Victoria C. Brady

victoriabradyVictoria C. Brady is a Minister, Arts/Community Activist, Playwright, Singer, Artistic Director, and Humanitarian. She is a founding Board Member of ABJ Community Services, Inc, founded by Dr. Vivian R. Jones, where she currently serves as the Executive Director.  She is also the Founder and President of Ray of Hope Center of the Arts which is a youth-focused multi-cultural organization dedicated to using the arts to transform lives.

She attended Columbia College where she earned her B.A. in Music/Theatre.  She also holds a Masters of Business Administration Certificate from The University of Chicago at Illinois, B.A. in Biblical Studies from the International College of Bible Theology, and is certified by the David P. Weikart Center for Quality Programming.  She completed a Master of Arts degree in Applied Professional Studies at DePaul University.

Victoria worked with ABJ over an 11 year period (since its beginning) in the capacities of Deputy Director of Programs, Vice President of Community Relations, Vice President of Youth Services, Licensing Representative, and Case Manager.  She played a critical role in promoting the team spirit which has become a staple within the organization.  Her work at ABJ helped her build skills in non-profit management, quality assurance, grant writing, and program development and implementation.  A strong believer in quality programming, her path at ABJ also provided her with the opportunity to serve as a Peer Reviewer for the Council on Accreditation (COA) which is a national accrediting organization.

She has worked in the non-profit community for more than 20 years and is an expert in youth engagement, having worked with thousands of teenagers who are often ignored and discounted by adults and society.  Much of her work is intergenerational and emphasizes shared-power, shared-leadership, and collaboration.  She is a strong voice for youth and advocates on their behalf to assure that are viewed and embraced as assets to the community.Her community work includes helping to establish goals and objectives of the state of Illinois Teen REACH program, providing leadership in the development of the first youth council for CONNECTS@ South Shore which is a coalition of organizations working in tangent through the Illinois Safety Networks Program to reduce youth violence, and overseer of the NRI (Neighborhood Recovery Initiative) at ABJ.  NRI is an initiative of Illinois State Governor Patrick Quinn designed to provide youth with the opportunity to work in their home neighborhood while developing an appreciation of it.  She serves as director of ABJ’s A.G.A.P.E.’ (Across Generations Action & Prevention Education), program where she is developing a curriculum for individual and community development and enhancement.    She is the Associate Minister of More Like Christ Christian Fellowship Ministries which is a non-denominational, holistic ministry concerned with the spiritual and physical well-being of the community.

Victoria strategically uses her leadership skill and compassion to promote peace and unity in the community and recently launched the Movement of the People for Peace (M.O.P.P.), which is a National Humanitarian Right to Live Movement calling for the protection of children and youth from gun violence.  M.O.P.P.’s mission is to serve as a catalyst to unify individuals and organizations dedicated to creating a culture of peace for youth and adults in communities across the United States.Envisioning a unified and safe community, she is developing strategies to build alliances that advance the community work of organizations across the city of Chicago and eventually the nation.  Specifically, she is developing a community activism model that will allow communities to unite, identify critical issues, and use a variety of tools, including the arts to address them.  Recognizing the value of collaboration, her aim is to establish cohesiveness and a culture of shared resources through a non-competitive approach.  By helping to establish a tightly woven community she hopes to improve the sustainability of individuals as well as organizations, and thus build a stronger nation and society.

After five years of being away from the organization to pursue other career and educational ventures, Victoria recently returned to ABJ. Her goal is to build on the long, rich, and historical legacy of providing meaningful and effective services to those in need.  She is meeting this goal by focusing on organizational vision, values, quality, and transformation which are critical elements for the continued development, growth, and expansion of the organization.