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BEPM Factsheet

Black Emphasis Program Factsheet


The Black Emphasis Program addresses the unique concerns of African-Americans in achieving equal opportunity in all employment and program delivery activities.

Why Does Illinois Have a Black Emphasis Program?

Similar to all special emphasis programs, the Black Emphasis Program was established to address or emphasize the unique needs of African-American employees and customers. Originally, the emphasis was on increasing recruitment and employment opportunities for African-American employees. Now the program has been expanded to assist the organization in improving program delivery. Although the Black Emphasis Program is not a mandated program, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission highly recommends that the agency initiate these special emphasis programs.

The overall goals for the Black Emphasis Program are to:

  • Eliminate discriminatory practice in program activity;
  • Assure that African-Americans are appropriately represented throughout the workforce;
  • Advise management on the special concerns of African-American employees and customers;
  • Ensure that specific actions are taken to provide Equal Employment Opportunity for African-Americans in connection with recruitment, training, promotion, and upward mobility.
  • Participate in cultural awareness activities; and
  • Review and make suggestions on the Affirmative Employment Plan.

The primary objectives of the Black Emphasis Program are:

  • Progress towards achieving a diverse workforce at all grade levels and in all occupations;
  • Reduce employment/program complaints and findings of discrimination;
  • Increase the early complaint resolution rates; and
  • Improve outreach efforts to under-utilized and under-served communities.
For additional information, contact Lewis Nichols at 815.875.8732 ext. 133