Closing The Gap

Of Education Economics Health

For You.

Join The Movement!

BCC Is Grounded By Research And Connected By Action.

What We Know

CPS NEEDS OUR HELP

“We are requesting that Chicago Public Schools establish a Black Student Achievement Taskforce to work in concert with the district to support our children’s academic growth—increasing graduation, college, and career success rates,” writes Chicago parent Natasha Dunn.”

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, the achievement gap between Black and white students is currently 36 percentage points with a 10-point gap between Latinx and Black students. 

We are very concerned about the quality of education provided to Black children in Chicago Public Schools and the safety of our families. Before the start of the pandemic, schools in African American neighborhoods struggled with maintenance, cleaning, and staffing shortages. The launch of virtual learning was a catastrophic failure leaving many students behind and without the support needed to catch up and close the gaps that persisted before the pandemic.

Public school buildings are a vital asset to our community that should serve as a hub for learning and a refuge for our most vulnerable population. To create racial equity, we must close the achievement gap and provide every opportunity for Black children to thrive. We want to ensure that schools are not just fully staffed, but staffed with adults that understand the cultural needs of Black children and are vested in their academic success. We also need Local School Councils to have the tools and financial resources necessary to govern safely through this pandemic.

87

87% of parents would like to learn more about CPS policy and the resources available to support their child’s academic growth.

50

Only 50% of Black parents felt their students’ academic needs were met.

104,000

Between 2000-2022 the black student population has decreased more than 104,000.
Education Meets Economics

“The black community in Chicago has been in a pandemic before the pandemic even started” 

Brian Mullins | Chicago Community Activist

Black Chicagoans have experienced an epidemic of unemployment and violence most notably in the last three decades.  Research continues to show us that education outcomes such as graduation rates, math and literacy grade level performance & school discipline data have a direct influence on the community’s financial viability. Our focus is to bring forth solutions that create a holistic approach to acknowledging disparaging data points while taking facilitative action to spur change.  Here are economic data findings that illustrate the realities of black financial well being and the impact on the community. 

Workers classified as White make up 78.2 of the workforce in Illinois while the Black workforce is 13.1 percent.

78.2%

Compared to Whites in Illinois, the Black unemployment rate is 3xs higher.

85%

In 2020, 79% of homicides/shooting victims in the City of Chicago were Black people

79%
200
Over 200,000 black people in Illinois are without jobs.  

These findings were researched and published by the Illinois Future of Work Taskforce

We Need Your Help

Sign up and join us in support of our initiatives to help better our community.

Who We Are

Grounded By Research And Connected By Action

We collect data and research to train and empower stakeholders. We work with our affiliate organizations to provide support, share information, and bring Black voices to the table with decision-makers to transform our community.

Our Mission

Our mission is to close educational, economic, and health gaps that have historically disenfranchised our communities. Our goal is to examine and dismantle structural racism to generate equity and parity for African Americans.

Background

BCC is grounded by research and connected by action. WE conduct research and gather data to inform and empower stakeholders. WE collaborate with affiliate organizations to bring black voices to the table with decision makers to create collective impact. WE focus on the power of community through campaigns that build awareness and convene leaders to advocate for access to quality public schools, housing, jobs and health services.

Our Guiding Principles:

Anchor | Educate | Empower

Anchor Community

“We meet our people where they are!”
  • Activate real community based conversations
  • Listen and document the perspectives, passions and pains alongside those we serve
  • Partner with institutions and organization invested in our community

Educate vs. Indoctrinate

“People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care!
  • Provide responsive workshops and training
  • Interlock equitable solutions for families and persons of African American descent.
  • Create cycles of ongoing follow up that activates inclusivity and establishes mutual accountability

Empower Holistically

“We must eliminate savior complexes that plague our communities”
  • Vet and validate organizations & institutions that align with our commitments
  • Emancipate black voices and efforts for reconciliation
  • Discover the unspoken and articulate it fearlessly

Our Team

Natasha Dunn

Co-Founder | Executive Director

Natasha has over twenty years of experience working to empower Illinois residents. She has dedicated the majority of her life in service with Labor Unions, Chicago Public Schools, Grassroots Social Justice and Service Organizations. Natasha has organized residents and facilitated training for youth, parents, teachers and community leaders to improve conditions of Chicago neighborhood schools and parks. She is a data geek and strategist that enjoys connecting people to resources and opportunity. Natasha has been a guest speaker on CNN, Expo For Today's Black Woman, WVON, and The National Consumer League's Centennial Conference.

Natasha has a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology from Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and traveling.

Tanesha Peeples

Founding Board Member

Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work–“If not me then who?”

Tanesha is the Founder of The Roots Initiative, a Surge Institute alumni and member of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoc). As a strategist and injustice interruptor, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for the dismantling, reimagining and rebuilding of systems that have historically and presently harm marginalized communities. Her passion for people and relentless pursuit of equality, justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and advocacy of those that are often ignored, specifically in public education.

Tanesha's work has been featured in Blavity, Ebony Magazine, The Black Wall Street Times and Chalkbeat and she’s appeared on a number of news platforms, educational panels and podcasts. She’s been recognized as a “Mover and Shaker '' with Black Minds Matter, is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, proud Chicagoan and DJ.

Tanesha wholeheartedly believes that education is one of the most important foundations for success. Her grand vision is one where everyone—regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or zip code—can have access to a comfortable quality of life and enjoy the freedoms and liberties promised to all Americans. And that’s what she works towards every day.

Brain Mullins

Founding Board Member

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Our Initiatives

Black Student Success Campaign

We are requesting that CPS establish a Taskforce and funding be earmarked to close the opportunity gap to invest in Black student achievement.

01

Black Community Commission/ Advisory Council

02

Black Jobs and Contracts Campaign

We want equitable access to contract opportunities with the City, County and State. We want to increase the Black workforce in public and private sector jobs.

03

Safe, Accessible, and Healthy Communities (SAHC)

According to the City of Chicago Police crime data 85% of homicide and shooting crime victims are Black. In addition, our community suffers from the lowest life expectancy rate due to chronic disease, infant mortality, infectious diseases, and drug use. We demand funding be set aside to support a community driven health campaign connecting city and state agencies together to provide resources and close gaps.

04

Get Involved

Join The Collaboration

If you or any organizations, Black businesses, and churches are interested in joining the Collaborative you can email:  unity@bccillinois.org

Our growing list of affiliate organizations include:

Ways To Get Involved

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Help support us by donating to our initiatives.

Get involved and stay updated on our events and initiatives.

Become a Black Community Collaborative Affiliate.