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 Crossroads Fund staff Jeanne Kracher and Jane Kimondo accept their mugs! (credit: Sarah-Ji)


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!

Seeds of Change was a night of rejuvenation, community, and resistance. The Crossroads Fund annual benefit, held on Friday, April 5, convened a record number of supporters at the landmark Chicago Cultural Center. The event included a silent auction with over 150 items, food by Big Delicious Planet, and beer from Lagunitas Brewing Company.

Crossroads Fund Leadership Transition

Crossroads Fund Board co-Chairs, Sue Eleuterio and Gary Arnold, started the program by highlighting the organization's leadership transition. The Board recognized Jeanne Kracher for her 19 years of guiding the organization and Jane Kimondo, Crossroads Fund's future Executive Director, with a heartfelt coffee mug featuring their photo. Read more about Crossroads Fund's upcoming leadership transition here.

Campaign to End Money Bond

Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF) received the Donald F. Erickson Synapses Award for their leadership in fighting to end the use of money bond and pretrial incarceration in Illinois. Since 2015, CCBF has successfully organized to post more than $1 million to free over 200 people from jail or home confinement and their policy victories have resulted in over 10,000 fewer people being processed in the the Cook County Jail annually. CCBF Advocate Devoureaux Wolf accepted the award and gave recognition to the whole Chicago community for supporting the call to end the use of money bond.

Healing to Action Casts A Spell

Sheerine Alemzadeh and Patricia Pereda accepted the Lynda J. Tipton Memorial Award for Social Justice on behalf of Healing to Action. Patricia inspired and delighted the audience by casting the following "spell":

"I claim all the power of my liberation to learn to live without violence, pain, slavery, and ignorance. I appreciate and am grateful for being a Woman and I honor our mothers, ancestors whose spirits support, guide and sustain us. With this gift of power, I can begin to take action and be able to see the change in my generations and the results in our future. I plant the seed of love in order to rebuild my self-love and seek guidance to take action and in the process have a lot of patience with myself."

Patricia's words resonated on an evening where Crossroads Fund celebrated the dedicated work of Chicago's growing prison abolitionist and restorative justice movements.

Schools for Kids, Not for Cops!

The No Cop Academy Campaign accepted the Ron Sable Award for Activism for their organizing in responose to City Hall’s 2017 announcement to construct a $95 million police and fire training academy in West Garfield Park. The youth leaders guided the audience in a "mic check" call and response demanding that Chicago's elected officials invest in the city's youth of color rather than police. These fearless youth leaders brought the audience to their feet while adult allies distributed buttons and other items to everyone while chanting along. The No Cop Academy youth leaders' dynamic presence left an indelible mark on the Seeds of Change audience.

Thanks to our 2019 Seeds of Change Event Sponsors.

Chicago Community Bond Fund

Honoree Video

Chicago Community Bond Fund's Remarks at Seeds of Change 2019


Healing to Action

Honoree Video

Healing to Action's Remarks at Seeds of Change 2019



Honoree Video

No Cop Academy's Remarks at Seeds of Change 2019


(As of Friday, February 15)

Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx

State Representative Kelly Cassidy

State Representative Cristina Castro

State Representative Robyn Gabel

State Representative Will Guzzardi

Representative Greg Harris

Representative Theresa Mah

State Representative Aarón Ortiz

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Alderman Scott Waguespack




(As of Tuesday, February 19)

