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Institute of Positive Education Receives Honorary Street Sign

Lee Edwards | 11/6/2014, 12:17 p.m.
In recognition of nearly a half of a century of service in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood, the Institute of Positive Education ...
Ald. Michelle Harris (Dist.-8) (center) joined Institute of Positive Education founders at the unveiling of the organization’s honorary street sign Oct. 24, 2014 on the corner of 78th St. and Ellis Ave. The the Institute of Positive Education (IPE), a community based non-profit organization that strives to provide quality education to community youth.

In recognition of nearly a half of a century of service in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood, the Institute of Positive Education (IPE), a community based non-profit organization that strives to provide quality education to community youth, was bestowed an honorary street sign on the corner of 78th St. and Ellis Ave. last month.

Founded in 1969, IPE’s primary objectives are to use education as a pathway to develop empowerment within African American communities and to address complicated issues, according to one of its founders, Safisha Madhubuti

“It’s very reaffirming to be acknowledged by the city in this way,” said Safisha Madhubuti. “The pride in just the number of young people that have been impacted by the work that we’ve done over these years... we can see the fruit of that.”

IPE’s founders have also launched two learning centers; New Concept Preschool (NCP), 7825 S. Ellis Ave., and Betty Shabazz International Charter School (BSICS), 7822 S. Dobson Ave. Additionally, IPE partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to provide academic and art/cultural after-school programs for its students.

Dave Ireland, CEO of Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools, described the founders of IPE, NCP and BSICS as “visionaries” because of their accomplishments. Ireland also stated that he wanted his students present at the unveiling of the honorary street sign ceremony because he wanted to make sure they understood the history of the moment.

“We want to make sure that they understand not only their history but we want to make sure that they understand our history, our struggle, the struggle that their parents and grandparents and great grandparents went through and by doing that it helps them to see who they are and what their role is in the struggle and what part they play,” said Ireland.

In addition to the educational institutions, IPE produces written materials from its own printing company such as the Black Book Bulletin, created a community garden, etc.

Ald. Michelle Harris (Dist.-8th), also attended the occasion.

“This event is the culmination of 45 years of community input, community involvement and growth, of not just a movement, but of an educational process with their book store and their Third World Press, which is one of the largest African American presses in the United States, what a great movement it is,” said Ald. Harris. “You have an organization that’s invested in the community, they’ve been here 45 years so they’re here, they’re not going anywhere, but it’s the message they bring and the message of empowerment for African Americans and teaching love and teaching children to love themselves.”

For more information about the Institute of Positive Education visit http://ipeclc.org/history.html.