People Profiles|Vora Long Williams

Vora Long Williams, a retired postal worker and lifelong Englewood resident, was tired of seeing the neighborhood she loves littered with trash so she took it upon herself to make a change.

Since her 2012 retirement, the grandmother of nine has taken daily 3-4 mile walks to pick up garbage in the streets and parks of Englewood in an effort to help keep her community clean. “When you’re a homeowner, you take ownership. You have pride,” she says. “We need to take Englewood back block by block. We are on the rise.”

Vora’s mission is to do all she can to keep her community moving in a positive direction. She helped form the Edmonds Homeowners Association with four other residents on her block, and serves as its secretary. As part of Chicago’s $1 Large Lot program, she purchased a large lot in her neighborhood and transformed it into a community garden. And she is an active member of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) and Teamwork Englewood.

“You don’t have to be a victim of circumstance. You can be something positive,” Vora says. “We are a neighborly people and we have the values of a community. We’re all in this together. We’re going to change things.”

This is #EnglewoodRising.

Photography by Tonika Johnson