La Tony Alvarado-Rivera

Emmanuel Andre*

Lourdes Arias

Molly Armour

Gary M. Arnold*

Deepa Arora

Angela Barnes & Sofia Anastopoulos

Becky Belcore & Chris Williams

Jim Bennett & Terry Vanden Hoek

Mary Scott Boria

Laura Botwinick

Lara Brooks

Henry Cervantes*

Inhe Choi & Guy Ward

Ann Christophersen

Alice Cottingham

James Cusick & Megan Murray Cusick*

Shelley Davis & Omar McRoberts

Michelle Di Benedetto

Sue Eleuterio* & Tom Sourlis

Dale & Ruth Fast

Denise Ferguson*

Roxana Gonzalez*

Sharlyn Grace

Cristina Guerrero

Rhoda Rae Gutierrez & Jim Clark

Pat Handlin

Neena Hemmady & Amisha Patel

Brenda Hernandez

Janine L. Hoft* & Linda Wagner

Kim L. Hunt & Mary DeBacker

Kheira Issaoui-Mansouri*

Tim Jones-Yelvington

Susan Kaplan

Alice Kim

Danbee Kim

Julia Klein*

Nora Kyger*

Skyler Larrimore

Laura León

Rebecca Levin & Sophie Kaluziak

Sharmili Majmudar* & Laura Noah

Jordan Maze

Agnes Meneses*

Michelle Morales*

JoAnn & Cesareo Moreno

Mary F. Morten & Willa J. Taylor

Sheila O'Donnell & Nora Gallagher

Gina M. Olson & Amy Johnson

Alan Paberzs*

Christine Kim-Tai Plautz

Jon Quinn*

Barbara Ransby & Peter Sporn

Jessica Ratchford

Ireri Rivas*

Mony Ruiz-Velasco

Armando Israel Santana

Margie Schaps & Jack Doppelt

Bronwen Schumacher

Dick Simpson

Debbie Southorn

Kandace Thomas

Thelma Uranga-Baca

Ife Williams

Tom Wilson

Jaquelyn Zevin

*Also a Crossroads Fund Board Member


Leadership Circle: $7,500 and above

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Changemakers: $5,000 - $7,499

Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation

Resource Generation Chicago

Catalysts: $2,500 – $4,999

Susan Eleuterio & Tom Sourlis

Janine Hoft & Linda Wagner

Irving Harris Foundation

People’s Law Office

The Pierce Family Charitable Foundation

Visionaries: $1,000 – $2,499

David Abbene & Geri Gibbs

Kay Berkson & Sidney Hollander

John A. D’Emilio

Bob Horton & Jim Perry

Jeanne Kracher & Laura McAlpine

Jonathan Lehman &  Zach Huelsing

McAlpine Consulting for Growth

Movers & Shakers: $750 – $999

Samantha Asofsky

The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago

David de Vries

James & Janet Fennerty

Esther Nieves

Third Wave Fund

Stewards: $500-$749

Bridget Arimond & Bruce Scheff

Mollie Anderson

Gary Arnold

Margot Babington

Angela Barnes

Becky Belcore & Christopher Williams

Jana Belsky & Tom Trauger

James Bennett & Terry Vanden Hoek

Martha Biondi

Stephen & Holly Babington

Ann Christophersen & Amy Blumenthal

Shelley Davis & Omar McRoberts

Jeff Edwards

Joshua Gilmore

Neena Hemmady & Amisha Patel

Tim Jones-Yelvington

Catherine Kallal & Maurice Lemon

Alice Kim

John & Susan Kim

Julia Klein

Skyler Larrimore & Felipe Diaz-Arango

Joey Mogul & Andrea Ritchie

Mary Morten & Willa Taylor

National Boricua Human Rights Network

Barbara Phillips

Gordon Quinn

Jon Quinn

Arlene Rodriguez

Carleen Schreder & Ralph Musicant

Eileen Willenborg & Jane Melnick

Sponsors: $250 – $499

John Bartlett

Megan Carney

Alice Cottingham

Mark & Sandy Ehlert

Sunny Fischer

State Representative Robyn Gabel

Monica George

Illinois Immigration Funders Collaborative

Nora Kyger

Sharmili Majmudar

Peter Orris

Melinda Power

Mony Ruiz-Velasco

Hollis Russinof and Michael Leff

Evelyn Salk

Dick Simpson

Mairita Smiltars

Tom Wilson

Wed, Apr 10, 2019


Jane Kimondo and Jeanne Kracher


Dear Friends of Crossroads Fund,

It is with mixed emotions that we write to let you know that Jeanne Kracher is retiring at the end of June 2019. We will miss her tremendously but we are also happy for her. It is with great excitement that we announce that Program Director Jane Kimondo will become the Executive Director in July 2019.

