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What we do

The Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative is dedicated to building and harnessing power to create equitable opportunities and outcomes for Black Illinoisans. IBAI expands the capacity of Black-community focused organizations and advances public policy.


IBAI supports aligned organizations working to expand and create opportunities for Black Illinoisans. We leverage their expertise and network as we build Black political power.


IBAI equips civic and philanthropic leaders, state and local agencies, and advocates with the resources necessary to ensure that their initiatives are inclusive of and contribute to the well-being of Black communities.


IBAI identifies and creates opportunities to drive positive social change for Black Illinoisans through policy development and advocacy.

Our Work

Parent & Family Advocacy

Family is the cornerstone of all societies and cultures. This is especially true for Black communities, where family extends beyond blood relations, often encompassing a broader network of kinship and communal support. Despite the value and importance of families, Black families have been plagued by systemic injustices and anti-Black racism by the child welfare system, more recently known to us as the Family Regulation System. IBAI recognizes the removal and disruption of Black families by the Family Regulation System as an act of state violence. 

IBAI raises the social consciousness and awareness of the impact of the Family Regulation System on Black families in Illinois.

We advance policies aimed at supporting Black families, especially those that have been pushed to the margins.

We defend against policies aimed at keeping Black families entangled in systems of oppression.


Budget Advocacy

Budgets reflect values and every new budget is an opportunity to reimagine the state’s spending priorities. The annual budget process offers communities an opportunity to influence and demand how public funds are spent. 

IBAI supports a growing network of advocates and organizations to strengthen our collective budget advocacy and analysis to advance budgetary priorities for Black communities.

Narrative & Storytelling

Storytelling is a traditional cultural practice in Black communities and historically, we have been drivers of cultural movements. Stories allow us to connect across differences and to generate narratives that hold our organizations and movements together. 

IBAI drives and supports the creation of Black narratives to advance organizing and public policy campaigns.

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