Category Archives: Volunteering

Relocating With Your Dreams

This is a guest post from Keena Stephens

In July 2010, I made a career and life move by relocating to Atlanta, GA. My decision to move was greatly influenced by a trip to Atlanta in May 2010 during a visit to my cousin. My perception of the city prior to this visit was largely connected to the family trips to Ellenwood (suburban Atlanta), AUC Homecomings, and the glamorized view of Atlanta from TV shows such as The RealHousewives of Atlanta. During this trip, I gained a real perspective of the city of Atlanta. While visiting, I volunteered for a career day event at Sylvan Hills middle school. I witnessed the teachers work overtime to develop this event and their everyday curriculum with limited resources while working to reshape the minds of the students and expose them to positive role models and examples of the fruits of a college education. More importantly, the teachers were accomplishing this with within a community where the students were regularly exposed to images that were the extreme opposite. Here I was, in the middle of the beautiful “A-Town” and it looked no different from my neighborhood in Roseland or my dad’s old neighborhood in Englewood in Chicago. These students had the same fears, hopes, and dreams as the kids back home, and unfortunately the same barriers.

Atlanta Skyline

Atlanta Skyline (Photo credit: k1ng)

What I realized most was that although Chicago will always be my hometown, this city that others see as the Mecca for Black Wealth has ghettos, poverty, poor healthcare, violence and disparities in the delivery of resources to poor communities. These are the same issues that you will see in almost any American city. This changed my perspective of community to a more all-inclusive look at poverty across the country. I realize that no matter what a city may look like from a visitor’s perspective, it must be acknowledged that those that dwell in that city may share the same struggles of what you know of your very own city. The grass is not greener. There is work to be done across this country and more, globally. I personally focus my efforts on communities that are impoverished, considered low-income or have a poor school system. Other factors of service for me include- limited access to healthcare and other necessary functional resources. However, the community you choose to assist with should be near in both distance and to your passion. So, as my heart and efforts will still be tied to my hometown and my old Roseland southside Chicago neighborhood, I will not dare overlook and refuse to take part in the Sylvan Hill, Bankhead, West-End areas where those that look like me are suffering like my people back in the most impoverished areas in Chicago.

Tips on relocating or consideration before moving

1- Visit the community for an extended period of time. This will allow you to develop a connection to that community and build relationships. You can become apart of the community if you don’t associate with the people within it. If you have not chosen a neighborhood, this will help you determine which areas fit your personality and interests.

2- Join a volunteer group after moving. My first major activity upon moving to Atlanta was the CHAMPS Health Summit in 2010. I worked with Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory, and the Midtown Urology Staff on this health screening drive for men of color. Not only was this a rewarding experience to be able to coach these men in taking care of their health, but I also met new friends and people that were doing great things in my career field. I later gained a great position working with one of the companies at the Health Summit.

3- Try not to compare your new place to your old city. I find a lot of people who constantly compare their new city to their old city, sometimes end up moving or completely missing out on the experiences that they can gain from relocating. For me, Atlanta is not Chicago, but I have found wonderful things specific to Atlanta that have made my move worthwhile. Every city has its own character, so exhaust the possibilities that your new city has to offer.

4-Try new hobbies and find new friends ASAP. When in Rome do as Romans do. I am a die-hard Bears fan, but I tailgate with the Falcons fans as often as possible….with my Bears shirt on of course! The best thing about relocating is that you have the opportunity to try things that you did not or could not try at home. This may include new foods, outdoor adventures, or anything fun that you may not have done in your old city. A great website to meet new friends and find out what is going on in your new city is You can find a group that may have hobbies you do or hobbies you have always wanted to do.

5-Before you move at all consider finances first. This is the number one tip I can give before you relocate. Please do your homework. Actually find out what the actual cost of living is for that city, not just relying on the internet posted prices. Look into all additional costs as well including sales taxes, costs to insure and register vehicles, gas and proximity from home to work, and average utility costs. Finally, research the costs to move from your location to your new destination. These figures will help you to determine if your budget will support you relocating.

