Archive for the 'Events' Category



Join Us for a Benefit Dinner—Tuesday, January 19

EatsSweetslogoUpdated January 15: SOLD OUT!

Our friends at Eats & Sweets Cafe are celebrating Dolly Parton’s 70th birthday with a fundraiser for us. Dolly is well known for her literacy program Imagination Library, and Eats & Sweets owners Tim and Margaret wanted to support an organization that works to improve literacy. We’re delighted to be honored in this way—all the more as Eats & Sweets is right in the neighborhood and their food is delicious.

There will also be a book drive the week before, as well as a photo booth and raffle at the dinner. Reservations are required and costumes are optional. Learn more and make your reservation today. We look forward to seeing you there! Continue reading ‘Join Us for a Benefit Dinner—Tuesday, January 19’

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Book Talk & Discussion with Maya Schenwar—Sun., Nov. 22 in Evanston

May&Book
Meet author Maya Schenwar, a good friend of Chicago Books to Women in Prison, and join the discussion.

Locked Down, Locked Out looks at how prison tears families and communities apart, creating a ripple effect that touches every corner of our society. Through the stories of prisoners and their families, as well as her own family’s experience of her sister’s incarceration, Schenwar shows how the institution that locks up 2.3 million Americans—and decimates poor communities of color—is shredding the ties that, if nurtured, could foster real collective safety.

Plan now to attend this free book talk and discussion.

Sunday, November 22, 12:30 p.m.
Unitarian Church of Evanston
1330 Ridge Avenue (map)
(parking lot and entrance on Greenwood)

For more information, call 847-864-1330 or visit www.ucevanston.org.

Change in Action: People & Prisons—Tues., September 15 at After-Words Books

You’re invited!

Hear two formerly incarcerated women speak on the importance of books during their time in prison.

− Learn how Chicago organizations are responding to prison issues
− Engage in discussion with community leaders and the formerly incarcerated
− Discover the wide range of ways you can become involved

Change in Action: People & Prisons

Tuesday, September 15, 6:30 p.m.
After-Words New and Used Books
23 E. Illinois St., Chicago

One block south of the Grand (Red Line) station
Parking can be found one block east at 430 N. Rush St.

Food and drinks will be served

In collaboration with our friends

− Black and Pink
− CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy to Incarcerated Mothers) with Visible Voices
− Community Renewal Society with F.O.R.C.E
− Liberation Library

Let us know you’re coming on the Facebook event page.

Download the event flyer.

Racial Injustice: The Foster Care-to-Prison Pipeline—Weds., June 24

About 80% of Illinois prisoners were in the foster care system during childhood.

Join us for the forum Racial Injustice: The Foster Care-to-Prison Pipeline, presented by the Unitarian Church of Evanston’s Prisons and Restorative Justice committee. AlexanderTolliverCollage

The event will feature a screening of Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow and Dorothy Roberts on The Color of Child Welfare, followed by a live presentation and discussion with Charity Tolliver, founder of Black on Both Sides—a new organization that works to end the foster care-to-prison pipeline. Continue reading ‘Racial Injustice: The Foster Care-to-Prison Pipeline—Weds., June 24’

Black and Pink penpal meetup—Sat., June 13 at Uncharted Books

Black&PinkCurrently a penpal with Black and Pink: Chicago?

Ever thought about being a penpal with a prisoner?

Black and Pink—an open family of GLBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other—can connect you with a queer or trans prisoner in Illinois.

Join volunteers from Chicago Books to Women in Prison in conversation with Black and Pink on strengthening pen pal relationships, talking through issues that may come up in letter writing, and building community. Whether you’ve been writing someone for years, or are just considering becoming a pen pal, we’d love to see you there! Continue reading ‘Black and Pink penpal meetup—Sat., June 13 at Uncharted Books’

Mother’s Day Art and Card Making Event for Incarcerated Mothers—Thurs., April 23

Mothers_Day_Card_Making

Bring your creativity and caring! We’ll be making cards and art to send to mothers who are incarcerated in Illinois jails and prisons as well as Federal prisons. (Did you know that two-thirds of the women incarcerated in the U.S. are mothers of minor children?) Continue reading ‘Mother’s Day Art and Card Making Event for Incarcerated Mothers—Thurs., April 23′

Writing Lives: Books Beyond the Prison Bars—Weds., March 25 at Women & Children First

Join us along with authors Crystal Laura and Maya Schenwar for readings from their recent and acclaimed books, and for conversation with all of us on making vital connections behind bars, prison issues and more at this special event.

Co-sponsor Black and Pink will also share details on becoming a pen pal with LBGTQ people behind bars in Illinois.

Writing Lives: Books Beyond the Prison Bars

Wednesday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St., Chicago

Continue reading ‘Writing Lives: Books Beyond the Prison Bars—Weds., March 25 at Women & Children First’

Sunday, October 19—Books Behind Bars at Uncharted Books

Learn more about what we do and the difference it makes to the women we serve. We love Uncharted Books—they’ve been a good friend by helping us get hard-to-find books—and we appreciate Tanner’s support. Join us for:

Books Behind Bars
Hosted by Uncharted Books

Sunday, October 19, 6 p.m.
2620 N. Milwaukee (Kedzie & Milwaukee) in Logan Square
Light refreshments served

  • Hear guest speaker Reynolds Wintersmith—whose sentence was recently commuted by Presidential pardon after serving 20 years—on his experience and the importance of books for him in prison
  • Browse at Uncharted and buy books requested by the women we serve
  • Learn from our volunteers all the ways you can help provide books to people in prisons

Download event flyer

“The End of Juvenile Prison” — Book Talk & Discussion — Sat., Sept. 13 in Evanston

Burning_Down_the_House

In her new book, Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, award-winning journalist and advocate Nell Bernstein presents a critical look at the juvenile justice system. Continue reading ‘“The End of Juvenile Prison” — Book Talk & Discussion — Sat., Sept. 13 in Evanston’

Grab a Book- We’re Closed On Labor Day

Attention bookworms: Chicago Books to Women in Prison is going to be taking Sunday, September 1 off from packing books in observance of labor day. We invite you to read a good book that day…maybe Nelson Lichtenstein’s State of the Union?


IMPORTANT: Learn more before donating books
Please check with us before organizing a book drive or putting together a donation of more than a few books from your own library. We are well stocked and storage space is limited.

3,216 packages so far in 2019

Last year we sent 4,852 packages to women and trans people locked up across the country—nearly 13,500 books and composition books in all. Big thanks to all our supporters because we couldn’t do it without you! (updated August 19, 2019)

Shop our wish list today

Buy books we need online and we pick them up—no shipping fee, no wasteful packaging. (Or buy a gift card if you can’t decide!) Your purchase benefits not just the people we serve, but one of Chicago’s best indy bookstores.

MOST NEEDED NOW: GED review books

Donate money quickly and easily

Or send your check or money order to 4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60640. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your gift may be tax-deductible.

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