Seeds of Change 2017 Highlights
Crossroads Fund Staff Left to Right: Jeanne Kracher, Inbal Palombo-Amit, Emmanuel Garcia, Jane Kimondo, Katie Madden, Kristina Roque, Emily Duma, and Jon Lehman. Photo by Ervin Lopez
On behalf of Crossroads Fund board members and staff, thank you to our attendees, host committee, and sponsors for making our annual fundraiser a success!
We're still calculating the final numbers, so if you couldn't attend and/or you want to make one last contribution, you can still make a gift here.
Seeds of Change was a night of rejuvenation, community, and resistance. The Crossroads Fund annual benefit, held on Friday, March 31, convened a record number of supporters at the landmark Chicago Cultural Center. The event included a silent auction with over 100 items, food by Big Delicious Planet, and beer from Revolution Brewing.
Here are some highlights of the evening.
Big Change Endowment Campaign. Crossroads Fund Executive Director Jeanne Kracher reported that the Big Change Endowment campaign has reached $1.8 million of our $2 million goal. Kracher said, "This cushion will help us to give multi-year grants, to fund special initiatives, to take greater risks, and to be around for the long haul. We like to think of it as 'the people’s endowment' – it’s made up of lots of gifts - $100 gifts and $1,000 gifts and even some donations of $100,000." The campaign is in its final stage and will conclude this summer.
Rasmea Odeh In Her Words. Accepting the Donald F. Erickson Synapses Award, Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director at AAAN, introduced Associate Director and Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim community activist Rasmea Odeh to a standing ovation. Odeh recently decided to end her four-year case with the Department of Homeland Security because she is unlikely to get a fair hearing under the Trump/Sessions administration. Stating that this would be one of her last public appearances before she leaves the U.S., Rasmea pledged that no matter where she goes she will continue to fight for justice. You can read more about her case here.
STOP ICE. Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) member Berenice Alonzo accepted the Lynda J. Tipton Memorial Award for Social Justice on behalf of the group and thanked OCAD for their support of undocumented people. Alonzo’s husband, Jose Juan, went into sanctuary at University Church in Hyde Park in the spring of 2016. OCAD's campaign to shelter Jose Juan from deportation won national support and highlighted the injustice immigrants face through the criminal justice system in the U.S.
Mariame Kaba Returns. Mariame Kaba of Project NIA returned to Chicago to accept the Ron Sable Award for Activism. After a short video played highlighting some successful campaigns she led during her tenure, Kaba was greeted on stage with resounding applause and an embrace by Program Director Jane Kimondo. Kaba moved to New York in 2016 after living in Chicago for two decades and seeding numerous racial justice organizations.
OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA RETURNS. Jessie Fuentes, an organizer with National Boricua Human Rights Network and 2017 Youth Fund grantmaking committee member, announced that political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera, whose 70-year sentence was commuted by President Obama in January, will be in Chicago on Thursday, May 18. The Welcome! The Patriot Returns to His Barrio celebration will take place at La Casita de Don Pedro, 2625 W. Division at 4 pm and will be followed by a procession down Division Street to Humboldt Park.
Visit our Seeds of Change 2017 event page to see more photos and learn more about our 2017 Awardees, Sponsors, and Host Committee.