Past Grantees

 

2017 GRANTEES

Photo by movement photographer Sarah-Ji 

Crossroads Fund 2017 Grantees

 

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017) we gave out $683,105 in grants to 92 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues.  Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituents. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which grant program(s) they received funding. Programs include the Seed Fund (SF)Technical Assistance Fund (TA)Youth Fund for Social Change (YF), and the Emergency Fund (EF). This year, we also revived the Critical Response Fund (CRF), which provides rapid response grants to organizations working on issues that have arisen due to the current political moment.

 

We also indicate if a grantee received funding from one of our Partner Funds (PF), which include pooled funds and donor advised funds.  We specify if grants came from one of the following named Partner Funds: the GRAM Fund (GRAM) which supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and youth projects; the Eleuterio Fund (Eleuterio) which supports community-based arts, education, peace activism, reproductive rights; the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative (CYSI), a funders collaborative housed at Crossroads Fund that provides storage spaces for youth experiencing homelessness; the Cathy Cohen Black Youth Fund (Cathy Cohen), which supports black-led youth organizing work around social justice; the Vernita Gray Fund (Vernita Gray), which supports LGBTQ youth; Bending the Arc: The Robert Howard Annual Symposium (Bending the Arc), an annual event or project in honor of Robert Howard, a civil rights attorney and activist; the Gail Smith Advocacy Fund (Gail Smith), which supports policy and advocacy concerning justice for incarcerated women and girls in Illinois; and She100, a giving circle that pools resources to make grants to initiatives which strengthen the power and presence of all Chicago LBTQ women. We also list each of the awards we grant at our annual gala, Seeds of Change, by name. They are the Donald F. Erickson Synapses AwardThe Lynda J. Tipton Memorial Award for Social Justice, and the Ron Sable Award for Activism.

 

In FY17, grant amounts ranged from $1,000 - $24,000, and the average grant was $7,300. Unless otherwise noted, the grants are for general operating support.

 

ARTS & CULTURE

 

ECONOMIC JUSTICE & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

 

HEALTH & EDUCATION

 

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL POLICY

 

IMMIGRANT JUSTICE

 

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER

 

WORKERS RIGHTS

 

YOUTH

 

CHICAGO YOUTH STORAGE INITIATIVE

 

ARTS & CULTURE

 

 

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. They are a critical educational resource. (SF, GRAM)

 

 

First Nations Film and Video Festival, Incis the only film and video festival in Chicago dedicated to providing a venue to the overlooked and under-represented Native American movie makers of all skill levels. They advocate for and celebrate the works of Native American filmmakers, and films that break racial stereotypes and promote awareness of Native American issues. All films screened are written and/or produced and directed by Native American artists from the United States, Canada, Central and South America and Mexico. (SF)

 

 

Honey Pot Performance is a feminist creative collaborative that has cultivated an approach to performance that examines identity, belonging and differences in lives and cultural membership through a social justice lens. (SF)

 

 

Illinois Humanities Council programs broaden public involvement in civic dialogue, deepen the quality of community conversation and reflection, increase public access to the humanities by lowering barriers to participation and bring humanities activities to unexpected places.This year, Crossroads Fund partnered with the Illinois Humanities Council on two events around education justice as part of the Bending the Arc Annual Symposium. (Eleuterio, Bending the Arc)

 

 

Jarochicanos is a youth-driven arts collective that engages in traditional music from Veracruz-Mexico. Participants explore identity and self-expression and use performance to support local social change movements. (SF)

 

 

 

ECONOMIC JUSTICE & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

Alliance of the Southeast (ASE) is a multi-issue, power-based community organizing group composed of member institutions on Chicago’s southeast side. Their campaigns focus on anti-violence, community safety, housing, community benefit agreements, youth leadership and education. The Technical Assistance Fund supported restorative justice training for their youth organizers. (SF, TA, YF)

 

 

Autonomous Tenants Union (ATU) is a tenant-led, all-volunteer organization that is deeply committed to organizing alongside tenants to halt evictions, leverage the power of tenant unions to keep rent affordable, and preserve its community. (SF)

 

 

Blocks Together is a multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago that addresses affordable housing, public education, economic development, participatory budgeting and other community issues. The Critical Response Fund supported them in launching the Poor People’s Campaign, which aims to build a broad national moral movement rooted in the leadership of poor people to unite our country “from the bottom up." (SF, YF, CRF)

 

 

Chicago ADAPT is a grassroots disability justice organization fighting to end institutional bias against people with disabilities. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in upgrading their financial management structures. (TA)

 

 

The Chicago Disability Activism Coalition (CDAC) aims to build a power base in Chicago, across disability groups, to form disability justice campaigns and fight structures that impact people with disabilities. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in hosting their first annual summit to advance cross-disability justice. (SF, TA)

 

 

Garfield Park Community Council organizes residents of Garfield Park to bring about changes in housing policies while addressing issues related to a lack of city services and resources. They also organize around issues of food access and economic development. (SF)

 

 

IL Women’s March on Springfield brought together 2000 individuals, representing over 100 organizations, to Springfield to educate and agitate for progressive legislation during the spring 2017 session of the Illinois Legislature. This was during the peak of the state budget impasse. (CRF)

 

 

The March to Springfield was led by Fair Economy Illinois. People marched from Chicago to Springfield to advocate for a People and Planet First Budget. Organizations involved included Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Chicago Student Action, ONE Northside, National Nurses United, the People’s Lobby, and Illinois People’s Action.  (CRF)

 

Neighbors for Affordable Housing in Jefferson Park is a new organization that emerged from the Chicago Housing Initiative's (CHI) work to support a new affordable housing development in Jefferson Park. This development has faced a racist backlash with alt-right base-building in the community. The Critical Response Fund supported CHI in building anti-racist opposition and pushing forward this affordable housing project. (CRF)

 

Northside Action for Justice is a multi-issue, membership-based organization working in Uptown and Rogers Park on living wage, job creation, affordable housing, preservation of quality public education, public safety, and economic justice issues. (SF)

 

 

Residents Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) is a resident-led organization working to mobilize people and resources to force change in the community by breaking down barriers in communication and promoting positivity through solutions-based approaches. Their work is focused on community development and neighborhood safety. (SF)

 

 

South Side Together Organizing for Power (STOP) organizes primarily African American tenants, youth, and consumers of mental health services in the Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood to address housing, gentrification, healthcare, and criminalization of youth. (SF, YF)

 

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

 

Ixchel Families for Equitable Education and Environmental Justice is a community-based organization in Cicero working on environmental justice, education, and immigration justice issues  through leadership development, research, and organizing. The Critical Response Fund supported them in organizing for a Welcoming City Ordinance in Cicero. (SF, CRF)

 

 

People for Community Recovery is acommunity-based environmental justice organization that addresses environmental pollution, the adverse impact of Chicago Housing Authority public housing policies, and social justice issues in the Riverdale community. (SF)

 

 

 

HEALTH & EDUCATION

 

Alliance for Community Services is a partnership between people that depend on public human services (Medicaid, disability services) and the front-line employees that provide them. Their goal is to resist an austerity agenda that leads to privatization of public needs. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in upgrading their technology around online activism and communications. (SF, TA)

 

 

Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce includes classroom teachers, parents, educators, students, and community activists from across Chicago. They produce resources and alternative curriculum, based in social justice movements, that address the inadequacy of the current curriculum used in most urban schools. (SF)

 

 

Lifted Voices is an action-oriented organizing collective whose femme and non-binary membership provides tactical education in the City of Chicago. The Critical Response Fund supported direct-action trainings throughout the winter and spring. (CRF)

 

 

Parents 4 Teachers is an all-volunteer organization that brings together parents and teachers to fight for quality schools by organizing against underlying causes of inequality, i.e. institutional racism, social and economic inequity, and corporate privatization of public resources.  (SF)

 

 

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is a sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. They work to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices. (Eleuterio)

 

 

 

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

Black and Pink Chicago is a collaboration of LGBTQ prisoners and their allies working together to stem the violence experienced by prisoners and, especially, by LGBTQ prisoners.  This is done through advocacy, education, direct services and organizing. (SF)

 

 

Black on Both Sides highlights the voices and experiences of Black/African-American foster youth, while launching direct action organizing campaigns to address root causes of the foster-care-to-prison pipeline. They believe in centering the lives and stories of those most directly impacted and use story-sharing, laughter, and direct-action organizing together to bring long-term sustainable change to both the foster care system and the prison system. (SF)

 

 

Cabrini Green Legal Aid provides free legal services to low-income residents of Chicago. This grant supports their ongoing advocacy work. (Gail Smith)

 

The Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression (CAARPR) campaigns against police crimes, committed primarily against the poor and people of color, and continues to fight for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council in the city of Chicago. (SF)

 

 

Chicago Books to Women in Prison is an all-volunteer organization that provides paperback books to incarcerated women in the U.S. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in holding a series of focus groups at Logan Correctional.  (TA, GRAM)

 

 

Chicago Community Bond Fund operates a revolving fund that pays bond for people charged with crimes in Cook County, provides education on the role of bond in the criminal legal system, and advocates for the abolition of money bond and other forms of pretrial punishment. (SF)

 

 

The Chicago Torture Justice Center (CTJC) was established to address the traumas of institutionalized racism through the implementation of the historic reparations package for the torture survivors of former Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge. (SF, TA, GRAM)

 

 

Citizen Advocacy Center utilizes community lawyers to engage residents in DuPage County and beyond in building democracy through community organizing, coalition building, legal advocacy, civic education, and litigation to make government more accountable, accessible, and transparent. The Technical Assistance Fund supported their software upgrade. (SF, TA)

 

 

First Defense Legal Aid  works in neighborhoods with high police interaction to provide free legal counsel to individuals in police custody. In addition, they provide a Hotline Program, “Know Your Rights” trainings, education, and advocacy for a fair criminal justice system. The Critical Response Fund supported them in organizing a series of teach-ins on “What’s at Stake” for children, youth, immigrants, people with mental illness, the LGBTQ community, and survivors of police violence. (SF, CRF, YF)

 

 

The Prison Liberation Collective is a group of people who have experience with solitary confinement and are working to end this practice in Illinois prisons. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them with organizational start-up expenses and fundraising. (TA)

 

 

Project NIA is a prison abolition organization that offers an alternative way of thinking about crime and violence. They use the principles of participatory community justice to reduce the reliance on arrest, detention, and incarceration of youth by promoting the use of restorative and transformative practices. (Ron Sable Award for Activism)

 

 

Restore Justice Foundation advocates for fairness, humanity and compassion throughout the Illinois criminal justice system, with a primary focus on youth serving extreme sentences. They create and support policies that allow those who are rehabilitated to go home, and ensure that those incarcerated, their families, and victims' families have opportunities for healing and justice. (SF)

 

 

Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) is led by people of color on Chicago's South Side working to build power and then subsequently leverage that power to fight for their own interest and liberation. They focus on criminal justice reform work and racial equity campaigns, including specific policy work. (SF)

 

Stop Solitary Coalition is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to end the practice of solitary confinement throughout Illinois. The Critical Response Fund supported their work to move legislation through the Illinois Legislature, host teach-ins on the issue to raise awareness, and build public pressure for change. (CRF)

 

 

Women’s All Points Bulletin is composed of women survivors of police violence who advocate for more civilian oversight of law enforcement, provide testimony to local, national and international bodies, and engage in building public awareness of police violence. (SF)

 

 

 

HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL POLICY

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams places teams at the invitation of local peacemaking communities that are confronting situations of lethal conflict. These teams seek to follow God's Spirit as it works through local peacemakers who risk injury and death by waging nonviolent direct action to confront systems of violence and oppression. (SF)

 

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine works for a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education, civic participation, direct action, and advocacy. This year, they also hosted a youth convening to bring together youth organizers and activists from around the city to learn from and share best practices with each other. (SF, YF)

 

The Illinois Coalition Against Torture is an association of individuals and community-based organizations whose goal is to end U.S. torture by state actors at all levels of government at home and abroad. The grants they received supported an event with Albert Woodfox, a member of the Angola Three, who was held in solitary confinement for 43 years and recently released. (TA, PF)

 

 

National Boricua Human Rights Network raises awareness of human rights issues- including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties-faced by the Puerto Rican community, while also focusing more broadly on the effects of colonization, international economic sanctions in Puerto Rico, and the ways gentrification is affecting the Chicago Puerto Rican community. This year, they were successful in winning the release of long-standing Puerto Rican political prisoner, Oscar Lopez Rivera, after 35 years of incarceration. (SF)

 

 

 

IMMIGRANT JUSTICE

 

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) is a grassroots community organization that builds the capacity of Filipino/a/xs to organize on issues of social, racial, and economic justice that affect undocumented immigrants, domestic workers, seniors, and youth. Their organizing was key to the passage of the Illinois Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. (SF)

 

 

The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) strives to strengthen the Arab community in the Chicago area by building its capacity to be an active agent for positive social change. The Critical Response Fund supported rapid response organizing after the Muslim Ban was implemented. (CRF, YF, Donald F. Erickson Synapses Award)

 

 

The Chicago Law and Education Foundation (CLEF) provides direct access to legal services, resources, and education using a community-based model. The Critical Response Fund supported them in doing know-your-rights and legal support work to families facing deportation and experiencing fear around the increase in ICE raids. (SF, CRF)

 

 

Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN) organizes congregations and people of faith- through the use of public witness, education, and political advocacy- to respond to injustices experienced by undocumented immigrants. They have been leading the work in Chicago around the concept of “sanctuary” in congregations, neighborhoods, and other institutions.  (SF, TA)

 

 

Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA) brings together lawyers and community activists to increase the capacity and the use of the law toward achieving systematic changes. These partnerships include organizations working on immigration reform, street economies, and with day laborers. (SF)

 

 

The Hana Center works to empower Korean-Americans, immigrants, and multi-racial communities- through social services, community organizing, culture, and education- to advance human rights. Funding was for Beyond our Boundaries: the National Asian-American Youth Organizing Summit, which brought together young people around the country to strategize and collaborate around various issues affecting them. (CRF)

 

 

Immigrant Solidarity DuPage is a volunteer-driven organization in DuPage County that is working on issues related to immigration, bilingual education, police accountability, workers struggles, and community health issues.(SF)

 

 

No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona that works to reduce the number of deaths of migrants crossing the border. They also fight for immigration reform. (PF)

 

 

Northern Illinois Justice for our Neighbors (NIJFON) provides free, high-quality immigration legal service, education, and advocacy in Aurora, Chicago and Rockford. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in improving their financial procedures at the staff and board level. (SF, TA)

 

 

Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD) works with individuals and families to fight harmful immigration enforcement practices through organizing, advocacy, and direct action.  This is done through education, providing resources for immigrants facing deportation, reporting on immigration raids, and working with elected officials to call for an end to raids on immigrant communities. The Critical Response Fund helped them host a series of know-your-rights trainings to prepare the community for the increase in ICE raids and deportations, as well as other emergency work. (SF, CRF, GRAM, Lynda J. Tipton Award)

 

 

Proyecto de Accion de Los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) serves West Cook County.  They focus on immigration reform, immigrant integration at the municipal level, know-your-rights trainings, community civic participation, and other local campaigns against practices that adversely impact the community. The Critical Response Fund supported them in advocating for passage of Welcoming City ordinances in the western suburbs, including Oak Park and Summit. (CRF)

 

The Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project’s (SSIP) mission is to organize immigrants and their families in the southwest suburbs, which has a dearth of immigrant services. They do this through a variety of initiatives, including education, civic engagement, and advocacy. (SF)

 

 

 

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER

 

About Face Youth Theatre is an identity-affirming theatre activism program that supports LGBT youth (age 14-23) and their allies in exploring and expanding the boxes to define our intricate intersections of race, nationality, gender, and sexuality. (She100)

 

 

Affinity Community Services serves African-American lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women in Chicago. They combine direct services and community-building with advocacy/activism, and focus on coalition building, civic engagement, immigration reform, health and wellness, and leadership development. (SF)

 

 

The Broadway Youth Center is a youth leadership project and a basic needs program for LGBT youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability. They provide medical, social and mental health care services, as well as community, for youth age 12-24. (She100)

 

Nothing Without a Company produces innovative, thought-provoking, quality art that encourages audiences to think outside of the box. They provide LGBT artists with a safe and creative space in which to explore their voices and talents. (She100)

 

 

Quare Square Collective is a network of queer artists of color who work for greater inclusion of marginalized artists in mainstream publications, performances, and media. They produce community arts programs featuring queer artists of color. (She100)

 

 

Pride Action Tank is a results-driven group that addresses challenges facing the LGBT community through a collaborative process of inquiry, advocacy, and action. Their work focuses on six overlapping issue areas: housing, health, safety, financial security, youth, and aging. (SF)

 

Transformative Justice Law Project is a volunteer-run collective of lawyers, activists, and organizers committed to gender self-determination, transformative justice, and prison abolition. The Critical Response Fund assisted them in organizing the 2016 Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurred a few days after the 2016 presidential election. (SF, CRF)

 

 

Upswing Advocates uses an individualized, strengths-based approach to build skills and resilience in ways that strengthen and support the LGBT community in and around Chicago. They provide goal-focused coaching services and offer training to professionals who are interested in building competence in working with people who are LGBT. (She100)

 

 

 

WORKERS RIGHTS

 

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos (CTU) is an immigrant-run organization on the southeast side of Chicago that educates workers on their rights, develops leadership within the immigrant community, and participates in broader efforts for systemic reform around wage theft and immigration. The Technical Assistance Fund helped them in reviewing their mission statement, vision, and values to be more inclusive of the growing non-immigrant community.  (SF, TA)

 

 

Chicago Community and Worker’s Rights (CCWR) is an organization led by workers for workers. They are dedicated to educating, building leadership, and gathering resources in order to develop organizing tools and collective strategies of resistance against labor rights abuses. Their focus areas are education and empowerment; emergency support for workers' in crisis; and self-determination of workers. The Critical Response Fund supported them in providing additional work-based know-your-rights trainings to immigrant workers. (SF, CRF)

 

 

Healing to Action advances a worker-led movement to fight gender violence in Chicago. They are piloting a capacity-building model to give low-wage workers a collective healing space and organizing support to ignite solutions to fight gender violence in the workplace and beyond. (SF, GRAM)

 

 

The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Chicago is an all-volunteer organization that supports the rights of sex workers and their communities; works to end violence through education, advocacy, and peer support; and strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding sex work. (SF)

 

The Street Vendors Association organizes street vendors to ensure that they are able to sell their food without fear of police harassment. They successfully advocated and won an ordinance that legalizes street vending and are now working to construct a cooperative kitchen where vendors can share resources. (SF)

 

 

United Taxi Drivers Community Council (UTCC), with a mostly immigrant membership base, organizes taxi drivers to fight against lease overcharges, excessive police ticketing and unequal industry regulation by strengthening their collective rights. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in strengthening their financial management systems. (TA)

 

 

YOUTH

 

A Long Walk Home uses art therapy, visual, and performing arts to engage young girls in campaigns to end sexual violence/harassment against women and girls, both in their schools and communities. (YF, Cathy Cohen) 

 

Assata’s Daughters is a grassroots, intergenerational collective of radical Black women who provide mentoring and weekly programming for young Black women around the themes of Black history and ancestry, self-care and mindfulness, the environment, grassroots organizing, resistance, and activism.  They also help connect members to the current Black Lives Matter movement. (YF)

 

 

Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) is a summer leadership program for youth who trace their heritage to South Asia and the diaspora. They focus on history, arts, and movement building for community resilience and youth empowerment. (TA)

 

 

Chicago Freedom School works to create a new generation of young people engaged in social justice through leadership development, the study of past social movements, and hands on engagement. The Youth Fund supported Project HealUs, which activates and prepares young people of color to explore, engage, and expand the work of the reproductive justice movement within their communities. (YF)

 

 

The Chicago SNCC History Project works to document the history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Chicago and connect civil rights leaders to the current generation of youth/adult activists. The Youth Fund supported this year's annual conference, From Civil Rights to Black Power(YF)

 

 

Chicago Student Action (formerly known as IIRON Student Network) is a grassroots student power-organization that recruits and trains college students around campaigns related to campus living wages, fair financial aid practices, ending racial profiling by university police, and divestment from fossil fuels. (SF, GRAM)

 

 

Circles and Ciphers is a youth-led group that fuses restorative justice practices and principles with hip-hop arts and culture. They are engaged in school-based peacekeeping work and city-wide campaigns on issues of systemic violence affecting youth of color. The Critical Response Fund helped them connect community members to legal services, employment services, and spaces to heal, process, and build solidarity. (SF, CRF, YF, GRAM)

 

 

Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH), the Hana Center’s youth council, engages in education, self-expression, and collective action towards change for youth and their communities. They have been working on a “Decolonize CPS” campaign to create and implement curriculum in CPS high schools that better represents the lived experiences of youth of color. They presented their work at this year’s Bending the Arc gathering. (YF, Bending the Arc)

 

 

Imagine Englewood If seeks to empower the greater Englewood community through youth engagement and environmental awareness. The Youth Fund supported their Growing Citizen Leads (GCL) program, which gives participants a deeper understanding of the connection between systemic discrimination and the current situation in their own neighborhood, providing the impetus to work for change. (YF)

 

 

Mikva Challenge develops youth to be informed, empowered, and active citizens and community leaders. They do this by engaging youth in action civics, an authentic and transformative learning process built on youth voice and youth expertise. This grant supported their Youth Councils, which are focused on increasing youth input in After School Matters programming, restorative justice, and creating a mental health toolkit for young people in CPS schools. (YF)

 

 

OLLIN is the youth component of the Telpochcalli Community Education Project, and encompasses their after school programming, their youth leadership group, and peer mentorship. The Youth Fund supported their Girl Talk, Boys Circles, and the Little Village Non-Violence Summer Institute. (YF)

 

 

ONE Northside is a mixed-income, multi-ethnic, intergenerational organization that builds collective power to eliminate injustice through bold and innovative community organizing. The grant supported their Youth Leadership Development and Organizing Project, whose work focuses on over-policing and police accountability. (YF)

 

{she crew} is a multidisciplinary journaling-to-performance empowerment program for young girls (age 12-14) in Chicago. Their year-round, free leadership development programs focus on social justice, writing, collaborative skills, and empowerment. (YF)

 

 

Solidarity Studios aims to empower disconnected communities  and those facing political injustices by amplifying the voices of local artists and giving them the tools to organize and mobilize their communities locally and globally via music, especially hip-hop. (YF)

 

 

The Warehouse Project and Gallery inspires students in the suburb of Summit to share and gather stories from their peers on issues important to youth. Through art (dance, music, theatre, spoken word, and visual) youth seek systemic changes that put them at the center of the solutions. (SF, YF)

 

 

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) seeks a safe environment in which LGBTQ youth of color experiencing homelessness can explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles, and celebrate their strengths through theatrical performance pieces. (SF, YF, Vernita Gray)

 

 

Youth Outlook engages LGBTQ youth in western suburbs (Naperville, Aurora, DeKalb, and surrounding areas) by providing community education workshops to counteract heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in sending staff to the Fundraising Professionals International Conference. (SF, YF, TA)

 

 

 

CHICAGO YOUTH STORAGE INITATIVE

 

The Chicago Youth Storage Initiative (CYSI) was founded by the Pierce Family Foundation, Knight Family Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, and Windy City Times. The project is housed at the Crossroads Fund. Several additional foundations contribute to CYSI's efforts, including Prince Charitable Trust, Alvin H. Baum Family Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Owens Foundation, Paul Angell Foundation, as well as many individual donors.

