Big Ideas Fest Speakers
Jitu Brown, married and father of one child, is the national director for the Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J). Jitu Brown was born on Chicago’s south side and is a product of Chicago’s public school system. Jitu started volunteering with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) in 1991, became a board member in 1993 and served as the Board president for a number of years. He joined the staff as education organizer in 2006. Jitu has organized in the Kenwood Oakland neighborhood for over 17 years bringing community voices to the table on school issues.
Jitu helped develop the Mid-South Education Association, a grassroots advocacy group comprised of administrators, parents, teachers, young people and local school council (LSC) members to meet the needs of schools in the area. They were the first group to certify parents as LSC facilitators, which has become a model being replicated across the city of Chicago. In addition, they successfully organized to stop several school closings in the area and secured resources for neglected neighborhood schools. KOCO has served as a resource for organizations nationwide, dealing with school closings and the elimination of community voice from the decision-making process.