Unity Partnership Events & News
At Unity Partnership, one of our goals is community engagement. Our members often participate in events sponsored by other organizations which promote greater cultural awareness and social change. On occasion, we will also include links to these events as well.
Last fall, Regina Brent and Paul Scott met with Chief Brian King of the Hinsdale Police Department. In that meeting, Chief King shared both his interest and his commitment to diversify the sworn ranks of his department. Greater visibility of minority groups within departments can improve the relationship between the police and those in the community who feel marginalized and disaffected. It is one measure of a larger commitment to changing attitudes and promoting trust. See the attached for details about the Hinsdale PD openings.
The IL NAACP IL Law Enforcement Committee led by retired Chief Robert Moore has informed us of IL State Police summer camp opportunities for students of color. We are posting this notice to support outreach by both the NAACP and the IL State Police, and to further our effort to bridge the police and community divide. Please see the brochure below for all the details.
There are many times during the holiday season, that I tend to reminisce about the good times shared with my parents and siblings while growing up as a child. Even though at times things were complicated and we faced our share of challenges, we were all under the same roof and I felt loved. This is not true for many of our youth, who long to be at home with their loved ones at Christmas time. They may reside in shelters, foster homes and many other places while trying to find their way back to some kind of normalcy of life. It is our duty as a community to provide some type of additional holiday cheer by demonstrating to each and every one of them that they are loved and cared for, no matter the circumstances. On Wednesday, December 5th, Unity Partnership decided to treat several young ladies from the 360 Youth Services located in Naperville, for a night out with law enforcement agencies from the DuPage County Sheriff's department, Naperville Fire Department and the Naperville Police Department. Four female officers took the time to come out to Bowlero Lanes to be partnered with the teens for a competitive game. The counselors from 360 Youth were very excited about the evening and expressed their gratitude to UP for sponsoring the event. After bowling, we all met and talked. I encouraged all the young ladies to live in the moment and not in the past, because someday they will look back and remember not just the difficult times, but the good times as well. There were hugs and tears of joy in appreciation for the gifts and the trophies they received. It was a wonderful evening!
I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to Dep. Sharon Hood, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, Kathleen M. Anderson, Deputy Chief of Police, Sergeants Sherry Meine and Jennifer Johnsen, Naperville Police Department , Jessica Crowley, Sergeant of Patrol/CIT and Event Coordinator, Naperville Fire Department , and also the staff and residents of 360 Youth Services. Remember, change begins with ordinary people and it can begin with you, too.
Regina Brent, Founder & President
Unity Partnership, NFP
Unity Partnership is delighted to have been asked to participate in this year’s Cantigny Community Trees Display in the McCormick House. Seven nonprofit organizations are chosen each year. Each organization receives a $2,500.00 donation. Several members of Unity Partnership met Wednesday to decorate the tree. We had great fun adorning the tree with symbols that we felt illustrated our multicultural makeup and our organizational mission of bridging the gap between the police and the community. The trees will be on display until December 30th. Please come and check out the tree and show your support for our efforts by signing a gift tag. We’ll add your tag and an ornament (we have both on hand for you) to the tree making you a part of our community too!. Visitors can also vote for their favorite tree. The organization’s tree that gets the most votes receives another $2,500.00. Cast a vote for Unity Partnership! For more information about the event, here’s an article from the Chicago Tribune Beacon News which includes a beautiful glimpse of our tree. (Beacon-News Article)
On Thursday, November 9th, from 7:00-9:00 pm, at the Lisle Village Hall, Unity Partnership hosted its third workshop on Traffic Stops. Paul Scott, a member of the Law Enforcement Committee, introduced the program and the Police Chief of Lisle, David Anderson facilitated. The session was well attended and was also live streamed. Chief Anderson explained protocol and explored the challenges of traffic stops from both the civilian and police perspective. Video segments demonstrated routine stops and an investigative stop, i.e., a driver stopped because her car matches the description of a car involved in a retail theft. The video segments and the presentation prompted lively discussion and questions, and participants also recounted some of their own past experiences with police. Following the session, participants graciously provided written feedback about what they had learned about best practices as a driver when being stopped, and about the complaint process. Sample comments included, “a complaint about the reason for the ticket is different from a complaint about the behavior of the ticketing officer,” and “the police department welcomes a complaint.” We also asked participants about specific topics that they would like to see addressed in future sessions. While there are several, one in particular stood out: improving police and civilian engagement. Our goal is to promote that engagement by continued outreach and training. Please plan to join us for our next workshop to ensure that your voice is heard.
