Chapter History

South Suburban Chicago Chapter History

Jane P. Brown and Gloria Simms organized the South Suburban Chicago Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Both Jane and Gloria moved to Homewood, Illinois in 1973 and had been active members of the Chicago Chapter of Jack and Jill for many years. Moving to the South Suburbs meant constant travel for Jane and Gloria to attend meetings and to take the children to their activities. By 1974, they had decided there would have to be a Chapter closer to home. At that time, the African American families in the South Suburbs were few and they were scattered throughout the various South Suburban communities.

A meeting was arranged at Georgia Blackstone’s home in Homewood, Illinois. Georgia Williams of the Chicago Chapter, serving as the Regional Chairperson in charge of membership, met and assisted with the formation of the new group. Interested residents from various South Suburban communities were invited to attend the meeting.

After many months of meetings, organizing, collecting information and pulling it all together the interest group finally became a Chapter in 1976.


The Organizers

Jane Prescott Brown and Gloria Wells Simms

The Organizing Chapter Members

Dorothy Avant
Jane Brown
Janice Hancock
Jean Ball
Saundra Brunson
Gloria Simms

Helen Barry
Lois Butler
Alma Vinyard
Georgia Blackstone
Nina Cain
Frances Tisdale

Gwen Bowen
Imogene Evans
Roselle Washington
Carolyn Boyd
Helen Fredrick

The 1976 Charter Members in Addition to the Organizers:

Robin Banks
Billie Calloway
Jacqueline Parker
Marie Barthelmy

Phillis Hampton
Marianna Sims
Claire Boyce
Rose McBride
Wilma Scott

Today, the South Suburban Chicago Chapter has 66 families participating in Jack and Jill activities. These families live in the south suburbs of Cook and Will Counties, Illinois.