YMCA of Metro Chicago at the Bud Billiken Parade
May 22, 2023

Focusing on the Power of Education and Empowerment

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is honored to have been a part of the 93rd Annual Bud Billiken Parade in August, an annual Chicago tradition that celebrates Black joy and kicks off the back-to-school season.

The annual Bud Billiken Parade and Festival is the largest African American parade in the United States. Due to the pandemic, the Bud Billiken Parade hadn’t carried out its full schedule and parade for two years. The 2022 parade’s theme was “Power of Bud Billiken 365”, emphasizing that the celebration of Black history in Chicago and the continued inspiration of youth continues year-round.

Dorri McWhorter, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, served as an Honorary Grand Marshal for the annual South Side event. The entire Y community was thrilled that Dorri — an active member of Chicago’s civic, business, and philanthropic communities and who is integral in guiding the YMCA of Metro Chicago into becoming a 21st-century social enterprise — received this well-earned distinction. 

The Y had the privilege of participating in the parade procession, with 100 of our Y employees and community members walking the two-mile route down Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in the South Side of Chicago while handing out giveaways, including mini basketballs, hand-fans, and more.

Like the Bud Billiken Parade, the Y is deeply committed to the power of education and empowerment. As an organization, we work to empower our communities and to make long-lasting change through investing in our youth and providing them with opportunities and resources to connect to their purpose, potential, and each other.

“We loved seeing all the community that would come out and support the Bud Billiken just to see all the folks make sure that the youth of Chicago know that they matter,” said Dorri in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “To see folks descend upon the South Side and down King Drive it’s definitely something to behold.”