The 28th Ward honored the mother of NBA legend Isiah Thomas by renaming Homan Avenue on Chicago’s Westside “Mary Thomas Way.” Ald. Jason C. Ervin (28th) wrote the ordinance for the renaming, stating, “The life of Mary Thomas is a shining example of single mothers who work every day to provide for their children so that they may have a better life.” Thomas attended the dedication in honor of his late mother, for whom Thomas named his Chicago-based foundation, Mary’s Court, which is committed to a comprehensive and long-term relationship with youth within the Chicago community.
Thomas and Ervin led the 28th Ward’s annual “Back 2 School” Parade & Picnic Extravaganza. As Grand Marshal, Thomas led the parade to Garfield Park, where school supplies were distributed to the first 2,000 kids and the community hosted a senior picnic. The Chicago Community Alliance organized the event with the alderman.
MARY’S COURT is the family foundation of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Isiah Thomas and his wife Lynn. As ambassadors of goodwill, Lynn and Isiah have set off on a mission to revive the spirits and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Isiah’s beloved mother Mary Thomas. MARY’S COURT commemorates the life and legacy of Mary Thomas as a transformational agent of service to economically disadvantaged primarily single parent households headed by women in the communities of East Garfield Park and North Lawndale on Chicago’s Westside. MARY’S COURT supports the Chicago Public Schools for the expressed purposes of youth academic success, increased school attendance and higher graduation rates, character and social development, nutritional, physical health and safety support, and parental involvement. MARY’S COURT, in cooperation with the Chicago Public Schools and other community stakeholders, endeavors (by year 2029) to center a longitudinal 18 year education, health, and safety initiative beginning in the communities of East Garfield Park and North Lawndale so that a child born in this year 2011 will graduate from high school in year 2029 in a community that is safe, healthy, and one that offers a high quality K-12 education.