The Diocese of Chicago Peace and Justice Committee was honored to name Ms. Wanda Norris as the 2018 Rev. Michael Yasutake Peace and Justice Awardee. Ms. Norris is the Supervisor of Shedd Park in the South Lawndale community and the Youth Minister of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Norris has served as Youth Minister for more than 12 years and has worked extensively within various ministries of St. Thomas.
Highlights of her work in 2017 and 2018 were initiating the Mobile Ministry in Bronzeville and North Lawndale communities; participating in the “Our Lives Matter” public action; partnering with MEDS Senior Homes to foster inter-generational relationships between seniors and youth; partnering with CPS elementary schools to train students on School to Prison Pipeline; hosting the Youth Ministry All Saints Feed the Homeless event in the East Garfield Community; partnering with O.K.O.R. (Our Kids Or Responsibility) Youth Foundation to lend support to children in the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods; attending the All Our Children national conference on education equity; and conducting direct outreach through events including Youth Explosion, a Juneteenth Freedom Party and a Vacation Bible School at Trinity Episcopal Church under new leadership.
Norris is a certified RISE Trainer (A Rite of Passage for Young People), working to counter the effects of School to prison pipeline.