Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
ad•vo•cacy (n.) speaking, acting and writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group to promote, protect and defend their welfare and justice.
Historically, strong and well-orchestrated advocacy movements have played a critical role in strengthening the African American community’s voice in policy development, resource distribution, and access to human services. The ILAACP is committed to championing a continuous, constructive, and staunchly focused advocacy agenda that ensures safe, healthy, and resilient African American children, families, and communities.
From as far north as Lake and Winnebago counties to as far south as Pulaski and St. Clair counties, Illinois’ African American communities continue to disproportionately bear the economic and social costs of an insufficiently funded prevention and early intervention system. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, an excessively high infant mortality rate, inadequate access to quality early childhood education, a widening educational achievement gap, disproportionate juvenile/police contact and incarceration, and HIV/AIDS infection rates representing greater than half of all reported cases.
It is the ILAACP’s position that many social and health disparities can be reduced by strengthening early intervention and prevention systems within Illinois’ African American communities. This includes monitoring local, state, and federal legislation and policy that is pertinent to the work of the ILAACP and its members. The ILAACP also works in collaboration with other statewide organizations to advocate for policy, laws, and systems change consistent with our vision and mission.