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NCBW 100 hosts panel for women interested in political careers 

Six panelists, including three who represent H-F constituents, discuss their work as Black women in politics at a forum May 27 sponsored by the Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. (Faith Lee/H-F Chronicle)

On Saturday, May 27, the Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women hosted a Women, Wine and Politics panel for women who are interested in a career in politics at Prairie State College.

The Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of NCBW 100 was chartered in 2020 and is currently the only chapter in Illinois. The organization aims to engage Black women and girls in political sectors and enhance their personal and professional development. 

Women were able to network with each other as well as with the panelists and politicians in attendance at the beginning and end of the event. There was also a question-and-answer session at the end of the panel discussion. 

The panel discussion aimed to provide advice and insight into the panelists’ realities of serving at different political levels. 

The panelists included Judge Adrienne Davis of the 2nd subcircuit of Cook County; Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordan, 5th district; Pam Jackson, Board Member of Homewood-Flossmoor 233 school district; Illinois State Representative Debbie Meyers Martin of the 38th District; Rosalind Mustafa, Flossmoor Board Trustee; and Letitia Brady Pettis, former candidate for 8th District Council. 

Jackson and Mustafa gave their insights on several topics ranging from staying involved in politics to their typical days as elected officials. 

Jackson discussed the importance of being aware of political decisions that are being decided and encouraged Black women to engage in politics. 

“Even if you’re not in politics, you need to stay abreast of politics. Too many times, our race gets blindsided by decisions that have been made,” Jackson said. “Just having a seat at the table, being able to bring your skills, your value, your talents to the table and really be a part of the decision-making process; that is critical.” 

Mustafa was asked to describe her typical day as a Flossmoor Board Trustee. She explained her practice of being informed and involved in what is occurring daily in the community. 

“Every day is being present, understanding that you have your life, you have your responsibilities, but on a local level, you’re for the people,” Mustafa said. “That’s why they elected you, because you could be their voice, you could be the person to be brave, you could be the person to take the risk.” 

Mustafa also emphasized the priority of service she has maintained during her life in public service. 

“I chose to be a trustee to serve and be an advocate. I have to do that with sincerity, with the character that I’ve developed over the years, with the integrity that is my trademark,” Mustafa said. 

The women spoke on numerous topics, including their journeys in politics, gaining voter and party support and the importance of Black women serving in politics. 

“It is important for Black women to run for office because I think that we have a special skill set,” Meyers-Martin said. “We understand the community, and we have passion for the community, and that is so important when you are in public service.” 

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