#MemberMondays – Spotlight on Marlon Chamberlain

Posted: April 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

We are proud to feature Marlon Chamberlain for #MemberMondays!

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Although Marlon Chamberlain, 41, isn’t a current Englewood resident, Englewood is highly significant to his life. Growing up, Marlon visited his grandparents and cousins in Englewood; he attends Kennedy King College; is a year-long member of R.A.G.E. and even plans to become an Englewood resident in a couple months. His decision to relocate is influenced by the fact that he also works in Englewood.

As a Community Project Manager of Greater Englewood for Heartland Alliance’s READI program, Marlon connects young African-American men, who have been exposed to trauma and the criminal justice system, to READI’s paid, long-term, transitional employment that offers behavioral therapy and personal life coaching to help them identify and achieve their goals. Marlon’s favorite quote , by Emerging Leader trainer Glen Martin, explains his reason helping high-risk, African-American men is more of a personal life passion than a job for him: “Those of us that are closest to the problem are the closest to the solution…!”

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Marlon receiving his award from Safer Foundation, October 2017.

Marlon intimately knows America’s mass incarceration problem and has spent his career contributing to a solution. He went to Hyde Park High School but received his G.E.D. in prison. While serving 10.5 years in prison for conspiracy to sell drugs, Marlon began seriously questioning why America’s prisons were overwhelmingly populated with Black inmates. His questions turned into life reflections on how his environment growing up deeply impacted his dangerous behaviors and decisions. Marlon eventually started reading about social work and psychology and realized he wanted to be part of improving the conditions of those most in need. Shortly after being released on May 29th, 2012, Marlon met a mentor from faith-based, non-profit Community Renewal Society’s initiative, FORCE (Fighting to Overcome Records and Create Equality), that advocates to create change and justice for people with records. He immediately became a FORCE volunteer and within a year, was hired as their Lead Organizer. In that role, Marlon worked tirelessly with community organizations, leaders, and other people with records to successfully pass six bills that increased employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals. Community Renewal Society recognized his advocacy by selecting him as a receipient of their John Purdy Sr. Memorial Leadership Award. In October 2017, Marlon also received a CARRE Visionary Award from Safer Foundation.  

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Marlon with his FORCE members.

Marlon’s dedication to empowering people and organizing to improve communities in most need, inspired him to join R.A.G.E. He first heard of  R.A.G.E. through So Fresh Saturday and was later impressed to learn R.A.G.E. helped lead the Englewood Votes campaign. After hearing Aysha Butler and R.A.G.E. member Sonya Harper speak at a meeting he was invited to, he decided to get involved. “R.A.G.E. is really community based and has a lot of passionate people that do work aligned with my personal passions” said Marlon. So Fresh Saturdays is Marlon’s favorite R.A.G.E. event. According to him, So Fresh Saturdays dismantles the perception that people in Englewood are savages by gathering hundreds of residents in the name of peace without violence ever occurring. This year, Marlon joined So Fresh Saturdays’ Planning Team and is eager to bring additional resources to the family-oriented event series.

When Marlon isn’t working to help make Greater Englewood better, he is being an involved father to his daughter Diamond, 21, and four sons, De’Lante, 22, DeAngelo, 19, Marlon, 4, and two-year old Elijah. For relaxation from his busy work/life responsibilities, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Ciera Walker, reading and playing basketball with his friends but jokingly admits he hasn’t been to the gym in a while. 

Thank you Marlon Chamberlain for your commitment to the Greater Englewood community!

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