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.
Regina Brent - 2017 Outstanding Community Change Agent- Regina Brent instills positive change in district leadership. Regina served in administration and advocacy positions under four City of Chicago Mayors and four Illinois Attorney Generals. She is also the founder of Unity Partnership, which builds positive relationships between the police and the youth in the local community.
Who we are...
We are dedicated community advocates working to increase trust and confidence between law enforcement and the community so that together we can address current issues and face future challenges as partners.
In recent years, a series of highly publicized police-related shootings around the country have created tension between law enforcement and the African-American community, resulting in an increase in violence against police officers. At the height of this socially tenuous time, Regina Brent and Ronald Allen successfully brought forth a proclamation through the DuPage County Board, recognizing African-Americans’ humanity, freedom,and basic civil rights.
Wishing to expand their work, Ms. Brent and Mr. Allen formed Unity Partnership to address concerns about the growing dissension be tween law enforcement and the diverse community. Unity Partnership grew to include an advisory board representing disenfranchised groups, giving voice to those who often can not self-advocate. In the spirit of community collaboration, Unity Partnership’s advisory board includes law enforcement officials
and community leaders. Unity Partnership continues to grow its mission, working with non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, and small business owners to facilitate meaningful dialogue between the community and its police departments.
Reggie Crump, M.A., is currently working as a Police Lieutenant, Union Pacific Railroad Police Department. He was drawn to serving with Unity Partnership after seeing the commitment of its members and the many wonderful things the organization was doing. His long-term hope for Unity Partnership is to see the organization continue to help build stronger relationships between communities and law enforcement.
Regina Brent is a native of Chicago born and raised on the south side and a sibling of 16 children. She attended DuSable High School and has a degree in General Studies from the College of DuPage. She has one son who served in the US Navy for 14 years; two grandchildren, one of which attends Law School and the other a high school student.
Regina Brent is a 2014 retiree from the Illinois Attorney General's office. She served four Attorney Generals for 30 years as an Advocate and Supervisor for the Consumer Fraud Bureau; She had previously served for 14 years in various positions under the leadership of four Mayors of the City of Chicago. Regina have resided in DuPage County since the year 2000. She is a Committeewoman for the Naperville township and Founder & President of Unity Partnership, NFP.
“I can remember the first time I became an activist….it was June of 1971. I was 17 years old living in the Chicago Housing Authority project where the elevators continued to be inoperable due to lack of maintenance. The elderly and pregnant women had to carry groceries up 16 flights of stairs in order to feed their families. The women who were the head of their households became fed up, turned our notebook paper into petitions and led us teenagers in a march straight to the office not far from our home, but to no avail. We figured out screeching wheels get the oil if you go to the corporate office. Most of them were hard working women without degrees but managed to coordinate a successful picket outside the Chicago Housing Authority’s downtown office in order to demand better services and we won.
Winning against all odds instilled an abundance of faith in me. We had championed a system we felt was not only unjust but untouchable. However, we persevered until we were satisfied with the results and resolutions for all parties concerned because we realized change begins with ordinary people. Years later, I had no idea a vision would lead me to try and bring peace among law enforcement and the community.
After witnessing so many unfortunate incidents between police and civilians all across America, I’m proud to serve as president of an organization whose members are bridge builders that want to establish trust and relationships needed on both sides. We created this organization to eradicate the myths and stereotypes about one another. Also, Unity Partnership along with the police departments work diligently together to help us reach our goals and to fulfill our mission statement. We want to elevate the morale and lessen the tension between law enforcement and our residents who live, serve and protect us in our community. We must all come together and work together right now.”
I was drawn to Unity Partnership because of its mission to work collaboratively with law enforcement and the community. My experience as an educator and interpreter has taught me the importance of good communication and relationship building in order to achieve real change. Unity Partnership’s goal to be proactive instead of reactive is also one that resonates strongly for me. We don’t shy away from controversial topics, and believe that it is only by establishing a foundation of trust and transparency that we can avoid some of the problems that have plagued other communities.
I love that we are such a diverse group. Our different perspectives enrich our discussions and ensure that our community events and educational programs are inclusive and welcoming. Unity Partnership affords me an opportunity to work with a wonderful group of people who share a common vision. The experience continues to enrich my life both personally and professionally.
---Lynn Clark, Psy.D.
As a retired high school mathematics teacher for many years in several locations in Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Illinois, I have been aware of the many variables that effect the educational preparation of our young people. The wide disparities among economic and employment opportunities available for different populations create tremendous disadvantages, especially for people of color in our communities.
The major goal that I have chosen to work toward during this third phase of my life is to find ways to encourage people of the African-American community and people steeped in white privilege to get to know one another as individuals. Building relationships across racial lines is, I believe, the best way, if not the only way, of shattering the barriers we have erected along artificial lines. Designating any group as somehow not as worthy as another group is simply a false choice, a choice rooted in slavery and one with devastating effects on all of us.
Creative, visionary, and motivator are three words that strongly describes the Aurora- born leader that is Marquell Oliver. He is currently studying at Illinois State University where he is also the first-generation student to pursue higher education in his entire family. In the past few years, Marquell has added his name amongst the community leaders once he received the NAACP Martin Luther King Jr. Character Award (’14). He is an alum from Metea Valley High School (’14), where he was the Black Student Alliance President, Vice President of the Young Men’s Club, and he achieved being selected 1st Team All-Area/All-Conference basketball player. From studying in Europe and South Carolina, Oliver’s approach has definitely been influenced in a worldwide view which he hopes to continue to educate himself to help further his ideas and plans moving forward. He currently has his own Social Emotional Learning program (LIFTOFF), motivational speaker, creative director, and a youth success coach. Through this, his goal is to form collaborations that’ll help strengthen the way people perceive things in their everyday lives, and helping people reach their maximum potential.
Ruby k. Chawla is a professor of anatomy, physiology, and biology. She graduated from Governors State University, with a masters in allied health programs, as well as from Punjabi University in India, with a masters in physiology and a bachelors in biology and chemistry. Ruby has served in various committees at her workplace to improve areas such as faculty professional development, curriculum development, and student advising. In addition, she serves as a liaison for PDAC (Parent Diversity Advisory Council) and as a member of the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) for the IPSD 204 school district. She is also an educator for cultural and religious studies at the ILSCC (Illinois Sikh Community Center).
This event was an evening of fun and laughter to become familiar with the 360 youth and our surrounding law enforcement officers from the Lisle and Naperville Police departments. We dialogued with the youth about their dreams and aspirations regarding their future. What's happening now? What are their plans for the upcoming summer vacation? Our goal was to build relationships and partnerships with the surrounding police and civilians for the betterment of our community!
Change begins with ordinary people...