For Immediate Release: Native American organizations select Samantha M. Selby to play key role in the collective efforts of the Chicago-area American Indian community

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Contact info: Name: Jasmine Gurneau or Chantay Moore Phone: 847-467-6368 Email: cwmoore@cps.edu or jasmine.gurneau@northwestern.edu
www.chicagoaicc.com

Native American organizations select Samantha M. Selby to play key role in the collective efforts of the Chicago-area American Indian community

Chicago, IL. The Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative (CAICC) today announced that they have selected Samantha M. Selby, as Coordinator/Facilitator to work with the 17 member organizations and programs that serve Chicago’s large Native American community. Chicago is one of the primary population centers for Native Americans, representing the largest population in the Midwest, the second largest east of the Mississippi River and the ninth largest in the entire nation. https://irrpp.uic.edu/pdf/publications/IRRPP_TheStateOfRacialJusticeForAmericanIndianChicagoansReport.pdf

Samantha will step into the role left vacant when the community was devastated by the loss of Carlos Morales who passed away unexpectedly, just prior to when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Chicago. “One of the last times our community was allowed to gather was for Carlos’ passing right before the Stay at Home order was in effect. Our community lost a great young leader that day and along with his family, we still mourn his passing,” said Cynthia Soto, member of the CAICC administrative oversight team.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the community needed to respond quickly as both health and economic stress began to impact already vulnerable Native American families. Local foundations have been very supportive of the CAICC efforts including the Chicago COVID-19 Fund, Field Foundation, Woods Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Pick Foundation, and Chicago Community Trust.

Selby, holds a BA in Sociology from DePaul University (2015) and is currently working towards a Master of Social Work with an emphasis in Community Practice. She is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

“We are fortunate to have Samantha serve in this important community role. She was raised here in Chicago and as a child to now has been a participant in many of the programs and services the community had to offer”, said Chantay Moore, President, Board of Directors for the American Indian Center, a member of the CAICC.

Samantha already has the community relationships having served in other leadership roles such as the board of the American Indian Center of Chicago, youth coordinator for the local Native American job training program, and as the parent representative on the Citywide American Indian Education Council just to mention a few. The skills she brings are a great match for the work ahead as CAICC continues to collect data, bring visibility, and mobilize for the future health and economic security of the Native American community.

Selby said, “I am honored and excited to step in at this critical time for our community. I know firsthand the kind of impact our organizations have and am very proud of the vision and commitment our community leaders are demonstrating. I plan to keep that momentum and honor Carlos’s memory in lifting up the spirit and voices of our Native American families”.

About CAICC: CAICC is a network of Native American organizations and programs that joined together in 2012 to collectively work on improving conditions for Native Americans in the Chicago-area. A steering committee consisting of representatives from each organization establishes the policies and procedures for CAICC. However, the agenda of CAICC consists of action plans that were formed through a community-wide planning process involving all the stakeholders: organizations, individuals, families, etc. CAICC is committed to maintaining this “ground-up” grassroots approach to community planning and change.