Black Voices, Black Choices: “Children are an investment in our future.”

For many Black families, education is about maintaining the high-quality experiences they had as a child. They know what a great school is because they experienced it themselves and they want that same experience for their children. 

Meet Delilah Brooks:

What is your dream for your children’s education?

I always dreamed my children’s education would prepare them to be successful men and women in life.


Where do you send your child to school and how did you make that choice?

Three of my four children are now grown. However, I sent all of my children to private Christian schools. I made this decision because I wanted my children to be in a nurturing, loving, Christian environment, where they would learn to be lifelong learns. I wanted them to develop morals and values that will aid them in life.

My youngest child attends Providence St. Mel High School. I chose the school because I believe in the school’s vision and they believe in equipping our Black children to be successful.

Two of my children have now gone off to college and we chose HBCUs. My husband and I only have one regret in regards to our education, and that is that we didn’t attend an HBCU. So we wanted our children to have those opportunities, however, our third child attends fashion school in New York because that was her dream. She is considering an HBCU for graduate school so that she can share a similar experience with her siblings.

How does your education experience, and background impact the decision you make for your children?

I had a great elementary school experience. I went to a small Catholic school. I think that my love for education and school impacted my choice of school for my children. I wanted my children to have a similar experience to my experience; I wanted them to have the same kind of childhood. I wanted them also to develop a lifelong love of learning as I have.

What is the name of your favorite teacher and why are was s/he your favorite?

I had a lot of great teachers in elementary school. Those seem to be the best memories I have in school. Some of my favorite teachers were the ones that challenged me; they challenged me to dream bigger, to take more initiative in going after my goals and dreams. Those are my favorite teachers, from middle school – Mrs. Milligan, Mr. Herman, and Sister Margie English.

What is one thing you wish decision makers understood about educating your child and other Black children?

All children are valuable. Children are an investment in our future. Just like some people invest in stocks and bonds, I believe decision makers need to invest in children. They need to invest in our future by providing them with the love, care, safety, and the nurturing environment where they can learn. And if a child struggles in the traditional environment, I want the educators to be creative in finding solutions to ensure that every child gains the education they need and desire. Because every child has the potential to become a great citizen in our country and provide a lasting impact on our world.

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Chris Butler is first a husband and a dad. He has been involved across the spectrum of public engagement activities and has worked with a number of diverse constituencies in urban and suburban communities. He has also been involved in several political campaigns including his service as a youth and young adult coordinator for Barack Obama’s primary bid for U.S. Senate. Chris worked as deputy campaign manager and field director for A+ Illinois where he developed a strong, statewide field operation including over 500 organizations and 50,000 individuals around the state working to bring adequacy and equity to Illinois’ school funding system and as the director of advocacy and outreach at New Schools for Chicago, a leader in school reform in Chicago. Chris is a 2006 graduate of the Ministry Training Institute and holds a degree in civic and political engagement from Northeastern Illinois University.