Chicago Chapter Report

Release Date

Our September program focused on the work of PPSEAWA-USA. Teresa Hintzke gave an excellent report on the 60th DPI/NGO conference held at the UN. She summarized sessions on the effects of climate change on indigenous peoples, youth education, and on children where rising waters create despair. Gloria Baez and Anita Yamada then reported on the PPSEAWA-USA annual meeting and UN Luncheon in New York.

In October, we went to the Field Museum where Teresa Hintzke served as our docent for the Ancient Americas exhibit with the assistance of Diane Posner. We all enjoyed the newly installed Maori Meeting House, marveling at its exquisite and elaborate carvings. Patrick Chen spoke in November on Taiwan’s economic success and prospects for the future pointing out the shift from manufacturing to technological base. In February, Jane Punwani led a stimulating discussion on the Indian motifs and symbolism in The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banderjee Divakaruni. In March, we took a journey along the Silk Road with Akari and Anita Yamada. This system of trade routes linked China with Europe from 200 BC to the 14th century and served as a conduit not only for goods such as silk, ivory, furs, and gold, but also for the transmission of technology such as the compass and gunpowder, ideas such as Buddhism, and the arts of ceramics and papermaking. In April, Anita Yamada led a special music-centered program, including a documentary called “Genghis Blues”, the story of blind blues musician Paul Pena and his journey to Tuva in Central Asia to enter a throat-singing competition. We are looking forward to future presentations about Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and our annual meeting.

Our chapter continues to support two philanthropies. For over twenty years, we have contributed to the tuition for a student at Oglala Lakota College located on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. We also support a scholarship for a hearing-impaired girl in Kanpur, India through the Jyoti Children’s Development Foundation, Inc. Jyoti was founded by one of our members, Shanti Dixit and her husband, Saryu. The school for hearing impaired children was established in 1990 and offers free education from preschool through fifth grade. This year, we decided to support another women’s organization in our area that shares a common goal with us, working to end violence against women. Instead of a gift exchange at our Holiday Luncheon in December, we brought small items to donate to Mary Lou’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in Evanston.