Carolyn Day joins as Acting Executive Director of historic organization
Standing on its principle of “Helping People Help Themselves,” the Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) is putting its mantra to practice as the iconic organization realigns its operations with innovative initiatives and a forward-thinking administration under the guidance of its acting executive director, Carolyn Day, as well as additional members to its Board of Directors. In coming months, the Board of Directors will be searching for a permanent Executive Director.
In 1986, activist and master organizer, Henry English, with a diverse group of businessmen, educators and community leaders organized BUFI making it the 16th independent affiliate of the National Black United Fund. The National Black United Fund was founded on the principles of self-help, mutual aid and volunteerism in order to create systematic mechanisms to rally resources for African-American communities. Since its inception, BUFI has assisted thousands of Illinoisans through grants and technical assistance to over 450 grassroots agencies and programs.
As a founding member and chairman of BUFI’s Board of Directors, Professor Robert Starks shared, “I’m honored to serve in this capacity for many years. We are working in keeping the legacy of Henry English and the full direction of BUFI alive through the new leadership of Carolyn Day and many of our new and younger Board members.”
English’s impact in the Black Liberation Movement was tremendous and his phenomenal contribution to BUFI was cut short by his sudden death on March 5, 2016. Presently, BUFI is on track retooling its strategy by optimizing the talent within the organization.
“BUFI is gaining leadership that will demonstrate transparency, trust, confidence and a connectedness that is always present. It is my intent to strengt hen and elevate the spirit of the Black United Fund of Illinois. The Board of Directors is committed to governing the Black United Fund of Illinois with assurance and the utmost integrity,” stated Day, who transitioned from her role as a BUFI board member to the acting executive director of BUFI.
Built on mechanisms for liberation, BUFI allows Black people at every economic level to pool their resources—time, money, ideas, supplies and skills—in order to: collectively empower neighborhoods; break a prevailing cycle of dependency; strengthen grassroots organizations; promote production as well as informed consumerism; and to motivate the youth.
As former executive director of Literacy Chicago, Day’s visionary and executive oversight established strategic planning strategies and developmental plans for organizational, program growth and expansion. She balanced a drive for growth and fiscal responsibility while overseeing several federal and State of Illinois Community College Board grants and private funds.
Passionate and enthusiastic about learning and strengthening civic and community engagement, Day is dedicated to empowering people. “My primary goal is to continue the legacy of the Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) with increasing programs, economic development and partnerships for the community. Reassuring the community that the state of BUFI is ‘good’ and to be affiliated is to be a part of ‘something bigger’ with encouragement and hope without judgment.”
For more information on the Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) or to contribute, contact Carolyn Day, 773.324.0494; www.bufi.org; or [email protected].