Good luck!


Keena Stephens is a 28 year-old African-American woman, born and raised in a two parent home in the Roseland Community on Chicago’s Southside.  Her upbringing instilled in her the passion for community outreach and has been a major influence in her work as a healthcare practitioner.  At the age of 18, Keena received her license as a Practical Nurse and worked her way through college, graduating in May of 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Upon graduation she worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, IL until her move to Atlanta, GA in July 2010. 

While in Atlanta, GA, Ms. Stephens has worked as a Research Coordinator for Morehouse School of Medicine and more recently as a Research Project Coordinator for the Atlanta VA Medical Center.  Her affiliation with both Morehouse School of Medicine and the Atlanta VA Medical Center has afforded her the opportunity to reach a diverse healthcare population; underserved areas through community clinics and health education fairs as well as Veteran support outreach.  She is currently in pursuit of her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a specialty in Family Practice.  Her goal is to provide holistic, comprehensive healthcare to patients of all levels of income through evidence-based practice.  Keena is a social butterfly and enjoys spreading her positive energy in and out of the workplace.  In her free time she enjoys traveling, great food, and getting acquainted with her new city.


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Yes Girl

Nine times out of ten I say “YES”. I say yes to my instincts, friends, co-workers, students, and family. I am the woman that believes unless the request is dangerous or wholly contradicts my ultimate goals, I can take part and say YES.

Although I am proud to be a “YES girl?” I strongly suggest that anyone wanting to say go through the checklist below prior to committing.

– ask questions about timeline and the time commitment expected from you;

– ask about the specifics of your role and;

– ask about the resources available to you and the project in general

These questions should allow you to offer a variation of one of the following responses:

1) YES, I can fully commit, email me all details.Thank you for thinking of me.

2) YES,, I can work on the project but I am limited to …..(state your limited involvement based on your  physical, emotional, or mental limits.)

3) YES, I can support by connecting you with (insert name or tangible resource for the project).

4) unfortunately I am unable to assist as this opportunity does not align with my availability.

Why YES?

I have found that most subjects and skills are interdisciplinary and transferable. I say YES, because my experiences have proven that I am constantly being prepared for my future and that most opportunities enhance a skill or help me to overcome a future challenge.

Ultimately I say YES, for the person who always hears no.

How do you feel about being a “YES,” person?

Below is a link to an article that discusses saying no:


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365 Girls Rock Foundation: Community Asset and Success Formula

No one can argue against the need for meaningful programming geared toward positively impacting youth. The number of youth programs and initiatives that sprout up on an annual basis makes it difficult for each organization to stand out, but the women of 365 Girls Rock Foundation are quickly making headway with their persistent marketing efforts and quality programming.

365 Girls Rock Foundation is an organization spun from the book 365 Girl: Daily Affirmation’s. 365’s mission is to empower young ladies 365 days a year. Ultimately 365 looks to redirect adolescent behavior so that the sacredness of femininity and the moral compass of womanhood can be recaptured for our children, and our children’s children. The founder, Tracey Sydnor has teamed up with some very talented and dedicated women to ensure the sustainability of 365. The leadership team of 365 as pictured below is Tia Hawkins, Tracey Hawkins-Sydnor, and Michele Taylor.

365 Girls Team

Tracey has been working with youth for years but decided to go to the next level with 365 after observing many negative trends regarding young girls disregard for social media etiquette, carless attitude toward respect, and lack of desire to be great. 365 Girl serves as a motivational read for young girls that include affirmations and other inspirational words created to provide guidance for youth. Each chapter has a different theme such as social motivation, physical fitness, educational attainment, and sexual awareness as well as a chapter on how to deal with pain. Tracey’s background in the military provides her with the unique experience and exposure to model resilience, adaptation, and strength in spite of challenges.

