August 4, 2021

Choose Compassion Mission:  At Choose Chicago, we “Choose Compassion” and are committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful work culture of a brilliant mix of people because we are equally different.  We firmly believe in the strength and power of our diverse group of partners, employees and clients to drive business and innovation while building on a collaborative connection within our community and the neighborhoods we serve.

This newsletter is produced by Choose Chicago’s employee resource group, Choose Compassion. We are pleased to include Choose Chicago partners in distribution of the Choose Compassion newsletter covering topics of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which comes out bi-monthly. Please share any feedback or thoughts on this new initiative via

A message from Roz Stuttley: Director, Equity Diversity and Inclusion

What comes to mind when you hear the terms “disability” or “women’s equality”?

For me, I am reminded to see those around me and to listen to their experiences. Some conversations may feel uncomfortable, but they are often necessary.

In this issue, we invite you to learn more about the recent anniversary of the American Disabilities Act and Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26. Consider this an opportunity to have a peer-to-peer conversation, connect with a fellow business owner, or share your own story.

We have the power to change narratives, drive people to think bigger and broader, and think different so consider using any of these resources as conversation starters with your team or opportunities to embrace EDI in whatever role and organization you serve. When we do so, we truly are Chicago strong!

With compassion,

Roz Stuttley, Director, Equity Diversity and Inclusion

Choose Chicago Foundation

Chair – Choose Compassion (Choose Chicago Employee Resource Group)

P.S. Don't forget to check out archived newsletters on topics and resources such as Racism, Women's History Month, Asia American and Pacific Islanders Heritage.

Have you discovered National Disability Independence Day?

Rights and protections for those with disabilities

by: Roz Stuttley, Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and James Mundo, Director, Community Affairs

National Disability Independence Day was recently commemorated on July 26. This date marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became law on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Before the ADA, people with disabilities were not protected from discrimination or legally entitled to reasonable accommodations.

The ADA is about equity and providing people with disabilities the same rights and opportunities as anyone else. The law does not specify every condition it covers but instead uses a broad and inclusive definition that a disability is any physical or mental impairment which limits one or more major life activities.

The law mandated that physical barriers that individuals with disabilities faced every day become more accessible, such as narrow doors and small bathroom stalls. Other examples include braille signs and crosswalks for the vision impaired.

Choose Chicago is proud to acknowledge the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 31st anniversary!

Check out resources that serve the disability community:

Disability Community | Special Needs Chicago Inc

I'm every woman!

Women's Equality Day celebration Aug. 26, 2021

by: Tamara Jones, Director, Association Sales and Salvador Perez, Sales Coordinator

History of Women's Equality Day

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was officially enshrined into the U.S. Constitution. The new amendment prohibited states from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex, finally guaranteeing women the right to vote.

More than 50 years later, women’s equality activist and Congresswoman Bella Abzug pushed for the day to be federally observed. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1971 that officially designated the observance, and every president since Richard Nixon has issued an annual proclamation honoring the occasion.

When the 19th Amendment became law, 26 million adult female Americans were nominally eligible to vote. But full electoral equality was still decades away for many women of color who counted among that number. The amendment prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, but it did not address other kinds of discrimination that many American women faced: women from marginalized communities were excluded on the basis of gender and race. Native American, Asian American, Latinx, and African American suffragists had to fight for their own enfranchisement long after the 19th Amendment was ratified. Only after many years did each of those groups gain access to the ballot. It took some of them until the 1965 Voting Rights Act to gain a full right to vote — 45 years after the 19th Amendment was signed.

Traditions of the day

Women’s Equality Day is all about uplifting and empowering women, and marveling at how far women have progressed, defying all odds and oppression. General traditions include men and women expressing gratitude to influential women in their lives, supporting local businesses run by women, and celebrating womanhood with your girl gang and special ladies.

Funds are raised for charities and organizations that support women’s empowerment. Prominent women are featured guest speakers on different virtual and live platforms.

Success stories are shared on social media under the hashtag #WomensEqualityDay. Join in on the national conversation and show what you believe in.

Ida. B Wells: American journalist and activist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. She was also an active fighter for woman suffrage, particularly for Black women, and a Chicago resident.

