Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues Announces Annual Unsung Heroines

In honor of Women’s History Month, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues today in honoring 18 unsung heroines for their contributions to their communities.

In its 24th annual celebration, the Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroine Award is presented to one woman from each of the County’s 17 legislative districts and one from the County at-large. Commissioners from the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues receive input from the individual districts to identify heroines whose work is significant yet seldom recognized.

“It is important to recognize and acknowledge the efforts implemented by the women and girls of Cook County to better our communities. We are grateful for the good work that is done by the 18 honorees,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “During such a challenging year, these women have found creative and meaningful ways to give back to their communities.”

“This year’s honorees have founded safe spaces for women, helped people in need obtain medical care, worked to end domestic violence, and so much more. And many of these women have done these wonderful things while raising families, navigating remote schooling and earning a living. It is an honor to recognize them today,” said Audra Wilson, Chairperson of the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues.

Recipients of the 2021 Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroine Award are:

  • Debra Vines, 1st District
  • Sheila Jackson McNary, 2nd District
  • Barbara Ellzey, 3rd District
  • Linda Blair, 4th District
  • Vanessa Brown, 5th District
  • Jacquelyne Underwood, 6th District
  • Nury Ortega, 7th District
  • Diana Mireles, 8th District
  • Mary Lio, 9th District
  • Killian C. Walsh, 10th District
  • Sarah Dynia, 11th District
  • Marci Sieracki, 12th District
  • Jane Balaban, 13th District
  • Amy Oberholtzer, 14th District
  • Mary Jo Imperato, 15th District
  • Elva Serna, 16th District
  • Josephine Coleman, 17th District
  • Sameka Ducette Gates, At-Large

For more information about the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues and the 2021 honorees, visit www.cookcountyil.gov/cccwi.

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