Engaging the community with abundant opportunities for residents to lead safe, healthy, and productive lives.





GOAL: To increase public safety for all City of Kankakee residents.

OBJECTIVE: To improve outcomes for young African-American men and boys in Kankakee through neighborhood engagement.


  1. Provide Kankakee residents with suggestions for organizing block parties, youth activities, and other social events to get to know their neighbors.
  2. Encourage neighborhood groups to identify what they love about where they live and to create ways to express their neighborhood pride.
  3. Encourage adult residents to volunteer to serve as mentors and assist with youth programs.

GOAL: To decrease the number of African-American boys and men under 25 years of age in custody and re-offending

OBJECTIVE: To prevent and address childhood trauma related to violence through healthy relationships and behavioral development.


  1. Initiate a “Forgiveness” campaign in partnership with area faith communities and youth service providers to lead youth through a process to forgive someone in their lives who is at the root of their anger.
  2. Partner with Project SUN to strengthen and unify efforts to help children, adolescents, and their families access mental health services.

GOAL: To foster greater school success and expanded employment opportunities for young African-American men and boys in Kankakee.

OBJECTIVE: To make clear pathways to equitable educational outcomes and sustainable employment more accessible.


  1. Continue to provide African American Civic Leaders Scholarships to youth.
  2. Promote Kankakee School District’s programs and recognize student accomplishments via the City’s communication outlets.
  3. Partner with workforce development organizations, such as Kankakee Workforce Services and Samaschool, to provide training and opportunities for young adults to engage in the “Gig Economy.”
  4. Encourage area employers to provide internships and afterschool/seasonal employment to city high school students.
  5. Promote teen and adult participation in JUMP, the Juvenile Mentoring Program for Kankakee County youth formed in partnership by Kankakee Area YMCA, Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce, and the Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office.
  6. Partner with the Kankakee County State’s Attorney to offer expungement opportunities for young adults.