Giving Project


Giving Project 2017 cohort: Left to right; Jody Gray, Laura Stempel, Ed Vogel, Patricia Linwood, Caroline McCoy, Rosa Navarro, Andrea Porter, Michelle Rashad, Anna Rubin, Kristen Scheurich, Claire Gaiefsky, Lizette Garza, Peggy Shinner, Nora Kyger, Emily Duma, Skyler Larrimore, Whitney Wade, Tracy Woodley, and Ireri Rivas. Not pictured: Patricia O’Brien, Emmy Bean, and Tami Yarbrough.



Crossroads Fund is  a cohort of 21 individuals committed to a transformational six-month process that will include:

  • Working together to strategically support underfunded and necessary social justice organizing.
  • Building community together, across identities, and digging deep into issues of race, class and power.
  • Grassroots fundraising with training and hands-on support to move significant resources.
  • A full grant making process that funds social justice organizing projects, including site visits and final granting decisions.


Giving Projects are an innovative, participatory model of funding social change and building community. Each Project is made up of an intergenerational, cross-race, cross-class, cross-identity group, each of whom makes a donation of an amount that is meaningful to them.  

Over the course of six months, the Crossroads Fund Giving Project brings together community building, political education, fundraising and grantmaking for the benefit of groups organizing for racial, social, and economic justice in Chicago.



Wednesday, November 2, 2016     6 – 8pm            Recruitment meeting

Thursday, January 12, 2017     5:30 – 7:30 pm        Grantmaking Orientation

Saturday, January 28, 201710am – 5pm            Introduction

Saturday, February 18, 2017     10am  5pm          Racial Justice Workshop

Sunday, February 19, 2017     10am  3pm            Class Analysis Workshop

Saturday, March 11, 2017     10am  5pm              Fundraising Training


Thursday, March 23, 2017     5:30 – 8:30pm          Grantmaking Training


Friday, March 31st, 2017: Crossroads Fund annual benefit, Seeds of Change

April 3 – 22: Site visits scheduled *** Participants commit to at least two site visits 


Saturday, May 20, 2017     10am - 5pm                     Final Decisions and Grantmaking Recommendations

Thursday, June 1st, 2017     5:30 – 8:30pm               Celebration and Evaluation*


*LOCATION: To be determined


Unless otherwise noted all meetings are at the Crossroads Fund, 3411 W. Diversey #20, Chicago, IL 60647. 



Anna Rubin

Anna is interested in learning in diverse contexts, passionate about 

building power with others, and grat at writing lengthy sentences. 

She also loves to sing.


Caroline McCoy

 Caroline loves all things Chicago and she is passionate about

social justice, racial equity, issues impacting women and girls

and philanthropy. She hopes to see as much of the world as possible.


Claire Gaiefsky

 Claire is a Detroit transplant working on state-level prison

policy reform. She enjoys road trips, board games and gazing 

longingly at pictures of adoptable dogs online.


Ed Vogel

Ed vogel is participating in the Giving Project in order to better

understand and challenge his own relationship to the racial wealth gap.


Emmy Bean

Emmy is a 36-year-old teaching artist, singer and former

chapter leader with Resource Generation, living with her

husband and new baby in Logan Square.


Ireri Rivas

Ireri came to Chicago by way of Reno, NV. She is passionate 

about immigrant rights, particulately pertaining to higher

education. She would love to tell you more over a hike!


Jody Gray

 Jody Gray was born and raised on the Cheyenne River Lakota 

Tribal reservation in South Dakota. She has lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin,

Washington DC and Illinois.


Kristen Scheurich

 Kristen loves hiking, backpacking and spending time outdoors. 

She has worked in youth leadership/community development and she 

is passionate about youth activism. Her background is in education and 

she loves reading. She is excited to be a part of the Giving Project!


Laura Stempel


Laura is a 64-year-old lesbian/queer, white, Jewish feminist writer 

originally trained as an academic. She just retired and is now doing consulting.

She grew up in Detroit and lives with 2 cats.


Lizette Garza


Lizette seeks to connect people with meaningful resources to build

community and bridge cultural understanding. As a program manager

and event planner, she is motivated by youth development, social justice

and Hip-Hop culture.


Michelle Rashad


Michelle was born and raised in the West Englewood community. 

She graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC and returned

to her community to give back in hopes of making difference

in her community. She has a passion for people and enjoys connecting with

individuals from diverse backgrounds.


Nora Kyger


Nora is a middle-aged white woman who grew up in a relatively

privileged New England town. Today she is inspired by the work

of activists for social, economic and racial justice and wants to 

help expand that impact to build a just world.


Patricia O'Brien

Patricia is an engaged scholar and educator in social work. 

She is passionate about working for a time when we have constructed

alternative to jail and prisons for dealing with individual and social problems.

She has been a professor at UIC for almost 20 years. She always has a knitting 

project in process. She is a dog person but for right now lives with a sweet 

kitty named Lily.


Peggy Shinner

Peggy is a writer currently concentrating on essays and a native

Chicagoan. She was one fo the first three staff members, along with 

Jean Hardisty and Chip Berlet of Midwest Research (now Political Research 

Association), a social justice think tank.


Rosa Navarro


Rosa is an organizer and activist that now more than ever is dedicated 

to shutting down Trump, white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy. 

She loves to dance when she is not organizing, loves tacos and sushi and is 

a Karaoke enthusiast.


Skyler Larrimore


Skyler is a lifelong Chicagoan with a strong interest in community  

organizing, equitable neighborhood development, 

policy....and potlucks!


Tami Yarbrough


Tami is passionate about working with and helping youth, especially 

those who are less fortunate than she is. She is a people person and great

at interacting with all people. Her experience is in human resources and program 



Whitney Wade


Whitney is a Chicagoan recruiter and DEI professional. She is also

a ceramic artist and doll collector.


The Giving Project model was developed in 2010 by our sister fund in Seattle, Social Justice Fund Northwest (SJFNW). Don't live in Chicago, but want to join a Giving Project?

The following sister foundations are mobilizing donors through Giving Projects in their respective cities:

Social Justice Fund Northwest [Seattle, WA]

Chinook Fund [Denver, CO]

Headwaters Foundation for Justice [Minneapolis, MN]

North Star Fund [New York, NY]

Bread & Roses Community Fund [Philadelphia, PA]


Questions? Please contact Emmanuel Garcia, Communications and Development Associate at or 773.227.7676