Our vision

  • Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.
  • In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men.
  • In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.

2016 Fall Conference – Post Survey Results
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District 6 News

Women’s March Post-update

Recently, there has been a massive upswing in activism and advocacy on many issues including a huge ground swell to defend women’s rights. Many District 6 Zontians recently participated in the Women’s Marches in our District and in Washington D.C. The following are local photos from the Chicago and Madison Marches along with a personal story of a member attending the Washington March. Please continue to be active in advocacy events in a non-partisan fashion highlighting Zonta’s efforts to empower women!

BY: Susan Barton
In front of me, to my left and to my right, I see pink hats – pale rose, fuchsia, hot pink, magenta, striped, heathered, cable-style, fringed, decorated with pompons, flowers, and feathers. I’m listening to chants from all sides. I join in on some and then opt to silently walk along, soaking up the feeling from this crowd that this day is of historic importance, a collective voice of people who don’t know each but came together in a purely voluntary way to express their opinions. Along the street, people perch on building steps and balconies, witnessing the mass that never seems to end on its way to the Ellipse. My sightline is crowded with signs and posters displaying a host of messages.

Why did I come to Washington and how did I get here?

In November when I first learned of the Women’s March in Washington, I felt an overwhelming need to add my voice to those speaking up for women’s issues. At this point, Washington was the only location offering that opportunity; the sister marches had yet to develop. I looked a few travel options – driving, plane or train – but with the anticipated traffic and crowding, opted to take one of the really buses. Heading to Washington on Friday night, I’d arrive on Saturday morning, join in the rally and Saturday evening get back on the bus and head home. Certainly not as cushy as the other options but a lot fewer concerns about finding my way around DC in the thick of things.

Three buses left Union Station Friday night, making several pit stops along the way. Since it was dark and very foggy the entire trip, our rest stop locations were a mystery. When we descended into the parking area, we noticed that there were at least 12 -15 other buses from other cities and states, all heading to Washington, stopped there as well. Can you imagine the lines of women wrapping around the store trying to buy a snack or lining up to use the bathrooms? Because my seat was in the back of the bus, the 20 minute stop became more of a 12 minute stop by the time I could get out. So, some stops ended up just being breaks to inhale fresh air and stretch my legs.

When we crossed the Potomac River in the morning and started heading towards the stadium where the buses were to park, we drove through residential neighborhoods where groups of people walked towards the rally point. Mothers pushing strollers, children hopping along and dogs with pink ribbons affixed to their collars were among the mix. Several families had set up little tables with signs, offering free coffee, or hot chocolate, or water to those passing by on their way to the rally. In many of the front yards or in the windows, signs and messages spelled out the occupants’ feelings…”Keep your tiny hands off my bill of rights” was one that I especially remember.

Everything everywhere was a mob. We were a moving mass of people that day. Walking from the stadium parking lot and heading to the Metro, we were greeted by guides, saying “Welcome to Washington, we’re glad you’re here”. They helped us find our way to the train, and Metro employees, definitely overtaxed that day, patiently took the time to help with the purchase of passes. Each car was filled to capacity – or probably beyond. I sat with a group of Afghans, mostly women, but accompanied by a couple of male videographers, who had come in from NYC to show solidarity for Muslims.

I got to the starting point at Independence and 3rd but just went with the flow, not knowing exactly where I was, to get to the main stage. Of course, it was impossible to approach the stage; the streets were thick with people as were the sidewalks. Many folks were hanging over ledges, hugging the curbs. Giant monitors above the crowd afforded a view and the possibility of hearing the speakers, if the din wasn’t overwhelming. In the crowd I met a group of women from Detroit, carrying large round signs, from their union, the United Auto Workers and spoke to women from Georgia. Once the speeches and entertainment had concluded, it was time to march – and off we went towards the Capitol and the Washington monument. And that’s where this account started, as I took my place among the peaceful but determined marchers.

I ended up at the base of the Washington monument where I chatted with a group of women from Rochester, NY. As we stood in line we heard noise off in the direction of the Capitol. It was cheering, starting far away and moving closer and closer to us, a tidal wave of roaring. By the time it got to us it was as if you could almost see it swelling and surging forward. I was among black women, Hispanic women, East Indian women, native American women, gay women, mothers, women rolling along in wheelchairs, couples, families, men, single marchers like me – no disturbances, no riots, but plenty of joy, determination and purpose.

I waited in line for food, waited in line for the Porta-Potties, waited in line for the Metro and came home with very swollen feet and needing sleep.
Would I do it again…absolutely.

Commission on the Status of Women

The 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) will commence on March 12 with an orientation for Zontians. While the CSW runs for two weeks, the Zonta business is focused in the first week. During the official UN meetings of the CSW which are attended by our President Sonja and the UN Committee, registered Zontians will attend parallel events of significance to Zonta. There will be an evening reception with the US Fund for UNICEF, and a session co-sponsored by Zonta and US Fund for UNICEF. The Zonta Club of New York has organized a dinner on Thursday evening, and an informal dinner will unite Zontians on Sunday. Sally Bean will attend this year. To register or for more information, visit http://www.zonta.org/Global-Impact/Advocacy/CSW/ ZontiansatCSW.

Women’s March on Washington

The Women’s March on Washington D.C. will take place on Saturday, January 21, the day after the inauguration. This is an opportunity to show support for women’s issues and women’s rights, regardless of political persuasion. This event is supported by Zonta International. Further information and registration can be found at https://www.womensmarch.com/ . If you plan to go, please e-mail the D6 Advocacy Chair, Gail Zalewski, at gailzale@mwwb.net. She will put you in touch with other Zontians who are going from throughout the US so that Zonta can have a combined presence at the March.

