Connie Kuntz

YWCA Northwestern Illinois received an Access to Justice (A2J) grant through The Resurrection Project and the Westside Justice Center. A2J is a $10 million Illinois program that directs funds to vulnerable individuals who face incarceration or deportation. Chief Administrative Officer Luz Ramirez said the grant money goes to programs that will help people who don't have the funding to find legal counsel on their own.

Connie Kuntz

Elizabeth Smart was the keynote speaker for the YWCA's 40th annual Leader Luncheon and Women of Achievement awards ceremony in Rockford on Monday. Hundreds of people attended the event to listen to the survivor speak.

Smart has been in the public eye for nearly twenty years. In 2002, when she was 14 years old, she was kidnapped at knifepoint and abducted for nine months. In that time, she was relentlessly raped and abused. But she survived. Not only that, she thrived, and continues to do so.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

 It’s International Women’s Day. The YWCA of Rockford celebrated a little early Monday with a luncheon featuring Equal Pay Activist Lilly Ledbetter.