National Trends

Facet Co-Chairs: Stephanie Miller, Janene Marshall-Gatling

National Trends and Services is the lead facet for West Towns’ Umbrella Program “Committing to Academic Excellence” at Lincoln Elementary School in Bellwood, IL. The facet coordinates the Chapter’s activities at the school, with lead responsibilities for Family Involvement and Engagement activities and a Library Enhancement project at Lincoln.

National Trends leads the Chapter’s advocacy efforts regarding “Closing the Achievement Gap” between African-American students and their white counterparts. Following Central Area Link guidance, National Trends coordinated the Chapter’s “Closing the Achievement Gap Forum” in Fall 2014 in partnership with the Kettering Foundation. Panel members including moderator Link Gerri Gray, parent activist and diversity specialist Sandra Charles, and University of Chicago Director of Graduate Diversity Recruitment Dr. Chinonye “Chi Chi” Nnakwe led a thought provoking discussion on the academic challenges facing children of color in the western Chicago suburbs. The program was recognized with a cash award at the 2015 Central Area Conference.

In September 2015, National Trends co-sponsored a Town Hall Forum on the importance of teacher efficacy in improving student performance with several other organizations, including local school districts, sororities and other community based organizations. With over 100 participants, the forum featured a highly engaged discussion of solutions to the academic challenges faced by students in the western suburbs of Chicago led by a distinguished panel of elected State and Local officials, educators and other professionals. Additional follow-up sessions will be held to focus on specific issues affecting teacher efficacy and student performance.

In November 2015, National Trends and Services is hosting a special session with adult participants on Black Lives Matter and Voting Rights Act at the It’s Just Us Girls Health and Wellness Conference at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.