Speak Up Speak Out

Speak Up Speak Out

Weekly Online Forum To Discuss Issues Facing Our Community

Welcome to Speak Up/ Speak Out  -a weekly online forum to discuss issues facing OUR community and working towards ways to enact real change. Topics weekly on Speak Up/ Speak Out will include everything from community action, mental health, family communication and more. You can catch Speak Up/ Speak Out every Saturday at noon here or on the Hot 105.5 Facebook page and the NowDecatur Facebook Page. 

Episode 11 – The US Census

Episode 11 Panel

Kindseth has spent more than a decade working in Illinois local government management and has a master's degree in urban public administration from Northern Illinois University. He currently served as the village administrator in Beach Park, Illinois.

Deputy City Manager Jon Kindseth

Kindseth has spent more than a decade working in Illinois local government management and has a master’s degree in urban public administration from Northern Illinois University. He currently served as the village administrator in Beach Park, Illinois.

Episode 9 – Mask Up!

Episode 9 Panel

Sheriff Tony Brown was elected Sheriff of Macon County in 2018 and brings to office over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. Brown graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1986 and served in the Army after graduation. He attended Richland Community College and began his career with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office in 1990.

Sheriff Tony Brown

Sheriff Tony Brown was elected Sheriff of Macon County in 2018 and brings to office over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. Brown graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1986 and served in the Army after graduation. He attended Richland Community College and began his career with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office in 1990.
Dr. Dana Ray, MD is a Family Medicine Specialist in Decatur, IL and has over 17 years of experience in the medical field.  She graduated from Southern Illinois University School Of Medicine medical school in 2003.  She serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Crossing Healthcare.

Dr. Dana Ray

Dr. Dana Ray, MD is a Family Medicine Specialist in Decatur, IL and has over 17 years of experience in the medical field. She graduated from Southern Illinois University School Of Medicine medical school in 2003. She serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Crossing Healthcare.

Episode 8 – Financial Independence

Episode 8 Panel

Stephanie Spannaus Hebron is a proud graduate of Macarthur High School.  She is a mother and community volunteer who currently lives outside of Chicago.  She is graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and a CPA who has worked in investments and finance for over 20 years.

Stephanie Spannaus Hebron

Stephanie Spannaus Hebron is a proud graduate of Macarthur High School. She is a mother and community volunteer who currently lives outside of Chicago. She is graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and a CPA who has worked in investments and finance for over 20 years.
Nikki L. Garry is the Founder and Owner of Your Money Matters, LLC. 
Nikki has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Millikin University, a Master of Science in Accounting from Liberty University, and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from Richland Community College. With over 15 years of experience in Corporate America, Nikki is well versed in the accounting and finance arenas and enjoys developing and teaching attainable solutions for financial freedom.

Nikki Garry

Nikki L. Garry is the Founder and Owner of Your Money Matters, LLC. Nikki has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Millikin University, a Master of Science in Accounting from Liberty University, and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from Richland Community College. With over 15 years of experience in Corporate America, Nikki is well versed in the accounting and finance arenas and enjoys developing and teaching attainable solutions for financial freedom.

Episode 7 – Jerry J Dawson Civic Leadership Institute and Minority Recruitment In Law Enforcement

Episode 7 Panel

Dr. Juanita M. Morris is a native of Decatur.  She studied mathematics & statistics at the University of Illinois in Springfield and research methodology & statistics and educational administration and foundations at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. After working at institutions of higher education and gaining extensive experience in higher education administration. Morris started J Morris Enterprises with her husband, support her local community and raise her children. Morris currently serves as the program coordinator of the Jerry J Dawson Civic Leadership Institute.  She is also the founder of Girls who Code of Macon County, the Summer Math Acadamy and has served as a facilitator for the parent leadership training institute and operation calculus.

