Jahmal Cole is Showing Up for the People

Jahmal Cole is Showing Up for the People

Jahmal Cole is Showing Up for the People (Chicago, IL) — Simply put Jahmal Cole has a three-word message for those who will eventually vote for the next 1st district Illinois Congressional candidate. He shows up.

Patricia Bonk for State Rep

“I show up for people. That’s what I do,” said Cole. “I showed up in 2009 when I started volunteering at Cook County jail, writing rap lyrics for the young men as a form of therapy. I showed up in 2013 when I started taking kids from the most under-resourced communities on educational field trips. I started a nonprofit called My Block My Hood My City, which is now one of the most impactful nonprofit organizations in the state. I showed up for people throughout the pandemic when 8,000 seniors reached out to my organization and we were able to connect them to primary health care, PPE and food. When there were heat waves, we passed out water and delivered fans directly to the door. I show up for small businesses. All I do is show up.”


A champion of social justice, Jahmal Cole’s mission is to build a more interconnected 1st Congressional District of Illinois on the pillars of service and education.

As the founder and CEO of the city’s fastest-growing social impact organization, My Block My Hood My City, Jahmal is the creator of an exposure-based education program for teens and a network of volunteer initiatives that serve Chicago communities year-round.

“My non-profit  shouldn’t even exist,” said Cole. “We fill in the gaps for the government. We could pass out turkeys on Thanksgiving for the rest of my life, but people are still going to be hungry the next day and the day after that. That’s not a nonprofit problem. That’s a food insecurity problem. That’s a policy problem.”

Traveling, youth mentorship, and community organizing are the subjects of Jahmal’s highly acclaimed books and speeches. He has spoken to audiences ranging from high school students to the Mayor of Chicago.

He was recently named one of the 25 Most Powerful Chicagoans by Crain’s Magazine and named to the New Power 30 by Chicago Magazine. He’s the recipient of the 2020 American Red Cross Community Impact Hero Award. In 2019, In addition, he was named in Crain’s 40 under 40. He’s also the 2019 Champion of Freedom Award recipient, the 2018 Chicago Defender Men of Excellence Honoree, and the 2018 Chicago City Council Resolution Award. In 2018, he was also named one of the “20 Most Inspiring Chicagoans” by Streetwise Magazine and a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine.

He was inspired very young to be a public servant. 

“I watched the movie Malcolm X so many times growing up that I thought Denzel Washington was Malcolm X. I read President Obama’s book and it was a playbook on how to be an organizer. I read and studied it. My dad ran for alderman when I was 11 and he’s my role model. I’ve experienced being a victim of gun violence. These problems are personal to me. I’m able to relate to people without judging them. I can help people because I know the pain.”

Jahmal Cole is Showing Up for the People

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