Jeanne joined Crossroads Fund as Executive Director in March of 2000. During her tenure, she helped to propel the organization to increase our grantmaking from $200K in 2000 to over $1 million in 2018, expand the staff, and initiate leadership development practices across all positions in order to create a strong bench. Jeanne oversaw the creation of the first endowments for Crossroads Fund with the Synapses Fund Endowment in 2009 and then the Big Change Campaign, which raised over $2 million in cash gifts, forming the basis of a general endowment with several focus funds. Over two decades, Jeanne worked with the staff and board to build a relevant, nimble, and strong organization committed to increasing resources for organizing and movement building. We thank Jeanne and wish her all the best as she moves into a more relaxed phase of life and want you to know that we will be creating opportunities in the next months to celebrate her leadership with you. 

We are thrilled to let you know that Jane Kimondo will be our new Executive Director starting on July 1, 2019.

Jane has been with Crossroads Fund for 13 years in our Program Department. As a known and respected leader in the grassroots, philanthropic, and donor communities in the Chicago region, Jane has a strong track record of engaging grantees and donors in the work of Crossroads Fund. She is exceptionally knowledgeable of our mission to support innovative organizing models that build strong movements for racial, social, and economic justice. Her leadership at Crossroad Fund was instrumental in the creation of the Youth Fund for Social Change; the Cultivate: Women of Color Program; and the Giving Project. Her years as Director of Programs combined with her experience in fundraising and communications have rooted her in the work of our entire organization. Jeanne and Jane have worked closely together over the last period within a senior leadership team model. No one knows the organization as well or is as committed to its future success, growth, and stability as Jane.

As Crossroads Fund moves into our next phase, we have a roadmap to guide us through the transition.  In 2018, we conducted a strategic planning process involving board, staff, and 51 stakeholders from a range of our community (grantees, donors, foundation colleagues). The three-year strategic plan that resulted will serve as a strong entry point and work-plan for the new Executive Director, staff, and board taking us into our 40th anniversary in 2021.

This passing of the baton, from Jeanne to Jane, is in keeping with our organizational commitment to build strong leaders and center people of color in all of our work. We are grateful to Jeanne Kracher and applaud her work to build a solid organization over the last 19 years. We are fortunate that Jane Kimondo is perfectly positioned to carry Crossroads Fund into our fourth decade of funding “change, not charity.”

As always, thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to this work. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Warm regards,

Sue Eleuterio                          Gary Arnold

Board Co-Chair                      Board Co-Chair


Tue, Mar 05, 2019

In the midst of political turmoil at all levels of government, this last year was a banner year for Crossroads Fund. It was the first time that we granted more than $1 million in a single fiscal year!

By pooling resources from over 1,000 donors and engaging in a community-driven grantmaking process, Crossroads Fund was able to deliver more resources to the organizers and activists who are reimagining and realizing the just Chicago that we deserve. Chicago's organizing ecosystem is thriving, and your support of Crossroads Fund has helped to make this possible.



Please read our 2018 Annual Report, highlighting our 2018 grantees and Crossroads Fund's impact.

Thank you for helping to make the $1 million in grants possible. Your support matters to transform philanthropy and build movements for justice in Chicago!

Since 1981, Crossroads Fund has served as an anchor organization for movement building across the city by moving money to grassroots organizers working at the intersections of racial, social, and economic justice in Chicago. Since day one, we have been committed to using a community grantmaking model to fund organizing that is led by directly impacted people, employs bold strategies, and campaigns that get to the root cause of injustice.

Thank you for all that you do to build movements and seed change in Chicago.

