$30,000 / 2011
East 43rd Street
Chicago, IL 60653
Jhatayn Travis, Executive Director
The Kenwood Oakland Community Organization has been an instrument for grassroots social change in the Kenwood and Oakland communities of Chicago for nearly forty years. Founded by religious and community leaders in the 1960’s, KOCO facilitated organizing campaigns that increased the resources and services available to families and residents. For the past 7 years, the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) has been leading the struggle against corporate style school closings in gentrifying neighborhoods in Mid-South Chicago. These closing have disproportionately displaced African American and Latino students, which has had devastating effects on their academic performance, but also imposed a top down district approach which left families and students most-impacted by these decisions out of the process. This $30,000 core grant in 2011 will enable KOCO to organize youth and adults in low-income predominantly Black Mid-South neighborhoods of Chicago to improve the quality of neighborhood schools and increase high school graduation rates.