Dr. Juanita Morris

Dr. Juanita M. Morris is a native of Decatur. She studied mathematics & statistics at the University of Illinois in Springfield and research methodology & statistics and educational administration and foundations at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. After working at institutions of higher education and gaining extensive experience in higher education administration. Morris started J Morris Enterprises with her husband, support her local community and raise her children. Morris currently serves as the program coordinator of the Jerry J Dawson Civic Leadership Institute. She is also the founder of Girls who Code of Macon County, the Summer Math Acadamy and has served as a facilitator for the parent leadership training institute and operation calculus.
Sheriff Tony Brown was elected Sheriff of Macon County in 2018 and brings to office over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. Brown graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1986 and served in the Army after graduation. He attended Richland Community College and began his career with the Macon County Sheriff's Office in 1990.

Sheriff Tony Brown

Sheriff Tony Brown was elected Sheriff of Macon County in 2018 and brings to office over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. Brown graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1986 and served in the Army after graduation. He attended Richland Community College and began his career with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office in 1990.
Chief Jim Getz began service with the Decatur Police Department on July 7, 1999. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Springfield and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session NA271. Getz was promoted to Chief of Police in 2016.

Chief Jim Getz

Chief Jim Getz began service with the Decatur Police Department on July 7, 1999. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Springfield and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session NA271. Getz was promoted to Chief of Police in 2016.

Episode 6 – ALICE Families

Episode 6 Panel

Debbie has been the Executive Director of the United Way organization of Decatur & Mid-Illinois since 2012. Debbie is working to educate the community on the service available during COVID-19, especially for those who have never sought services before.  Find out more a uwdecatur.org

Debbie Bogle, Executive Director of United Way of Decatur and Mid Illinois

Debbie has been the Executive Director of the United Way organization of Decatur & Mid-Illinois since 2012. Debbie is working to educate the community on the service available during COVID-19, especially for those who have never sought services before. Find out more a uwdecatur.org

Episode 5 – Young Leaders In Action

Episode 5 Panel

Dr. Sherrod has more than 20 years experience in teaching, mentoring and empowering young people. A professor at Richland Community College, she teachers English and Media. Dr. Sherrod is also CEO and founder of Sherrod's Independent Mentoring Program (SIMP), an organization focused on academic advising, mentoring and youth development.

Jarmese Sherrod, Ph.D.

Dr. Sherrod has more than 20 years experience in teaching, mentoring and empowering young people. A professor at Richland Community College, she teachers English and Media. Dr. Sherrod is also CEO and founder of Sherrod’s Independent Mentoring Program (SIMP), an organization focused on academic advising, mentoring and youth development.
Lainah LaFollette is a member of YLIA and works on the Social Media Team.  She is currently a senior at Maroa-Forsyth High School. At school , she is involved in volleyball, cheer, track, National Honors Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Young Life, and Young Leaders in Action.

Lainah LaFollette

Lainah LaFollette is a member of YLIA and works on the Social Media Team. She is currently a senior at Maroa-Forsyth High School. At school , she is involved in volleyball, cheer, track, National Honors Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Young Life, and Young Leaders in Action.
Quinn is a member of Young Leaders in Action and attends Eisenhower high school. He is involved in football, student council, baseball, and science club.

Quinn Barciszewski

Quinn is a member of Young Leaders in Action and attends Eisenhower high school. He is involved in football, student council, baseball, and science club.

Episode 4 – Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Episode 4 Panel

Raychel is the Diversity Inclusion & Affirmative Action Manager at Growmark, Inc, and the Founder of Corporate KIN LLC. She provides HR consulting for corporations, individuals, start-ups and non-profits who need support with diversity, equity, leadership and inclusion strategies.

Raychel Yokem

Raychel is the Diversity Inclusion & Affirmative Action Manager at Growmark, Inc, and the Founder of Corporate KIN LLC. She provides HR consulting for corporations, individuals, start-ups and non-profits who need support with diversity, equity, leadership and inclusion strategies.

