Local activist takes on more community projects


The Daily Illini Photo File

Graduate student Drake Materre speaking during the George Floyd protest at the Champaign County courthouse on June 1, 2020. Materre focuses a lot of his time on community projects such as Project 1000.

By Mona Alrazzaq, Assistant News Editor

Drake Materre, local activist in the Champaign-Urbana area and graduate student at the University, is increasing his involvement in community projects. 

Materre is currently focusing on Project 1000, which is a project organized by Black Students for Revolution with the intention to increase Black student enrollment at the University. 

He is hoping to utilize his position as a member of the Illinois Student Government committee on diversity and inclusion to gain momentum on the project. Separately, Matter is working with children at Booker T. Washington, a local elementary school, to actively discuss identity and education at the school. 

Outside of his organizing and community service, Materre channels his musical talents by performing at various gigs. He plays guitar, bass and piano at those events. Drake credits his mother for instilling reading into him and says he wouldn’t be an organizer if it wasn’t for the reading that she instilled in him. His mother’s work was also in the medical industry which motivated him to focus on public health. 

On the other hand, he credits his father, a pianist, for his interest in music. 

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“I’m both of them combined, in my opinion, ” Materre said. “My mom and my father are both truly role models for me in different aspects.”

Currently, Materre is pursuing his master’s in public health. Following graduate school, he wants to pursue his doctorate in educational policy and continue to organize in a community.

“The one thing about a degree is it’s just the more they move up, the more they have to listen to you,” Materre said.

Materre also hopes to increase his involvement in local politics, especially with the upcoming election cycle and maintain involvement in Natural Path Nutrition, a not-for-profit organization committed to providing quality nutrition education and community health outreach, according to their website. 

“I’m still gonna do the work that I’m doing now…teaching children, working with Natural Path Nutrition incorporated, still being a health advocate in the streets for the future,” Materre said. “Being, just you know, the regular old organizer that I am.”

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