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2023 Convening on IL Black Families

Why We Are Here

The Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative (IBAI) is a Black-centered advocacy organization dedicated to building power across Black communities in Illinois, utilizing the foundational principles of justice, equity, and abundance. IBAI recognizes that throughout this nation’s history, Black children, parents, and families have been under assault, resulting in the continual disruption, rupture, and destruction of Black parent-child, family, and community relationships, the core of connection and belonging in society. 

IBAI affirms the civil, constitutional, and human rights to family integrity, privacy, and autonomy of Black Illinois families; supports individual and communal reparations for the historical and ongoing destructive impacts of the family regulation system (FRS); and commits to securing increased access by Black families to concrete resources untethered from presumptions of “child maltreatment.” 

Central to national efforts to reform, transform and even abolish the FRS are increasingly urgent demands

to confront and eliminate the commodification andexploitation of Black children and parents and the trauma inflicted by the policies, laws, practices, and funding choices. With this convening, IBAI seeks to catalyze a statewide movement focused on eliminating the terror and destruction inflicted by the family regulation system, and investing in community resources to create environments where Black children and families in Illinois can thrive. 

This event will convene influential Illinois stakeholders to: (1)  analyze the current family regulation system landscape for Black residents of Illinois; (2) engage with advocates and funders focused on family regulation outside of Illinois and (3) identify key actions necessary to end the reach of the Illinois family regulation system’s destructive impacts on Black children, parents, and communities. The convening will position Illinois stakeholders to engage effectively in the national conversation and catalyze activism and organization around these critical issues.

The Day's Agenda

9:00AM - 9:15 AM

Welcome & Overview

  • Patrice James, Executive Director, Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM

Live Experience Experts Discussion

  • Moderator: Tony Lawlor, Parents Overcoming Welfare-system Regulation(s) (POWR)

  • Presenters / Discussants:

- Chris Patterson, Crown Family Philanthropies​

- Shamika Robinson, Educator & Parent Advocate

10:05 AM - 10:45 AM

Historical, Political. Social Context

  • Moderator: Angela Olivia Burton, Esq.

  • Presenters / Discussants:

- Kelley Fong, Author, Investigating Families: Motherhood in the Shadow of 

   Child Protective Services

- David P. Kelly, The Family Justice Group

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Movement Building - Community Organizing, Advocacy & Lawyering

  • Moderator: Angela Olivia Burton, Esq.

  • Presenters / Discussants:

- Amanda Wallace, Operation Stop CPS​

- Bashira McDaniel, Operation Stop CPS

- jasmine Sankofa, Movement for Family Power

11:30 AM - 11:40 AM

Overview of Afternoon Session

  • Review data packets

11:40 AM - 12:40 PM

Working Lunch - Data Review and Discussion

  • Breakouts by affinity group:

- Lived experience

- Government

- Community organizers / advocacy

- Philanthropy

12:40 PM - 12:50 PM

Break (10 minutes) 

12:50 PM - 1:15 PM

Report Out - Reflection - Takeaways

Afternoon Session: Contextualizing the Data

What the data tells us about the realities of family regulation / the family policing system for Black Illinois families

1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Legal / Court System Experience & Impacts: How Family Policing of Black Children, Parents, and Families Shows Up in Legal System

  • Charnelle Dunlap, Cook County Public Defender

  • Melissa Staas, Legal Aid Chicago

  • Sara Block, Ascend Justice

  • Melissa Frydman, University of Illinois, Family Advocacy Clinic

1:50 PM - 2:35 PM

Role of Philanthropy

  • Mishi Faruqee, Andrus Family Fund

  • Jessica Maxwell, Executive Director, Redlich Horwitz Foundation

2:35 PM - 2:45 PM

Break (10 minutes)

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

State Senator Lakeisa Collins

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Call to Action: Where Do We Go From Here? - Theories of Change

  • Corey Best, Mining for Gold

  • Lyman Legters, Casey Family Programs

  • Aaron Goldstein, Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender

  • Erin Miles Cloud, Civil Rights Corps.

4:00 PM - 4:10 PM

Closing Remarks

  • Patrice James, Executive Director, IBAI

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM


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