Crossroads Fund Awards Over $80,000 through the Critical Response Fund

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photo by Sarah-Ji Rhee

In early 2017, Crossroads Fund opened the Critical Response Fund (CRF) to support grassroots organizations protecting and empowering community members in this time of heightened racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism and xenophobia.

Through the CRF, Crossroads Fund awarded over $80,000 to fifteen grassroots organizations who are building strong resistance movements in the face of hate and systemic violence being inflicted by all levels of government.

Crossroads Fund expedited the application and approval process to respond on a case-by-case basis to needs on the ground as quickly as possible. CRF grant recipients included:

  • The Arab American Action Network’s powerful organizing to bring thousands of people to O’Hare International Airport in January to raise their voices against the implementation of the “Muslim Ban” and demonstrate against fear-mongering. 
  • The Illinois Women’s March on Springfield united an extensive coalition of organizations with a sophisticated intersectional analysis to educate and agitate for progressive legislation during the peak of the state budget impasse in the spring 2017 session of the Illinois Legislature.
  • Organized Communities Against Deportation’s offering of “know your rights” trainings to thousands of undocumented people and allies in response to the increase in ICE raids and deportations.

The Critical Response Fund was one component of Crossroads Fund’s grantmaking in 2017. Overall, Crossroads Fund used strategic fundraising to increase its grantmaking by 47% over the year in order to help organizers meet the challenges facing their communities.

Crossroads Fund would like to thank the Chicago Community Trust for their collaboration in the Critical Response Fund.


A full report on the impact of the Critical Response Fund is available for download.

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