Black Bench Chicago Prepares Black Millennials For Civic Engagement
A local organization in Chicago was founded to educate individuals interested in politics. The impact of Black Bench Chicago has been felt in only a few short years.
According to the group’s website, Black Bench Chicago wants to help develop leaders in the Black community “who can create and carry out a plan that delivers Black Chicagoans resources.” They want to assist people aged 25 to 45 who want to create political movements while serving in civic engagement, civil service, elected office, and strategic leadership from Chicago’s South, East, and West sides.
One of the organization’s co-founders, Alexandra Sims-Jones, spoke to WTTW News recently to explain the virtues of the group and the work behind it. “There’s a gap between generations and passing knowledge,” she stated.
Black Bench Chicago helps connect older generations of people involved in the civic arena with younger individuals who want to embrace the spectrum of politics. The interaction between the generations will help older people share lessons in civic engagement and organizing with their younger counterparts.
“It’s invaluable to have a space specifically for Black millennials, Sims-Jones also said. “There’s comfort in having a space where someone’s expertise won’t be judged because of implicit or explicit racism.”
There have been discussions from polished political leaders like Ken Bennett, who used to work for Chicgao’s own, former President Barack Obama. There have also been past successes within the group, including people like Kennedy Bartley, the new executive director of United Working Families, and Anthony Driver, the president of Chicago’s Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.
“It’s safe without those pressures, and it’s incredibly refreshing,” Sims-Jones said of the organization.
More information on how to join Black Bench Chicago and learn more about the organization can be found on the group’s website.