Welcome to the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ 2019-2020 Bar Year! It is with great energy that I share with WBAI members and friends that the WBAI will commemorate a civic milestone’s centennial year and the spirit of collaboration and partnering that made it a reality: the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
As Illinoisans, we can take pride that Illinois was a vanguard in the suffrage movement. More than 100 years ago in June 1913, Governor Edward Dunne signed Illinois’ suffrage bill into law giving women the right to vote for President and local officers. Five years later, the United States Senate passed the 19th Amendment by two votes over its two-third required majority, 56-25. The 19th Amendment was sent to the states for ratification and was signed into law in August 1920.
The 19th Amendment is a seminal piece of legislation that was the result of a hard-fought battle spanning two centuries and nearly 100 years. Women united across the country to advocate, collaborate and partner, met at times with adversity and opposition, with each other and men. We are grateful for their perseverance that resulted in granting women the right to trade with the currency of our democracy: the vote.
The WBAI will honor this civic centennial and the spirit of promoting and advancing women in the profession by collaborating with partners throughout the State of Illinois. I am thrilled to announce the WBAI and the Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Women and the Law Committee (WATL) have formed an ad hoc committee to become the resource for officials in the State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago to fill state, city and municipal board vacancies with qualified female candidates who want to serve. The WBAI is energized by this unique opportunity to capitalize on the change in Illinois’ leadership and help contribute to the State’s progress with the ISBA.
The WBAI’s partnerships continue this fall. On October 16, 2019, the WBAI, in partnership with ISBA’s WATL, the Black Women’s Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, and the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women will commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment at the Union League Club. Our soon first-to-be-female Chief Judge of the Northern District of Illinois, the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer, will speak at the luncheon. On behalf of the WBAI, I am grateful for the generosity of spirit and talent our bar association partners have and will bring to this collaboration.
If our WBAI members and friends do not want to wait until the fall, join us this summer in June when the WBAI will present a program to examine the status of the law and business advantage to authenticity for the Transgender population in the workplace. The WBAI is proud to partner with Alliance Bernstein, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Greater Chicago, as well as the Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce, to have this timely discussion with the legal community.
Finally, the WBAI is fortunate to have a partner in Alison Henderson, of Moving Image Consulting, during the bar year. Alison will educate us about the power of communications and how, when effective, those communications can invigorate productivity, collaboration and career and professional growth and advancement.
I would like to personally invite you to the WBAI annual golf outing taking place on August 9, 2019 at the Glenview Park District Golf Course.
The WBAI cannot wait to see you at one of our upcoming events! Thank you for your continued support of the WBAI as we uphold its mission of promoting and advancing women in the legal profession!
Corinne C. Heggie
Women’s Bar Association of Illinois