Black United Fund of Illinois Honors Common’s Mom, and ‘Rolling Out’

The Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) will celebrate “The Year of the Woman” during its 11th Annual Living Legends/Passing the Torch event set for Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Parkway Ballroom, according to Henry English, president and CEO of the organization. This year’s honorees come from the fields of community activism, education and labor, and collectively span over 50 years of making a difference in our communities.

The Living Legends event was conceived by the Black United Fund of Illinois as a way to encourage generational continuity in civil rights, business and the professions while sharing the collective skills, ideas and strategies with a new generation of leaders. The honorees will essentially “pass the torch” to their chosen successors within their fields.


Common’s mother and noted educator Dr. Mahalia Ann Hines will be honored and will pass the Torch to Latunja Williams, principal of Bronzeville Scholastic Institute. Dr. Hines is a Chicago Public School board member, and she is the current president of Hip House School House, a publishing company of children’s books and other educational material.

Dr. Hines is also actively involved in the Common Ground Foundation, founded by her son musical artist, singer, songwriter and actor, Common. The Foundation works with new school principals and creates and distributes relevant reading material for youth.


For the first time, the Black United Fund of Illinois BUFI will honor emerging African American leaders — Flames — whose work and accomplishments are a bright light in the Chicago community.

The 2011 Flames are:
Anita Andrews-Hutchinson and Nakisha Hobbs, The Village Leadership Academy;

Leadership Academy

Eva M. Brown, Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC);

Deborah O. Brown, NBC 5 Chicago;

Andrea Buford, Buford Law Offices, LLC;

Naomi Davis, BIG: Blacks in Green;

Zondra Hughes, Deputy Editor, Rolling Out

Paula R. Jones, Hyde Park Bank & Trust;

Keisha Joy Watson, ComEd.

Karin Norrington-Reaves, Cook County, Cameka Smith, The Boss Network abd Sheila Venson, Youth Connection Charter School

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