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Audrey Peeples

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Information about Audrey Peeples

Profile image of Audrey Peeples

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Association Chief Executive
Nonprofit Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Arizona
Favorite Quote:
Good Grief.

Birthplace

Born:
5/22/1939
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Association Chief Executive
Nonprofit Chief Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Arizona
Favorite Quote:
Good Grief.

Birthplace

Born:
5/22/1939
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Audrey Peeples is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Former YWCA executive and women's rights advocate Audrey R. Peeples was born in Chicago on May 22, 1939 to Thelma and John Rone. For nearly thirty years, she has held leadership positions with some of Chicago's - and the country's - preeminent women's organizations.

Raised in Chicago, Peeples earned her B.A. degree in 1961 from the University of Illinois at Champagne. After twelve years working as a trust manager for Continental Bank, she became associate regional director for Girl Scouts USA in 1973. Three years later, she rose to executive director of the Girl Scouts of Chicago, and held the position until September 1987. At that time, she left the Girl Scouts to become CEO of the Young Women's Christian Association.

Under Peeples' leadership, the YWCA made significant inroads into helping improve the lives and rights of women. Peeples spearheaded efforts to end racist practices within the organization as well as to expand the YWCA's childcare initiative. Additionally, she promoted violence and pregnancy prevention for children and young teens, and introduced new cancer education and screening programs for women. Peeples' stewardship also saw the agency's annual budget quadruple, from $3 million to $12 million, enabling the YWCA to extend its offerings. In anticipation of her retirement, Peeples successfully recruited Patricia Ireland, former president of the National Organization for Women, to succeed her in 2001.

Peeples is currently the co-chair of the Alumnae Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust. She has served on the Board of the Executive Services Corps, and as vice president of the ACLU of Illinois. She is on the Dean's Advisory Board of the School for New Learning at DePaul University, and is a member and past chair of the Chicago Network, an affiliate of the International Women's Forum. Peeples has also served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Chicago the Chicago Foundation for Women, Junior Governing Board of the Chicago Symphony, and Girl Scouts of the USA. She is the recipient of the Thomas and Eleanor Wright Award from the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations for her work on the YWCA's Racial Justice Program.

Peeples was married for twenty-nine years to Anthony Peeples, who died in 2001. They have two children, Jennifer and Michael. Peeples lives in Chicago.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Audrey Peeples' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Audrey Peeples lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Audrey Peeples introduces her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Audrey Peeples talks about her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Audrey Peeples describes her mother's migration to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Audrey Peeples describes her paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Audrey Peeples describes her father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Audrey Peeples describes her father's experience during The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 when he first moved to Chicago, Illinois' Black Belt
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Audrey Peeples recalls her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Audrey Peeples describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Audrey Peeples describes her childhood activities and interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Audrey Peeples talks about her family's religious faith and practice
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Audrey Peeples talks about her parent's disbelief in organized religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Audrey Peeples describes her favorite childhood radio shows
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Audrey Peeples talks about attending John B. Drake Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Audrey Peeples remembers her teachers at John B. Drake Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Audrey Peeples describes her experience as a student at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Audrey Peeples remembers teachers at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Audrey Peeples remembers teachers at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Audrey Peeples describes her extracurricular activities at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Audrey Peeples explains her decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Audrey Peeples describes her social experience as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Audrey Peeples remembers her professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Audrey Peeples talks briefly about the absence of civil rights activity at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in the 1950s, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Audrey Peeples talks briefly about the absence of civil rights activity at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in the 1950s, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Audrey Peeples describes her father's skepticism toward integration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Audrey Peeples describes being hired at Continental Bank
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Audrey Peeples talks about earning an MBA degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Audrey Peeples career remembers the world's first electronic stock transfer performed at Continental Bank
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Audrey Peeples explains how her marriage and pregnancy affected her career at Continental Bank
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Audrey Peeples describes becoming associate regional director for the Girl Scouts of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Audrey Peeples remembers becoming executive director at the Girl Scouts of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Audrey Peeples describes joining the YWCA in 1987
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Audrey Peeples talks about anti-racist and anti-sexist programming at the YWCA
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Audrey Peeples talks about the significance of the Harriet M. Harris YWCA on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Audrey Peeples describes challenges she faced as CEO of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Audrey Peeples talks about women recognized at the YWCA Women of Achievement Leader Luncheon
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Audrey Peeples explains the history and mission of the YWCA
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Audrey Peeples talks about the history of the Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Audrey Peeples talks about the YWCA's collaboration with the Urban Institute
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Audrey Peeples talks about right-winged criticism of the YWCA after having hiring Patricia Ireland as CEO, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Audrey Peeples talks about right-winged criticism of the YWCA after having hiring Patricia Ireland as CEO, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Audrey Peeples talks about surrounding YWCAs in the Chicagoland area and the future of the YWCA
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Audrey Peeples describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Audrey Peeples tells a story about her father's encounter with notorious African American Chicago policeman "Two-Gun Pete"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Audrey Peeples reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Audrey Peeples describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Audrey Peeples narrates her photographs