From chants for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to thousands of women across Switzerland striking for a day, the calls for “equal pay” are being heard across the globe.

A panel, “Equal Pay: Behind the Rally Cry,” will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, August 22, in the Circus Room of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University. The event is free and open to the public.

Graphics of a hand holding a sign that says equal pay Sponsored by the YWCA McLean County, Illinois State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and the League of Women Voters of McLean County, the panel will include area women addressing issues surrounding equal pay. The Q&A format will allow for an array of topics on how equal pay impacts women, and will encourage audience questions. The panel is meant to spark discussion and provide resources.

Panelists will include Jenn Carrillo of the City of Bloomington; Kyle Ciani, historian and member of the League of Women Voters; Pamela Cooper of Illinois State’s Career Center; and Ann Perry, human resources professional and member of the YWCA Board of Directors.

Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what white men earned in the previous year. The day is usually celebrated in April, but the YWCA is working to bring attention to how race plays into pay disparity. August 22 marks the date an African American woman needs to work on average to earn as much as a white male the year before (20 months of work to equal what a white male makes in 12 months).

Black women in the United States are paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to a white men earns, according to studies from the American Association of University Women. They are also the furthest in debt from educational loans, holding them back even further from reaching pay equality.

Those with questions, or need special accommodations to participate, can contact Christy Germanis of the YWCA at (309) 662-0461 or go to