The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity
Children’s Home & Aid celebrates the past, present and future of the black experience in America. There are many well-known figures of Black history who, deservingly, have become giants in the struggle to create a more advanced, civil, and just union for all Americans. We speak and cherish their names.
We will highlight additional leaders who have dedicated their lives to the improvement and empowerment of America’s communities, uplifting the voices of not only people of color, but all who needed to communicate their struggles.
This year’s theme, The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity, gives Children’s Home & Aid the opportunity to explore the lives of social workers, advocates, artists, and engineers who have helped disrupt the status quo, stood for what is right and did not shy away from difficult, yet necessary conversations.
The names we honor this month are snapshots of just some of the many trailblazers to whom we look as we continue the intentional dialogue and actions inside our agency, inside our partnerships and inside the communities with which we partner.
Today We Honor
Danny K. Davis is an American politician who has served as the U.S. Representative from the 7th congressional district of Illinois for 24 years. Prior to joining the U.S. House of Representatives, Davis was active in local politics during much of the time Harold Washington was Chicago’s Mayor, sitting on the Cook County Board of Commissioners for seven years (1990 – 1997) and serving on the Chicago City Council as Alderman of the 29th Ward (1979-1990) for 11 years.
Known for his work as an effective legislator, community organizer, civil rights advocate, and educator, Congressman Davis has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to advancing progressive public policies on healthcare, child and family welfare, disability rights, immigration, job creation, housing, poverty, and criminal justice reform. At the forefront of his efforts is his concern for young people, including older children in foster care.
In 2020, he sponsored the bipartisan Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, which expanded access to critical support for vulnerable youth and families impacted by COVID-19, especially older children who will soon age out of foster care or are at risk of experiencing homelessness. The provisions of the Act were included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 which passed Congress in December.
Congressman Davis was born September 6, 1941 in Parkdale, Arkansas. After receiving a B.A. in history from Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) in 1961, he moved to the westside of Chicago, where his still lives today. Congressman Davis subsequently earned his master’s degree respectively from Chicago State University and his doctorate from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As an organization that is committed to supporting youth and families who are struggling, we appreciate Congressman Danny Davis for his ongoing advocacy on behalf of children and families in Illinois and across the country.
Visit the website of Congressman Danny Davis for more information on his life and work.
Resources to further your learning and engagement:
- In this three-minute video, “ABC News anchor Byron Pitts shines a light on how Black History Month originated, who founded the now federally recognized celebration and why it occurs in February.”
- “Go beyond trauma and struggle to examine the liberation, civic engagement, creativity and intersecting identities of Black people during Black History Month.
- “While black history should be recognized consistently, Black History Month provides an opportunity to pay special attention to the recognitions and accomplishments of black individuals throughout history. This February, take these ideas to heart and practice these tips as you honor Black History Month.”
- “From Anti-Racism Daily, A virtual exhibition of 28 works that celebrate Black legacy in the U.S. Delivered each evening in February via email. Each evening of the exhibition includes: An introduction to a moment in Black history exemplified by the art, literature or artifact featured for the day; Discussion questions to guide conversations with your family, friends, classroom, or colleagues; Action Items to dismantle anti-Blackness in your community. This exhibition centers the voices of Black LGBTQ leaders and Black leaders with disabilities often diminished in our nation’s history.”
- “The United Way of Illinois Equity Challenge is a 21-week program that encourages Illinois residents to engage in racial equity conversations to gain a deeper understanding about the impact systemic racism and inequity have on our state and in our local communities. United, we can help create a stronger, more equitable Illinois economy and stronger, more inclusive Illinois communities.”