Member highlight - Community organizing and Family Issues (COFI)
2015 was an important year for COFI as they celebrated the organization’s 20th Anniversary and 20 Years of Parents Leading Change. Following are just a few of the highlights from this milestone year.
Parent leaders bolstered their outreach work in communities throughout the Chicago region to connect families and children with the resources they need. COFI parents:
- Spoke with 19,101 low-income families with information about the advantages of quality preschool participation and referred 2,773 at-risk young children for enrollment in such programs.
- Reached over 5,620 families with information about summer meal programs for children.
In addition to their neighborhood outreach, COFI Parent Leaders continued to press for a broad platform of policy reforms around economic security for low-income women of color, increasing the healthy development and school success of their children, and reducing school suspensions and expulsions that disproportionately impact African-American and Latino children.
Parents won funding to expand their Peace Centers in schools and community locations and successfully advocated, with legislative and policy partners across Illinois, to pass Illinois Senate Bill 100 which was signed by the Governor. This new law brings school discipline reform to Illinois communities statewide and represents a huge step towards breaking the school-to-prison pipeline, especially for young men of color. As of September 2016, "zero tolerance" suspensions and expulsions will be gone! Fines and fees for misbehavior also will be eliminated.
You can donate to COFI through your workplace giving program using SECA/CCC Code 903-0145 or CFC Code 31427. Find out more about COFI by visiting their website www.cofionline.org.