Kellogg Fnd. Awards $1 Million Grant to Invest in the Next Generation of Chicago Youth Leadership & Reimagine Mental Health in Communities of Color
Communities United/Lurie Children’s Hospital: A Global Finalist for Potential $20 Million Investment
CHICAGO -- Communities United, in partnership with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, is the only Chicago-based finalist of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Equity 2030 Challenge, an open call for bold solutions to drive an equitable future for children, families and communities across the globe. The challenge is awarding $90 million to help build and scale actionable ideas for transformative change in the systems and institutions that uphold racial inequities.
The community organization and hospital will bring together the expertise, experience and leadership of grassroots Black and Brown young people from across Chicago alongside national leaders and practitioners in the field of mental health, partnering to expand leadership among Black and Brown youth and advance healing-centered communities. The partnership's goals are to:
- Transform the mental health system, from one that focuses on individual treatment to one that supports community healing, and
- Develop leadership of young people as practitioners of health, healing and advocates for systemic change to address racial inequities.
“Young people who have been through Communities United’s Healing through Justice leadership development model have discovered that when they take action for change, that process in itself creates opportunities for individuals and our community to heal from trauma,” said Laqueanda Reneau, Community Organizer at Communities United.
Through a healing-centered approach, young people from CU and partners from across the West and South sides of the city, in partnership with Lurie Children’s will create a 10-year roadmap to foster youth-led strategies on community healing that centers youth leadership in creating institutional change.
“Our experience working alongside Communities United youth leadership over the years, confirms our belief that investing in the development of community leadership is critical to the creation of healing-centered communities,” said John T. Walkup, MD, Chair, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
CU worked with Dr. Walkup and Lurie Children’s in developing the Healing Through Justice leadership development framework and putting its underlying concepts into practice. During the past 10 years CU and Lurie Children’s have worked together to advance collective impact across many systems, such as: ending the zero tolerance expulsion policy in all Illinois public schools and expanding public health approaches such as restorative justice; a community-based participatory research to address underage drinking; engaging youth as advisory members to guide the strategic direction of substance-use-prevention work; working with youth leaders to reform school discipline to be more restorative; and engaging boys and young men of color to advocate for mental and behavioral health transformation.
“We believe this initiative can dramatically impact positive health and mental health outcomes in areas associated with historical trauma and structural racism,” Walkup said.
This investment opportunity comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to magnify issues across communities of color that pre-existed the pandemic, including poverty and trauma stemming from decades-long community divestment. This divestment has resulted in widespread disparities and generational trauma.
“We want to lead the transformation of our city that values the identities of Black and Brown youth, and where we are able to flourish in our communities,” said Marques Watts, a Communities United youth leader who lost his brother and best friend to violence over the past year and has been leading healing-centered activities with other young people. “Our experiences are the knowledge that we use to create healing-centered communities and the investments that are needed for generations to come.”
Each of the 10 finalist teams will receive a one-year $1 million planning grant, which includes nine months of capacity-building support to further develop their project and strengthen their application.
Among the finalists, five awards totaling $80 million will be announced in the summer of 2022. Three awardees will each receive a $20 million grant and two awardees will each receive a $10 million grant. Grants will be paid out over eight years to coincide with W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s 100th anniversary in 2030.
The 10 finalists’ projects are listed below in alphabetical order:
- 574+ Strong: Creating Regenerative Food Economies in Indian Country: The Intertribal Agriculture Council and partners will address poverty and food insecurity in Native communities through programmatic and policy solutions that build regenerative and just food economies.
- 50,000 Pastoralist Women: Agents for Change, Transforming Communities: Pastoral Women’s Council, Ujamaa Community Resource Team, and Engishon Microfinance Ltd., will support pastoralist women in Tanzania to address root causes of oppression, thereby transforming society to achieve social and economic justice for all.
- Building a Bigger Table for Latinos in the South: The Latino Community Development Center and Latino Community Credit Union will ensure a seat at the table for Latinos in the New South by leveraging this model of financial inclusion, civic engagement, and cultural pride.
- Building an Anti-Racist Public Education System in Brazil: ActionAid, the Brazilian National Campaign on the Right to Education, CONAQ, UneAFRO Brasil, Geledés, and Ação Educativa will work together to transform the Brazilian school network into the world’s first anti-racist education system harnessing youth, education and black movements and triggering a national healing process.
- Ending Systemic Labor Exploitation: This project will enable migrant worker-led community-building, advocacy, and activism to end migrant worker exploitation and achieve greater racial equity.
- Healing Through Justice: A Community-Led Breakthrough Strategy for Healing-Centered Communities in Illinois, U.S.A.: Communities United and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will bring to scale “Healing through Justice,” a youth-led movement for healing to make breakthroughs in supporting and sustaining community-led approaches to healing-centered communities.
- High Road Kitchens for Racial Equity and One Fair Wage in the U.S.: One Fair Wage will expand its High Road Kitchens program to provide restaurants with subsidies if they commit to its Racial Equity Toolkit & Training Program, which trains restaurants to desegregate their staff racially and raise wages for workers of color. The team will work with the U.S. Department of Labor to make this a federal program, supporting thousands of restaurants to increase wages and racial equity for hundreds of thousands of workers.
- Indigenous Lands Initiative: Securing Land Ownership Rights for Indigenous Communities in Mexico and Central and South America: The Indian Law Resource Center, the Interethnic Association of the Development of the Peruvian Amazon, and the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon will design and build an indigenous-led institution that provides essential technical and legal assistance to help Indigenous peoples secure ownership of their lands and works to speed up and improve Indigenous land titling processes in Mexico and Central and South America.
- Kawailoa: A Transformative Indigenous Model to End Youth Incarceration in Hawai’i and Beyond: Partners In Development Foundation and partners (Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, Kamehameha Schools, Lili‘uokalani Trust) will replace youth incarceration with a Native Hawaiian restorative system that trains youth and empowers community.
- Overcoming Environmental Racism by Knowing, Using, and Shaping Law in Kenya, India, Sierra Leone and the U.S.: Namati, its partners, and members of the Legal Empowerment Network equip frontline communities with the power of law, so they can protect their own well-being and, ultimately, make systems of environmental governance more equitable.
Communities United: An intergenerational racial justice organization in Chicago. CU develops grassroots leadership to build collective power to achieve racial justice and transformative social change. CU focuses on advancing health equity, affordable housing, education justice, youth investment, immigrant rights, police accountability, and shifting resources from the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems into restorative justice alternatives. For more information go to www.communitiesunited.org.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 220,000 children from 48 states and 49 countries, with over half of its patients insured by Medicaid and more than one-third living in under-resourced communities.
The hub for community health initiatives at Lurie Children’s is the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities. The Magoon Institute facilitates partnerships and programs between Lurie Children’s and the community to address root causes of health disparities and advance health equity for youth.
Lurie Children’s Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health provides high-quality inpatient, partial hospitalization and outpatient behavioral health services to children and adolescents. We are the largest provider for ADHD and Trauma-Related Disorders in the 7-County Chicagoland Area, and among the top five providers (by volume) of all pediatric outpatient mental health services. In FY 20, more than one-third of the children we serve in our inpatient behavioral health programs and 60 percent of children in our outpatient programs are insured by Medicaid. For more information go to www.luriechildrens.org.