Meet The Parents

Parents give life to COFI’s mission

At COFI, parents don’t all fit into one mold.

The vast majority of COFI-trained parents are Black and Brown mothers and grandmothers living in challenged communities. Some are raising young children, while others are proud parents of teenagers and adults. Many are grandmothers raising their grandchildren. A few don’t have kids of their own, but play active roles in the lives of nieces, nephews, stepchildren, and other relatives. There are single parents and foster parents. Many are immigrants who moved to the US recently, while others have been in the country for decades or longer.     

Being a parent can mean many different things, but what all of them possess in common is a deep love for their families – and the fortitude to fight tooth and nail for not only their own, but for all of those who are too often left on the sidelines.

Meet the heart of COFI. Meet the parents.
  • With COFI, I immediately felt heard and supported and gained the skills that reinforced the strength of my voice and determination.

    Delia Perez

    North Lawndale, Chicago

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  • Donna Carpenter

    If we stand up and speak, and let our voices be heard, then those voices and power of parents can go a long way.

    Donna Carpenter

    Englewood, Chicago

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  • We as parents need to take initiative to protect our children, because nobody is going to do it but us.

    Felipa Mena

    Humboldt Park, Chicago

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  • I knew my life would be spent advocating and training people in the philosophy and practices of restorative justice.

    Karen Lynn Morton

    Austin, Chicago

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  • Being part of COFI taught me that I do have a voice. There are other parents who stand for the same thing: safety for our children.

    Lettie Hicks

    East St. Louis

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  • A Latina woman in a yellow sweater holds a coffee mug and sits at a table

    I learned to feel that I was a person who could contribute a lot and that I could be part of my community and this country.

    Maria Alvarez

    Logan Square, Chicago

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  • I never let myself be overcome by fear. I turned it into a challenge, and I used it as motivation to keep fighting.

    Maria Leticia Toribio

    Hermosa, Chicago

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  • Photo of Rosazlia Grillier

    We should be at every table that is making a decision about us, our children, our families, and our communities.

    Rosazlia Grillier

    Englewood, Chicago

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