Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 PM
Cody's Bookstore
1730 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

Thursday, November 29, 7:30 PM
Kepler's Bookstore
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA, 94025

Friday, November 30, 7:00 PM
Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA, 94925

Tuesday, December 11, 7:30 PM
Tattered Cover Book Store
2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO, 80206

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 6:00 PM
DePaul Barnes & Noble
1 E Jackson BoulevardChicago
sponsored by Asian American Bar Association of Chicago will focus on issue of Asians and mental illness

A Better Life for Whom?

Alison Kafer will talk about,"Queerness, Disability, and the Foundation for a Better Life" at the University of Illinois at Chicago on September 26.

Summary of the talk:

In the years since 9/11, the philanthropic organization the Foundation for a Better Life has funded a public service campaign touting "community values" and "character development," arguing that these values will result in a "better life" and future for the United States. Representations of disability and illness play a large role in this campaign, with a majority of billboards praising individuals with disabilities for having the strength of character to "overcome" their impairments. Using insights from feminist and queer theory, Alison Kafer offers a crip reading of these billboards, tracing their adherence to a neoliberal politics of sentimentality and their potential subversion by disability activists.

Alison Kafer is an assistant professor of feminist studies at Southwestern University where she teaches courses on feminist and queer theory, activism, and disability studies. She is currently co-editing an anthology with Susan Burch on the intersections between Deaf Studies and Disability Studies for Gallaudet University Press

DHSP Building, 1640 West Roosevelt Road, 1st Floor Auditorium
Wednesday, September 26th from 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Refreshments will be provided! The lecture is free and open to the public.

Sign Language Interpreters and Real Time Captioning will be provided.
To request other access accommodations, please notify Sarah Rothberger at:

312-996-1508 (v)
312-996-1233 (TTY)
fax 312-996-0885
e-mail: sr22@uic.edu

First Annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival

The first annual Chicago Feminist Film Festival will debut on Thursday, April 21 and run through Friday, April 22. This new addition to the city's circuit of film festivals, the CFFF:

"...showcases independent film, predominantly shorts, spanning documentary, fiction, and experimental genres, and aims to address issues of gender, sexuality, race, and other forms of inequality often missing from mainstream media. This in turn means creating inclusive public spaces for under-represented artists to share their work — particularly women, people of color, queer, and transgender folks, given their struggle for visibility in the mainstream film industry. Another goal is to forge connections between local, national, and international film. The over-arching assumption behind the festival is that art plays a vital role in bringing people together and encouraging them to think deeply about issues of equality and social justice."

The full schedule is now available on the film festival's website. It will include 6 programs, 42 short films, and 1 feature film. 

This year's feature film, The Fits, debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and will be screened on Thursday the 21st at 4:15pm. Painting a psychological portrait of tomboy-ish 11-year-old Toni, the film follows her as she attempts to ingratiate herself with a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati's West End.

Enamored by the power and confidence of this strong community of girls, Toni eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. When a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, Toni’s desire for acceptance is twisted. Premiering at this past winter's Sundance Film Festival, The Fits has received notable praise from critics for its unique aesthetic and originality.

The film's screening at the Chicago Feminist Film Festival will be followed by Q&A with filmmaker Anna Rose Holmer, and an opening night reception with food and beverage at 6pm.

All screenings at this year’s Chicago Feminist Film Festival are free and open to the public. Doors to each screening will open 20 minutes prior to the screening. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information go to ChicagoFeministFilmFestival.com or get in touch through the site's contact form.