Little Black Pearl’s Founder to be Honored in a New Mural

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Chicago, IL – December 7, 2017- Monica Haslip, Founder and Executive Director of Little Black Pearl is honored to be included in a new mural by renowned international artist and fellow Birmingham native Kerry James Marshall that was recently unveiled in Chicago. Marshall’s beautiful artwork entitled “Rush More” is located on the façade of the Chicago Cultural Center.

The installation was commissioned in celebration of Chicago’s Year of Public Art and was underwritten by Murals of Acceptance. The mural depicts twenty women past, present, and future that are credited with greatly influencing art and culture in Chicago and around the globe.

Monica’s work stems from her life-long commitment to educating and empowering our youth through the Arts. After relocating to Chicago from Birmingham, Alabama Monica noticed that neighborhood kids were curious about the art they observed her doing in and around her home. She was inspired to create
Little Black Pearl over 23 years ago in the basement of her Bronzeville home to teach art and the “Business of Art” to local youth.

Over the years many youths have participated in Little Black Pearl after–school and summer programs. Today Little Black Pearl is located at the crossroads of the Bronzeville and Kenwood communities in a 40,000 square foot facility that houses Little Black Pearl Academy, a Chicago Public High School providing students a STEM education with a strong Art influence {STEAM};

Carver 47 Juice and Experiment Bar which has become a neighborhood favorite gathering place; after-school programs; youth summer camp; adult art workshops; and event space.

In response to recent news of her inclusion in the mural Monica stated, “It is truly an honor to be recognized with this group of phenomenal women! Maggie Daley, Dr. Margaret Burroughs, Jackie Taylor, Oprah Winfrey and each of the other women being recognized have made such an indelible impression on our history, how we view art, and how we related to each other through the Arts. Our children, especially our young ladies, will be able to look at this mural and know that they too can change the world by tapping into their passion and commitment to something bigger than themselves.”

Monica’s passion for social and restorative justice extends beyond the walls of Little Black Pearl. She is currently working with the Kellogg Foundation’s “Truth and Racial Healing Transformation Initiative” (TRHT) leading healing sessions around the country.

As part of TRHT, healing sessions play a significant role in the transformation of communities and our nation. This healing work is based on three major principles: truth-telling, racial healing, and transformation. On the day of the mural unveiling, Monica was doing TRHT work in Flint, Michigan in response to the water crisis in that community.

For more information on the honorees and on Little Black Pearl, check out

About the author / 

Kelsey Stone

Chicago native with a passion for writing, music, and social justice. Creative, intelligent, and bold, but can be a little sophistaratchet sometimes.

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