 

The Chicago Youth Storage Initiative seeks to improve the lives of young people experiencing homelessness through the provision of physical and virtual storage access options that serve a wide range of experiences and needs. Solutions include secure storage units at overnight youth shelters, drop-in centers, and schools; daily/overnight storage access with phone charging capabilities; virtual or cloud-based storage; and more. 

 

The Broadway Youth Center is a youth leadership project and a basic needs program for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability. They provide medical, social, and mental health care services, as well as community, for youth age 12-24. (CYSI)

 

 

Covenant House is the largest privately funded agency in the Americas that provides shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless and runaway youth. They serve over 46,000 young people every year. (CYSI)

 

 

El Rescate’s Transitional Living Program at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center is a community-based, grassroots, educational, health, and cultural services organization that provides culturally appropriate, identity-affirming housing for homeless LGBTQ youth age 18-24. (CYSI)

 

 

La Casa Norte meets youth and families experiencing homelessness where they’re at and helps them move along to increased stability. They provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities. (CYSI)

 

 

The LYTE Collective is the future home of the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative and is a community center for youth experiencing poverty and homelessness. The Technical Assistance Fund supported them in building their fundraising capacity. (TA)

 

The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care, and human connection to community members struggling with poverty or homelessness. (CYSI)

 

 

Northwest Compass supports neighbors in crisis in the northwest suburbs. They provide emergency services, education, and empowerment to people who are vulnerable or in crisis. (CYSI)

 

Teen Living Programs focuses exclusively on 14-24 year-olds who are experiencing homelessness on Chicago’s south side, and offers comprehensive, year-round support services to clients that address emergency needs, housing, education, job readiness, and embracing a healthy lifestyle. (CYSI)

 

Unity Parenting & Counseling, Inc. has been providing housing and social services to Chicago's most vulnerable children, youth, and adults for over 30 years. They offer a range of services in the areas of foster and kinship care, violence prevention and parenting training, housing for homeless youth and families, and emergency shelter. (CYSI)

 

2016 GRANTEES

#FightForDyett Rally and March to Obama's House. Photo by movement photographer Sarah-Ji 

 

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2016 we gave out $508,037 in grants to 79 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues.  Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituents. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which grant program(s) they received funding. Programs include the Seed Fund (SF), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Youth Fund for Social Change (YF), Emergency Fund (EF) and Partner Funds (PF), which include pooled funds and donor advised funds.  This year, we also specify if grants came from one of the following named Partner Funds: the GRAM Fund (GRAM) which supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and youth projects; the Eleuterio Fund (Eleuterio) which supports community-based arts, education, peace activism, reproductive rights, the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative (CYSI), a collaboration housed at Crossroads Fund that provides storage spaces for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, the Cathy Cohen Black Youth Fund (Cathy Cohen), which supports black-led youth organizing work around social justice issues affecting their communities and families, the Vernita Gray Fund (Vernita Gray), which supports LGBTQ youth and homeless LGBTQ youth, and She100, a group that pools resources to make grants to initiatives which strengthen the power and presence of all Chicago LBTQ women.  In 2016, grant amounts ranged from $500 - $26,374, and the average grant was $6,400. Unless otherwise noted, the grants are for general operating support.

 

ARTS & CULTURE

70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green is a documentary centered on the destruction of public housing in Chicago, particularly Cabrini Green. Funding supports an educational study guide, website updates and community engagement around screenings of the film. (TA)

 

Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts (CIRCA) Pintig is a Filipino arts organization dedicated to organizing immigrant communities through plays that reflect the current immigrant narratives, drawing on historical struggles and the power of resilience. (SF)

 

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. They are a critical educational resource. (GRAM, SF)

 

Honey Pot Performance is a feminist creative collaborative that has cultivated an approach to performance that examines identity, belonging and differences in lives and cultural membership through a social justice lens. (SF)

 

Illinois Humanities Council programs broaden public involvement in civic dialogue, deepen the quality of community conversation and reflection, increase public access to the humanities by lowering barriers to participation and bring humanities activities to unexpected places. (Eleuterio) 

 

Jarochicanos is a youth-driven arts collective that engages in traditional music from Veracruz-Mexico. Participants explore identity and self-expression and use performance to support local social change movements. (SF)

 

The Chicago Light Brigade provides radical arts, education, and creative direct action resources to grassroots organizations. This is done through skill sharing in using LED lighted letters to create lit banners, and the use of projection and other lit props for direct action purposes, while advocating for non-violence tactics. (TA)

 

ECONOMIC JUSTICE & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Alliance for Community Services is an alliance between people that depend on Medicaid, disability services and other human services organizing with front-line human services employees to resist an austerity agenda that leads to privatization of public needs. (SF)

 

Alliance of the Southeast is a multi-issue, power-based community organizing group composed of member institutions on Chicago’s Southeast side. Their campaigns focus on anti-violence, community safety, housing, community benefit agreements, youth leadership and education. (SF, TA)

 

Blocks Together is a multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education, economic development, participatory budgeting and other community issues. Grants include support for their youth-led restorative justice campaign. (YF, SF)

 

Chicago Honey Co-op is a member-owned beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices. (PF)

 

Chicago is Not Broke a publication of Civic Lab, is a collection of short articles by local experts and activists on ways the city of Chicago can save money and generate major revenue, with a goal of refuting the scarcity-centered narrative around the Chicago budget. This grant funds community outreach and education. (TA)

 

Garfield Park Community Council organizes residents of Garfield Park to bring about changes in housing policies while addressing issues related to lack of city services and resources. They also organize around issues of food access and economic development. (SF)

 

Chicago Student Action (formerly known as IIRON Student Network) is a grassroots student power organization that recruits and trains college-based students around campaigns related to campus living wages, fair financial aid practices, ending racial profiling by university police, and divestment from fossil fuels. (SF, TA, GRAM)

 

Metro Chicago Merger Study is a research project that investigates the use of merger strategies in the metropolitan nonprofit sector, as a tool to build organizational effectiveness and impact. (TA)

 

Network 49 is a group of neighbors in the 49th Ward of Chicago who are working for progressive social change around local civic projects and equitable community development. This grant supported a strategic planning retreat for core leaders. (TA)

 

Northside Action for Justice is a multi-issue membership based organization working in Uptown and Rogers Park on living wage, job creation, affordable housing, preservation of quality public education, public safety and economic justice issues. (SF)

 

Responsible Budget Coalition is a coalition of over 200 organizational members statewide who are concerned about state budget and tax issues. This grant supported a State of OUR State advocacy event in Springfield designed to push the state government to pass a fully funded state budget. (EF)

 

Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) organizes primarily African American tenants, youth, and consumers of mental health services in the Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood to address housing, gentrification, healthcare and criminalization of youth. Grants included funding for the youth-led Trauma Center campaign, which won a commitment from the University of Chicago to build the first Level One Trauma Center on the South Side in over 25 years. (GRAM, SF, YF)

 

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Ixchel Families for Equitable Education and Environmental Justice is a community-based organization in Cicero that is working on environmental justice and education issues in their community through leadership development, research and organizing. (SF)

 

People for Community Recovery, a community-based environmental justice organization, addresses environmental pollution, the adverse impact of Chicago Housing Authority public housing policies, and social justice issues in the Riverdale community. (SF)

 

HEALTH & EDUCATION 

Bloomingdale Family Program organizes parents to advocate for early childhood education policies that value a curriculum based on creativity, culture, history and critical thinking as opposed to one based in high-stakes testing. (PF)

 

Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce includes classroom teachers, parents, educators, students and community activists from across Chicago. They produce resources and alternative curriculum based in social justice movements that addresses the inadequacy of current curriculum used in most urban schools. (TA)

 

Coalition to Revitalize Walter H. Dyett High School is a group of parents, teachers, educators, and community residents that campaigned to keep Dyett High School open, the only public, open-enrollment high school in Bronzeville. They organized a 34-day hunger strike that successfully pressured CPS to reopen the doors of Dyett, and continue to fight for equitable education in their neighborhood. (Don Erickson Synapses Award) 

 

Parents 4 Teachers is an all-volunteer organization that brings together teachers and parents to fight for quality schools for all children by organizing against underlying causes of inequality i.e. institutional racism, social and economic inequity and corporate privatization of public resources.  (SF)

 

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is a sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. They work to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices. (Eleuterio)

 

Raise Your Hand is a coalition of parents and concerned citizens advocating for quality public education for all children in Chicago. They provide information on education policies, promote civic engagement, conduct research and create public spaces where parents, teachers and the community work together. (SF)

 

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Black and Pink Chicago is a collaboration of former LGBTQ prisoners and their allies working together to stem the violence experienced by prisoners and especially by LGBTQ prisoners, and to end the use of solitary confinement.  This is done through advocacy, education, direct services and organizing. (SF)

 

Chicago Community Bond Fund operates a revolving fund that pays bond for people charged with crimes in Cook County and provides education on the role of bond in the criminal legal system while advocating for the abolition of money bond and other forms of pretrial punishment. (SF, PF)

 

Citizen Advocacy Center utilizes community lawyers to engage residents in DuPage County and beyond in building democracy through community organizing, coalition building, legal advocacy, civic education, and litigation to make government more accountable, accessible and transparent. (SF)

 

Community Center for Survivors and Families of Police Torture is result of the Chicago City Council’s passage of the Ordinance for Reparations for Burge Torture Victims.  Survivors of police violence, family members, and others will use the space for organizing, generational healing processes and cultural exchange. (SF, GRAM)

 

First Defense Legal Aid provides free legal counsel to individuals in neighborhoods with high police interaction while they are in police custody. In addition, they provide a Hotline Program, “Know Your Rights” trainings, education, and advocacy for a fair criminal justice system. (SF, TA, YF)

 

National Lawyers Guild Chicago Chapter is an association of Chicago lawyers, law students, and legal workers who use the law to advance social justice and support progressive social movements. This grant supported a training on organizational leadership development and capacity building. (TA)

 

United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent conducted a two-day mission in Chicago to investigate allegations of racial discrimination, racism and related intolerances faced by people of African descent. This grant, managed by Blocks Together, funded preparation and logistical support for the mission and also supported local organizations in bringing testimony to the working group. (EF) 

 

Women’s All Points Bulletin is composed of women survivors of police violence who advocate for more civilian oversight of law enforcement, provide testimony to local, national and international bodies and engage in public awareness of police violence. (SF, EF)

 

HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL POLICY

Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. These teams also support local peacemaking efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness. (SF)

 

Committee for Just Peace in Israel and Palestine works for a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education, civic participation, direct action and advocacy. (SF)

 

National Boricua Human Rights Network raises awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties, while also focusing more broadly on issues of immigration reform and international economic sanctions. (SF)

 

IMMIGRANT JUSTICE

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) organizes the Filipino community through grassroots education, actions, and direct services. Their work focuses on comprehensive immigration reform, youth development, health outreach and an Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. (SF)

 

Chicago Religious Leadership Network organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to injustices experienced by undocumented immigrants through the use of public witness, education, and political advocacy. (SF, TA)

 

Community Activism Law Alliance brings together lawyers and community activists to increase the capacity of and the use of the law toward achieving systematic changes. These partnerships include organizations working on immigration reform, street economies and with day laborers. (SF)

 

Immigrant Solidarity DuPage is a volunteer-driven organization in DuPage County working on issues related to immigration, bilingual education, police accountability, workers struggles and community health issues. (SF)

 

Lanzate was a Chicago convening organized by Mijente, a new national organization that works to create a shared political home for immigrant and US born Latinx and Chicanx people. This grant supported the planning and coordination of Lanzate, which brought together organizers from across the country to launch a pro-black, queer, feminist Latinx and Chicanx agenda and plan of action for 2016. (TA)

 

No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona dedicated to stepping up efforts to stop the deaths of migrants in the desert and to achieving the enactment of a set of Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform. (PF)

 

Northern Illinois Justice for our Neighbors provides free, high quality immigration legal service, education and advocacy in Aurora, Chicago and Rockford. (SF)

 

Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD) works with individuals and families to fight harmful immigration enforcement practices through organizing, advocacy and direct action.  This is done through education, resources for immigrants facing deportation, reporting on immigration raids and working with elected officials to call for an end to raids on immigrant communities. (SF, TA, PF)

 

Proyecto de Accion de Los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) serves the Latino community of West Cook County.  They focus on immigration reform, immigrant integration at the municipal level, know your rights trainings, community civic participation and other local campaigns against practices that adversely impact the community. (SF, EF)

 

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER

750 Club provides stable housing, apartment by apartment, for individual queer youth to support them while they go to school and work. It also helps connect them to adult role models and mentors.  (She100)

 

Affinity Community Services serves African-American lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in Chicago. They combine direct services and community-building with advocacy/activism, with a focus on coalition building, civic engagement, immigration reform, health and wellness and leadership development. (SF)

 

Center on Halsted’s Silver Fork Program provides free, in-depth training in the hospitality industry for people who are un- or underemployed. The curriculum combines employment readiness and culinary skills training from well-known chefs in Chicago with intensive case management services to place students in jobs after graduation. (She100)

 

National LGBTQ Taskforce hosts the annual Creating Change Conference, the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ activists in the US. This grant supported organizing work at the conference and provided scholarships so members of Chicago-based LGBTQ and progressive organizations could attend. (TA)

 

Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality (Q-YES) provides a safe space for LGBTQA youth to explore spirituality while engaging in leadership development, service learning and job training, while enhancing spiritual development and self-love. (She100)

The Legacy Project is an organization focused on sharing the LGBTQ community’s critical role in human history. This grant supported the Legacy Wall, a traveling exhibit comprised of over 100 biographies of LGBTQ individuals that will be shown all around the state of Illinois. (She100)

 

Transformative Justice Law Project is a volunteer-run collective of lawyers, activists and organizers committed to gender self-determination, transformative justice and prison abolition. They provide direct legal services for transgender/genderqueer individuals in and outside of prison and resources and training curriculum for lawyers and social workers, while organizing for policy change. (SF)

 

Transgender Oral History Project is a community-driven project that promotes a diversity of stories from within the transgender and gender variant communities by supporting members who wish to share their stories. They document people’s experiences, teach media production skills and empower members. (SF, TA)

 

WORKERS RIGHTS

Asociacion de Vendedores Ambulantes organizes street vendors to ensure that they are able to sell their food without fear of police harassment. They successfully advocated for an ordinance that legalizes street vending, and are now working to construct a cooperative kitchen where vendors can share resources. (SF)

 

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos is an immigrant-run organization on the Southeast side of Chicago that educates workers on their rights and develops leadership within the immigrant community, while participating in broader efforts for systemic reform around wage theft and immigration. (SF)

 

Chicago Community and Worker’s Rights is an organization led by workers, for workers, dedicated to educating, building leadership and gathering resources for collective strategies of resistance against labor rights abuses, just living conditions, and emergency support for workers in crisis. (SF)

 

United Taxi Drivers Community Council, with a mostly immigrants membership base, organizes taxi drivers to fight against lease overcharges, excessive police ticketing and unequal industry regulation by strengthening their collective rights. (SF)

 

YOUTH

A Long Walk Home uses art therapy, visual and performing arts to engage young girls in campaigns to end dating and sexual violence/harassment against women and girls, both in their schools and communities. (YF)  

 

Assata’s Daughters is a grassroots, intergenerational collective of radical Black women who provide mentoring and weekly programming for young Black women around the themes of Black history and ancestry, self-care and mindfulness, the environment, grassroots organizing, resistance, and activism.  They also help connect members to the current Black Lives Matter movement.  (YF, Vernita Gray, Cathy Cohen)

 

Black Youth Project 100 is an activist, member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. They do this by building a national collective focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy and education, and organize around a national agenda to Fund Black Futures. (Lynda Tipton Memorial Award)

 

Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) is a summer leadership program for youth who trace their heritage to South Asia and the Diaspora that focuses on history, arts, and movement building for community resilience and youth empowerment. (SF)

 

Chicago Freedom School works to create a new generation of young people engaged in social justice through leadership development, study of past social movements and hands on engagement. (YF, SF, Vernita Gray)

 

Chicago Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) History Project hosted a two-day conference, Come, Let Us Build a New World Together, designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Summer Project and the fight for voting rights.  With over 300 people attending, the conference forged connections between past organizing and current youth activism (YF, SF)

 

Circles and Ciphers is a youth-led group that fuses restorative justice practices and principles with hip-hop arts and culture. They are engaged in school-based peacekeeping work and city wide campaigns on issues of systemic violence affecting youth of color. (SF, TA, YF, GRAM)

 

Imagine Englewood IF seeks to empower the greater Englewood Community through teaching youth and families healthy living, environmental awareness and positive communications skills. This grant supported their youth-led “Captains of Change” program which brings young people together to learn about negative conditions in the community and strategically organize around remedies.  (YF)

 

ONE Northside is a mixed-income, multi-ethnic, intergenerational organization that builds collective power to eliminate injustice through bold and innovative community organizing. This grant supported their Youth Leadership Development and Organizing Project.

 

{she crew} is a multidisciplinary journaling-to-performance empowerment program for young girls in Chicago, ages 12-14. This grant supports their Summer Intensive curriculum which enhances the confidence of young women through writing, performance and cooking.  (Vernita Gray, GRAM)

 

Solidarity Studios aims to empower disconnected communities facing similar economic and political injustices by amplifying the voices of local artists and giving them the tools to organize and mobilize their communities locally and globally via music, especially hip-hop. (YF)

 

The Warehouse Project and Gallery inspires students in the suburb of Summit to share and gather stories from their peers on issues important to youth. Through art (dance, music, theatre, spoken word and visual) youth seek systemic changes that put them at the center of the solutions. (SF, YF)

 

Youth Creating Awareness on Relationship Equity (Y-CARE) is a program that encourages youth to be leaders in their community, to educate and raise awareness about dating violence, and to build healthy relationships. This grant supported a youth-created Art Show and healing space with pieces developed by middle and high school students that relate to healthy relationships. (YF)

 

Youth Empowerment Performance Project seeks a safe environment for LGBTQ youth of color experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through theatrical performance pieces. (YF, Vernita Gray, CYSI)

 

Youth Leadership Team (YLT) is a program of the Arab American Action Network.  Their current campaign is for accountability from local and federal law enforcement agencies on ending profiling of Arab and Muslim communities and organizations in Chicago. (YF, GRAM)

 

Youth Outlook engages LGBTQ youth in western suburbs of Naperville, Aurora, DeKalb and surrounding areas by providing community education workshops to counteract heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia. (YF, Vernita Gray, SF)

 

CHICAGO YOUTH STORAGE INITIATIVE

 

The Chicago Youth Storage Initiative was founded by the Pierce Family Foundation, Knight Family Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, and the Windy City Times, and is being housed at Crossroads Fund. It is the first coordinated, citywide effort in the U.S. designed to provide physical and virtual storage options to improve the lives of young people experiencing homelessness. The Chicago Youth Storage Initiative will install 250 super-size lockers by the end of 2017. Crossroads Fund is serving as the fiscal manager and providing technical and administrative support to the project. Organizations receiving funding through the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative are listed below. 

 

El Rescate’s Transitional Living Program at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center is a community-based, grassroots, educational, health and cultural services organization that provides culturally appropriate, identity-affirming housing for homeless LGBTQ youth ages 18-24. This grant funded 30 storage lockers through the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative. 

 

La Casa Norte meets youth and families experiencing homelessness where they’re at and helps them move along to increased stability. This grant funded the installation of storage lockers in La Casa Corazon, a youth drop-in program site through the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative.

Mercy Home for Boys and Girls serves youth experiencing homelessness in two locations in Chicago. They provide support to current and former residents, community-based mentoring, and life skill development. This grant funded the installation of a storage bin program at their Hay Campus location through the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative. 

 

Teen Living Programs focuses exclusively on 14-24 year olds who are experiencing homelessness, and offers comprehensive, year-round support services to clients. This grant funded the installation of 24 lockers through the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative. 

 

Youth Empowerment Performance Project seeks a safe environment for LGBTQ youth of color experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through theatrical performance pieces. Grant funding through the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative supports outreach and youth engagement for the program. 

In addition to giving out grants , Crossroads Fund supported our grantees’ organizational growth and sustainability through Technical Assistance workshops and one-on-one time with consultants on a wide range of topics, from program evaluation and strategic planning to fundraising and communications. We thank Polk Bros Foundation, Cricket Island Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Pierce Family Foundation, Chicago Foundation for Women, and Woods Fund for their partnership in these programs.

2015 Grantees

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2015 we gave out $642,452 in grants to 80 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues.  Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituents. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which grant program(s) they received funding. Programs include the Seed Fund (SF), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Youth Fund for Social Change(YF), Emergency Fund (EF) and Partner Funds (PF), which include pooled funds, donor advised funds and grants made by giving projects.  This year, we also specify if grants came from one of the following named Partner Funds: the GRAM Fund (GRAM) supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and youth projects; the Eleuterio Fund (Eleuterio) supports community-based arts, education, peace activism, reproductive rights, and She100 pools resources to make grants to initiatives which strengthen the power and presence of all Chicago LBTQ women.  In 2015, grant amounts ranged from $1,000 - $120,000, and the average grant was $7,000. Unless otherwise noted, the grants are for general operating support. Click to see past grantee lists.

