Dr. Byron Brazier pastor of Apostolic Church of God was the guest speaker at FS’ winter all staff meeting December 3. Apostolic Church of God is an 86-year old church located in Woodlawn and attended by over 20,000 members. Dr. Brazier’s positive impact on the greater South Side community and the University of Chicago has taken on many forms.
Dr. Brazier established the Network of Woodlawn (NOW), a collaborative community engagement model focused on “four pillars” (economic/community development, safety, education, health and human services). These pillars are essential characteristics of a healthy community. Under the education “pillar,” the Woodlawn Children’s Promise Community represents a successful partnership between the University of Chicago and NOW. Dr. Brazier’s support of the first University development south of 61st Street, The University of Chicago Woodlawn Charter High School, was essential. Dr. Brazier also holds a seat on the University’s Obama Presidential Center (OPC) community advisory board and he supported the bid to bring the OPC to the South Side of Chicago.
Dr. Brazier delivered an inspiring message regarding the process of reconciling individual desires within the community to create shared goals. He explained that everything we do always requires someone else. Ultimately, “People don’t do business with buildings, they do business with people.” He spoke about how common interests are identified and compromise is required in this process. Dr. Brazier encouraged staff members to develop sight, insight, and foresight in their professional and private lives. At the end of his message, which was peppered with good advice, anecdotes, and community updates, Dr. Brazier received hearty applause from all in attendance.
As has become tradition, the semi-annual meeting included a video. Click here to view the winter video which featured quotes from staff members summarizing their favorite aspects of working for the University of Chicago.