$75,000 / 2015
4749 North Kedzie, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60625
Jennifer Arwade, Executive Director
A three-year $75,000 renewal grant will support Communities United’s (formerly Albany Park Neighborhood Council) intergenerational organizing to protect immigrant rights, to preserve affordable and quality housing, to dismantle the system of youth criminalization and to improve the quality of public education for low-income students of color in Chicago. Last year, through Voices for Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), Communities United (CU) secured a groundbreaking policy change which requires statewide reporting of school discipline data across all publicly-funded schools in Illinois (including charters) disaggregated by key demographic data (SB2793). Through the passage of the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance, banks are now required to keep tenants in their homes after foreclosure or give them $10,600 in relocation assistance per unit. With local allies, CU has recently helped to move comprehensive school discipline legislation passed by the state senate and legislature to limit the use of exclusionary school disciplinary actions and provide struggling students with academic and behavioral supports (SB100). Over the next year, Communities United will continue to organize to address the school to prison pipeline, to prevent displacement of youth and families by preserving affordable housing threatened by foreclosure, and organize for immigration reform through a multi-racial approach addressing criminalization of communities of color.