ARTS & CULTURE

Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts (CIRCA) is a Filipino arts organization dedicated to organizing immigrant communities through plays that reflect the current immigrant narratives, drawing on historical struggles and the power of resilience. (SF)

Center for International Performance and Exhibition (New Hot House) is a socially conscious arts incubator where artists and community organizations meet to explore progressive politics. The grant supported the creation of a feasibility study and business plan. (TA)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison is an all-volunteer collective that provides paperback books to women incarcerated in the U.S. prison system, while advocating for reform of the prison system. (SF)

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. They are a critical educational resource. (GRAM, SF)

Illinois Humanities Council programs broaden public involvement in civic dialogue, deepen the quality of community conversation and reflection, increase public access to the humanities by lowering barriers to participation and bring humanities activities to unexpected places. (Eleuterio)

Jarochicanos is a youth-driven arts collective that engages in traditional music from Veracruz-Mexico. Participants explore identity and self-expression and use performance to support local social change movements. (SF)

The Chicago Light Brigade provides radical arts, education, and creative direct action resources to grassroots organizations. This is done through skill sharing in using LED lighted letters to create lit banners, use of projection and other lit props for direct action purposes, while advocating for non-violence tactics. (SF)

Traditional Arts Indiana expands public awareness of Indiana’s traditional folklore and folk arts practices and highlighs aesthetic forms that connect individuals to their communities for collective action. (Eleuterio)

Women’s Voices Fund, is a project of Women & Children First Bookstore, an independent feminist bookstore.  The Fund seeks to sustain and develop a program series focused on women’s lives, ideas, and work. (PF)

ECONOMIC JUSTICE & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Alliance of the Southeast is a multi-issue, power-based community organizing group composed of member institutions on Chicago’s Southeast side. Their campaigns focus on anti-violence, community safety, housing, community benefit agreements, youth leadership and education. (SF, TA)

Blocks Together is a multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education, economic development, participatory budgeting and other community issues. Grants include support for their youth-led restorative justice campaign. (YF, SF, GRAM)

Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative is a network of 15 nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving conditions for Native Americans through policy changes and supporting Native American nonprofits. They provide leadership development, organizing training, and education to their constituents. (SF, PF)

Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign (CAEC) supports the human right to housing through tenant organizing, education and direct action. They focus on federal housing policies as well as private rental and home mortgage markets. Their youth work engages unemployed/homeless youth to fix vacant, bank-owned homes to be occupied by homeless families/youth. (SF, YF)

Chicago Honey Co-op is a member-owned beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices. (PF)

The Chicago Tenant Council Organization is comprised of public housing residents in the Woodlawn, Washington Park and Kenwood communities. Their civic education work develops leaders and holds local elected officials accountable to housing policies that protect low-income individuals. (SF)

Grassroots Collaborative is a citywide coalition of 11 community and labor organizations working for economic and racial justice. Their work centers on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) accountability and spending, living wage job creation, and equitable neighborhood investment. (PF)

Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice to address issues like social security benefits, healthcare and housing. (PF, EF)

Lugenia Burns Hope Center promotes civic engagement of residents in the Bronzeville neighborhood and other communities through education, leadership development, and organizing around preserving public housing and other community based issues. (SF, EF)

Northside Action for Justice is a multi-issue membership based organization working in Uptown and Rogers Park on living wage, job creation, affordable housing, preservation of quality public education, public safety and economic justice issues. (SF)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission engages residents of Little Village in organizing for immigration reform, worker and LGBTQ rights. They also provide immediate support to individuals released from nearby Cook County jail. (SF)

South Side Together Organizing for Power (STOP) organizes primarily African American tenants, youth, and consumers of mental health services in the Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood to address housing, gentrification, healthcare and criminalization of youth. (GRAM, SF)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

IIRON Student Network is a grassroots student power organization that recruits and trains college-based students around campaigns related to corporate power, student loans, climate justice and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). (SF, GRAM)

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization reduces pollution from coal plants, brownfields and abandoned sites by organizing residents to shut down polluting plants, demand more open/green space and connect environmental pollution to community violence. (SF)

People for Community Recovery, a community-based environmental justice organization, addresses environmental pollution, the adverse impact of Chicago Housing Authority public housing policies, and social justice issues in the Riverdale community. (SF)

HEALTH & EDUCATION

Bloomingdale Family Program organizes parents to advocate for early childhood education policies that value a curriculum based on creativity, culture, history and critical thinking as opposed to one based in high-stakes testing. (PF)

Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce includes classroom teachers, parents, educators, students and community activists from across Chicago. They produce resources and alternative curriculum based in social justice movements. The curriculum addresses the inadequacy of current curriculum used in most urban schools. (TA, SF, Eleuterio)

Chicago Law and Education Foundation provides Chicago Public School students and families access to legal services and education. Programs include hands-on training for students on legal issues, free legal clinics, and educational initiatives focused on juvenile criminal records expungement, immigration, and tenants rights. (SF)

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is a sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. They work to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices. (Eleuterio)

Raise Your Hand is a coalition of parents and concerned citizens advocating for quality public education for all children in Chicago. They provide information on education policies, promote civic engagement, conduct research and create public spaces where parents, teachers and the community work together. (SF, PF)

WE-ACTx Rwanda works to increase women’s and children’s access to primary health care and treatment in resource-limited settings at the grassroots level in Rwanda. They are committed to a locally driven, collaborative model of primary health care and treatment provision through poverty-mitigation, capacity building and self advocacy. (PF)

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY

Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD) is a national organization providing leadership and organizing training to Black people centered in social justice movements. The grant supported an intergenerational convening of Black leaders from across the country for skills and strategy sharing. (TA)

Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM) was a longtime prisoner rights organization instrumental in bringing an end to the practice of shackling women prisoners during child birth in Illinois and other critical changes. Funding was for their merger with Cabrini Green Legal Aid. (TA)

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials educates the public and organizes resources for the approximately 120 African-American men and women subjected to racially-motivated torture under Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge between 1972-1991.  The grant supported the successful Reparations Ordinance Campaign. (TA, GRAM)

Citizen Advocacy Center utilizes community lawyers to engage residents in DuPage County and beyond in building democracy through community organizing, coalition building, legal advocacy, civic education, and litigation to make government more accountable, accessible and transparent. (SF, TA, PF)

Ferguson National Convergence brought together groups and individuals from around the country to be in solidarity in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer. The grant sent a multiracial coalition of Chicagoans to the Convergence. (EF)

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (INCITE!) is a radical women of color organization that puts forth transformative justice and community based alternative solutions to gender-based violence. The grant was for their national conference held in Chicago in March 2015. (TA)

We Charge Genocide is a volunteer driven intergenerational organization that centers youth voices and experiences in their work to eliminate state-sanctioned violence and human rights violations. Campaigns included youth testifying at United Nations in Geneva on mistreatment of youth of color by the Chicago Police Department. (Ron Sable Award, TA)

Women’s All Points Bulletin is composed of women survivors of police violence who advocate for more civilian oversight of law enforcement, provide testimony to local, national and international bodies and engage in public awareness of police violence. (SF)

HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL POLICY

Chicago Area Peace Action is the Chicago affiliate of the national organization Peace Action. They provide education, action and outreach around military spending, ending foreign wars, nuclear arms abolition, climate change, nuclear energy and economic equality. (SF)

Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. These teams also support local peacemaking efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness. (SF)

Committee for Just Peace in Isreal and Palestine works for a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, civic participation, direct action and advocacy. (SF)

National Boricua Human Rights Network raises awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties, while also focusing more broadly on issues of immigration reform and environmental justice. (SF)

IMMIGRANT JUSTICE

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) organizes the Filipino community through grassroots education, actions, research, and services. Their main campaigns focus on comprehensive immigration reform and an Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. (SF)

Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to injustices experienced by undocumented immigrants through public witness, education, and political advocacy for just immigration policies and transformation of global economic systems that push people to migrate. (SF)

Community Activism Law Alliance brings together lawyers and community activists to increase the capacity of and the use of the law toward achieving systematic changes. These partnerships include organizations working on immigration reform, street economies and with day laborers. (SF)

Proyecto de Accion de Los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) serves West Cook County.  They focus on immigration reform, immigrant integration at the municipal level, know your rights trainings, community civic participation and other local campaigns against practices that adversely impact the community. (SF)

Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project serves immigrant communities in the Southwest suburbs through coalition building, trainings, youth programs and organizing to ensure immigrants’ rights are protected, especially by local elected officials and those in power. (SF)

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER

Affinity Community Services serves African-American lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in Chicago. They combine direct services and community-building with advocacy/activism, with a focus on coalition building, civic engagement, immigration reform, health and wellness and leadership development. (She100, SF)

Black Alphabet NFP promotes, nurtures, and celebrates the stories and artistic works of black, LGBTQ-identified people through an annual film festival that encourages storytelling, cultivates new dialogues and educates communities on the cultural and social contributions of black, LGBTQ identified people. (She100)

Chicago House TransLegal provides holistic and affirming legal services, self-help legal assistance, and legal education to transgender people, while advocating for more resources and creating public awareness of the issues addressed by the program. (She100)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance works to prevent violence against LGBTQ students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education within and outside of school systems. (PF)

The Loneliness Project at About Face Theater uses theater to explore the intergenerational sense of isolation in the LGBTQIA community. (She100)

Project Fierce Chicago is a collective of radical social workers, housing advocates, and young people working together to establish identity-affirming transitional housing in Chicago to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness. (She100)

Transformative Justice Law Project is a volunteer-run collective of lawyers, activists and organizers committed to gender self-determination, transformative justice and prison abolition. They provide direct legal services for transgender and genderqueer prisoners, resources and training curriculum for lawyers and social workers, while organizing for policy changes. (SF)

Transgender Oral History Project is a community-driven project that promotes a diversity of stories from within the transgender and gender variant communities by supporting members who wish to share their stories. They document people’s experiences, teach media production skills and empower members. (SF)

WORKERS RIGHTS

Asociacion de Vendedores Ambulantes organizes street vendors to ensure that they are able to sell their food without fear of police harassment, while organizing for ordinances that decriminalize street vendors. (SF)

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos is an immigrant-run organization on the Southeast side of Chicago that educates workers on their rights and develops leadership within the immigrant community, while participating in broader efforts for systemic reform around wage theft and immigration. (SF, TA)

Chicago Community and Worker’s Rights is an organization led by workers, for workers, dedicated to educating, building leadership and gathering resources for collective strategies of resistance against labor rights abuses, just living conditions, and emergency support for workers in crisis. (TA, SF)

Chicago Worker’s Collaborative is a coalition of temporary staffing workers in Latino and African American communities, working to reform the temporary staffing industry through organizing, public education, worker trainings and litigation. They are members of the Fight for $15 Raise the Minimum Wage campaign. (PF)

Food Chain Workers Alliance is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members’ plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve and sell food. The Alliance organizes workers for improved wages and working conditions in all sectors of the food chain. (EF)

United Taxi Drivers Community Council, with a mostly immigrants membership base, organizes taxi drivers to fight against lease overcharges, excessive police ticketing and unequal industry regulation by strengthening their collective rights. (SF, TA)

Warehouse Workers for Justice organizes warehouse workers to defend their rights at work, challenge abuses, and improve warehouse jobs, while building public support for warehouse workers. They are members of the Fight for $15 Raise the Minimum Wage campaign. (PF)

YOUTH

A Long Walk Home uses art therapy, visual and performing arts to engage young girls in campaigns to end dating and sexual violence/harassment against women and girls, both in schools and communities. (YF) 

Black Youth Project 100 aims to dismantle systems that criminalize young Black people throughout the city, as part of a national campaign. (YF, PF)

Broadway Youth Center’s Peer Advocates program empowers youth by providing them with information through popular education workshops on violence prevention, HIV prevention, intersecting and systemic oppressions, harm reduction and reproductive/sexual health justice. (YF)

Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) is a summer leadership program for youth who trace their heritage to South Asia and the Diaspora that focuses on history, arts, and movement building for community resilience and youth empowerment. (YF, GRAM)

Chicago Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) History Project - to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Legislation several Civil Rights activists, the SNCC Freedom Singers, various local youth organizations, scholars and individuals vested in preserving this history came together in February 2015 to honor past histories while sharing organizing strategies for today’s movements.  (YF, PF)

Circles and Ciphers is a youth-led group that fuses restorative justice practices and principles with hip-hop arts and culture. They are engaged in school-based peacekeeping work and city wide campaigns on issues of systemic violence affecting youth of color. (SF, TA, YF, GRAM)

Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) at Southside Together Organizing for Power.  Their primary campaign was the successful effort to pressure the University of Chicago Hospital to re-open a Level One Trauma Center, to treat trauma victims on the South Side. (YF, GRAM, Lynda J. Tipton Memorial Award for Social Justice)

Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH) at Korean American Resource Center, is a social justice-oriented youth leadership council that works to engage low-income, immigrant youth in issues affecting their community through arts and activism. (YF)

First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA) “Know Your Rights, Know Your Resilience” project trains youth of color living in areas that have high police presence on their constitutional rights during police encounters, on the streets and in police stations. (YF, EF, PF)

Global Girls Inc. is a girls’ youth program that uses the performing arts to bring about social change while developing youth leadership. They use Restorative Justice Peace circles to promote positive communication, understanding and support within the organization and selected Chicago Public schools. (YF, GRAM)

Root Knowledge is a youth group of Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce. They produce newsletters and newspapers focused on promoting social-justice based learning and curriculum throughout the Chicago Public School system and other educational institutions. (YF)

Telpochcalli Community Education Project hosts an annual Nonviolence Summer Institute in Little Village.  They focus on empowering girls on issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation, exploring how these aspects of identity intersect with issues of violence. (YF)

Uprising, a project of Universidad Popular, prepares a cadre of youth to organize at the community level for solutions to violence in Little Village and Chicago/West Lawn neighborhoods that do not involve adding more police presence. (YF)

The Warehouse Project and Gallery inspires students in the suburb of Summit to share and gather stories from their peers on issues important to youth. Through art (dance, music, theatre, spoken word and visual) youth seek systemic changes that put them at the center of the solutions. (SF)

Youth Leadership Team (YLT) is at Arab American Action Network.  Their current campaign is for accountability from local and federal law enforcement agencies on ending profiling of Arab and Muslim communities and organizations in Chicago. (YF)

Voices and Visions is a videography and social justice program designed to provide young people from the South Side of Chicago tools, space and support to create their own cultural materials chronicling, commenting on and critiquing their lived environment. (YF)

Youth Empowerment Performance Project seeks a safe environment for LGBTQ youth of color experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through theatrical performance pieces. (Vernita Gray LGBTQ Youth Fund, SF)

Youth Outlook engages LGBTQ youth in western suburbs of Naperville, Aurora, DeKalb and surrounding areas by providing community education workshops to counteract heterosexism and homophobia. (Vernita Gray LGBTQ Youth Fund, YF)

In addition to giving out grants , Crossroads Fund supported our grantees’ organizational growth and sustainability through Technical Assistance workshops and one-on-one time with consultants on a wide range of topics, from program evaluation and strategic planning to fundraising and communications. We thank Polk Bros Foundation, Cricket Island Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Pierce Family Foundation, Chicago Foundation for Women, and Woods Fund for their partnership in these programs.

2014 Grantees

 

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2014 we gave out $621,378 in grants to 69 groups working for racial, social and economic justice across a spectrum of issues.  Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus of their work, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area.  Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituencies.  The listed grantees received funding within five grantmaking programs.  A notation after the grantee description indicates from which program(s) they received funding.  These programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Youth Fund for Social Change (YF), and Partner Funds (PF), which include pooled funds, donor advised funds and grants made by giving circles.  This year, we also specify if grants came from one of the following named partner funds: the Solidarity Fund (Solidarity) was a one-time collaboration between local and national foundations, along with individual donors; the GRAM Fund (GRAM) supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and youth projects; the Eleuterio Fund (Eleuterio) supports community based arts, education, peace activism and programs engaging adults.  

 

Unless otherwise noted, the grants were used for general operating support.

 

Arts and Culture

 

Books, Brushes, and Bands for Education works to provide exposure, experience and exploration to the literary, visual and musical arts to young people and their families in Northwest Indiana.  (Eleuterio)

 

Changing Worlds connects cultural, family and community histories with writing and the arts to help immigrant children in grades K-12 explore their own backgrounds, promote peace and learn about others while strengthening their academic and arts learning skills.  (Eleuterio)

 

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians.  They are a critical educational resource in Chicago.  (GRAM)

 

Clandestino Film is currently producing a documentary titled Prisoner of Independence centered on Oscar Rivera Lopez, a political prisoner incarcerated for 32 years due to his political activism around the self determination of the Puerto Rican people, civil liberties and human rights.  (SF)

 

Illinois Humanities Council programs broaden public involvement in civic dialogue.  Programs at the Humanities Council include: Bridging Divides, which draws on the humanities to bridge seemingly intractable cultural, civil, and digital divides; the Odyssey Project, which helps adults living below the poverty level more actively shape their own lives and the lives of their families and communities; and the Public Square, which fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas on cultural, social, and political issues, with an emphasis on social justice.  (Eleuterio)  

 

Economic Justice & Community Development

 

Albany Park Neighborhood Council is a grassroots community organization that unites youth and adults from the Albany Park neighborhood and surrounding communities to address issues including immigration, education, healthcare and housing.  (Solidarity)

 

Alliance of the Southeast is a multi-issue, power-based community organizing group composed of member institutions on Chicago’s Southeast side.  Their campaigns focus on anti-violence, community safety, housing, community benefit agreements, youth leadership and education.  (SF)

 

Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative is a network of 15 nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving conditions for Native Americans in the Chicago area through influencing public policy and supporting sustainable nonprofit organizations that provide leadership development, training, and education of their constituents.  (SF)

 

Chicago Honey Co-op is a member-owned beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices.  (PF)

 

Garfield Park Community Council organizes residents in Garfield Park to bring about changes in housing policy, while addressing issues related to lack of city services and other resources.  (SF)

 

Grassroots Collaborative is a citywide coalition of 11 community and labor organizations, working for economic and racial justice.  They focus on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) accountability and spending, job creation and neighborhood investment.  (SF, PF)

 

IIRON Student Network is a grassroots student power organization that recruits and trains college-based students around campaigns related to corporate power, student loans, climate justice and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  (GRAM)

 

Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice to address issues like social security benefits, healthcare and housing.  They actively incorporate an anti-racist framework into all of their activities.  (SF)

 

Logan Square Neighborhood Association convenes and empowers the organizations and stakeholders of Logan Square, Avondale, and Lathrop Homes to create and maintain diverse, safe, and affordable neighborhoods.  (Solidarity) 

 

Lugenia Burns Hope Center promotes civic engagement of residents in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and other communities through education, leadership development and community organizing.  Their current campaigns are on CHA public housing policies, community benefits agreement and seniors organizing around a new senior center.  (SF)

 

Next Steps, NFP is a membership organization comprised of consumers and survivors of the mental health system.  Next Steps holds these systems and institutions accountable and demands inclusion in their practices and decision making.  (SF)

 

Northside Action for Justice is a multi-issue membership based organization working in Uptown and Rogers Park on living wage job creation, affordable housing, public education, public safety and economic justice issues.  (SF)

 

ONE Northside is a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations on the Northside of Chicago organizing around affordable housing, healthcare, education, economic justice, mental health justice and violence prevention (SF)

 

Resurrection Project works to build relationships and challenge people to act on their faith and values to create healthy communities through organizing, education, and community development.  Their initiatives include affordable housing, immigration reform, health, public safety, and education.  (Solidarity)

 

South Side Housing Committee is made up of residents of public housing in Woodlawn, Washington Park, and Kenwood communities.  Their work is centered on providing political education including voter registration and voting for residents as a way to influence public policy.  (SF)

 

Environmental Justice

 

People for Community Recovery is a community-based environmental justice organization in the Riverdale community on Chicago’s far south side.  Their current organizing work is to ensure Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) preserves/maintains public housing and that residents are hired on new public housing developments as per their community benefit agreements.  (SF)

 

Health and Education

 

Bloomingdale Family Participatory Action Research Center for Education Organizing (PARCEO) is an education, research, and training center that provides support to organizations and individuals interested in using participatory action research in their organizing and research.  (PF)

 

Bloomingdale Family Program organizes for early childhood education policies that value a curriculum based on creativity, culture, history and critical thinking as opposed to one based in high stake testing.  (PF)

 

Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce is composed of classroom teachers, parents, educators, students and community activists from across Chicago working on an alternative curriculum based in social justice movements with a critical pedagogy that is culturally relevant to address the inadequacy of the current curriculum used in most urban schools.  (TA)

 

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance prevents violence against LGBTQ students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education, both within and outside of school systems.  (Ron Sable Award)

 

Raise Your Hand is a coalition of parents and concerned citizens advocating for quality public education for all children.  They provide information on education policies, promote civic engagement, conduct research and provide public spaces where parents, teachers and the community at large can work together.  (SF, TA)

 

The Public Health Organization is a community based organization comprised of community members, current and retired health care professionals and patients affected by the Chicago Public Health Department restructuring including the closing down of mental health clinics.  Their goal is to build solidarity between patients and workers to inform, shape and monitor the implementation of public health policies specifically on the South side of Chicago.  (SF)

 

University YMCA sponsors programs, organizations and activities dedicated to fostering ethical and principled leadership dedicated to building a better world, better human relations and better care for the Earth in the Champaign-Urbana university community and beyond.  (Solidarity Fund)

 

Human Rights, International Policy & Government Accountability

 

Chicago Area Peace Action provides education, action and outreach across the Chicago area around military spending, ending foreign wars, nuclear arms abolition, climate change, nuclear energy and economic equality.  (SF)

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports back to the world on these atrocities.  The teams also support local peacemaking efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness.  (SF)

 

Citizen Advocacy Center utilizes community lawyers to engage residents in DuPage County in building democracy through community organizing, coalition building, legal advocacy, civic education, and litigation to make government more accountable, accessible and transparent.  (SF)

 

Committee for Just Peace in Israel and Palestine works toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, civic participation, dialogue and advocacy.  (SF)

 

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties, while also focusing more broadly on issues of immigration reform and environmental justice.  (SF)

 

Immigrant Issues

 

Alliance of Filipino for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment organizes the Filipino community through grassroots education, actions, research, and services.  Their main campaigns are on comprehensive immigration reform and an Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.  (SF)

Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to the injustices experienced by undocumented immigrants through public witness, education, and political advocacy for just immigration policies and transformation of global economic systems that push people to migrate.  (SF, TA)

 

Immigrant Youth Justice League is led by undocumented organizers working towards full recognition of the rights and contributions of all immigrants through education, leadership development, advocacy, resource gathering, and direct action.  (GRAM)

 

Proyecto de Accion de Los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) focuses on immigration reform, immigrant integration at the municipal level, know your rights trainings, community civic participation and other campaigns in west Cook County.  (SF)

 

South Side Together Organizing for Power organizes primarily African American tenants, youth, and consumers of mental health services in the Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood to address housing, gentrification, healthcare and criminalization of youth.  These grants include support for a youth-led campaign to reopen the trauma center at University of Chicago hospital.  (GRAM, YF)

 

Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project grew out of the Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to serve the Southwest suburbs.  Its work is centered on immigration reform, Know Your Rights trainings, youth programs and campaigns against the establishment of for-profit detention centers in the area.  (SF, Solidarity)

 

United African Organization is a coalition of African community based organizations in Chicago that work for social justice, civil rights, civic participation and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees.  (Solidarity)

 

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Issues

 

Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago.  They combine direct services and community-building with advocacy/activism, with a focus on coalition building, civic engagement, immigration reform, health and wellness and leadership development.  (SF, PF)

 

Chicago Dyke March Collective is a grassroots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience.  Their annual Chicago Dyke March seeks to bridge the divide between various communities, races and identities.  (PF)  

 

Transformative Justice Law Project is a volunteer-run collective of lawyers, activists and organizers committed to gender self-determination, transformative justice and prison abolition.  They provide direct legal services for transgender and gender queer prisoners, resources and training curriculum for lawyers and social workers, while organizing for policy changes.  (TA)

 

Transgender Oral History Project is a community-driven project that promotes a diversity of stories from within the transgender and gender variant communities by supporting members who wish to share their stories.  This is done through documenting people’s experiences, teaching media production skills and empowering people to maintain control over their own stories.  (SF)

 

Women and Girls

 

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is a sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate.  They work to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices.  (Eleuterio)

 

WE-ACTx Rwanda works to increase women’s and children’s access to primary health care and treatment in resource-limited settings at the grassroots level in Rwanda.  They are committed to a locally driven, collaborative model of primary health care and treatment provision through poverty-mitigation, capacity-building and self-advocacy.  (PF)

 

Women’s Voices Fund is a nonprofit project of Women & Children First Bookstore, an independent feminist bookstore.  The Fund seeks to support, sustain and develop an ongoing program series focused on women’s lives, ideas, and work.  (PF)

 

Worker Rights

 

ARISE Chicago builds partnerships between low-income, primarily immigrant workers and faith communities through education, organizing workers and congregations and by advocating for policies to protect workers.  (Solidarity)

 

Asociacion de Venedores Ambulantes organizes street vendors to ensure that they are able to sell their food without fear of police harassment while organizing for ordinances that decriminalize street vendors.  (SF)

 

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos is animmigrant run organization on the Southeast side of Chicago that educates workers on their rights, develops leadership within the immigrant community, while participating in broader efforts for systemic reform around wage theft and immigration. (SF, Solidarity)

 

Chicago Community and Worker’s Rights is an organization led by workers for workers dedicated to educating, building leadership and gathering resources for collective strategies of resistance against labor rights abuses, just living conditions, emergency support for workers in crisis and the self determination of workers.  (TA)

 

Chicago Worker’s Collaborative is a coalition of temporary staffing workers based in the Latino and African American communities working to reform the temporary staffing industry through organizing, public education, worker trainings and litigation.  (SF, Solidarity)

 

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago uses a range of workplace campaigns and education strategies to improve the working conditions of low-wage restaurant employees.  This is done through industry research, partnering with responsible employers to provide job training/placement and supporting workers in confronting exploitation in the workplace.  (SF)

 

United Taxi Drivers Community Council  organizes the mostly immigrants taxi drivers into a cohesive community that fights for their collective rights around issues of lease overcharges, drivers safety, no cab parking zones, excessive police ticketing and un-equal industry regulation.  (SF)

 

Workers Center for Racial Justice strives to eliminate structural barriers to sustainable and living wage employment for African American workers, especially those who have previously been incarcerated.  (SF)

 

Youth 

Black on Both Sides works to highlight the voices and experiences of black youth in the foster care system, specifically around the mass incarceration of youth in foster care.  (YF)

 

Blocks Together is a multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education, economic development and other related community issues.  Grants include support for the youth-led restorative justice campaign.  (YF, GRAM)

 

Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign (CAEC)believes that housing is a human right, especially for youth.  The project trains unemployed/ homeless youth to fix vacant, bank-owned homes for occupation by homeless families or youth.  (YF)

 

Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) is a summer leadership program retreat for youth who trace their heritage to South Asia and the Diaspora.  The program focuses on history, arts, and movement building for community resilience and youth empowerment.  (GRAM, YF)

 

Circles and Ciphers is a youth- led community of young men of color that fuses restorative justice practices and principles with hip-hop arts and culture.  The project aims to empower youth, provide healing and transformation, gain an increased sense of accountability and responsibility while exploring the root causes of conflicts.  (GRAM, TA, YF)

 

Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois’s (CAAAELII)’sYouth Health Service Corps project  engages  youth to address issues of health disparities within immigrant communities while also encouraging them to pursue careers in the healthcare industry.  (YF)

 

Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH)at Korean American Resource Center (KRCC) is a social justice-oriented youth leadership council that works to engage low-income, immigrant youth in issues affecting their community through arts and activism.  (YF)

 

First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA) provides “Know Your Rights, Know Your Resilience” trainings to youth living in neighborhoods with high incidents of police interactions on their constitutional rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement personnel.  (YF)

 

Global Girls Inc.  is a girls’ youth program that uses the performing arts to bring about social change while developing youth leadership.  They use Restorative Justice Peace circles to promote positive communication, understanding and support within the organization and selected CPS schools.  (GRAM, YF)

 

Imagine Englewood If… promotes peacemaking among youth by inviting them to share their own experiences of trauma and oppression, while imagining what peace would look like in Englewood.  (YF)

 

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) works with families to improve the environment and everyday lives of residents in Little Village neighborhood.  Youth projects explore the connection between state/interpersonal violence with environmental justice.  (YF)

 

Warehouse Project and Gallery inspires students in LaGrange suburb to gather stories from their peers on community violence and their interaction with the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and to seek systemic changes that put youth at the center of the solutions.  (YF)

 

Youth Leadership Team (YLT)- at Arab American Action Network (AAAN) - is a youth-led campaign for accountability from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies calling for the end of racial, national and religious profiling of Arab and Muslim organizations in Chicago.  (YF)

 

Youth Outlook engages LGBTQ youth in west suburbs (Naperville, Aurora, DeKalb and surrounding areas) by providing community education workshops to counteract heterosexism and homophobia and promote inclusivity.  (YF)

 

 

2013 Grantees

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2013 we gave out $277,585 in grants to 76 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues. Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus of their work, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituencies. The listed grantees received funding within five grantmaking programs. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which program(s) they received funding. These programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Emergency Fund (EF), Youth Fund for Social Change (YF) and Partner Funds (PF), which include pooled funds, donor advised funds and grants made by giving circles. This year two named partner funds are identified in the grants list:  the GRAM Fund (GRAM) which supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans and youth; and the Eleuterio Fund (Eleuterio) which supports community based arts, education, peace activism and programs engaging adults. Unless otherwise noted, the grants were used for general operating support.

Arts, Culture and Social Change

Changing Worlds integrates cultural, family and community histories with writing and the arts to help students grades K-12 to explore their own backgrounds, promote peace and learn about others while strengthening their academic and arts learning skills. (Eleuterio)

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. Over the years, they have established themselves as a critical educational resource for various communities, institutions and the general public.  (GRAM)

The Chicago Public Art Group works to unite artists with communities to produce quality public art in the form of murals, mosaics, sculptures and more. These artworks serve as permanent, safe, meaningful and beautiful community landmarks. (Eleuterio)

First Nations Film and Video Festival is dedicated to Native Americans’ self-representation in media, telling stories that are often overlooked and under-represented. (Seed)

Guild Literary Complex is a community-based literary organization that presents and supports diverse, divergent and emerging voices through performances and readings while providing access to quality literary experiences to a broad base of people. (Eleuterio)

Illinois Humanities Council programs broaden public involvement in civic dialogue, deepen the quality of community conversation and reflection, increase public access to the humanities by lowering barriers to participation and bring humanities activities to unexpected places. (Eleuterio)

Neighborhood Writing Alliance provokes dialogue, builds community and promotes change by creating opportunities for Chicago residents to share their stories through writing workshops and in the Journal of Ordinary Thought. (Eleuterio)

Schadenfreude produced Poor Judgement, an online comedy series and live show satirizing political funding and the electoral process. (Seed)
 

Criminal Justice

The Audy Home Campaign works to shut down the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and replace it with Restorative Justice Hubs. The hubs will be community based and run by community organizations. (YF)

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials are a series of exhibitions, performances and public events that reckon with the torture of over 100 African American men and women under Police Commander Jon Burge. Their goal is to better preserve the history of the torture and activism to hold Burge accountable, to share this history with new audiences and engage them to work on behalf of torture survivors. (Seed)

Freedom Archives provides literature, educational programs and demonstrates at prisons in an attempt to draw attention to the political nature of “Supermax” prisons and the relationship between prisons and racism. Grant supported the distribution of the book “Out of Control,” which documents the rise of control units in the US. (TA)
 
National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated engages formerly-incarcerated people in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago to address the issue of mass incarceration in poor communities and policies that deny them their constitutional rights. (Seed, TA)
 

Economic Justice and Community Development

Alliance of the Southeast grew out of Alianza Leadership Institute as a new multi-issue, power-based community organizing organization composed of eighteen member institutions on Chicago’s Southeast side. Their campaigns  focus on jobs, youth, community safety, and immigration. (Seed, TA) 

Blocks Together is a multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education, economic development and other related community issues. Grants include support for Blocks Together’s youth-led restorative justice campaign. (Ron Sable Award for Activism, Seed, YF, GRAM)

The Center for Economic Research and Social Change (CERSC) is dedicated to highlighting alternative voices, especially those that have been pushed to the margins, in the hopes of contributing to a greater insight and awareness of the injustices that exist in society, and the many efforts at the grassroots level to right these wrongs. (PF)

Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign works to support the human right to housing through tenant organizing, education and direct action, focused on federal housing policies as well as the private rental and home mortgage markets. Their work includes efforts to place families in foreclosed and abandoned bank-owned homes. (Seed, TA, PF, EM)

Chicago Honey Co-op is a member-owned beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices. (PF)

Grassroots Collaborative is a citywide coalition of 11 community and labor organizations, working for economic and racial justice. Their work centers on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) accountability and spending, job creation and neighborhood investments. (Seed)

Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice to address issues like social security benefits, healthcare and housing. They are working to implement an organization wide anti-racism framework to guide their work. (Seed, PF, TA)

Lakeview Action Coalition is a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations in the Lakeview neighborhood organizing around affordable housing, healthcare, sustainable development, environmental justice and police abuse of homeless youth. (Seed, TA)

Northside Action for Justice is a multi-issue membership based organization working in the Uptown and Rogers Park Chicago neighborhoods on living wage job creation, affordable housing, public education, public safety and economic justice issues. (Seed, TA)

Occupy Chicago is a nonviolent nonpartisan people’s movement working to draw attention to corporate influence over government and the resulting adverse impact on the economy locally, nationally and internationally. (PF) 

People for Community Recovery is a community-based organization addressing environmental, housing and social justice issues in the Riverdale community on Chicago’s far south side. The grant supports a partnership of local and national organizations working on clean water/air, equal environmental protection and equitable land use and zoning. (Seed)

Southside Together Organizing for Power organizes primarily African American tenants, youth, and consumers of mental health services in the Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood to address housing, gentrification, healthcare and criminalization of youth. These grants include support for a youth-led campaign to reopen the trauma center at University of Chicago hospital. (PF, YF, GRAM)

USAction Education Fund informs, mobilizes and organizes against policies that lead to privatization and undermine a free, democratic society. Campaigns include work to stop privatization of Medicare and social security. (PF)
 

Health and Education

Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Task Force is composed of classroom teachers, parents, educators, students and community activists from across Chicago working on resources and an alternative curriculum based in social justice movements with a critical pedagogy that is culturally relevant to address the inadequacy of the current curriculum used in most urban schools. (Seed, TA, Eleuterio)

Free Minds, Free People is a national conference convened by the Education for Liberation Network that brings together teachers, high school and college students, researchers, parents and community-based activists/educators from across the country to build a movement to develop and promote education as a tool for liberation. (TA)

Next Steps NFP is a membership organization comprised of consumers and survivors of the mental health system. Next Steps holds these systems and institutions accountable and demands inclusion in their practices and decision making. (Seed)

The Public Health Organization is a community based organization comprised of community members, current and retired health care professionals and patients affected by the Chicago Public Health Department restructuring including the closing down of mental health clinics. Their goal is to build solidarity between patients and workers to inform, shape and monitor the implementation of public health policies specifically on the South side of Chicago. (Seed)

Raise Your Hand is a coalition of parents and concerned citizens advocating for quality public education for all children. They provide information on education policies, promote civic engagement, conduct research and provide public spaces where parents, teachers and the community at large can work together. (Seed)
 

Human Rights, International Policy & Government Accountability

Chicago Area Peace Action is an Evanston-based group doing education, action and outreach across the Metro Chicago area around issues of war, military spending, nuclear energy and climate change. (Seed) 

Chicago Votes engages, educates and trains a new generation of active young leaders to get involved in the democratic process. (GRAM, Eleuterio)

Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. These teams also support local peacemaking efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness. (Seed)

Citizen Advocacy Center works in DuPage County to increase the capacity and skills of individuals and organizations, particularly those most excluded from civic participation, to participate effectively in community life while advocating for policies that protect public participation. (Seed)

CivicLab is dedicated to building, distributing and encouraging the use of new tools for civic engagement and government accountability, with a specific focus on educating the public about Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. (EM)

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine works toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, civic participation, dialogue and advocacy. (Seed, PF)

Jewish Voice for Peace is a diverse and democratic community of activists inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights. They support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination. (PF)

National Lawyers Guild of Chicago works to defend the civil rights and liberties of persons seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights of speech, expression and assembly. (Donald F. Erickson Synapses Award)

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners, the preservation of civil liberties and the historical context affecting numerous communities of color. (Seed)


Immigrant Issues

The Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to injustice experienced by undocumented immigrants. Its strategies include public witness, political advocacy and support for immigrants at risk of deportation. (Seed)

Immigrant Defense Alliance is committed to reducing the number of immigrants deported through community education on Know Your Rights and the legal system, collaboration with lawyers/legal associations and advocacy. Their work is based on the belief that all individuals are entitled to human rights, dignity and access to justice. (TA)

Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants is composed of institutions affiliated with the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths that organizes to gain access to immigrants held at detention centers. They provide pastoral care, support for immigrants released from detention and court watch at immigration courts. (PF)

Interfaith Leadership Project is an institution-based community organizing group in Cicero, Berwyn and Stickney, IL, working in the areas of: immigration reform; foreclosure prevention; citizenship promotion; and educational improvement. Grant is for the Immigrant Police Justice Project, which seeks to end police abuse of undocumented immigrants. (Seed) 

No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization comprised of individuals, faith communities, human rights advocates, and grassroots organizations working for social justice in the borderlands between Mexico and United States. (PF)

Proyecto de Accion de Los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) is an institution based organization serving the West Cook County suburbs through organizing, leadership development and civic engagement on issues related to immigration, quality of life, education and youth. (Seed, YF)

Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project grew out of the Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to serve the Southwest suburbs. Its work is centered on immigration reform, Know Your Rights trainings, youth programs and campaigns against the establishment of for-profit detention centers in the area. (Seed)
 

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Issues

Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to race, health, poverty, immigration and education. Grants include support for a youth-led community forum. (Seed, YF)

Earth Pearl Collective is a social justice-oriented collective of queer black womyn artists who work to promote their visibility, artistic talents and well being through performances, events and workshops. (TA)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance prevents violence against LGBTQ students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education both within and outside of school systems. (GRAM)

Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois is a volunteer-run collective of lawyers, activists and organizers committed to gender self-determination, transformative justice and prison abolition. They provide direct legal services for transgender and gender queer prisoners, provide resources and training for lawyers and social workers. (Seed, TA)

Transgender Oral History Project is a community-driven project that promotes a diversity of stories from within the transgender and gender variant communities by supporting members who wish to share their stories. This is done through documenting people’s experiences, teaching media production skills and empowering people to maintain control over their own stories. (Cathy Cohen Black Youth Fund)


Women and Girls

Aging Justice Program is a collaboration between Jane Addams Senior CaucusSargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and the Midwest Academy. This partnership aims to build the capacity of senior women to enable them to engage in and generate policy on issues that affect them while providing them with a better understanding of Illinois’ political landscape. (PF)

Chicago Abortion Fund works to address economic barriers to reproductive choice by connecting young women with free or low cost reproductive health services, and organizes young women who access their services to become advocates for reproductive justice. (Seed, PF)

Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx – Rwanda is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV positive genocide widows, rape survivor and orphans and is a model of care and international/local collaboration. (PF)

Global Girls, Inc. uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership and life skills amongst a group of youth that consists primarily of girls between the ages of eight and eighteen. (GRAM)

Planned Parenthood of Indiana is a sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. They work to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices. (Eleuterio)

Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions, author readings and community events affiliated with Women & Children First bookstore. (PF)
 

Worker Rights

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: Immigrant Workers Project is an immigrant run organization on the southeast side of Chicago that educates workers on their rights, develops leadership within the immigrant community while participating in broader efforts for systemic reform around wage theft and immigration reform. (Seed, TA)

Chicago Community and Worker Rights is an organization led by and for workers. They are dedicated to educating, building leadership and gathering resources for collective strategies of resistance against labor rights abuses, for just living conditions, and to providing emergency support for workers in crisis. (Seed)

Chicago Workers’ Collaborative organizes for day laborer and immigrant rights through public education, advocacy, leadership development, worker skill trainings and litigation on behalf of primarily immigrant workers who have experienced exploitation in their workplace and in particular through temporary staffing agencies. (Seed, PF) 

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago uses a range of workplace campaigns and education strategies to improve the working conditions of low-wage restaurant employees and shift the imbalance of power within the restaurant industry. (Seed, PF)

United Taxidrivers Community Council is a multiracial and multiethnic taxidriver organizing project that promotes a living wage and better working conditions for Chicago taxi drivers. (TA)

Warehouse Workers for Justice organizes warehouse workers to challenge abuses and to build the power and influence of workers within Chicago’s warehouse industry, one of the nation’s most significant ports in the transport of goods across the country. (Seed)
 

Youth

A Long Walk Home’s Girl/Friends Leadership Institute is an art-based, youth-led program in the North Lawndale neighborhood that allows young women to address dating, domestic and sexual violence in their communities and schools. (YF)

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE)’s Filipino American Leadership Identity Program strengthens Filipino American young people’s relationship to their cultural identity and their analysis of issues affecting their community, like racism, colonialism and violence. (TA)

Center of Change (C2) is a youth organizing project led by and for youth of color challenging the school to prison pipeline and Chicago Public Schools zero tolerance policies, while pushing for restorative justice as an alternative to youth criminalization and incarceration. (YF)

The Chicago Wisdom Project works with students to create projects that contribute to a more just world through the arts, while mentoring youth in skills like hip hop music production, video/film, community activism and more. (YF)

Circles and Ciphers is a youth- led community of young men of color that fuses restorative justice practices and principles with hip-hop arts and culture. The project aims to empower youth, provide healing and transformation, gain an increased sense of accountability and responsibility while exploring the root causes of conflicts. (YF, GRAM) 

For Youth Inquiry is a collective of artists, educators and activists engaging young people in accessible conversations about sexual health and violence through participatory theater. (TA) 

Gary Freedom School Peer Intervention and Behavioral Recovery Program is focused on reducing rates of detention and reforming school discipline policies in Gary, Indiana. (YF)

Immigrant Youth Justice League is led by undocumented organizers working towards full recognition of the rights and contributions of all immigrants through education, leadership development, advocacy, resource gathering, and activism. (GRAM) 

Ollin is a youth program at Telpochcalli Community Education Project in the Little Village neighborhood. This grant supports the fifth year of the Little Village Youth Forum, which brings youth together across neighborhoods to address the root causes of violence, and the Nonviolence Leadership Institute, which trains young people, including members of street organizations, to implement the nonviolence practices of leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (YF)

Urban Solutions Association provides comprehensive restorative justice training to youth in the Greater Grand Crossing and Englewood communities in an effort to break the “school-to-prison pipeline” that currently exists in many community schools. (YF)

Young Chicago Authors WordPlay is a weekly writing and performance event for students throughout the city. It provides youth with an opportunity to move out of their neighborhoods and schools to collectively explore issues that affect them. (YF)

Young Women’s Empowerment Project was run by and for women, girls and youth with life experiences in the sex trade and street economies. They used social justice, transformative justice and harm-reduction strategies to address issues affecting them. Grant supported their documentation process as they closed down the organization. (YF)

Youth Outlook provides social space, leadership development and education opportunities for LGBTQ youth in DuPage County. Grant supports youth-led community education projects to combat homophobia/Transphopia. (YF)

2012 Grantees

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2012 we gave out $303,846 to 73 groups working for racial, social and economic justice across a spectrum of issues. Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus of their work, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituencies. The listed grantees received funding within five grantmaking programs. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which program(s) they received funding. These programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Emergency Fund (EF), Youth Fund for Social Change (YF) and Partner Funds (PF), ncluding the GRAM Fund (GRAM) which supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and youth projects; and the Eleuterio Fund (Eleuterio) which supports community based arts, education, peace activism and programs engaging adults. Unless otherwise noted, the grants were used for general operating support.