The leadership of 365 has been conducting workshops across the nation based on the tenets of the book. 365 has expanded to include 365 Girl World (weekly radio show), 365 Girl Prayer Conference (prayer call twice a month), a city-wide pajama conference (12 hour action packed night of fun, empowerment, and motivation), an upcoming dress drive, and more. The weekly radio show hosts are Tia Hawkins (College Girl) Michele Taylor (The advocate) Shayla Courtney (The Heiress) and Tracey Sydnor (Ultimate 365 Girl).

The organization is in need of volunteers in the areas of photography, computer expertise, sound engineering, cosmetology, and teaching. Volunteers can assist with upcoming workshops across the nation as well as helping with hands-on tasks including collecting and wrapping dresses for girls ages 10-18. Next year the pajama girl conference will be expanding to 4 cities including Grand Rapids, MI, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA and Chicago, IL- which will be a great opportunity for girls and volunteers everywhere to become involved.

Girls become involved in 365 on a first come first serve basis. Any girl who wants to take part in a 365 event can pre-register on Facebook, twitter, email, or any other outlet they can imagine.  At times people are hesitant and curious about 365’s free opportunities but Tracey states that once parents and guardians visit their social media sites or get to know the leadership, they are more inclined to sign-up their young girls. Present and greeting parents during check-in and check-out, Tracey and Michele help to increase parents trust and willingness to enroll their most prized possession in 365 events. Mt. Carmel M.B. Church family has also shown a lot of support to 365 by providing male volunteers as security for events that require such. Off duty police officers from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) also volunteer!

365 reaches out to community’s that lack resources and local opportunities. During the first year, Michele and Tracey completed door to door marketing in CHA’s Dearborn Holmes Housing as well as schools in the same neighborhood. Fliers are also shared with local churches, restaurants, and salons, where parents of adolescents would frequent. 365 networks effectively through social media, college alumni networks, and church affiliations. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Tracey has been able to garner support from Greek lettered organizations as well. Other organizations that 365 supports and receives support from include Joshua Mercer and Swish Dreams Educational & Sports Foundation for “Swish Girls”, Barbara Ellzey and R.E.A.C.H., Jennifer Reid and SHERO, Phoenix Owens and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. Inc., and Christine Hansberry/Pamela Linton with S.M.I.L.E (King College Preparatory HS) just to name a few.

Through strategic partnerships and alliances with public and charter schools, 365 will expand on their academic focus. Collaborations with the Chicago Defender Newspaper and other local businesses between Chicago, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles has increased the visibility of 365 tremendously.

I am excited about the progress and future of 365 Girls Rock Foundation. From the sidelines, I have been able to witness the commitment and enthusiasm of the 365 leadership team. I am impressed and support their organization 365 days a year. To learn more about 365, check out the links below.


Twitter: @365GirlWorld




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Success Formula: Dr. Chandra Gill

You can learn a lot about a person by becoming familiar with their reputation. Dr. Chandra Gill’s testimonials on her website and in her book “Champions Break Chains”, is the evidence that supports the impact she has made on the lives of people across the United States in her efforts to Motivate to Educate.” Dr. Gill holds a Ph.D from the University of Illinois in Educational Policy Studies where she focused on the absence of minority and youth voice in academia as it relates to the educational settings and needs of students of color. Dr. Gill is one of the most prevalent leaders currently rallying for educational change.

Although I never know what to expect from my interviewees, I am always eager for the knowledge each Success Formula has to share. My interview with Dr. Gill is important for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because I know that she overcame a struggle few with freedom can freely discuss. Every year a criminal amount of African-Americans become entangled in the justice system. Years ago while working toward her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Gill became a victim of the system as well.

During a field trip with students to an intense basketball game between two local high school rivalries, Gill’s co-chaperone was put in handcuffs by a plain clothes police officer after a game changing play. The events that followed included Dr. Gill having a seizure in which officers mistook for an attack. Although captured on film, Dr. Gill was still arrested and charged for assaulting an officer of the law. Despite the trauma of becoming a “Ph.D. felon”, Dr. Gill has never ceased or staggered in her commitment to bring equality to the educational system in which our youth and families rely on to improve their quality of life.

