Upcoming Programs

The Graduates/ Los Graduados 

Watch online Part One of The Graduates/Los Graduados.
This PBS film follows three Latinx girls showing first hand the unique educational challenges that face these young women in particular and Latinx High School students in general.  The documentary gives insight on pressing issues in education today through the eyes of Latinx students from across the United States.

Available online from PBS. https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/documentaries/graduates/


Confronting the Rise of School Board Disruptions
Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, 7 p.m. via Zoom

Flier for Confronting the Rise of School Board Disruptions webinar

Join Indivisible Illinois, Illinois Families for Public Schools, Social Justice Alliance -Indivisible IL and other co-hosts, including AAUW Naperville Area, for an informative free webinar on Confronting the Rise of School Board Disruptions.

Advance Register



Tuesday, Feb. 8, 7 pm – Combating Disinformation at Local School Board Meeting

Presenters Joyce Slavik & Jim McGrath, NWSOFA (Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action)
School board meetings are increasingly adversarial, with board members and educators harassed and threatened. Boards make local decisions that impact the education and futures of our children, the vitality of our communities, and our budgets as taxpayers. Since school boards provide local governance, why are the same things happening at meetings throughout the suburbs? Our speakers from Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA)-Indivisible will provide perspective and recommend how we can support our school board members and schools.
Advance registration required: Link to register

Co-Sponsors: AAUW Naperville Area, AAUW Aurora Area, AAUW Batavia-Geneva-St. Charles, AAUW Downers Grove Area, AAUW Lombard Area, AAUW Northwest Suburban, AAUW Wheaton-Glen Ellyn

Feb. 12th, Saturday 10 AM: Asian Americans and the “Other” in the Era of the Pandemic and the Uprising

Our speaker, Dr. Ada Cheng, described as a “professor-turned-storyteller” will combine a storytelling performance and a facilitated dialogue. Dr. Cheng’s program shares personal stories that reflect the historical status of Asian Americans as well as the impact of current major crises facing society. The stories will address institutionalized mechanisms and individual practices that promote inequality and make immigrants of color be considered the “other.”

Dr. Cheng’s internet information lists that she was a tenured sociology professor from 2001 to 2016, who became tired of struggling against both subtle and overt gender and racial discrimination in academia. She enrolled in an improvisation class at Chicago’s Second City and found a new role as storyteller, stand-up comedian, and improv comic. Currently she is an adjunct faculty at Dominican University and works full time as the Education and Outreach Specialist with Women’s Leadership and Resource Center at UIC. On 8/27/2021, the 7th Congressional District’s Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force (MEATF) & American Multi Ethnic Coalition (AMEC) named Ada Cheng 2021 Educator of the Year.

February’s program is sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly through the Illinois Arts Council Agency, as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.

This program is free and open to the public.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84791099582…

Feb. 21st, Monday, 6:30 pm

The Rockford Branch presents “Did Black Lives Really Matter in Early Illinois?” via Zoom on Monday, February 21st at 6:30 PM.  Public historian and educator, Caroline M. Kisiel will deliver this program through the Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar Program and it is free and open to the public.  If you would like to participate, please send your email address to fe.marcus@att.net and you will receive a link several days prior to the program.  Please join us in exploring Illinois history.The Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar Program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assemble through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA), as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.

Holiday Social

Celebrate the Holidays

Members Joined together for an AAUW member holiday social on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 7:30 pm. We’ll chat and share our concerns about women’s equity. Our branch has some newer members, and guests are welcome too! Email elainefisher128@gmail.com for the Zoom link. Plan to share your favorite holiday drink or tradition! or your New Year’s Resolution!

Before the end of the year, consider donating to our AAUW Northwest Suburban  branch Oakton Community College scholarship if you can. Make your check payable to: Oakton Community College Educational Foundation. In the Memo note: AAUW NW Suburban Scholarship. Your contribution is tax deductible. Mail to: Oakton Community College, Educational Foundation, 1600 E. Golf Rd., Des Plaines IL 60016-1268

November Programs

Nov. 13 Program Recording: AAUW Fellows & Grantees

Meet three outstanding women, recipients of our AAUW Fellowships or Grants. Melissa Mister, Project Director, After School Matters, Ramael Ohiomoba, Selected Profession Fellowship, Jenny Lopez Alvarado, Career Development Grant.
Recording link: https://youtu.be/5TDjn36otWg

Nov. 17 Program Recording:  Sex Trafficking In Our Backyard

Women are 90% of victims of sex trafficking which is a form of modern slavery. Trafficking is happening right here in Chicago and the suburbs. This program will present victim statistics, how to recognize a victim, methods being used to recruit young women, and what we as community members can do to prevent trafficking.

Recording link: https://youtu.be/Bz-fwiCAWck

Presenter: Priscilla Cruz, Midwest Prevention Advocate at SelahFreedom, B.S. of Psychology, SelahFreedom, Bringing Light into the Darkness of Sex Trafficking.

