Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund

 

The Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund will raise and move at least $10,000,000 over four years to Chicago organizations building and sustaining movements for justice that center Black lives and address anti-Blackness.

The Fund provides unrestricted grants to nonprofits that are Black-led and use grassroots community organizing as a primary strategy. Ally-led community organizing groups addressing anti-Blackness are also considered.

Community organizing in this context means: Building movements and collective power to dismantle the systems, structures, and institutions that are rooted in white supremacy and perpetuate anti-Black violence.

While $10,000,000 is not enough to address the ongoing violence that racial injustice inflicts, this is the first step of many needed toward a more just Chicago.

Justice is only possible through community-led movements. Chicago has a long history of community organizing which has evolved considerably. In the Black Lives Matter era, many Black-led organizations are building intersectional campaigns which understand the complexities of Black life and illustrate that no one is free until we’re all free. 

Longstanding, deeply committed community organizations are amplifying their tenacious racial justice work while newer organizations are developing another generation of leaders ready to transform Chicago. They are all bringing expanded understandings of leadership, a different sense of priorities, new perspectives and new imaginations.

The Fund welcomes grassroots organizing that addresses white supremacy and systemic racism in the criminal legal and policing systems as well as organizing that seeks to create alternative economies, affordable housing, equitable public education policy, accessible healthcare, and worker justice.

Let’s fund these organizations as if we want them to win.

 

FUND CONTRIBUTORS

This Fund exists because foundations and individuals have joined together to create something bigger than themselves. We recognize you with respect and appreciation:

Chicago Community Trust

Leva Family Foundation

Chicago Foundation for Women

Lumpkin Foundation

Comer Family Foundation

Pamela Conant

Conant Family Foundation

Paul M. Angell Family Foundation 

Crossroads Fund

PERT Family Foundation

Crown Family Philanthropies 

Pierce Family Foundation

Debbie Reznick, Polk Bros. Foundation

Polk Bros. Foundation

Field Foundation of Illinois

Prince Charitable Trusts

Full Circle Foundation

Rachel Conant

Grand Victoria Foundation

Regeneration Fund

Homestead Affordable Development Corp

RRF Foundation for Aging

Illinois Humanities

Steven and Elizabeth Young Family DAF

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Steans Family Foundation

Julian Grace Foundation

The Albert Pick Jr. Fund

Kaplan Family Foundation

Wieboldt Foundation

Lehman-Stamm Family Fund

Woods Fund of Chicago 

 

APPLY FOR A GRANT

The application process is now open. The Fund reviews applications on a rolling basis, as funds are available. Requests are to be for general operating support and grants will range between $25,000 - $50,000.

Organizations that meet the following criteria are eligible:

  • Are a community organizing organization.
  • Are Black-led or allied organizations working on anti-Blackness.
  • Are located in Cook County, Illinois.
  • Have an annual organizational budget less than $750,000.
  • Are designated 501c3 by the IRS or have a Fiscal Sponsor; the Fund will also consider organizations without 501c3 designation that have an organizational bank account.

Questions? Email Leslie Ramyk (Leslie@conantfamilyfoundation.org)

Applications are accepted on this GRANT PORTAL.

 

FUNDED ORGANIZATIONS

The following groups have received funding from the Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund. Organizations will be added as funding permits.

Action Now Institute Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
Black Girls Break Bread

Just Peace

Black Leaders Building Together

Lighthouse Foundation

Black Lives Matter Chicago

Live Free Chicago

Black Researchers Collective

Lorde, Rustin & Bates

Blackroots Alliance

Lugenia Burns Hope Center

Blue Tin Production

Metropolitan Tenants Organization

Brave Space Alliance

Monroe Foundation

Bronzeville Black Chicagoan Historical Society

Mothers Opposed to Violence Everywhere

BYP 100

Nehemiah Group DBA Chicago Eco House

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

Neighborhood Network Alliance

Chicago Desi Youth Risin

Organized Communities Against Deportations

Chicago Freedom School

People for Community Recovery

Chicago Housing Justice League

People Matter

Chicago Peace Fellows Mutual Aid Collaboration

The People's Lobby

Chicago Torture Justice Center

Pilsen Alliance

Chicago Torture Justice Memorial

Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education

Christianaire

SoapBox Productions and Organizing

Dissenters

Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation

El Griot & Areito Project

Southside Together Organizing for Power

Equity And Transformation

TGi Movement

First Defense Legal Aid

Ujimaa Medics

Free Write Arts & Literacy

United Working Families

Garfield Park Community Council

Women's All Points Bulletin, WAPB Inc

Get to Work

Workers Center for Racial Justice

Healing to Action

Working Family Solidarity

ORIGINS & GOVERNANCE

The Fund was created in June 2020 by the Neighborhood Organizing Group, an informal affinity group of Chicago community organizing funders.

While the initial impetus was another civilian murdered by police -- in this case the murder of George Floyd -- Chicago carries a deep history of police brutality and egregious misconduct. The Chicago Police Department is currently operating under a Federal Consent Decree resulting from unconstitutional abuses of power.

Organizers, activists, community leaders and researchers provided clarity and direction for the Fund through multiple presentations and meetings over the summer of 2020. This Fund is a response to their urgent call for the resourcing necessary to create lasting change.

The Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund is under the overall direction of Crossroads Fund. 

Neighborhood Organizing Group members serve as a Steering Committee, providing guidance and recommendations to Crossroads Fund for fundraising, decision making, and the development of any necessary policies for the pooled Fund. Six members of the Steering Committee volunteer to serve as the Fund’s Allocations Committee. 

 

Steering Committee Members:

Michelle Morales, Woods Fund of Chicago, Co-Chair

Leslie Ramyk, Conant Family Foundation, Co-Chair

Angelica Chavez, Field Foundation of Illinois

Daniel Ash, Chicago Community Trust

David Pesqueira, McCormick Foundation

Deborah Bennett, Polk Bros. Foundation

Heather Parish, Pierce Family Foundation

Iris Krieg, Albert Pick Jr. Fund

Jacquelyn Rosa, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago

Jane Kimondo, Crossroads Fund

Marianne Philbin, Pierce Family Foundation

Mary Pounder, Comer Family Foundation

Jawanza Malone, Wieboldt Foundation

Ryan Priester, MacArthur Foundation

 

A document describing the creation of the Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund and initial operating plan is available HERE.