ERA: How Long Must We Wait for Equal Rights?

Online Zoom Program: Tuesday, Sept. 21st, 7:30 pm
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.

Advance Registration is required for this meeting:…/tZIlde…


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

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

Title IX: Breaking Barriers/Restoring Protections

You and your friends are invited to join us for an online AAUW program on Jan. 21st 7:30 – 8:30 pm, Title IX: Breaking Barriers/Restoring Protections, to share how Title IX can provide protection of women/girls’ rights.  The program features a review of Title IX, the 2020 changes impact on schools and students, and how we can be agents of change to restore the Title IX protection of rights.  If you have time, please view the California AAUW Title IX webinar recording.

Program presenter: Alicia Hetman, AAUW CA Title IX Consultant & Public Policy Committee, member of AAUW National Public Policy Committee and former AAUW national board member.

This meeting is sponsored by the AAUW Jane Addams branch and requires advance registration. Link to register:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Title IX Quick Facts

Vote early! Encourage others!

Get out and vote!

Vote by Mail fraud is a myth. This is a tactic to convince voters not to vote during a pandemic. We learned each ballot has a unique number/barcode that identifies your ballot as your vote. You sign the ballot return envelope and this is verified by election judges when your ballot is received (just like voting at the polls)

If you requested a Vote by Mail ballot and have not received it by Oct. 10, call the county election office to resolve the problem or request another ballot. When you mail your ballot, take it inside the post office and give it to a clerk to see that it is postmarked.

The alternative is to drop your ballot in the signed envelope in a secure ballot collection box. Boxes will be available at the following locations beginning Oct. 19. Mail Ballot Drop Box locations map.

Learn about the candidates on the online WTTW Special Section 2020 Voter Guide or other reputable source.

Democracy is not a spectator sport, it requires active citizens to survive!

Join us on zoom! “The Vote”

Watch The Vote, American Experience,  on WTTW  July 6 & July 7 at 8 pm

If you missed Monday or Tuesday nights presentation, you can view them in their  entirety here:
Part 1:
Part 2:

The Vote tells the dramatic story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. In its final decade, movement leaders wrestled with contentious questions about the most effective methods for affecting social change, debating the use of militant and even violent tactics. Exploring how and why millions of 20th century Americans mobilized for – and against – women’s suffrage, “The Vote” brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then, and continues to dominate political discourse today.

Discussion of the PBS programs: Zoom meetings on July 14 (Tues.) 7 – 8:30 pm
For more information: click here.