Criminal Justice

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials are a series of exhibitions, performances and public events that reckon with the torture of over 100 African American men and women under Police Commander Jon Burge. Their goal is to better preserve the history of the torture and activism to hold Burge accountable, to share this history with new audiences and engage them to work on behalf of torture survivors. $3,000 (Eleuterio)

Project Nia is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research and capacity-building center. They work to promote restorative and transformative justice techniques as an alternative to arrest and incarceration of youth, with a long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. $3,000 (PF)

Tamms Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families, artists, activists, organizations and concerned citizens protesting inhumane policies at Tamms C-MAX prison and calling for an end to the abusive conditions there that are known to provoke mental illness and physical breakdown. $4,000 (Seed) 
 

Economic Justice and Community Development

Alliance of the Southeast grew out of Alianza Leadership Institute as a new multi-issue, power-based community organizing organization composed of nine member institutions on Chicago’s Southeast side. Their campaigns will focus on jobs, community safety, and immigration.    $3,000 (Seed)

American Folklore Society is an association of scholars, museum anthropologists and private citizens who study and exchange knowledge about folklore nationally and throughout the world. $1,000 (Eleuterio)

Blocks Together is a multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education and other community issues. Grants include support for Blocks Together’s youth-led restorative justice campaign, consulting in strategic planning and social change evaluation. $10,250 (Eleuterio, TA, YF)

Central District Organizing Project is a grassroots, direct action multi-issue community organizing group in the Midtown/Central District neighborhood of Gary, Indiana.  Their work has included preventing the closure of a public library and fighting the privatization of trash collection. $3,000 (Seed)

Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign works to support the human right to housing through tenant organizing and direct action, focused on federal housing policies as well as the private rental and home mortgage markets. Their work includes efforts to place families in foreclosed and abandoned bank-owned homes. $3,000 (Seed)

Chicago Honey Co-op is a beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices. $12,407 (PF)

Grassroots Collaborative is a citywide coalition of 11 community and labor organizations, working for economic and racial justice. Their work centers on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) accountability and spending, job creation and neighborhood investments. $5,000 (Seed)

Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice to address issues like healthcare and housing. These grants include support for leadership development sessions. $11,250 (Seed, PF, TA)

Lakeview Action Coalition, a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations in the Lakeview neighborhood, organizes around affordable housing, healthcare, sustainable development, environmental justice and police abuse of homeless youth. $6,000 (Seed)

Neighborhood Writing Alliance provokes dialogue, builds community and promotes change by creating opportunities for Chicago residents to share their stories through writing workshops and in the Journal of Ordinary Thought. $7,000 (Eleuterio)

Occupy Chicago is a nonviolent nonpartisan people’s movement working to draw attention to corporate influence over government and the resulting adverse impact on the economy locally, nationally and internationally. $30,617 (PF, Donald F. Erickson Synapses Award)

Southside Together Organizing for Power organizes primarily African American tenants, youth, and consumers of mental health services in the Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood to address housing, gentrification, healthcare and criminalization of youth. These grants include support for a youth-led campaign to reopen the trauma center at University of Chicago hospital and consulting in social change evaluation. $8,250 (Seed, TA, YF, GRAM)

Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation is a grassroots social justice organization based on the South Side and South Suburbs working on issues of economic justice and corporate accountability. Their campaigns include bank accountability, green jobs and education reform. $3,000 (Seed)
 

Human Rights, International Policy & Government Accountability

Chicago Action Medical and the Healing Justice Network partnered to provide wellness care and healing justice activities during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit held Chicago in May 2012.  Funds were used to train volunteers in street medic practices and to set up wellness center tents along parade routes and at large rallies during the NATO summit protests. $1,000 (TA)

Chicago Area Peace Action is an Evanston-based group doing education, action and outreach across the Metro Chicago area around issues of war, military spending, nuclear energy and climate change. $3,000 (Eleuterio)

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. Over the years, they have established themselves as a critical educational resource for various communities, institutions and the general public. $3,500 (PF, GRAM)

Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. These teams also support local peacemaking efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness. $12,956 (Seed)

Citizen Advocacy Center works in DuPage County to increase the capacity and skills of individuals and organizations, particularly those most excluded from civic participation, to participate effectively in community life while advocating for policies that protect public participation. $3,000 (Seed)

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine works toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, civic participation and an annual walk for justice. These grants include support for consulting in social change evaluation. $4,500 (Seed, TA)

Community Media Workshop provides media related training, resources and information for grassroots organizations working on social change.  Grant was to support Chicagostories.org, a program dedicated to showcasing local issues during the 2012 NATO summit. $3,000 (TA)

Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild of Chicago works to defend the civil rights and liberties of persons seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights of speech, expression and assembly.  Grant was used to provide public education, train Legal Observers and to establish a temporary office during the 2012 NATO summit.  $5,000 (TA)

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties. $3,500 (Seed)


Immigrant Issues

The Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to injustice experienced by undocumented immigrants. Its strategies include public witness, political advocacy and support for immigrants at risk of deportation. Grants include support for consulting in social change evaluation. $6,500 (Seed, TA)

Interfaith Leadership Project is an institution-based community organizing group in Cicero, Berwyn and Stickney, IL, working in the areas of immigration reform, foreclosure prevention, citizenship promotion and educational improvement. Grant is for their Immigrant Police Justice Project, which seeks to end police abuse of undocumented immigrants. $3,000 (Seed)

Proyecto de Accion de los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) is an immigrant rights organizing group in the near-west suburbs, involved in DREAM Act mobilizations, fighting the Secure Communities Act, know your rights trainings and other campaigns. $3,000 (Seed)

United African Organization, a coalition of African organizations in Chicago, works for social justice, civil rights, civic participation and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees. This grant supports consulting in social change evaluation. $1,125 (TA)
 

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Issues

Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to race, health, poverty, immigration and education. Grants include support for a youth-led community forum, youth participation in a White House policy briefing, and consulting in social change evaluation. $11,500 (PF, TA, EF, YF, Eleuterio)

Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA) empowers Latina/o LGBTQ people by providing support, advocacy, leadership development opportunities, cultural programming and coalition building. Grant was to support general operating expenses for their immigrant rights work, which focuses on healthcare access and immigration policies specific to the needs of undocumented LGBTQ immigrants. $3,000 (Seed)

Earth Pearl Collective is a social justice-oriented collective of queer black womyn artists who work to promote their visibility, artistic talents and well-being through performances, events and workshops. $2,000 (Eleuterio)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance prevents violence against LGBTQ students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education both within and outside of school systems. Grants include support for consulting in social change evaluation. $4,500 (TA, GRAM)

Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois is a volunteer-run collective of lawyers, activists and organizers committed to gender self-determination, transformative justice and prison abolition. They provide direct legal services for transgender and gender queer prisoners and provide resources/training for lawyers and social workers. $3,000 (Seed)


Women and Girls

Aging Justice Program is a collaboration between Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and the Midwest Academy. This partnership aims to build the capacity of senior women to enable them to engage in and generate policy on issues that affect them while providing them with a better understanding of Illinois’ political landscape.  $4,000 (PF, Eleuterio)

Beyondmedia Education partners with under-represented women, youth and communities to create and distribute alternative media and arts addressing the issues and systems that affect them. Grant funded consultant support during their organizational transition. $3,000 (TA)

Chicago Abortion Fund works to address economic barriers to reproductive choice by connecting young women with free or low cost reproductive health services, and organizes young women who access their services to become advocates for reproductive justice. $5,000 (Seed)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison fulfills incarcerated women’s direct requests for books, reducing incarcerated women’s isolation and providing them with valuable resources. $2,500 (GRAM)

Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx – Rwanda is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV positive genocide widows, rape survivor and orphans and is a model of care and international/local collaboration. $6,402 (PF)

Global Girls, Inc. uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership and life skills amongst a group of youth that consists primarily of girls between the ages of eight and eighteen. $2,500 (GRAM)

HEART Women & Girls  work to bring awareness of the issues of sexual violence and reproductive health to young women and girls in the Muslim community while providing training/workshops to educators and adult allies on the issue. $2,000 (Eleuterio)

Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions, author readings and community events affiliated with Women & Children First bookstore. $5,339 (PF)
 

Worker Rights

Arise Chicago builds partnerships between low-income, primarily immigrant workers and faith communities through education, by organizing workers and congregations and by advocating for policies to protect workers. Grant supports consulting in social change evaluation. $1,500 (TA)

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: Immigrant Workers Project is an immigrant-run workers’ center on Chicago’s Southeast side that protects immigrant workers from violations and exploitation by area employers. Grants include support for consulting in communications and social change evaluation. $8,500 (Seed, TA)

Chicago Community and Worker Rights educates and organizes Latino workers to fight against exploitation in their jobs and for jobs that are safe and dignified.Grants include support for organization leaders to provide skills-building workshops for activists in Alabama, in response to anti-immigrant legislation. $3,500 (Seed, EF)

Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, a coalition of workers and groups, organizes for day laborer and immigrant rights through public education, worker trainings and litigation on behalf of primarily immigrant workers who have experienced exploitation in their workplace. $9,250 (PF, Eleuterio)

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago uses a range of workplace campaigns and education strategies to improve the working conditions of low-wage restaurant employees and shift the imbalance of power within the restaurant industry. $5,000 (Seed)

United Taxidrivers Community Council is a multiracial and multiethnic taxidriver organizing project that promotes a living wage and better working conditions for Chicago taxi drivers. $3,000 (Seed)

Workers Center for Racial Justice strives to eliminate structural barriers to sustainable and living wage employment for African American workers, especially those who have previously been incarcerated. $3,000 (Seed)
 

Youth

A Long Walk Home, Inc.'s Girl/Friends Leadership Institute is an art-based, youth-led program in the North Lawndale neighborhood that allows young women to address dating, domestic and sexual violence in their communities and schools.$1,500 (YF)

Benton House is a direct service provider in the Bridgeport community that is launching a food justice initiative with young people to look at issues of food insecurity and encourage civic engagement. $1,500 (YF)

Broadway Youth Center’s Peer Advocates Program facilitates leadership development for LGBTQA youth of color, many of whom are without stable housing. The Peer Advocates provide workshops for other youth at Broadway Youth Center on issues like sexual health, systems of oppression and harm reduction practices. $2,000 (YF)

Chicago Area Friends of SNCC This grant supported youth involvement in an intergenerational public event to celebrate the opening of the “Tell the Story” exhibit, which collects the stories of the Chicago area chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. $1,000 (YF)

Chicago Freedom School works to build youth-led social change movements and educate youth and community members in social movement history. $1,000 (Ron Sable Award for Activism)

Chicago Law and Education Foundation provides Chicago Public School students and their families’ access to legal services, training and education on issues like record expungement, domestic violence, immigration, and tenants’ rights. $4,500 (PF, GRAM)

Chicago-New Orleans Collaborative is a group of young people from four Chicago area schools (Julian, Little Village Social Justice, Kelly and Gage Park) making their sixth annual trip to New Orleans to assist in rebuilding efforts, create relationships and learn about issues that affect both cities, like housing, gentrification, racism and the privatization of education. $1,500 (Youth)

The Chicago Wisdom Project works with students to create projects that contribute to a more just world through the arts, while mentoring youth in skills like hip hop music production, video/film, community activism and more. $1,500 (YF)

Circles and Ciphers is a hip hop leadership development program for young men located in the Rogers Park neighborhood, which advocates restorative justice alternatives to incarceration. Their “Time Lords” program generates intergenerational dialogue for community healing. $1,500 (YF)

For Youth Inquiry is a collective of artists, educators and activists engaging young people in accessible conversations about sexual health and violence through participatory theater. $3,000 (GRAM)

Foundation for Community Change is comprised of youth leaders across three Southside, predominately African American Chicago communities. They utilize visual and performing arts to elevate youth voices about issues of violence, and to create an alternative to zero tolerance policies that silence youth. $1,500 (YF)

Free Street Theater produced “#DISTRACTED” a play written and directed by youth to address the relationship between global youth-led social movements and the experiences of young people in Chicago. $1,500 (YF)

Imagine Englewood If… is continuing a youth-led campaign to create a family community center in Englewood, so that people of different ages will be able to come together in a single safe space.$1,500 (YF)

Immigrant Youth Justice League is a network of undocumented youth and their allies working for justice for immigrants. They encourage undocumented youth to “come out” and share their stories publicly, to put a more human face on the immigration debate and counteract racist stereotypes. Grants include support for an advocacy project addressing the unique mental health needs of undocumented young people. $6,000 (PF, YF, GRAM)

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center challenges Koreans in the greater Chicago area to engage in meaningful civic participation to solve community issues, with a particular emphasis on youth programs and intergenerational activities. These grants include support for a youth-led voter registration campaign, and consulting in social change evaluation. $3,000 (TA, YF)

La Fuerza Juventud/Pilsen Youth Equalizer Corps is a youth program at Centro Sin Fronteras that organizes to address healthcare disparities, immigration reform and gang violence in Pilsen.Grant supports the launch of a community newspaper written and produced by youth, as an organizing and fundraising tool. $2,000 (YF)

Las Caras Lindas (Beautiful Faces) is a multi-generational project that brings together young girls and women from Latina and African American communities to grapple with issues that face both their communities, strategize on possible transformative changes, nurture the next generation of leaders and be in community with each other.  $1,000 (Cathy Cohen Black Youth Fund)

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization’s youth program organizes young people to address public transportation, land contamination and urban agriculture in the Pilsen and Little Village communities. $2,500 (YF)

Nuestra Voz organizes around local and national immigration policies, while empowering undocumented students in the Western Suburbs to pursue their college education regardless of immigration status. $2,000 (YF)

Ollin is a youth program at Telpochcalli Community Education Project in the Little Village neighborhood. This grant supports the fifth year of the Little Village Youth Forum, which brings youth together across neighborhoods to address the root causes of violence, and the Nonviolence Leadership Institute, which trains young people, including members of street organizations, to implement the nonviolence practices of leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. $3,500 (YF)

Young Women’s Empowerment Project is run by and for women, girls and youth with life experiences in the sex trade and street economies. They use social justice, transformative justice and harm-reduction strategies to address issues affecting them. Grant supports a campaign to address institutional violence and denial of services experienced by street youth. $3,000 (YF)

Youth Outlook provides social space, leadership development and educational opportunities for LGBT youth in DuPage County. Grant supports youth-led community education projects to combat homophobia. $2,000 (YF)

2011 Grantees


Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in FY2011 we gave out more than $245,000 to 56 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues. Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus of their work, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituencies.

The listed grantees received funding within five grantmaking programs. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which program(s) they received funding. These programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Partner Funds (PF), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Emergency Fund (EF) and Youth Fund for Social Change (YF). Our largest Donor Advised Fund, the GRAM Fund, supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and innovative youth projects. Unless otherwise noted, the grants were used for general operating support.

Economic Justice and Community Development

Biblioteca Popular is a community space that creates culturally-affirming workshops and arts programming for and by people of color, specifically youth, LGBTQ folks, documented and undocumented immigrants, and people experiencing homelessness in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. $2,500 (GRAM)

Blocks Together is a grassroots, multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education and other issues. These grants include support for Blocks Together’s youth-led restorative justice campaign, and to take constituents to Springfield for a legislative hearing. $9,500 (Seed, TA, YF)

Chicago Honey Co-op is a member-owned beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices. $5,850 (PF)

Chicago Law and Education Foundation provides Chicago Public School students and their families access to legal services, training and education on issues like record expungement, domestic violence, immigration, and tenants’ rights. $3,000 (TA)

Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice to address issues like healthcare and housing. These grants include support for a process to become a more antiracist organization. $8,000 (Seed, TA)

Lakeview Action Coalition, a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations in the Lakeview neighborhood, organizes around affordable housing, healthcare, sustainable development, environmental justice and police abuse of homeless youth. These grants include support for the implementation of an individual fundraising plan. $7,500 (Seed, TA)

Next Steps organizes people with mental disabilities and homeless individuals to be active in the systems that affect them, particularly major boards, institutions and decision-making bodies addressing homelessness and mental health. $3,000 (Seed)

Southside Together Organizing for Power organizes primarily African American tenants, youth, consumers of mental health services and others in the Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood to address housing, gentrification, healthcare and criminalization of youth. These grants include support for a youth-led campaign to reopen the trauma center at University of Chicago hospital, and consulting to develop an individual fundraising plan. $10,000 (Seed, TA, GRAM, YF)

The Whittier Parent Committee organized a sit-in to prevent the demolition of a field house at Whittier Elementary School in Pilsen. They continue to advocate for the facility’s conversion into a library and community center, and to hold Chicago Public Schools accountable for their promises and decision-making regarding the distribution of funds. Grants include support for consulting in organizational development. $3,500 (TA, EF, Ron Sable Award)

Immigrant Issues

The Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to injustice experienced by undocumented immigrants. Its strategies include public witness, political advocacy and support for immigrants at risk of deportation. $5,000 (TA)

Immigrant Youth Justice League is a network of undocumented youth and their allies working for justice for immigrants. They have played a prominent role in organizing around the DREAM Act, which would provide undocumented youth a path to citizenship. Their strategies include undocumented youth “coming out” and sharing their stories publicly, to put a more human face on the immigration debate and counteract racist stereotypes. $3,500 (GRAM, Donald F. Erickson Synapses Award)

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center challenges Koreans in the greater Chicago area to engage in meaningful civic participation to solve community issues, with a particular emphasis on youth programs and intergenerational activities. These grants include support for fundraising trainings for staff and youth, and a speaker series to introduce youth to community organizers working on a range of issues throughout Chicago. $4,500 (TA, YF)

United African Organization, a coalition of African organizations in Chicago, works for social justice, civil rights, civic participation and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees. $4,000 (Seed)

Human Rights, International Policy & Government Accountability

Applied Research Center is a public policy institute that advances racial justice through research, advocacy and journalism. This grant supported the participation of Crossroads Fund grantees in Facing Race, a national convening of organizers and intellectuals addressing racial justice politics and activism. $3,000 (TA)

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights educates the public and organizes to support legislation that will protect First Amendment and due process rights. This grant supported the redevelopment of their website to better provide communities with information about issues related to civil liberties. $2,000 (TA)

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. Over the years, they have established themselves as a critical educational resource for various communities, institutions and the general public. $4,500 (Seed, GRAM)

Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. These teams also support local nonviolence efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness. $7,496.25 (Seed)

Citizen Advocacy Center works in DuPage County to increase the capacity and skills of individuals and organizations, particularly those most excluded from civic participation, to participate effectively in community life while advocating for policies that protect public participation. $5,000 (TA)

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine works toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, civic participation and an annual walk for justice. $3,000 (Seed)

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties. These grants include support for consulting to develop their grantwriting capacity. $5,500 (Seed, TA)

Nuclear Energy Information Service provides information about the safety hazards and environmentally and economically harmful effects of nuclear energy, and advocates for safer and more sustainable alternatives. This grant supported two actions in response to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. $500 (EF)

Tamms Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families, artists, activists, organizations and concerned citizens protesting inhumane policies at Tamms C-MAX prison and calling for an end to the abusive conditions that are known to provoke mental illness and physical breakdown. $3,500 (SF) 

Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Issues

Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to race, health, poverty, immigration and education. These grants include support for a community forum organized by Affinity’s youth leadership cohort, and a consultant to improve their bookkeeping systems. $12,500 (Seed, TA, YF)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance prevents violence against LGBT students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education both within and outside of school systems. $5,000 (GRAM)

Women and Girls

Beyondmedia Education partners with under-represented women, youth and communities to create and distribute alternative media and arts addressing the issues and systems that affect them. $5,000 (GRAM)

Chicago Abortion Fund works to address economic barriers to reproductive choice by connecting young women with free or low cost reproductive health services, and organizes young women who access their services to become advocates for reproductive justice. These grants include support for consulting for their board in financial management practices. $5,500 (Seed, TA)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison fulfills incarcerated women’s direct requests for books, reducing incarcerated women’s isolation and providing them with valuable resources. $2,500 (GRAM)

Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx – Rwanda is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV positive genocide widows, rape survivor and orphans and is a model of care and international/local collaboration. $21,989 (PF)

Global Girls, Inc. uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership and life skills amongst a group of youth that consists primarily of girls between the ages of eight and eighteen. $2,500 (GRAM)

Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions, author readings and community events at Women and Children First bookstore. $15,858.70 (PF)

Worker Rights

Arise Chicago builds partnerships between low-income, primarily immigrant workers and faith communities through education, by organizing workers and congregations and by advocating for policies to protect workers. These grants include support for consulting in fundraising. $7,000 (Seed, TA)

Associacion de Vendedores Ambulantes organizes low-income, primarily Latino street vendors to advocate on their own behalf, with the goal of passing a comprehensive ordinance to protect vendors’ right to earn an income. $3,000 (Seed)

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: Immigrant Workers Project is an immigrant-run workers’ center on Chicago’s Southeast side that protects immigrant workers from violations and exploitation by area employers. These grants include support for consulting to continue implementing the organization’s fundraising plan. $5,500 (Seed, TA)

Chicago Community and Worker Rights educates and organizes Latino workers to fight against exploitation in their jobs and for jobs that are safe and dignified. $3,000 (Seed)

Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, a coalition of workers and groups, organizes for day laborer and immigrant rights through public education, worker trainings and litigation on behalf of primarily immigrant workers who have experienced exploitation in their workplace. $9,000 (Seed)

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago uses a range of workplace campaigns and education strategies to improve the working conditions of low-wage restaurant employees and shift the imbalance of power within the restaurant industry. These grants include support for consulting in board development and financial management. $6,000 (SF, TA)

Warehouse Workers for Justice organizes warehouse workers to challenge abuses and to build the power and influence of workers within Chicago’s warehouse industry, one of the nation’s most significant ports in the transport of goods across the country. $3,000 (SF)

Youth

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE)’s Filipino American Leadership Identity Program strengthens Filipino American young people’s relationship to their cultural identity and their analysis of issues affecting their community, like racism, colonialism and violence. $1,500 (YF)

Arab American Action Network’s Alliance of Young Women Activists is using documentary filmmaking as a teaching tool to address domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence within their communities. $2,000 (YF)

Broadway Youth Center’s Peer Advocates program facilitates leadership development for LGBT youth of color, many of whom are without stable housing. The Peer Advocates provide workshops for other youth at Broadway Youth Center on issues like sexual health, systems of oppression and harm reduction practices. $1,500 (YF)

Chicago Freedom School works to build youth-led social change movements and educate youth and community members in social movement history. This grant supported the participation of young black activists in Rev Up, a comprehensive training program for youth organizers. $1,000 (Cathy Cohen Black Youth Fund)

The Chicago Wisdom Project works with students to create projects that contribute to a more just world through the arts, while mentoring youth in skills like hip hop music production, video/film, community activism and others. $1,500 (YF)

Chicago Youth Initiating Change is a citywide group of students and teachers working to build a youth-led movement for education justice and student rights, including developing a national bill of rights for high school students. $2,000 (YF)

Cicero Area Project is working to address issues affecting immigrant youth, many undocumented, in Cicero, including community violence and immigrant rights. $2,000 (YF)

Free Street Theater produced “Behind These Walls,” a play written and directed by youth to address the social and psychological root causes of youth violence. $1,500 (YF)

Gender Just is a direct action organizing project led by queer, transgender and gender non-conforming young people. This grant supported their Safe and Affirming Education campaign, which addressed violence and harassment within the school system. $1,000 (YF)

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health’s Sisters Empowering Sisters program is a girl-led social justice group addressing issues of reproductive and sexual health. This grant supported an anti-oppression training series for the girls, and the development of a participatory action research project. $1,000 (YF)

Imagine Englewood If… is initiating a youth-led campaign to get a family community center in Englewood, so that community members of different ages will be able to come together in a single safe space. $2,000 (YF)

Iraq Veterans Against the War is organizing youth to counteract the JROTC at two Chicago high schools by providing social justice-oriented alternatives to military programming. Their local work is connected with a broader citywide and national movement against militarization in schools through their relationship with the American Friends Service Committee. $1,500 (YF)

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization’s youth program organizes young people to address public transportation, land contamination and urban agriculture in the Pilsen and Little Village communities. This grant supported youth-led after school programs to teach environmental justice at two neighborhood schools. $2,500 (YF)

Pilsen Youth Equalizer Corps is a youth program at Centro Sin Fronteras that organizes to address healthcare disparities, immigration reform and gang violence in Pilsen. $2,000 (YF)

Telpochcalli Community Education Project works to address issues like education and community violence in the Little Village neighborhood. For four years, their youth group Ollin has organized the Little Village Youth Forum, which brings youth together across neighborhoods to address violence and its relationship to racism, sexism and economic oppression. These grants include support to improve their financial management systems. $5,000 (YF, TA)

The Trauma Stewardship Conference helped activists develop and implement concrete practices to address the different forms of trauma they experience within the context of social justice work. This grant supported the participation of Crossroads Fund’s youth organizing grantees in the conference. $500 (TA)

Young Chicago Authors organizes a monthly workshop and open mic series where youth develop their voices and leadership as activists by exploring issues related to violence through writing and performance. $1,500 (YF)

Young Women’s Empowerment Project is run by and for women, girls and youth with life experiences in the sex trade and street economies. They use social justice, transformative justice and harm-reduction strategies to address issues affecting them. This grant supported a campaign to address institutional violence and denial of services experienced by street youth. $3,000 (YF)

Youth Outlook provides social space, leadership development and education opportunities for LGBT youth in DuPage County. This grant supported youth-led community education projects to combat homophobia. $2,000 (YF)

 

2010 Grantees


Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2010 we gave out $268,256 to 54 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues. Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus of their work, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituencies. The listed grantees received funding within seven grantmaking programs. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which program(s) they received funding. These programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Donor Advised (DA), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Emergency Fund (EF), Healthcare Justice Fund (HJF), Fire this Time Fund (FTT) and Youth Fund for Social Change (YF). Our largest Donor Advised Fund, the GRAM Fund, supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and innovative youth projects. Unless otherwise noted, the grants were used for general operating support.


