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PSPC Statement on InVEST Campaign


The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities (PSPC) supports the broad goals of the InVEST campaign to reduce violence in Chicago through effective and sustained community programs.

InVEST's broad goals reflect the objectives of PSPC, a coalition of 40 funders and foundations established in 2016 and united by a multifaceted approach toward reducing gun violence in Chicago. PSPC supports a variety of strategies:

  • Street Outreach and Transitional Jobs;
  • Police Reform and Community Engagement;
  • Sensible Approaches to Reducing Availability and use of Guns; and
  • Rapid-Response Fund for Community Safety and Peace.
PSPC funders have committed more than $50 million to support these strategies and make Chicago safer for all. PSPC is optimistic that the investments are beginning to show signs of helping to reduce gun violence and contributing to better relations between police and residents.

However, philanthropic investments cannot be sustained at this level over the long term. Our hope is that after this infusion of early-stage private sector and foundation funding and testing, the most promising, evidence-based solutions to reduce violence and transform police-community relations could be replicated and scaled with an infusion of sustained public funding.

The Mayor's Office of Gun Violence Prevention is a good first step, and we supported the conversations to create the framework for a Community Commission to advise that office. The office must be empowered to implement a plan that incorporates the promising solutions — including jobs, counseling and trauma support for families, and street outreach to mediate conflict — that are being tested through PSPC.

With a new mayor coming to City Hall in May, we have an opportunity to create a comprehensive citywide violence reduction plan, informed by evidence and strengthened by collaboration. 

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Cities Striving for Peace


Hear from a variety of Chicagoans and former big city mayors Antonio Villaraigosa, Betsy Hodges, Michael Nutter, Mitch Landrieu, and Adrian Fenty share how they successfully lowered gun violence in their city.

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Grantees in the News: 2018 Youth Media Coverage


Six youth media organizations worked with The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities to help showcase the work of our 2018 grantees:

Community TV Network

Free Spirit Media/The Real Chi

Nerdy Media


Urban Gateways

Many thanks to all of the young people and organization personnel who worked to produce these pieces!

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A Message to Chicago's Next Mayor

Sustainable change of any kind requires meaningful, collaborative investments and partnerships between the public and private sectors. Members of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities are optimistic that the investments made over the last two years are beginning to show signs of helping to reduce gun violence and contributing to better relations between police and residents.

But philanthropic investments cannot be sustained at this level over the long term. Our hope is that after this infusion of early stage private sector and foundation funding and testing, over time the most promising, evidence-based solutions to reducing violence and transforming police-community relations could be replicated and scaled with an infusion of sustained public funding.

We see early stage funding as our contribution to a comprehensive, citywide violence reduction plan for Chicago.

Read our full message to Chicago's next mayor: A Critical Opportunity and Promising Solutions to Chicago's Gun Violence

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North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCC) Tree Planting


Safe and Peaceful grantee North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCC), held a tree planting in Unity Park to commemorate community organizer Arthur L. Fair III. The park was founded by area residents who, with support from multiple community partners, maintain and landscape the space so it may serve as a gathering place for both recreation and  

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AT&T's Believe Chicago addressing violence and unemployment in 19 neighborhoods

Chicago's corporate sector has long played a role in supporting social service programs, arts and culture, and recreational opportunities in the city. But a new initiative by AT&T stands apart from many philanthropic efforts: theirs is designed to directly address the city's violence and high unemployment rate for people of color by focusing on 19 neighborhoods that are home to 28 percent of Chicago's population and 72 percent of homicides in 2017.

AT&T's Believe Chicago was created with employees, who called on their employer to pivot its giving toward job creation, neighborhood investment and employee volunteerism in the 19 prioritized neighborhoods – the same neighborhoods that community-building grants from the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities are being activated. The company is partnering with nonprofit organizations that include Heartland Alliance, the North Lawndale Employment Network and St. Sabina's Employment Resource Center. We salute AT&T and other corporate citizens in Chicago that are exploring the ways their enterprises can help create the conditions for safer, more peaceful communities.

Read more here:

Crain's Chicago Business story

Chicago Sun-Times story 

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Center for Advancing Domestic Peace, "Drop the Gun, Pick Up the Tools" Awards Ceremony


Safe & Peaceful grantee the Center for Advancing Domestic Peace partnered with Neighborhood Barbers for Peace to hold a talent contest throughout the summer. At its culminating award ceremony, the placing contestants shared their thoughts on how the contest impacted their lives, inspiring them to forego violence and spend their time learning tangible skills that can provide both income and a productive hobby.  

