The Chicago Sports Alliance (CSA), a collaboration between the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox established in December 2017, announced the continuation of its effort to lend financial support and team resources to local, evidence-based solutions to gun violence.
As part of its ongoing efforts, the Alliance and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation will provide a total of $1.5 million in grants to support five impactful programs and organizations that are directly addressing the issue of gun violence in Chicago.
The 2023 Chicago Sports Alliance grant recipients include:
- READI 2.0 at Heartland Alliance: READI Chicago, which has been supported by the Alliance for five years, is a gun violence reduction initiative that engages those at the highest risk of being shot or shooting someone else. It has given hundreds of men the opportunity to participate in 18 months of focused transitional job training and cognitive behavioral interventions. With sites serving Austin, Englewood, North Lawndale, Greater Englewood and West Garfield Park, READI Chicago seeks to reduce shootings and homicides among those at highest risk of gun violence by addressing root causes of involvement.
- Enlace Chicago with New Life Centers of Chicagoland and Little Village Youth Safety Network Organizations: Enlace Chicago, a community-based organization located in the Little Village neighborhood, partners with neighborhood-based organizations in Little Village, including New Life Centers of Chicagoland and members of the Little Village Youth Safety Network, to provide wraparound services to help address community violence and support youth development.
- The Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities at Chicago Community Trust: Housed at the Chicago Community Trust, The Fund provides micro-grants (less than $10K) to organizations in communities most impacted by violence and whose operating budgets are under $500K. Grants support activities that provide alternatives to violence during the summer months when victimizations typically are at their highest level. The focus of this CSA grant supports the expansion of the investments as they expand funding to organizations to serve year-round and not limit to the summer.
- Chapin Hall Center for Children: Chapin Hall is an independent nonprofit providing research and policy expertise to work alongside communities to build more effective services and systems; accelerate the use of evidence in policy and practice; and better serve children, youth, and families impacted by child protection services, juvenile justice and those living in under-resourced communities. Chapin Hall works directly with juvenile justice systems to prioritize the healing and mentorship of youth to disrupt the pipeline of youth into detention and other secure institutions; strengthen linkages with community agencies and programs whose mission is to rehabilitate youth; and incorporate concepts of trauma-informed care, restorative justice, positive youth development, and youth competency into juvenile justice efforts.
- Chicago Peace League at Breakthrough Ministries: Piloted over the last year with more than 100 young men and welcoming more than 100 spectators, the Chicago Peace League runs an evening basketball league in the Garfield Park neighborhood. The program is deeply community-embedded and helps to instill peace through the game of basketball.
Since its inception, the Alliance has invested $6 million in evidence-based programs. The McCormick Foundation has contributed an additional $2.5 million in matching grants since 2019 – for a total of $8.5 million in funding.
“We are honored to collaborate with the Chicago Sports Alliance to build a safe and healthy Chicago,” said Sonia Mathew, Director of Partnerships at the McCormick Foundation. “Thriving community-based organizations are central to reducing gun violence and activate community participation and leadership.”
Previous grants have supported Choose 2 Change, Little Village Prevention and Intervention Initiative, READI Chicago, the University of Chicago Crime Lab and analyst training by the Crime Lab for the Chicago Police Department’s Strategic Decision Support Centers.
The teams will continue to evaluate the CSA’s impact on an annual basis. Decisions regarding programs that will receive future funding will be made as the effort progresses.
Jeff Reiter, Robert R. McCormick Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Micaeh Johnson, Chicago Bears: email@example.com
Lyndsey Stroope, Chicago Blackhawks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Denae Wilkins, Chicago Bulls: email@example.com
Ariana Moaveni, Chicago Cubs: AMoaveni@cubs.com
Sheena Quinn, Chicago White Sox: SQuinn@chisox.com