The Early Days

In 1848, a group of advocates convened a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY.  It was the first of its kind with the goal of getting women the right to vote and participate more fully in society.  Sadly, what started in the mid-19th century has become so much more important in our 21st century lives.

Founded in 1966 by a small but determined group of women’s activists, NOW has more than 600,000 contributing women and hundreds of chapters across the US.  NOW members are the heart, soul and muscle behind the group.  We elect leaders, set policy and determine our agenda.  NOW’s vast and diverse membership gives us the ability to make change happen at the local, state and national level.



Two years ago, a determined group of women started a new chapter of NOW in Will County that has grown into the second most active chapter in the state of Illinois.

Our chapter is currently working to create such educational events as the “Off To College Safety Fair,” a book club that focuses on teaching girls about strong women in all areas of society, and insuring that the Equal Rights Amendment finally becomes enshrined into our Constitution.

We are working with countless other organizations to create a better world for women in our country.

Meet the Chapter

NOW is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States.  Our members are your neighbors, friends and co-workers.  Get to know our members and  become an advocate for women!


Laura R. Welch

Founder & President

Laura has a background in non-profit management and has spent many years as a development officer raising money for various organizations including The Family Resource Center, The Women’s Self Help Center and the American Cancer Society.

In 2014, the empty nest launched Laura into her next stage of life as an advocate for women’s rights.  Joined by an amazing group of fellow advocates, the Will County NOW chapter was born.  In addition to serving as the new chapter’s President, Laura serves as the Illinois NOW Vice President for Chapter Development and on the Board of the state chapter’s LEF.

The self-proclaimed Rabble Rouser in Chief, Laura and her husband live in Naperville with their two spoiled dogs.


Miriam Szatrowski

Vice President

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Judy Bieniek


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Join Us

NOW is the time to fight for our rights.  With everyday bringing new restrictions on equal rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ equality and so many others, we need you.  Help us pass the ERA, remove restrictive legislation being placed on our reproduction, maintain same sex marriage rights and get more progressive women elected.

Join Will County NOW!


Call to Action