Monday, May 12, 2008

"Chicago 2007 Pepsi Every day Freedom Hero Award winner-Ms Beauty Turner"

/ Heroes / 2007 Chicago Heroes Bios / Beauty Turner

Beauty Turner

Beauty Turner leads a bus tour of Chicago. Missing on her tour, however, are the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field and every other landmark you’ll find in a Chicago guidebook.

That’s because Turner’s excursion is a trip through Chicago Housing Authority projects, some of which are no longer standing. A product of Chicago’s public housing herself, Turner is now the assistant editor of Residents’ Journal, a bi-monthly magazine.

The tour is Turner’s attempt to share the history, personalities and sense of community that define Chicago's infamous public housing developments. Many of these developments have been torn down as part of the Chicago Housing Authority’s $1.6 billion project to replace low-income high rises and with new mixed-income communities.

“Today these women are in South Chicago, Danville and Inglewood,” Beauty has said. “They had to abandon their homes and their communities. A lot of the people dependent on public housing won’t be able to afford the new condos,” she explains. “They won’t ever be able to move back to the place they called home.”

With that as her motivation Beauty Turner has spent her time writing award-winning investigative articles and commentaries and co-directing the Advocacy and Outreach Initiative. She is a well-known community activist as well as a regular columnist for the Hyde Park Herald and other community newspapers.

For the last several years, Beauty has worked as a research assistant for Professor Sudhir Venkatesh, a sociologist at Columbia University and has founded an organization called Poor People Millennium Movement - dedicated to helping poor people with important issues.

A moving speaker at events, panels, and universities, she has served on the Executive Committee of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing and also on the Steering Committee of the October 22nd Coalition, a campaign against police brutality.

Today many voices that would normally be silenced are now being heard thanks to her work.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One of Beauty's favorite Lanston Hughes poems

A poem from Langston Hughes
Between -1931-1940

“A poem after Ms. Beauty Turner own heart”

All you beauty makers.
Give up beauty for a moment. Look at harshness, look at pain
Look at life again.
Look at hungry babies crying.
Listen to the rich men lying.
Look at starving China dying.
Hear the rumble in the East.
In sprite of it all.
Life must not cease,
Because the fat and greedy ones.
Proclaim their thieving peace.
Their peace far worth than the war and death-
For this is better than living breath.
Free! To be Free!

Listen! Futile beauty makers-
Work for a while with the pattern breakers-
Come for a march with the new-world-makers’
Let “Beauty” be!