Loretta Augustine Herron is a Chicago South Side native and retired special education teacher who worked alongside Barack Obama during his time as a community organizer in the mid-late 1980s. Heron sat on the board of the church-based community organizing group, Developing Communities Project (DCP) when Obama was it’s director. DCP worked across churches to empower their congregations, bringing jobs and resources to Chicago’s South Side after the steel mills, which once offered stable jobs to the community, closed down. The organization also took on the Chicago Housing Authority over asbestos issues in Altgeld Gardens, a low-income housing community. Herron and Obama maintained a friendship even after he left DCP to attend Harvard Law School. She was a guest at his wedding to Michelle in 1992, as well as a guest at the 2012 Inaugural Ball.
"If Barack Obama never did anything else for African-Americans, just the fact that he occupied the White House lets us see ourselves in a different light."