J.R. Fleming talks mission of Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

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J.R. Fleming, executive director, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

Community Profile:

Willie J.R Fleming, Founder and Executive Director

Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

What is the mission of your organization?

The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign is a human rights organization that seeks to enforce housing as a fundamental right through demonstrations, direct action, and popular education that empowers those directly impacted to de-commodify housing and affirm it as a human right. The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign envisions a world where people are self-determining and where communities collectively control and jointly manage the land on which they live. We envision a world in which housing is not thought of as a commodity, but as a human right!

What segment of the community does your organization seek to serve?

Intergenerational. Poor, working and middle-class families — from the homeless to the homeowners.

What is your role and responsibility within the organization?

They are reflected in my job description, it includes: expanding and managing CAEC chapters, networks, and allies; researching detrimental and supportive legislation, policies; participating in city, county state legislative housing meetings; coordinating and recruiting trade contractors;

preparing and submitting shadow reports that reflect AEC human right to housing mission; facilitating trainings and presentation on human rights, community development and community land trusts; property research; coordinating members activities and participation;

identifying programs and opportunities; fundraising support; attending funders meetings, trainings events; leadership development for members and volunteers; event planning and coalition building; preparing position/policy papers; social media management

What are three areas and/or activities that you and your organization are currently focused on?

1.Housing – protection, preservation and development.

2.Employment – economic, business and skills development.

3.Human rights – advocacy and enforcement

Do you have a personal philosophy that guides you in the work that you do?

Yes, I believe that we must lead by example so as to accomplish human rights to housing. We the people must be willing to enforce our human rights by any means necessary! “If you’re willing to fight for your rights, we will fight with you.”

As it relates to that work, what is the legacy that you would like to leave?

A legacy of self-determination, love, service and promotion of human rights!

To date, what are two or three things that you’ve accomplished with the organization that you are most proud of?

Building a human rights movement nationally, my ability to influence and police both government and the private sector, and empowering people to organize collectively.

What past work, education, or community experiences helped to prepare you for the work that you are doing right now?

Grassroots organizing around the human right to housing in Cabrini Green (Chicago), New Orleans, Atlanta, and other public housing systems at the local and national level. Hip-hop organizing, working with the young Democrats, and youth leadership development to train young people to be organizers and community leaders using the Conventions on the Rights of the Child. These experiences provided an education in the nonprofit sector and prepared me to be the executive director at the Campaign.

Get more info about the Chicago Anti-Eviction campaign by visiting their website: http://chicagoantieviction.org

The Real TJ Crawford (on twitter @tjcrawford4real)

The real TJ Crawford (@tjcrawford4real) is a hip hop generation, social entrepreneur building community via words, deeds and actions.



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