“If you focus right, you’ll function right.”
— Fernell Pendleton

John Caleb Pendleton | Curator - Black Literature Collective

gregarious -- structured -- imaginative


Grove Hill and the neighboring community of Whatley, Alabama have shaped John into the man he is today. Multiple generations of his family have resided in this rural part of Alabama and it is from a deep connection with family that John has developed love for people, food, and God. It is also through the oral history of his family and older community members which John learned the richness of being black.  

Though a southerner at heart, Chicago has become home. John moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute where he studied Biblical Exposition and Youth Development while also serving as president of the black student group. During his time at Moody, John worked with various youth organizations. He has a passion for educational reform and his current role is with The Future Project as Dream Director at Austin College & Career Academy High School in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. Prior to serving here, he was in Al Raby School for Community & Environment as a Program Coordinator with GRIP Outreach for Youth.

John and his wonderful wife Kari live in the North Lawndale neighborhood with their rambunctious Staffordshire Terrier. John is delving back into woodworking, which he learned from his father, and Kari is a baker. They fully embrace their individual and unique blackness as they seek to use their stories and skills for the sake of helping others around them.