Cymone King wants to encourage the next generation of women to take a seat at the political table. King is a student in the Master of Public Policy: Community Health Concentration in Chicago. She is also the founding president of Adler’s IGNITE chapter, a national organization dedicated to empowering women to engage in the political process, She is also the Vice President of External Affairs for the regional Chicago chapter. Recently, IGNITE hosted a panel event in Chicago that included former City Council candidates. King shares how her experience at Adler University and her involvement in programs like IGNITE have helped catalyze her passion for helping communities and promoting inclusion.
What is IGNITE and how did you get involved?
IGNITE is an organization that wants to spark a fire in young women to be more politically aware and possibly run for political position. Women make up 51 percent of the nation’s population, but the representation for women in political positions is nowhere near that. One day I am going to run for a political position in Chicago, and I want the support of a team and like-minded women to run with me. In IGNITE I have found both these things, plus friends and lifetime bonds.
How has your time at Adler University influenced your passion to help communities and empower women?
The next generation is the future of this country. We need to pass along the tools that they will need to be successful. My time at Adler has shown me that our reach on a local level is more powerful than we think. Empowering women – all women from all walks of life – and supporting each other in all of our endeavors on a local level will eventually change the world.
We matter and we will be heard. I come from many minority communities, and each one is being mistreated at a level in this country that is unacceptable. There is work to be done.
What are your goals after graduation?
I have a long list of goals after graduating in October: First, to do more urban planning and policy analyzing with organizations who are focusing on the needs of the South and West sides. Second, to do policy work for organizations, like Safer Foundation, that are meeting the needs of people who have been recently released from Cook County Jail.
Following these two things, I am going to help someone, preferably on the South Side, run for a political position, and then one day run for a political position myself. I will also continue my involvement with IGNITE. I want to bring a second focus to the organization that will bring workshops to girls in high school.
Why is social justice important to you?
In order for this country to thrive, every person needs to have a fair seat at the table. I will fight for people living in Chicago neighborhoods like Austin, Englewood, and South Shore that are not designed for positive social and health determinants.