Honoring the Legacy of Civil Rights Leader Albert Anderson Raby

Community Service, Activism, and Youth Leadership Development

Raby Foundation

Honoring the legacy of Civil Rights Leader Albert Anderson Raby through community service, activism, and youth leadership development in Chicago.


Bottom row: Matthew Henry, Kathy Raby, Katanya Raby  Top row: Leesa Raby, J’Khayla Johnson,  Dornetta Humphries

Daley Center Plaza | Photos by: E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune

Matthew Henry, 9 and his mother Katanya Raby watch as the Juneteenth flag is raised at Daley Center Plaza in Chicago on Monday, Juneteenth also known as Emancipation Day.  Is celebrated on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas freeing Black people who were still enslaved after the Emancipation Proclamation.

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When asked by a reporter: “What is the answer to discrimination?” Raby responded with this:

“What is the answer? This is not the question we should be asking. The answer is not the question, rather the question is the question.”

– Albert Anderson Raby

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The Raby Foundation is led by the descendants of Al Raby, a Black civil rights leader in Chicago. The Raby family lives and serves in the neighborhoods that are hardest hit by systemic racism. Following in Al’s footsteps, the family strives to provide spaces for dialogue, reconnect communities, and support movements for racial equity and social justice.

Get connected with the Raby Foundation on Social Media @RabyFoundation.

Our Work - Past Events

Raby Foundation Family Chats 2020

These chats were sponsored by the Office of Community Affairs at Illinois Tech, the University of Illinois College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, the American Planning Association’s Planning in the Black Community and Housing and Community Development Divisions.

A conversation about the impact of the Civil Rights Movement of yesteryear on Chicago’s public education spaces and places of today.

Our conversation will feature Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Bill Gerstein, former CPS educator and Senior Advisor for Leadership Greater Chicago, and Paola Aguirre, founder of Borderless Studio.

A conversation about the effect of the civil rights movement of yesteryear on Chicago’s anchor institutions.

This chat features Lee Bey, author (Southern Exposure), historian, photographer, editorial board member for Chicago Sun-Times; Bernita Johnson-Gabriel, executive vice president for neighborhoods and strategic initiatives of World Business Chicago; Christyn Freemon, chief solutionist, community developer of Project Forward and business solutions manager of North Lawndale Employment Network; and Arveal Drummer, director of graduate admissions, Illinois Institute of Technology.

A conversation about the effect of the civil rights movement of yesteryear and of today as it pertains to Chicago’s housing. 

This panel featured Commissioner Marisa Novara, City of Chicago Department of Housing, Dr. Janet Smith, of Voorhees Center, UIC and Michelle Rodgers, granddaughter of Dorothy Gautreaux, a community organizer and activist who sued CHA for violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting racial discrimination.

Three Pillars

The Foundation serves a broad demographic including those who are interested in learning and sharing about Chicago history, civil rights, activism, and social justice. However, we specifically focus on bridging the generational divide between elders and youth in the Black community – centering our work around three pillars: History, Community, and Scholarship. We feel that it is important to preserve family and community history to provide brave spaces for communities to discuss race and racism that will promote systemic change in Chicago, and support those who are pursuing opportunities in the civil and social justice arenas.




Still Fighting

for Civil Rights

Raby Foundation

Board of Directors

The Raby Family

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Al Raby Foundation




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Aura of the Civil Rights Era

Dr. King

After King brought the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) north to launch its Chicago Campaign in January 1966, he told an Ebony reporter that he had chosen to come to that city “mainly because of Al Raby.

Al Raby

1960’s, Chicago had a severe problem with police brutality against black people. Raby in response to this stated that “the honest officer who is doing his job deserves to be cleared of the ‘bad cop’ label. On the other, the bad cops need to be addressed for their inconsistent way of handling Blacks.”

Al Raby

 When we had asked, Martin to come to Chicago, we had gone through a summer which had seen as many as eleven or 1200 people arrested in a su–in a single demonstration.

Raby and King

Raby tells Daley, “I want you to know we’re going to begin direct action immediately!

“We cannot wait,” Dr. King tells the press. “Young people are not going to wait.”