Much about our city has made the news. The political stalemate downstate, the gun violence ticker that hits new levels every day, the new Obama library that is coming, and the other museum that is not. We are a city of dreamers and doers. We are as bold as our skyscrapers and as grounded as our vast parks and green spaces. There are thousands of nonprofits in the city of Chicago and most have been supported by the Field Foundation in some way, shape, or form in our history. As Lyle mentioned, at the Field Foundation we aim to support a wide swath of Chicago’s needs and to understand the complexity of the issues that face us.
Welcome to our new electronic biennial report. It is meant to give you a sense of who we are, what we fund, and most importantly what is happening inside of some of the most entrepreneurial organizations inside of the city of Chicago. Over the past two fiscal years, The Field Foundation has made grants to 192 organizations totaling more than $4.7 million in grant making. Of these, 68% were renewals and 32% were new grantees. We’ve also been doing work outside of a stated focus area to try and confront the multi-layered ways to alleviate violence in our city. From restorative justice measures and intervention tactics to transformative programs, we are seeking to support those whose work is literally a matter of life and death.
What follows are stories that don’t often make the news – stories of people, organizations, and actions that are making a critical difference everyday in our lives as Chicagoans. We hope you enjoy reading about some of these hometown heroes while understanding there are so many more stories to tell.
Every day, local, regional, and national news outlets feature stories of Chicago’s violent crime, its inequitable criminal justice system, and its struggling neighborhoods.
The Field Foundation of Illinois believes that there is an equally powerful story behind deterrents from and alternatives to the rising violence. Since 2007, we have supported a range of organizations that address the issue of community violence in a number of ways; from trauma-informed training at Family Focus to a parent organizing initiative with Chicago’s Black Star Project. We have supported peace and leadership councils with Mikva Challenge, restorative justice hubs with Community Justice for Youth Institute, and the disruption of the school-to-prison pipeline in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood through the Umoja Student Development Corporation.
In addition, the Field Foundation has provided support to a number of nonprofits as they create new opportunities for discussion around the issues of community violence and viable solutions to addressing it. We have supported organizations such as the Seventh Circuit Bar Association for its program Rethinking the War on Drugs, the Juvenile Justice Initiative for a summit on counsel for children during police interrogations, and an Illinois Justice Project-led forum (formerly Metropolis Strategies) titled The $2 Billion Question: Can Illinois Spend Less on Incarceration and Improve Public Safety?
And yet there is work to be done. Our interest in the prevention of community violence stems from a belief that solutions cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Due to the need for multiple strategies to solve violence issues, since 2008 the Field Foundation has dedicated over $3.1 million to Chicago nonprofits that address issues of community violence in creative and critical ways.
The Field Foundation’s 2015-2016 Biennial Report highlights the work of the Foundation’s recent grantees and features several programs and initiatives that the Foundation has supported these past two years. While there is never enough time to shine a light on every organization that the Field Foundation supports, we have highlighted the work being done by a handful of organizations. We asked them to talk about their work, their impact on Chicago, and what their experience with the Field Foundation means to them. In the stories below, you will learn about what they shared with us and what we hope you will share with others.
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The following is a summary by program area of all 2015-2016 grant payments made.VIEW ALL GRANTEE AWARDS BY CATEGORY