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Women's Law & Policy Project

Tony Smith graduated from Lawrence University in 2016 and joined the Shriver Center soon after as the WLPP & Community Justice VISTA. As a student at Lawrence University, he worked at Heartland Alliance in Chicago, where he assisted refugees who had recently arrived in the U.S. become accustomed to living in Chicago. Tony continued refugee resettlement work during an internship with World Relief - Fox Valley, where he taught refugees how to navigate the American health system and helped them manage medical appointments and health records. Read more ➢

Many pregnant workers are forced out of their jobs because their employers deny them simple work modifications—like a stool to sit on, permission to carry a water bottle, a break from lifting heavy boxes—that would allow them to remain productive employees, provide for their families, and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Read more ➢

Keys in door lock

The Safe Homes Act protects the health and safety of survivors of domestic and sexual violence who live in rental and subsidized housing. This law allows tenants and members of their household who are survivors of violence to:

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About This Guide

College education or job training is an important investment in a financially secure future, but it can be difficult for many students to support themselves while they are in school. Students who lack adequate financial and other support may be unable to complete their educational programs, jeopardizing their future employment prospects.

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Wendy Pollack is the founder and director of the Women's Law and Policy Project at the Shriver Center. She has worked extensively on public benefits and work supports, workforce and economic development, education, employment, family law, violence against women and girls, gender equity in schools, and other issues, on the local, state, and federal level. She is the editor of WomanView, a newsletter on developments in legal issues affecting low-income women and girls. Download this Read more ➢

Testimony of AuTumn Davidson MD Before the Illinois General Assembly, House Labor and Commerce Commission, on HB 8.

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In response to Sen. Mark Kirk’s (R-Ill.) vote against extending Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 32 Illinois organizations sent him a letter urging him to support an extension of EUC the next time it comes to a vote.

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Teen girl in school

The Shriver Center Women's Law and Policy Project’s Ensuring Success in School Initiative addresses the educational and related needs of children and youths who are parents, expectant parents, or survivors of domestic or sexual violence to ensure their ability to stay in school, stay safe, and complete their education. 


Ensuring Success in School Act legislation (2007)

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The Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act  (VESSA) protects the workplace rights of female and male employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence as well as the rights of employees who have family or household members, including spouses, parents, sons, and daughters and other individuals who live together and who are victims of domestic or sexual violence. The manual explains what the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act, or VESSA, provides, who can take advantage of the law, and how survivors can file VESSA claims. Download this Read more ➢

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The Shriver Center works to improve the lives and opportunities of women and girls with low income.

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