William is the owner of Jazz Perspectives, Inc., a talent management company providing live jazz, blues, R&B and acoustic entertainment for private and public events.
William also has more than 25 years of experience managing, training and strengthening sales teams in the food & beverage and transportation industries. He effectively managed regional teams of sales professionals for national companies like FLAVIA Beverage Systems (a division of M&M Mars), TNT Express Worldwide and DHL Worldwide, leading team performance to AOPs anywhere from $10-$25 million in sales. Through his leadership and contract negotiation skills, he would contribute to each company’s overall mission by generating creative value-added services, increasing ROI, and tracking and monitoring KPI’s and team performance.
William's service to Unity Partnership includes his expertise in business and his interest in fostering positive community relationships with the police.
In the midst of all the recent controversy nationally and locally, Mayor Gina Cunningham‘s recent Ecumenical Gathering could not have been more timely. The event was held on Sunday, October 7th, at St. Scholastica Church in Woodridge, and included clergy from across the western suburbs, representing a wide diversity of faith traditions. While each speaker had a unique perspective reflecting their own culture and religious beliefs, they all reinforced a basic message of unity, peace, and the importance of loving your neighbor as yourself.
Several of the members of Unity Partnership participated, and our President, Regina Brent, was also invited to speak. She stressed that In order to counter the negative and divisive forces that have surfaced in recent months, we need to take action, stating; “we must be about it and not just talk about it.” Regina also referenced the Unity Partnership motto, “Change begins with ordinary people,” and challenged those in attendance to take that message to the larger community. We commend Mayor Cunningham, Chief Brian Cunningham, the Woodridge Board of Trustees, and St. Scholastica Church for hosting this impactful and inspiring event.
Shoaib Khadri is currently President of Yasho Enterprises, Inc. He saw Unity Partnership as a great opportunity to help law enforcement develop meaningful relationships with diverse communities that normally wouldn’t get a chance to interact with each other. His primary goal in serving is to build trust between marginalized communities, especially the youth, and law enforcement in an attempt to establish a safe and just society. Mr. Khadri said, “It’s a need that has been long overdue, and we appreciate the widespread support from all the police departments as well as the community.”
Fred Greenwood loves working with the community. His vision is to build a strong relationship between police and the people they serve. He believes that PEACE and LOVE are the key to successful communities.
The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church shares its commitment to social justice with and interfaith potlucks to immerse the culture of DuPage UU Church in the myriad racially-based injustices that exist in our community. We translated our passion into action by developing the SMILE (Students, Mentors, Internships with Local Employers) project from a model we learned about from a group of Proviso Township African-American ministers.
Our SMILE project engages high school students with mentors in workplace environments. Students intern with their mentor for 16 hours per week for a total of 4 weeks, learning aspects of a business they are interested in, at no cost to the mentor. Students are paid an honorarium by the Social Justice Committee with funds raised by the DuPage UU Church congregation. Contributions came directly from members and from a variety of fundraisers.
Unity Partnership actively supported the SMILE project by offering two internships with local police departments. The student interns accompanied officers on “ride alongs,” and observed basic police procedures. The officers also modeled appropriate dress and demeanor in the workplace. Both the students and the officers reported that the experience was positive.
In keeping with the local departments and Unity Partnership’s goal of increasing diversity, all the SMILE project interns were young people of color. We hope to add additional departments next year, and again match students who express an interest in policing. We hope that other churches and groups will follow our lead and set up their own SMILE projects. We know that a positive relationship with a committed mentor at a critical point in a teen’s development can truly be transformative.
Co-Chair DUUC Social Justice Committee
Second Vice President, Unity Partnership
It was a hot day, 95 degrees, as I unloaded food, fun giveaways, and literature for our Backyard Party,” Love Thy Neighbor,” event. I could see our volunteers and vendors already hard at work setting up tables and arranging their products and informational items. There were representatives from North Central College and Aurora University and several local businesses including, the Association of Government Accountants, Chico’s, Kilimanjaro, Lotus Grooves, GFS, and Texas Roadhouse. As things got underway, Yogo the clown entertained the crowd with his antics and face and body painting. Our disc jockey, Jason Robinson, from Radio.com provided us with uplifting music. Our board members pitched in throughout the day, setting up and serving a delicious array of food from different cultural traditions and welcoming guests. Our film producer, Mr. Andrew Tyler from Tyler Mann Films and Mr. Ted Mckee from McKee Photography captured every moment as community residents and members from law enforcement mingled. The conversations and laughter were a testament to how much the guests enjoyed being together. Our “Love thy Neighbor” theme was really evident. One of the officers requested a tattoo of a heart with his wife’s name, and commented, “this will make my wife fall in love with me all over again.” I couldn’t help but feel that his words reflected by own desire for the event, to promote love.
