After School Matters
After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Over the past two decades, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology. Programs take place at many locations throughout the city including community-based organizations.
Alternative Schools Network
The Alternative School Network (ASN), 43 alternative schools and youth/adult education organizations, believes that every youth is entitled to education, and the support needed to get their high school diploma and transition to the workforce. ASN creates effective, innovative programs to re-engage over 3,500 Chicago underserved youth each year.
Buddhist Catholic Dialogue Chicago is a group of individuals who participated in a Vatican dialogue initiated by Pope Francis in June 2015. They joined the full group of 47 representatives from five major U.S. cities for a week of dialogue, meditation and prayer. In a private audience with Pope Francis, he encouraged their efforts saying they are planting ‘seeds of peace.’ The groups continue to meet regularly in their respective cities.
Buddhist Council of the Midwest
A 29-year-old organization for all Buddhist groups in the Midwest area, fosters the learning and practice of Buddhism in America, inclusive of all three Buddhist traditions. Its mission is to be a vehicle of mutual aid and fellowship for Buddhist organizations throughout the Midwest, to celebrate the diversity of Buddhist philosophy and culture, and to represent and advocate for the Buddhist community in the public realm.
Bridging the Divide
The YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Bridging the Divide program was developed to help build understanding between youth, law enforcement officials, and other community members. Throughout the project the YMCA and community partners offered opportunities for dialogue through cafés, peace circles, and the exchange of photos and stories. Bridging the Divide was developed by the Youth Safety and Violence Prevention program at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, in partnership with the CAPS program of the Chicago Police Department.
CAIR-Chicago is the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was established to challenge stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and promote and protect the First Amendment religious rights of American Muslims. CAIIR-Chicago’s mission is to encourage dialogue, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
A partnership between police and community is the foundation of Chicago’s own philosophy of community policing, known as CAPS – Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. Across the City, the CAPS partnership is tackling serious crime problems, as well as those neighborhood conditions that breed crime – conditions such as abandoned buildings and vehicles, vacant lots, drug houses, and graffiti. Together, we are working to identify and solve neighborhood crime problems, block by block, and to improve the quality of life in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
CeaseFire, a partner of Cure Violence, is an evidence-informed innovative health model that stops the spread of violence by using disease control strategies – detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, and changing social norms, allowing communities to heal and flourish. Housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, CeaseFire enables local credible messengers to use their experiences and training to work directly with highest risk communities.
Center for Advancing Domestic Peace continues the work begun in 1998 by the West Side Domestic Abuse Project to provide partner abuse intervention services in the City of Chicago. In 2009, the organization’s name was changed to focus more on the result the agency was seeking rather than the problem needing to be solved, and to better convey the action-oriented nature of its strengths-based approach to intervention and outreach. The mission of the Center is to help people who abuse to stop their domestic violence, create healthy relationships and strengthen their communities. www.advancingdomesticpeace.org
Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood.
The Chicago Peace Hub
The Chicago Peace Hub, established in 2010 and now consisting of 35 partner organizations, is a violence prevention initiative whose goals are to increase engagement of Chicago’s youth ages 12-24 in programs and services, enhance communication and partnership among local service providers, and to leverage underutilized services.
Chicago Zen Buddhist Temple
Today’s Zen Buddhist Temple building began in 1915 as a Freemason’s temple, so as a structure it’s come full circle. It’s a temple once again. Now the temple provides: public services and meditation courses, a community for fellowship and support, and a seminary, monastery and training center. The temple offers the Visitor’s Program for people who want to spend some time living in the temple to cultivate their practice. The residents participate in temple programs in the mornings and/or evenings while maintaining their job or studies.
Circles and Ciphers
Circles and Ciphers is a leadership development program for young people of color who are prison-, court-, and gang- involved that fuses restorative justice practices and principles with hip-hop arts and culture to transform legacies of violence, incarceration, and disengagement.
The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB)
TCB is the leading nonprofit developer of mixed-income housing in the United States. Our mission is to build and sustain strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve full potential. We realize our mission by developing, financing and operating high-quality housing and implementing neighborhood self-help initiatives to drive economic opportunity. We create opportunities in four areas: youth development, education, workforce development, and asset building.
Enlace Chicago is a community-based organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of the residents of the Little Village Community by fostering a physically safe and healthy environment in which to live and by championing opportunities for educational advancement and economic development.
I Grow Chicago
I Grow Chicago’s mission is to provide a safe, inter-generational haven to children and at-risk community members. Through sustainable farming and educational programs in nutrition, movement yoga and the arts, we foster creativity, wellness and empowerment for individuals in the community as a whole. I Grow Chicago is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed for exclusively charitable and educational purposes.
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
ICHV is dedicated to the reduction of death and injury caused by firearms. ICHV educates the public about firearm violence and misuse; serves as a clearinghouse for information on the issue of firearm violence; makes recommendations regarding the fairness, enforceability, and effectiveness of regulations and sanctions related to firearms; works with health care professionals, law enforcements officials, and community groups to bring special perspectives to the issue; and advocates for legislative goals. www.ichv.org
InterPlay is easy, fun, and life changing. It is based in a series of incremental “forms” that lead participants to movement and stories, silence and song, ease and amusement. In the process, we discover the wisdom in ourselves and our communities. InterPlay integrates body, mind, heart and spirit. Life has become so fragmented. InterPlay helps to pull everything back together so we get more of what we want.
