Mayor Lightfoot honors Chicago’s women community leaders

Mayor Lightfoot Honors Chicago’s Women Community Leaders

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined other City and community leaders for a celebratory virtual event to commemorate Women’s History Month by honoring 24 community leaders for their commitment to supporting and advocating for the City of Chicago. 

“As only the second female Mayor of Chicago, I know that the success of our great city has always been contingent on the unparalleled triumphs and sacrifices that women have endured,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I am honored to work with so many outstanding individuals that have been at the frontlines during the pandemic. We are here to celebrate the ways that women in Chicago drive our economy, assist education reform, keep the public healthy and so much more. I thank each and every one of you for your resilience in the face of disproportionate strife and I want you to know I am working tirelessly to expand opportunities.” 

Recipients were selected based on their leadership and contribution to Chicago through various industries including art and culture, health and medicine, technology, business, community empowerment, civil rights, education, youth outreach, and immigration rights. While the work of these individuals has always been important, their dedication has been vital in overcoming significant challenges facing all communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for change. 

“Women leaders come in all shapes and forms, from the working mom, the single parent, the mom who is also caregiver to her elderly relatives, to those in the health, legal, non-profit, government and corporate sector,” said Commissioner of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Nancy Andrade. “Women support one uplift each other; we are a true sisterhood. I am looking forward to recharging and be inspired from other women leaders.” 

“It is such an honor to participate in this wonderful event honoring these amazing women from across our city,” said Clerk Valencia. “When women are in positions of power and given the resources they need to succeed, we all succeed, our communities thrive.”  

Among the extraordinary leaders honored tonight is Chinese American champion and Chicago advocate Bernie Wong, the Legacy Award recipient. 

“I want to truly thank Mayor Lightfoot and the City of Chicago for this prestigious honor and kind support,” said Bernie Wong. “I have been lucky enough to be a part of many wonderful campaigns in Chicago and I have always advocated for the voice of women and immigrants. I have seen first-hand the challenge that female immigrants endure in their quest for the dignity and respect they rightfully deserve. I hope that my time improving senior housing, building community relations, and serving as an advisor on multiple boards has made a profound impact on the Asian-American community as a whole.” 

Gender Rights and Equality  

Board of Chicago Women’s March: Dr. Dilara Sayeed, Jaquie Algee, Deborah Cosey-Lane, Diane Latiker, Sheryl Holman, Rudy Garrett, Graciella Guzman, Sara Kurensky

Community Builder  

Commissioner Francine Washington, Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners  

LGBTQ+ Activism  

Tracy Baim, Windy City Times  

Immigrant Rights  

Mary Meg McCarthy, Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center 

Health and Wellness  

Maria Pesqueria, Healthy Communities Foundation  


Tammera Holmes, Aerostar Avion Institute 

Human Services  

Fatima Abu-Eid, Sanad Social Services  

Arts and Culture  

Josephine Lee, Chicago Children’s Choir  


Belinda Wordlaw, Elevate Energy  


Sophie Evanoff, Vanille Patisserie 


Elizabeth “Betsy” Ziegler, 1871  

Seniors Advocacy  

Mary Anderson, AARP 

Legacy Award 

Bernie Wong  

The City of Chicago will provide a livestream feed of the event on Mayor Lightfoot’s social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.