HWLF Launches Intern Program


Henry Williams Love Foundation
Non-Profit / Community Development Intern 

Henry Williams Love Foundation was established in May 2017 to provide advocacy and supportive services to youth and families in need. Since its founding, the organization has successfully launched five program initiatives and now seeks to launch an internship program. The business of non-profit organizations and how the successful ones remain present and active is a balance of skills, knowledge, and practical experience. There is no book that can teach you how to navigate the waters, but interning with Henry Williams Love Foundation can help fill the knowledge gap to keep you afloat. 


Given the nature of non-profit work, the candidate must have a passion for public sector service and community engagement. An ideal candidate will want to gain experience in grant writing, community and economic development, and urban studies. Work is assigned and supervised by the Board President of Henry Williams Love Foundation. Assignments are expected to be carried out under limited supervision remotely, therefore only candidates with sound judgment, time management skills, and internal motivation should apply. A laptop will be provided to complete internship tasks.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Using their individual interest, candidate will research and investigate new grant sources or innovative programs and present pertinent information to organization staff and Board Members.
  • Perform assignments relating to city planning, economic development, redevelopment initiatives, and program development.
  • Public Sector discovery and engagement – In order to engage with community leaders, knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of local, state, and federal government offices and programs is needed.
  • He/She will develop and draft internal and external documents and materials to build or retain relationships with donors, volunteers, community members, and other supporters of the non-profit organization.
  • Fundraising Activities – Coordination of existing fundraising efforts while exploring new approaches to generate support for organization
  • Outreach – Increase awareness of organization goals and the mission it serves, to as wide of an audience as possible.

Qualifications / Education:

The best candidates will be chosen from a pool of students (high school, undergraduate, or graduate) who can demonstrate that they seek to gain hands on experience in grassroots community development within an international organization. If you desire to learn how to establish and manage a non-profit organization while creating fund development opportunities for projects, programs, and initiatives, then interning with Henry Williams Love Foundation is for you. 


  • Confidentiality Agreement to protect work products of Henry Williams Love Foundation.
  • Minimum five hours per week spent working on projects and tasks.
  • Attendance at events as needed.
  • Submittal of all work assignments within determined deadlines.
  • User of FB, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Dropbox, Slack, and Skype (will train right candidate)
  • Responsive to emails, text messages, and social media posts/inboxes.
  • Public speaker or the desire to push past the fear of public speaking.
  • Willingness to learn and ask questions.
  • A “can do” attitude. Positive Vibes Only.

Application process:

Interested candidates should complete an online application at http://bit.ly/intern2019hwlf.


Connected Through Hoops-Summer

Henry Williams Love Foundation in partnership with Chicago Youth Centers is proud to announce Connected Through Hoops-Summer! The Connected Through Hoops program is a fatherhood and father-adjacent mentoring program. The goal is to provide a safe and therapeutic platform for fathers and sons, grandfathers and grandsons, uncles and nephews, and other father-adjacent figures with the boys they mentor to connect on a deeper level using the game of basketball as the tool.

We know that when men standup for their sons, family members, and other boys in the community, those boys thrive and do better in life.

Connected Through Hoops-Summer Flyer FINAL

Connected Through Hoops-Summer will be held every Saturday, starting on July 13th and ending August 17th at the following locations:

CYC-Rebecca K. Crown Youth Center (South Shore)
7601 S. Phillips Avenue
Chicago, IL 60649
9am to 11am

CYC-Sidney Epstein Youth Center (North Lawndale)
3415 W. 13th Place
Chicago, IL 60623

We are asking Fathers and Father-Adjacent Men to show up with the boys in your life and CONNECT THROUGH HOOPS. For more information about Connected Through Hoops and our other programs visit www.henrywilliamslove.org.

This program is made possible through our partnership with Chicago Youth Centers and Safe and Peaceful Chi. We are so grateful for the support!

Arts and Activism Scholarships

52602943_537743900066977_8014204112985915392_n.jpgHenry Williams Love Foundation (HWLF) is super proud to again partner with Safe and Sound on their Arts and Activism Scholarship Program in Chicago. The scholarships from HWLF will support students who have suffered the loss of a parent or are connected to the foster care system. The kickoff and launch of the scholarship application process will be on Friday, 2/22/19, from 6pm to 9pm at the Oakwood Shores Clubhouse (3825 S. Vincennes in Chicago) in conjunction with the Safe and Sound-Celebration of Blackness Poetry Cafe. Please spread the word so students, parents, educators, caseworkers and others can attend the event and ask questions about the scholarship process. If you are interested in donating toward the scholarship, please click the donations link above.