Episode 3 – Racial Disparities in Healthcare

Episode 3 Panel

Jordan has been with IPHCA since 2013 and previously served as our Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Governmental Affairs. 
A healthcare strategist and change leader with the personal and professional goal of improving lives and health outcomes for individuals and communities, Jordan dedicated his career to public service after being raised in a low-income household by a single mother who faced multiple health issues.

Jordan Powell, MBA

Jordan has been with IPHCA since 2013 and previously served as our Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Governmental Affairs. A healthcare strategist and change leader with the personal and professional goal of improving lives and health outcomes for individuals and communities, Jordan dedicated his career to public service after being raised in a low-income household by a single mother who faced multiple health issues.
Dr. Dana Ray is a Decatur native and is the Chief Medical Officer at Crossing Healthcare.

Dr. Dana Ray

Dr. Dana Ray is a Decatur native and is the Chief Medical Officer at Crossing Healthcare.

Episode 2 Panel

Julia Livingston is the Executive Director, Macon County CASA and Founder, Discourse on Racial Difference book club. The book club, which has over 600 members and growing, was developed out of a desire to help our community begins fruitful and educated conversations on racial difference.

Julia Livingston

Julia Livingston is the Executive Director, Macon County CASA and Founder, Discourse on Racial Difference book club. The book club, which has over 600 members and growing, was developed out of a desire to help our community begins fruitful and educated conversations on racial difference.
Heather has been an elementary school teacher for ten years and is currently the kindergarten through third-grade art teacher at Mt. Zion.  Heather is a mom of two and a member of the Discourse on Racial Difference Book Club

Heather Guasco

Heather has been an elementary school teacher for ten years and is currently the kindergarten through third-grade art teacher at Mt. Zion. Heather is a mom of two and a member of the Discourse on Racial Difference Book Club

Episode 1 – Checking In

 

 

Episode 1 Panel

Reverend Courtney Carson serves as an ordained Minister at Antioch M.B. Church, Executive Director of External Affairs for Richland Community College and Vice President of Decatur Public Schools District.61. Rev. Carson is the Co-creator of the Award-Winning Trauma Sensitive Training Program known as EnRich at Richland Community College.

Rev. Courtney L. Carson, MDiv.

Reverend Courtney Carson serves as an ordained Minister at Antioch M.B. Church, Executive Director of External Affairs for Richland Community College and Vice President of Decatur Public Schools District.61. Rev. Carson is the Co-creator of the Award-Winning Trauma Sensitive Training Program known as EnRich at Richland Community College.
Jeanelle Keck is a Finance Director at a local insurance company. Jeanelle is a firm believer that education and civic engagement will lead to a more informed and just society. To that end, she became a certified facilitator in the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) in 2017.  In 2019, she co-led the first cohort of the Be the Bridge program, with the aim of racial reconciliation in the church. Also in 2019, she became an adjunct professor at Millikin University.

Jeanelle Keck

Jeanelle Keck is a Finance Director at a local insurance company. Jeanelle is a firm believer that education and civic engagement will lead to a more informed and just society. To that end, she became a certified facilitator in the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) in 2017. In 2019, she co-led the first cohort of the Be the Bridge program, with the aim of racial reconciliation in the church. Also in 2019, she became an adjunct professor at Millikin University.
Charmaine Robertson-Stoner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Director of Behavioral Health Services for Crossing Healthcare. With over 10 years in the field of Social Work, Charmaine has significant experience assessing and educating on the complex bio-psycho-social factors related to patients with emotional and physical trauma histories, who require mental health support, substance use treatment, and a continuum of care.

Charmaine Robertson-Stoner, LCSW

Charmaine Robertson-Stoner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Director of Behavioral Health Services for Crossing Healthcare. With over 10 years in the field of Social Work, Charmaine has significant experience assessing and educating on the complex bio-psycho-social factors related to patients with emotional and physical trauma histories, who require mental health support, substance use treatment, and a continuum of care.
Community Foundation Awards $150,000 In Grants For Workforce Development, Education and Environment

Community Foundation Awards $150,000 In Grants For Workforce Development, Education and Environment

August 6, 2020 – The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC) is awarding more than $150,000 in Communityworks grants to nine area organizations, benefitting nearly 15 community programs.

