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The goal of the Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education is the enhancement of education and employment opportunities for Black people in Illinois. Through consolidated and coordinated efforts, the ICBCHE contributes to the resolution of many of the problems that adversely affect the educational status of this population. 




Review the Executive Summary of a Consensus Education Agenda for Blacks in Illinois. This six point collection of concerns and suggested solutions was compiled by the llinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE) in cooperation with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.


  • 2018 Illinois President's Reception

  • Archive - check out moments in ICBCHE history!​

A Call for Justice: Safe Spaces in Illinois Higher Education 


It is heartbreaking to have to write this letter, as we constantly have to remind the world that enough is enough. The Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE) strongly condemns ALL forms of racism, from bias and micro-aggressions to racialized violence displayed over the past month.

We should not have to continue to bear witness to the inhumane treatment and injustice shown toward African Americans and even remind people of how we should be treated, over and over again. As we try to emotionally deal with one of the worst pandemics of this century, as African Americans, we are seeing more of our people being killed by COVID-19, and then because of the color of our skin, we are subjected to the blatant racial discrimination exhibited daily. Please understand this entire situation is HARD to cope with for our African American administrators, faculty, staff and especially our students. We are emotionally drained from this racially discriminatory incident and have to be concerned about whether our students will be safe (even if they believe they are not) and GUARANTEE them that our campuses will be safe and secure as we begin the phase of returning to our respective campuses. We are asking ALL of our Illinois Institution of Higher Education Presidents to COMMIT to a Safe Space on the campuses and in their perspective communities as we phase in the re-opening and preparation for Fall 2020.  We are asking for the following: 


  • Provide high-impact professional development for faculty and staff to recognize privilege and white privilege in particular

  • Take an institutional stand against bias and hatred

  • Review policies and barriers to an equitable institution

  • Integrate equity goals and efforts into institutional strategic plans

  • Make sure our students of color, and specifically our men of color feel welcome. Create an atmosphere that ensures your campus and community is a safe space.

  • Create partnerships with community businesses and offer training for your City Councils, Rotary Clubs, park districts, restaurants, etc.

  • Have policing programs at your institution: Create “Conversations with your Campus Police”

  • Conduct inclusive conversations and town halls as well as small group discussions

  • Encourage students to express themselves in ways that are beneficial to promote change in our campus community


As leaders of public higher education institutions in Illinois, we are in need of your help to make sure our students feel and know that institutions of higher education will not only educate but create a safe space to live and dialogue about issues that serve as barriers to our commitment to inclusive excellence.

2019-2021 ICBCHE Executive Board

Dr. Mona Davenport, Eastern Illinois University

Dr. Gina Lee-Olukoya, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Central Vice-Chair

Dr. Phillip B. Thompson, Jr., McKendree University
Southern Vice-Chair

Richard Greenfield, Governors State University (Graduate Student)
Legislative Chair

B. James Griffin, Eastern Illinois University

Dr. Shawn Peoples, Eastern Illinois University




Higher Education in the State of Illinois is in turmoil!  Working without a budget is hurting the students because these are our future leaders.  The uncertainty of funding and financial support has a negative effect on enrollment and retention, and it hurts those working on campuses that are trying to maintain our resources without interruptions.


Our students are important to our campuses and communities - we need YOU to join ICBCHE by:


  1. Signing this statewide petition that urges elected officials to pass a higher education budget

  2. Calling your legislator to insist that they make education a priority (click here to find your legislators' district office phone lines, and use the following talking points to make the case for higher education); and 

  3. Writing a letter to the editor of your local paper 


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