ARTS, CULTURE & MEDIA:
Albany Park Theater Project is an ensemble of primarily immigrant and working class youth artists who collectively write, choreograph, compose, and stage original performance works based on people's real-life stories, including issues like immigration policy, inequalities in public education, the criminal justice system, gentrification, and more. $1,800 (DA)

Backstory is a socially conscious café and social center in Woodlawn. They are expanding their infoshop, which creates space for groups and individuals to share resources and participate in programs that highlight the importance of participatory media and knowledge creation. $750 (FTT)

Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts is a youth-focused organization that uses theater and art to organize various immigrant communities across social, economic and political issues. $5,000 (Seed)

Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP) is part of a national coalition organizing to pressure the Federal Communications Commission to make low-power FM radio signals available to community organizations. This would enable the establishment of independent, community-based radio stations in Chicago. They also generate diverse content for their own, currently web-based, station. $5,000 (TA)

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. Over the years, they have established themselves as a critical educational resource for various communities, institutions and the general public. $4,500 (Seed, GRAM)

Half Letter Press is publishing a book that will document the political practice and visual propaganda of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective, an antiracist women’s poster, printmaking and street art collective that operated in New York City between 1975 and 1983, and acted in solidarity with anti-colonial movements. $750 (FTT)

In These Times is a nonprofit, independent, national magazine published in Chicago that fights for corporate accountability and progressive government. $1,000 (DA)

Stillpoint Theater Collective is facilitating “Matters of the Heart,” a new theatre project created and performed by formerly incarcerated women as an educational tool to help youth break free from the cycle of violence in which many of them live. $500 (FTT)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE:
First Defense Legal Aid provides legal advice and aid in Chicago Police Department stations to low-income individuals who cannot afford attorneys. They also document police brutality and provide workshops to at-risk communities on their constitutional rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement personnel. $4,000 (Seed)

Longterm Prisoner Policy Project ("Warehoused Prisoners") pushes for changes in law, policies and practice affecting prisoners serving virtual to actual life sentences in Illinois prisons, promoting their human rights. These grants included support for an amicus briefing filed before the Supreme Court to overturn a law prohibiting men on death row from speaking with the media. $1,500 (EF, Ron Sable Award)

Tamms Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families, artists, activists, organizations and concerned citizens protesting inhumane policies at Tamms C-MAX prison and calling for an end to the abusive conditions that are known to provoke mental illness and physical breakdown. These grants included support for database management training. $4,500 (Seed, TA)

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
Blocks Together is a grassroots, multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education & other issues. These grants included support for board development and for Blocks Together’s youth-led restorative justice campaign.  $11,000 (Seed, TA, YF)

Chicago Honey Co-op is a member-owned beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices. $14,550 (DA)

Citizen Advocacy Center works in DuPage County to increase the capacity and skills of individuals and organizations, particularly those most shut out of civic participation, to participate effectively in community life while advocating for policies that protect public participation. $5,000 (Seed)

Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice. These grants included support for a workshop in popular education organizing with trainers from the Highlander Research and Education Center. $3,500 (DA, TA)

Lakeview Action Coalition, a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations in the Lakeview neighborhood, organizes around affordable housing, healthcare, sustainable development, environmental justice and police abuse of homeless youth. These grants included support for the development of an individual fundraising plan. $8,000 (Seed, DA, TA)

Pilsen Alliance organizes community residents to address gentrification, public transportation access, housing and education. This grant supported consulting in financial management. $1,500 (TA)

United for a Fair Economy uses networking, media, education, research and other strategies to build movements for greater economic equality, recognizing that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. $1,000 (DA)

HEALTHCARE JUSTICE:
Campaign for Better Health Care is Illinois’ largest statewide coalition of healthcare providers, policy groups and consumers pushing for healthcare reform at a state and national level. Their “What Healthcare Reform Means to Me and My Community” project will help communities of color understand the implications of the recent healthcare reform and ensure its implementation promotes healthcare justice. $6,500 (TA, HJF)

Health and Medicine Research Policy Group promotes social justice in Illinois healthcare, currently focusing on the underfunding of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services and its impact on Cook County residents. This grant supported a project to inform the community about the impact of federal legislation on Cook County’s healthcare safety net through advocacy training sessions and the formation of a coalition to define “charity care” and the responsibilities of nonprofit hospitals. $5,500 (TA, HJF)

HUMAN AND WORKER RIGHTS:
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos is an immigrant-run workers’ center on Chicago’s Southeast side that protects immigrant workers from violations and exploitation by area employers. These grants included support for consulting in board development and foundation relations. $4,500 (Seed, TA)

Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, a coalition of workers and groups, organizes for day laborer and immigrant rights through public education, worker trainings and litigation on behalf of primarily immigrant workers who have experienced exploitation in their workplace. $8,000 (Seed)

Latino Union organizes workers to improve the conditions of low-income and immigrant workers and day laborers and to address systemic injustices in the day labor industry. This grant supported the development of their Café Chicago project, a fair trade coffee-roasting venture that will provide income for the organization and jobs for workers. $3,000 (TA)

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties. They also work to cultivate youth leaders in the Humboldt Park community through their collaboration with the Batey Urbano youth program. $6,000 (Seed, GRAM)

Next Steps organizes people with mental disabilities and homeless individuals to be active in the systems that affect them, particularly major boards, institutions and decision-making bodies addressing homelessness and mental health. These grants included support for leadership development. $4,500 (Seed, TA)

United Taxidrivers Community Council is a multiracial and multiethnic taxidriver organizing project that promotes a living wage and better working conditions for Chicago taxi drivers. These grants included support for leadership development. $4,000 (Seed, TA)

IMMIGRANT ISSUES:
The Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to injustice experienced by undocumented immigrants. Its strategies include public witness, political advocacy and support for immigrants at risk of deportation. These grants included support for the Immigrant Youth Justice League in response to recent anti-immigrant legislation. $8,000 (Seed, GRAM, EF)

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center challenges Koreans in the greater Chicago area to engage in meaningful civic participation to solve community issues, with a particular emphasis on youth programs and intergenerational activities. These grants included support for youth organizing to pass the DREAM Act, which will allow undocumented immigrant youth to attend college and provide a path to citizenship. $7,000 (GRAM, YF)

United African Organization, a coalition of African organizations in Chicago, works for social justice, civil rights, civic participation and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees. These grants included support for cultivating individual donors and foundation relations. $5,000 (Seed, TA)

INTERNATIONAL POLICY AND ADVOCACY:
Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. These teams also support local nonviolence efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness. $5,000 (Seed)

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine works toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, civic participation and an annual walk for justice. $3,000 (Seed)

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER ISSUES:
Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to race, health, poverty and education. These grants included support for a community forum organized by Affinity’s youth leadership cohort, and consulting to articulate a position on immigrant rights issues. $11,500 (Seed, TA, YF)

Gender Just is a local direct action organizing project led by queer, transgendered and gender non-conforming individuals and communities. Participants in their Create for Justice project created art to express their commitment to racial, economic and gender justice. $1,000 (FTT)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance prevents violence against LGBT students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education both within and outside of school systems. $7,000 (Seed, GRAM)

Youth Outlook provides social space, leadership development and education opportunities for LGBT youth in DuPage County. This grant supported youth-led community education projects to combat homophobia. $3,000 (YF)

WOMEN AND GIRLS:
Beyondmedia Education partners with under-represented women, youth and communities to create and distribute alternative media and arts addressing the issues and systems that affect them. $5,000 (GRAM)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison fulfills incarcerated women’s direct requests for books, reducing incarcerated women’s isolation and providing them with valuable resources. $3,500 (GRAM, FTT)

Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx – Rwanda is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV positive genocide widows, rape survivor and orphans and is a model of care and international/local collaboration. $31,530 (DA)

Chicago Girls' Coalition has for several years provided needed professional development, training and community-building opportunities for small and often under-resourced girl-serving organizations in Chicago. Because of fundraising challenges posed by the current economic climate, the Chicago Girls’ Coalition has unfortunately not been able to sustain their organization as it currently exists. This grant supported documentation of the Coalition’s accomplishments and planning to address the impact of their sunset. $3,000 (TA)

Chicago Women's AIDS Project provides prevention education, advocacy and support for women at risk or living with HIV in the Chicago area, in order to empower women to take control of their own health and to live as fully and as productively as possible. $631 (DA)

Global Girls, Inc. uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership and life skills amongst a group of youth that consists primarily of girls between the ages of eight and eighteen. $2,500 (GRAM)

A Long Walk Home, Inc's Girl/Friends summer institute is a comprehensive sexual health and sexual assault awareness, prevention and leadership development program for African American and Latino adolescent girls from the North Lawndale Charter Preparatory High School. $1,000 (FTT)

Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions, author readings and community events at Women and Children First, which this year celebrated its 30th year as a feminist resource in Chicago. $15,000 (DA)

Young Women’s Empowerment Project is run by and for women, girls and youth with life experiences in the sex trade and street economies. They use social justice, transformative justice and harm-reduction strategies to address issues affecting them. These grants included support for a campaign to address institutional violence and denial of services experienced by street youth. $8,000 (Seed, TA)

YOUTH:
Broadway Youth Center's Peer Advocates program facilitates leadership development for LGBT youth of color, many of whom are without stable housing. This grant supported the creation of media to help the Advocates share their stories and build relationships with other youth nationally. $1,500 (YF)

Chicago Road to Detroit Coalition facilitated the participation of multiple youth and youth organizations from throughout Chicago in the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, a movement-building convening attended by more than 15,000 supporters of grassroots change. $6,000 (TA, Cathy Cohen Black Youth Fund)

The Chicago Wisdom Project works with students to create projects that contribute to a more just world through the arts, while mentoring youth in skills like hip hop music production, video/film, community activism and others. $2,500 (FTT, YF)

Chicago Youth Initiating Change is a citywide group of students and teachers working to build a youth-led movement for education justice and student rights, including developing a national bill of rights for high school students. $3,000 (YF)

Iraq Veterans Against the War is organizing youth to counteract the JROTC at a north side high school by providing social justice-oriented alternatives to military programming. Their local work is connected with a broader citywide and national movement against militarization in schools through their relationship with the American Friends Service Committee. $3,000 (YF)

Jaguars for Justice is the student-led social justice club at Julian High School in Auburn Gresham. They are working to save neighborhood schools and to create student-driven social justice media, and their members participate in citywide education justice efforts. $3,000 (YF)

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization addresses public transportation, land contamination and urban agriculture in the Pilsen and Little Village communities. These grants included support for youth attending the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in order to build a regional youth climate justice network. $4,000 (TA, YF)

The Safety Net Works of Auburn Gresham Youth Council is housed at the faith community of St. Sabina, which has worked for a number of years to address gun violence. The Youth Council works, through their “Do You Care” campaign, to reduce community complacency regarding violence, and to make neighborhood spaces safer and more accessible for youth. $2,000 (YF)

Telpochcalli Community Education Project works to address issues like education and community violence in the Little Village neighborhood. For three years, their youth group SITY Ollin has organized the Little Village Youth Forum, which brings youth together across neighborhoods to address violence and its relationship to racism, sexism and economic oppression. $5,745 (TA, YF)

WE-ACTx Youth Exchange helped bring two young women from Rwanda to Chicago to participate in the summer session of the Chicago Freedom School, a social justice history and education program for youth. The young women have recently established a Freedom School in Kigali, Rwanda, and will use their experience in Chicago to inform their project. $1,000 (Don Erickson Synapses Award)

Grantees from Previous Years

 

2009 Grantees


Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2009 we gave out $339,358 in grants, to 68 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues. Although the following list categorizes grantees based on one primary focus of their work, grantees’ work is rarely limited to a single issue area. Most work across issues and prioritize the multiple needs of their diverse constituencies. The listed grantees received funding within six grantmaking programs. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which program(s) they received funding. These programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Donor Advised (DA), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Media Justice Fund (MJF), Fire this Time Fund (FTT) and Youth Fund for Social Change (YF). Our largest Donor Advised Fund, the GRAM Fund, supports women and girls, rights for Arab Americans, and innovative youth projects. Most grants were used for general operating support.

ARTS AND CULTURE:
April 1968 Riot Oral History Project is a multimedia project featuring interviews and photo documentation of those who witnessed and were impacted by the 1968 riot that erupted on the West side of Chicago after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. The work will be available for educational, research, and artistic exhibition purposes. $1,000 (FTT)

AREA Chicago Art/Research/Education/Activism is a publication and event series that works to build bridges between movements and communities working for social justice across Chicago by documenting and sharing historical and current social change activities. This grant supported their “Everybody’s Got Money Issues” publication, which examined economic issues affecting activist communities. $500 (FTT)

Arte y Realidad preserves Mexican cultural heritage and counteracts community violence by hosting street-side “talleres” art workshops to share the practice of “artesania”—crafts made by hand—to adults and children in the Little Village. $1,000 (FTT)

Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts is a youth-focused organization that uses theater and art to organize various immigrant communities across social, economic and political issues. $5,000 (Seed)

Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP) is part of a national coalition organizing to pressure the Federal Communications Commission to make low-power FM radio signals available to community organizations, enabling the establishment of independent, community-based radio stations. CHIRP also generates diverse content for their own, currently web-based, station. $5,250 (MJF)

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors that address current issues in the region and portray the daily lives of Palestinians. Over the years, they have established themselves as a critical educational resource for various communities, institutions and the general public. $5,000 (Seed, GRAM)

Funny, You Don't Look Like a Jew is a multimedia art installation that builds relationships between Queer radical Jews and more conservative Jews who are organizing for racial, economic, and social justice. $1,000 (FTT)

Gayco Productions created and mounted a two-weekend political sketch comedy festival to coincide with the historic election cycle of 2008. $12,500 (SF)

Mixing it Up, a follow up to the film “Voices of Cabrini (1998),” examines the impact of the destruction of Chicago's Cabrini Green public housing development a decade after the Chicago Housing Authority initiated their plan for transformation. $1,000 (FTT)

Neighborhood Writing Alliance works with adults in marginalized communities to write, publish and perform their own stories. This grant supported a project to bring the voices of underrepresented constituents into mainstream media to speak directly to key issues affecting their lives. $5,250 (MJF)

We the People Media equips adults and youth from communities of color with reporting, editing and publishing skills and collaborates with national media and academic institutions to shape coverage of the inner city, challenging stereotypes of low-income communities. $5,250 (MJF)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE:
A Day at Stateville is a play written by men currently incarcerated at the maximum security prison Statesville. The play will be performed by former prisoners throughout Chicago, in order to raise awareness of the horrific conditions experienced by individuals in long-term confinement in Illinois. $1,000 (FTT)

Citizens Alert holds Chicago metropolitan police accountable and works for systemic change in law enforcement agencies while advocating for victims of police brutality and misconduct. $7,000 (Funding Exchange “Small Axe” Project for Racial Justice, TA)

First Defense Legal Aid provides legal advice and aid in Chicago Police Department stations to low-income individuals who cannot afford attorneys. They also document police brutality and provide workshops to at-risk communities on their constitutional rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement personnel. $4,000 (Seed)

Longterm Prisoner Policy Project ("Warehoused Prisoners") pushes for changes in law, policies and practice affecting prisoners serving virtual to actual life sentences in Illinois prisons, promoting their human rights. $7,500 (Seed)

Mothers of Incarcerated Sons supports writing workshops for mothers of incarcerated sons in the Howard Area Community Center in Rogers Park. The workshops help mothers move past guilt into a more systemic understanding of incarceration and the criminal justice system. $1,000 (FTT)

Tamms Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families, artists, activists, organizations and concerned citizens protesting inhumane policies at Tamms C-MAX prison and calling for an end to the abusive conditions that are known to provoke mental illness and physical breakdown. $5,000 (Seed)

DISABILITY RIGHTS:
Chicago ADAPT engages in direct action and grassroots organizing to advocate for the independence of people with disabilities from institutional and cultural barriers in everyday life. $350 (DA)

Feminist Response in Disability Activism (FRIDA) is a grassroots non-violent direct action organization led by and for women with disabilities that works on issues of reproductive rights and healthcare. This grant supported their organizational development. $3,000 (TA)

Next Steps organizes people with mental disabilities and homeless individuals to be active in the systems that affect them, particularly boards, institutions and decision-making bodies addressing homelessness and mental health. $3,000 (Seed) 
 
ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
Blocks Together is a grassroots, multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education & restorative justice. These grants included support for youth to present at the Education for Liberation Conference in Houston, Texas. $8,500 (Seed, YF)

Center for Popular Economics is a collective of economists who advance social and economic justice by educating communities and promoting alternative economic models. This grant supported their Summer Institute, which brought together educators, activists and others to address the economics of immigration and migration. $1,000 (SF)

Chicago Honey Co-op is a beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable urban agricultural practices. $14,550 (DA)

Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income northside seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice. $1,000 (TA)

Lakeview Action Coalition, a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations in the Lakeview neighborhood, organizes around affordable housing, healthcare, sustainable development, environmental justice and police abuse of homeless youth. $10,000 (Seed, DA, TA)

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization addresses public transportation, land contamination and urban agriculture in Pilsen and Little Village. This grant supported the organization’s youth journalism program. $5,250 (MJF)

Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization educates Pilsen-area youth about environmental issues affecting their neighborhood. Youth document local sources of pollution and present their findings to the community. $1,000 (FTT)

Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) uses tenant organizing, action research, and alliance-building between tenants, homeowners, students and youth to address gentrification and displacement in the Woodlawn Neighborhood. $1,000 (TA)

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY:
Chitown Daily News covers local issues ignored by mainstream media, including government, housing, education, and others, while training volunteer journalists to cover issues affecting their neighborhoods. This grant supported the development of a website to generate and track Freedom of Information Act requests in order to make local government more accountable to citizens and media. $5,250 (MJF)

Citizen Advocacy Center works in DuPage County to increase the capacity and skills of individuals and organizations, particularly those most shut out of civic participation, to engage effectively in community life while advocating for policies that protect public involvement. $5,000 (Seed)

Pilsen Alliance organizes community residents to address gentrification, public transportation access, housing and education. This grant supported the development of popular education-based training materials to prepare leaders for their Tax Increment Financing accountability campaign. $3,000 (TA)

HEALTH ACCESS:
Acudetox Healing Collective provides acupuncture and alternative healing education to activist communities to address burnout and promote the self-care necessary to make social justice work sustainable. $1,000 (FTT)

Chicago Women's Health Center is a collective of health workers who provide health education, advocacy, and affordable, accessible gynecological and mental health care to women in the Chicago area. $1,000 (TA)

Health and Medicine Research Policy Group promotes social justice in Illinois healthcare, currently focusing on the underfunding of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services and its impact on Cook County residents. This grant supported advocacy training sessions for community leaders. $3,000 (TA)

HUMAN AND WORKER RIGHTS:
Arise Workers' Center (formerly known as Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues) educates workers on rights, assists workers whose rights are being violated and works for systemic change through direct action and advocacy. This grant supported the purchase of a simultaneous translation system that will allow Polish and Spanish-speaking workers to communicate with one another. $3,000 (TA)
 
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos is an immigrant-run workers’ center on Chicago’s Southeast side that protects immigrant workers from violations and exploitation by area employers. $3,000 (Seed)

Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, a coalition of workers and groups, organizes for day laborer and immigrant rights through public education, worker trainings and litigation on behalf of primarily immigrant workers who have experienced exploitation in their workplace. $15,500 (Seed, DA, Ron Sable Award)

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties. They also work to cultivate youth leaders in the Humboldt Park community through their collaboration with the Batey Urbano youth program. $6,500 (Seed, GRAM)

United Taxidrivers Community Council is a multiracial and multiethnic taxidriver organizing project that promotes a living wage and better working conditions for Chicago taxi drivers. $3,000 (Seed)

IMMIGRANT ISSUES:
The Chicago Metropolitan Sanctuary Alliance organizes congregations and people of faith to respond to injustice experienced by undocumented immigrants. Its strategies include public witness, political advocacy and support for immigrants at risk of deportation. $6,000 (Seed, DA)

United African Organization, a coalition of African organizations in Chicago, works for social justice, civil rights, civic participation and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees. $5,000 (Seed, TA)

Waukegan Leadership Council advocates for the welfare of immigrant and Latino residents, protecting them from indiscriminate arrest, detainment and deportation. They are also involved in voter registration, education and building collaborations with non-immigrant communities of color. $3,000 (Seed)

INTERNATIONAL POLICY AND ADVOCACY:
Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. The teams support local nonviolence efforts through direct action and public witness. $5,088 (Seed)

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine works toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, civic participation and an annual walk for justice. $3,500 (Seed)

Electronic Intifada provides comprehensive public education on the economic, political, legal and human dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. $1,000 (Don Erickson Award)