At the end of the day, I had some time to reminisce about a young man’s vision of such a gathering and was pleased to see his family there, as his dream was realized. I saw white officers enjoying the music of a group of black teens playing jazz, and people from different cultures enjoying each other’s food, art and traditions. I saw citizens listening attentively to the message of a couple of young woman representing, “Walk for Our Lives,” as they expressed their passionate plea for students to be safe in school. It was and will always be a day to remember, a day full of joy and smiles. For a moment, our differences disappeared and we were one.
I want to thank each and every board member who worked tirelessly to bring this event to fruition. There are no words that can express our appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Darrell Echols who is a phenomenal leader and educator...he walks the talk. And to our donors, we could not have done this without you...you gave us an opportunity to show the community you really do care about us. We want to thank the City of Aurora, Richard Irvin, Mayor; Alderman Sherman Jenkins and the Aurora City Council Members for such a wonderful contribution. And to Cantigny Park, Mr. Matt LaFond, and Mr. Lou Marsico for your generous donation... and most of all, to our friend, Mr. Will Buhlig for spending the day with us.
We hope to see you all at our next event.
From the President’s desk,
Unity Partnership, NFP
Unity Partnership sponsored a magnificent bowling event to gather police and the youth in the community for a round of bowling just to get to know one another. There were approximately 62 people in attendance who were paired up to face off in a competitive game that was just about unstoppable...they were to become a team!
The kids were bowling with laughter and appreciation of the fact that police were their partners! In the end, we all came together for a conversation about how much we enjoyed each other's company and awards were given to everyone. The awards were donated by a man who understands "change begins with ordinary people."
Several officers were there from various police departments, such as Naperville, Aurora, DuPage & Kane counties sheriff department, and Westmont police. Our volunteers came to assist in any way possible. We are forever grateful to everyone for their participation.
We had lots of food and drinks...everyone took pictures and the waiters were extraordinary. Every time I witness such collaboration and unity, it warms my heart and it validates the reason for what we do, how we do it, and why we should all be involved. ---Regina Brent, Founder & President
The Chicago Urban League hosted the fifth annual Citywide Job Fair on June 20, 2018. Chief Robert Marshall and Commander Michaus Williams of the Naperville Police Department sponsored a booth with Unity Partnership. The department reached out to the Chicago community to recruit minority applicants in order to promote greater diversity. Last year there were 70 employers and more than 8,000 job seekers at the fair. This year the attendance was even larger.
Sargent Michael Son and Regina Brent manned the table and greeted several job seekers from all over the Chicago area. Sergeant Son warmly welcomed each potential applicant and patiently explained the qualifications and the application process for both sworn and non-sworn law enforcement positions. He was a great representative of the department and his efforts were much appreciated. It was a good day!
ILACP Law Enforcement & Unity Partnership, NFP
host a private luncheonTuesday, January 16, 2018
The Craftsman Restaurant in Naperville, IL 60563
In honor of The 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday
Featuring Guest Speaker
Law Enforcement Speaks!
Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Art Norman, NBC Chicago Anchor/Reporter
We proudly invite you to attend this private luncheon hosted by the Illinois Association Chiefs of Police and Unity Partnership. This luncheon will serve as a spark to start collaboration and commitment to reconvene for the first Unity Partnership Law Enforcement and Community Summit in April of 2018. You will also have an opportunity to meet and greet Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King, the sister-in-law of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a trailblazer and activist who comes with a historical background that entails the experiences and resolutions utilized to build relationships between citizens and law enforcement during the civil rights movement.
Our law enforcement departments have expressed their desire regarding the need for change in certain policies, training and education. Thus, we thought it apropos to invite none other than Mrs. King who can share first-hand the civil rights journey of her brother-in-law, Dr. King and her husband the late Rev. Albert D. King better known as "A.D." also an activist who worked alongside Dr. King. As a public servant with a history of creating change, you have been selected to attend this private luncheon to partner with us for a community and law enforcement summit planned for April 2018.
This was an evening of fun and laughter as our surrounding DuPage and Kane counties police officers and youth squared off in a game of bowling against their neighboring departments. The purpose of this event was to familiarize our young people with law-enforcement off-site and to establish a friendship based on the point of humanity. We wanted to build trust between one another for the safety of our communities. Many of our youth have not had non-service contact with police officers who serve and protect in their neighborhoods. It was a great opportunity to develop relationships as public servants and citizens to ensure a continuance of accountability and safety for our communities in DuPage County.
Change begins with ordinary people...