Ear Hustle

Hip Hop DetoxX Fundraiser Gets Shut Down In Beverly

Organizations that are trying to do positive things in the community, it should be a welcomed occurrance. However for Hip Hop DetoxX that doesn’t seem to be the case. Mary Mitchell from the Chicago Sun-Times would agree. Something is wrong with this situation and issuing a cease and desist order against the organization was a bit much. Read about it below and share your thoughts.



The 19th Ward has pulled the plug on a fundraiser for one of the city’s most influential youth organizations.

Hip-Hop DetoxX has been recognized nationally for its positive impact on youth. But on Friday, it was forced to postpone its first major fundraiser after the city slapped the 501(c)(3) with an “Order to Cease and Desist,” days before the event was to take place.

The organization had planned to hold its “Golden Era Summer Soiree Fundraiser” at the palatial estate of Willie and Elizabeth Whitaker on Saturday. The Whitakers’ landmark estate includes several acres of wooded area in the Beverly neighborhood.

The order calls for police to “arrest any and all agents, and employees of Hip-Hop DetoxX. . . . [at the Whitakers’ home] offering /allowing/presenting events with live or recorded music (DJ), dancing (including but not limited to events open to the public with an entrance fee.)”

While organizers of the event suggested “racist attitudes” led to complaints about the party, Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) said his office received a complaint from an African-American resident who lives on the block.

“My office has helped other predominantly African-American groups obtain the proper permits for similar events,” he said.
The alderman said Hip-Hop DetoxX approached him about an “invitation only” private fundraiser — something he supports — but the event was later advertised “publically.”

“Neighbors and the Chicago Police have legitimate concerns about an eight-hour event serving alcohol for two hundred people on a residential block,” O’Shea said in an email.

Kesha Wells, a co-founder of Hip-Hop DetoxX, said even though the event was posted on the organization’s Facebook page, it was a private event. We passed out fliers to select people. We’re a small organization without a lot of manpower. That’s why we used our Facebook page,” she explained.

Facebook post about the now cancelled fundraiser for Hip-Hop DetoxX.
Facebook post about the now cancelled fundraiser for Hip-Hop DetoxX.
At a press conference outside her home on Friday, Elizabeth Whitaker expressed concern that the city may be using a double standard.

For instance, political fundraisers are held in private homes all the time without the host having to obtain a “Retail Food Establishment” license.

“We are law-abiding. We even went to the Police Department about the event. We were shocked when the officer showed us an ‘Order to Cease and Desist,’” she said.

Enoch Muhammad, also a co-founder, said while the fundraiser has been postponed, the Whitakers are hosting a private party on Saturday to celebrate his birthday.

“We don’t want any police officers showing up to hassle supporters. We are going to regroup and plan another date for the ‘Golden Era Summer Soiree’ due to the lawful cease and desist order,” he said.

To comply with the city’s order, the organization had to post a notice about the postponement on its Facebook page, and remove all signage.

The Whitakers are surprised by the hostile reception the youth organization has received in Beverly.

They’ve often allowed neighbors to use their expansive outdoor space for graduation celebrations and other large gatherings.

Subria Whitaker, the couple’s daughter, is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. During her days at Morgan Park High School, she participated in the organization’s after school and summer programs.

“We have been here for 10 years. We have had family reunions and lots of large parties and never received any complaints. People have large parties around here all the time,” Elizabeth Whitaker said.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

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