Celebrating Choice: Give Your Choice a Voice 2019

On Wednesday, April 24, more than 40 people gathered at the Den Theatre in Chicago for Chicago NOW’s annual Give Your Choice a Voice – an intimate, interactive open-mic night featuring storytelling, music and dialogue about the importance of choice, agency and bodily autonomy.

Performers shared a wide range of stories and creative pieces in various artistic mediums – including personal stories, poetry and song. Performances focused on abortion, contraception and the power of choice as it relates to reproductive justice, gender identity and more.

Donations from attendees were shared between Chicago NOW and the Midwest Access Coalition – a practical abortion fund that helps people traveling to, from and within the Midwest access safe, legal abortions.

CNOW Denounces Sexual Abuse

Musician R. Kelly has a decades-long history of allegations of child pornography, pedophilia, and abusive behavior toward black women and girls. He also has a long history of using his power, money, and fame to avoid being held appropriately accountable for his actions.

Following the release of Lifetime’s documentary on the subject, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx vowed to take the issue seriously and has charged Kelly with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. His fame continues to work to his advantage, however, as fans and supporters have now paid over $200,000 to keep Kelly out of jail.

As many have already stated, it is almost unfathomable to imagine someone getting away with abusing white women and girls for decades on end, celebrity or not. We, as a society, must reckon with the fact that we continue to treat the abuse of black women and girls as less important than the abuse of white women and girls. We cannot allow ourselves to sit idly and allow this to happen; rather, we must change the status quo.

Chicago NOW unequivocally denounces the sexual abuse of any individual, regardless of color, gender, class, or status of the abuser. Chicago NOW fully supports the continued efforts to hold R. Kelly accountable for his actions.

Performers wanted for Give Your Choice a Voice 2019!

Join the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women for an intimate open mic night that highlights stories surrounding choice and bodily autonomy. Performers will have the opportunity to perform through any artistic medium that speaks to them including story telling, spoken word, music, stand up, etc. Doors will open at 7PM and performances will begin promptly at 7:30.

Location: The Den Theatre 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Date: Wednesday, April 24
Time: Doors open at 7PM, Performances begin promptly at 7:30PM

We are currently in the process of gathering performers. If you are interested in sharing your story please complete your submission by March 31.

Submit Now

Join CNOW at Equal Pay Day Chicago 2019!

Help us raise awareness of pay inequality in Chicago and around the world.

Equal Pay Day Chicago 2019

Thursday, March 28, 2019 │ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Daley Plaza │ Clark & Washington Streets │ Rain Location: Lobby

Each year, Equal Pay Day is recognized worldwide to bring greater awareness to racial and gender pay disparities.

The 9th Annual Equal Pay Day Chicago will be held in advance of this year’s nationally observed date of April 2 – which symbolically marks how far into this year the average woman must work in order to earn as much as the average white man last year. The local event is both a focal point to raise awareness of pay equality and a platform for organizations to collaborate across the state.


Keynote Speaker
Michelle Silverthorn, Founder and CEO, Inclusion Nation

Additional Speakers

  • Jim Bennett, Director, Illinois Department of Human Rights
  • Cherita Ellens, CEO and President, Women Employed
  • Mona Noriega, Chairman and Commissioner, Chicago Commission on Human Relations
  • Toni Preckwinkle, President, Cook County Board of Commissioners
  • Anna Valencia, City Clerk of Chicago
  • J. Bryan Wood, The Wood Law Office LLC

Tatiana Hazel, Musician

Join CNOW in the fight for pay equality at Equal Pay Day Chicago 2019!

Learn More


Ending Racism in Chicago NOW

Racial Justice Workshop - February 20, 2019

CNOW held its second annual racial justice workshop, “Ending Racism in Chicago NOW: A Critical Race Theory Community Education Workshop,” on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at We Work, 20 W. Kinzie, Chicago, with more than 30 people participating. The event began with a discussion about the importance of inclusivity in feminism, CNOW’s continued commitment to intersectional feminism, and how having difficult conversations in safe spaces is essential to advancing these causes.

Attendees participated in a “privilege walk,” an exercise designed to demonstrate the many ways in which society privileges certain individuals over others, allowing participants to reflect on the different areas in their lives where they have privilege and where they do not. Participants then met in small groups to share personal experiences regarding their backgrounds and demographics, including neighborhoods, housing, education opportunities and career paths, and to reflect on their first perceptions of racial awareness, confronting white privilege and more.

Large-group discussions focused on racial disparity and equity in Chicago, the racist history of Chicago’s housing policies, the state of Chicago Public Schools, and the vast impacts of structural discrimination and racism on people of color – including wealth disparities, housing segregation, racial profiling, poor education, underemployment, the school-to-prison pipeline and shortened lifespans. The group also discussed the definition of racism, daily microaggressions against people of color, and elements of critical race theory (CRT) – a social-scientific approach to the study of race, racism and society.

The workshop concluded with a discussion about the importance of each person effecting change in their own sphere of influence.

Racial Justice Workshop - February 20, 2019

Racial Justice Workshop - February 20, 2019