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AGAPE Werks, Mini Maker Faire


Through an atmosphere of technological and artistic innovation, the Chicago Southside Mini Maker Faire offered community members a chance to learn from and inspire each other while showcasing their wares and works. Safe & Peaceful grantee & event organizer Jackie Moore proclaims: "The Mini Maker Faire is a celebration of the people, of those folks who like to create things on their own: the do-it-yourselfers, the makers, the hackers, the scientists, the artists."

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Brothers Standing Together (BST): Redemption, Love, Peace & Unity After Tragedy


An interview with BST founder Brother Richard Raymond, who reflects on forgiveness after his 3rd annual back-to-school "Peace in the Hood" basketball tournament was interrupted by gun-violence.  

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Kufi Club of Chicago

The KUFI Club of Chicago - through 2018 Safe and Peaceful grantee the Love Foundation - celebrated its first Crowning Ceremony this summer. This rites-of-passage coronation served as an important benchmark to acknowledge the power that young people have to be leaders and anti-violence activists in the Roseland community. "Rather than looking at children as problems to be fixed in our communities, we see children as agents of change," says founder David Pruitt 

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West Side Peace Parade


Two Safe & Peaceful Chicago grantees —Major Adams Community Committee and West Humboldt Park Development Council — partnered with tens of other West Side organizations, block clubs and nonprofits to host a daylong festival at Union Park. Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. praised the collective for showing how redemption can come for making things better for the generations that follow. "The community recognizes that we believe in peace," he said.  

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300 N. Mason Block Party


Safe & Peaceful grantee The 300 N. Mason Street Block Club celebrated its 41st annual back-to-school party. Community activists and elders provided school supplies and more than 150 backpacks for children, and the day was complete with food, games, and live entertainment courtesy of the Jesse White Tumblers.  

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Yes to Life, Yes to Peace

Grantee brings hometown rapper Lil Durk back to his Englewood neighborhood to participate in peace festival

The J. Minor Allen Peace Movement, Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) and Save Our Community Coalition, three Englewood-based groups, recently collaborated to produce the Say Yes to Life, Say Yes to Peace outdoor festival, aided by rapper Lil Durk.

"It was good he [Lil Durk] made it here — the children enjoyed seeing him and posing to take photos with him," said J. Minor Allen, special events coordinator and program manager for the J. Minor Allen Peace Movement, a division of the National Black Wall Street Chicago.

"The goal of this festival was to bring people together from Englewood, Auburn Gresham and surrounding communities for a safe and peaceful gathering, and we did just that," Allen added.

Part of RAGE's annual "So Fresh Saturdays," the August 25 event at Hamilton Park (513 W. 72nd Street) was said to attract more than 300 people. According to RAGE co-founder Asiaha Butler, Lil Durk donated book bags for the school supply portion of the festival, allowing event organizers to give away "nearly 500 book bags" that were filled with school supplies, she said. Kids could also get free haircuts at the festival, and there was a mobile video game van on-site for their enjoyment.

Englewood resident Princess Wallace attended with her four children. "This is my first time coming here. I came this year because I received a flyer from someone," she said. "I like what I see here — there are a lot of games for the kids, good music for adults and plenty of resources for the community."

Other attendees like Englewood resident Melvin Taylor said he's been attending So Fresh Saturdays since its inception. "I'm an outdoor kind of guy, and I like to stay in my neighborhood to party; I have always enjoyed myself when I come here, that's why I keep coming back," he said.

Imagine Englewood If was among a dozen resource vendors at the event. "I like to describe 'So Fresh' as a community barbecue, where kids have a safe space to play, where a platform is available for local talent to perform and get exposure, and a place where residents can hear directly from elected officials," said executive director Michelle Rashad.

J. Minor Allen added that one way to combat crime is developing partnerships among local organizations, stakeholders and residents, with a common goal of ridding their communities of violence. The Chicago Park District, Hamilton Park Advisory Council, Teamwork Englewood and the Neighborhood Heroes organizations were among the Say Yes to Life, Say Yes to Peace sponsors.

"To see so many police officers out here with nothing to do but stand around and look bored is a good thing. That means no one is misbehaving," said Mark Allen, chairman of National Black Wall Street Chicago. "I am glad we are one of the partners for this event."

