$25,000 / 2018
Founded by religious and community leaders in the 1960s, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) organizes and develops new generations of African American leadership to build stable, viable, and just communities. This one-year renewal grant will enable KOCO to organize low-income, predominantly Black young people and adults in the southside neighborhoods of Chicago to improve the quality of neighborhood schools and increase high school graduation rates. KOCO parent and youth leaders have been organizing to demand the creation of an elected school board, stronger local school councils, and community driven school transformation processes. Over the next year, KOCO will work to strengthen the ability of youth, parents and community leaders to impact public policies and create systemic change within the Chicago Public School system and to strengthen local school governance in ten schools throughout Chicago; support Bronzeville youth by developing a Community Restorative Justice hub; and work with the Chicago Teacher’s Union and Chicago Public Schools to Transform 4 Kenwood schools into sustainable community schools.