The rural community of Pembroke Township [Pembroke], located in the county of Kankakee Illinois, is an ecological epicenter of rare and diverse species. For centuries, various animal and human populations migrated to Pembroke; flourishing in cultural inheritance and African American traditions; and thriving as a synecology of human and nature dependency. However, for the past several decades, Pembroke has experienced the highest poverty rates in the state, deeply threatening this interrelationship on all levels. Consequently, the community has become disenfranchised; decaying from a lack of opportunities common to average American communities; and disconnected from the rich fabric of natural wonder that has anchored its pride, progress and growth.
Our Community Development Corporation was forged from grass roots activism, driven by determination and the voices of residents to reclaim and direct our own path, and make Pembroke Township a better place. As a Community Development Corporation [CDC], we are committed to intensify efforts to rebuild and restore our community. By engaging with community leaders and additional partnerships we aspire to pursue, innovate and implement education and training programs, business development and ecological activities in order to change the demographics of our underserved.
Utilizing the natural assets from the land and environment, we believe the creation and progression of a green economy [ecological, agricultural and economic opportunities] will change the dynamics of the community from a disparity of decay into one that is thriving, self-sufficient and productive.
Focusing on the development of the youth in Pembroke Township is one of the top priorities of the leadership of the Community Development process. While acknowledging the many deficits that have plagued this community, the vitality of youth is the strength of a better tomorrow. Securing and funneling resources for program development; advancing education and training activities, securing well-paying jobs, and providing a platform to serve in order to remediate and challenge these young people to become a part of their community’s solution, is an initiative that must be pursued.