Download the PDF


Tue, Feb 19, 2019

Photo by the Lift the Ban Coalition

Last week, WBEZ reported that, for the first time since 1980, the white population in Logan Square surpassed the Latino population. The area has been gentrifying for years and increasing rents, while affordable for white professionals, have pushed out many Latino families. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon. Chicago has a long and disgraceful history of displacing residents from their neighborhoods. For decades Chicagoans — primarily families, people of color and the poor/working class — have fought against the twin specters of gentrification, which prices them out of their neighborhoods, and institutional disinvestment, which slowly makes their neighborhoods unlivable by dismantling vital necessities like schools and stores.

Thankfully, Chicago also has a long history of organizing around these issues with grassroots, neighborhood groups pushing back so that residents are not pushed out. Over the past few years several groups, including the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Lugenia Burns Hope Center, Northside Action for Justice, and Pilsen Alliance, have joined together to form this week’s featured grantee: Lift the Ban Coalition. Lift the Ban works across neighborhoods to advocate for economic well-being and stability for families through the repeal of the Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997 (no unit of local government can control the amount of rent charged for private residential or commercial property) and the establishment of rent control for Chicago residents.

The number of families living in rent burdened households (spending more than 30% of income on rent) in Chicago is growing due to rent increases that are outpacing wages. According to Lift the Ban’s website, rent control would allow, “tenants (to) stay in their neighborhood with affordable housing options, contributing to local economies, schools and community preservation, and Chicago’s overall economic well-being.” Lift the Ban has been organizing across the city in favor of rent control and they worked diligently to get a referendum on last November’s ballot to lift the 20 year-old ban. Two-thirds of voters in the wards where the referendum appeared voted “yes” to lifting the ban. While the referendum is non-binding, the results are being used to push legislators to move forward on this important housing-justice issue.

An end-of-the-year gift to Crossroads Fund will enable us to continue supporting coalitions like Lift the Ban who fight to keep Chicago neighborhoods available to and affordable for all. Please consider donating today to keep Crossroads Fund at the forefront in the fight for racial, social and economic justice!

Thu, Dec 27, 2018

Photo by Andrew Gill/WBEZ

According to the Chicago Tribune, 552 people have been killed in the city of Chicago in 2018. Gun violence has resulted in, at least, 428 of those deaths, which are concentrated largely within Black communities on the south and west sides. These statistics do not take into account the thousands of people who have been injured, but not killed, by gun violence. In the face of this horrifying reality, Ujimaa Medics, this week’s featured grantee, is taking a stand.

Ujimaa Medics (UMedics) was founded in 2014 to address the lethal combination of gun violence, long ambulance response times, and lack of accessible trauma centers that plagues the South Side. In their own words, UMedics seeks, “to address racial health disparities that are the result of centuries of oppression, terrorism, state-sanctioned violence, and generational trauma that Black people in the US are still coping with.” Toward this end, UMedics educates community members about bystander first - aid to respond to urban crisis situations. Their trainings include basic medical procedures to help stabilize the injured before the ambulance arrives, crowd-management techniques, and tips on effectively talking with paramedics and police once they arrive on the scene.

Since UMedics inception, they have held more than 100 workshops and trained 1,000+ individuals. Their incredible work has resulted in five gunshot victims receiving onsite first-aid. UMedics also prepares people to respond to asthma attacks and has plans to expand their work to include mental health and diabetes workshops. And, to affect broader systems change, their base-building focuses on health care advocacy and direct action for health justice in marginalized Black communities. Once again, in their own words:

We believe that by equipping community members with life-saving skills, accurate health information, confidence, and using every workshop to lift up the healing traditions of African-descendants and the indigenous people of this land called North America, we are creating conditions for moving our people toward self-determined health.


An end-of-the-year gift to Crossroads Fund will enable us to continue supporting Ujimaa Medics and others who courageously and creatively strive to save, lift up, and empower their communities. Please consider donating today to keep Crossroads Fund at the forefront in the fight for racial, social and economic justice!

Thu, Dec 13, 2018