Dear Friends of the Jessica Bryar Legacy Fund:

We truly hope you are all doing well during this time that continues to challenge our fortitude, ingenuity and perseverance in dynamic ways.

The Jessica Bryar Legacy Fund was established to create a meaningful, lasting and energizing contribution to Jess’ work and vision and to genuinely embody her profound capacity for hope. Jess’ legacy lives on in the stories we tell of her - in her humble, beautiful ways of inspiring change so people can live with dignity and embrace their own humanity.

Jessica was generosity in action. Thanks to your generous contributions, the JBLF supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through a New York City marathon runner (Jess’ niece) and My Block My Hood My City and their work providing underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood. Your support directly helped their Be Part of the Light program lighting up 500 homes and street poles for the holiday season.

Jess didn’t work just to leave a legacy. Her legacy genuinely lives in the quality and depth of her character – in her humility. She fought for history. She fought for people. She fought for justice. She fought to change systemic oppression and break down barriers holding people back from thriving. Jess’ legacy is that she always stood up for doing the right thing with thoughtfulness and integrity. JBLF is committed to furthering Jessica’s work and vision and to ensuring more beauty, more light and more equitable outcomes for the most vulnerable in our community. Your support makes this possible and we hope you will join us again this year.

Jessica spent her life creating something that would outlast her and impact all of us with her  vision, passion and relentless belief that change is possible. In 2021 we are raising funds to support two organizations, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, specifically their Strong Communities initiative, and the Illinois Justice Project, to aid their efforts to reform the juvenile justice system. Sharone Mitchell, ILJP Director, worked under Jessica at the Public Defender’s office and lauds her mentorship that inspired his leadership in this field.

For the past 2 years we have gathered to celebrate Jessica’s birthday! It has been so much fun being with many of you. This year our annual Jess Fest, to be held on March 6, 2021, will look different but our mission and celebration of Jessica’s legacy will be more important than ever.

Our hope is that everyone will join us in celebrating Jessica’s birthday on March 6, 2021 by:

  • committing an act of kindness that you feel would make Jessica smile
  • connecting with someone you haven’t communicated with lately but have been meaning to
  • taking a walk along The Point or visiting a favorite haunt of hers
  • gathering virtually with your friends to celebrate and share stories of Jessica
  • donating to the JBLF at

This year we have created a 1:1 match for every dollar donated during the month of March. All of the contributions to JBLF during March will be doubled and divided between the Shriver Center on Poverty Law and the Illinois Justice Project. If you have questions or need additional information please contact Bob Eichinger [email protected]

Every great movement in history was fueled by radical love, extreme will and a tremendous belief in the right to thrive for all humans. As 2021 promises change and renewal, let us remain hopeful, courageous and connected. Our dream is to grow the JBLF into a lasting and powerful movement of change. Thank you for joining us! We look forward to celebrating (hopefully!) in person with you all next year.

With gratitude and anticipation,

The Jessica Bryar Legacy Fund planning committee


Team Jessica
To be part of supporting Jessica’s legacy, you can make a donation online. You can also make a check out to The Chicago Community Foundation, with Jessica Bryar Legacy Fund in the memo line, and send to The Chicago Community Trust at 225 North Michigan Ave. Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60601.
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