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September 14, 2021

Paul Simon Institute talk to explore state of philanthropy in wake of pandemic

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute next week will host a discussion about the state of philanthropy in Illinois in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monique Jones, the president of Forefront, a Chicago-based organization that supports Illinois nonprofit organizations, will talk with John Shaw, institute director, at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20 in a live Zoom webinar. Jones and Shaw will discuss how COVID-19 has impacted fundraising in Illinois and how Forefront works to support the state’s nonprofits and grant makers.

Jones took the helm of Forefront this past January. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a 20-year career in mental health, violence prevention, philanthropy and gender and racial equality. Before she joined Forefront, Jones was the president and CEO of the Evanston Community Foundation, and prior to that she served as the director of programs for the Chicago Foundation for Women. She also was director of violence prevention for the Cook County Department of Public Health and clinical director for the Jane Addams Hull House Association.

“Monique Jones is one of the most compelling and charismatic leaders in Illinois’ philanthropic community,” Shaw said. “We look forward to learning about her vision of how wise and strategic philanthropy can revitalize Illinois.”

The event is free and open to the public. Registration on Zoom is required to access the webinar. Visit to register. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions for Jones with their registration or send questions by email to

The event is part of the institute’s “Understanding Our New World” virtual conversation series with government and private sector leaders, policy experts, political analysts, authors and journalists.