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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened
3to learn of the death of Josie (Brown) Childs of Chicago, who
4passed away on February 13, 2023; and
5    WHEREAS, Josie Childs was born to Julia Brown and Charles
6Washington in Clarksdale, Mississippi on October 13, 1926; she
7graduated high school and attended LeMoyne-Owen College in
8Memphis, Tennessee before moving to Chicago in the late 1940s;
9she married James "Jack" Childs Sr. in 1968; and
10    WHEREAS, Josie Childs was a civic leader, an activist, and
11a community organizer; she worked for the congressional
12campaigns of Abner Mikva, Ralph Metcalfe, Rod Blagojevich, and
13Harold Washington; she served as an Illinois organizer for the
14presidential campaigns of Adlai Stevenson Sr., John F.
15Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter; she also served
16as a delegate of the Illinois Democratic Party at the 1980
17Democratic National Convention (DNC) in New York City; she
18additionally worked with the late Harold Washington on his
19successful mayoral campaigns in 1977 and 1983; and
20    WHEREAS, Josie Childs was committed to the arts and
21cultural excellence of the City of Chicago; after leaving her
22administrative position with the City of Chicago's Special



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1Events and Cultural Affairs Departments, she created and
2promoted various events, including an acknowledgment event for
3Great Lakes African American naval musicians entitled "The
4Great Lakes Experience" and the Ellington International
5Conference; she also guided many young people into becoming
6civic minded and was involved in supporting programs at such
7institutions as Columbia College Chicago, Goodman Theater, and
8Harold Washington College; and
9    WHEREAS, Josie Childs founded The Mayor Harold Washington
10Legacy Committee (MHWLC) in 2013, where she served as
11president until her passing, remaining passionate on ensuring
12the legacy of Mayor Harold Washington; she was a member of
13several organizations, including The Chicago Urban League, the
14National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
15(NAACP), the Friends of the Chicago Public Library Board,
16Planned Parenthood, T.R.U.S.T. Inc., the Know Your Chicago
17Board, the Joint Negro Appeal, the National Board of Council
18on Lay Life and Work, the Duke Ellington Society, the
19Executive Service Corps, and the Christ Hospital Nursing
20School; she was also the former president of her condominium
21board; and
22    WHEREAS, Josie Childs was a founding member of the
23Congregational Church of Park Manor, United Church of Christ
24(UCC), where both she and her husband served as lifelong



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1members; together, they were national and international
2travelers, partners in church, social, and civic activities,
3and lovers of fine dining, the theater, the arts, a good card
4game, and jazz music; and
5    WHEREAS, Josie Childs received a number of accolades for
6her work, including being honored with the Georgia Palmer
7Award by Congressman Danny K. Davis in 2013 and being named one
8of the Voices of the Civil Rights Movement by the DuSable
9Museum and Comcast in February 2019; and
10    WHEREAS, Josie Childs' legacy will live on through her
11donation to the Chicago Public Library of the Josie Brown
12Childs Papers, a collection of documents consisting of her
13family history, her political work, and her efforts to promote
14African American cultural and historical awareness; she will
15be remembered as deserving of the title "Matriarch of the
16Movement"; and
17    WHEREAS, Josie Childs was preceded in death by her
18husband; and
19    WHEREAS, Josie Childs is survived by her son, James M.
20(Bonnie Collins) Childs Jr.; her grandchildren, James A.
21Childs, Claudia L. (Adrien) Houndje, and Elysia R. (L.
22Almestica) Childs; and her great-grandchildren, Semenou,



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1Mense, Fifa, and Hontongou Houndje; therefore, be it
3ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
4Josie (Brown) Childs and extend our sincere condolences to her
5family, friends, and all who knew and loved her; and be it
7    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
8presented to the family of Josie Childs as an expression of our
9deepest sympathy.