Inspire & Empower



Amina Norman-Hawkins 

“Media has not interest in preserving anything authentic…”

“This thing was so much greater than performing for my friends, it gave me power.”

Ever heard of the Master Groove Association (MGA)? How about Hip-Hop Heritage Month? Or Perhaps you were at Marquette Park during the infamous Klan Rally in 1988? Amina shared tales of her journey as an artist in Chicago during a time when Hip-Hop was still considered a fad. Hawkins is also the director of Keep it Movinga documentary that chronicles the voyage of three Chicago Hip-Hop artists selected by the US State Department to tour Cote d’Ivoire and conduct workshops on hip hop’s potential to promote peace and tolerance, empower young people, and create social change.

Today? You can register for Amina‘s Hip Hop History class at Columbia College.

Barbara Koenen

Barbara has been the force behind the city of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for over 20-years. Additionally, she is the founder of Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRx), a creative reuse program to connect teachers, arts organizations and other nonprofits with surplus materials and creative programming. 


Natalie Figuerora

“It’s about finding the joy and healing in your work.”

“Scarcity is a lie… of capitalism. There is enough love and resources in this world for all of us.”

Natalie made her priorities as an activist very clear: youth, dismantling anti-black structures, YGB Portland, creating joy for black and brown children, and reconnecting with humanity. When she’s not on a mission to save the world, she is working part-time at one of my absolute favorite places in Hyde Park, The Silver Room.

Dr. Amara Enyia

“The biggest power is the power to create.”


Dr. Amara Enyia truly needs no introduction. Why? Click Here.








“As Washington Park continues to disinvest in us we must invest in each other.”

Change can happen with one person but it propels forward with many.”








City Year, immigration advocacy… Dick Durbin staff, Tammy Duckworth… Logan Square resident,  Most proud of meeting people day to day to provide a reminder that they are not alone. We can all


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