Over the past 50 years, the Chicago Women's History Center has researched, written and shared valuable information about women in Chicago who have made a difference to the city and beyond. To celebrate 50 years of documenting women in Chicago, CWHC is holding "50 years and Forward" a celebration on Thursday, Oct. 27 at Columbia College Film Row Center at 1104 S. Wabash, 5- 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the organization's achievement and launch its future work.
The Chicago Women's History Center (CWHC) was established during the early days of the contemporary women's movement when information about Chicago women's history was hard to find. From its start CWHC has combined serious academic scholarship with public education in the belief that an accurate understanding of our past is critical for the pursuit of social justice today and in the future. In recent years, the organization has developed a center in Logan Square that house an extensive library of books, files, archives and audio and visual materials.
The Honorary Hosts for the "50 and Forward" celebration include activists, writers, and educators Tracy Baim, Heather Booth, and Michelle Duster. The keynote speaker for the event is Esther Nieves, a visionary leader who has spearheaded community organizations and foundations, and was a member of the Harold Washington administration
Begun in the early 1970s as an informal group of feminist historians, CWHC took on researching, writing and publishing the gargantuan Women Building Chicago: A Biographical Dictionary 1790-1990 filled with over 400 biographies of Chicago women. Its current project "Documenting Women's Activism and Leadership 1945-2000." collects material on Chicago women's participation in post-WWII social movements through oral histories, preservation of archival documents, and digital technologies. Throughout its years, the CWHC has held many public educational programs, the most recent in conjunction with the Chicago Public Library on "Reproductive Rights and Illinois' Support of Women's Health."
The "50 Years and Forward" event on October 27 will feature an historical documentary, a speaker and a reception The program will also be available online. Tickets or donations-only options are available at https://www.chicagowomenshistory.org/50th-anniversary
The Chicago Women's History Center is the oldest continuing non-profit women's history organization in the United States.