Photo caption: Merri Dee
Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action, Inc. (PLCCA) is proud to announce the dedication of the Merri Dee Youth Technology Lab in honor of the late Merri Dee, a cherished mentor and supporter of PLCCA. The dedication ceremony will take place on June 14 at 9 a.m., at the lab’s location on the 2nd floor of 515 S. St. Charles Road, Maywood, IL 60153.
Attending and speaking at the dedication will be the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Emanuel Christopher Welch, and Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Ann Lightford.
Bishop Porter expressed his heartfelt appreciation, stating, “Merri Dee was a beacon of light in our community, and her unwavering dedication to uplifting underrepresented youth will continue to inspire generations to come. The Merri Dee Youth Technology Lab is a testament to her legacy and the profound impact she made on the lives of countless young individuals.”
Merri Dee, known as “Chicago Very Own,” left an indelible mark on the broadcasting industry. From her early days as a WGN staff announcer to her roles as a host for parade telecasts, telethons, and the Illinois Lottery drawings, she became synonymous with WGN-TV. Beyond her groundbreaking work in broadcasting, Merri Dee was a sought-after philanthropist, keynote speaker, mistress of ceremonies, and event hostess. One of her greatest accomplishments was raising over $30 million for WGN-TV Children’s Charities, supporting numerous organizations throughout the Chicagoland area, including PLCCA.
However, Merri Dee’s illustrious career in technology often goes unrecognized. In the 1960s, she began her professional journey at IBM, a dominant force in the tech industry at that time.
As one of the few women of color in the field, Merri Dee traveled across the country, The Merri Dee Youth Technology Lab, named in honor of Merri Dee, symbolizes her passion for empowering underrepresented youth by providing them with access to technology and opportunities. The lab will serve as a hub for innovation, education, and personal growth, offering a supportive environment where young individuals can develop essential skills and unlock their full potential. Through this dedication, PLCCA aims to carry forward Merri Dee’s mission of lifting up underrepresented youth and equipping them with the tools to thrive in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
PLCCA, Inc., is a nonprofit organization with offices at 411 West Madison Street in Maywood, Illinois. It has been providing Outpatient Treatment: Opioid Treatment program (Adults) since 1971 and Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Adults) program in the Proviso Leyden area since 2012.