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We Rise Together: For an Equitable and Just Recovery has announced they have awarded $7.4 million in grant investments to aid in real estate developments in eight disinvested Chicago communities. The organization made this announcement on Sept. 23, 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic initially stalled the 10 projects. However, now these projects will be able to resume development. This unlocks roughly $70 million in halted real estate developments. The investment into the 10 projects could potentially help change the eight Chicago communities and suburbs located on the south and west side of the city.
These neighborhoods have been experiencing disinvestment for decades. They have not really had a chance to recover from the Great Recession of 2008. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and really affected the health and economic stability everywhere; especially in the communities already struggling to stay alive.
The investment grants from We Rise Together should help ensure the Black and Latino communities hit the hardest by COVID-19 are not left behind. Many people and organizations have been coming together to uplift their neighborhoods.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared that she was “grateful to We Rise Together for their investment and continued commitment to uplifting our South and West Side communities.” She then congratulated “the grant recipients who will undoubtedly bring meaningful change to our entire city.”
Lightfoot added that the whole city knows that “our historically disinvested communities have borne the brunt of this crisis.” Investments like the one from We Rise Together give the city “resources we need to address this pressing issue, as well as lay the foundation for the creation of stronger and more socioeconomically resilient communities.”
The organization’s grants will not only accelerate development projects but will help the financial and social impact Latino and Black communities face. These grants are just part of the organization’s plan in supporting equitable economic recovery projects in the South and Westside Chicago communities.
We Rise Together director, Gloria Castillo, explained that “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a foundation for a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive economy.” The organization is an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust.
The recipients of the grants are:
- Café Du Bois — located in Washington Heights.
- ChiFresh Kitchen — located in Greater Grand Crossing.
- Inner City Entertainment — located in South Shore.
- Interfaith Housing Development Corporation — located in Maywood, Illinois.
- Justice of the Pies — located in Avalon Park.
- Latinos Progresando — located in South Lawndale.
- North Lawndale Employment Network — located in North Lawndale.
- PODER Headquarters — located in Gage Park.
- Urban Core — located in South Shore.
- Xquina Incubator and Café — located in South Lawndale.
These Black and Latino companies will be the stepping stone that We Rise Together uses to spur economic recovery in Chicago. They will be issuing additional quarterly grants to strengthen businesses of color and increase resilient employment.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Chicago Community Trust: $7.4 Million in Grants to Support Neighborhood Investment
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Chris Smith’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License