Volume 8, No. 8 – November/December 2021
In this issue
• WWHP Celebrates 25th Anniversary

• Carole Simpson: Pioneering Journalist
WWHP Celebrates 25th Anniversary  
2021 marks the 25th anniversary of Working Women’s History Project. In celebration of the occasion, we will include in our next two newsletters a retrospective of our work since 2016, when we produced a three-part issue of our newsletter devoted to WWHP’s history during our first 20 years. 

One of our major accomplishments in 2021 was to launch our new website, www.wwhpchicago.org, which showcases eye-catching photos, as well as an overview of our mission, our history, and our activities. Visitors to the site will also see short rotating biographies of 13 women, living and from the past, who have made sizable contributions in women’s rights.

An important aspect of our work has been to recognize and celebrate events that have given women more political power, from getting the attention of elected officials to achieving the right to vote to finding ways to exercise their voting power. The national narrative has not regarded all American women equally. It would take many more years after the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, for women of color to have access to the vote nation-wide, and even longer to recognize the many contributions of Black women and other women of color in that struggle. Some of our events in recent years have, in part, addressed those omissions, as we have sought to emphasize the power of the vote.
2021: Next Steps Collaborative Events     
In 2021, WWHP partnered with AAUW of Chicago, Ida's Legacy, Hairpin Arts Center, Vivian G. Harsh Society and the League of Women Voters Chicago to form Next Steps Collaborative. We presented a 3-part virtual series titled, "Progressive Women and Political Values.” 
2020: "Recognition Delayed: The Contributions of African American Suffragists and Why Their Stories Matter."
In March 2020, WWHP, in conjunction with AAUW-Chicago, Vivian G. Harsh Society and University of Illinois Library held an in-person event titled, "Recognition Delayed: The Contributions of African American Suffragists and Why Their Stories Matter." The keynote speaker was Marcia Walker-McWilliams, Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium. Her lecture was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Elizabeth Todd-Breland, Associate Professor, UIC. The panelists were: Asiaha Butler, president, Resident Association of Greater Englewood; Delmarie Cobb, president, Ida's Legacy; Ibie Hart, Women's Business Dev. Manager, Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Anne Jamieson, president, League of Women Voters of Chicago.       

2019: “Mother Jones in Heaven: A Musical” by Si Kahn
WWHP helped bring this extraordinary one-woman play to Chicago and supported it.  Vivian Nesbit performed as Mother Jones with John Dillon on guitar.  
2019: “Addie Wyatt—Life Can Be Better” by Alma Washington
Alma Washington’s play had its first performance by a community group, Women Empowered for Civic Engagement (WECE).
Meet Carole Simpson: Barrier-breaking Journalist  

by Christi Babayeju
Many know Carole Simpson as the first Black woman to anchor a major network newscast or as the three-time Emmy award-winning television journalist. Few, however, are privy to the educational and career steps she made before breaking the glass ceiling in 1988 as a reporter for ABC News' "World News Tonight" weekend edition. 
Born on December 7, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, Carole Estelle Simpson had a natural inclination for literature. "Growing up on the Southside of Chicago, reading books was my favorite sport," she recalls. Combining her love for fiction and the arts, Simpson had her first introduction to the spotlight through drama in elementary school. She received her first introduction to journalism upon joining her high school's newspaper. Reporting stories such as the royal court of her school's prom, Simpson built a knack for writing. After graduating in 1958, Simpson continued to hone her talents during summer vacation at her community's newspaper while pursuing her undergraduate degree. In 1962 Simpson earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan as the only Black journalism major in her graduating class. Before acquiring her diploma in broadcast media from the University of Iowa, Simpson spent two years employed as a publicist and journalism instructor at the Tuskegee Institute located in Tuskegee, Alabama. 

With a strong foundation in reporting and broadcasting, Simpson has made many milestones. In 1965 after gaining employment at WCFL Radio, Simpson made history as the first woman to broadcast news in Chicago's history. Throughout her career, Simpson has garnered a multitude of other highlights, such as meeting and covering Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement. Her hard work and dedication attracted the attention of NBC News, where she worked for seven years, followed by an impressive twenty-four years at ABC News. In this time, Simpson pushed her horizon to an international audience covering Nelson Mandela's release from jail in South Africa and becoming the first minority to moderate a presidential debate in 1992. After over 40 years in her profession, Simpson retired from ABC News in 2006; however, her love for writing and journalism persists. In 2010 Simpson published her memoir, "NewsLady," where she shares how she was a trailblazer in a male-dominated profession persevering through sexual and racial discrimination. Moreover, Simpson spent thirteen years teaching broadcast journalism as a college professor at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Living a fulfilling and eventful life, Simpson has also amassed a list of favorites. She had a lot of fun vacationing in Montego Bay, Jamaica; her ideal food is red beans and rice; and her words to live by, as she said on her website, are "let go and let God."
Working Women's History Project

Please contact us through Amy Laiken