Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

December 21, 2020

Simon Institute virtual talk will look at philanthropy, racial equity and social justice

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Sharon Bush, a leading voice for philanthropy in Illinois, will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps needed to move the state forward during a virtual conversation in January hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Bush and John Shaw, Simon Institute director, will also discuss Bush’s leadership in Illinois during COVID-19 and her views on racial equity and social justice. The discussion, part of the institute’s “Understanding Our New World” series via Zoom, is at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Bush is executive director of Grand Victoria Foundation, a private foundation established in 1996 and funded by the Grand Victoria Casino to support various initiatives.

“Sharon Bush is one of the most passionate and persuasive leaders in philanthropy in Illinois,” Shaw said. “She has been a hugely important leader in responding to the public health, economic and social justice challenges that have exploded in Illinois as the result of COVID-19.”

Bush has worked in philanthropy for more than two decades. She is a board member for Mikva Challenge and African American Legacy and an adviser to Willie’s Warriors, a leadership development program of Chicago Foundation for Women. Bush is also the former co-chair of Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy. 

Registration is open

Registration for the free Zoom meeting is available in advance. After completing registration, participants will receive an email confirmation with information about joining the meeting, along with the meeting ID and password. 

Participants can submit a question to Bush by email at or by including it in the “Questions and Comments” section on the registration form. 

More information on the Simon Institute’s events is available at