Lonnie Whisker is a grant writer and 6 Sigma Black Belt at the Tri-County Urban League. He researches and writes grant proposals on behalf of the Urban League, leads quality improvement projects within the organization, and trains other team members to become 6 Sigma Green Belts.
Whisker’s multifaceted role at the Urban League also includes supervising and coordinating the Middle School Tomorrow’s Scientists, Technicians and Managers program; instructing parenting and gang prevention classes; and a wide range of program development, marketing, and other projects, all of which help to build capacity for the Urban League.
A catalyst for change, Whisker also devotes time outside of work to give back to the community and uplift the youth and citizens of Peoria. He has regularly served as a lecturer and motivational speaker for a variety of organizations and events in the Peoria area.
Whisker spoke about black history and the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the National Center for Agricultural Research Civil Rights Employee Program, and he was the keynote speaker at the 2009 MLK Commemorative Service & Awards Ceremony. He has been a recurring guest speaker with the Harvesting Dreams program at Illinois Central College, which focuses on motivating at-risk, African-American college students, as well as ICC’s Upward Bound program, which offers support services to qualifying District 150 students.
Whisker has been involved with numerous committees to address important community issues and help lead change in the region. He served on the African American Male Initiative committee to address the challenges facing African American males at ICC, and is currently an advisor on Mayor Jim Ardis’ Peoria Area Shared Services (PASS) Forward Committee, which is examining how county and city governments can streamline and share services.
With a strong passion for Peoria, Whisker does not sit on the sidelines. Throughout his daily life, as he reaches for success with one hand, he uses the other hand to pull up others who are striving to make their lives better. iBi