Category Archives: Women

Beyond Abortion: Reproductive Justice Envisions More

The human right to choose to have children or not to have children is a foundational principle in the vision of Reproductive Justice (RJ). Thus the increase in legal attacks on abortion rights and trans rights is understandably central to … Continue reading

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Healing Culture in Wartime

Forty-one years ago when we organized the Common Differences conference on the UI campus, I was a young professor, already quite engaged in women’s issues, which had led to my research, writing, travels, and overall commitment. When I retired from the University of … Continue reading

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Coalition of Labor Union Women for Champaign County

On the evening of March 27 more than 30 people representing about a dozen labor unions and community groups gathered at the Plumbers Local 149 Union Hall in Savoy to launch a chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women … Continue reading

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Black History: Is This Really 2024?

I am a mother of three sons and a grandmother of 83 years of age. This incident happened on Wednesday, January 31, in the middle of the afternoon. I was going to visit a friend and on the way, I … Continue reading

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Who is Un-American?

This article, commissioned for the Public i, appeared first in a longer version in Monthly Review on November 29, 2023, under the title “Gender, Labor, Democracy, and Americanism: U.S. History in the (Un)Making”; reprinted with permission. In the early hours of Monday, May 15, … Continue reading

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She’s Everything and Everywhere: Riffs on Barbie and the Barbie Movie

Barbie deserved her own biopic. More than one billion Barbie dolls have been shipped and sold around the world since her premier in 1959, and factories in Asia are still spewing her out. From her hair down to the pink … Continue reading

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Pre-Roe Reproductive Rights Underground: The Story of the Janes

We are back in pre-Roe Chicago. A doctor speaks about sepsis, the emergency rooms overflowing daily with feverish women dying from botched efforts to rid themselves of unwanted pregnancies. Another woman recalls her phone interactions with a mob operative. Yes, … Continue reading

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The Danville Abortion Clinic Troubles

Mary Catherine Roberson, chair of the Danville chapter of Personal Pac, warns, “do not take it for granted that because you live in Illinois, you are safe. If the anti-abortion forces start organizing in your town, reach out to Personal … Continue reading

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Anti-Abortion Centers Mislead People at Their Most Vulnerable

Reproductive justice: the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities. This past January, on the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, SisterSong … Continue reading

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The Lavenders: Past and Present Queer Journalism in Champaign-Urbana

On February 23, UCIMC Executive Director Miriam Larson hosted a virtual conversation with representatives of two generations of activists in Champaign-Urbana. Mary Lee Sargent, former director of Parkland College’s Women’s Studies Program (now residing in New Hampshire), was one of … Continue reading

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Urbana-Champaign Reproductive Justice Week: Educate, Elevate, Act!

  SisterSong: The National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective defines reproductive justice as the “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” Many … Continue reading

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Kathryn J. Oberdeck (January 18, 1958–June 8, 2022)

Kathy was a passionate fighter against all forms of inequality. She combined an unwavering commitment to the highest intellectual standards with a selfless dedication to community and family. She was a prolific historian of poor and working-class people, particularly their … Continue reading

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Local Emergency Rally for Reproductive Rights

 Local citizens gather in front of the Urbana Courthouse on May 3 to protest the likely coming Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade and endangering women’s right to choose.  479 total views

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March Issue Front Cover

WOMEN”S HISTORY MONTH ISSUE  671 total views

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Union Women on the Move

Hopeful signs of a labor resurgence are everywhere. Despite another decline in the unionized percentage of the labor force and the stalemate in efforts at labor law reform, new frontiers in union organizing have emerged, strikes are on the upswing, … Continue reading

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Hunger Strike, Ceiling Collapse, Lawsuit Spotlight Deteriorating Conditions at Logan Women’s Prison in Illinois

“I’ve been incarcerated since the age of 18, I grew up in the penal system,” shares Mishunda Davis. “I went from the Cook County jail to Dwight prison, to Lincoln, and I have never seen as many condemned buildings as … Continue reading

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Texas isn’t the Only Place where a Woman’s Right to a Safe and Legal Abortion is Under Attack

  Right here in in Illinois, women’s lives and safety are being sacrificed for the election-minded politicians of the Land of Lincoln. In Illinois, young women and girls’ safety is at risk under the Parental Notice Act. The Parental Notice … Continue reading

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The Nest Postpartum Support

Five years ago, my world turned upside down after the birth of our first son. What should have been the happiest day of our lives turned into one crisis after another, a transfer to a hospital two hours away, and … Continue reading

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Remembering: Jenny Barrett

Emma Goldman, anarcho-syndicalist, union organizer and general hellraiser, once affirmed, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” Though she was arguably a gentler soul than Goldman, these words nevertheless apply well to Jenny Barrett, … Continue reading

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Remembering: Anne Feeney

She carried a business card that read: “Performer, Producer, Hellraiser.” And that is who Anne Feeney was throughout her time as a traveling troubadour on behalf of social justice. Born July 1, 1951 just outside of Pittsburgh into an Irish-American … Continue reading

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