Mission and History

Article Index


The Black Star Project (TBSP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, action-based organization founded in 1996 to provide educational services that improve the lives of less-advantaged Black communities and to close the racial academic achievement gap. TBSP 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, TBSP has worked to improve the lives of people in low-income Black and Latino communities, particularly on the south and west sides of Chicago. Often, these communities are plagued with violence, unemployment, and low-academic achievement. TBSP's 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.


Upon its founding, TBSP introduced two initiatives--Student Motivation Program (designed to address the racial academic achievement gap) and Barbara Ann Sizemore Communiversity for Educational Excellence (provided a platform for broad community engagement through dialogue and advocacy). These early programs set the stage for TBSP’s strong support base by actively responding to the needs of the communities it serves. TBSP’s work has since expanded to include tutoring, mentoring, parent advocacy and development, financial literacy, violence prevention, college preparation, school environment support, and workforce development. Many of these programs and initiatives are designed to improve the life-outcomes and achievement of young African-American males. To this day, TBSP remains committed to the tradition of improving education in our communities, with the support and involvement of those it serves. For more of our history, please see the Extended History.