The Chicago Community Trust Awards Over $1.5 Million to Community Organizers as Part of New Initiative

Changemakers Network supports collaboration between organizations and leaders driving resident-led change in disadvantaged communities

CHICAGO (April 15, 2020) – Today, The Chicago Community Trust announced a new initiative to support resident-led networks working to build resilient communities and advance equity, opportunity, and prosperity. The Changemakers Network is providing grants to 18 community organizations and grassroots leaders. It also establishes a community of practice, where the participants will work together to develop strategies that accelerate community-driven change.

The Trust recognizes that reducing the racial and ethnic wealth gap is crucial to building an equitable and connected Chicago region where all people have the opportunity to thrive. Community leaders in under-invested neighborhoods have resources and experience that are critical to tackling this issue and advancing prosperity for all. The Changemakers Network aims to enhance their capacity to build resident leadership, learn from each other, and develop collaborative solutions.

“A defining feature of the Changemakers Network is a community of practice for grassroots organizations and organizers. Through virtual and in-person gatherings, we are cultivating a generative space and collaborative structure for practitioners to build trust, share knowledge, sharpen skills, and grow stronger together,” said Daniel Ash, associate vice president of community impact for the Trust. “Working in close collaboration with our grant recipients, we are designing mutual aid practices and experimenting with new ways to show up for one another in times of crisis and beyond.”

The Trust awarded eighteen grants totaling more than $1.5 million. These organizations and leaders have a history of building strong relationships and accelerating change in communities most affected by structural racism and disinvestment. Each grantee will receive flexible, multi-year funding to strengthen their institutional and community organizing capacity.

Alliance of the Southeast

Annie B. Jones Community Services, Inc.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago

Berto Aguayo, Increase the Peace

Carlil Pitman, Good Kids Mad City

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: United Workers Center

Community Organizing and Family Issues

Darius Ballinger, Chasing23

Kenwood Oakland Community Organization

Latino Union of Chicago

Logan Square Neighborhood Association

My Block, My Hood, My City

Northwest Side Housing Center

Organized Communities Against Deportations

Partnership for Resilience: Southland Initiative

Resident Association of Greater Englewood

William Calloway, Christianaire

Working Family Solidarity

Said Ash, “No single individual or institution alone can close the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region. This type of transformational change requires joining forces—as individuals, institutions, networks, and communities.”