Mark your calendars for International Women’s Day: Thursday, March 8! Now an annual celebration, the first International Women’s Day was held in 1909 in honor of the garment worker’s strike in New York, where women protested against unacceptable working conditions. Read on to hear how Chicago is joining in on this ongoing movement to recognize women for their achievements, without regard to social, economic, racial, political . . . or any other arbitrary divisions.

photo: Casey Short via Nike

Shop Nike’s The Force is Female Collection
Always leading the pack in cool, Nike just launched their The Force is Female campaign to shed a light on powerhouse women, their hard work and willingness to push the boundaries of creativity and imagination in everything they do. What does this have to do with Chicago? First, they used a mix of women from Chicago representing various industries, from sports to fashion, who are redefining what it means to be a force in the creative sphere and are proving to be a positive inspiration for other women and girls. Second, besides being able to shop this collection online, you can find The Force is Female at the downtown Mag Mile Nike location.

Meet the Force:

  • Casey Short, a Nike athlete and Chicago Red Stars player who has played for the US National Team, not only proudly representing our country in soccer, but her hometown of Naperville as well.
  • Kristen Noel Crawley, founder of uber popular KNC Beauty, high fashion and culture icon, co-owner of RSVP Gallery in Wicker Park, Elle Beauty Columnist and, most importantly, mom.
  • Elizabeth De La Piedra, a Chicago-based photographer, entrepreneur and mom that’ll have you double-tapping her witty Insta posts on the daily.
  • Ravyn Lenae, a 19-year-old southside native carving her own path as an R&B singer and songwriter with the February release of her 3rd EP, Crush.

photo: Elizabeth De La Piedra via Nike

International Women’s Day Dinner Crawl
The Edgewater Chamber of Commerce is celebrating women-owned businesses in their community with a dinner crawl on Thursday, March 8, starting at 5 p.m. Guests can choose between two routes, north or south, both of which allow guests to enjoy food and drink samples while meeting and greeting business owners. A portion of the $35 ticket will benefit Apng Ghar, Our Home, which provides holistic services and conducts outreach and advocacy across immigrant communities to end gender violence.

More information:

photo: Paper Source banner via Dana Aldrich

Shop Paper Source’s Women We Love Campaign
Paper Source, a Chicago-based premier paperie and gift retailer with a 75% female leadership team, has launched a Women We Love campaign to join in solidarity with women across the world and to celebrate the women’s empowerment social movement. The campaign includes a thoughtfully curated assortment of women-empowerment products and DIY activities available in stores throughout the spring season, including the Little Feminist Board BooksStrong Women MugFuture is Female Pouch and Feminist Tote.

Along with the assortment of products, Paper Source is also hosting Empowerment Banner Workshops through March 10 in select stores. These workshops give shoppers a chance to reflect inwardly and empower themselves, and those around them, with a banner reflecting uplifting mantras.

More information:

International Women’s Day Event at Expedia Chicago
Expedia is inviting Chicagoans to their new office space in the West Loop to learn more about the Expedia Chicago office and opportunities to join the team on Thursday, March 8, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Along with several women leaders sharing their career journeys, you can enjoy appetizers and adult beverages and network with recruiters and leadership across Expedia’s brands. The event is free, but you must register in order to enter the secure building.

More information:

International Women’s Day Celebration and Networking Event
On the eve of International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 7 from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m., join HispanicPro at STK (9 W. Kinzie St., Near North Side) for a night of business networking and celebration with established leaders and rising stars. You’ll leave feeling connected and inspired with the valuable insight and advice from this group of Hispanic professionals.

More information:

photo: SoulCycle Loop

Work Up a Sweat with American Woman
American Woman, a non-profit started in Chicago and now serving girls nationwide, is working to close the STEM employment gap for women by bringing awareness to the issue, providing workshops, informational sessions and scholarships and, lastly, support to create a more positive workplace. They have partnered with CorePower Yoga Gold Coast and Loop and SoulCycle Loop to advocate against the challenges women face in STEM fields by hosting sessions March 8-10 that will help fund the 2018 National STEM scholarship, which will help high school girls pursue STEM-focused degrees.

More information:

Press for Progress: International Women’s Day at 1871
Founded in 2012 and located in the Merchandise Mart, 1871 is home to more than 400 early-stage digital startups and the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators, industry-specific incubators, tech talent schools, Chicago-based VCs and more. On March 8, they’re hosting an inspiring day of talks, workshops and experiences with a goal of educating and empowering women in Chicago. The day will be centered around the 2018 theme of Press for Progress and will include discussions on entrepreneurship, professional development, civic engagement and advocacy for issues facing women today.

More information:

How do you plan on celebrating International Women’s Day? Tell us all about it in the Comments below.

— Maria Chambers

It’s a Bird! It’s Plane! Nope . . . It’s a Chicago Super Mom!