For anyone who’s seriously considering traveling to Washington DC, the group helping to assemble the event, “It’s Time to Network”, is hosting a conference call on Wednesday evening, 1/11/2017, to deal with the safety and security aspects of the event. You must download Zoom and pre-registration is required; you may do that by following this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/75f3493afbffed5834538d7d4481ef37

If you are unable to attend the Women’s March in Washington DC, many states and cities are holding events to coincide with the national march. Here is information on the state-wide events being held in District 6:

Women’s March – Chicago, IL
January 21, 2017 11:00 AM CST
Petrillo Band Shell, Chicago, IL 60601

Info & RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1636331719994244??ti=ia

RSVP: http://womens121marchonchicago.org/

Women’s March – Indianapolis, IN
January 21, 2017 11:00 AM EST
Indiana State House, 200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/337517963271272/

Women’s March — Madison, WI
January 21, 2017 12:00 PM CST
Library Mall, 728 State St, Madison, WI 53706

Info/RSVP: https://actionnetwork.org/events/womens-march-madison-wi-2?source=email

To connect with Wisconsinites heading to the national march in Washington, info is at: https://www.facebook.com/events/208275672945652/?source=email

These Women’s Marches represent the collective voices of advocates for equality and inclusion, who are committed to fighting for the safety, health, and success of their communities. Let no voice go unheard. Let no one live in fear. Let all of us rise for equal opportunity. EVERYONE who supports women’s rights is welcome. If you are looking for information on a march in another state or location, see: https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters.
Additional information for those attending the Women’s March on Washington in Washington, DC:

From many cities throughout our District, Rally buses will convey participants to and from Washington. This site will let you see if your city or town is on the list and perhaps you’ll consider collecting members from your cub to participate. http://rallybus.net/womens-march-on-washington

The official webpage for the march has an especially helpful resource page: http://resources.womensmarch.com/ Anyone who’s taking a rally bus should consider buying a Metro pass in advance, for instance, as that will be a huge time saver. The drop-off point for the buses is at least a 40-minute walk from the start of the rally so you’ll want to save your energy. The group putting the event together is also asking participants to help with their headcount. In terms of facilities and crowd control, this will help them enormously.

Another useful series of tips from a blogger mentions what to wear, what to bring, etc. What to Wear to a Protest March – Wardrobe Oxygen


Gail Zalewski
D6 Advocacy Chair

Sue Barton
Member, Oak Brook Club

District 6 News Archive

Notes from the Governor


Thank you to all who attended Fall Conference.  By “Adding Your Voice”, you helped to make it a successful event.  Please carry your enthusiasm and knowledge home to your Clubs.  Remember the “Call to Action”; every Zonta member needs to be actively engaged for us to have healthy, vital clubs.

To those who did not attend, my challenge was to encourage active engagement by every member.  I defined “actively engaged” as being a passionate supporter of our mission and willing to give of your time, talent, and energy to support Zonta.

I offered the following checklist of important considerations in achieving and maintaining an actively engaged member:

  • “Right Fit” – vetting process for prospective members
  • Orientation/Training/Refresher Courses – Knowledge equals Comfort
  • Evaluation – How does the member want to contribute
  • Challenge Members – Get out of a rut and refresh
  • Be Flexible – Offer options for involvement
  • Show Your Impact – “Meet” the women you serve.
  • Show Appreciation – Say “Thank you”

I look forward to seeing you at Spring Workshop and invite you to the 2017 Fall Conference October 13-15th in Madison Wisconsin.  Note: It’s Badger Homecoming Weekend so book early!

Adding Your Voice……

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Governor for the next biennium. I am part of a leadership team, which has a good mix of individuals with prior District Board experience and fresh new faces with new ideas and energy. I’m sure I speak for them when I say we are looking forward to these next two years.

Tamara Hagen District 6 Governor 2016-2017

Tamara Hagen
District 6 Governor

However, before we look forward, I’d like us to look back to the last biennium. We can be proud of many achievements and should use the momentum gain from them to propel us into the future.

We developed a District Strategy, the Virtuous Zonta Circle, to emphasize the inter-connection and synergistic energy of coupling Service, Advocacy, community awareness, and membership. We saw increased cross-club and strategic partner collaborations such as the Area 4 Zonta Says No Advocacy march and St Charles, Geneva, Batavia’s LunaFest. We surveyed and trained members on Advocacy skills and found; 1) we do more advocacy then we realize and 2) Telling Your Story is powerful and easier than you think. We added to our ‘Next Generation of Zonta’ pool with new Z and Golden Z Clubs. While official biennial Membership statistics revealed no growth, we also had no loss in overall membership. Therefore, the initial 5% growth did buffer our end of the year losses.

Now let’s look forward. “What do we want to look like in the next 100 years?” To keep our Clubs and District vital, we need to build on these achievements to meet our challenges.

We have an aging membership with several Clubs not only small but feeling old and tired. The Evanston Club recently disbanded for just that reason. Insular clubs are at risk also since they miss out on re-vitalization through networking and Zonta education at workshop and conference. Leadership “burn-out” and hesitancy by Club members to step up to Leadership roles is prevalent in many of our Clubs. Club projects and fundraisers also have a tendency to get old, tired and no longer relevant to our members or the community. And, the age-old “What is Zonta?” still is a problem.

Again, let’s look back and not be discouraged. We have our past achievements to build on as we deal with these challenges. Network, share, collaborate, and step up to these challenges and our Clubs and District will be stronger and better ready for the next 100 years. Your new leadership team is eager to address these challenges, but remember it is the responsibility of every member to “Add Your Voice” to the effort. For “If not now, then when?” and “If not you, then who?”

Notes from the Governor Archive