#MemberMondays – Spotlight on Marcus Robinson

Posted: March 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

We are proud to announce that #MemberMondays returns with Marcus Robinson! 

Marcus

R.A.G.E. member Marcus Samuel Robinson recognizes that most Englewood residents were born or raised in Englewood but he is proud to be a resident that decided to make Englewood his home after moving from Florida in 2013. “Being from Englewood is a powerful thing however, I’m not from here,” says Marcus. “I chose Englewood. I made a decision to love it and did my part to become engaged.” Although he initially moved to Chicago to help his son Jason adjust to his first year at Columbia College, Marcus was eager to connect with people doing impactful community work in Chicago which, provoked a friend to tell him about R.A.G.E. After a year of observing R.A.G.E.’s work, Marcus said he felt like he found his tribe of change agents. “These residents were already on the ground doing the work,” said Marcus. “All I needed to do was show-up and be helpful because R.A.G.E. is organized, engaged, missioned and inspires leadership.”

 

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Marcus’ late wife Bonnie with their son Jason.

In the late 1980’s, Marcus made an important life decision to prioritize his life to help communities in the most need. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Applied Music from the University of  Miami in 1981, Marcus moved to Los Angeles. There he started a successful business raising money for various music projects but, it didn’t fulfill him for long. So, he sold his business and moved to Hawaii to volunteer and help indigenous people acquire land rights. Hawaii is also where he met and married his wife Bonnie, who passed away in 2004. “It was literally love at first sight,” says Marcus of meeting Bonnie. “I met her on my third day in Hawaii and we were married within a year!” Soon after, they adopted their son Jason Makia Robinson, whose Hawaiian middle name means “to aim high.” Marcus also has a daughter named Jasmine. 

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Marcus’ father, Fred Robsinson, Jr.

Marcus continued to do work advocating for racial and economic equity in disinvested communities in Benton Harbor, Michigan and Rochester, New York. It was this work that enabled him to formalize his perspective on how he could be of service to communities of color in Chicago. Marcus learned his spirit of service and entrepreneurship from his father Fred Robinson Jr.  who was an electronic engineer in the  United States Air Force. As a child, Marcus recalls being amazed by his father’s natural engineering skills. The first time Marcus saw the planet Saturn was through a telescope his dad built. His father even rewired their television and speakers to make a centralized entertainment system which, turned into his side hustle. For extra money, his father repaired televisions, electrical appliances, and even did complete car restorations.

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Marcus’ mother, Connie Lee Robinson (center, top row) stands with her sisters and their mother Alice Corrine Mays in the blue dress.

 

Marcus’ passion for music and arts comes from his mother, Connie Lee Robinson. “When my mother sang, the gates of heaven would open up,” says Marcus. His mother and her family were very musical and encouraged his interest in performance arts. As a teenager, Marcus was in various local tribute bands: from a Jackson 5 band to an Earth, Wind and Fire band. Instead of organizing harmonies, now Marcus helps orchestrate change as Managing Director of a social justice based theater company, Collaboration and through Englewood’s Quality of Life Plan Jobs and Economic Development Task Force. “I’m most interested in helping Englewood have a total economic uplift that doesn’t involve gentrification,” says Marcus. “R.A.G.E. is so inclusive in making sure the entire community has a voice at the table, that it makes me want to do work with all of the five task forces!” To Marcus, R.A.G.E. embodies the essence of his favorite quote by George Bernard Shaw, “Forget about your likes and dislikes for they are of no consequence, just do what must be done. This may not be happiness but it is greatness!”

Thank you Marcus Samuel Robinson for your dedication to the Greater Englewood community!28061013_10156107950588088_7514314604918505494_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. This is an inspiring piece. I look forward to more of these.

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