Chicago NOW to step out for Illinois Equal Rights Amendment Representatives from several women’s organizations, including Illinois and Chicago NOW, recently met  to discuss strategy for working toward ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment by the Illinois State Legislature. The Illinois Coalition Partners of ERA Action are planning to work first to garner the necessary support in the Illinois House of Representatives before moving on to the Illinois Senate. We expect to soon have a list of legislators to target to support the amendment. While passage of the ERA is a bipartisan issue, democrats have been generally more supportive of ratification than republicans. Coalition leaders are hoping to build a coalition large enough to move some suburban and/or downstate republicans into the YES column.

Updates will be included in future newsletters and in action alerts from the CNOW Action Team and the CNOW Legislative and Policy Team. Let’s work together to get this done!

Chicago NOW participates in Dyke March

Chicago NOW marched and tabled at the 2017 Dyke March at Piotrowski Park. March organizers, bands and speakers took to the stage while NOW representatives spoke to scores of participants who stopped at our table.

The day was filled with community and information sharing, but was also dotted with some protests. Located close to the Chicago NOW table, religious protestors harassed march attendees shouting hate speech. Fortunately, organizers and attendees joined together to form a human chain while a drumming band came along to drown out the hateful words. Soon after the protestors left.

Unbeknownst to Chicago NOW, three people were told to leave the march because of a rainbow flag with star of David on it being carried by one of these people. Through multiple press outlets after the event, Chicago NOW discovered the political controversy regarding the pro-Palestian, anti-Zionism of the Dyke March organization platform.

In defense of the action taken the spokesperson for the organizers stated the platform rules and that those who were confronted and asked to leave were members of a group that were pro-Zionism and therefore made others in the March feel unsafe.

We at Chicago NOW state our commitment to religious freedom and all people are allowed freedom of expression within our events. We will not allow anti-Semitism to be an exception.

Give Your Choice A Voice Part 2???

As members read in the May newsletter, Give Your Choice A Voice was a great success! We had so many individuals who wanted to share their story but were unable to because of time constraints. Well good news, members! Chicago NOW has decided to host a second Give Your Choice A Voice this year in August! Coming soon to a Chicago neighborhood near you, we will have more speakers, comedians and musical acts all sharing their stories and celebrating choice. Stay tuned to the newsletter, facebook and twitter for information as the event develops!

Chicago NOW Board Members to Attend Annual Conference

This year, the National Organization for Women will hold its annual conference at the Florida Hotel in Orlando, Flordia from June 30 – July 2. This year’s theme of “Forward Feminism Not Backing Down Rising Together” will bring attendees inspiring plenary speakers, thought-provoking workshops, and opportunities to engage with feminist organizers from around the country.

This year NOW will elect new leadership as President Terry O’Neill and Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer have fulfilled their terms. The election is a contested one with two slates of candidates. Team Rise Up Now presents China Fortson-Washington as a candidate for president and Monica Weeks for vice-president.  NOWStrong is presenting Toni van Pelt as candidate for president Gilda Yazzie for vice-president. Go to NOW’s website to register and find out more.

Chicago NOW and Illinois NOW will be represented at the meeting and will participate in the election. If you are going to be at the conference let us know by contacting us at

CNOW Action Team Event: Letter Writing for Bresha Meadows

Come join Chicago NOW in supporting Bresha Meadows at our letter writing event on June 28th! Bresha Meadows was just 14 years old when she was incarcerated for defending herself and her family against the violence of her abusive father. During her time in an Ohio juvenile detention center, Bresha has been separated from her family, put on suicide watch, and left without proper access to emotional and psychological support. According to a plea deal submitted this past May, Bresha (now 15 years old) will be moved to a treatment facility at the end of July at her family’s cost. Her case has garnered support from thousands of people from around the world and yet the fight for her freedom persists. Join Chicago NOW in writing letters of support and love to Bresha as well as bring awareness to state criminalization of domestic violence victims and their families.

When: Wednesday, June 28th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Argo Tea at 16 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
Sign Up Now!

Pass along this fact sheet on domestic violence and the criminalization of girls. We hope to see you on June 28th!