Nathaniel Banks is a life-long resident of Champaign, Illinois. He was educated in the Champaign schools, and graduated from what is now called Champaign Central High. He received a BA of Arts and an MA of Science in Applied Music and Music Education, respectively, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus.
Upon leaving college, Nathaniel worked as the Assistant Director of the Afro-American Cultural Program for nine years. He then left campus to become the Principal of Judah Christian High School. He returned to the U of I in 1990 to work in the Office of Minority Student Affairs, where he is currently employed. Mr. Banks has worked in several capacities in the University, including the Director of Upward Bound, the President's Leadership Program, Director of the African American Cultural Program, and Director of Campus-Community Interface, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement.
Nathaniel, with Robert Lewis, formed Mo’Betta Music, a youth volunteer music organization that has performed at community events. He is also the director of the Urbana High School Jazz Band, participating in local and state-wide events.
Throughout his professional career, Mr. Banks has had a love for young people and has worked on numerous committees to address their needs. His most current interest is in the establishment of a Charter school to serve at-risk children in the Champaign-Urbana community.
Nathaniel Banks is married to Lisha Banks. They have three grown sons and are part of a large, extended family.