UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Award Winners: Keith Decker and Barbara Bowman

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Ilyce and Hilary onstage Ilyce Hilary Barbara Bowman Keith Decker

On Friday, I had the honor of co-chairing (with my esteemed colleague Hilary Scott) this year’s Unicef Chicago Humanitarian Awards, at the Ritz-Carlton. Our two award winners, Barbara T. Bowman, a co-founder of the world-renown Erikson Institute, and Keith Decker, CEO and founder of La Casa Norte, in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, represent the sort of under-celebrated, hard-working Americans who spend an inordinate amount their energy and mindshare trying to make the world a better place for all of us.

Barbara, who will celebrate her 87th birthday this week, is an American early childhood education expert/advocate, professor, and author. Her areas of expertise include early childhood care/education, educational equity for minority and low-income children, as well as intergenerational family support and roles. She is perhaps best known for her work with Erikson Institute, where she pioneered the teaching of early childhood education and administration. (You may have heard of her daughter, Valerie Jarrett, as well.) Keith co-founded La Casa Norte in order to help serve youth and families confronting homelessness. They provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities.

Thought you’d enjoy seeing some of the photos from the day.

committee shot

Ritz Ballroom setting

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