La Casa Norte
La Casa Norte’s mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness. We provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that transform lives and communities. La Casa Norte dreams of a world where all have dignity, communities thrive, and everyone belongs.
My Block My Hood My City’s primary mission is exposing Chicagoans to new communities and cultures through the M3 Explorers Program, which takes groups of underprivileged teenagers on one day explorations through the different areas of the City of Chicago. The mission of the M3 program is not tourism, but rather to facilitate meaningful cultural exchanges between different people. The goal is to make sure that people get a real sense of these communities and the people living there. Explorations include meetings with community organizations, business leaders, and supporting local “hidden gem” businesses.
The Next Generation of Leaders
The Next Generation of Leaders (TNGL) helps people reclaim their lives; rediscover their gifts, talents, and skills; and rebuild their hopes and dreams. The mission of TNGL is to empower others by creating the space for them to use their voice and recognize their value. In doing so, they become self-empowered to move beyond their circumstances and to begin creating their best life.
The Peace Exchange
The Peace Exchange uses education, travel, and youth outreach to equip young Chicagoans to build peace in their communities. Established in November 2012 as a program of Holy Family Ministries, the Peace Exchange focuses on young Chicago leaders committed to peace and nonviolence. This program enables young leaders to reach spread their peace experiences to over 1000 youth.
The mission of Restored Hope is to empower women and children to move beyond the everyday cycles of violence and trauma, while working toward discovering inner peace and resilience within themselves, their families and their communities.
Serve 2 Unite
Serve 2 Unite (S2U) School Chapters foster student leaders who build inclusive, compassionate, nonviolent climates in their schools and surrounding communities. S2U introduces students to global mentors who inspire them to create service-learning projects and share their work with the world through the arts. S2U Student Chapters empower students to lead successful projects and be peacemakers in their communities.
Shambhala Chicago is gathering place for all who want to create a sane, just, and kind Chicago and beyond. We provide opportunities to learn to meditate and live mindfully, to enjoy community, and to engage in social action. We host the open mic, Speak Up, and provide organizational training in meditation.
Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii
The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii is a holy place of pilgrimage consecrated to Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary. The Shrine is a center of hospitality, evangelization and spiritual growth, founded in the Italian tradition and culture. Located in Chicago’s Near West Side, the Shrine embraces all pilgrims of faith.
Speak Up Chicago is a youth-driven program that strives to embody the fundamental qualities of human bravery, confidence, kindness, and community, by looking beyond the boundaries that divide our city. Through open mic nights, contemplative and nature retreats, family dinners, and other community events, we create safe and welcoming environments. We encourage youth and adults, no matter what age, race, sexual orientation, income level, or group they identify with, to express their creativity and voice through any medium they choose, addressing the societal injustices, trauma, and violence that affects so many.
Strengthening Chicago’s Youth, Lurie Children’s Hospital
Strengthening Chicago’s Youth (SCY) works to build capacity among stakeholders to connect, collaborate and mobilize around a public health approach to violence prevention—adopting consistent messaging about the preventability of violence, promoting use of evidence-based violence prevention strategies and fostering multi-sector collaboration—encouraging partnerships that strengthen existing efforts and benefit the children of Chicago. www.scy-chicago.org
Teamwork Englewood has implemented several programs such as: the Englewood Codes Program; the Youth Asset Development Program – both youth programs have mentoring and Restorative Justice-Peace Circle components; and a Reentry Resource Center, which works with the reentry population on the south side of Chicago. Teamwork Englewood continues to promote community organizing and issue-oriented work through its network of block clubs and community-based organizations.
Under the guidance of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a remarkable teacher celebrated for his ability to make the practice of meditation accessible to people of all backgrounds, the Tergar community of meditation centers and practice groups strives to make the ancient practice of meditation accessible to the modern world. Tergar Chicago holds weekly drop-in group meditation on Sunday mornings, and hosts workshops on a variety of meditation topics. tergar.org/chicago
Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds served more than 9,500 adults and youth last year. with 75% of services delivered out in the community, representing more than 500,000 hours of care.
Transformative Change (XC) bridges the inner and outer lives of social change agents, activists and allies to support a more effective, more sustainable movement of social justice for all.
UCAN is a multi-faceted social service organization building strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment. UCAN meets the needs of youth in care of the state child welfare system and youth who have been removed from their homes for reasons of abuse or neglect.
A collective of thinkers, conversation hosts, and facilitators helping to create new possibilities. We partner with individuals, organizations, and communities to focus on what matters, shed what no longer serves, and create new possibilities. Every individual and community has an abundance of gifts and resources… even in times of rapid change. Through community, possibilities emerge.
Rev. Dwayne Grant, his wife Linda, and their six daughters come to the Hillside/Bellwood and Proviso Township communities with over 20 years of church experience. Their vision is to plant a socially relevant, mission oriented church in the area, African American based but with a multicultural, multigenerational, progressive and inclusive feel. The church’s focus will be on passionate worship, radical hospitality and intentional risk taking mission and evangelism. www.
Zen Life & Meditation Center
Zen Life & Meditation Center of Chicago empowers people to live a Zen-inspired life of openness, empathy and clarity based on a foundation of mindfulness meditation. We offer a core curriculum of classes; public meditation; retreats; workshops; as well as a Corporate Wellness program. The Center is guided by Zen Teachers Roshi Robert Joshin Althouse and Sensei June Ryushin Tanoue of the White Plum Lineage.