A Publication of WTVP

In September, Illinois Central College released a book entitled Role Models: Profiles of Successful African American Professionals in Peoria, Illinois. As part of the college’s Role Model Project, the book features 126 black professionals who live and work in Peoria.

Twenty-seven percent of the population in Peoria is made up by African Americans, who also make up 15.3 percent of the management and professional workforce. By showcasing these leaders, the African American youth at whom this book is targeted can find positive, hard-working and reachable role models in their own community.

According to Dr. Rita Ali, editor of the book and executive director of diversity at ICC, “This book is a magnifying lens onto the lives and careers of accomplished individuals who serve as role models within the Peoria community. There are hundreds of such role models within Peoria, who exemplify excellence, talent, strength, determination, integrity, wisdom, compassion and overall good character.” The leaders featured in the book are proof for children whose daily lives may lack positive role models that they can grow up to be successful, committed citizens.

Role Models can be purchased for $20 from Illinois Central College. All proceeds support mentoring programs at the college and in the local community. For more information or to buy the book, contact the ICC Diversity Department at 694-5515 or visit The first of several books to be published as part of the college’s African American Success Series, Role Models will be followed by publications showcasing entrepreneurs, skilled trades professionals, paraprofessionals, local legends and more.