CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – State Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, has successfully advanced legislation that would establish a first-of-its-kind scientific DNA processes through the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Anthropology and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. The Family Roots Genealogy Program pilot will provide African American descendants of previously enslaved individuals the opportunity to trace their roots back to their ancestral homelands.

“This legislation represents a groundbreaking step towards achieving a long-overdue goal — acknowledging the unique challenges faced by Black Illinoisians and taking concrete action to face those challenges head-on,” said Ammons. “This is a historic movement, signaling a refound commitment by the state to righting the wrongs of the past and providing a pathway for individuals to reclaim their heritage.”

Ammons’ House Resolution 453 spotlights the important work of the Family Roots Genealogy Program pilot, which will demonstrate extraordinary value and benefits for African American citizens in Illinois seeking to engage and recover their lost ancestral history.

Participants of the program provide saliva samples to be processed at the university’s biotechnology center, where the sample will be analyzed by the National Center for Supercomputing, also housed in Champaign-Urbana.

Ammons presented the resolution before the full House on Wednesday, where it was adopted.

“This resolution is not just about genealogy — it’s a declaration that every individual deserves the opportunity to know their history and connect with their roots, regardless of the barriers that history has placed in our way.”

As chairwoman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, Ammons embodies an unwavering commitment to fighting for reparations and advocating for the African American community. Her leadership has impacted residents statewide through measures including housing, health and welfare, education, employment and minority business enterprise

Rep. Carol AmmonsRep. Carol Ammons

103rd District

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