Meet the Founders

In the Community since 1969

In 1969, the Institute of Positive Education (IPE) was founded by Dr. Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) and his wife Safisha Madhubuti (Carol L. Lee), Ms. Soyini Walton,Mr. Johari Amini and supported by other visionaries.  The phrase "We are building leaders and workers to bring about a positive change for our people", was the guiding force behind establishing New Concept School (formerly New Concept Development Center).

The weekend of October 24, 2014 marked the celebration of forty-five years of service to the Greater Grand Crossing community with a Street Naming Ceremony.  The 7800 Block of Ellis Avenue became the Institute of Positive Education Way.  In addition to the Street Naming Ceremony, commemoration was marked by a celebratory gala held at the historic Parkway Ballroom on October 25, 2014.

The History

IPE was founded during the height of the Black Power and Arts movement on 79th Street near Ellis Ave. In 1974, New Concept Development Center (NCDC), now New Concept School (NCS) was established in a storefront on 75th and Cottage Grove.  NCDC promoted African-centered education for children Pre-School through 3rd grade and adult. In 1990, NCDC moved to the present location at 78th and Ellis Ave. and gradually expanded to include 8th grade.  Today, IPE runs the Pre-school and After-school programs and manages the School Building and surrounding property. During its 46 years of existence IPE has operated a Ttraining Center and Parent Resource Library. It published quarterly bulletins on education, politics, science, technology and literature. Finally IPE established a parent study group and food co-op.