“The overall purpose of Communityworks is to provide a coordinated, systems-based approach toward the achievement of community aspirations,” says CFMC Foundation President Natalie Beck. “This endowed fund provides grants to area organizations and institutions whose efforts further the vision of a sustainable community in select priority areas of workforce development, education, and environmental sustainability.”

The 2020 Communityworks grant recipients are:

Workforce Development and Education:

• Boys & Girls Club of Decatur, $2,500 for virtual learning support

• Children’s Museum of Illinois, $2,500 for virtual learning support

• Baby TALK, $5,000 for adult education – family literacy program

• Salvation Army, $5,000 for Pathway of Hope

• Decatur-Macon County Opportunities Corporation (DMCOC), $10,000 for CDL certification program

• Richland Community College (RCC), $10,000 for the EnRich program and $10,000 for Project Read

• Workforce Investment Solutions, $98,500 for LPN scholarships, RN scholarships, accelerated welding at RCC, essential skills at Oasis Day Center and seven youth work experiences

Environment:

• Beautify Decatur Coalition, $2,000 for operating support

• Macon County Conservation District Foundation, $6,500 for operating support

“These recipient organizations are providing extremely valuable services to the community, and we’re proud to be a partner in helping them expand their efforts to improve the quality of life in Macon County,” Beck adds. “Our board of trustees also placed significant emphasis on workforce development this year in response to the effects of COVID-19, noting that to emerge strong from the pandemic, companies should start reskilling their workforces now. This year’s funding helps our community meet this challenge by investing in employees’ social and emotional skills, their digital and cognitive capabilities, and their adaptability and resilience.”

In 2005, The Community Foundation of Macon County was one of 18 initial foundations chosen to receive a Communityworks grant from the Grand Victoria Foundation. Through the years, CFMC has received donor contributions to meet the challenge funding matches required by the Grand Victoria Foundation, increasing CFMC’s Communityworks endowment fund to over $6 million.

The next round of applications for competitive and strategic Communityworks grant funding opens in April 2021.

African American Cultural and Genealogical Society Purchases Permanent Home

African American Cultural and Genealogical Society Purchases Permanent Home

August 2, 2020 – The African American Cultural and Genealogical Society now have a permanent home after purchasing the building in which it currently resides. 

The museum, located at 235 west Eldorado, was able to purchase the building with the help of the Central United Methodist Church.  

The African-American Cultural & Genealogical Society was organized on August 31, 1993, starting with 25 members from Decatur and Central Illinois. 

The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm and the First and Third Saturday from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Call (217) 429-7458 for more information. 

Decatur Area Arts Council to Hold Competition in Place of Craft Beer Festival

Decatur Area Arts Council to Hold Competition in Place of Craft Beer Festival

With the annual Decatur Craft Beer Festival being canceled due to COVID-19, the Decatur Area Arts Council decided to have a “socially cautious competition” in lieu of the festival.

Game of Cups will begin on August 20th and will be held every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. through September 17th.  The first month of qualifier rounds will be held at Decatur Brew Works and Golden Fox Brewing with the location alternating every week.  The best three teams will then compete in the finals at Golden Fox Brewing.  The top three teams will win cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100.

Teams will consist of two players or, “cupples” playing their five to seven games in a relay-race style competition.  Games will consist of flipping, dropping, stacking, tossing, bouncing, and more with their solo cups.  Drinking is not required to compete in Game of Cups.

“We encourage everyone to have fun and get creative with their team names and outfits for the night.” said Jerry Johnson, executive director of the Arts Council.

Health guidelines for social events will be observed.  Competitors must wear masks.  Hand sanitizer and disposable gloves will be made available.

Competitors must register in advance at DCBFest.com due to time and space limitations at each qualifying round.