In an effort to be more resourceful for students not only applying for the Arts and Activism Scholarship, but anyone who is applying for a scholarship, fellowships or process that requires an application, HWLF has created the “5 Tips on Becoming a More Successful Scholarship Applicant.” The helpful and encouraging tips shared in this video are applicable to anyone applying for a scholarship regardless of age.

For more info about the Arts and Activism scholarship, visit http://www.safeandsoundconnect.org. And for more info on all the great program and services provided by HWLF, please visit http://www.henrywilliamslove.org.

New Year, New Projects!

Happy New Year! We are so thankful for every experience last year, ever person we helped, every partner we made, and everyone who helped support this organization. It is so important that Henry Williams Love Foundation stays true to its mission. And although we have the heart to help many, we want to ensure that our community-based, non-duplicative, gap filling philosophy of small acts of service is maintained. An online annual report for 2018, will be published on 2/1/18. Again, THANK YOU!


On to 2019! Henry Williams Love Foundation is happy to report our first partnership with the Chicago Public Library-Teen Services Department. We will be launching, Modge Podge Poetry, under our Arts Appreciation focus. Modge Podge Poetry is a makers workshop that guides teens on a personal literary journey that will manifest itself into a poem on canvas. The purpose of Modge Podge Poetry is to empower, provide introspection and creative expression, along with future goal forecasting all wrapped into an art project that teens can take home with them and serve as a reminder of their ambitions.

Modge Podge Poetry is scheduled for the following Chicago Public Libraries:

2/11:   Chicago Bee 4:00pm

2/27:   Thurgood Marshall 5:00pm

3/6:     Canaryville 4:00pm

3/13:   Wrightwood-Ashburn 4:00pm

3/21:   Avalon 4:00pm

4/11:   Edgewater 4:00pm

4/23:   Legler 3:00pm

Additionally, Modge Podge Poetry will be an all-day interactive activity available for attendees of the 4th Annual ChiTeen Lit Fest on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at Columbia College Chicago. The ChiTeen Lit Fest (CTLF) is a for-teens-by-teens event that provides a safe and creative space for young adults to unlock and discover their unique voices through the literary arts. CTLF brings together young people from across Chicago to celebrate their talents as they express themselves through exceptional and honest art. This event is open to teens ages 13-19.

If you are interested in Modge Podge Poetry coming to your library, school, community center, church, or even corporate setting, please send us an email to info@henrywilliamslove.org and put “Modge Podge Poetry” in the subject line.


Father and Son Moments

This past Saturday, a few fathers collected their sons and nephews and came to the south suburbs to participate in Connected Through Hoops. The idea was to provide a safe space for fathers (elders) to spend time with their sons (youth) while playing basketball.  The event was designed to try and strengthen the connection between men and their boys through significant physical activities. And I believe we did just that.



With this being the inaugural Connected Through Hoops event, my mind was filled with solutions to problems that hadn’t occurred.  I was anxious because I wanted the event to go well and I wanted this time that these families of men and young men would spend to help strengthen their relationships.  When I reflect on the interactions I had with my son on Saturday, I can only hope that the others fathers felt the same closeness.  Usually it’s hard to get my son away from his electronic devices.  Shockingly, he didn’t pick up his phone or ask for it for the entire time we were there.  As I think back, I don’t recall seeing any of the young gentlemen staring off into their phones.  I was happy to see that everyone was engaged.


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I also saw my son be more outgoing when I am used to seeing him withdraw in large groups.  I can’t help but think that my presence played a role in his confidence.  I hope the young men there felt something meaningful directly related to the person that brought them there.  I can only speak for me but I imagine that similar memories were created for the other families represented.


I am grateful for Joseph Williams, one of the Co-Founder’s of the Henry Williams Love Foundation for being there to represent the foundation and for assisting with managing the event.  The refreshments provided by the Foundation kept everyone hydrated and energized. I have already begun planning the next Connected Through Hoops event because I want to continue to provide opportunities for the relationships between fathers and sons to flourish. Please follow henrywilliamslove.org for more information and upcoming details for other Connected Through Hoops events.

