Successful Attorney Wants to Give Back through Healthy Community Commission
Wynter Jackson has made a sizeable impression in labor law since she left the Joliet area for college. Now that’s she’s back in town, Jackson wanted to find a way to give back to the community that supported her journey.
After talking with friend Betty Washington, Jackson applied for and was chosen to fill a vacancy on the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission, of which Washington is a member.
The Silver Cross HCC was launched by the hospital board in 2008 as a not-for-profit committed to creating a stronger, healthier future by providing support for education, workforce development training, and enrichment activities for youth, to improve the quality of life on Joliet’s east side.
Jackson—an Ingalls Park native and graduate of Eisenhower Academy, Washington Junior High and Joliet Central—said the appointment couldn’t be more fitting, considering she was able to pay for her first year of college as a result of grants and scholarships provided through the some of the organizations that are now recipients of the HCC.
Since 2008, the Commission has awarded over $2.4 million in educational scholarships, workforce development, and quality of life grants to numerous east-side Joliet residents and organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha – Tealight Foundation; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Community Services Council of Will County; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Forest Park Community Center; Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana; Lebanon Baptist District Association; National Hook-up For Black Women; The Harvey Brooks Foundation, Play for Rings, Inc.; Redeemed Connection; Senior Services of Will County; Spanish Community Center; and the University of St. Francis.
Jackson -- the first civilian, the first African-American and the first female leader of the Management and Labor Affairs Section for the Chicago Police Department – as early as junior high was exposed to some of HCC’s community partners: the National Hook-Up of Black Women and the NAACP-Joliet Chapter where she got her first taste of wanting to be an advocate and speak up for disenfranchised people.
Now, Jackson wants to show others coming from areas of the city where others will label individuals as “disadvantaged” they can do it, too – and really do so much more.
“I am proud of being from Joliet,” she said. “I was born at Silver Cross Hospital; I took every opportunity I could to be involved as a youngster and that has paid off in many ways that I can see even today. My community helped me and I want to give back.”
“I didn’t see any black female lawyers until I got into law school. I want to level the playing field for those who think they can’t do it. They can. And the Healthy Community Commission can help them do it by giving them ways to improve their self-image.”
For more information on the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission, email SCHHCC@silvercross.org.