A recipient of the inaugural Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship Program, Dr. Gill has relentlessly engaged in dialogue and outreach that encourages access to education for minorities. Going a step further Dr. Gill founded Blackademically Speaking Enterprises, a company that focuses on understanding cultural barriers that prevent young people from being motivated to learn. A short list of what Dr. Gill and Blackademically Speaking are doing to affect community development include weekly talks in Woodlawn at St. John Temple on Monday nights as well as regular speaking engagements and workshops throughout the United States to educators, parents, and students that focus on overcoming obstacles to academic attainment. Most recently Blackademically Speaking coordinated a celebratory field trip for some of Chicago’s excelling high school scholars. Dr. Gill’s message always encourages “going back to give back”, which is one of the reasons Blackademically Speaking was born, and will be raised in her home community, Woodlawn (Chicago).

Chicago's top high school students

Dr. Gill is committed to educating young people in a way that is unmatched by many others that make the same claim. She has been taking on responsibility that shifts the blame of what is happening to children who are victims of a failed educational system. “We must deal with challenges in our community once they have been identified”, says Dr.Gill. Her courage to act as a community agent stems from growing up in a two parent household with parents that instilled in her the importance of understanding what one could be versus who they are. For example, driving through his old neighborhood on the west side, Dr. Gill’s father would point out people that fell victim to drugs and violence despite their leadership and notoriety as youth.

Dr. Gill’s parents did not shy away from voicing their opinion about community happenings. As an investor and stakeholder of their community, each of her parents knew they had a right to voice their opinions and solutions about their neighborhood, but always focusing on developing their first community- home. When Dr. Gill and her brother would receive new clothes or shoes, her parents would say “if we see you bragging to others about what you have, we will take it from you”. Today, Dr. Gill is happy about her achievements, but never compares her blessings to others.

It is always important to understand how Success Formula’s multi-achieve. Dr. Gill plans and seeks counsel through scriptures and the Holy Bible. “I am growing up in God and learning balance by listening to the Holy Spirit. For Blackademically Speaking this means I have to learn to say ‘No….. I can’t do everything’.” And on a more practical note Dr. Gill hired an administrative assistant in order to be 100% effective. Meditation and surrounding herself with individuals that understand the vision of Blackademically Speaking are also important factors that allow Dr. Gill to maintain her mental health during this journey.

When I asked her to share with me a community asset that she feels is a hidden gem, Dr. Gill quickly replied, “children are a community asset that have been written off; they are the gems God blessed us with.”

These moments are why I do this – to be reminded of things society and time would so easily have us forget.

I doubt that my interview has done justice to the road map that Dr. Chandra Gill is creating. What I can tell you is that her passion, dedication, and resourcefulness are aspects of success that I hope to emulate in all of my commitments.

Dr. Chandra Gill’s Success Formula= Motivate to Educate + Family first + Guided by the Holy Spirit+ Culturally relevant academia

More Dr. Chandra Gill

What allows you to wear your greatness?

“I’m trying to not spend a lot of time wasting my time.” Dr. Gill’s spare time is spent with family, learning family history and embracing family as her first community. Recently Dr. Gill learned that she was not the first of her family to go to college. This was discovered after exploring more about her family tree, thus showing the importance of connecting and engaging with family.

What is your idea of community development?

“Community development must include the future! The future is the young people. Although the elders voice is important because it started with their gifts and ingenuity, we must transition leadership to youth 15-20 years old. Community development should be a fluid discussion and plan that includes educational values, economic empowerment, sustainability, and spiritual aspects.”

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

January kick off for Blackademically Speaking 2012 initiatives to include students at all grade levels being active participants in community efforts to “Motivate to Educate.


