The Center for Empowerment and Justice celebrated a grand opening in April 2016. From humble beginnings and "if you build it, they will come" philosophy, The Center continues to deepen its footprint both in Carbondale and Southern Illinois. Projects and programs hosted by The Center are not the products of grants or government funding, but are rather NEED BASED responses to the individual folks that have sought out The Center. We are not narrowed or confined with the projects that have or will evolve from The Center. Current projects include Solar Trees, Tiny Houses, Small Business Incubation, Entrepreneur Development, Cottage Industry Development and Support, and the list WILL GROW. The folks who become involved at The Center have become active navigators of the path The Center will venture down. Hope you join us...
Jim is a trial lawyer. He has started more than 250 jury trials and has taken more than 100 cases to a verdict.
Jim is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and International Academy of Trial Lawyers, which are peer review organizations with admission based on the highest recommendations of opposing counsel and judges before whom the Fellow has appeared. These designations honor trial lawyers who, by his or her practice, have demonstrated outstanding trial and advocacy skills, high ethical and moral standards and exceptional professional conduct, thus enhancing the image of trial lawyers.
In 1998, Jim founded the Illinois Institute of Community Law and Affairs to concentrate on research into the issues of recidivism. The Institute currently works with other organizations, prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families on these matters.
Jim is under contract to the Federal Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois to advise lawyers who are appointed to represent indigent civil rights claimants. This work, in addition to teaching and advising appointed lawyers about their cases, involves extensive counseling on their conduct pursuant to ethical and other professional standards.
Jim graduated from Harvard Law School.
Phone: (312) 593-6998
The Reverend moved to Carbondale in 2003 and became pastor at Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
In 2015, the Reverend created a shoe-shine shop as an avenue to reach men who are unchurched and to help those with felonies on their records earn a salary, while they rebuild their lives. The goal: to interrupt the cycle that he's witnessed way too often: young men from the community dropping out of school; turning to a life of drugs or crime to support themselves; then, winding up in jail or prison, sometimes only to be released and to repeat part of the cycle.
In 2016, Reverend and Jim co-founded The Center together. Jim described, they had "a unity of thought."
The Reverend and his wife, Hope, also own Southern Que, a local barbeque establishment in Murphysboro.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
For me, it was backwards. Working in a wonderful little print shop known as Cavco Printers, I take a call from a man known as Jim Chapman. Over the following months, Jim was a repeat customer and one I enjoyed working with. September 11th of 2016, I attended my first reading of A Day at Stateville at the Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
Of all the print shops in all the towns in all the world, Jim walked into mine.
June of 2017, I became the Director of The Center for Empowerment and Justice, NFP. It is an incredible journey to play a part in the development of The Center. I am experiencing my community in an entirely new way. Each moment is an adventure...truly. My time as a part of The Center is challenging, occasionally stressful, chaotic even, but, also, beautiful, rewarding, and just plain enjoyable.
I am looking forward to the things to come.
Jen is a Southern Illinois native and graduated from Southern Illinois University.
Phone: (618) 713-5147