Sen. Andy Manar, Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford, Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker, Rep. Emanuel Chris WelchCHICAGO - Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) was named to the education transition committee for governor-elect JB Pritzker during a news conference held at Genevieve Melody STEM Elementary in Chicago.

The 35-member Educational Success Committee is the seventh of several working groups of the transition made up of experts who will advise the new administration.

“Educating our children is the most important function of government. What our children will accomplish and how much of their potential will come to fruition starts right in our classrooms. I am excited to continue my work as a strong advocate for education, and play a role in how this administration plans to tackle the issues facing our education system,” Lightford said.

Among those named to the committee were Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools; Dr. Michael Amiridis, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago; Ginger Ostro, Executive Director, Advance Illinois; Kevin O'Mara, Professor, Concordia University; Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago; Mimi Rodman, Executive Director, Stand for Children Illinois; teachers’ union leaders; university administrators; state lawmakers; members of child advocacy organizations; and others.

Category: News

Accounting Prep 102918The Illinois CPA Society is seeking minority college students to apply for the Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program. This highly competitive program helps prepare minority students interested in the CPA profession for entry-level accounting positions through exposure of the profession, access to training, resources and mentors. At the end of the program, participating firms will interview the students for a variety of paid internship opportunities.

Apply here:

Category: News

Lightford101618On October 5, a jury of Chicagoans weighed the facts and delivered justice by convicting Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald.

Four years ago, it would have been hard to imagine this outcome and the changes that have come in the aftermath of the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting.

Thanks to the eyewitnesses who felt compelled to tell their stories, to the activists who protested and organized, to independent journalists who fought to bring the truth to light and to the voters who held their elected officials accountable there have been real changes.

The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department are different today in many ways:

• Superintendent Eddie Johnson now heads the police department.
• Kim Foxx is now the Cook County State’s Attorney.
• The Police Accountability Taskforce released a report concluding grossly inadequate oversight and racism at CPD.
• The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus lead a state-wide policing reform measure regarding body cameras, prohibiting the use of chokeholds and officer training among other changes.
• The City of Chicago now has a policy for releasing footage of police shootings.
• There is a new ‘use of force’ policy at CPD.
• The Civilian Police Investigative Agency was created.
• Seven police officers were fired for filing false reports in the McDonald shooting.

These changes came from unity. They are the result of people joining together across Chicago, Cook County and the state of Illinois to demand better. You have shown that good things can happen when we come together in the name of justice and equality. You have shown that justice still exists and the voice and will of the people remains a powerful tool.

None of this changes the fact that Laquan was taken from us too soon, nor does it fill the void left in his family. But his murder has motivated a fight for justice that still continues.

Now is not the time to go silent. An election is upon us. Be heard at the ballot box.

You made your voice count. Now make your vote count.

I encourage you to continue your efforts in November, next year and until you get what you deserve. I see you, and I am with you.

- Kimberly A. Lightford serves as Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Assistant Majority Leader in the Illinois Senate

Category: News

Urban Awareness 092118Application Deadline: September 30, 2018


The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood supports innovative, creative projects and programs with the potential to significantly enhance the development, health, safety, education, or quality of life of children from infancy through five years of age.

The foundation provides funding in the areas of early childhood welfare, early childhood education and play, and parenting education.

1) Early Childhood Welfare: Children can only reach their full potential when all aspects of their development — intellectual, emotional and physical —are optimally supported. Providing a safe and nurturing environment for infants and preschoolers is essential, as is imparting to them the skills of social living in a culturally diverse world. To that end, the foundation supports programs that research best child-rearing practices and identify models that  provide creative, caring environments that ensure all children thrive.

2) Early Childhood Education and Play: Research shows that children need to be stimulated as well as nurtured early in life if they are to succeed in school, work, and life. That preparation relates to every aspect of a child’s development, from birth to age five, and everywhere a child learns — at home, in childcare settings, and in preschool. The foundation seeks to improve the quality of both early childhood teaching and learning through the development of innovative curricula and research based pedagogical standards, as well as the design of imaginative play materials and learning environments.

3) Parenting Education: To help parents create nurturing environments for their children, the foundation supports programs that teach parents about developmental psychology, cultural child-rearing differences, pedagogy, issues of health, prenatal care and diet, and programs that provide both cognitive and emotional support to parents.

Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

See the Caplan Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application procedures.

Begin Application

Additional Funding

Category: News

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