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International Women’s Day 2021

March 8 is International Women's Day and let’s celebrate by meeting some outstanding historic Chicago Polonia Women’s Assns. PWA (Polish Women’s Alliance of America) est.1898 by Polish seamstress Stefanie Chmielewska to change the world by improving women’s work condt’s promoted her vision for women to embrace self-sufficiency/financial stability. This project was ultra progressive for pre-voting rights America. Polish women got to vote already in 1918. Hon. PWA members incl. Polish literary giants Konopnicka and Orzeszkowa, Helen Modjeski, Mme Curie-Skłodowska, Irena Sendler. The Legion of Young Polish Women (LYPW) was a direct reaction in 1939 to WWII as Poland was invaded by Germany and Russia. Their help for POW’s, orphans, Polish war hospitals, also out-reached post-war refugees in Argentina, Italy and N. America. During Soviet oppression in Poland, dissident culture and Solidarity benefited. Here at home Polish Literature Chair at Ivy League U. of Chicago and the Polish Museum of America are just 2 major institutions among a plethora of beneficiaries of LYPW. Serving Family and community in brotherly spirit, helping fellow immigrants were the founding principles of PRCUA (est.1873), the co-founder of PMA and historic building owner on Milwaukee Ave. and Augusta. In 1897 women joined the org. as individuals. PRCUA Women’s Dept.(1925) sponsored social, sports, cultural events, and Córy Zjednoczenia (girl scouts). PMA Ladies Auxiliary, est.1973 sustained our Museum’s goals esp. preserving/promoting Polish heritage. We salute PMA’s Sabina Logisz, first woman to help run the PMA, Joan Kosinski, 1st former President, Malgorzata Kot, current Mng. Director, all PMA Staff and our Illinois Justice Aurelia Pucinski. In memoriam Stephanie Czech Rader 1st US/Polish intel female officer ever awarded the Legion of Merit (2016).

Beatrix Czerkawski

Photos depict Chicago Polonia’s women’s orgs and S. Logisz

#polishwomens'alliance #pma #prcua #dzienkobiet

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