the latest blog

2024 Making a Difference Annual Luncheon: Spotlight on The Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative

April 23, 2024

Each year, the CWIP Making a Difference Annual Luncheon honoree selects a nonprofit to highlight during the event and, new this year, to award with a grant. CWIP’s 2024 honoree Sharon Bush, President of the Grand Victoria Foundation, has chosen The Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative.

Sharon founded The Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative (IBAI) in 2021 to create and advance a statewide advocacy agenda to center—and build power and capacity across—Black communities. IBAI was established after leaders from several philanthropic institutions—including Grand Victoria Foundation, Julian Grace Foundation, Steans Family Foundation, JB & MK Pritzker Foundation, and Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy—conducted a landscape analysis in 2020 that found strong support for a race-conscious approach to advocacy.

The goal of IBAI is to provide Black Illinoisians with an advocacy and organizing institution that prioritizes their well-being, prosperity, and needs. IBAI leverages data about Black Illinoisans’ experiences to:

  • uncover and address the root causes of racial inequities.
  • convene key stakeholders to determine best practice solutions.
  • develop and advocate for the advancement and implementation of a shared, Black-centered policy agenda.

In 2023, IBAI published Pathways to Liberation: Illinoisans Share Policies to Inform a Black Agenda to inform and inspire newly elected and reelected officials to advance legislation that represents the interests of Black people and helps dismantle Anti-Blackness and systemic oppression. IBAI convened a statewide group of Black advocacy leaders, and the group prioritized five campaigns within the publication:

  • Addressing Gun Violence
  • Fully Funding All K-12 Illinois Schools
  • Supporting Foster System-Involved Parents
  • Cannabis Equity
  • Reparations for African Descendants of Slavery

In addition to its focus on advocacy, convenings, research, and publications for stakeholders, IBAI was very engaged in the 2023 Chicago Mayoral Race, having critical conversations with candidates to ensure Black and Brown communities were a focus of their plans and priorities.

CWIP luncheon attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about IBAI on May 2, 2024. You can also visit The Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative’s website to learn more about the organization and discover ways to get involved. In addition, you can read more about our honoree Sharon Bush and her numerous accomplishments on CWIP’s Annual Luncheon event page.

previous blog
No previous post
next blog