October 2020



MAAFA Goes Green


Meet the "MAAFA Green Team". For several weeks now, MAAFa has partnered with Green Corps - Chicago to learn the landscaping, and to beautify MAAFA's campus in the heart of West Garfield Park.






Partnering for Community Impact


Partnering For Community Impact: Our Executive Director Marshall Hatch Jr., featured with the Office of Civic Engagement at The University of Chicago.


New Partnership with One West Side



The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and A Better Chicago have launched a new partnership, One West Side, focused on equipping local leaders and fueling programs and services that enable Chicago's youth to thrive at all stages of life.

The partnership is a three-year initiative that will invest at least $2 million over three years in Chicago's West Side, which includes some of the city's underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods.


One West Side is focused on strengthening organizations deeply embedded in their communities with exceptional leaders poised to expand their impact. Collectively, the selected grantees reach Chicagoans at every stage of life -- from birth to young adulthood -- supporting education, social-emotional learning, mentorship opportunities, skills training and leadership development.


Read more on NHL.com.


MAAFA Recipient of $300,000 Grant



MAAFA member Quentin Harris speaks about his experience in the program during a presentation of a $300,000 grant to MAAFA Redemption Project from the We Raise Foundation outside the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church at 22 N. Kildare Ave in West Garfield Park Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.



“Since our founding in 1905, We Raise has invested in people impacted by the challenging parts of life,” said Paul Miles, president and CEO of We Raise Foundation. “From health crises like tuberculosis in the early part of the 20th century to the forgotten communities of our current times, we believe all of God’s people are worth our very best effort to invest in them. We are proud to join our friends at the MIGMIR Fund to support Marshall Hatch, Jr. and his team at MAAFA Redemption Project as they bring solutions to Chicago’s West Garfield Park community. The ideas, passion, and leadership to create a thriving, blessed community exist within this neighborhood and our role is to help get resources to those closest to the issues.


“MAAFA Redemption Project was selected after a months-long process with MIGMIR because of their holistic approach to violence prevention and because of their foundational anchor that is their Christian faith,” Miles shared. “MIGMIR and We Raise fund Christian programs and we cannot think of a better time – or a better recipient – in which to invest. As violence in Chicago has increased during the COVID pandemic, we must commit ourselves to finding passionate leaders who know how to help their community experience a better path forward. MAAFA is exactly the kind of organization we need to partner with to achieve that objective.”


Read more in the Chicago Sun Times, or on We Raise Foundation.


The MAAFA Remembrance, North Star, and Sankofa Peace Windows


The Maafa Remembrance, North Star and Sankofa Peace windows capture narratives from the past and present...the people of New Mount Pilgrim visibly honor both pain and promise through them in ways that are heartbreaking, breathtaking and unavoidable.


Taken together, the trinity of windows represents many things to New Mount Pilgrim: the claiming of the worship space as their own, the fuller representation of narratives too often ignored by broader culture, and a willingness to confront unimaginable grief by putting it at their spiritual center.


Read more on FaithandLeadership.com.


Interview with Reverend Marshall Elijah Hatch

The 62-year-old pastor said that “2016 shook me up. It was the first time I was on the verge of tears, thinking about stuff all the time. And it was clear to me; I had been traumatized.”


That year, Hatch delivered more than a dozen eulogies, the majority for homicide victims, including at the funeral of Demetrius Griffin, a 15-year-old boy whose body was found burned beyond recognition in a West Side alley.

In the wake of Demetrius’ death, Hatch did what he knew best.

“Grieving is a complicated process,” he said. “I find it’s best to give the family some space, but make sure they know I’m always here for them.”


Read more on Chicago Tribune.

Men of MAAFA Visit Washington D.C. to Join Demonstration


In late August four life coaches and eight MAAFA men visited Washington D.C. to join thousands of demonstrators at the Lincoln Memorial. Rev. Al Sharpton and The National Action Network invited MAAFA to participate in the "Commitment March", a commemoration honoring the 57th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech and a call to action. The young men who visited the Commitment March noted that the experience was transformative in that they felt "a part of something historic."

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