The CBF was saddened to learn of the recent death of Belinda Belcher, who served as Executive Director of Uptown People’s Law Center for 22 years up until the time of her death. Belinda dedicated her life to the Law Center and fought hard to give a voice to the voiceless in our legal system.
Belinda was born and raised in Uptown and joined the Law Center as a summer intern while she was still in high school. A few years later, she joined the staff full-time, specializing in Social Security disability benefit representation. Within a few short years, she became the Director of the disability program. In 1992, at the age of 26, Belinda was appointed as the Executive Director of the Law Center. For 22 years, she helped build the organization from a tiny storefront clinic to a nationally recognized expert on prisoner civil rights, a key member of the Chicago-area tenants’ rights community and a voice for victims of domestic violence. The CBF has long supported the Law Center’s work, including partnering with the organization and other stakeholders to launch the Prisoner Civil Rights Pro Bono Project, a national model which recruits and trains pro bono attorneys to represent prisoners in their civil rights claims.
Belinda devoted her life to fighting for the rights of vulnerable people in our community and those who society had marginalized. She was a fierce and feisty advocate who gave these people a voice when they otherwise would not have had one. Her passion and lifelong commitment are an inspiration to all of us striving to improve access to justice for people in need. We thank her for her hard work and send our condolences to her family and colleagues at Uptown People’s Law Center.