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“Later” or “No”- ASCW (life plan 4)

The most important part about writing down your goals and planning for your future is REVISITNG your plan and goals. As a consultant I have worked on a lot of business plans for clients and it is amazing to see how invested I become in their futures by engaging in their work. I have noticed that the longer I stay away from my personal and professional goals, the less connection I have to them.

Recently I reviewed my life plan. And I want to share with you all my Volunteer Category. As you will see below, I think volunteering is a mutually beneficial opportunity for the volunteer and the organization or persons seeking assistance. At the time I drafted this section in early March everything below was true.


Purpose: To bridge resources for causes that need assistance

Outcomes: “Ashley contributed countless hours of service that assisted in building individuals self esteem, decreasing homelessness in urban cities, and redirecting youth to become social agents for community change.”

Vision: I volunteer 2-3 hours a week of my physical time on site. I volunteer my skill set 2-3 hours a week off site to help improve the sustainability of an organization. I learn about new opportunities and meet new people who help increase my perspective on the organizations I support. I complete one-time, short- term, and long- term projects. My volunteer life is secondary to my income activities and the needs of my loved ones. I will not have more than 2 volunteer projects simultaneously.

Reality: I physically volunteer about 2-3 hours a month. I volunteer about 10-15 hours a month off site to help improve the sustainability of organizations. People refer me as a volunteer for my skills and reliable reputation. I am willing to volunteer to learn new skills or enhance existing ones. I have had to cut back on my volunteering due to rising gas prices and re-prioritizing.

My current update is that I am trying to align my volunteer activities with my studies and professional experiences. I am interested in a lot of topics, but looking back at my life plan reminded me of what I made a conscious decision to become involved in. For a person like me, compassionate, always wanting to help, and easily intrigued, it is important to have a guide that allows me to know what to say “no” or “later” to.

As I was write this, I recall hearing friends and family say that they are learning to say “no” when asked to assist with certain projects.

I do not want to always say “no” but instead want to be able to say “later” or figure out a schedule that will allow me to take on an additional opportunity when the time is right. So many issues and people are correlated and sometimes you can’t learn about one without engaging with the other.

What helps you guide your volunteer choices or other decisions that dictate your time?

Below is an article that discusses why you would say “no”. It is also provides some insight on the benefits of saying “no” and offers strategies to help you do so.


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Success Formula: Felicia Simpson

If you do not have a Felicia on your team, you need one.

Felicia Simpson is a mother, a friend, a full-time employee at a social service agency, and most recently, she is the Founder and Executive Director of A New Me Foundation (ANMF), an organization that provides comprehensive family services for victims and survivors of domestic violence. As a progressive organization, ANMF focuses on the entire family unit to end the cycle of domestic violence that may easily continue when initiatives solely focus on women as victims.

Over the past 6 months I have had the opportunity to work up close and personal with Felicia, one of the most tenacious and dedicated people I have ever met. On a mission to uproot domestic violence, Felicia has devoted the rest her life (time, resources, energy, conversations, actions, and goals) to “breaking the silence” that leads individuals, families, and communities, to suffer a variety of ills. Having initially formed a business relationship, I have grown to admire Felicia and her relentless pursuit of advocacy as it relates to her passions.

Felicia’s networking abilities impress me most. Not only does she make connections with people and organizations from various backgrounds, she finds a way to connect others interest with what she holds near and dear to her heart. This is a skill that many may take for granted, but that through observation, I have watched Felicia and her organization, A New Me Foundation, begin the marathon of a lifetime.

You will never hear Felicia boast, but instead she will factually explain to you that she has been fortunate enough “to have access to minorities in the community whose issues or causes go unnoticed. I refer people and organizations to places with large and small client intake….people gravitate to me as a resource.” Claiming the victory that has already been given to her, Felicia has mentally and emotionally prepared for the uphill battle that comes along with sacrifice and hard work.