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDER RIGHTS:
Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to race, health, poverty and education. These grants included support to increase their fundraising capacity. $11,000 (Seed, TA)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance prevents violence against LGBT students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education both within and outside of school systems. These grants included support for youth to attend a national leadership development conference for LGBT youth organizers. $10,500 (Seed, GRAM, TA)

Mamsir Productions is producing an experimental film about transgender issues to provoke conversation among the LBGTQ community and others about our gender identities and their social and historical context. $1,000 (FTT)

WOMEN AND GIRLS:
Beyondmedia Education partners with under-represented women, youth and communities to create and distribute alternative media and arts addressing the issues and systems that affect them. Grants included support for a project to hold public media accountable to communities. $10,250 (MJF, GRAM)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison fulfills incarcerated women’s direct requests for books, reducing their isolation and providing valuable resources. $2,500 (GRAM)

Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx – Rwanda is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV positive genocide widows, rape survivor and orphans and is a model of care and international/local collaboration. $60,000 (DA)

Ella's Daughters is a network of women of color activists, artists, scholars and writers working in Ella Baker’s participatory democratic tradition. This grant supported scholarships for youth to attend the network’s national gathering. $1,000 (Cathy Cohen Black Youth Fund)

Global Girls, Inc. uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership and life skills amongst a group of youth that consists primarily of girls between the ages of eight and eighteen. $2,500 (GRAM)

Venus Collective is a multimedia cultural celebration that strives to make every day International Women's Day. In addition to an annual event, they organize a multiracial women's circle and celebrate the lineage, impact and cultural influences of women via art, music, poetry, dance and craft. $1,000 (FTT)

Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions, author readings and community events. $7,870 (DA)

Young Women’s Empowerment Project is run by and for women and girls with life experiences in the sex trade and street economies. They use social justice, transformative justice and harm-reduction strategies to address issues affecting them. $5,000 (Seed)

YOUTH:
Black Diaspora Project will develop the leadership capacity of black youth from Chicago as they travel to Haiti to learn about the country’s historical importance to black people in the Diaspora. Youth in Haiti will gain understanding of the challenges facing Black youth in the United States, and the youth from Chicago will return to apply their learning to social justice work locally. $3,000 (YF)

Highly Flavored Inc. is a youth summer social justice program in Gary, Indiana. Last year’s participants will work with this year’s participants to continue a project to address inequalities in Gary’s public school system. $3,000 (YF)

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center challenges Koreans in the greater Chicago area to engage in meaningful civic participation to solve community issues, with a particular emphasis on youth programs and intergenerational activities. Grants included support for youth organizing to pass the DREAM Act, which allows undocumented immigrant youth to attend college, providing a path to citizenship. $7,500 (GRAM, YF)

Kuumba Lynx is a youth program that uses urban (hip hop) culture and arts to promote social justice. This grant supported the production of their first CD, “Braid Tales,” which will be used to initiate dialogue about social and economic issues affecting inner city youth. $1,000 (FTT)

Latinos Progresando's College-Bound Youth Group advocates for passage of the DREAM Act to allow undocumented youth to attend college and provide a path to legalization, while offering trainings for immigrant youth to help them access existing educational opportunities. $2,000 (YF)

Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization organizes residents of Woodlawn and the surrounding areas to fight gentrification and racism, with a particular focus on the development of youth leadership. This grant supported the development of a youth-driven project to train youth to know and exercise their rights in encounters with law enforcement officials. $3,000 (YF)

Nuestra Voz Youth Council works with primarily immigrant youth and their parents in Melrose Park to increase civic engagement and address a lack of resources for undocumented and Latina/o students seeking higher education. $2,000 (TA, YF)

Sisters Empowering Sisters is a project of Chicago Girls Coalition that seeks to engage girls between the ages of 14 and 18 in grantmaking, fundraising and other activities related to social justice issues affecting them. Sisters Empowering Sisters recently completed an anti-oppression curriculum, and will build upon this experience by designing their own girl-driven social justice project. $3,000 (YF)

SITY Ollin is a youth organizing project at Telpochcalli Community Education Project in the Little Village neighborhood. This grant supported the second year of a public forum addressing community violence in Little Village and its relationship to racism, sexism and economic oppression. $5,000 (YF)

Teens Acting in Community uses a student-centered approach to teach poetry, prose, art, theatre and spoken word in Riverdale, IL. Students’ performances open up dialogue issues impacting their community. $1,000 (FTT)

WE-ACTx Girls' Exchange helped bring two young women from Rwanda to Chicago to participate in the summer session of the Chicago Freedom School, a social justice history and education program for youth. The young women have recently established a Freedom School in Kigali, Rwanda, and will use their experience in Chicago to inform the project. $5,500 (DA, YF)

Youth Pride Center offers a range of programs for youth who are primarily LGBT and African American on Chicago’s South Side. This grant supported the Code Red program, an effort to forge better relationships between LGBT youth of color and local business owners. $1,000 (YF)

In addition to giving out grants, Crossroads Fund expended significant resources to support our grantees through Technical Assistance trainings, workshops, and one-on-one time with consultants. In total, we gave an extra $24,000 through the following Technical Assistance programs: presenting fundraising trainings; hiring consultants to conduct an innovative program to assess and strengthen grantees financial positions; and providing one-on-one support to our grantees. We thank Polk Bros Foundation and Cricket Island Foundation for their partnership in these programs.
 


2008 Grantees

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2008 we gave out $403,210 to 67 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues. In the following list, grantees are categorized based on one primary focus of their work. The listed grantees received funding within our eight grantmaking programs. A notation after the grantee description indicates from which program(s) they received funding. These programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Donor Advised (DA), Emergency Fund (EF), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Media Justice Fund (MJF), Fire this Time Fund (FTT), Youth Fund for Social Change (YF) and Opportunity Fund (OF). Unless otherwise noted, the grants were used for general operating support.

ARTS AND CULTURE:
African Textile Magazine is produced and distributed by students from Bowen Environmental Studies Team High School, and highlights textile and resistance traditions from the African Diaspora. $500 (FTT)

Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts is a youth-focused organization that uses theater and art to organize various immigrant communities across social, economic and political issues. $5,000 (Seed)

Chicago Independent Radio Project is part of a national coalition organizing to pressure the FCC to make low-power FM radio signals available to community organizations, enabling the establishment of independent, community-based radio stations in Chicago. They also generate diverse content for their own station. $6,000 (FTT, MJF)

ChicagOtra is a collective of activists and organizers dedicated to promoting the Zapatista ideals of democracy, autonomy and social and economic justice in Chicago. This grant supported the Son de Las Barricadas project, a series of expositions of art from the Oaxacan social movement. $1,000 (FTT)

Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors to encourage public dialogue while engaging local Palestinian and Arab-American communities to address issues presented in the films. $5,000 (Seed, DA)

Revolushunary Strippa Musik is a compilation of local socially-conscious hip hop music and spoken word counteracting the misogyny and materialism of mainstream hip hop. $500 (FTT)

ThickRoutes Performance Collage is a women’s performance collective that creates original multimedia works at the intersection of entertainment, social activism, and education. This grant supported “Where Seeds Have Grown,” a workshop series using writing, movement, theater and music to address the impact of race and the influence of the African diaspora in individuals’ lives. $1,000 (FTT)

We The People Media equips adults and youth from communities of color with fundamental reporting, editing and publishing skills and collaborates with national media and academic institutions to shape coverage of the inner city, challenging stereotypes of low-income communities. $5,000 (MJF)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE:
Campaign to End the Death Penalty engages in education and activism to abolish the death penalty in Illinois. This grant supported the Death Row Shuffle Tour, in which former death row inmate and musician Darby Tillis shared his music and personal experiences with youth in communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. $1,000 (FTT)

Chicago County Fair is an art, activism and research network that connects groups and individuals for innovative action and dialogue. This grant supported “Coming Home Chicago,” a photo series that promotes productive and informed dialogue about Sex Offenders and their classification, registration and restriction. $1,000 (FTT)

Citizens Alert holds Chicago metropolitan police accountable and works for systemic change in law enforcement agencies while advocating for victims of police brutality and misconduct. $6,000 (Seed)

First Defense Legal Aid provides legal advice and aid in Chicago Police Department stations to low-income individuals who cannot afford attorneys. They also document police brutality and provide workshops to at-risk communities on their constitutional rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement personnel. $4,000 (Seed)

The Gen Y project of the Southwest Youth Collaborative is working to improve conditions at Audy Home Juvenile Detention Facility while using a human rights framework to organize for community-based restorative justice alternatives. $2,500 (YF)

Long Term Prisoner Policy Project (“Warehoused Prisoners”) pushes for changes in law, policies and practice affecting prisoners serving virtual to actual life sentences in Illinois prisons, promoting their human rights. $7,500 (Seed)

Spoke Digital Films is creating a narrative documentary about the torture case against former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, examining the failures of the criminal justice system, especially with relation to race and class, and the inadequacies of local and national media coverage of the case. $5,000 (MJF)

Tamms Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families, artists, activists, organizations and concerned citizens protesting inhumane policies at Tamms C-MAX prison and calling for an end to the abusive conditions that are known to provoke mental illness and physical breakdown. $9,000 (Seed, TA)

Wiley Resource Center provides legal information and resources to residents of Lawndale and the West Side and is currently organizing for successful reentry and criminal record expungement for the formerly incarcerated. $3,000 (Seed)

ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
Anti-Corruption Center documents the patterns, scale and social costs of corruption in local government to develop a series of reports for grassroots community groups to use in their organizing work. $10,000 (OF, DA)

Beyond Today is a grassroots group of residents in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood neighborhood committed to promoting environmentalism, social justice and peace. This grant supported the institution of a youth environmental activism internship program at Waters Elementary School. $1,000 (FTT)

Black Men and Black Boys Initiative is a national movement addressing the current situation of black men and boys in the United States. Led by the Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization and Southwest Youth Collaborative, the Chicago group addresses health care, education, economic development, fathers and families, criminal justice and technology and media. $3,000 (OF)

Blocks Together is a grassroots, multi-issue social justice organization on the West Side of Chicago addressing affordable housing, public education & restorative justice. $7,500 (Seed)

Chicago Honey Co-op is a member-owned beekeeping cooperative that provides economic development opportunities for the underemployed while promoting sustainable agricultural practices. $19,037 (DA)

Citizen Advocacy Center works in DuPage County to increase the capacity and skills of individuals and organizations, particularly those most shut out of civic participation, to participate effectively in community life while advocating for policies that protect public participation. $5,000 (Seed)

Lakeview Action Coalition, a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations in the Lakeview neighborhood, organizes around affordable housing, healthcare, sustainable development and police abuse of homeless youth. $6,000 (Seed)

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization addresses public transportation, land contamination and urban agriculture in the Pilsen and Little Village communities. This grant was used to train area youth in basic journalism techniques, enhance the quality and distribution of the community newsletter “El Cilantro,” and train organizers in the use of multimedia technology and social networking websites. $5,000 (MJF)

Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization organizes residents of Woodlawn and the surrounding areas to fight gentrification and racism, with a particular focus on the development of youth leadership. $1,000 (Ron Sable Award)

Southside Together Organizing for Power uses tenant organizing, action research and alliance-building between tenants, homeowners, students and youth to address gentrification and displacement in the Woodlawn neighborhood. Their youth project works to improve conditions at the Audy Home temporary juvenile detention center with the long-term goal of closing the facility and replacing it with community-based restorative justice alternatives. $6,500 (Seed, YF)

West Town Bikes is a community bicycle learning workshop. A grant from the Fire This Time Fund supported the Youth Build a Bike program, providing hands-on education and activities on bicycle maintenance and self-sufficiency for youth. $1,000 (FTT)

HUMAN AND WORKER RIGHTS:
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: Immigrant Workers Project is creating a new immigrant-run workers center to protect immigrant workers’ rights on Chicago’s Southeast side. $3,000 (Seed)
 
The Chicago Interfaith Workers Rights Center educates workers on rights, assists workers whose rights are being violated and advocates for systemic change through action on public policy. This grant supported “Radio/TV Chamba,” a worker-led, Spanish-language, independent media bproject that uses community television and radio stations as organizing tools. $5,000 (MJF)

Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, a coalition of workers and groups, organizes for day laborer and immigrant rights through public education, worker trainings and litigation on behalf of adversely-effected workers. $10,054 (Seed, DA)

Latino Union organizes workers to improve the conditions of low-income and immigrant workers and day laborers and to address systemic injustices in the day labor industry. $3,000 (TA)

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including political prisoners and the preservation of civil liberties. Grants included support for “Crime Against Humanity,” a play addressing the situation of political prisoners performed by a cast of youth from the Humboldt Park community. $8,000 (FTT, EM, Seed, DA)

Next Steps organizes mentally disabled and often homeless individuals for greater voice in the systems that affect them, particularly major boards, institutions and decision-making bodies addressing homelessness and mental health. $3,000 (Seed)

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Chicago is an organizing project targeting high-end restaurant workers. They will conduct a thorough study of Chicago’s high end restaurant industry, train and place workers in restaurants and launch workplace justice campaigns against employers engaged in discrimination, exploitation and abuse. $5,000 (Seed)

San Lucas Workers Center organizes U.S.-born and immigrant day laborers to protect their rights in the workplace and access permanent and regular work, with a particular commitment to building collaborations between African-American and Latino day laborers. These grants included support for a video project to expose race and gender discrimination in the day labor industry, specifically against young African-American day laborers. $4,000 (FTT, Seed)

United Taxidrivers Community Council is a multiracial and multiethnic taxidriver organizing project that approaches fare increases, inspections standards, lease overcharging, and other concerns as human rights, immigrant rights and workers rights issues. $3,000 (Seed)

IMMIGRANT ISSUES:
The Chicago Metropolitan Sanctuary Alliance organizes congregations and people of faith through its Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition project to respond to injustice experienced by undocumented immigrants. Its strategies include public witness, political advocacy and support for immigrants at risk of deportation. $12,000 (Seed, DA)

Immigrant Nation is a 90-minute film developed in collaboration with Chicago activists, communities and organizations that documents the critical growth of Chicago’s immigrant rights movement from the Spring of 2006 through the Summer of 2007. $3,000 (TA)

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center challenges Koreans in the greater Chicago area to engage in meaningful civic participation to solve community issues, with a particular emphasis on youth programs and intergenerational activities. These grants included support for a youth organizing project to address issues of human trafficking. $7,500 (DA, YF)

United African Organization, a coalition of African organizations in Chicago, works for social justice, civil rights, civic participation and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees. $4,000 (Seed)

Waukegan Leadership Council protects the welfare of immigrant and Latino residents in a city that is predominately Latino from current immigration policies of indiscriminate arrest, detainment and deportation through voter registration, education and building collaborations with non-immigrant communities of color. $3,000 (Seed)

INTERNATIONAL POLICY AND ADVOCACY:
Chicagoans Against War and Injustice is a broad-based coalition that includes communities of color, unions, suburban residents and others protesting the war in Iraq and combating injustice more broadly through public protests, grassroots campaigns and electoral politics. $7,000 (TA, DA, Don Erickson Award)

Christian Peacemaker Teams trains and places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world and reports to the larger world community on these atrocities. These teams also support local nonviolence efforts through nonviolent direct action and public witness. $12,500 (OF)

Clearwater Project organizes against privatization of the military and law enforcement, particularly the military contractor Blackwater, which has opened a facility in Mt. Caroll, Ilinois. This grant supported the production of a video to aid the group’s organizing efforts. $1,000 (DA)

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine works toward a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums and an annual walk for justice. $4,000 (Seed)

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDERED ISSUES:
Actor Slash Model is a multimedia collective addressing gender identity and gender performance and politics through music, film and other projects. This grant supported the making of a documentary about the lives of transgendered-identified musicians, highlighting the complexity and diversity of transgendered artists. $1,000 (FTT)

Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to race, health, poverty and education. $10,000 (Seed)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance prevents violence against LGBT students in Illinois public schools through policy advocacy, youth organizing and public education both within and outside of school systems. $7,500 (Seed, DA)

Project CQY Chicago provides resources and accessible, safe and multiracial meeting spaces for LGBT youth under 21. $1,000 (YF)

Yellow Wing Productions is producing a documentary called “Fish out of Water” to confront long-standing beliefs and misconceptions related to religious texts and homosexuality. $1,000 (FTT)

Youth Pride Center offers a range of programs for youth who are primarily LGBT and African American on Chicago’s South Side. This grant supported organizing to combat police harassment of LGBT youth of color and efforts to establish gay-straight alliances in South Side schools that lack institutional support for LGBT students. $2,000 (YF)

WOMEN AND GIRLS:
Beyondmedia Education partners with under-represented women, youth and communities to create and distribute alternative media and arts addressing the issues and systems that affect them. $12,000 (Seed, DA)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison fulfills incarcerated women’s direct requests for books, reducing incarcerated women’s isolation and providing them with valuable resources. These grants included support for a professionally-printed special issue of “Bound Struggles,” a publication of writing and artwork by incarcerated women. $5,000 (FTT, Seed, DA)

Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx – Rwanda is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV positive genocide widows, rape survivor and orphans and is a model of care and international/local collaboration. $95,000 (DA)

Global Girls, Inc. uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership and life skills for girls between the ages of eight and eighteen. $2,500 (DA)

Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team is a youth-led social change organization developing youth leaders to address street harassment and violence against women and girls. $5,000 (Seed, DA)

The Sisters Empowering Sisters program at Chicago Girls Coalition is a social change grantmaking program where girls between the ages of 14 and 18 direct resources toward other girl-driven social change programs. This grant supported the development of an anti-oppression curriculum to maximize the impact of their girl-driven grantmaking. $2,500 (YF)

Sisters Rising is a group of formerly incarcerated women housed at Stillpoint Theater Collective who build community through participation in theater and creative writing workshops, sharing, writing and performing one another’s stories. $1,000 (FTT)

The WE-ACTx Peace Journey helped twelve young women from Chicago and Kigali, Rwanda design projects to address the relationship between HIV/AIDS and systemic inequalities within their home communities. $2,000 (YF)

Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions, author readings and community events. $7,618.90 (DA)

Young Women’s Empowerment Project is run by and for women and girls with life experiences in the sex trade and street economies who use social justice, transformative justice and harm-reduction strategies to address issues affecting them. These grants included support for a research project documenting violence against their constituency. $9,000 (Seed, YF)

YOUTH:
Cabrini Green Chapter of the Hip Hop Congress is working with young male teens to develop a half-hour DVD addressing violence from the perspectives of community members and the young men themselves. $1,000 (FTT)

Kelly High School Students for Social Justice work to address justice issues within their school, such as aggressive military recruitment, harassment by security officers and inadequate curriculum. This grant helped them apply lessons learned during a trip to New Orleans to combat similar issues of racism, economic injustice and gentrification within their school and home community. $3,000 (YF)

Nuestra Voz Youth Council works with predominately immigrant youth and their parents in the Melrose Park area to increase civic engagement and address the lack of resources for undocumented and/or Latina/o students seeking higher education. $2,000 (YF)

Secular Jewish and Community School of Oak Park worked with youth from Austin, Little Village and Pilsen to organize a march and speak-out for a more accessible, affordable and just healthcare system. $2,000 (YF)

SITY Ollin is a youth organizing project at Telpochcalli Community Education Project in the Little Village neighborhood. This grant supported a public forum addressing community violence in Little Village and its relationship to racism, sexism and economic oppression. $5,000 (YF)

 

2007 Grantees

Crossroads Fund is proud to announce that in 2007 we gave out $421,266.85 in grants, to 63 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues. We are particularly interested in groups with a racial justice and anti-oppression analysis. In the following list, grantees are categorized based on one primary focus of their work. The listed grantees received funding from any of our six grantmaking programs. A notation next to their name indicates from which program(s) they received funding. The programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Donor Advised (DA), Emergency Fund (EF), Technical Assistance Fund (TA), Media Justice Fund (MJF) or the Fire This Time Fund (FTT). Unless noted, grants were used for general operating support.
 
