CHICAGO, March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A leader in demanding fair housing in Chicago neighborhoods, Frank J. Williams, is the recipient of the Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago Gale Cincotta Community Visionary Award, a tribute to outstanding leadership in the effort to rebuild Chicagoland neighborhoods. Williams will be honored at NHS' 42nd Annual Awards Dinner, which will be held on Thursday, March 16 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, 301 E. North Water St.
The Gale Cincotta Community Visionary Award is presented to a community leader who exemplifies leadership, innovation and passion in his or her efforts to make our communities better places to live and work. Cincotta, a former Westside homemaker and mother, transformed into a firebrand national activist as a result of panic peddling and redlining activities that she experienced while living in the Austin community in the 1960s. Instrumental in creating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the Community Reinvestment Act, she was also a founding board member of NHS. Cincotta is an example of how one person galvanized into action can make a difference to thousands in the world.
Frank J. Williams embodies the spirit of Gale Cincotta. Over the past two decades he has been in Springfield demanding fair housing legislation from law makers and holding them accountable. Williams was instrumental in encouraging freedom of choice for African Americans who were denied permission to move into white-dominated south side Chicago neighborhoods in the early 1970s. It was during this time that his own home was bombed in a series of incidents harassing Frank and other black residents determined to live in the Beverly neighborhood.
"Frank Williams is an example of what one man's fight for racial and social justice can mean for an entire community," said Kristin Faust, NHS president. "His efforts to ensure equal opportunity at homeownership in all of our neighborhoods has been instrumental in helping people achieve their dream of homeownership."
Williams was president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.) from 1989 to 1990, where he championed for fair housing and diversity. The Illinois Association of REALTORS chose Frank in 1991 to hold the first Distinguished Member Award for Community Service and the following year he was named C.A.R.'s REALTOR® of the Year. During this time he led effort to create a $25,000 scholarship for minority students to pursue a career in real estate. In addition to receiving prestigious awards, former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Williams to serve on the Affordable Housing Task Force and the Real Estate Services Advisory Council.
Williams also served as president of the Dearborn Realtist Board from 1973 to 1974. "As past president of the Dearborn Realtist Board, Frank was on the front line aggressively standing up and providing a voice for the less fortunate and those that had no voice," said Tracey Taylor, president of the Dearborn Realtist Board. "Many of us in the real estate business owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Williams for his diligent work for equal rights for not only homeowners but real estate practitioners throughout Illinois."
In addition, Frank was president of the Southside Chicago branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1979 to 1985, during a time when affordable housing and integration ranked among the top real estate issues in the city and suburbs. During his term with the NAACP, he helped create a monitoring program to oversee housing discrimination and placed a strong emphasis on the hiring and placement of minorities in the real estate industry.
Additionally, NHS will celebrate the recipients of the Community Impact Award, which will be presented to the Cook County Land Bank Authority, The PrivateBank and Sweet Water Foundation for their innovative approaches to neighborhood revitalization.
The NHS Annual Awards Dinner attracts more than 700 guests representing all segments of NHS' public, private and community partnerships. The event raises nearly $500,000 to support the work in NHS target neighborhoods including: Auburn Gresham, Chicago Lawn/Gage Park, Englewood, Fox Valley, North Lawndale, Roseland, South Suburbs, West Humboldt Park and Woodlawn.
Tickets: Individual tickets are available for $300. In addition, tickets are available for nonprofit attendees for $150. Multiple levels of sponsorship are available ranging from $40,000 to $3,000. For further information or to purchase tickets please contact Lakesha Nelson at 773-329-4138 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets may also be purchased online at: http://tinyurl.com/NHS2017tickets.
Sponsors of NHS' 42nd annual awards dinner include: U.S. Bank (Dinner Sponsor), MB Financial and The PrivateBank (Foundation Sponsors), Northern Trust, Ocwen Financial Corporation, PNC and State Farm (Legacy Sponsors), and BMO Harris Bank and Citibank (Community Sponsors).
NHS is a nonprofit organization driven by the belief that homeownership is essential to strengthening households and communities. Since its founding in 1975, NHS has created nearly 5,000 homeowners and saved more than 9,600 homes from foreclosure. NHS advocates for working families and revitalizes communities through community building, real estate development, mortgage lending, homeownership education and housing policy. NHS has served more than 223,000 clients by providing Home Buyer Education classes and assistance to distressed homeowners to save their home, as well as fixed-rate loans to purchase, refinance or rehab a home. For more information about NHS, visit nhschicago.org or call 773-329-4111.
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SOURCE Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc. (NHS)