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Welcome to the State of Black Chicago Congress

THE MISSION of the State of Black Chicago Congress (SBCC) is to mobilize the community of African descent, in order to develop a plan of action that ameliorates conditions such as the crime and violence, inequitable distribution of educational resources and opportunities, joblessness, slow business development and opportunities, disappearing black media, inadequate youth engagement and leadership development, poor health, and the public’s concern over the involvement of the Black Church.

HONORARY CHAIRS:
Ed Gardner Lupe Fiasco
HONORARY
CO-CHAIRPERSONS:
Brenetta Howell Barrett, Rev. Willie Barrow, Dr. Timuel Black, Justice William Cousins, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and Dr. Christopher Reed

FOCUS GROUP CHAIRS:

About The State of Black Chicago Congress

AboutVision StatementCongress Goals & Focus Group Chairs
The community of African descent in Chicago contains vast resources, and most assuredly has the capacity to effectuate change. The greatest limitation facing the community is the reluctance to unify and work together to improve the well being of our neighborhoods. This reluctance impacts the whole community, hampering group advancement, socially, economically, and politically, and undermines the ability to make collective demands.

The Steering Committee organizing the SBCC includes concerned African American leaders from various walks of life, who have come together, eschewing any and all personal and individual interests, in the interest of the whole community. The Steering Committee will organize and convene the State of Black Chicago Congress, a one day event Saturday, June 1, 2013, that will include panels that will address issues that impact the wellbeing of the whole community.

The community of African descent in Chicago is at a critical juncture in its history. Currently, people of African descent rank lower on most socioeconomic indicators than other racial and ethnic groups, and violence has become a scourge that threatens to obliterate the hopes and gains of previous generations.

Although voting is a hallmark of a well-functioning democracy, the conditions that the community of African descent faces necessitates a bold response that transcends the electoral arena, and mobilizes the energies of every segment of the community toward resolving common problems.

The mission of the State of Black Chicago Congress (SBCC) is to mobilize an intergenerational group of leaders from all sectors of the community of African descent in order to develop a plan of action that address issues such as the inequitable distribution of educational resources and opportunities; joblessness; business development and opportunities; youth engagement and leadership development; healthcare; new media and technology; crime and violence; politics; and spirituality, religion, and the Black church in the 21st century.

The community of African descent in Chicago contains vast resources, and most assuredly has the capacity to effectuate change. The greatest limitation facing the community however is the reluctance to unify behind a common agenda. This reluctance impacts the whole community, hampering group advancement, socially, economically, and politically, and undermines the ability to make collective demands.

The committee organizing the SBCC includes concerned leaders in various walks of life who have come together, putting aside all personal and individual interests in the interest of the whole community. The steering committee will organize and convene the State of Black Chicago Congress, a one-day event on Saturday, June 1st, 2013, that will include plenary sessions that address issues that impact the wellbeing of the whole community in the aforementioned areas.

Two activities will precede the State of Black Chicago Congress: 1) meetings with community leaders both in the aforementioned issue areas and more generally, whose buy-in will be critical to mobilizing the whole community of African descent; and 2) focus group meetings dedicated to deliberating and making recommendations in each issue area, which will serve as a basis for further discussion at the State of Black Chicago Congress.

The goal of the Congress will be to inform, educate, mobilize and strategize toward a common agenda that will turn the tide on current socioeconomic conditions affecting Black Chicago, and serve as a foundation for further community action.

  • Mobilize all segments of the community of African descent to address problems associated with nine (9) issue areas: (Focus Group Chairpersons are in bold):
  • Black Media, New Media, and Technology
    (Dr. Garrard McClendon)
  • Business Development and Opportunity
    (Mr. Jonathan Jackson, Mr. John Roberson)
  • Crime and Violence
    (Ms. Pat Hill, Attorney Lewis Myers)
  • Education Access and Resources
    (Dr. Michael Toney, Dr. Horace Hall, Dr. Frances Carroll)
  • Health
    (Dr. Linda Rae Murray)
  • Joblessness and Housing
    (Mr. Harold Davis)
  • Politics
    (Dr. Valerie Johnson, Dr. Robert Starks, President Bobbie Steele, Congressman Danny Davis)
  • Spirituality, Religion, and the Black Church in the 21st Century
    (Pastor Marshall Hatch, Pastor Corey Brooks)
  • Youth Engagement and Leadership Development
    (Dr. Lance Williams, Corinthia “New Sense” Federick)
  • Create a Plan of Action (an Agenda), designed to promote community engagement in the nine (9) issue areas.
  • Increase unity and organizational capacity within the community of African descent in Chicago in order to bring resources and strength in numbers to bear in the nine (9) issue areas (ability to mobilize at a moment’s notice).
  • Promote on-going activities in order to sustain engagement of the community in the nine (9) issue areas or other issues as they arise.