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Connected Through Hoops

Guest Author Post by Board of Directors Member, James Tate, Jr.

My father introduced my brother and I to the game of basketball but it wasn’t until I was in 8th grade that I started to fall in love with the sport. Some might consider me a late bloomer. I was a student at Theodore Herzl Elementary School in the North Lawndale area and I remember dunking tennis balls and then volleyballs on the regulation rims. It’s possible some of my father’s athleticism trickled down to me. I have heard that he was a pretty good ball player. It turns out that athleticism was enough to earn a spot on Lane Tech High School’s basketball team, which eventually opened up an opportunity for me to play basketball on a collegiate level. This chronology changed the entire path of my life.12049202_824817727630812_1170513912135510309_n

My father would drive the two and a half hours to Madison Wisconsin to watch me play and then drive back to Chicago after the game.  I’d like to think that he was proud of me. I’d like to think that he lived his hoop dreams through me. I realize that he was probably proud of me for more significant reasons like graduating high school and getting a college education because those experiences were not guaranteed for most of my peers but I’d like to think that our love for this sport connected us.


While my experiences at Edgewood College gave me institutional education in academics and athletics, it is my personal experiences as a father to my own son (pictured below) that inspired me to create the Connected Through Hoops event. 17973633_1231541073625140_8243092528487541577_o-2.jpgI wanted to give fathers and sons another opportunity to connect with each other and together build skills that can help them in their own lives. There are so many levels of connectivity and I believe the more levels we can connect on (as a community), then the stronger our bonds become; the stronger our communities can become. I am fortunate to sit on the Board of Directors for Henry Williams Love Foundation, who through my service and some board training, I am able to plan these types of events. Help me strengthen the community of fathers and sons on December 8th at the Richton Park Community Center between 5 and 7pm.  Register to attend at http://bit.ly/connectedthroughhoops.


Gratitude in Loss and Leadership

I’ve experienced more loss in 2017 and 2018 than ever before in my life. First, my Father passed in May 2017. Then his Sister, my Aunt and only living sibling left of my father’s siblings, passed in July 2017. And all of that was happening while I had to lead Smart Chicago Collaborative through a merger which in many ways also felt like a loss. My Grandmother then passed in July 2018 and now my Mom on November 1st of this year. 240f07edfde5c34c7de5300a89e9609bIT HAS BEEN TOUGH! But I am middle- child tough and have always tried to live a deeply-rooted life, full of good purpose. Even with sadness, I want to be helpful to as many people as I can.

In The Secret Powers of Middle Children, Lynn Griffin, R.N., M.Ed shares on Psychology Today, how middle children are mistakenly labeled as undriven versus first-borns. She challenges that notion and believes middle-children are actually very driven and “more oriented to principles and concepts, like justice, over earning power or prestige.” I align with this frame of thought which has provided the framework for my entire life, inclusive of my career pathway. I am so grateful that I had fantastic parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and mentors who poured into me such love, and sometimes tough love, which I believe has made me a good leader.

f28dad37d5914b4874677d753a103b17When determining what Henry Williams Love Foundation (HWLF) would be organizationally and how we would serve those communities that needed the most help, the Board of Directors wanted to instill a sense of love and gratitude in the provision of services. The hope is that our community co-designers and participants experience healing and build resilience by spreading love and gratitude in their own life’s journey while retaining knowledge which helps with skill building. When the storms of life come, and they will as evident by my first paragraph, people can still find something in their day to be grateful for and keep thriving. Don’t ever underestimate the power of gratitude in difficult times. It serves as an excellent motivator and I believe an answer to the critics who believe social programming decreases resiliency and fortitude.

As I sort through the sadness and continue along this lifelong journey of gratitude, I know there are beautiful things coming along the path for HWLF, our partners, and participants. The Shuri Project has some expansion opportunities locally and internationally and we are trying to secure resources to realize that goal. Global Logo with Date_0We are launching the brother program to Shuri, The T’Challa Project, and currently, have a Go Fund Me Campaign in collaboration with #GivenTuesday that will assist with purchasing laptop computers to ensure we are ready for summer 2019. As we look to our other areas of focus, HWLF will introduce two new programs in December that we are really excited about and have a couple of promising ones that will be announced in January if funding is received.

