Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-09-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



ELECTIONS 2018-19 Forum spotlights women of color candidates in Illinois
by Melissa Wasserman

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Morten Group, E3 Radio, Reunion Chicago, Equality Illinois and Chicago NOW PAC partnered to present the 2018 Women of Color Candidate Forum for Illinois on March 8 at Reunion Chicago.

The event, held on International Women's Day, gave first-time women of color candidates running for elected offices a platform to introduce themselves and talk about various issues.

"The purpose [of the forum] was to shine a light on first-time women of color candidates," said Morten Group President Mary Morten. "We have not seen any type of forum that focused on the perspectives and experiences of women of color and I happen to know or be friends with numerous women of color who are running for the first time. It's exciting and I wanted to do something to draw attention to campaigns where people really need our support!"

Morten came up with the idea of this forum, knowing a number of women running for office. Morten then spoke to Anna DeShawn, founder and CEO of E3Radio, an online radio network streaming with a queer point of view, about some programming ideas. This project was a first-time partnership and Morten added it was amazingly easy.

"My work as an activist and advocate has always been as a bridge builder trying to bring people together across differences for some productive conversations," said Morten.

Reunion Chicago, Morten explained, was the ideal venue to hold such an event as it is "an accessible location and an open space you make your own." The art gallery, event space and project incubator is located in Humboldt Park and has been under the management of event/cultural producer Kristen Kaza and brand strategist/cultural producer Elijah McKinnon since 2016.

"Kristen and Elijah want to do this kind of programming, so it was a perfect match," said Morten. "Equality Illinois and Chicago NOW PAC made sense since we wanted organizations that do electoral work and that Anna and I had connections with prior to the program."

The panel of candidates included Gaylon B. Alcaraz, candidate for Cook County commissioner, 4th District; Maria Hadden, candidate for 49th Ward alderman; Delia Ramirez, candidate for Illinois state rep, 4th District; Charise Williams, Cook County commissioner, 3rd District; and Sameena Mustafa, who is vying for a U.S. congressional seat in the 5th District. Mary Morten moderated the forum.

"We have far too few of these opportunities," said Morten. "It was quite obvious that these women wanted nothing more than each other's success."

To start, Morten asked each candidate why she was running and "why now." Then questions covered topics such as LBT issues and inclusion, healthcare, education, gun violence, incarceration and mental-health support, among others.

"If I could add anything else, I guess it would be that, when the question was 'why are you running and why are you running now,' I think it's just important as a mom, a grandmother, as a former Girl Scout troop leader, as a woman that has mentored young women, I think it's important for people to see this, for young people to see this, for children to see this, for young women of color to see this—that this can be done," said Alcaraz. "I just think that it's critical for us to see these type of images; to know that this can be done."

"It's important because we're changing the landscape of how things look—politically, across the board, sports, boardrooms—we're doing these things," said Alcaraz. "So, we have to have these types of spaces to come to, to have discourse, to talk, so that's pretty much it, wrapped up into the other thing that I said. It's just critical. These spaces are not open for us or people don't lay these out or make these available to us, so our voices can be heard. Our voices have to be heard. "

In talking about her ideas for the LGBTQ community with Windy City Times, Alcaraz said she will work toward total inclusiveness by creating various councils in her office fueled by the community, including an LGBTQ council. She added that now is not the time to hide and it is the time to be more visible than ever.

After the prepared questions, attendees had the opportunity to ask their own questions. The forum was also livestreamed.

Speaking at this type of event on International Women's Day, Alcaraz said, was important, adding women are considered almost second class citizens.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Homophobic Daley Plaza rant caught on video 2018-09-20 - Windy City Times received a video of a man—holding a clipboard and wearing a t-shirt supporting Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle—using anti-gay ...

Gay News

State Dept Cannot Rely on Binary-Only Gender Policy to Deny Passport 2018-09-19 - ( Denver, CO, September 19, 2018 ) — A U.S. District Court Judge today ruled that the U.S. State Department exceeded its authority ...

Gay News

BYP100's Charlene Carruthers on being Black, feminist and queer 2018-09-19 - Despite the fact that, in Chicago, Charlene Carruthers and I are neighbors, the only time we can find to have this conversation is ...

Gay News

DeRay Mckesson, fighting for Black lives 2018-09-19 - By the time this interview was conducted Sept. 7, DeRay Mckesson, one of the most visible Black Lives Movement organizers, was already on ...

Gay News

Women's March Chicago announces event expansion 2018-09-17 - On Sept. 12, at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive in Grant Park, board members from Women's March Chicago ( WMC ...

Gay News

HRC calls for halt to Supreme Court confirmation process 2018-09-16 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to halt the Supreme Court confirmation process ...

Gay News

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey at LPAC event 2018-09-16 - Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey attended a small gathering for the national LGBTQ political action committee LPAC Sept. 12 at an event hosted ...

Gay News

EI PAC calls on Gov. Rauner to stop contributing to anti-gay candidate 2018-09-14 - Statement from John Litchfield, Chair of the Equality Illinois PAC, which is dedicated to securing and defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, ...

Gay News

Lambda, 18 LGBT groups urge Senate to reject Trump nominee Stephen Clark 2018-09-12 - ( Washington, DC — Sept. 12, 2018 ) Today, Lambda Legal joined with 18 national, state and local LGBT civil rights organizations to ...

Gay News

MOMBIAN LGBTQ parents making their mark in the world 2018-09-12 - LGBTQ parents, as a whole, are pretty awesome. We raise our children as successfully as anyone else ( as decades of research has ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.