September 19, 2018
Last Friday, Chico Tillmon, Executive Director of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention (YSVP) initiative traveled to Washington, DC for the Congressional Black Caucus's (CBC) Veterans Braintrust Forum along with David Rivers, Site Program Director at the South Side YMCA. At the forum, Chico received the Veteran's Braintrust Award for his service to veterans through the YSVP’s Urban Warriors, a program that pairs post-911 veterans with youth exposed to violence in some of Chicago’s neighborhoods. He also served on a forum panel to share more about the program.
The CBC’s Veterans Braintrust serves as an advisory group to members of Congress and other groups on issues impacting African American and veteran community nationwide. Some of these issues include education, health care, mental health, aging, research, employment and training, homelessness, affordable housing and community development, small business, and benefits and services.
Other panelists included Damien Hooper-Campbell, Chief Diversity Officer at eBay, John Wesley Boyd, Jr., Founder and President of the National Black Farmers Association; Dr. William Lawson,MD, PhD, DLFAPA and Associate Dean for Health Disparities at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, and Bill Ashton, Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison at the USDA. The co-chairs of the Veterans Braintrust Forum were Congressman Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Anthony Brown (D-MD).
In addition to speaking on the panel, Chico got to meet the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie.