DOWNTOWN — A fund in political consultant Brian Sleet’s memory has been set up to help train Chicago Public Schools students at Whitney Young Magnet Academy High School on how to be more engaged citizens.
Sleet was a political consultant who helped guide Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and several aldermen to office in Chicago. He died last week at 41.
The fund, called the Brian Sleet Memorial Fellowship for Leadership and Advocacy, will raise money so Whitney Young students can learn about political advocacy and organizing, according to Chicago Votes, an organization Sleet cofounded. Sleet was an alumnus of the CPS selective-enrollment high school.
Donations to the fund can be made online.
A Chatham native, Sleet was known for mentoring black Chicagoans and helping with their campaigns.
And though Sleet was known for his work on campaigns, he was also committed to improving the quality of life for people on the South Side, said his father, Marion Sleet.
“His legacy will be … how many people he helped to begin to achieve their dreams, and to actually really begin to think big beyond their horizons,” said Marion Sleet, of Chatham. “He loved the challenge of helping people do the improbable or the impossible.”
An Ivy League graduate from a family of other Ivy League graduates, many expected Sleet to leave Chicago for the suburbs and get a job in “corporate America,” Marion Sleet said.
But making money or living in the suburbs was “never Brian’s priority,” Marion Sleet said.
“He chose to come back to his community and actually work toward improving the quality of life for the people,” Marion Sleet said.
Brian Sleet encouraged kids to go to college, his dad said, and he helped those with political ambitions get elected — so they could give back to their communities.
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