Chicago, Illinois — Donna Gutman, a progressive trailblazer and pioneer received the National Council of Jewish Women Chicago North Shore (NCJWCNS) Section’s Hannah G. Solomon Award on September 23, 2019. The event was held at the East Bank Club in Chicago and featured Keynote Speaker Heather Booth.
NCJW’s Hannah G. Solomon Award is presented to a woman who has helped to change and expand the role of other women in vital areas of community life, and whose leadership has motivated others to fight for change. The award commemorates the spirit of Hannah G. Solomon, who established the National Council of Jewish Women in 1893. Ms. Solomon, an early social activist, led the organization in its landmark battles for laws restricting child labor, for child welfare programs, and for improved housing, education, and health care for the poor.
As a Past President of NCJW Chicago North Shore, and a Past Vice President of the International Council of Jewish Women, Donna has stridently fought for women’s rights. She has been a force in lobbying to end discrimination daily. In her shared battle against intolerance, she has networked and collaborated with other individuals and organizations to combat racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination. Her voice has been central in the development of many programs and organizations, including a founding member of the Jewish Community Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago, a National Board member of the National Council of Jewish Women, Inc. (2008-2014), Chair of Women to Women Empowerment Initiative in Israel, structured to advance social justice and gender equality regardless of ethnicity, religion or economic status (2010-2013), and currently serves on the Chicago Leadership Council of the Brady Campaign and the Steering Committee of Chicago Women Take Action, a diverse group of Chicago women who have come together to have an impact on violence and discrimination in our city. In the midst of her work in social justice, Donna founded the relevant online non profit organization Women of the World currently followed by thousands of men and women. The mission is simple – speak out against injustice, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and immorality.
She receives the Hannah G. Solomon Award in Sept 2019, awarded to a trailblazer who has helped to change and expand the role of other women in vital areas of community life, whose leadership has motivated others to fight for change.
KeyNote Speaker Heather Booth has been an organizer starting in the civil rights and women’s movements of the 1960s. A student at the University of Chicago, she joined the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Project, in the campaign for black voting rights. Booth was active in the founding of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, creating JANE (an underground abortion service) and Action Committee for Decent Childcare, and setting up the first campus women’s liberation organization.
When Dr. King said the way to civil rights was through union rights, she became a labor organizer. She was the Founding Director, now President, of the Midwest Academy, which trains organizers, including some of the early NOW leaders. Booth has directed and worked on numerous national campaigns, including the 2000 NAACP National Voter Fund, the Health Care Campaign, AFL-CIO, the Alliance for Citizenship (the leading coalition for immigration reform) among many others.
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