Oakton College Art Exhibit

Bad@ssery: Women Creating a Just Environment
and World  Oct. 4 – Nov. 1, Koehnline Museum of Art

Women and girls have always faced tremendous obstacles, whether it be sexual harassment, violence, inequality or workplace discrimination, and instead of following the fairytale script of waiting to be saved, we have been instrumental in saving ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. From epic figures such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Shirley Chisolm, Gloria Steinem, Ida B. Wells, Grace Lee Boggs, the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Jane Addams, Pauli Murray, and Dolores Huerta to activists such as Stacy Abrams, Winona LaDuke, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Janet Mock, Malala Yousafzai, Leymah Gbowee, Shirin Neshat, and Naomi Klein, women and girls have been trailblazers in their own liberation. We have been hit with an overwhelming number of challenges in the past year. Where do we stand now? How have we survived and broken through barriers? How have women been impacted by the pandemic and the resulting shecession? How is our liberation connected to movements such as Stop Asian Hate, Black Lives Matter, Organized Communities Against Deportation, Prison Abolition, Me Too or Standing Rock? How have we fought against transphobic state bills and LGBTQ+ discrimination? How have we kept our families and communities safe? How have we conspired with other women and implemented social and environmental change? What failures and missteps did we experience? What did it take and at what costs?

ERA: How Long Must We Wait for Equal Rights?

Sept. Program:
Presenter: Marti Sladek, retired civil rights attorney

Women have been struggling for gender equity in our Constitution ever since Abigail Adams admonished her husband John to “remember the ladies.”  Despite federal and state laws, and wide public support, implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment remains elusive, and courts do not take gender discrimination as seriously as other forms of inequality.
Why is this so difficult?  What can we do about it now?  More information.


AAUW Action Project

Time for Paid Leave: Program Highlights

Please join AAUW to learn more about the critical importance of Paid Leave legislation in Illinois and about how you can help to advocate for this bill in our state. This event is presented by AAUW Naperville Area and supported by AAUW-IL. Watch the award winning film Zero Weeks which uses personal stories to show the impact of unpaid leave from work in the US. This legislation will improve the lives of Illinois women, families and businesses.

Our esteemed speakers will discuss the need for paid leave, provide actions you can take to advocate, and answer your questions. The event included a screening of the thought-provoking film Zero Weeks and discussion with two distinguished panelists. View panelists’ presentations.

Robert Bruno
Professor and Director
Labor Education Program, Chicago
University of Illinois

Sarah Labadie
Associate Director of Policy
Women Employed



The United States is the only industrialized country WITHOUT a federal paid leave law. That’s right, ZERO WEEKS of paid leave is what the USA offers in comparison to other countries, some of which offer up to a year of paid leave.

While many of us may be familiar with the FMLA, which is unpaid, and the use of paid sick days for our own sickness or after childbirth, most workers do not have access to pay when they are not at work for their own illness, after childbirth or adoption, after their partner has a child, or when they must care for a family member. Thus, unpaid workplace interruptions frequently occur, disproportionately impacting women. The consequence of these interruptions over time and in the aggregate contributes to the ongoing gender-based pay gap.

A plethora of research exists to show that Paid Leave legislation benefits families, children, employers, and, importantly, helps to reduce the gender-based pay gap.

Illinois Senate Bill 835, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, sponsored by Senator Villivalam, has been introduced into the 102nd General Assembly in Illinois. This comprehensive paid leave bill has the buy-in of many important constituencies in the state. The time is now to pass this important bill in Illinois and have our state join the nine other US States and the District of Columbia with a paid leave law in place while we await legislation at the federal level.

Elizebeth Smith Friedman: The Woman Who Smashed Codes

Thursday, April 22, 7:00 pm

We will meet via Zoom for a discussion of the life of a truly amazing woman, Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the founder of modern cryptography. On Jan. 11 PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE aired The Codebreaker program about Elizebeth Friedman. It’s available online now via Passport or Amazon Prime. This video program is based on the book, The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone. We will discuss the video program and the book.

How does Elizebeth Friedman inspire you or young girls who might enjoy coding? We’ll discuss this fascinating book that begins at the Newberry Library in Chicago!

The codebreaker who spanned two World Wars and took down the rum-running Mafia during Prohibition, including Capone’s brother, single-handedly neutered the German U Boats’ wolf pack, and took down Nazi threats in South America that could have become a southern front against the US. In World War I she cracked the German’s codes. AND she did it with paper and pencil. She started this on the estate of billionaire George Fabyan in suburban Geneva. He had recruited her in the Newberry Library in Chicago. She learned her craft by trial and error. She often fought bias against women and was paid less. But because she was so talented, she was the one who was always called upon, and she often did her work in the shadows, rarely getting the recognition she deserved.

Here’s a link to the book, The Woman Who Smashed Codes, A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies


And here’s a link to the American Experience, The Codebreaker.


Trailblazing Women of Park Ridge

On March 11, 2021 (7:00 p.m.) our chapter will host a ZOOM meeting to learn about the current exhibit at the Park Ridge Historical Society.  It features TRAILBLAZING WOMEN OF PARK RIDGE, highlighting the following women:

Mother Frances Cabrini, Clara Barck Welles, Hannah Solomon and Hillary Rodham Clinton

After viewing the presentation created by members of the Historical Society, we will have an opportunity to present questions to the docent.  The event is free of charge and it is open to all invited guests. Contact information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Ida B. Wells: Her Life and Legacy

February 6, 2021
10:30am – 11:30am
, Online Zoom Event

Author, speaker, and educator, Michelle Duster will discuss the life and legacy of her great-grandmother Ida B. Wells.

Ida B. Wells was born enslaved in 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She became an anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, pioneering journalist, and activist for the protection of Black lives. In 2020, she won a Pulitzer Prize.

Registration is required for the program, which will be held on Zoom.

If you need help using Zoom, see our guide at How to Video Conference with Zoom or email us at askalibrarian.org

Michelle Duster’s book Ida B. the Queen will be published on January 26, 2021 and is available for purchase at The Book Stall.