I am grateful for the many colleagues, collaborators, stakeholders, community-champions, participants and friends who consider the words that I share and work that I do here at HWLF valuable. Building a new organization in the land of non-profits and the current philanthropic environment is tough, but again…I’m middle-child tough. 

Kyla Williams
President and CEO
Henry Williams Love Foundation


Ola Williams


It is with deep sadness, the Henry Williams Love Foundation announces the passing of Ola Williams, wife of the organization’s namesake, Henry Williams. The memorial services will be held on Monday, November 12, 2018 at Sun River Terrace Community Center (SRTCC) located at 7219 E Chicago Street, Sun River Terrace, IL 60964. The memorial service starts at 11am and the repast will immediately follow. Ola’s favorite color was navy blue, so the family is asking that everyone in attendance wear something navy blue in her honor. Flowers will be accepted at SRTCC. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to the Henry Williams Love Foundation by clicking the donate button on this website. Cards and other written condolences can be mailed to PO Box 703, Hazel Crest, IL 60429 for those unable to attend.

#TWTechTalks-Building the Tech Sector We Want

Five years ago Silicon Valley tech companies were pressured to share their workforce demographics and revealed the industry is overwhelming white and male.  None of this was a surprise to diversity advocates and equity champions. But the media inquiry helped to stir of diversity and inclusion conversations all over the world with plans put in place to “do better.” Leaders of tech companies penned blogs, adopted immediate policies, and pledged to devote resources for recruitment of more diverse staff members. The word “diversity” was added to mission and value statements and some larger companies even hired heads of diversity. Existing staff members were sent to unconscious bias training and the box was checked, done. EIO55-Got-it-done-opt

But change has been really slow and the number of Black and Latino people in the tech workforce has actually declined. Diversity fatigue has set in and many early supporters have found themselves stuck and alone. If what has been prescribed as a “solution” to diversifying the tech industry is not working, what new approaches to diversity and inclusion exist and how can we build the tech sector we want? Those questions inspired great conversation during the Thoughtworks Tech Talks panel on Monday 10/30/18. President and CEO, Kyla Williams, along with CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda Epler, participated on this panel that was moderated by Tarsha McCormick, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for ThoughtWorks.  


The initial conversation starter after introductions was centered on where to start when launching diversity and inclusion efforts within a work environment. Melinda referenced data and understanding what has been done previously in similar situations to address diversity and inclusion and has it worked. She stressed that unconscious bias training has had little impact on corporate diversity and inclusion and a paradigm shift should be made to allyship. In Melinda’s Ted Talk, 3 ways to be a better ally in the workplace, she lists:

  • Do No Harm
  • Advocate for underrepresented people in small ways
  • Change someone’s life significantly


Tarsha in turn addressed the issues with diversity and inclusion efforts when leadership is not onboard and the short-sightedness of plans. Racism, sexism and all other exclusionary practices are not going away overnight, so an organizational plan that lacks intentional leadership and does not have timed activities and check-ins to determine efficacy will fail. Tarsha details in the Built in NYC article, ThoughtWorks reveals how they built one of the most diverse and inclusive tech companies, how active support by senior leaders and key stakeholders emphasizes “the walk” versus “the talk.”


Kyla added that before data is consulted and plans are made, a crucial step in organizing and establishing workplace norms around diversity and inclusion begins with the individual. She believes self-inventory to determine the internal value of diversity, privileges, as well as apathy and exhaustion around diversity and inclusion conversations is a necessary step for organizational cultural shifts.

When HWLF made the decision to launch a tech mentoring program, it was through a value assessment of the Board members that supported launching The Shuri Project as a girls only program as shared during her talk with Chi Hack Night. Those values were further supported by data and even provided necessary information about failing efforts in diversity and inclusion efforts in the jobs sector that influenced the program and curriculum design plan for The Shuri Project. 

The panelist had much more to add on the topics of intersectionality, specific needs of  excluded populations, more accelerations and incubators and education around them, venture capital, and other anecdotes. The entire panel discussion can be found on the ThoughtWorks YouTube channel in the coming days. For more information about The Shuri Project or to book Kyla Williams as a guest speaker, please email info@henrywilliamslove.org.