Black Star Luncheon Lectures Designed To Empower

Phillip Jackson, Black Star Project founder

The Black Star Project has recently added a series of lecture luncheons to its arsenal of programs designed to improve the lot of less-advantaged Black communities.

Titled “The Public Policy and Economic Empowerment Lecture Luncheon Series,” the events feed the audiences knowledge from experienced African-American movers and shakers, as well as food from Black-owned restaurants.

This all takes place in the offices of the Black Star Project, located at 3509 South King Drive, beginning at 12 noon. Here is a schedule of guests lined up so far:

Black Star
Dr. Terry Mason

• April 19, 2018
Dr. Terry Mason
Chief Operating Officer
Cook County Department of Public Health

Topic: Medicine and Money; Health and Economics

Dr. Mason attended Loyola University (Go Ramblers!) in Chicago and received his B.S degree in biological science. He earned his M.D. degree from the Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine at the University of Illinois. Terry completed his residency of General Surgery at the University of Illinois Metropolitan Group Hospitals Program and his residency of urology at the Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center.

He started his practice of urology with Dr. Harvey Whitfield and at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, he developed a specialty service for male erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer. In 1992, Mason became host of the “Doctor in the House” radio show on WVON 1690-AM.

The following year, he founded Center for New Life, a business dedicated to integrating diet modification and exercise to treat chronic diseases. In 2004, Terry launched the Restar4Health campaign, which encouraged the public to stop unhealthy eating habits and to make smart food choices.

In 2005, Mason became the Commissioner of Health for the City of Chicago. He was responsible for over 1,200 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $200 million. Mason detected and managed health threats to the citizens of Chicago and held over seventy-five press conferences before retiring in 2009 and becoming the Chief Medical Officer for Cook County.

He served as interim chief executive officer for the Cook County Health and Hospital System from May 2011 until October 2011, and advised and led a team of medical experts on matters of public health importance.

Mason also served as national chairman of urology at the National Medical Association, and was the Midwest regional chair for Chicago’s National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer. He is a member of the Cook County Physicians Association and was featured in the film Forks over Knives in 2001.

Lunch for this event will be provided by the Black-owned Soul Vegetarian Restaurant.

Black Star
Atty Jim Montgomery

• April 26, 2018
James D. Montgomery, Sr.
Attorney and Managing Partner
James D. Montgomery and Associates, Ltd.

Topic: The Law and Money

Over the past six decades, Attorney James D. Montgomery Sr. has transformed a blank canvas into a colorful legal landscape of successful civil and criminal cases. Some of these cases will be discussed, analyzed, and written about for years to come.

The authors and researchers of his book Full Circle have been gathering primary and secondary information on Montgomery since May, 2015. Because he has been a public figure for more than 50 years, the public record yields a great deal. Multiple in-depth interviews with Montgomery reveal a person with deep and honest reflections about his life, his impact on society, and how his family, peers, and history will recall him and his contributions.

Black Star
Mr. Montgomery will autograph copies of his book, Full Circle, $19.95 at the luncheon.

Black Star
Ariel’s John Rogers Jr.
• May 16, 2018
John Rogers
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Ariel Investments

Topic: Building Generational Black Wealth

John Washington Rogers Jr. is the investor and philanthropist who founded Ariel Capital Management (now Ariel Investments, LLC) in 1983. Ariel manages assets of more than $13 billion.

John is chairman and CEO of the company, which is the United States’ largest minority-run mutual fund firm. He was active in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 and was a leader of his 2009 Inauguration Committee.

Rogers was appointed as the Board President of the Chicago Park District for six years in the 1990s. He also was appointed as board member to several companies, as a leader of several organizations affiliated with his collegiate alma mater, and as a leader in youth education in his native Chicago.

In 2007, Rogers was honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award from his alma mater Princeton University for the breadth and depth of his service to so many organizations. While a student at Princeton, John was captain of the 1979-80 Ivy League co-champion Princeton Tigers men’s basketball team.

Rogers studied economics at Princeton. After graduating in 1980, he worked for William Blair & Company in Chicago. A few years later, and with the financial backing of family and friends, he opened his own firm, starting with the Municipal Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago as his first account.

The Black Star Project Empowerment Luncheons include a presentation by the speakers, meals provided by a Black-owned restaurant, sponsorship of a community not-for-profit, networking with top Chicago business people and free admission to two college students. For Black Star Project members, the cost is $35, and $45 for the general public.

To RSVP for the luncheons, please call 773/285-9600. Free parking available in the rear of the Black Star Project office, which is a short taxi ride from downtown Chicago.

Ceclle Johnson will discuss the African Development Plan.
An Organization With Purpose
There will be a special lecture on Tuesday, April 3, from 6:30 pm. to 7:30 p.m. at the Black Star offices. Admission is free, but only 50 seats are available, and a donation to the cause is strongly encouraged.

This event features Cecile Johnson and the African Development Plan. Cecile is project manager, researcher and presenter on development issues impacting the global African community with a special focus on the African in America community in the USA and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ms. Johnson is also CEO and founder of the African Development Plan, which calls for the creation and implementation of a 50-year plan for development for global African communities. It includes the creation of a braintrust, a skills database, leadership development, and a comprehensive needs assessment that utilizes the human development index as a main criteria for comprehending how well a people within a country are really doing.

Research is tied to deconstructing history to understand the impact of international treaties, constitutional amendments, Supreme Court decisions, federal, state and local laws and local customs, and their impact on the development of African-peopled communities worldwide.

The non-profit Black Star Project was founded in 1996 by Phillip Jackson to provide educational services that improve the lives of less-advantaged Black communities and to close the racial academic achievement gap. It is one of the few Black-led organizations in America working in the space of public policy, advocacy and economic empowerment.

It accomplishes its mission by educating, organizing and mobilizing parents and volunteers, and working with community partners to facilitate a wide variety of solid programs, high-visibility campaigns and other special initiatives.

From its beginning, the group has worked to improve the lives of people in low-income Black and Latino communities, particularly on the south and west sides of Chicago. Its work is motivated by its vision that all children, with the support of their families, neighborhoods and communities, will become 21st-century global citizens who are globally competent, globally cooperative and globally compassionate.

(For more information, visit

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