A letter from CEO Cherita Ellens
I hear you. I see you. I believe you. And, you are not alone.

This was the basis of the Me Too Movement Tarana Burke started in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence particularly Black women and other women of color from low-wealth communities find pathways to healing.

“I could not find the strength to say out loud the words that were ringing in my head over and over again as she tried to tell me what she had endured. I watched her walk away from me as she tried to recapture her secrets and tuck them back into their hiding place. I watched her put her mask back on and go back into the world like she was all alone, and I couldn’t even bring myself to whisper…me too.” – Tarana Burke

The viral #MeToo campaign propelled into the mainstream two years ago today. Within 48 hours the hashtag had been tweeted more than 500,000 times, giving thousands the space and voice to discuss sexual assault and violence, often experienced in the workplace.

And yet, sexual harassment remains widespread, and fundamentally detrimental to equality. It is a way to keep women out of positions of power and influence. It happens in every industry, with most claims filed in industries where the majority of workers are low-paid women of color. Workers in low-paid, tip-based shift jobs are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment, which is one of the major motivators behind fighting to have One Fair Wage included in the Raise Chicago ordinance.

Women Employed has been fighting sexual harassment since our inception. In 1978 we helped define sexual harassment as illegal sex discrimination. Last year, we stood with national partners to call for strengthened protections against harassment in an open letter in the New York Times , and followed up by leading and advocating for change in Illinois. This year, we worked in coalition to pass an Illinois Anti-Workplace Harassment Bill —one of the most sweeping employment-related civil rights reforms this state has seen in years.

We are working to change cultures and mindsets so that aggressors are held accountable and victims are seen, heard, and believed. Join the conversation on social media today to demand change using the hashtag #MeTooVoter . And see two additional national and local actions you can take to make a difference later in this issue of WE-Zine.

In solidarity with all my sisters still wearing their masks,
Cherita Ellens, CEO
Take Action to End Sexual Harassment
Know Your Rights: No Salary History
On September 29th, Illinois’ new No Salary History Law took effect. If you are applying for jobs in Illinois, potential employers can no longer ask your current or past wages.

Know Your Rights: WE have tools to help job seekers and employers navigate this change.
Connecting Immigrants to Careers with
Heartland Human Care Services
For working adults who’ve been out of school for a while, the transition to college can be especially daunting—which is why WE developed the Career Foundations course with the City Colleges of Chicago to help them assess their skills, pinpoint their interests, explore career paths, and craft a plan to get to college. WE also work with community organizations across Chicago who are providing Career Foundations to their clients as part of our Career Foundations Consortium. We are proud to feature the success of one Consortium member, Heartland Human Care Services.

Despite working hard to succeed, many immigrants find their progress blocked by barriers to education, training, and support services. These barriers keep many immigrant families from achieving self-sufficiency and prosperity, which can have broad impacts on families and communities.

The Refugee & Immigrant Community Services (RICS) Program offered by Heartland Human Care Services focuses on refugees, asylees, immigrants, and survivors of trafficking. The RICS Program connects them to education & training programs, employment services, and additional supports that give these families mobility and the opportunity to improve their quality of life. We are excited to say that to-date, over 1,000 refugees and immigrants have been served, mostly originating from Myanmar, Congo, Mexico, and Ukraine and the RICS Program has plans to help many more.
RICS Program participants tour the St. Jane Hotel as part of their career exploration.
Learn more about this program , Women Employed's involvement, and how Google and other major companies are seeking out RICS Program's Career Foundation graduates in our Medium piece !
Upcoming Events
Women Employed is always hosting or supporting events that align with our mission. Check out some of our upcoming events and head to our events page to learn more and RSVP!

Upcoming Events
10/16 - Marketing Council Meeting
11/09 - Young Feminist Conference
11/12 - Advocacy Council Meeting
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