Throughout Black History Month, we have been highlighting local leaders of East Garfield Park. Join us in celebrating one of Chicago's historic neighborhoods through some of the amazing people that lived here, worked here, and helped shape our community.

Nancy B. Jefferson

(July 20, 1923 - Oct. 18, 1992)

Nancy B. Jefferson was known as the “Joan of Arc of the West Side,” as she passionately advocated and organized for the residents of Chicago.

Janice Jackson

South Side native Dr. Janice Jackson was the principal at two West Side high schools, Al Raby and Westinghouse, before being appointed CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

Mark Aguirre

Former Westinghouse standout Mark Aguirre is considered one of the most decorated local athletes. He was named College Player of the Year in 1981 at DePaul before going No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft later that year.

Alfonso McKinnie

Marshall High alum Alfonzo McKinnie entered the NBA in 2017 as an undrafted free agent. His rise in the G-League helped earn him a spot this year with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Dorothy Gaters

Coach Dorothy Gaters returned to her alma mater to teach in the 1970s and led the girls basketball team to 10 state titles, 21 semi-finals and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Dwayne Reed

Educator Dwayne Reed created a viral back-to-school music video that garnered more than 1 million views. He has worked with fellow educators, musicians, and national brands to promote experiences that excite, equip, and educate learners..

Willie Morris

A lifelong advocate of youth development, Rev. Morris mentored many of Chicago’s youth to achieve their best.  As Recreational Director at Marillac House, he founded the renowned West Side Basketball Classic.

Levette Haynes

Artist and activist Levette Haynes has led the West Side Cultural Arts Council for almost 25 years where she works to promote visual and performing artists through creative activities.