ARTS & CULTURE
AREA Chicago Art/Research/Education/Activism works to build bridges between movements and communities working for social justice across Chicago, while creating and preserving a grassroots history of Chicago activism. $4,000 (FTT, Seed)

Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts is a youth focused organization that uses art to organize various immigrant communities across social, economic, and political issues. $4,000 (Seed)

Proletariat Productions specializes in music recording, production, and artist promotion. The grant supported a workshop that explored social consciousness and political movement building through music performance, art exhibition, and panel discussion. $1,000 (FTT)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Ad Hoc Committee on Chicago Police Torture is a coalition of civil rights attorneys, activists and organizations seeking justice for two decades of torture by former police commander Jon Burge and officers under his direction. $500 (EF)

Citizens Alert holds Chicago metropolitan police accountable and works for systemic change in law enforcement agencies while advocating for victims of police brutality and misconduct. $7,000 (Seed, DA)

First Defense Legal Aid provides legal advice/aid in Chicago Police Department stations to low income individuals who cannot afford attorneys, documents police brutality, and provides workshops to at-risk communities on their constitutional rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement personnel. $4,000 (Seed)

Long Term Prisoner Policy Project (“Warehoused Prisoners”) investigates the problems faced by prisoners serving virtual to actual life sentences in Illinois prisons, and pushes for changes in law, policies, and practice to promote offender rehabilitation and public safety. $5,000 (Seed)
 
Prison Reform, Inc. is made up of ex-offenders who organize for increased opportunities for ex-prisoners in Illinois and for change in legislation and public policy in order to reduce recidivism. $3,000 (Seed)

DISABILITY RIGHTS
Chicago ADAPT engages in direct action and grassroots organizing to advocate for the independence of people with disabilities from institutional and cultural barriers in everyday life. $500 (DA)

Feminist Response in Disability Activism (FRIDA) is a grassroots non-violent direct action organization led by and for women with disabilities that works on issues of reproductive rights and healthcare. $3,500 (Seed, DA, TA)

ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Center for Labor and Community Research works with labor, communities, and businesses to pursue high road economic development practices that ensure wealth creation while advocating for wealth redistribution. $1,000 (TA)

Climate Chicago is a multi-issue coalition working to reframe global warming as a grassroots issue connected not only to the environment but also to jobs, human rights, and social justice. $2,000 (Seed)
 
Coalition to Protect Public Housing is part of the Northeast Illinois Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, a national campaign aimed at securing poor people’s fundamental right to reside in urban America. $3,000 (TA)

Community Media Workshop offered a daylong training in media justice and new forms of media and their relevance to community organizing as part of the Crossroads Fund Media Justice Initiative. $5,000 (MJF)

Developing Government Accountability to the People is a network of 30 community groups addressing corruption and advocating increased transparency and accountability from Chicago’s local government. $9,000 (Seed, TA)

Rogers Park Section 8 Tenants Council is an organization of Section 8 voucher holders who work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, landlords, and community members to maintain and increase housing available to Section 8 voucher holders. $3,000 (Seed)

Grassroots Collaborative is a collaboration of diverse groups who campaigned and won a “Living Wage” ordinance. Later vetoed by Mayor Richard M. Daley, the ordinance was a defining issue for city residents and leadership. Grant is for an analysis of campaign coverage by mainstream media. $5,000 (MJF)

Lakeview Action Coalition, a multi-issue coalition of individuals and organizations in the Lakeview neighborhood, organizes around affordable housing, healthcare, sustainable development, and police repression of homeless youth. $4,000 (Seed, DA)

Logan Square Community Technology Center provides basic computer literacy to grassroots organizations and individuals with limited access to technology. $1,000 (DA)

Pilsen Alliance organizes community residents on issues relating to public transport, housing, and education. $3,000 (TA)

Puerto Rican Cultural Center is comprised of an alternative high school, childcare center, literacy program for women and children, a museum of Puerto Rican culture, Batey Urbano café and cultural space for youth, and the Vida/SIDA HIV/STD prevention project. $3,000 (DA)

Senn Referendum Follow up Group requires the Chicago Board of Education to establish a formal process to receive community input regarding Rickover Military Academy at Senn High School. $500 (EM)

HUMAN & WORKER RIGHTS
Chicago Area Friends of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee aims to preserve the 1960 to 1966 student movement history through archiving material at the Woodson Regional Library and an oral history project featuring the original members. $3,000 (Seed)

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights provides education, advocacy, and coalition building in defense of the Bill of Rights. Their recent focus is on unconstitutional police infiltration and surveillance. $1,000 (DA)

Chicago Jobs With Justice works to improve working people’s standard of living, fight for job security, and stand up for workers’ right to organize. $1,000 (EM)

Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, a coalition of workers and groups, organizes for day laborers and immigrant rights through public education, worker trainings, and litigation on behalf of adversely affected workers. $10,500 (Seed, DA)

Hands Off Assata Campaign brings together organizations and individuals concerned with Assata Shakur’s situation and use her case in discussions/ education on issues ranging from the prison industrial complex to current U.S. foreign policy. $710 (TA)

National Boricua Human Rights Network works to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the Puerto Rican community, including the situation of political prisoners, and emphasizes building youth leadership. $5,500 (Seed, DA)

No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization comprised of individuals, faith communities, human rights advocates, and grassroots organizations working for social justice in the borderlands. $4,000 (DA)

IMMIGRANT ISSUES
Chicago Metropolitan Sanctuary Alliance is inspired by the 1980’s Sanctuary Movement, which offered shelter to Central American refugees. It brings together a diverse group of religious leaders and congregations to create a network of support for immigrant families facing deportation and to raise awareness of mmigrant issues in different communities. $2,000 (DA)

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center challenges Koreans in the greater Chicago area to engage in meaningful civic participation to solve community issues, with a particular emphasis placed on youth programs and intergenerational activities. $5,000 (DA)

La Familia Latina Unida is composed of and serves families facing separation due to current immigration laws. $500 (EM)

Southeast Chicago Community for Immigrant Rights organizes the immigrant community of Southeast Chicago and parts of Indiana to push for comprehensive immigration reform, respond to immigration raids and deportation, and protect the human rights of immigrants. $4,000 (Seed, DA)

United African Organization, a coalition of African organizations in Chicago, works on social justice, civil rights, civic participation, and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees. $3,000 (Seed)

INTERNATIONAL POLICY & ADVOCACY
Chicago Palestine Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors to encourage objective public dialogue. $2,500 (DA)

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine works toward a better understanding of and resolution to the continued Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, an annual walk for justice, and a Community Friendship project. $4,000 (Seed)

8th Day Center for Justice is part of the Encuentro project, an annual gathering of North and Latin American peace and human rights activists working on issues of environmental degradation and the illegal seizure/use of land. $1,000 (TA)

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDERED ISSUES
Affinity Community Services serves African American lesbian and bisexual women and youth in Chicago by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to race, health, poverty, and education. $7,000 (Seed)

Amigas Latinas advocates and provides services for the Latina lesbian, bisexual, and questioning (LBQ) community of metropolitan Chicago. $3,000 (Seed)

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (Formerly Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation and GLSEN Chicago) have merged to further their shared mission of training school personnel, social service providers, government employees, youth, and community members to address anti-gay violence in Illinois schools. $9,500 (Seed, DA, TA)

None on Record, an audio documentary oral history project, gathers histories and stories told by and about LBGTQ Africans all over the world – from neighborhoods within large cities like Chicago to smaller towns and villages of African countries. $1,000 (FTT)

Yellow Armbands organizes in solidarity with transwomen by educating attendees of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival on the benefits of inclusion, and encourages their participation and comfort at what is thought to be the pinnacle of women’s free space in the U.S. $1,000 (FTT)

WOMEN & GIRLS
All Hail Project engages African American women in a broad spectrum of issues that affect them and their well being. $1,000 (TA)

Beyondmedia Education partners with under-represented women, youth, and communities to create and distribute alternative media and arts. $10,000 (MJF, DA)

Chicago Abortion Fund provides low-income women of color access to safe, affordable abortion services while advocating for reproductive and social justice. $3,000 (TA)

Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx - Rwanda is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV positive genocide widows, rape survivors, and orphans and is a model of care and of international/local collaboration. $211,000 (DA)

Chicago Women’s AIDS Project — through the “Give a Day to World AIDS” Campaign, Crossroads Fund partnered with Chicago Women’s AIDS Project and WE-ACTx — Rwanda to raise money for women living with AIDS in Chicago and Rwanda. $19,000 (DA)

Chicago Women’s Health Center is a collective of health workers who provide health education, advocacy, and affordable, accessible gynecological and mental health care to women in the Chicago area. $2,500 (Ron Sable Award)

Female Storytellers Igniting Revolution to End Violence is a multiracial and intergenerational grassroots anti-violence organization working with women and girls. $1,000 (FTT)

Global Girls, Inc. uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership, and life skills for girls between the ages of 8–18. $2,500 (DA)

Women & Girls Collective Action Network raises awareness of images in the media that promote violence against women and encourages young people to hold corporate media responsible for negative representations of women and minorities. $6,000 (TA, MJF)

Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions, author readings, and community events. $3,056.85 (DA)

Young Women’s Empowerment Project is run by and for women and girls with life experience in the sex trade and street economies. $1,000 (FTT)

YOUTH
Chicago Freedom School was founded to develop and support a new generation of critical and independent youth activists through an annual summer freedom school, mentorship, and youth-focused social justice activities. $3,000 (Seed)

Cooperative Image Group creates public art education for youth while connecting them to local groups who support youth media. Grant supports their mobile media lab, an after-school program in which youth use portable audio equipment to create sound projects about their lives. $1,000 (FTT)

Crib Collective brings together Latino youth from Little Village and African American youth from North Lawndale, a geographic area that is divided by race. Youth are involved in performance art, philanthropy, and program development. $2,000 (FTT, TA)

CURE Foundation, a hip-hop music program in three Chicago Public Schools, allows students to create a positive alternative to what mainstream music offers to define their life and culture. $2,000 (Seed)

Education for Liberation Conference brought together students, educators, parents, and community members from across the country to share strategies for connecting education, social justice, and activism. $2,000 (TA)

Kuumba Lynx is a youth development program that preserves, promotes, and presents urban (hip- op) culture as an art and a social justice movement. Grant supported their Arts Explosion Day, which used activism workshops and civic engagement discussions to focus on immigrant rights for youth. $1,000 (FTT)

Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team is a youth-led, adult-supported social change organization involved in leadership development and youth organizing around street harassment and violence against women and girls. $4,500 (Seed, DA)

Southwest Youth Collaborative, a network of youth and community development organizations, works in five diverse neighborhoods on the southwest side of Chicago to provide opportunities for youth to be activists. $2,500 (DA)

Teen Living Program partnered with the Chicago Park District to hold workshops and distribute message oriented CDs by youth to youth. The project was geared towards encouraging youth to avoid dropping out of school, expressing themselves, and building healthier relationships. $1,000 (FTT)

Young Chicago Authors encourages self-expression and literacy through creative writing, performance, and publication. Grant supports the Kings of Poetry workshop series in which young men explore gender sensitivity and write essays and poems commemorating the lives of women for web and print publication. $1,000 (FTT)

 

2006 Grantees


In 2006, Crossroads Fund gave out $361,526 in grants, to 45 groups working for social change across a spectrum of issues. We are particularly interested in groups with a racial justice and anti-oppression analysis.

In the following list, grantees are categorized based on one primary focus of their work. The listed grantees received funding from any of our four grantmaking programs, or the Chicago Community Organizing Capacity Building Initiative, a funders’ collaborative of which we were a member. A notation to their name indicates from which program(s) they received funding. The programs include the Seed Fund (Seed), Donor Advised (DA), Emergency Fund (EF), Technical Assistance Fund (TA) or the Chicago Community Organizing Capacity Building Initiative (CCBI). Unless noted, grants were used for general operating support.

ARTS & CULTURE


Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts (CIRCA) $4,000 (Seed)
CIRCA develops and popularizes community arts programs that speak to the immigrant experience within the changing multicultural landscape of America and that are produced and performed by youth.

Chicago Palestine Film Festival $6,500 (Seed, DA)
Chicago Palestinian Film Festival exhibits and promotes films about Palestine or by Palestinian directors to promote objective public dialogue. Grants will support interracial dialogue through hip-hop by bringing together local and Middle Eastern hip-hop artists at a screening of the documentary SlingShot Hip-Hop.

HotHouse Center for Performance & Exhibition $15,000 (DA)
HotHouse provides a venue and support for local and international art forms, artists and progressive social movements whose work would otherwise remain under-recognized and isolated.

Neighborhood Writing Alliance $500 (DA)
The Neighborhood Writing Alliance encourages adults to write, publish and perform works about their lives, to identify issues facing them as individuals and their community which then leads to collective social action and community involvement.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE


Ad Hoc Committee on Chicago Police Torture $400 (EF)
The Ad Hoc Committee on Chicago Police Torture works in coalition to bring justice to the cases involving use of torture by former Chicago Police Commander John Burge and his officers. The grant assisted the committee in presenting their case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Citizens Alert $7,500 (Seed, DA)
Citizens Alert holds Chicago metropolitan police accountable and works for systemic change in law enforcement agencies while advocating for victims of police brutality and misconduct.

Long Term Prisoner Policy Project (“Warehoused Prisoners”) $5,000 (Seed)
Long Term Prisoner Policy Project investigates the problems faced by prisoners serving virtual to actual life sentences in Illinois prisons, and pushes for changes in law, policies, and practice to promote offender rehabilitation and public safety.

DISABILITY RIGHTS


Chicago ADAPT $2,000 (TA)
ADAPT engages in direct action and grassroots organizing to advocate for the independence of people with disabilities from institutional and cultural barriers in everyday life. Grant will be used to provide website maintenance training in an effort to better utilize their website in campaigns.

Next Steps, NFP $2,000 (TA)
Next Steps organizes homeless and/or mentally ill individuals to be advocates in public programs designed to serve them. Grant will assist in strategic planning efforts.

ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


Chicago Community Organizing Capacity Building Initiative (CCBI) $5,000 (Seed)
The CCBI initiative supports community organizing groups in the Chicago Metro area through convening, information sharing, collaboration and capacity building. CCBI is a funders’ collaborative which includes support from Ford Foundation and local foundation partners.

Digital Development Corporation & Oversight Committee $2,500 (Seed)
Digital Development works with Chicago’s west side community residents, technology providers, and school personnel to demand community access and training in digital technology.

Fund for Southern Communities $7,000 (Seed, DA)
The grant supports an initiative of the Funding Exchange network for Hurricane Katrina relief. The initiative will re-grant to grassroots groups in the hurricane-affected Gulf Coast region to support relief efforts and social change organizing.

Grassroots Collaborative $500 (EF)
Grassroots Collaborative works in a coalition of ten community organizing groups and unions. The grant supported their efforts to convene a city-wide meeting to establish an agenda for all of Chicago’s residents and increase electoral engagement for the 2007 municipal elections.

Imagine Englewood if…NFP $3,000 (Seed)
Imagine Englewood if…organizes residents around issues related to finding a long-term solution to address lead contamination in the Englewood area.

Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), $4,250 (CCBI)
KOCO provides community development programs in the Kenwood/Oakland neighborhoods of Chicago. Grant will be used to study the impact felt when neighborhood schools are closed.

Organization of the NorthEast (ONE), $11,750 (CCBI)
ONE endeavors to build and sustain a successful mixed economic, multi-ethnic community on the north lakefront of Chicago. Grant will support the Balanced Development Coalition in their campaign for affordable housing.

People for Community Recovery, Inc. $6,000 (Seed)
People for Community Recovery engages community members in public housing (Altgeld Gardens) on tenant rights as well as on environmental justice.

Rogers Park Community Action Network (RPCAN), $3,000 (TA)
RPCAN organizes residents of Rogers Park on multiple fronts ranging from community control on Tax Increment Financing, affordable/accessible housing and tenants’ rights to ensuring the lakefront is saved for public use. Grant will be used for strategic planning.

Student/Tenant Organizing Project (STOP) $3,000 (Seed)
STOP confronts gentrification/displacement in Kenwood/Oakland through tenant organizing, action research, and alliance-building between tenants, homeowners and students.

Tax Reform Action Coalition (TRAC) $3,000 (Seed)
TRAC is a coalition of community groups, institutions and individuals organizing for fundamental changes in Illinois’ property tax system.

HUMAN & WORKER RIGHTS


Applied Research Center (ARC) $1,000 (TA)
ARC provides training to advance racial justice through research and advocacy. The grant provided scholarships for Crossroads Fund grantees to attend a two-day national conference on race, equity and policy.

Chicago Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
$11,750 (CCBI)
ACORN organizes communities in Chicago neighborhoods around a number of social and economic issues. Grant will support the Living Wage Coalition, a coalition of organizations working on living wage as it relates to large retailers.

Chicago Area Friends of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee $1,000 (TA)
Grant supported a conference commemorating the history of the civil rights movement and its connection to Chicago with an emphasis on bringing elders and students together for dialogue.

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights (CCDBR) $500 (DA)
CCDBR provides educational, advocacy and coalition building in defense of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. Recently, they have focused on unconstitutional police infiltration and surveillance.

Chicago Workers' Collaborative $9,500 (Seed, DA, EM)
Chicago Worker’s Collaborative trains workers and develops worker leadership, while organizing for comprehensive changes in the day labor industry to end illegal and exploitative practices.

Interfaith Federation $5,250 (CCBI)
Interfaith brings different churches and races to address issues affecting the Northwestern Indiana region. Their current campaign involves increasing and improving public transit to allow access to better jobs for people in low income and minority neighborhoods.

Jane Addams Senior Caucus $7,250 (TA, CCBI)
Jane Addams Senior Caucus organizes low-income northside seniors to improve their quality of life and build a strong community voice. Grants will be used to upgrade their computer equipment and to advocate for increased homecare for seniors and people with disabilities.

National Boricua Human Rights Network $5,500 (DA, TA)
Grants support the overall work of a campaign to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the community with particular emphasis on building the leadership of youth.

San Lucas Workers Center $4,000 (Seed)
San Lucas Workers Center organizes U.S. born and immigrant day laborers around their rights in the workplace and access to permanent and regular work.

TARGET Area Development Corporation $8,250 (CCBI)
TARGET works on economic and public safety issues in the Auburn Gresham and Englewood neighborhoods of Chicago. Grant issued is for the Developing Justice Coalition, a coalition of social change and faith based organizations working on policies related to the administration of justice in Illinois.
 
IMMIGRANT ISSUES


Coalition for African, Arab, Asian, European & Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAAELII) $15,750 (DA, TA, CCBI)
CAAAELII is comprised of 20 agencies serving immigrants and refugees in the Chicago Metropolitan area. CAAAELII organizes immigrants around issues that affect them locally and nationally. Funding provided is for dialogues between immigrant communities and African-American communities, and to support an apprenticeship program.

Korean American Resource and Cultural Center $6,000 (Ron Sable, DA)
KRCC challenges Koreans in the greater Chicago area to engage in meaningful civic participation to solve community issues, with a particular emphasis placed on youth programs and intergenerational activities.
 
INTERNATIONAL POLICY & ADVOCACY


Chicago Friends of WE-ACTx – Rwanda $151,161 (DA)
This is a pooled fund to benefit the WE-ACTx HIV/AIDS clinics in Rwanda. WE-ACTx serves HIV+ genocide widows, rape survivors and orphans and is a model of care and of international/local collaboration.

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP) $4,000 (Seed)
CJPIP works toward a better understanding of and resolution to the continued Israeli-Palestinian conflict through public education forums, an annual walk for justice and a Community Friendship project.

LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL/TRANSGENDERED ISSUES


Affinity Community Services $7,000 (Seed)
Affinity serves lesbians and bisexual African American women by providing a safe space while addressing issues related to health, poverty and education.

Amigas Latinas $3,000 (TA)
Amigas Latinas serves the Latina lesbian, bisexual and questioning (LBQ) community of Chicago and suburbs. The grant will be used to conduct a Latina community profile survey to gather more information and assess community needs around which to organize and advocate.

Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation (CESO) $2,500 (DA)
CESO works in a statewide in a coalition of 41 organizations to train school personnel, social service providers, government employees, youth and community members to address anti-gay violence in Illinois schools.

WOMEN & GIRLS


Beyondmedia Education $5,000 (DA)
Beyondmedia Education partners with under-represented women, youth and communities to create and distribute alternative media and arts, including videos and websites, performances and exhibitions.

Chicago Abortion Fund $3,000 (TA)
Chicago Abortion Fund provides low-income women of color access to safe, affordable abortion services. Grant will be used to stregthen the internal structure of the organization.

Global Girls, Inc $2,500 (DA)
Global Girls uses performing arts as a medium to develop strong communication, leadership and life skills for girls between the ages of 8-18.

Women’s Voices Fund $4,215 (DA)
The Women’s Voices Fund provides programs that promote feminist dialogue through book discussions and author readings.

YOUTH


Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization, Inc. (MAGIC) $3,500 (Seed)
MAGIC organizes residents of Woodlawn and the surrounding areas to fight gentrification and racism while addressing the impact of the same on youth. Funding will be used in a youth led initiative that seeks to identify needs and resources available to youth in the community

Southwest Youth Collaborative $2,500 (DA)
Southwest Youth Collaborative challenges youth from five diverse neighborhoods on the southwest side of Chicago to be activists and take up issues that affect their communities.

Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team (Y-WAT) $2,500 (DA)
Y-WAT is a youth-led, adult-supported social change project. It empowers young women to take action on issues with particular interest in addressing violence against women and girls.

Young Asians with Power! (YAWP!) $3,000 (TA)
YAWP! cultivates a new generation of Asian/Pacific Islander American (APIA) leaders, activists and artists. Grant will be used to develop curriculum.
 

2005 Seed Fund Grants


Affinity Community Services
Serving lesbian & bisexual women of African descent in the Chicago area, focusing on the intersection of race, class, gender and sexual orientation. Current work is on developing an advocacy agenda, which includes organizing for domestic partner insurance for IL and access to healthcare for uninsured workers. $6,000


Beyondmedia Education
Beyondmedia collaborates with under-represented women, youth and communities to create alternative media and arts, from video and websites, to performances and exhibitions. Current collaborations include work work with girls with disabilities and women & prisons. $8,000 

Chicago ADAPT
Chicago ADAPT uses direct-action and grassroots organizing to advocate for the independence of people with disabilities. Their current campaign aims to change Illinois’ policies of institutionalizing people with disabilities rather than supporting cheaper and more humane home or community care. $3,000 

Chicago Palestine Film Festival
The Chicago Palestine Film Festival counters mainstream media by giving voice to Palestinians and the Palestinian story. The Festival hosts filmmakers and scholars at its annual event, has screenings throughout the year, and is creating an online database and an archive to further promote Palestinian work. $3,000

Citizens Alert
Organizes Chicago-area residents for progressive, systemic change in law enforcement. Citizens Alert is currently leading a city-wide effort to document and track incidents of police brutality and to strategize for bringing change in police practice. $5,000 

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel & Palestine
Organizes public forums to educate and promote dialogue around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  CJPIP also advocates for change in US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine through meetings with legislators and community education. $2,000
 
Community Film Workshop of Chicago
A media arts group focusing on African American youth, Community Film Workshop offers programs in computer and digital technology, media production, community services projects, and individual media and multi-media productions. $4,000 www.cfwchicago.org

Day Laborer Collaboration
Trains workers and develops worker leadership, while organizing for comprehensive changes in the day labor industry to end illegal and exploitative practices. This year, they are focusing on building a legal services program and a worker cooperative, as well as participating in Governor’s panel to legislate safety regulations for day laborers. $5,000

GLSEN Chicago (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educator’s Network)
Works with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & questioning students across the Chicago area through support of student-led gay-straight alliances and semi-annual youth summits. $3,000

Jane Addams Senior Caucus
Organizes the Northside senior community to advocate for their rights to affordable housing, affordable and just home health care, and increased access to social services. $8,000

Korean American Resource & Cultural Center
Nurtures Korean American community leadership and activism to solve critical problems the community faces such as poverty, language barriers, socio-political discrimination, and under representation. $6,000

Latino Union of Chicago
Organizes workers to improve working conditions of low-income and immigrant workers and day laborers, and to address systemic injustices in the day labor industry. Latino Union recently opened a workers’ center in Albany Park, a landmark victory. $5,000
 
Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization (MAGIC)
A Woodlawn community-based organization that works to fight gentrification and racism and their impact on youth. Current work involves training youth on web design, community organizing and political analysis.  $4,000

National Boricua Human Rights Network
Works in the Puerto Rican community on human rights issues, ranging from de-militarization of Vieques, and work on civil liberties in Chicago, to building a local political agenda for the Chicago Puerto Rican community. $5,000 

People for Community Recovery
An environmental justice organization located in the Southeast Chicago public housing community of Altgeld Gardens/Murray Homes. PCR targets economic development, housing advocacy, resident education, pollution prevention and resident organizing and empowerment. $5,000  

Pilsen Alliance
Organizes grassroots campaigns in the Pilsen community to fight gentrification and bring a community voice to development issues. Pilsen Alliance is currently conducting an independent zoning survey of the area to prevent future gentrification. $5,000 

Warehoused Prisoners: Long Term Prisoner Policy Project
Investigates and highlights the problems faced by the growing number of prisoners serving life sentences in IL prisons, and pushes for changes in laws, policies and practices to promote offender rehabilitation and public safety. $3,000