The Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and A Better Chicago announced the inaugural cohort of grantees today to launch a new partnership focused on equipping local leaders and fueling programs and services that enable Chicago’s youth to thrive at all stages of life.
The partnership, One West Side, is a three-year initiative that will invest at least $2 million over three years in Chicago’s West Side, which includes some of the city’s underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods.
One West Side is focused on strengthening organizations deeply embedded in their communities with exceptional leaders poised to expand their impact. Collectively, the selected grantees reach Chicagoans at every stage of life – from birth to young adulthood – supporting education, social-emotional learning, mentorship opportunities, skills training and leadership development. The inaugural cohort of One West Side grantees includes:
- Austin Childcare Providers Network: Under the leadership of Ruth Kimble, Austin Childcare Providers Network is developing a collaborative pilot to ensure that children leave early childcare providers ready for kindergarten by creating continuity of learning and practice among childcare (pre-K) providers and elementary schools.
- The Bloc: Founded by Jamyle Cannon, The Bloc provides a meaningful physical outlet for youth through boxing as well as academic coaching and mentoring.
- Cluster of Care Community Hub (West Side United): An initiative of West Side United under the leadership of Ayesha Jaco and Tenisha Jones, the Hub will provide students and their families with wraparound services and resources conveniently located within the school building.
- VIP Program (Firehouse Community Arts Center): Through the VIP Program, Phil Jackson and the Firehouse Community Art Center is focused on the prevention and interruption of violence by providing young adult men who are often perpetrators of violence with mentorship, leadership development and access to skills training and job opportunities.
- MAAFA Redemption Project: Under the leadership of Marshall Hatch, the MAAFA Redemption Project is an initiative in West Garfield Park that provides at-risk emerging adult men with leadership development, employment, housing and a host of customized wraparound supports to meet the unique needs of each participant.