ROSEMONT – A band teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Harvey, Ill., has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as the recipient of its 2018 Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award.

Roosevelt Griffin III, director of bands for Harvey Public School District 152, was recognized on Thursday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA.

“Roosevelt Griffin III is an inspiration to all IEA members and to the members of his community,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin.

“The street on which he grew up in Harvey was renamed for him a few years ago, due to his exemplary work in music education and his activism. We are proud Roosevelt Griffin III is an IEA member and that he’s dedicated his adult life to helping students improve their own lives through music.”

Griffin has been a teacher in District 152 for 14 years. His commitment to his community was noted in the nomination for the Human and Civil Rights Award which reads in part, “Being from the community and going back to the community sets this candidate apart. The programs he has built are sustainable even if he was no longer engaged. He has demonstrated a long-term commitment.”

Among the many honors Griffin has received for his teaching and his activism are, the “Excellence in Education Award” from the Harvey Education Association, a Golden Apple Award, “Most Outstanding Alumni Award” from Northern Illinois University, and “Jazz Educator of the Year for 2017” from the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

The IEA Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award is one of the association’s highest honors for a member. It is named after the former president of the IEA and the National Education Association, Reg Weaver.


The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.