Meet our 2017 Woman Who Dared Nominee: Tamar Manasseh

spoonily Tamar Manasseh

Tamar Manasseh
Founder & President
MASK (Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings)


Following the shooting death of Lucille Barnes in 2015, Tamar Manasseh, a mother of 2 who grew up in Englewood and now lives in Bronzeville, rallied several other mothers and established MASK (Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings). In the summer of 2015, Manasseh and other parents in the community took to their local corner daily to let everyone know that they’re watching.

MASK’s purpose is to put eyes on the streets, interrupt violence and crime, and teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies. MASK’s primary mission is to build stronger communities through a focus on violence prevention, food insecurity, and housing.

Additionally, MASK partners to ensure that community members have access to necessary city services, opportunities for education & professional skills growth, and economic development.

Manasseh has also helped launch MASK initiatives in other Chicago neighborhoods, as well as cities throughout the nation, including Evansville, Indiana, Staten Island, New York, and Memphis, Tennessee.

To learn more about MASK and it’s mission, please click here.

Meet our 2017 Woman Who Dared Nominee: Hon. Sara Feigenholtz

Hon. Sara Feigenholtz

Hon. Sara Feigenholtz
State Representative
Illinois’ 12th District


Sara Feigenholtz represents Illinois’ 12th District, which includes Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Near North neighborhoods. Her commitment to the residents of her district and sponsorship of groundbreaking legislation has earned her the appointment of Assistant Majority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Sara champions a multitude of complex legislative and budgetary issues, reinforcing her statewide reputation as an effective legislator and champion of accessible health care, human services, and adoption reform. Sara’s passion for justice in health care earned her the Chairmanship of Human Services and Appropriations where she served for a decade before her appointment as Assistant Majority Leader.

As a champion of women’s rights, Sara recognizes a woman’s right to choose as a fundamental right. She is leading the way in Springfield to expand access to critical women’s health services. This legislative session, she was the sponsor of House Bill 40. This bill strikes the dangerous “trigger” provision in the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, which states that if Roe v. Wade is overturned then abortion would become illegal in Illinois. The bill also removes discriminatory provisions from Illinois law that denies insurance coverage of an abortion to many women who depend on Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance. If signed into law, Illinois would join 15 other states that provide women with health assistance funds that cover the full range of pregnancy related care including a woman’s decision to end a pregnancy.

Prior to entering public service, Sara was the principal of SKF Consulting, a firm that raised over one million dollars for diverse political candidates and non-profit charitable organizations. As a local small business owner, she has also served as the Executive Director of the Central Lakeview Merchants Association. She actively serves in an advisory capacity in numerous community organizations throughout the 12th District.

Sara earned her BA in Political Science and Speech and Performing Arts from Northeastern Illinois University. She participated in the Fellowship program of the Illinois Public Health Leadership Institute and in 2011 completed the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives program.

National NOW Elects New Leadership

New NOW Leadership
Members of Illinois NOW stand with the new administration

At the NOW Annual Conference in Orlando, state chapters voted and a new President and Vice-president were elected. Toni van Pelt and her VP candidate, Gilda Yazzie will take over the leadership of NOW on August 1 of this year. In addition, a host of resolutions were approved by the body allowing NOW to support various causes. Chicago NOW thanks outgoing President Terry O’Neill and Vice-President Bonnie Grabenhofer for their years of leadership and activism.

Chicago NOW signs on to Letter of Support for Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Chicago NOW joined a coalition of social advocates to urge members of congress to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Modeled after the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) the PWFA , offering employers and employees a familiar reasonable accommodation framework to follow and set reasonable expectations of both employers and employees. We applaud the actions of this coalition and are proud to be a part of it. For more information, click here.

Chicago Pride Parade a Success!

Chicago NOW at Pride 2017
The NOW Chicago and Will County chapters join together at the Pride Parade

Chicago NOW participated in the 48th Annual Chicago Pride parade to the cheers of hordes of parade watchers. As we partnered with the Bisexual Queer Alliance of Chicago and the National Organization for Women, Will County chapter, we marched as allies the to the LGBTQ community and shared in the love of such a special day.

Midway through the parade, a group tried to shut down parade with a 12-point platform including discontent and the inclusion of politicians, corporations, and police allowed in the parade. The protests lasted a few minutes before the parade was allowed to continue.

What are your thoughts on these protests? Reach out to us at and let us know!