CRS honored leaders who exemplify commitment to faith and justice with the 2017 Annual Membership Assembly Awards. See Past recipients >
John Purdy, Sr. Memorial Leadership Award: Cindy Greenwood
Cindy Greenwood is justice elder and co-leader of the Faith in Action team at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights, and is an active leader with the Northwest Suburban Cluster of CRS member churches. She has been a member of the Police Accountability Issue Team since it began in 2014 and has used her public relations background to help with media turnout for the team’s actions around police accountability. Cindy’s outstanding leadership on the Police Accountability team has advanced Community Renewal Society’s campaigns for FAIR COPS, civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department, and reforms to the Chicago police union contracts.
John Purdy, Sr. Memorial Leadership Award: Karlos Lloyd
Karlos Lloyd grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Despite some obstacles Karlos faced as an adolescent, he was determined not to give up in life, especially on education, despite his criminal record. Today, Karlos has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, is enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University for his Masters of Social Work degree, and is working with Heartland Alliance as a Supervisor. This past year, Karlos traveled to Springfield eight times with FORCE and testified before the Senate Criminal Law Committee. His leadership was instrumental in helping to pass HB 2373 to expand eligibility for sealing criminal records.
City on the Hill Award: Arlington Heights Faith in Action Team –
St. John United Church of Christ, Southminster Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, St. James Catholic Church, Our Savior Lutheran Church, and Congregational United Church of Christ
In 2016, six churches in Arlington Heights came together to fight for supportive housing. The group named themselves the Arlington Heights Faith in Action Team. They turned a common concern about the lack of affordable housing for residents with mental illness and/or physical disabilities into a call to action. Advised by Hugh Brady, the Co-President of the North Northwest Suburban Task Force on Supportive Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness, and their CRS organizer, the Arlington Heights Faith in Action Team met with elected officials and organized local residents. Their efforts resulted in the Arlington Heights Village Board’s unanimous approval of a 16-unit permanent supportive housing project, called Heart’s Place, in June 2017. The successful campaign is changing the landscape of housing in Arlington Heights, since a similar project was voted down in 2010, and it is also invigorating the six key churches to be more active on social justice issues. Now the Arlington Heights Faith in Action Team is supporting another similar housing development.
Legislative Lighthouse Award: Representative David Harris (R-53)
Representative Harris began serving in the Illinois House of Representatives for the second time in 2011. He is the Republican Spokesman on the House Revenue and Finance Committee and the General Services Appropriations Committee. Rep. Harris had also served as a State Representative in the 1980s and 1990s.
When Harris left state government in 1993, he became the Senior Vice President of the Illinois Hospital Association. He returned to government service in 1999 as The Adjutant General (Commanding General) of the Illinois National Guard. He was inducted into the Ft. Benning (GA) Infantry OCS Hall of Fame in 2002, and he retired from the Army as a Major General in 2003 after 33 years of service. Harris served in Iraq with the US Department of State as the Deputy Director & Chief of Staff of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO). He serves as a member of the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and he is active with other local community organizations.
Rep. Harris’ visionary leadership and tireless work will help millions of Illinoisans to live better lives in the coming years. His bold bipartisan efforts over the past two years helped to end the state budget crisis. We honor Rep. Harris not only for his leadership and support of a full-year budget with new permanent revenue, but also for his consistent championing of increasing opportunities for people with criminal records. Rep. Harris’ faithful commitment and dedicated leadership have advanced our legislative campaigns and saved our state.
Cloud of Witnesses Leadership Award: Marge Frens
Marge Frens, a member of Elk Grove Presbyterian Church, was a woman of strong faith throughout her life. She will be best remembered for her passion for justice. We at Community Renewal Society were blessed by Marge’s many contributions—local and statewide advocacy, data entry and administrative support, policy intern, and financial generosity. She was also an active leader with the Sierra Club and Organizing for America. We are grateful for her tireless efforts with us for justice. Marge passed away on August 23, 2017.
Cloud of Witnesses Leadership Award: Gale Lewis
Gale Lewis, a member of First Baptist Congregational Church, was a loving and caring woman who constantly put her faith in action. Her passion for affordable housing and community benefits agreements shone brightly whether she was testifying before the Cook County Land Bank, at a West Side Community Benefits Coalition press conference, or at our Annual Membership Assembly just last year. Gale was also active with the Boy Scouts and her church. We are grateful for her outstanding leadership and tireless service. Gale entered peacefully into eternal rest on March 31, 2017.