When Chicago Workers' Collaborative first received funding from Crossroads Fund in 2004, they were a small coalition of workers's rights groups just beginning to tackle the exploitation of day laborers in Chicago. Since that time they have helped win an increase in the Illinois minimum wage, won millions of dollars in back pay and compensation for their membersh, and expanded to two new workers' centers in the Chicago suburbs.
Everything I know about grassroots organizing I learned from the Chicago Public School system! As the mother of two CPS students, I’ve got more than 12 years of hard won experience, from fighting for bilingual education at my kids’ elementary school to the struggle for a permanent home for my daughter’s award winning arts high school. Sometimes it feels like being an engaged CPS parent requires being an organizer, fundraiser and lobbyist all in one!
As this summer continues to be one of the most violent in recent memory, Crossroads Fund is honored to support youth-led projects in Chicago addressing violence in their communities and neighborhoods. One of those projects is A Long Walk Home’s Girl/Friends Leadership Institute.
“It’s difficult to be an anti-capitalist business owner.” With one sentence, Tanuja Jagernauth, a founding member of the Sage Community Health Collective, summed up the complexities of engaging the market to promote social change. Tanuja was speaking as part of a panel discussion at Reading Change: Value of Nothing.