Courtesy Andrew Hayes, Fifth Third Bank

In recognition of Black History Month, Fifth Third Bank Chicago will honor several well-known Chicagoans for their positive and meaningful contributions to the community:

  • Pastor Corey B. Brooks
  • Johnson Publishing Company / The Johnson Family
  • Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

The honorees will be feted at a special event on February 27 at the Chicago History Museum. Each honoree will receive a crystal award and a namesake $5,300 scholarship that will be awarded this spring to a local high school senior for his/her first year of college. The scholarships are intended to “pay it forward” in the spirit of the honoree.

“For Fifth Third Bank, diversity and inclusion is a business imperative,” said Nicole Johnson-Scales, senior vice president, community development, Fifth Third Bank Chicago. “We take tremendous pride in recognizing the many achievements of African-Americans to our nation, our city and society during the month. Through our sponsorship of on-air vignettes and special events, we hope to bring individuals, families, business and civic leaders and Fifth Third employees together in celebration.”

About Pastor Corey B. Brooks
Pastor Brooks is founder of New Beginnings Church of Chicago and a businessman, philanthropist, mentor and visionary. Pastor Brooks is well-known for having lived on the roof of an abandoned motel for 94 days and for having walked across the U.S. in over four months – both acts inspired to raise awareness for the senseless gun violence in Chicago as well as to help raise funds for a much-needed community center. Pastor Brooks lives by the creed “it’s time for us to stop ganging up on each other and start ganging up on the problem!” He is a graduate of Ball State University and Grace Theological Seminary.

About The Johnson Publishing Company / The Johnson Family
John H. and Eunice W. Johnson built an empire in Chicago that includes “EBONY,” “JET” and Fashion Fair Cosmetics. Today, “Ebony” and “Jet” are the No. 1 and No. 3 most popular magazines among black Americans, with a combined readership of over 25 million. Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), continues the legacy established by her parents by maintaining JPC’s position as a Black-owned company. The Johnson family continues to make an indelible mark in Chicago and throughout the world, positively impacting the worlds of journalism and fashion. The Johnson family’s commitment to helping others is evident in so many ways including raising more than $55 million for African American charitable organizations across the country; with special interest in supporting educational initiatives – scholarships, corporate internships and the Johnson College Prep school in Chicago.

About The Honorable Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State
Jesse White is Illinois’ 37th Secretary of State, overseeing the largest and most diverse office of its kind in the nation and providing more direct services to the people of Illinois than any other public agency. Prior to his election as Secretary of State, White served as Cook County Recorder of Deeds and before that, spent 16 years in the Illinois General Assembly, representing the most culturally, economically and racially diverse district in Illinois. Secretary White’s most enduring legacy is as founder of the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team, which serves as a positive alternative for children residing in and around the Chicago area. Since its inception in 1959, more than 13,500 young men and women have performed with the team. White has spent 53 years working as a volunteer with the team to help kids stay away from gangs, drugs, alcohol and smoking, and to help set at-risk youth on the path to success. The program has received international praise and performs all over the world, including at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Secretary White served our country as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and as a member of the Illinois National Guard and Reserve. He played professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization, which was followed by a 33-year career with the Chicago public school system as a teacher and administrator.