Joyce Chapman, Phalanx Family Services, Coordinator, Far South Region-HCEZ, CEO, Far South Chicago Coalition

Where are you from?

I was born in Japan. My mother was Japanese, my Father was Black—they met in Japan. My brother and I were born in Tokyo, my two sisters were born in Osaka. One brother was born here in Chicago, and my two other brothers were born in Kentucky. We traveled the world. We’ve been in the US since ’68. I’m an army brat.

What led you to your current organization?

Phalanx Family Services serves disenfranchised people on the far south side. I joined almost three years ago. I was only going to be here for the census then go my way, but then the city came knocking on my door about health equity: “Joyce, do you want to organize the Quality of Life Plan for the far south side?” The only way I was going to do the Quality of Life Plan was if I had Phalanx Family Services as an organization to be part of. Phalanx Family Services is the anchor.

What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the CSAC?

I hope that members of the CSAC can be open minded and work on everybody’s problems, and share our ideas and our commonalities. All of us who sit on the CSAC, we are in one city.

What are some issues in your community you hope to resolve?

Public safety, health and mental wellness, and, of course, education. People want to have a safe place to build. I’m so tired of seeing teddy bears and candles and balloons. At the end of the day, what are you going to do? How we get there, I don’t know. It’s a collective action.

What is something most people would be surprised to know about you?

I am such a nice-hearted person. I am a crybaby—I wear my emotions on my sleeves! But I am loyal, I am committed, I don’t take no for an answer, I will fight for you tooth and nail!