When entering a project, partnership, or community, Felicia does the necessary background research that is sure to guarantee the longevity of her platform and life blueprint. I respect that Felicia knows enough about her strengths and weaknesses to decipher when she needs help and when she is the best person for the job. Admittedly she has exceptional multi-tasking skills, reputable work ethic, offers culturally appropriate/relevant options in all that she does, and completes tasks in and orderly and effective manner. As an advocate for domestic violence Felicia says that “it goes beyond day-to-day operations, I go in the trenches and cross all borders”.

Advocacy work and founding an organization with big goals requires strength strategies that keep you focused when the situation seems hopeless. Felicia uses a vision board to stay on track and professes that her plan is bigger than the American Dream. During the launch of ANMF Felicia had to assess all the challenges that would hinder her organization from living up to its purpose. During her first event at a church, when she did not reach her target number of attendees she realized that a church atmosphere may have been an obstacle for her target population.

Her advice for success during a start-up endeavor includes writing down your goals, target dates, and being as specific as possible (i.e. listing resources, locations, etc.). “I have folders for each event and follow-up with networking leads because you never know who knows the person you need to know.” Community assets that she encourages include churches, local businesses, bartering, block clubs, and getting to know your aldermen/ local representative.

With ease, Felicia fluidly transitions crowds and spaces. I have learned more from Felicia about commitment and sacrifice than I have from high-powered CEOs. I am certain that Felicia is a legacy in the making and I am happy to have played a role in the encouragement and action steps that will one day lead to the ANMF Vision:

A New Me Foundation will be the leading model of culturally appropriate, comprehensive services and supports for victims and survivors of domestic violence primarily in the Chicagoland area and abroad.

Felicia is the type of person that you need on your team; she is sure to keep you grounded, laughing, and inspired.

Felicia Simpson’s Success Formula= Tenacity + Advocacy + Organization + Self Awareness

More On Felicia Simpson

SMART goal= Provide direct services that eliminate the need for shelters for victims and survivors of domestic violence (decreased statistics within 3 years)

What is Community Development?- Bringing together stakeholders and residents to develop and create resources that help the community

Upcoming ANMF Events:

September 13, 2011 at 5:30pm ANMF will be participating in the Walk the Course event for domestic violence awareness at the Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (Lemont, IL)
September 24, 2011 at 7pm ANMF will be hosting a “Movie Night” Social
October 3, 2011 at noon ANMF will be honoring the kick off of Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the annual rally at the Thompson Center (downtown)
October 6, 2011 ANMF will be attending a “Pour” for Connections for Abused Women and Their Children event held at the Grossinger City Autoplex
October 8, 2011 Felicia will be a panelist at Lucid Life Works & the Red Pump Project’s open forum, geared towards Chicago’s inner-city young adults, surrounding the topic of AIDS and HIV.  Felicia will be answering questions regarding the intersections between HIV/AIDS and domestic violence.
October 15, 2011 Felicia will be the guest speaker at Mt. Carmel Church, 740 East 42nd Street, domestic violence luncheon
October 23, 2011 Felicia will be the guest speaker at the Hey Gural Dinner & Play honoring domestic violence awareness month
October 27, 2011 Felicia will be facilitating a webinar on domestic violence at South Side Help Center
October 27, 2011 ANMF will be hosting a Relationship Forum to honor domestic violence awareness month at The Music Station
October 29, 2011 ANMF and local volunteers will be volunteering at the Pacific Garden Homeless Shelter in Chicago, IL recognizing victims and survivors who have left their homes of violence and now dwell in homeless shelters 

Contact Info:
Felicia T. Simpson
P.O. Box 377722
Chicago, IL 60637

Updates 10/27/2011

During the months of September and October, through ANMF Felicia coordinated and/or took part in 8 different events focused on DV.