Susan B. Anthony: American activist who was a pioneer crusader for the women’s suffrage movement in the United States and was president (1892–1900) of the National Woman Suffrage Association.

Articles on women’s rights:

Hear what the press thought of women voting back in 1917:

Why Women Should Vote: Perspective From 1917

The History of Women's Right to Vote

Women's Rights Convention:

The 19th Amendment | History

Black women in the suffrage movement: Ida B. Wells

Untold Stories of Black Women in the Suffrage Movement

When Did Black Women Get the Right to Vote? Suffrage History


by: Anthony Molino, Director, Hotel Sales

Resources on women's equality:

Unladylike (iHeart)


Find out what happens when women break the rules — those unwritten but all too real expectations of how we should live our lives. Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin tackle questions through their trademark obsessive research, stories from stories from rule-breakin’ ladies, and a solid dose of delightful feminist rage.

She Makes Money Moves (Glamour)


There's power, especially for young women, in talking about money: how much we make, how much we spend — and how money impacts our identities and our relationships. She Makes Money Moves, a new podcast from Glamour and iHeartRadio, is your invitation to join the conversation. Hosted by Glamour editor-in-chief Samantha Barry, She Makes Money Moves shares intimate, unscripted stories from women across the country along with advice from financial experts to help guide these women — and women everywhere — forward.

On the Basis of Sex (Amazon Prime, Showtime on Amazon)


Based on the early life and career of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, On the Basis of Sex focuses on the landmark case that would set a precedent for sex discrimination and set Ginsburg on a path to become the leading gender rights lawyer of her generation.

Discussing the Legacy of Ida B. Wells (YouTube/American Writers Museum)


American Writers Museum presents a discussion with writer and historian Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells. Duster also wrote the new afterword for the reissue of "Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells." This conversation originally took place July 13, 2020 and was recorded live.

Resources on disabilities and inclusion:

Breaking Dishes (Apple Podcasts)


Sometimes in order to speak the truth you first must break a few dishes. Host Lis Malone (Access Point with Lis Malone Podcast) is a writer, speaker and disability advocate. She's an international and interracial adoptee who is legally-blind from RP. Join her in her latest journey in dialogue as she takes on various topics across the social spectrum with a distinct emphasis on diversity and inclusion through engaging and insightful interviews, information and perspectives.

An Accessible World is and Inclusive World (Tedx Talks/YouTube)


Accessibility will impact all of us at some stage in our lives. The principle of universal design is a philosophy based on designing to be fully inclusive of everyone and these principles need to be ingrained in every part of government planning and decision-making to create a society in which everyone can thrive.

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)


A groundbreaking summer camp galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality.

If at Birth You Don’t Succeed: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny Link (Easterseals/Goodreads)


Comedian Zach Anner opens his frank and devilishly funny book, If at Birth You Don't Succeed, with an admission: he botched his own birth. Two months early, underweight and under-prepared for life, he entered the world with cerebral palsy and an uncertain future. So how did this hairless mole-rat of a boy blossom into a viral internet sensation who's hosted two travel shows, impressed Oprah, driven the Mars Rover, and inspired a John Mayer song? (It wasn't Your Body is a Wonderland.)

Volunteer opportunity with the National Black MBA Association

Seeking volunteers for both in-person and digital program

Choose Chicago is pleased to welcome the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) to Chicago for their 43rd Annual Conference & Career Expo in Chicago, Sept. 14-18, 2021 at McCormick Place West. NBMBAA’s mission is to lead in the creation of educational, wealth building, and growth opportunities for those historically underrepresented through their careers as students, entrepreneurs, and professionals.

NBMBAA’s conference success relies on the involvement of volunteers. They are seeking volunteers for both their in-person and digital programs. Anyone 18 years or older qualifies. NBMBAA offers volunteers rewards and benefits at the on-site conference and post-conference based on the number of volunteer hours served.

If you are interested in being involved with NBMBAA, or looking for a way to support returning meeting business to Chicago, we invite you to consider this opportunity and share with anyone else that may be interested and benefit.

Learn more

Send questions to Kimberley Hayes, Volunteer Operations Manager-NHQ, at: or David Crook, Local Volunteer Coordinator at:

Choose Chicago contact: Cindy Payne, Director, Client Services,

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Missed out on past issues? Check out the Choose Compassion newsletter archive