Welcome to the Chicago (IL) Branch of AAUW!

Let’s Talk Illinois Public Policy with Rep. Collins
Join us for a virtual event with Illinois House Representative Lakesia Collins
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. via zoom
Join Zoom Meeting
Chicago Branch member and AAUW-IL state lobbyist, Jenni Purdue, believes Rep. Collins is an amazing legislator for the 9th District. Rep. Lakesia Collins will join us for a zoom program to share her views and what it is like being an African American women legislator in Illinois. We have asked her to share her views on various legislation AAUW has supported. AAUW-IL Public Policy Chair, Chicago Branch member, and former lobbyist, Paula Purdue will moderate the discussion and Q and A. We hope you will join in the discussion and please invite a friend or colleague to participate.
Lakesia Collins, a Chicago native, was raised by her grandmother who was a stroke survivor. As a result, addressing the needs of others has become part of her DNA. After graduating from Proviso East High School, Lakesia pursued her passion to care for others and acquired certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and provided years of service to residents in several Chicago nursing homes.
A single mother of three boys, Lakesia is keenly aware of the needs of Black and Brown communities and the need to provide safe areas, particularly for young males. While working in those nursing homes, Lakesia felt the impact that issues like low staffing levels and heavy workloads had on the quality-of-care workers were able to deliver to residents. She also felt the impact low wages for the type of labor had on workers. Lakesia’s guiding principle? “I was born with the gift of compassion and will continue to do my part to improve the lives of others to secure a future that works for all
For more information, contact chicagoaauw@hotmail.com or http://chicago-il.aauw.net/

The Beginning of Biases

Attitudes about female behavior start from the moment a baby is swaddled in pink. Girls experience these gender stereotypes to varying degrees throughout their childhood and they become fully institutionalized in our education system. As soon as a girl starts school, she encounters subtle (and sometimes blatant) messages about her academic abilities and future potential. Students of color and those from low-income families face additional biases that limit their opportunity.

Even in the elementary school years, girls face barriers that ultimately hinder their achievement, particularly in math and science. These barriers are reinforced throughout middle and high school. As a result, when they enter college, women gravitate toward college majors that prepare them for lower-paying fields, and away from the STEM fields that lead to higher paying jobs. And although women have surpassed men in earning degrees,  research shows that women are disproportionally represented in 6 of the 10 lowest-paying college majors, while 9 of the 10 highest-paying majors (all in the STEM fields) are dominated by men.

AAUW Action Network – Two Minute Activist

Send emails and texts to your legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, equality in education and more. Sign up to get regular alerts to be able to take timely action.  https://www.aauw.org/act/two-minute-activist/

You provide the voice. We’ll provide the megaphone.

We provide all the tools you need to call or send messages to your members of Congress, contact your state legislators about pressing issues, and more.


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If you prefer, text “AAUW” to 21333 to get AAUW action alerts via text.

Closing the Pay Gap with AAUW
At the current rate, the gender pay gap will not close until 2106. In 2018, AAUW announced our bold pledge to train 10 million women in salary negotiation by 2022. We will not wait for policies and employer culture alone to determine when we reach parity. We are working to empower women nation-wide with skills to effectively negotiate their salary and benefits and become agents of change in their communities.

Attend our online or in person AAUW Start Smart and AAUW Work Smart workshops. We are fighting to close the pay gap, one workshop at a time. Bring an AAUW salary negotiation training to your community, or share our programs and become and advocate for equal pay.

Start your free, online salary negotiation workshop.

You deserve a raise. This free online course will give you the tools you need to successfully negotiate and close the pay gap for women everywhere. Register today!


Mission Statement of AAUW:  AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.

Value Promise:  By joining AAUW, you belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so all women have a fair chance.

Vision Statement:  AAUW will be a powerful advocate and visible leader in equity and education through research, philanthropy, and measurable change in critical areas impacting the lives of women and girls.

The AAUW Educational Foundation provides funds to advance education, research, and self-development for women and to foster equity and positive societal change.

The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund provides funding and a support system for women seeking judicial redress for sex discrimination.

AAUW’s Public Policy Program actively supports our mission to promote equity and education for women and girls.

In principle and in practice,
AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership.
There shall be no barriers to full participation in this
organization on the basis of gender, race, creed,

age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.

Click here to learn more about what AAUW means to its members.