Illinois Environmental Policy Platform
February 19, 2021
Our Environment grantee Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) led the development of a new comprehensive Illinois Environmental Policy Platform. The first new environmental platform for the state in ten years, it will guide IEC’s advocacy and education work, and includes an exciting Allyship & Powerbuilding plank that centers the experiences and needs of communities made vulnerable by systemic racism.
Welcoming City Ordinance
February 18, 2021
Thanks to the five years of organizing by undocumented immigrants and allied immigrant rights organizations, including three of our grantees (Latino Union of Chicago, Hana Center, and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights), Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance is strengthened. Exceptions which allowed the Chicago Police Department to work with Immigration & Customs Enforcement if an individual who is undocumented had previous contact with the criminal justice system have been eliminated from the ordinance. Learn more about how the updated ordinance protects the undocumented community here.
COVID-19 Impact on Food Warehouse Workers Report
January 12, 2021
Economy grantee Raise the Floor Alliance, in collaboration with Warehouse Workers for Justice, Chicago Workers Collaborative, and Partners for Dignity & Rights, released a crucial research report on the impacts of COVID-19 on food warehouse workers in the Chicagoland area. The COVID Jungle: Chicagoland’s Essential Food Workers and the Need for Vaccination Priority, uplifts the stories of essential food workers and provides recommendations for protecting their health and safety.
We are proud to support this important work that centers and advocates for the needs of workers most impacted by the pandemic.
COVID-19 Impact on Schools Report
October 7, 2020
Education grantee Partnership for Resilience has released an important report on the impact of COVID-19 on trauma responsive schools in South Suburban Cook County, Southern Illinois, and Springfield.
We are proud to support this critical work to ensure that all Illinois students have an equitable and high-quality learning experience.
A Personal Reflection & Call to Action
July 30, 2020
In this essay by Steve Barg, Executive Director of the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (a GVF grantee), he boldly and honestly reflects on his own evolution in thinking about racism and privilege. In the context of the current moment we are in with renewed calls for racial justice, Steve’s essay encourages people in the land conservation sector to educate themselves about racism, listen to people of color, and act on their commitment to change.
July 29, 2020
With the pandemic negatively impacting people’s mental health and increasing the risk of domestic violence, the Elgin Human Services Council led a successful, bilingual media campaign promoting a mental wellness tool, #ElginCares. Gaining over 1,000 followers on its Facebook page during the campaign’s run, the tool encourages people to check in about their mental health, examine their relationships, and engage in wellness activities. It also provides a list of confidential resources for those who indicate need assistance.
2020 Leader for A New Chicago
July 14, 2020
Congrats to Juliet De Jesus Alejandre, Executive Director of Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), for being named a 2020 Leader for a New Chicago! Juliet is one of 11 influential Chicago leaders working in the areas of Justice, Art, or Media & Storytelling. Read about Juliet’s work at LSNA in this Chicago Tribune announcement of the award.
Chicago Foundation for Women Impact Founders Award
July 13, 2020
Congrats to Wendy Pollack, Founder and Director of the Women’s Law and Policy Initiative at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, a GVF grantee, for being named a Founders Award honoree at Chicago Foundation for Women’s 2020 Impact Awards! Wendy is one of five leaders who will be honored at this year’s Impact Awards for their commitment to improving the lives of women and girls in the Chicago region. Read here about Wendy’s decades of work and commitment to advancing gender equity.
Welcoming Outdoor Spaces
July 10, 2020
Check out this important blog post about the need for the environmental movement to address racism experienced by African Americans and other people of color. Tonyisha Harris, Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Administrator at the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC), details how crucial it is that open lands and outdoor spaces are safe, inclusive, and welcoming for people of color. We are pleased that our grantee IEC is a leader in speaking out about racism and inequity.
We Must Be in it for the Long Haul
June 11, 2020
ABFE, in collaboration with over 60 Black philanthropic executives, released this powerful joint action statement. It suggests 10 bold actions that the philanthropic sector can take to address systemic, anti-Black racism.
Our Role in These Times
June 5, 2020
Just as we began to grapple with the racial inequities that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated, we have been confronted with another reality of racial injustice that has never stopped-violence against African Americans. In an Op-Ed for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, our Executive Director asks the sector to be more accountable and take specific actions to make racial justice and equity a reality.
New ABFE Board Member
April 20, 2020
We are proud to announce that our Executive Director Sharon Bush has been elected to the Board of Directors of ABFE!
ABFE is a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities.
Restoration of the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
April 9, 2020
We are so proud to share that Landscape Architecture Magazine published a great piece in their March issue about the restoration of the Midewin National Tallgrass Praire. Along with the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, we contributed a $1 million matching grant to the National Forest Foundation to support this expansive initiative to preserve and restore one of the largest public, open spaces in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Successes & Challenges in Addressing COVID-19
We are starting a conversation to understand whether and how organizations are addressing the needs of communities, families and individuals. Please share how COVID-19 has impacted your organization’s operations, programs and services? What impacts do you see among the communities you serve and engage? How can we support you during this time? Please share your experiences and ideas by emailing us at email@example.com.
Grantees and Partners Named to Early Childcare Education Funding Commission
February 10, 2020
GVF is pleased to share that many of our grantees and partners have been named to Gov. Pritzker’s new 29-member early childcare funding commission. Congrats to Patricia Chamberlain, co-chair of Elgin Partnership for Early Learning, Shauna Ejeh, Senior Vice President for Programs of Illinois Action for Children, Phyllis Glink, Executive Director of Irving Harris Foundation, Lori Longueville, Director of Child Care Resource and Referral at John A. Logan College, and Trish Rooney, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at Fox Valley United Way! Learn more about how the commission plans to tackle Illinois’s crisis in early childcare education funding at Chalkbeat.org.
Latino Policy Forum Helps Shatter Stereotypes of English Language Learners
February 7, 2020
Our Special Initiatives grantee, Latino Policy Forum, collaborated on ground-breaking research in partnership with the UChicago Consortium on School Research, showing that Chicago Public Schools students who are still learning English outperform their native English-speaking classmates. Download and read the report from the Consortium.
Upsolve CEO is 2020 TED Fellow
February 5, 2020
We are proud to share that Rohan Pavuluri, CEO and Founder of our Economy grantee Upsolve, is a 2020 TED Fellow! Rohan is one of 20 inspiring thinkers from around the world chosen to be a Fellow this year, providing them an opportunity to collaborate on ideas and give TED Talks at the annual TED Conference in Vancouver. Learn about Rohan and the other Fellows here.
Early Literacy Program Serves Children ‘While They Wait’ at Doctor’s Office
June 24, 2019
Two grantees, Elgin Partnership for Early Learning and Greater Elgin Family Care Center, partnered to bring bilingual, educational activities for children to waiting rooms. Read more…
Get Outside and Explore Nature!
June 19, 2019
There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors. Openlands, an Environment grantee, launched Illinois’ first interactive map to connect residents of the Chicago region to 350 parks, preserves, and natural areas open to the public. Openlands.org/GetOutside