Derrick McClinton was born on the South side of Chicago. He moved to Edgewater in 1982. He was a beat cop walking the streets from Thorndale to Granville, the lake to Broadway. Having a ground level view of the community, he really knew what was going on, both the good and the bad.
Derek is a compassionate man and saw an opportunity to serve the neighborhood. He and his family decided to sponsor a community Thanksgiving dinner which was held at the Alternatives office on Granville. This effort has led to the Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Local groceries, businesses, and politicians all made contributions. North Lakeside Cultural Center eventually supplied the space. The Thanksgiving Dinner grew to serve about seventy people. In 2003 Derrick helped form a grass-roots organization to inspire the Edgewater black community. The “Edgewater/Rogers Park Black Family Network” sponsors events for all ages and publishes a newsletter, spotlighting inspirational role models in the community. The Network has since grown to serve a diverse and broad spectrum of residents.
“The beauty of it was that our goodwill affected the entire
community… It’s amazing what benefits come back to
you when you open your heart.”
Click here for a short video.