New billboards tout Englewood neighborhood's success stories
July 18, 2007 (WLS) -- Billboards are going up in Chicago's Englewood community celebrating the success stories of people who grew up in that neighborhood. It's part of an effort to foster pride and inspiration in that South Side community, as well as celebrating the rebirth of a college.
Residents of the Englewood community have had more than their fair share of violence, crime and poverty. The neighborhood gets a lot of attention for its misfortune, but a new campaign focuses on its good fortune. "Success Stories Rooted in Englewood" is the billboard campaign featuring some of Englewood's residents who have made great achievements: sculptor Richard Hunt, magazine publisher Jamie Foster Brown and her sister, Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster.
Henry Wilson, known informally as the mayor of Englewood for his community activism, is on of the billboards.
"Where people are today is not necessarily where they were yesterday. Where you start is not necessarily where you end up," said Wilson.
The billboards are part of the grand opening celebration of City College's new facility in Englewood. Kennedy King College at 63rd and Halsted has state of the art facilities and will begin classes August 27. The mayor toured the campus Wednesday.
"You have to tell stories, great success stories. We only hear things bad in life unfortunately. Bad stories travel faster than good stories," Mayor Daley said.
With him was City Colleges' chancellor Dr. Wayne Watson. Watson is an Englewood resident and came up with the idea to feature success stories on billboards.
"It has allowed the community to say hey, you know, I didn't know this individual was from Englewood. I didn't know this family was from Englewood. I did not know this family still lives in Englewood," said Dr. Watson.
Dr. Watson is featured with his father Wade Watson who at 90 years old still lives in the family's Englewood home.
"If you want to and make your mind up, you can do it. It's not going to be easy. But you make your mind up, you could be whatever you want to be," said Wade Watson, Dr. Watson's father.
Also featured on the billboards: business executive Jim Reynolds, the city's public health commissioner Dr. Terry Mason, the city's first African-American alderman Anna Langford, and her son Larry Langford, who we know as the spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department.
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