Sharing Today's Most Effective Strategies for Change
Impact Chicago donor briefings offer an inside look at philanthropy in action. Civic officials, community activists and the Trust's grant making staff focus on urgent social problems, exploring what the trends are, what's working, and how donors can invest in strategies showing real impact.
Gun Violence in Chicago: March 12, 2013
On the agenda: This webinar explored the problem of violent crime in Chicago with two of the nation's leading experts: Harvard University sociologist Prof. Robert J. Sampson and Northwestern University political scientist Prof. Wesley Skogan. After two decades of decline, homicide rates have increased significantly in the past year. Do we know what has caused this setback, and can effective strategies be found to reverse it? Does the answer lie with the police? In our neighborhoods? With the economy? In gun control? Or elsewhere?
Moderated by: Jim Lewis, Ph.D., senior program officer at The Chicago Community Trust
The Confluence of Architecture and Ecology: October 11, 2012
On the agenda: This breakfast briefing, at the Gold Level LEED certified Province restaurant, explored how today's city planners and architects build for the future in an age of alarming environmental and human health indicators. Panelists: Gordon Gill, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Peter Nicholson, Foresight Design; Ngoan Le, vice president of program at The Chicago Community Trust.
Achieving a World-Class Education for All: June 18, 2012
On the agenda: An expert panel explores how all students can access a high-quality education with the new Common Core State Standards for teaching and learning in English language arts and mathematics. Panelists: Taffy E. Raphael, PhD, professor of literacy education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and president of SchoolRise LLC; James P. Spillane, PhD, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin professor in learning and organizational change at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University; and Mary Jo Tavormina, project director for the West Cook and South Cook Mathematics Initiatives.
The Heart of Your Family's Philanthropy: September 22, 2011
On the agenda: Virginia M. Esposito, president of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and a noted national leader in the field, led an interactive discussion with local donors. The panel explored how philanthropic families stay true to their values yet adapt their grant making with the times; strategies for managing generational transitions; and tactics for working together when family members are geographically dispersed. Panelists included Shawn Donnelley of the Trust's Executive Committee and Marguerite Griffin, a director of the Trust's African American Legacy.
Virginia Esposito on successful family philanthropy
The Long Road from the Housing Bubble to the "New Normal": June 23, 2011
On the agenda: Our expert panel shares how they are ensuring that sustainability and responsibility are central to housing, and that all residents can access quality, affordable homes in the region: Cindy Holler, president of Mercy Housing Lakefront; Ofelia Navarro, executive director of the Spanish Coalition for Housing; Geoff Smith, senior vice president of Wodstock Institute; and Joanna Trotter, community development director of Metropolitan Planning Council.
Download the Housing Fact Sheet to learn about the shortage of affordable housing and the foreclosure crisis in our region.
The Trust's impact: The Chicago Community Trust works to ensure residents have access to affordable, quality housing through grant making priorities that address homeless prevention, promote affordable rental housing and preserve homeownership. We have provided long-term support for the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, funded a Housing Roundtable to coordinate advocacy at the state level, supported residential developers and provided outreach to homeowners facing foreclosure. Below are the Trust grant recipients working in these fields:
The Secret of Chicago's Cultural Vibrancy: February 10, 2011
On the agenda: A diverse panel of leaders from the Trust's SMART Growth grant recipients discussed the challenges facing small arts organizations today: Joan Gray, president of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago; PJ Powers, artistic director of TimeLine Theatre; Roche Shulfer, executive director of the Goodman Theatre; and Eddie Torres, artistic director of Teatro Vista. The evening ended with a dance performance by Ensemble Español.
Moderated by:Suzanne Connor, senior program officer in arts & culture.
Watch the introduction by Ra Joy of Arts Alliance Illinois
View the panel's Cultural Vibrancy slide show to experience the event.
Enjoy this dynamic flamenco performance from Ensemble Español
The Trust's impact: Our SMART Growth grant initiative was created to the strengthen the region's small community-based arts organizations. Since 2006, the SMART Growth Initiative has helped these 40 small organizations "graduate" with the management capacity to effectively support their artistic mission, contribute to their communities, pay a living wage to their artists and employees, and diversify sources of revenue:
The Paradox of Hunger and Obesity: September 23, 2010
On the agenda: An expert panel of leaders from Trust grant recipient organizations explored the link between these seemingly contradictory public health problems. Kate Maehr, the CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, delved into how to supply healthy food to low-income communities. From Adam Becker, Ph.D., M.P.H., donors learned about efforts by the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children to reduce obesity in youth. Funder collaborative Fresh Taste, represented by director Karen Lehman, reported on ground-breaking efforts by Chicago community groups to eliminate food deserts.
The Trust's impact: Our grant making strategy aims to build a robust, functioning food system ensuring secure supplies of nutritious, locally grown food for healthy, active communities. The following nonprofit organizations have exemplary programs funded by the Trust that address the root causes of hunger and obesity:
On the agenda: The executive director of CeaseFire introduced its public health approach to the violence epidemic. The Chicago Police Department showed new data technology that's sharpening its ability to understand, predict and prevent violence. The City of Chicago described efforts to give youth meaningful alternatives to violence, while Chicago Public Schools shared its three-part approach to a safer school experience. From program officer Diana N. Derige, donors learned about standout programs from the Trust's grant portfolio.
Moderated by:Phillip Thomas, senior program officer in community development.
The Trust's impact: In neighborhoods where the Trust has funded antiviolence intervention, the rate of shootings and killings has dropped significantly. The following agencies provide exemplary programs to limit risk factors for youth violence: