2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

BIOGRAPHY OF DAVID DAMAUREON ALI

 

David Damaureon Ali was born David Smith on September 29, 1961 in Chicago, Illinois to Frank and Anna M. Smith.  He grew up in Ida B. Wells housing development, attended Doolittle West and East Elementary Schools and graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in June 1981.  While attending Wendell Phillips, David embraced the vast diversity of personalities that existed in Phillips from all the public housing developments that made up the student body.  That created a love of community that can still be found in him today.

            After graduating David attended William L. Dawson Skills Center where he received his certificate in Machine Trades and Tool & Die.  In 1982, David began working at the Chicago Board of Education in the Bureau of Visual Education Department.  He later went on to start a career at the Chicago Transit Authority in 1995.  After 24 years of service as a Bus Operator for the Chicago Transit Authority, David retired.

            David married the love of his life, Janet Marie Ali, in 1999.  Together they raised three sons:  Kevin, Damaureon, and Te’Jaan.

            In 2003, David founded the “Fore Father’s” Organization with the purpose of helping Fathers be Better Fathers by being a living example for young fathers and young men to see.  Mentoring and working with other youth community organizations, hosting a yearly Father’s Day Picnic in the Ida B. Wells Ellis Park, where families can gather and celebrate Black Fatherhood, and providing fun/food/music in a sharing environment are activities that were enjoyed by all. 

           In 2015, President David co-founded with Charlaine Cannon, Vice President, “Group 39.”  It was organized with the purpose of maintaining and cultivating social relationships with current and previous residents of Chicago’s 28 Public Housing Developments:  Ida B. Wells Homes, Darrow Homes, Madden Park Homes, Robert Taylor Homes, Stateway Gardens, etc.  Our Social Media platform with 8.3k members serves as the communication outreach system and glue that keeps Chicago’s largest communities connected, sharing business, social, education, financial, political and everyday life issues.  It is a very important part of Chicago’s entertainment, political and black business networking community. 

           In February 2020, David joined the Governing Board as Parliamentarian and Advisory Board of the Wendell Phillips High School Centennial Committee, NFP.  In March 2020, David helped Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. secure votes in the black community, primarily the Low-End.  David was successful in producing and airing live meet/questions and answering sessions on Social Media and Radio interviews with the Supreme Court Justice providing an introduction/presentation to Illinois residents, and he won.  

BIOGRAPHY OF MARVIN CARTER

 

Marvin Carter was born December 18, 1963 on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois to Parents Melvin and Margie Carter.  He is the oldest of 6 siblings.  He grew up in Chicago ABLA Homes.  ABLA Homes was a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Public Housing Development that was comprised of four separate housing projects on the Near Westside of Chicago.  The name “ABLA” was an acronym for four different housing developments that together constituted one larger site.  The four housing developments that made up ABLA were the Jane Addams Homes, Robert Brooks Homes (including the Robert Brooks Extension), Loomis Courts, and the Grace Abbot Homes.  Marvin grew up in the Robert Brooks Extension, one of four 16-story high rises.

            Marvin attended John M. Smith Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois from 1970 to 1978.  After graduating from John M. Smith Elementary school, he attended Creiger Vocational High School from 1978 to 1980, where he remained until the closing of the school in 1980. 

            In 1980 Marvin transferred to Wendell Phillips due to Creiger closing.  He started playing basketball when he was 8 years old.  However, it was when Marvin went to Wendell Phillips that his love for the game flourished under the leadership and direction of Coach Chuck Frazier and Coach Buck.  At Phillips, he learned the fundamentals of the game, offensive and defensive skills, court vision, commitment and follow through.  While attending Phillips, Marvin earned All-City Recognition.

            Marvin earned a 4-year Basketball Scholarship to Fresno State University in Fresno, CA, where he played basketball from 1982 to 1986 under Head Basketball Coach Boyd Grant.  In 1983 Fresno State played against DePaul University in New York at Madison Square Garden in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), winning the 1983 NIT Championship.  His years after Fresno State hold special memories of the many friendships formed, friendships with The Great Michael Jordan and Rod Higgins who played with The Chicago Bulls.  Marvin participated in a Youth Basketball Camp in Fresno, CA for over 10 years; Michael Jordan and Rod Higgins participated faithfully for over 10 years.

            After graduating from Fresno State University with a B.A. in Speech Communications, Marvin knew that he wanted to join a Fortune 500 company and remain living in Fresno, CA.  He was hired by Pepsi Cola in 1987 and currently has 33 years with the company.   Marvin is happily married to his wife, Sondra Carter, and together they have 4 amazing and wonderful children:  Marvin Carter, Jr., Maria Bradley, Chris Carter, and Nicholas Bradley.

BIOGRAPHY OF DR. EDWARD ALLEN CHANEY

 

Edward Allen Chaney, born to Robert Allen and Lillie Chaney, née Coleman, lived in the Washington Park, Grand Boulevard and Bronzeville Communities. He attended Austin O. Sexton Elementary School, Forrestville Elementary and Upper Grade Center Schools and was a National Honor Society graduate from Wendell Phillips High School in 1965.  While at Phillips he was in the honors track college prep program, served as an aide in the main office and to the Assistant Principal, Mrs. Mercedes Kemp.  Not only was he a member of the Wendell Phillips Honor Society and several clubs and organizations, he played bass clarinet in Concert Band all four years. He spent the summers of 1963 and 1964 at Northern Illinois University in the Summer Speech Workshop concentrating on skills development in debating and drama and was the only Black student enrolled in the program and competed with students from all parts of the State of Illinois.

           He completed 1) an undergraduate major in Spanish with a minor in music education at Northern Illinois University, 2) the masters program at Harvard University Graduate School of Education in Educational Administration, Planning and Social Policy, 3) the Second Baccalaureate Degree Program in the Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, and 4) the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery at Howard University.  Dr. Chaney has taught second grade to dental school. He was Assistant Clinical Professor of Oral Medicine at the Temple University Maurice Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is licensed to practice dentistry in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  He served as a dental missionary to the island of St. Kitts and as mentor and preceptor to junior and senior dental students at Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry, Cleveland, Ohio and Marquette University School of Dentistry Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Not only has he been in private practice, he has worked in prisons, serviced the Indigenous American reservations in Sisseton, South Dakota, and Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, along with many underserved cultures and communities, i.e., African, African American, caucasian, Chinese and hispanic.

           To make his life more complete Edward married Geraldine Neeley Beard in 1985 and to their union their only daughter, Ashley Charlotte, was born.  Today Edward and Geraldine are the proud grandparents of two grandsons, Cameron Skyler and Cory Christopher.  Edward is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.

BIOGRAPHY OF DEBORAH J.CHAPPELL-PAYNE

 

Deborah J. Chappell-Payne, born to Henry and Beatrice Chappell, lived in the Wentworth Gardens Housing Project.  She attended Robert S. Abbott Elementary School and graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in 1968.  While there she excelled in academics and cheerleading.  After graduating from Phillips, she attended Wilson Junior College and Jones Commercial Evening School. 

Deborah was also employed at the post office as a clerical sorter.  She was later employed at Walgreens as a Pharmacy Technician.  During her 35-year tenure at Walgreens she trained technicians for 10 years.  She also worked at Walgreens’ corporate office in Deerfield, IL as a Pharmacy Auditor and Pharmacy Plans Sales Manager.

           Before, during and after retirement, Deborah has always worked in her Englewood community.  She was engaged with the youth through seniors, schools, churches, CAPS and as a community organizer.  Her community involvement included attending the Chicago Police Academy for Citizen Training, working for Teamwork Englewood, serving as President of an Englewood Block Club, serving as President of Neighborhood Block Gardening, being a Member of the steering committee at Stem School for CPS, working as a photographer in Englewood, and being a Founding member of R.A.G.E. (Resident Association of Greater Englewood). 

            In 2018 Deborah was honored to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award.  She also co-produced a Black Film Festival Nominee documentary “the Area” that ran for two weeks with over 4 sellouts at the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2019.  The critically acclaimed documentary addressed a five-year odyssey of a South Side Chicago neighborhood, where more than 400 African American families were being displaced by a multi-billion dollar freight company.  The documentary follows Deborah, who vows to be “the last house standing,” and the Row Row Boys, teen friends who mush start a new life across gang lines.  Deborah’s activism has not slowed down and she was recently hired as a Wellness Advocate for her Englewood community.

BIOGRAPHY OF CONNIE JEANNE EGGLESTON

 

Connie Jeanne Eggleston graduated from Wendell Phillips Upper Grade Center in1962 and Wendell Phillips High School in 1966.  She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, 1971, and a Master’s degree in Social Work Administration in 1976.

            Her advanced education gave her knowledge in systems, planning, program development/management, grant writing, public speaking, research skills and experience.  Connie Eggleston is an avid writer who uses her skills to help those in need of Programs/Services.  A strong characteristic is her ability to take initiative to get things done. During her early career, she took initiative, used her writing skills, and received grant funds to help people statewide.

            During her 26 year tenure with the State of Oklahoma Department of Human Services Aging Services Division, she created a Program Development and grant writing section.  This gave her more legitimacy to write grants and develop programs.  Ms. Eggleston continued to successfully receive funding to help those in need until her retirement in 2007.  In the course of her career, awards received include:  Verdell Frazier Scholarship Award for books/tuition, Trailblazer Award for exhibiting leadership, Federal Community Achievement Award for developing programs/services, Department of Housing and Urban Developments’ Recognition Award, just to name a few. Nominated by her Divisions’ director, she completed the State Office of Personnel Management’s two year program. She graduated in 1996 to become a Certified Public Manager.

           Connie is writing a book about her parents’ travels in their jazz band.  She has three grandchildren, and is a personal trainer. She has a cute female dog named Copper.

BIOGRAPHY OF CHERI HARRIS

 

Cheri Harris was born in Chicago to the parents of Joyce Murff and Will J. Murff.  She grew up in the Ida B. Wells Housing Development where she spent the younger part of her life with her Grandmother, her Aunt and Wendell Phillips Hall of Famer, Kathleen (King) Singleton, and First Lady of South Park Baptist Church, Bronzeville, Shirley (King) Williams, now deceased.  Cheri attended Doolittle Elementary School, graduated Salutatorian in 1975 and began her Wendell Phillips High School education shortly thereafter where she graduated #3 in 1979.  She was a member of the Pep Squad and National Honor Society. Cheri was also a big Wildcat fan. 

           After graduating from Phillips, Cheri attended Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, an HBCU, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree in May 1985.  Upon her return home, she secured her first job with Barnett, Smith & Jones, a small black owned architectural firm where she worked as an Architectural Technician for a couple of years.

           In 1988, Cheri began work in the Commercial Insurance industry.  Later, she secured a position in the Corporate Relocation Industry where she worked in Chicago, relocated to New York, and then Washington, DC.  After spending 6 years on the east coast, Cheri moved back home to Chicago, went back to school, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, and developed a plan for her start up business, NX Design Group. At the same time, she worked as an Account Manager for several commercial insurance companies and brokerages in the Chicagoland and surrounding suburban areas. 

           In June 2011, Cheri completed the Master of Business Administration program at the University of Phoenix and then followed up with completion of the Master of Project Management program in December of 2012.  She began working for her family’s business at Pioneer Gardens, SLF as the Director of Compliance and now the Interim Executive Director.

           Cheri loves working with seniors and in property management; however, her passion has been to work as a Curator and a Gallerist in her own Gallery/Artists Studio.  She has plans of starting an after-school program for under-served youths in her community who are interested in the arts.  She is currently enrolled in Johns Hopkins University’s Museum Studies and Non-Profit Management Master’s program, a path to fulfill her aspirations.  Her expected graduation date is May of 2021.

           Cheri has been mentoring youths and involved in community service projects since 1997.  She was initiated into the Joliet Area South Suburban Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in the Spring of 2013 and has been actively involved in community service projects, feeding the homeless with PADS, Community Outreach projects, Physical and Mental Health initiatives, Information and Communications as a photographer, and an active member on the Arts and Letters Committee.  She is also a mentor for Charm’s Mentoring Group, an active member of both the Washington Park Camera Club and Diasporal Rhythms art collectors’ group and was an active member of the Wendell Phillips Finest Five committee for the past 20 years.  Cheri currently resides in Country Club Hills, IL with her husband and her Standard Poodle, Locs.

             To whom much is given, much is expected, (Luke12:48).

BIOGRAPHY OF WANDER POWELL-HAYES

 

Wander Powell-Hayes was born on April 4, l963.  She is a Chicago, Illinois native, a radio and television host, author, playwright, actress, model, single mother and community advocate. 

           For over 20 years, she’s been dedicated to improving many neighborhoods.  In 1998, she founded R.O.C. (Restore Our Community) to find more ways to make positive changes in the streets.  She confronts the issues and challenges people to make a difference.

          Although Wander has over twenty years of experience in Broadcasting, she recently attended Illinois Media School in Chicago.  Her goal is to get updated information in the field of broadcasting, television, and radio and making short films and documentaries.

BIOGRAPHY OF BETTY GAIL HOOD-ESCALANTE

 

Betty Gail Hood-Escalante is the eldest child born to Barron Jefferies and Lillie Hood.  She is blessed to have one older sibling and two younger siblings.  Betty Gail is a Wife, Mother and Grandmother. After high school, Betty worked for various government agencies before returning to her educational pursuits. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Communications and Master’s Degree in Communications and Training - both from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois.

           Betty Gail’s Grandmother, Lonnie Minter, noticed that Betty had a gifted voice to sing.  She has led many songs at various churches and has been the guest soloist at many functions, including the Fire Department vs. Police Department Hockey Game, with her husband David accompanying her on keyboard.  Betty Gail is a member of Chicago Christian Choir and performed with Barbara Streisand, at Windy City Live, and at the White House during President Barack Obama’s presidency.

           Betty Gail has been a Beauty Supply Business Owner and is now an Aesthetician at her own business, Let It Flow Esthetics.  Two of Betty’s greatest joys is being Chaplain to and singing with the Daughters of Judah Choir, at New Faith Baptist Church, International and being an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for 22 years, where she mentors 3rd-5th graders, serves the community, prays weekly with the Spiritual Oversight Committee and coordinates activities and events. Her Greatest Joy of All Joys is her family!  Betty enjoys life and has her feet rooted in the WORD of GOD.  She has been the main soloist for the song, “Order My Steps,” and that is exactly what she lets her Lord, Jesus Christ, do!

BIOGRAPHY OF FRED HUNTER, JR.

 

Fred Hunter attended Chicago Public Schools, graduating from Wendell Phillips H.S. in l965.  He went on to pursue a higher education receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a minor in French from Illinois State University and a Masters of Arts Degree in English from Chicago State University.  A life-long learner, Fred continued course work at a number of area colleges and universities related to his chosen field, such as proposal writing, communications, and curriculum development.  He never stopped trying to enhance his knowledge so he could pass on to his students the skills and tools that would be needed when they moved on to real world situations after high school.

           Fred started working for the Chicago Board of Education in l969, accepting assignments at Bowen H.S. where he taught English; and Whitney Young H.S. where he taught English grammar, literature, journalism courses, and was the Faculty Advisor for the school newspaper, The Beacon.  He loved teaching and his students.  With an acting and drama background from a child to adulthood, Fred’s classes were often fun-filled, creative, and challenging; many of his honors and advanced placement students can attest to this fact.  He had a definite impact on their lives.  His RED ink pen was notorious. 

           Later Fred moved on to become an editor for the Office of Instructional Services at CPS Central Office where documents and anything for publication came across his desk.  He retired from this department in 2004.  After retirement, he kept busy by working for the Chicago Defender for a short period and starting his own business, Fred’s Ed Editorial Services, while still actively participating in his community (CAPS) and professional organizations (National & Chicago Associations of Black Journalists).

BIOGRAPHY OF ANDREW JOSLIN

 

Andrew Joslin was born on March 15, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois.  He was raised in a single-parent home by his mother, Laura Joslin, in the Stateway Gardens Housing Projects. His mother, who passed away in 2011 from breast cancer, called him a miracle baby because he was diagnosed with pneumonia as an infant. The doctors told his mom to prepare for the worst, but she never gave up.  She instilled a good work ethic, respect for education, and a love of sports in him.  Because of her love and support, he survived and thrived.

           Andrew attended Stephen A. Douglas Grammar School from 1st -8th grade. While there, he participated and excelled in track and basketball.  He attended Phillips High school from 1979 to 1983, where he played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track.  One of his most significant accomplishments was winning a Frosh-Soph City Basketball Championship and being named the Team’s Most Valuable Player. Throughout his high school sports career, he received countless awards, such as All-Sectional, All-Areas, All-City All-Star Team, and All-City in various sports.

           After graduating from Phillips High School in 1983, his passion for sports led him to play at the college level. Though Andrew sustained several severe injuries while playing football, he maintained a successful basketball and baseball career.  He attended both Southwestern Community College, Harrisburg, IL, and the University of Tennessee at Martin in Martin, TN.  He graduated from Southwest Community College with an Associates of Arts Degree in 1986.

           As an adult, Andrew worked for the Chicago Housing Authority, mentoring children and young adults for ten years.  He is currently a Deputy Sheriff with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department and has been for the last 18 years. In addition to this, Andrew is a Peer Support Counselor for the Sheriff’s Department and has refereed for both grammar and high school sports games throughout the Chicagoland area for the last 15 years.  He is also a proud member of both Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and The Prince Hall Masonic Lodge.

           To honor Andrew’s late mother and all breast cancer survivors, he founded the Laura Joslin Breast Cancer Foundation in 2017.  Andrew has yearly fundraising events where he celebrates five survivors to let them know that they are not alone, as well as donate to various Breast Cancer Organizations. Balancing his career, charity, and volunteer work is tough, but it is also gratifying to set such an example for his children.  Andrew has been happily married to the love of his life, Donna, for 24 years. Together they have raised three sons and two daughters (one who preceded them in death).

           As a young adult walking the hallways of Phillips High School, Andrew always admired the members of the Hall of Fame.  He is proud to know that he will now be honored as a member of this elite group of individuals.

BIOGRAPHY OF SHEILA J. ARNOLD JUMPER

 

Sheila Arnold Jumper was born on May 18, 1961 in Chicago, Illinois to Shirley Arnold and Malcolm Whiteside.  She grew up in Ida B. Wells Housing Development, attended Doolittle Elementary School and graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in June 1979.  While attending Phillips, Sheila was an active student who was involved with Modern Dance, National Honor Society, and Student Government; she was also a big Wildcat fan. 

           After graduation, she attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  While at the University, she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated in 1980.  She also became Homecoming Queen in 1983 giving her the opportunity to participate in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA.  Sheila earned a BS in Health & Safety Education in 1984. 

           Sheila married her college sweetheart, Harold Jumper, in 1986.  They have two beautiful children:  Shauna & Corey.  She was a Girl Scout Leader for seven years and played co-rec volleyball for twenty years. 

            In 1987, Sheila began her 30-year career in the Insurance Industry as an Underwriter, retiring in 2017.  In her last position as a Senior Renewal Underwriter with Dearborn National, Sheila was responsible for performing risk analysis for new business prospects and in-force accounts for Group Life/AD&D, Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, Dental and Voluntary products for groups with 3,000 lives and under.  She negotiated rate actions with internal sales and mentored new team members.  Prior to this responsibility, Sheila served as a Unit Manager and Senior Supervisor in the Underwriting Department.  Previously, she was a Group Underwriter for CNA Insurance and Allstate Life Insurance.

            Sheila stays active by working during the fall as a benefit enroller for various companies.   She is actively involved with her sorority.  She’s a Board Member for the University of Illinois Black Alumni Network and Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee.   She has been a member of Phillips Finest Five Committee for twenty years.  In addition, she is a fitness advocate who started a business that plans fitness events.  More importantly, Sheila enjoys traveling with her family!

BIOGRAPHY OF VANESSA MATTHEWS-JACKSON

 

Vanessa Matthews-Jackson was born in 1961 to Marie Matthews-Brent and Clarence Rance.  She attended Robert S. Abbott elementary school and graduated from Wendell Phillips High School.  While at Phillips, she participated in Modern Dance all four years.  She was a member of the Principal Scholars Program, Junior Achievement, Junior Engineer, Student Council, Cheerleader, Girls Basketball, Yearbook, and Spanish Club.  Vanessa was inducted into the National Honors Society in her junior year.  She held leadership positions in most of the organizations. She took honors courses in the college prep program. She ranked number one in her class all four years and graduated valedictorian in 1979.

            After graduation, she attended college for two years and took a break to raise her son and work full time as a secretary and administrative assistant.  She worked in advertising, legal services and education. She returned to college to obtain her Bachelors Degree in Business Management from De Paul University in 2004.  Vanessa returned to De Paul and received her Masters Degree in Social Work in 2010.  Education has always been important to her.  She worked in education for over 24 years as an administrator in various positions.  Her last job was in legal education for over 20 years and she retired in 2018.  She has served On the Board of Trustees for two organizations and joined the Wendell Phillips Centennial Committee in January of 2020, serving as the Scholarship Chairperson. 

            Vanessa has done a lot of community organizing in Springfield and at City Hall in Chicago surrounding the issue of homelessness in Chicago.  Vanessa received many awards for her activism.  She has traveled around the world as a motivational speaker in Europe, Sweden and Canada.  She was an active Wendell Phillips High School alumna.  She served on her Class of 1979 Reunion Committee for over 20 years.  Vanessa has been a part of five successful Reunion Weekends.  She gave credit to her faith in God, her spiritual fellowship, family and mentors for her success and accomplishments. Vanessa made her transition on April 11, 2020.  Vanessa and her mother Marie had a double funeral ceremony and is survived by her husband, son and many family members and friends.  She knew of her candidacy for induction and was thrilled beyond measure.

BIOGRAPHY OF HARRY J. MCGRAW

 

Harry is currently the host of the cable TV show The McGraw Report that airs weekly on Comcast Channel 19 and 21.  Harry is also the President and Founder of The Latorya McGraw Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) designed to help blacks and other minorities find jobs and get training to become apprentices in the various trade unions across the state. He is also an auxiliary board member of the Illinois Tollway Advisory Committee.

           Harry was also selected to the board of Windows of Opportunity, a 501(c)(3) arm of The Chicago Housing Authority in 1997.  As owner and President of All Seasons Inc., a licensed general contractor with the City of Chicago, Harry gave a vital perspective to the board on how Chicago Housing Authority residents can use Section 3 compliance to create businesses and climb out of poverty.

            Harry J. McGraw is the oldest child of Harry J. Betts and Aubrey McGraw.  He is a graduate of Abbott Elementary School in 1978 where he was Salutatorian of his class. Harry was also a top 10 graduate of Wendell Phillips High School in 1982.  Harry was a member of the National Honor Society, Principal Scholars Program at the University of Chicago, swimming team, track team and bowling club.  Harry represented Wendell Phillips as an ACT-SO Challenge to Chicago Essay Award winner in 1981.  He was accepted at Xavier University of New Orleans where he majored in political science.  After completion of two years at Xavier, Harry joined the United States Army and was granted an Honorable Discharge in 1985.  He has been an outspoken champion for blacks and minorities in the trade unions.

             He was hired by Carl Latimer as the Deputy Director of The Coalition for United Community Action in 1992.  From contacts created in this position, he was able to create change in the number of blacks to gain entry in the construction industry over the last 20 years.

BIOGRAPHY OF CHESTER MITCHELL, JR.

 

Chester Mitchell, Jr., is a 1940 alumnus of Wendell Phillips High School, located in the Bronzeville community of Chicago, Illinois.  As a nonagenarian, Mr. Mitchell has witnessed first-hand many of the major events in 20th Century U.S. History.  His stories of survival during the Great Depression, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement make history come alive to his listeners.

            Mr. Mitchell was born in the heart of Bronzeville, Chicago’s “Black Metropolis” in 1923. His parents, Chester Mitchell, Sr., and Essie B. Mitchell, moved to the city from Georgia as part of the early wave of the Great Migration of African Americans from southern towns to northern industrial cities. A child of the Great Depression, he attended the James R. Doolittle Elementary School and entered Wendell Phillips High School in 1936.  He remembers his days at Phillips as some of the happiest of his youth, fondly recalling influential teachers and mentors, such as his principal, Mrs. Maude Bousfield, who, he believes, was the first African American woman principal of a Chicago public high school; and his U.S. History teacher, Mrs. Thelma P. Powell, who encouraged her students to become active members of the N.A.A.C.P. and the Chicago Urban League.   

            Mr. Mitchell graduated from Phillips in June 1940.  On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the United States Naval Base and other military installations at Pearl Harbor, forcing the nation to enter World War II.  Like millions of young men of “America’s Greatest Generation,” it would become a seminal event in his life.  In 1943, Mr. Mitchell answered his nation’s call and was drafted into the U.S. Army.  He served with the 670th Ordinance Ammunition Company, an African American unit, in the European Conflict, serving tours of duty in England, and later, deploying to Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. Mr. Mitchell was honorably discharged in 1946.  He tells powerful accounts of his wartime experiences; and his first-hand knowledge of the horrors of war, the atrocities of Nazi Germany, and the significance of African-American soldiers in WW II has served as living history for his family.

             In 1947, Mr. Mitchell began a nearly 50-year career at the United States Postal Service (USPS).  In 1949, he transferred to the Postal Transportation System (PTS), where he spent the remainder of his career.  He was promoted to Postal Supervisor, responsible for helping to administer the most efficient modes of transporting mail throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories.  Mr. Mitchell retired from the USPS in 1992.

            Since 1938, Mr. Mitchell has been a member of the historic Morning Star Baptist Church of Chicago. In 1961, he was appointed as Church Treasurer by its pastor, the late Dr. Luke Willis Mingo.  A year later, he was appointed to the Trustee Board.  Three years later, he was elected as its chairman.  At 97, he continues to hold both positions. He has been recognized for outstanding service to his church and community on several occasions:  most recently, in 2018, when he received tributes from Retired Judge Stanley L. Hill, a Phillips Hall of Fame Inductee; and letters of commendation from former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials.

            Mr. Mitchell was married to the late Eunice D. Mitchell of Meridian, MS for 35 years. The couple had three children: a daughter, Kathryn Mitchell, an educator and business communication professional, and a son, William F. Mitchell, a licensed architect/planner.  A son, Chester, Jr., died in 1983.  He is the proud grandfather of Zachary William Mitchell.

BIOGRAPHY PF RONALD S. MOORE

 

Ronald S. Moore is the youngest of three children of Robert Wesley and Sophie I. Moore.  While being reared in the Harold Ickes Homes, he was a graduate of Daniel Hale Williams Elementary and went on to graduate from Wendell Phillips High School in the Class of 1982. 

           After graduating from Phillips, he went on to DeVry Institute of Technology for two years and from there he joined the United States Army.  His sacrifices and selfless service to his country earned him the prestigious rank of Chief Warrant Officer Five which is the highest rank within his cohort.  His selection to CW5 placed him within the six-percent of the Army to ever obtain that rank.  During his 34 years of faithful military service, Ronald was inducted into the Quartermaster Hall of Fame.  He deployed to Iraqi and Afghanistan on several missions and took part of several humanitarian missions throughout his career.

           While serving in the United States Army he obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Ronald received his Bachelor of Science Management Studies from the University of Maryland University College. He also obtained a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University. Ronald is a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

           Ronald credits his success to his faith in God, family and friends who have enriched his life and kept him moving forward regardless of the obstacle that were placed before him.

BIOGRAPHY OF WILHELMENA WADE

 

Wilhelmena Wade is the fifth of 10 children born to Ernestine and Roy Wade Sr.  She graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in 1983 and began studying Nursing at Daley College.  During the first year of her Prerequisites, Wilhelmena was in a car accident.  Wilhelmena was so amazed at how the hospital could look inside the body while taking x-rays of her ribs that she changed her major to Radiology Technology.  Wilhelmena received her Associates Degree in Radiology Technology from Malcolm X College in 1988, joined Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) as a Radiology Technologist, and currently has 32 years of service.  Wilhelmena has received many awards from NMH - Patient First Award, Prestigious Davis Award for Extraordinary Patient Care, and multiple Kudos awards. She was featured in a full page ad in the Red Eye newspaper for Mother-Mentor at NMH, featured in the NMH Workplace Giving Campaign – ‘Together We are Better,’ and also featured in the NMH Connection ad for Employees who contribute to the community through volunteering activities.

          After watching the 2000 Summer Olympics and her brother’s completion of the 2000 Chicago Marathon, Wilhelmena was inspired to quit her pack-a-day cigarette habit and train for the marathon to acquire her own medal.  In 2001, Wilhelmena completed her first marathon and has not stopped running yet!  Wilhelmena has completed 17 marathons, including marathons in Chicago, Hawaii, New York, Berlin, and one with the Marine Corp!  She has also completed 40 half-marathons across the country, and countless 5Ks, 10Ks, and 15K races.  Her goal is to complete 26 marathons!  Wilhelmena’s motto is: “Keep it Moving!” 

           Some of Wilhelmena’s accomplishments include raising close to $8000.00 for Stroke Association, raising $3000.00 for World Vision to create a water well in Africa, and raising funds for the American Heart Association and NYRR Team for Kids (athletic Youth program).  She has also been involved with United Way, March of Dimes, Adopt a child-Christmas program, Chicago Cares Serve -A-Thon and countless other programs.  Wilhelmena’s greatest accomplishments are being a Mother and first-time Grandmother!

BIOGRAPHY OF DEBORAH WARD

 

DeBorah Ward is a healthcare professional who passionately believes that at the core of healing society is healing of self on a “triune” level…emotional, physical, mental…firmly anchored in Spirit! From entering Wendell Phillips High School in 1964 to learn and exiting in 1968 to serve, her focus has been promoting health and healing as a lifestyle.  With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and MBA in Health Care Management from Loyola University of Chicago, DeBorah approaches health and wholeness in a strategically developed, evidence-based manner.  With over 35 years of experience in hospital, public health and educational settings, it is this collective knowledge that has produced her desire to leave a blueprint for our youth keys for a healthy lifestyle as they navigate the complexities of a society that does not always have their focus at heart.  She is dedicated to programs that address the epidemic of violence in our society in general and the African American community in particular.

     She is deeply committed to the development of children.  Recognizing that life begins in the womb, DeBorah is the inventor of “Gest-Nest,” an infant medical device that addresses the impact of infant health compromised at birth due to prematurity or other trauma.  She is the Executive Director of Fearless Loving Youth (FLY), a faith based not for profit organization developed specifically to teach youth how to make healthy life choices and incorporate them into daily living.  DeBorah recognizes that true and lasting change only comes from within and although we cannot change people, we can be a catalyst for change by changing ourselves…the way we think, the way we feel, the way we speak, the way we act and the way we react.  DeBorah is a member of Apostolic Faith Church of Chicago and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.

BIOGRAPHY OF GLOVINIA LEWIS HARRIS WILLIAMS

 

Glovinia Lewis Williams is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.  Glovinia has been blessed to have served in the office of each of the five-fold ministry offices.  Most recently she launched the Dr. Glovinia Ministries.  From 2006 to 2011 she served as Pastor at the Naval Support Activity Chapel as a Lay Leader at Hallelujah Full Gospel Service, Naples, Italy.

            Dr. Glovinia brings 35 years of volunteer public service.  She is a licensed ordained minister and published author.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and an earned Doctor of Ministry Degree.  She is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Collegiate Training Institute (CTI), Inc. and CFO of Hallelujah International Ministries (HIM), Inc. both 501c3 community faith-based corporations.  Glovinia has served the Kingdom of God, in an international capacity, and she has strategically launched countless leaders and ministries globally.

            She has traveled throughout the U.S. and abroad, and she is a respected international conference speaker.  Her travels include Germany, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Gibraltar, France, Russia, South Korea, Liberia, Spain, Italy, Ghana, Japan, and most recently Cuba.  She has also served as Pastor on the Island of Sardinia, Italy, at the Naval Support Activity Chapel, as a Lay Leaders.  She ministers ecumenically to reach the masses with a message of hope.  Glovinia recently retired from the Pentagon after 25 years of civil service, and returned for an additional year (26 years of federal service).

            She is the proud mother of two sons and daughters-in-law and five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  Glovinia brings an inspiring message of hope and will ignite the listener’s life and affairs through her storytelling prophetic preaching style.  Dr. Glovinia stands on the shoulders of her family, many anointed men, women, institutions, and organizations, which are too numerous to list.

            Through her many trials and successes, it is best said like this:

“For we know all things work together for good to those who love God and those who are the called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 (KJV)