Our Strategic Plan

For more than 100 years, The Chicago Community Trust has convened, supported, funded and accelerated the work of community members and change-makers committed to strengthening the Chicago region. From building up our civic infrastructure to spearheading our response to the Great Recession, the Trust has brought our community together to face pressing challenges and seize our greatest opportunities. Today, that means confronting the racial and ethnic wealth gap.

One may wonder how we arrived at this decision. For the better part of a year, our team explored pressing issues impacting our communities, from education to health and public safety. It quickly became clear that some of the region’s biggest challenges stem from racial and ethnic wealth inequality—and that the Chicago region will not be able to realize its potential until it tackles this systemic issue. As a result, we have decided to focus our discretionary funds to address the region’s fundamental challenge: racial and ethnic wealth inequity.

The numbers are staggering and the effect has been crippling.

We believe our response to these disparities will determine our region’s future. Our vision is a thriving, equitable and connected Chicago region where people of all races, places and identities have the opportunity to reach their potential. To achieve this, we plan to tackle wealth inequity at the household, neighborhood, and community level:



There is no secret switch to undo decades of discriminatory practices, let alone the consequences of centuries of racism and racial and economic segregation. The work is hard, but we are up to the challenge. Building on the Trust’s legacy, we will marshal community investments, elevate community voices, advance policies and inspire philanthropic support for initiatives that demonstrably contribute to closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap and lead to a thriving, equitable and connected Chicago region. We hope you will join us on this journey.


By the numbers

Infographic: Chicagoland's Wealth Disparity - In the Chicago region, White families hold nearly 10 times the wealth of Black and Latino families

Infographic: National Households with Wealth: More than 1 in 4 Black households in the U.S. have zero or negative wealth, compared to less than 1 in 10 White families

Infographic: National Wealth Decline - Between 1983 and 2013 Black and Latinx household wealth declined 75 and 50 percent respectively, while White household wealth increased 14 percent

Infographic: $4.4 billion is lost ery year due to economic inequity in the Chicago region

The wealth gap between White, Black and Latinx households in the Chicago metropolitan area has been on the rise for a half-century. More than a matter of dollars and cents, the wealth gap is about the loss of investment in human capital and human potential. Facts about the wealth gap


Questions and Answers

Looking for more information about what this means for the region, or for you as a partner of The Chicago Community Trust? Check out our answers to frequently asked questions about the strategic plan. We’ve also compiled a list of what you can do to help address the racial wealth gap in your community, place of work and business.


From Insight to Impact