At Adelante Center, we focus exclusively on developing programs and projects that benefit Lake County and the surrounding areas. In this week's community spotlight, we connected with North Chicago Think Tank to better understand how they’re benefiting the community of North Chicago, Illinois.
The North Chicago Think Tank is a non-profit organization that focuses on equality and creating solutions for local socio-political issues. They're able to do so by collaborating with like-minded organizations and individuals to improve overall effectiveness of their programming.
Continue reading our North Chicago Think Tank spotlight series for more insight!
This is an interview with William Coleman (aka Billy), Executive Director.
Q: How do your programs relate to this bigger picture and make an impact on the community?
Okay, so I'm going to talk about five of our programs.
The first program I'm going to talk about is our mental health first-aid certification course. This is a partnership with "Boys and Girls Club of Lake County," and this program provides general mental health first-aid knowledge to community members in and around North Chicago, Waukegan and Zion. And that really helps them get the language that they need to start making mental health conversations normal in our community.
The next program I'm going to talk about is My Global Adventures, one of my favorite programs. This program provides young ones with the ability to develop an authentic global identity through virtual adventures around the world. And this relates to the larger picture because it really gives an expansive perception of education and self. So letting the children know there are more options out there, you can go as far as you want, or you can stay home if you want as well.
Another program that I think is really important is our Naming Structural Violence and Hostility and Safe Spaces Workshop. This program assists the community in better understanding structural violence and how to name it. Not only name it, but also to demand its removal from spaces claiming to be safe and inclusive. And this is really important when we talk about anti-violence projects and programs, understanding that violence is not always just a physical punch or physical feeling. It might be psychological, it could be systemic, it could be latent. It's not always manifest for everyone to see.
We also have CBO or Community Based Organization Wishlist workshop. This program provides resources and tools to local community members with ideas and programs to help them become more attractive and qualified for funding and sponsorship opportunities. This has a great impact on our community because it makes more entities eligible for dollars and more eligible for collaboration with federal and state programming.
And lastly, I'm going to talk about "Mommy and Me," one of my favorite programs. This program looks at the overall health of women and their children in North Chicago and asks are they getting access to healthy breakfast? Are they given the time and space to breathe and work out in a natural setting? And what can one Saturday a week do to improve the mental and physical well-being of black women and their children in North Chicago?
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North Chicago Think Tank Resources:
"We are a nonprofit, anti-racist, equity focused organization that empowers & centers the voices of community members while building bridges to "seats at the table" where decisions are made. We collaborate with strategic planners, program developers, state & federal grant owners, government agencies, community-based organizations, program administrators and boots on the ground outreach teams to improve the effectiveness of programming aimed at improving the quality of life for the community of North Chicago, Illinois." Learn More>>
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