African American leaders share stories of inspiration

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BUILD Chicago will celebrate Black History Month this week with its annual The Black Table event.

The virtual event – which runs from Monday, Feb. 21 through Friday, Feb. 25 – features African American leaders who will be sharing stories and reflections about their experiences, careers and how they hope to inspire young people.

The Black Table recognizes the inspiration and knowledge that current African American leaders can offer to Austin’s young residents and Chicago youth, helping them identify opportunities for what they can become, organizers say.

“One of the benefits of the Black Table is that we get to one, acknowledge our leaders while they are yet with us,” said Deonna Hart, manager of learning and leadership at BUILD. “And, then also it creates an opportunity for young people to actively and tangibly see and get to know those members of our community who are having a huge impact and are, or, have been largely successful.”

Through online videos that will be available on BUILD’S YouTube channel, young people will hear from accomplished leaders such as 17-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Hosea Sanders.

“He was the moderator of the very first Black Table, so we are very excited to have him sharing his story this year,” Hart said.

The other speakers will be Charles Anderson, principal at Michele Clark Academic Preparatory Magnet High School; state Sen. Mike Simmons; Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson; prosecutor Risa Lanier, who serves as first assistant to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.; Nia Abdullah, executive director at MapsCORPS; artist and illustrator Antonia Rupert; and BUILD Chairwoman Siobhan Sanders.

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