– ANMF hosted a “Movie Night”- At the end of each movie, we discussed unhealthy choices, risky behaviors and ways that domestic violence could have been prevented.
– I met with Attorney Lynette Lewis to began the incorporation process for ANMF.  During this time, we went over the goals of ANMF, timeline for incorporation, fees, etc. 
– I was a panelist for a Teen HIV/AIDS Forum with Lucid Life Works organization and sponsors for this included the Red Pump Project and South Side Help Center. At the end of this forum, I was amazed that almost everyone that attended, GOT TESTED and waited for the results.  
-I was the guest speaker at Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, at their annual Domestic Violence Prayer Breakfast.  During this time, I shared my personal testimony of being a victim of domestic violence. After the breakfast was over, a line of women, young and old, shared their powerful testimonies and reached out to me to seek services that ANMF provides.
– I was invited as a guest speaker for the morning service at Temple of Glory International Church, honoring Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  During this time I again shared my testimony, provided the congregation with facts about domestic violence and provided them with resources to use if they are victims and/or know of someone that is and could use ANMF services.
-I spoke briefly with the congregation at Greater Walters A.M.E. Zion Church as they honored Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I recited a poem with facts about domestic violence to help raise awareness and set up a resource table to get information regarding domestic violence and ANMF services.
– I was the guest speaker at Hey G.U.R.A.L. dinner and play ” When He took Over”.  I talked to the audience about domestic violence, my testimony and ways to take this information back to their homes and communities.  I also set up a resource table to get information regarding domestic violence and ANMF services.  During the intermission of the play, I was the receipent of the Hey G.U.R.A.L Leadership Award for the dedication and commitment I have to help break the silence and reconstruct families, victims and survivors of domestic violence.A former male victim of domestic violence who later became a batterer asked for ANMF services for ways to network on teaching workshops. 
-ANMF annual event honoring Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The Relationship Forum.  This forum purpose is to get the community out and discuss ways to improve unhealthy relationships and raise awareness and the importance of educating at a group level, on domestic violence. Proceeds raised from this event will be donated to the Greenhouse Shelter that house battered women and their children.
-ANMF will sponsor 10 volunteers to go to the Pacific Garden Mission homeless shelter as we recognize that domestic violence can cause victims and survivors to become homeless at some point while leaving an abusive relationship or homelessness is the result after a divorce or final breakup from the abusive partner. 
– ANMF will set up an exhibit booth both days of the stage play, “RADIO” at The United Church of Hyde Park.   The writer of the play Baus Antoine is an outstanding vessel in the community that wrote this play in honor of domestic violence and his commitment to raise awareness about domestic violence.



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Community Asset: Young Nonprofit Professionals Network- Chicago

Nonprofit orgs are a dime a dozen. With this being the case, how does one go about standing out in this field of tax-exemption and community causes? 

One way is to network. Although this word is now used with less intent as its original context, the Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN) holds true to its networking purpose. This entry focuses particularly on the Chicago chapter of YNPN. 

Mission: The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago) strengthens the nonprofit community by providing accessible professional development, resources, and networking opportunities for young professionals involved in the Chicago-area nonprofit sector. 

How is the mission accomplished: YNPN offers a variety of cost efficient hands-on opportunities for young professionals seeking to solidify themselves as a player in the nonprofit industry. YNPN also host social and service activities including: volunteer day and speed networking. 

Numerous workshops, leadership trainings, volunteer slots, weekly newsletters, and a blog site (in which I was published), are some of the platforms created by YNPN. 

The benefits of the FREE membership are:

  • Be the first to know about our Events, including professional development workshops, social events, volunteer outings, and our Annual Celebration.
  • Search our online Member Directory to network with more than 3,500 nonprofit professionals in the Chicago area.
  • Search for and post jobs in our online Career Center
  • Talk to other members in the online Discussion Center
  • Subscriptions to useful e-mails, such as our monthly e-newsletter, weekly jobs e-mail, and daily digest of Discussion Center posts.

This is just one of the many opportunities that one can find when looking to stand out in the nonprofit arena. 

What are some other community assets or resources for nonprofit professionals seeking exposure and networking opportunities?


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