SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is proud to bring back for the second year an event that celebrates National Women’s History Month and honors the women who have had and continue to have a positive impact on society. In March, SOS Illinois’ Racial Justice Committee will host its 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum, called Treat Your Future with Respect, a virtual event that will include guest panelists to discuss the importance of setting goals, seeking new opportunities, networking to meet professionals in your field, and trusting your instincts.
Thank you to all who participated in this year’s forum. It was another successful event. If you missed it and what to listen, there still is time. Click here to listen to the full recording.
Women in Leadership Forum
The SOS Children’s Villages Illinois’ 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23 at 11am CST. We are excited to share this 90-minute dialogue that will feature five fascinating women who represent companies and businesses cross the State of Illinois. The goal of the Forum is to hear the journey of women into leadership and consider strategies to improve opportunities for women.
- Kimberly Evans, Northern Trust Corporation
- Jamie Rhee, Chicago Department of Aviation
- Patricia McClure, Montrose Behavioral Hospital
- Michelle Bloom, Swissotel Chicago
- Angelica Alfaro, University of Illinois System
- Delphine Rankin, Chief Operating Officer, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois
- Jackie Sharp Akins, Chief Executive Officer, Lakeside Community Committee (panelist from Inaugural Forum)
To read the bios for our group of panelists, click here.
We invite you to join us online for the free virtual webinar. To register click on the link below.
About Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration when Congress authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.
The Term “Treat Your Future With Respect”
During the inaugural Women in Leadership Forum, a questions was posed to Dr. Jackie Sharp Atkins. Her response included these five words. The entire panel and each participant on the webinar had a collective “aha” moment. “Treat your future with respect,” struck home with so many, and now is this year’s theme.
To read event highlights and veiw the entire panel discussion from our inaugural year click here.
Women in the Workforce and Active in Child Welfare Nonprofits
Today, women make up more than 46 percent of the American workforce and nearly 75 percent of the nonprofit workforce. That’s reflected in the make-up of the SOS Children’s Villages Illinois where women employees usually outnumber male employees, working tirelessly to build and strengthen its legacy: to build Villages that unite brothers and sisters in foster care, surround them with a community of hope, and help them grow into caring and productive adults.
Women as Foster Parents and Staff at SOS Illinois
From the first Foster Parent hired at SOS Illinois, Michele “Mickey” Haldeman, who provided care for more than 20 children, many of them from infancy to adulthood, women have played a major role at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois.
Foster Parents are the very foundation of the SOS Illinois model and women make up more than 90 percent of the agency’s existing professional Foster Parents. Another Foster Parent who has been on the scene since the beginning is Sandra Marbeth, who has fostered 50 children at SOS Illinois Lockport Village and eventually adopted the first eight siblings who were placed in her care. Minnie Reed, who started as a traditional foster parent, joined SOS Children’s Village Illinois in 1994 and recently retired after 24 years of service providing stable, single-family homes for children in foster care.
Women also dominate the administrative, case management and clinical teams and serve as members of the board of directors. Many of these women also contribute in other ways. For example, board member Laurie Holmes has hosted a floral design workshop and supporter, Tarrah Cooper-Wright has participated in discussions with our Racial Justice Committee.
Join our Women in Building the Future of Foster Care
Help us celebrate the many contributions of women at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois by keeping the momentum going to change the foster care system by becoming a Foster Parent, Relief Parent, staff member, or volunteer.