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ILAACP http://ilaacp.org MAKE A DIFFERENCE Tue, 12 Jul 2016 15:51:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.14 In Memoriam: Ronald “Kwesi” Harris http://ilaacp.org/2016/06/in-memoriam-ronald-kwesi-harris/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/06/in-memoriam-ronald-kwesi-harris/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 19:52:46 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10945 On behalf of the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention’s Board of Directors, our member organizations, and the constituents we serve, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Ronald “Kwesi” Harris, Program Director of the African American Male Resource Center (AAMRC) at Chicago State University. The mission of the African American Male Resource Center is to help program participants achieve their highest levels of academic, vocational, and personal success.

Ronald “Kwesi” Harris

Known as Baba Kwesi to many, Mr. Ronald E. Harris was a mentor, community leader, educator and public health advocate. As a component of the university’s Unit of Student Success, in 2008, the AAMRC was federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) program to enhance the educational outcomes of African American males at Chicago State University. Mr. Ronald E. Harris was appointed as director of the program in October 2009. Since joining the AAMRC team, Mr. Harris revitalized the center by implementing, research-based, best practice methods for addressing the particular needs of this unique population.

A national leader and health advocate, Mr. Ronald E. Harris worked with the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention and the State of the Cancer Union in 2014 to present Empowering Communities: The Importance of Cancer Support & Long Term Survivorship at Chicago State University. He spoke as a warrior, sharing his story as a cancer survivor and advocating for early detection and prevention, especially in African American communities.

A Chicago native, Mr. Ronald E. Harris graduated from Simeon High School and later studied child development and social work at Central State University in Ohio. He was also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and has been featured in hundreds of local, national and international publications and has made regular appearances on WVON 1690, Chicago Access and on national news affiliates across the nation.

Funeral Arrangements for Ronald “Kwesi” Harris:

Saturday, June 25, 2016
Visitation at 10:00 AM
Chicago State University,
Emil Jones Convocation Center
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628

Funeral at 11:00 AM
Chicago State University,
Emil Jones Convocation Center
9501 S. King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628

Cards & condolences can be mailed to:
The Harris Family
7938 S. Sacramento
Chicago, IL 60652

Please continue to keep the Harris family in your prayers. May you rest in eternal peace Baba Kwesi.


Malik S. Nevels, J.D.
Executive Director

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Healthier Choices – Healthier Families http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/healthier-choices-healthier-families-graduation/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/healthier-choices-healthier-families-graduation/#respond Tue, 24 May 2016 22:05:56 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10937 Congratulations to our fourth graduating class for their continued commitment to working towards a healthier and active lifestyle. View Details »

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Thank You! YADP Leadership Retreat http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/thank-you-our-yadp-leadership-retreat-was-a-success/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/thank-you-our-yadp-leadership-retreat-was-a-success/#respond Mon, 23 May 2016 22:07:50 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10929 Our Youth Asset Development Project (YADP) teenagers attended the 2016 YADP Leadership Retreat. View Details »

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We Need to Hear From You! 4th District Listening Sessions on Justice Involved Youth http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/we-need-to-hear-from-you-4th-district-listening-sessions/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/we-need-to-hear-from-you-4th-district-listening-sessions/#respond Mon, 23 May 2016 16:41:04 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10908 Please join Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s Cook County Justice Advisory Council, the Cook County Juvenile Justice Division, Cook County Juvenile Probation and the JDAI Community Engagement Committee for one of two community listening sessions focused on justice involved youth in the 4th police district. These sessions will be the first step towards building a dialogue and partnership with the Juvenile Court and the community. We need you to help us answer the following:

1. What are the positive outcomes we want to have for court
involved youth?
2. What are the community’s strengths?
3. What opportunities are there for partnership between the Court and the community to help court involved youth achieve positive outcomes?

WHEN                               TIME                                   WHERE
Tuesday                     Dinner  5:30 PM          William K. New Sullivan School
June 7, 2016       Discussion 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM         8331 S Mackinaw

Please register for the June 7th event here.

WHEN                                  TIME                                   WHERE
Saturday                       Lunch 12:00 PM               Our Lady Gate of Heaven
June 11, 2016       Discussion 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM         2330 E 99th St

Please register for the June 11th event here.

To view the event flyer please click here.

