About Us

A short history

We are an organization that promotes the Joliet area and its people.

Our founder, the late Reverend James E. Allen, pastor of the Church at Cass and Ottawa Streets in Joliet read an Australian news article in the early 1980's that stated that Joliet, the City of Champions, led the United States in per capita murders that year.  In addition, Jolietans had weathered a traumatic post Viet-Nam recession that left residents reeling with a record 25% plus unemployment rate.  

The Pastor and others vowed not to let violence and joblessness define Joliet's legacy.  In 1985 they formed Joliet Project Pride, a coalition determined to promote the positive elements of life in the Joliet area.  

In 1987 they created the Hall of Pride, adding classes of four to five members each year to this local hall of fame. The Hall of Pride honors those who have made our communities better places to live. After the 1990 Plainfield tornado event, the name became Joliet/Will County Project Pride to reflect the resiliency of people in any of our local communities to confront and overcome adverse times and flourish.  Since then, several new layers of recognition developed, a grassroots homeowner recognition program called, Neighborhood Heroes and the Reverend James E. Allen Award for Service to the Community.

In 2015 the decision was made to re-brand the organization as Project Acclaim -honoring civic pride. A bold community deserves a bold organization that calls down attention onto its own. Project Acclaim now also considers honoring organizations as well as individuals for the Hall of Pride.

We look forward to recognizing the good things our community provides us and those who make this community a better place to live and raise a family. 

Our Mission is to

Promote a positive image of the Joliet and Will County area and its people.

Engage residents and organizations to make their neighborhoods better.

Partner with anyone or any organization working toward the same end.

Our Vison: Project Acclaim will lead our community in recognizing and commemorating local accomplishment.


President          Jayne M. Bernhard

Vice-President   Nicholas Macris

Treasurer          Sylvia Acosta-Chavez