 

 

COVID-19 Cases in IL Increasing as State Reopens

COVID-19 Cases in IL Increasing as State Reopens

July 15th, 2020- The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois is increasing as the state reopens, more people return to work and quarantine fatigue sets in – a confluence of events that has led some public health officials to remind people about the importance of personal responsibility. 

The increase in Illinois is not like the resurgence that some other states have reported. However, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for three consecutive days at the end of last week. State public health officials said that the seven-day positivity rate for positive cases as a percent of total tests from July 6 to July 12 was 3.0 percent.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently tweeted out a reminder about the need for people to maintain vigilance. 

“We remain concerned that cases are rising and positivity rates are inching up,” he said. “Now more than ever, we must rely on what the science is telling us. Wearing a face covering is an effective tool in the fight against #covid19.”  

Others blame “COVID fatigue” for the uptick.

Officials warned that a significant rise in cases could put increase the number of hospitalizations, which could slow the state’s reopening or move it backward on Pritzker’s five-phase reopening plan. Illinois moved into Phase 4 of the governor’s reopening plan in late June. 

While the state’s case count is rising, other metrics remain relatively flat. 

The seven-day trend in hospitalizations remains lower than it had been last month, at 1,342 as of July 11.

Yesterday, the state reported 707 new cases. 

Land of Lincoln Credit Union Donates $10,000 to the Decatur Junior Football League

Land of Lincoln Credit Union Donates $10,000 to the Decatur Junior Football League

July 6th, 2020- The Decatur Junior Football League got some needed financial help after a theft of the league’s equipment.

Land of Lincoln Credit Union donated $10,000 to the Decatur Junior Football League after a recent burglary of its equipment. With the donation, Decatur JFL will be able to purchase replacement protective equipment (50 helmets and 50 shoulder pads). Additionally, the donation will provide funding for scholarships for 30 participants.
“Programs like Decatur JFL are critical to our community,” states Robert Ares, LLCU President/CEO. “The positive impact of a program like this is impossible to measure and we felt a strong responsibility to do what we could to ensure the program could continue and thrive.”
The league currently has 4 flag football teams, as well as a tackle team in each grade level from 5 th – 8 th grade. The league provides an opportunity for cheerleaders at each grade level, as well.
“This donation from LLCU will help replace the equipment, but it will go even further,” stated Tony Wilkins, JFL President. “Due to the pandemic, parents of a lot of the JFL kids are currently unemployed and so, a portion of this donation will help us to provide scholarships to those that might not otherwise be able to participate. JFL doesn’t just stand for Junior Football League, but also for Junior Future Leaders. Those future leaders are what LLCU is investing in and for that, we are extremely grateful.”
Decatur JFL provides a summer activity for nearly 200 youth with over 80% of the participants coming from low-income households. For this reason, the league wanted to avoid raising fees to cover the cost of the stolen equipment. “I had the great opportunity of coming up through the Junior Football League. I was a Junior Future Leader and now I am a Leader in the community, so I know firsthand the kind of impact this program has on youth,” said Macon County Sheriff Tony Brown.
New Grant Program for Non-Profits To Provide Food And Housing Assistance

New Grant Program for Non-Profits To Provide Food And Housing Assistance

June 29th, 2020- A grant program to help small non-profit organizations provide food and housing assistance will begin taking applications on July 1.

The Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund assists small non-profits with annual budgets of $1 million or less. Money comes from filing fees non-profits pay when incorporating in the state of Illinois, not personal or property tax dollars.

For this grant cycle, $375,000 is available to be split between 30 non-profits. The maximum award amount is $12,500 for each organization. More than $2.2 million has been awarded to 100 non-profit organizations through the Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund since the program was established in 2017. Awardees are selected by an 11-member board, which oversees the management and guidelines of the fund.

Previous grant recipients are eligible to apply if the term of their grant has been complete for at least one calendar year.

The upcoming application period runs from July 1 – September 30, 2020. Visit ilcharitabletrust.com to complete an application online.