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Help Ensure HEAL Proposal is Part of Negotiated Illinois Budget to Invest in Health http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/help-ensure-heal-proposal-is-part-of-negotiated-illinois-budget-to-invest-in-health/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/help-ensure-heal-proposal-is-part-of-negotiated-illinois-budget-to-invest-in-health/#respond Wed, 11 May 2016 20:23:42 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10862 The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a bipartisan budget group has been working to develop a proposed state budget that could be released later this week. It’s time to ensure legislators know that you support the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) proposal- the sugary drink tax that raises an estimated $600 million a year to invest in health- as part of the negotiated budget.

Contact your legislator today to ensure the HEAL proposal is included in the negotiated budget and that the revenues generated go to support health.

As you know, the tax is a penny per ounce on high-sugar beverages only (diet and low-sugar drinks, water, and milk are excluded) and is paid by the distributors of those beverages. Estimated to raise over $600 million a year, the Healthy Eating Active Living proposal would put $500 million in Medicaid and $100 million into improving community health through increased access to affordable healthy foods, safe places for kids and families to play and be active, and nutrition and physical education in schools, among others.

It’s critical we invest in the health of Illinoisans while also generating revenue to help end this budget impasse.

Ask your legislator to include the HEAL proposal in the state budget and ensure that the $100 million for prevention is invested back into the communities of greatest need.

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YADP Evaluation Report http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/yadp_evaluation_report/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/05/yadp_evaluation_report/#respond Mon, 09 May 2016 17:38:23 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10848 ‪#WhatWeDoMatters! We’re excited to announce the release of our 2014-2015 Youth Asset Development Project Evaluation Report. View Details »

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Show #BlackLivesMatter By Showing Up On Election Day!!! http://ilaacp.org/2016/03/show-blacklivesmatter-by-showing-up-on-election-day/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/03/show-blacklivesmatter-by-showing-up-on-election-day/#respond Mon, 14 Mar 2016 23:09:24 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10265 The best way to demonstrate that #BlackLivesMatter is to cast your vote tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15th. Illinois’ primary election is especially important. It is an opportunity to voice our frustration and dissatisfaction over the decisions made (or not made) by our elected officials, which have had a disproportionately negative impact on our children, families, and communities. Whether its draconian cuts to childcare or the elimination of critical mental health services, African American communities have been undeniably hit the hardest. These cuts have also forced a number of human service organizations (particularly African American managed CBOs) to either substantially scale back their operations or, worse yet, shut down.

Voting tomorrow will also send a message to our elected officials that it is obscene to think that the 70,000+ African American students enrolled in public and community colleges statewide may have their dreams deferred, or altogether wiped out, because of Illinois’ 8-month budget impasse. Moreover, what kind of message are we sending when we say that we want our state to be economically competitive and attract businesses to set up shop while at the same time denying our state’s future workforce with the skills and tools employers demand and that public institutions like Chicago State University competently provide? Fortunately, tomorrow provides us with an opportunity to make our voices heard by electing officials who will move our county, state, and country forward in a direction that prioritizes those issues about which African Americans (and other historically marginalized communities) care about most deeply and yet continue to be grossly unrepresented on: safety, employment, childcare, healthcare, and quality education.

While the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention does not endorse candidates, we are strong advocates of making sure you exercise your franchise.  As you prepare to cast your vote, remember the seemingly insurmountable obstacles we have overcome, honor the lives that were sacrificed, and never forget that we still have monumental work to be done to build safe, healthy, and resilient African-American children, families, and communities. It is no secret that elected officials don’t show up for folks that don’t show out at the polls.

Show how much #BlackLivesMatter by exercising your right to vote! #WhatYouDoMatters!!!

In service,

Malik S. Nevels, J.D.

Executive Director

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In Memoriam: Henry English http://ilaacp.org/2016/03/in-memoriam-henry-english/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/03/in-memoriam-henry-english/#respond Mon, 07 Mar 2016 22:45:55 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10252 On behalf of the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention’s Board of Directors, our member organizations, and the constituents we serve, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Henry English, founder of the Black United Fund of Illinois.

English-picHenry English, a Chicago community leader, was an organizer and advocate for Chicago’s most under-served neighborhoods for more than forty years. In 1983, Mr. English founded the Black United Fund of Illinois, which raises charitable donations to provide grants and expertise to small not-for-profit groups and programs for job-training. A Black Panther leader who in the 1960s recruited a young Bobby Rush, Mr. English went on to invest in the economic development of African American communities.

A Chicago native, Mr. English grew up on the city’s Near West Side, blocks from Farragut Career Academy. After a stint in the Marine Corps, he returned to Chicago and became an activist. While studying and serving in student government at what was then called Crane Junior College he rallied his classmates to the cause of changing the school’s name to Malcolm X College.

