Illinois Republicans Desperately Need the Black Conservative Summit

Written by Rev. Ceasar I. LeFlore III

One of the most important events for Illinois Republicans in this current political environment is the Black Conservative Summit, which will take place in Tinley Park on March 24-25, 2023.

The Black Conservative Summit will feature conservative leaders like Larry Elder, Voddie Baucham, Lt. Colonel Allen West, and many Illinois conservative leaders like Stephanie Trussell. This event is an essential tool Republicans need to break through to black voters entrenched in liberal politics and begin peeling away enough of their votes in places like Cook County, which almost always ensures democrat victories in important elections.

In short, if Illinois Republicans hope to see legislative and electoral victories any time soon, the key to a political breakthrough will be found in the strength of the emerging black Christian conservative movement and the powerful influence only they can bring to black and minority communities. Beyond any other political strategies that Illinois Republicans might design to reach black voters, it will take the example of strong, well-established black conservative leadership speaking directly to their communities to dispel the destructive lies and crippling policies of liberal Democrats. The Black Conservative Summit is designed for the exclusive purpose of strengthening and activating that movement and elevating the voices of conservative black leaders in Illinois above those of the current, feckless black leadership within the democratic machine.

The Black Conservative Summit is the vision of Dr. Eric Wallace of Freedom’s Journal Institute for the Study of Faith and Public Policy. Dr. Wallace is himself a pioneer among black conservative Republicans who found the courage to run for political office in Illinois. It was his courage that helped inspire the candidacies of black conservatives like Max Solomon, Frederick Walls, Felicity Joy, and so many others who made the 2022 ballot one of the largest assemblies of black conservative candidates in any state.

Inspired by the United States’ first black-owned newspaper entitled Freedoms Journal, the Freedom’s Journal Institute was created by Dr. Wallace and his wife Jennifer with the aim of conserving traditional African American values—which have always been undeniably conservative—and advancing those values through sociopolitical education and engagement rooted in a Biblical worldview. Along with his online publications and many other outreaches like Black Families Matter, the Black Conservative Summit is the crown jewel of FJI’s efforts to promote to the black community those principles of faith and values that are necessary to heal America and all its communities.

Central to those values are what Dr. Wallace calls the R.I.S.E principles, representing a commitment to “Responsible Government, Individual Liberty and Fidelity, Strong Family Values, and Economic Empowerment.”  These principles, along with a direct appeal to the African American church to “vote their Christian values” are the key to starting a tidal wave of political change in Illinois; one so profound that it undoubtedly will affect the political climate throughout America.

Just as the power of the civil rights movement came from the pews of the black church, so too will the power of conservative reform be energized by the unique power and passion that comes from strong, principled black leadership. White liberal Democrats recognize that power but exploit it to advance lies and promises they are incapable of keeping, simply to hold onto political power. These lies have allowed black votes to be taken for granted, relieving Democrats of any need to keep their promises, because they believe blacks will vote for them anyway.

White Republicans in Illinois must take the opportunity offered by the Black Conservative Summit to practice intentionality in how they will include and incorporate this much-needed black participation in Republican politics.

Too often establishment Republicans provide only lip service to their minority outreach, seldom living out that commitment by supporting black Republicans in key moments with their presence, votes, and finances. Any black Republican who has recently run for office in Illinois can testify that the superiority of their argument was undermined by the lack of support they received from the party, as well as the exposure required to get their message out.

Now is the time for all Republicans to put their money where their mouth is by supporting the success of such an important event as the Black Conservative Summit.

All Illinois Republicans—black, white, or brown—who are able should attend the Black Conservative Summit and should register right away at If attendance is not possible, please prayerfully consider supporting the summit by providing scholarships, purchasing tables, or making donations of any size to the event.

The greatest example of our sincerity will be found only in our unity. The Black Conservative Summit offers Illinois Republicans a unique opportunity to demonstrate that unity.

Rev. Ceasar I. LeFlore III is State Director of the Illinois Family Institute’s Public School Exit initiative. He is also deeply involved with the Chicago Alliance for Life and has spoken around the nation on issues of Life and Family. He is the past executive director of The African American Association for Life & Family, and presently sits of the boards of The Illinois Family Institute, The Life Education and Resource Network, and Pro-Life Champions. He is married and is the father of two adult daughters.