Friday, August 31, 2012


Greetings All!

Please don't mistake my hiatus from my blog as a sign that there is nothing GREAT to report in Englewood...There is so mnay GREAT things happening, that I am tempted to enlist a team of bloggers to help me share some of the wonderful and remarkable news...Although you may have heard all the negative reports from the media...I am here to tell you that this summer has been filled with so many opportunities for growth and transformation....I don't even know where to start....

Well, since its the end of August and many of the schools in Englewood are on the track E schedule, I supposed I can start with Education...As you know, I serve as the co-chair of the Englewood Community Action Council which are advocates for educational improvement throughout Greater Englewood. Even in the summer, we've been busy meeting and brainstorming the best way to implement our Educational Strategic Plan...Yep, despite all the drama happening with CTU and CPS, we are still hard at work to assure that this plan serves as a blueprint for better educational options in the neighborhood...

Looking at the data for our schools we need all hands on deck to promote high quality education for our future leaders...Although I am proud my daughter is attending one of the best selective enrollment school in the city, I am also saddened that Lindblom is the only school in Greater Englewood that is categorized as a "Level 1", which means performing very well...

We as a community of parents and educators have to do better job for our young people...We can't keep allowing them to enter these institutions to waste their talents and time...Even as I write this, there are news report indicating a strike from the teachers is set to start September 10th...So as you can see this educational saga continues...One way you can be more involved in these types of dialogues is to join the Englewood CAC meetings that take place every 1st Thursday of the month at Robeson H.S. located at 6845 S. Normal Blvd. at 6pm....We have to stop complaining and actually share our gifts to help our young people succeed....Isn't that the ultimate goal??

Miles Davis Academy - West Englewood

Speaking of supporting and loving young people...I had the honor to meet a bright, ambitious young man by the name of William Hall who is the co-founder of Acts of Love...He launched the Love Young People tour in partnership with RAGE a few weeks ago..This was such a joyous occasion where over 20 volunteers talked to the adults on the block and asked would they make a pledge to love young people, then we gave them books to pass along as well as put these books in the hands of these hopeful students! 

We distributed over 500 books on the blocks of Peoria, Sangamon and Green and these young people were amazed and oh so excited to add these to their libraries!  Even through the rain, RAGE members and other volunteers went door-to-door to make sure every home was touched by these Acts of Love!!  Now this is true dedication! Check out the photos and link for more info about this campaign.

RAGE members with William Hall founder of Acts of Love

RAGE member, Sonya Harper excited to show young people love!
Young people picking out the books they want!
I am also proud to announce the launch of R.A.G.E. bi-monthly publication, "The Englewood Call"....This publication is written by residents for residents...Check out our first issue...It's the Back to School edition and one featured story discussed the long history of the Englewood Back to School Parade and why it was cancelled in 2012...Very interesting read...If you would to contribute a story please email RAGE at 

Englewood Back to School Parade in the 70's

Another GREAT milestone was the launch of the Invest in Englewood campaign managed by the Greater Englewood CDC, whom hosted a fundraiser August 3rd at Sikia Restaurant on the KKC campus. The event sparked such grat hope and aspirations for the future of what Englewood can become...We all left that event feeling proud to wear our wristbands that stated....I AM ENGLEWOOD!!

Check out the photos below from the event:

Board Member John Gholar and Ald. Cochran of the 20th Ward

Board Member Corrinn Cobb

Board Members, Cherice Price, Asiaha (Aysha) Butler and Board President Eric B. McLoyd

RAGE Members enjoying the evening....

The mission of the Greater Englewood CDC is to REBRAND, REBUILD, REVITALIZE Englewood and I must say after this event we are definitely on our way...There is a follow-up meeting to discuss techniques on how we can start with the REBRANDING of Englewood collectively. The meeting will be held Saturday, September 8th at US Bank located at 815 W. 63rd St, 4th Fl. All stakeholders of Englewood are invited to be a part of this important dialogue...I can't wait to get going on this community wide effort! I am so tired of the media coverage and my reasoning for writng a blog was to offer another truth, show a different perspective...but to work with others who also want to help REBRAND Englewood is even more powerful!! We were also fortunate enough to appear on the Dr. Carol Adams show on WVON, to talk more about the efforts of RAGE and the Greater Englewood CDC...

I long for the day that the whole community stand proud together and proclaim...I AM ENGLEWOOD!!! For more info about this exciting campaign link here:

So as you can see summertime in Englewood has been the home to a number of peaceful back to school events, neighborhood clean-ups, more collaborative projects amongst organizations that are truly focused on transforming the community for the better.   I believe a true renaissance is slowly approaching and my association RAGE along with the efforts of other organizations like Imagine Englewood IF, Safety Network, Growing Homes, Teamwork Englewood, the Greater Englewood CDC and a host of others, we will be right at the forefront of these dramatic CHANGES...

As you can see there is lot happening and I am trying my best to keep up with all this stuff...But as I said before, I wanted to be a part of an Englewood enterprise/empire that primary focus is transforming Englewood for the better...So I am excited, hopeful and diving as deep as I can to see many of these positive initiatives come to life...As I always say...We have to TAKE ACTION to CREATE the BLOCK, NEIGHBORHOOD, AND LIFE we truly desire!!

Until next your mind that CHANGE is already here...we just have to step back and recognize it!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Ay-Sha Butler~