This is a story about the Community Safety and Peace strategy of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities.

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Brothers Standing Together (BST), "Peace in the Hood" Basketball Tournament


Safe and Peaceful grantee Brothers Standing Together worked with the park district, alderman and scores of volunteers to have a day that "let the community be at peace."  

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A Work of Faith Ministries INC (AWOFINC), Back to School


Safe & Peaceful grantee A Work of Faith Ministries INC (AWOFINC) organized a broad community coalition for a South Shore block party that treated residents to a day of food, recreation, information and giving back.  

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Pullman Playground Built Amid a Newfound Peace

Sherman Scullark, a member of the Risky Road gang faction, reached out Detective Vivian Williams to let her know how tired he was of the violence marring Pullman, according to a recent Tribune story. Kids didn't play outside and they knew not to go to the basketball courts, a hotspot for rival gang shootings. He sought her help to call a truce. A year later, the Risky Road gang faction and the Manic Fours faction were building a playground alongside volunteers and community residents.

Scullark's next request of Detective Williams was an introduction to former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who now serves as managing director of Chicago CRED, an anti-gun violence organization focused on reducing the city's number of homicides and shootings. Duncan told the Tribune the solution to Chicago's gun violence doesn't start with the police, but with the likely perpetrators of violence.

"No one's winning now. The police aren't winning. Guys in the street aren't winning," Duncan said of the city's shootings. 

By supplying them with a job, pay, opportunities to earn their GED and emotional support, the organization aims to curb violence. Founded in 2016, the program serves about 100 men in the Roseland, North Lawndale, West Garfield Park and Englewood neighborhoods.

"We can't just arrest our way out of it. We can't incarcerate our way out of it. We have to give guys a pathway," Duncan said. 

Like Bryant King, a Pullman native who's been involved with Chicago CRED since May. Taking a break from lifting bags of concrete, King described how the program has helped him realize his passion for landscaping. Now he's working with the group to start his own business. 

"You can change," King said. "The violence can stop. And we're an example right now."

This is a post related to the Street Outreach, Support Services and Jobs strategy of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities. 

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Grantees in the News

Safe & Peaceful Chicago Grantee News Stories

Englewood Unites With Peace, Police & Barbecues
Truestar, July 26, 2018

Photo Essay: Performance Arts Camp Helps Kids Bring Peace to the West Side
The Triibe, July 31, 2018

One Man Brings Healthy Living to the South Side with S.O.U.L. Community Garden
The Triibe, August 9, 2018

More Safe & Peaceful Communities Grantees
Learn about the work of a few of our 2018 grantee organizations

Local-Motions Inc.

Restoring the Path

Sustainable Options for Urban Living Inc. (S.O.U.L.)

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How Chicago Communities are Trying to Stop Gun Violence


Last weekend was tragic, unacceptable, and a stark reminder of the work ahead. Members of Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities remain committed to working with our partners until our neighbors in Chicago are safer and communities are more peaceful, which everyone should expect.

Sixty-six people were shot over the weekend in Chicago, and behind those numbers are stories of the victims and their families, according the PBS News Hour, which spoke to Tamar Manasseh of Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings. Manasseh talked about the neighborhood organizations that are making a difference on the ground every day. 

"It's not just me. There are 100 other organizations just like me who are out here every day in their own way making a contribution to making communities better.

(CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson) not once mentioned them. He said it was the technology and it was extra policing and it was actual over-policing that made the difference. But now you need the community's help when you have so many of the resources that could be given to the community.

This story is about the Community Safety and Peace strategy of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities.

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Hoops for Peace

Safe and Peaceful grantee The Terrell Bosley Anti-Violence Association hosts this annual basketball tournament for boys and girls of all ages who reside in underserved communities that are plagued by gun violence. They believe that the model of a basketball game teaches the importance of teamwork and allows participants to release stress through athletics. 

The organization says its community outreach event served more than 250 families in the Chatham community, and it is growing annually because there are so many families in need. 

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Awesome Austin Art Fair

 With its summer art fair, Safe and Peaceful grantee Redevelopment Management Resources used art to both capture and create peace. "I want to change people's viewpoints of Austin, and explore the creativity of the people who live here," said organizer Serethea Matthews.

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Everyone who cares deeply about Chicago’s future can play a role.

If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.

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