Lightford102120CHICAGO – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees for a hearing focused on equitable funding and affordable models for free tuition for Illinois college students.

Wednesday’s hearing was the sixth hearing dedicated to education and workforce development, the second pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda to rid Illinois of systemic racism.

“We continue to see a trend where underfunding and budget cuts disproportionately leave Black students behind in attaining a college education,” Lightford said. “Our focus should be on ensuring that our state support is having a direct impact on closing the inequities that exist in college affordability.”

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book 3259352 640CHICAGO – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees for a hearing focused on language graduation requirements and mental health resources and recovery in Illinois elementary and high schools.

Wednesday’s hearing was the fifth hearing dedicated to education and workforce development, the second pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda to rid Illinois of systemic racism.

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CENTREVILLE, Ill.—The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus unveiled the fourth and final pillar guiding its agenda to eliminate systemic racism Friday during a press conference at Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville.

The Black Caucus will focus their efforts on ending disparities in health care and human services, ILBC Chairman Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) announced.

Lightford said racism remains a major factor in the health of African Americans and their access to quality, affordable care.

“Discrimination within our institutions is killing Black people in Illinois,” Lightford said. “The vast disparities in medical care and other vital services in the Black communities have never been more apparent than they are right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. African Americans have been infected at disproportionately higher rates because systemic racism has left us in the worst position to respond, lacking proper health care, income and housing, among other factors. The Black Caucus will not stop fighting until our government not only supports Black life, but provides an environment for Black Illinoisans to thrive in society.”

Health care and human services is the last of four policy pillars that are guiding the Black Caucus’ agenda ahead of the upcoming legislative session this fall. The pillars are:

              I.         Criminal justice reform, violence reduction and police accountability

             II.         Education and workforce development

            III.         Economic access, equity and opportunity

            IV.         Health care and human services

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classroom 2787754 640CHICAGO – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees for a hearing focused on the Black history curriculum and student success programs in Illinois elementary and high schools.

Wednesday’s hearing was the fourth hearing dedicated to education and workforce development, the second pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda to rid Illinois of systemic racism.

“It’s clear that it shouldn’t be difficult for children to learn about famous figures in history,” Lightford said. “Children should also learn about Black history in a way that is relatable and empowering, while also not hiding its truth and past atrocities. The State Board of Education should mandate a curriculum that incorporates lessons about all marginalized populations into their history classes.”

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