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Jahmal Cole

Founder, My Block My Hood My City
A tireless advocate for education reform, Jahmal Cole is passionate about improving schools. He is the founder of the groundbreaking social initiative My Block My Hood My City, which takes teenagers from underserved Chicago communities on citywide explorations. A frequent speaker at colleges in the Chicagoland area, Cole is also the author of Athletes and Emcees, 50 Excuses to Not Follow Your Dreams and The Torch of Decency: Rekindling the Spirit of Community Organizations. In addition to being one of 2017’s Chicago Ideas Week BHSI Fellows, Cole has been the recipient of many awards and distinctions, including a Certificate of Appreciation from Governor Pat Quinn, a Chicago Ideas Award, the John Lennon Song Writing grand prize, a Roberto Clemente Global Health Award, and a Chicago Urban League Innovator Award. He was appointed as honorary chair of State of Black Chicago Steering Committee and named one of Huffington Post’s “15 Inspiring Chicagoans.”