A graduate of Cornell University, he briefly worked as a healthcare administrator before founding the Black United Fund of Illinois. It is this commitment to Chicago’s African American neighborhoods that led him to champion such initiatives as voter-registration, leading to a lifetime of supporting safe, healthy, and resilient children, families, and communities.

Funeral Arrangements for Henry English:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Apostolic Church of God
6320 South Dorchester
Chicago, IL 60637

Wake at 10:00 a.m.
Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m.

Donations can be made in honor of Henry English to the Black United Fund of Illinois.

Mr. English is survived by his wife, Denise; sons, Nkrumah and Jummane; and daughters Kenya and Kamillah. May you rest in eternal peace.


Malik S. Nevels, J.D.
Executive Director

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Ask Your Legislator to Support the HEAL Act http://ilaacp.org/2016/02/10225/ http://ilaacp.org/2016/02/10225/#respond Wed, 17 Feb 2016 18:02:12 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=10225 As Governor Rauner addresses the legislature regarding the FY 2017 Illinois budget, we’re still faced with the current budget impasse that has left Illinois without a budget for more than 8 months. Since state leaders will need to address our growing deficit and put an end to this crisis, we want to make sure the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Act is included in the final negotiated budget.

Tell your legislator that you support the HEAL Act as part of a final Illinois budget.

As you know, the HEAL Act is expected to generate more than $600 million a year to support Medicaid and invest in community resources for kids and families to live healthier lives.  The revenue comes from a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. This type of proposal is a win-win for the state, supporting the Medicaid program (thus freeing up general funds for education, human services and public safety) and helping to prevent costly diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugar in the American diet.  Research shows that consumption of just one sugary drink a day increases risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other chronic conditions. Obesity costs the Illinois healthcare system a staggering $6 billion or more each year, with more than $1 billion of those costs in the Medicaid program. At a time when our deficit is growing exponentially, we must take this opportunity to bring in new revenue while simultaneously investing in prevention to provide long-term healthcare savings.

Ask your legislator to include the HEAL Act in the Illinois budget negotiations as a healthy revenue source.

Thank you for your continued support of the HEAL Act.

Please click here for a sample letter you can use to write to your legislator showing your support for the HEAL Act.

In Service,

Malik S. Nevels, J.D.

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16 Shots, 400 Days Later http://ilaacp.org/2015/11/9865/ http://ilaacp.org/2015/11/9865/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:56:58 +0000 http://ilaacp.org/?p=9865 The story of 17-year old Laquan McDonald is a tragic tale of a failed system, designed to save our children. Through a series of tragic events and DCFS involvement, Laquan surpassed expectations by turning his life around, attending school regularly, working towards graduation and obtaining summer employment. On October 20, 2014, the life of Laquan came to an even more tragic end. The simple details are that police were called to 40th and Karlov, due to reports of a man with a knife and shortly thereafter, Laquan was dead. The more intricate details will unfold as we review the released dash cam video.

The Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (ILAACP) stands in solidarity with activists, clergy and community organizers in the demand for justice. We seek answers and accountability for the chain of events that led to Laquan McDonald’s death. We seek answers and accountability for the nearly 400 day delay in releasing the dash cam video and charging officer Van Dyke with murder. We seek justice, not retribution. We also ask for peaceful demonstration of our first amendment rights in seeking that justice.

While there are undoubtedly numerous questions that need to be answered, there are equally numerous possibilities for us to advance equitable strategies that strengthen the Chicago Police Department’s relationship with communities of color, especially police interaction with our young black men and boys. And let us not stop there. Let’s leverage our collective outrage and concern over Laquan’s death to demand intensive financial and human capital investments (vs. superficial) in Chicago communities that continue to unfairly bear a disproportionate share of our city’s open air drug markets, food deserts, lack of affordable housing, poor performing schools, wanton violence, and unemployment.

We have an opportunity before us to rewrite the narrative for all of the Rekia Boyds, Laquan McDonalds, and Tyshawn Lees of Chicago. We have an opportunity to build safer, healthier, and more resilient African American children, families, and communities. Let us seize, and not squander, this opportunity.

Established in 2015, the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention is a statewide, membership-based charitable organization that strengthens prevention systems, policies, and programs in underserved communities through culturally-relevant research, training, and advocacy.


Yours in Service and Struggle,

Malik S. Nevels, J.D.

P.S. If you or your organization would like for us to spread the word about a peaceful demonstration that you are planning, please email the event details to ilaacpinfo@ilaacp.org and we will disseminate to our social media network.

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