100 Day Fund

The Seed for Action

Following the November 2016 election, in the face of entrenched inequality, the country and the region saw a swell of support for women’s equality and for racial, economic and reproductive justice. Men and women alike reached out to CFW, asking how they could get involved in supporting women’s issues and fighting for gender equity. Women around Chicago went to work planning a Women’s March on Chicago for January 21, the day after the inauguration. Other women made plans to travel to Washington, D.C to participate in the national march.

CFW is committed to sustaining the energy of today, well beyond tomorrow. The 100% Project, powered by CFW, calls for the end of gender bias in our lifetimes. This goal will require sustained effort beyond a single march. It requires that we all remain engaged in the work of breaking gender bias and promoting gender equity.

To support and encourage continued action following the Women’s Marches, CFW launched The 100 Day Fund to spur civic engagement and advocacy on behalf of gender equity in the first 100 days of the new presidential administration; to support new and emerging activists and organizers; and to grow a network of individuals, groups and organizations to stand together in support of equality.

#The100DayFund at CFW shows what we can accomplish with 100% effort. #TakeActionwithCFW Share on X

Through The 100 Day Fund, CFW made 29 ‘rapid response’ grants, ranging from $500 to $2,500, for a total of $50,000. These grants funded travel to Washington to participate in the Women’s March; community organizing for immigration, workers’ rights and health care; letter drives to contact elected officials; and education to end violence against women.

Jane Addams Senior Caucus braved snow and freezing temperatures to travel to Wisconsin to demand fair access to health care and protection for Medicaid. Rape Victim Advocates mailed hundreds of constituent letters to elected officials. {she crew} created SHE CAST, an intersectional-feminist podcast for adolescent girls and trans-spectrum youth to discuss current events and national and local issues. The Viola Project, which teaches empowerment and social justice through Shakespeare’s plays, hosted a tuition free spring break camp where girls explored the play “Measure for Measure” and how to make their voices heard.

Raising our voices was a common theme. AFIRE created the oral history project, “Ang Ating Lakas ay nasa Ating Kuwento” (Our Power is in Our Stories), to share the stories of Filipina domestic workers. These stories shift the narrative and challenge stereotypes of Filipina workers as passive and submissive.

All in all, through The 100 Day Fund, CFW and our partners:

  • Trained over 100 young women and men in civic engagement and community organizing;
  • Sent 700 letters to our elected officials urging them to fund services for domestic violence victims, to defend reproductive rights and funding for health care, and to protect immigrants’ rights;
  • Reached over 400 community members on issues including the wage gap for women of color, workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights and reproductive justice.

The 100 Day Fund and the Women’s Marches showed the resilience, determination and resolve of our community. Women and men across our region came together to take action for the common cause of basic rights and equal opportunities for women and girls, and showed us what we can accomplish with just a small amount of resources and 100% effort.