As a Girlchild from the Westside of Chicago, I remember being marginalized and stigmatized. It seems as if you could never be good enough. White supremacy and its stepchild, racism, were large and in charge. I learned to be tougher and more stoic so I could successfully navigate the ups and downs of living in a world that could be mean and cruel. My saving grace was, still is, my love of learning. I loved to read…just about anything. I also loved making things. My education granted access to diverse populations and growing up in Chicago was filled with the variety of different languages, food, music, and clothes. Learning about different cultures was part of my wonder years because I had classmates from around the world. I learned that difference is good…it’s better. Growing up on the Westside of Chicago provided a solid foundation for the work I am called to do: Building Community Capacity.
Our guiding principles are:
- We put people first by listening closely to their hopes and responding from a place of love and respect. We’re increasing social capital by building strong and sustainable relationships with individuals, families, and communities.
- We understand that “success is our only option” and use positive images, fact-based content, and adaptive learning models to achieve our goals.
- We believe in possibilities and use sheroes and heroes from our ancestral legacy to illustrate determination, commitment, and perseverance that can inspire and motivate us to also achieve excellence.
- We embrace diversity and welcome opportunities to share ideas, strategies, and action plans that will create a shared understanding of our humanity.
- We share information and resources that empower children, families, and communities to discover possibilities and take advantage of opportunities so they can reach their highest potential.
- We collaborate and leverage resources with changemakers in ways that create synergy and help us move forward by focusing on collective well-being.
- We celebrate success and recognize achievements by honoring those who’ve conquered adversity, and generously serve as role models, mentors, and coaches to help others successfully navigate the journey to achieve their heart’s desires.