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Today on Indigenous Peoples Day, we recognize the Indigenous people, communities, and movements that continue to fight for sovereignty and self-determination. Historically, the location of present-day Chicago served as a military fort that supported the westward expansion of European settlers. This process of colonization was enabled through Homestead Acts authorized in the 19th century with support from various Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln. Throughout the Midwest, land continues to be used for monoculture agriculture and livestock production that is commodified on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The wealth created from these actions justifies the existence of police, perpetuates hypersegregation based on race, and leads to surveillance in Black and Brown communities across the city.

 

Thus, we acknowledge the original caretakers of this land, the Three Fires Confederacy: Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi; and the Myaamia, Inoka, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee. The City of Chicago continues to occupy unceded Indigenous territory that was created from the debris of the 1871 Chicago Fire. This land includes areas east of Michigan Avenue where Millennium Park, Grant Park, and Burnham Park are located. This continued violence must be recognized in order for there to be the repatriation of Indigenous land and life.

 

We invite you to enhance Indigenous visibility by decolonizing your understanding of U.S. history and learning about Indigenous territories, narratives, and movements.

 

 



Mon, Oct 11, 2021

Soon we’ll see the end of summer in Chicago, which means a change in weather and flow. As the air becomes crisp and the leaves turn orange, yellow, and red, young people are back in school, and family and friend time is relegated to indoor activities. With the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, the fall and winter remain uncertain. However, organizers in communities that have historically faced inequity, continue to organize and fight. We’re proud that they are our grantee partners; they are the reason why we’re experiencing a Hot Rad[ical] Summer.

Organizing work doesn’t have a season and, in fact, it’s year-round. Crossroads Fund is committed to movements in all seasons and we hope you are too. Please make a gift to Crossroads Fund, a public foundation, so we can collectively continue to be responsive to ongoing organizing happening in Chicago

Jane Kimondo

Executive Director

 
 

LISTEN UP! Follow our Hot Rad [ICAL] Summer Playlist, a digital gift to you from the Crossroads Fund staff.

Thu, Sep 09, 2021

After 16 months of remote learning, and as the city struggles with an increase in COVID-19 cases and new variants, Chicago students, teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff returned to classrooms earlier this week. While we sit with excitement about the first days of classes, we also are cautious about the safety and well-being of our children, friends and loved ones. And even as the mayor touts a successful re-opening, 2,000+ Chicago Public School (CPS) students were unable to get bus service due to a national bus driver shortage.

Chicagoans are no strangers to inequality, uncertainty, and volatility within our public school system. We also know through past victories that systemic change occurs at the grassroots level. Crossroads Fund lifts up 40 Years Rooted in Radical Education Justice. Examples include groups like: Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH), a youth council that worked on a “Decolonize CPS” campaign to create and implement high school curriculum that better represents the lived experiences of youth of color. The Coalition to Revitalize Walter H. Dyett High School, a group of parents, teachers, educators, and community residents that organized a 34-day hunger strike that successfully pressured CPS to reopen the doors of Dyett.

Education Justice Grantees also include:

Parents 4 Teachers: an all-volunteer organization that brings together parents and teachers to fight for quality schools by organizing against underlying causes of inequality, i.e. institutional racism, social and economic inequity, and corporate privatization of public resources. 

Raise Your Hand: a coalition of parents and concerned citizens advocating for quality public education for Chicago’s children. They provide information on education policies, promote civic engagement, conduct research and create public spaces where parents, teachers and the community work together.

At Crossroads Fund we pool resources to sustain movement work for the long haul. Crossroads Fund is committed to funding education movements for racial, social, and economic justice in Chicago. Will you join us by making a one-time gift or a gift over time?

 

Jane Kimondo

Executive Director

 


LISTEN UP! Follow our Hot Rad [ICAL] Summer Playlist, a digital gift to you from the Crossroads Fund staff.

 

 

 

 

Thu, Sep 02, 2021

We hope this message finds you well and that you have all you need in these times. We want to say thank you to the supporters of the Lisa Fittko Internship Fund at Crossroads Fund. The 15-year-old paid internship program is an integral part of Crossroads Fund’s mission to support the development of youth organizers and activists in Chicago.

We want to share a note from the 2019 Lisa Fittko intern, Alexis Sanchez Boyzo, the 10th intern of the program.


My introduction to Crossroads Fund was through the Lisa Fittko internship program. I was lucky to have the opportunity to use and grow my skills in a wholesome way through people that cultivate hope.

When I think about Lisa’s legacy and her friends that created this opportunity, I can’t help but get inspired to continue to seed hope throughout my lifetime. Lisa was fearless and faced the wrath of fascism by running away from the Gestapo and escorting refugees on a tortuous path over the Pyrenees mountains so they could seek safety when Hitler’s Nazi empire was taking over Europe. I am still learning to cultivate hope and eventually will be able to seed it.

My internship at Crossroads Fund, I would say, has been unusual and honestly quite a journey. At the start, it all seemed to be going well. We were planning for our annual benefit Seeds of Change 2020 when the COVID19 pandemic began to spread in the United States, slapping the whole world still. My project at Crossroads Fund was to document how our grantees responded to the inequities that surfaced from the pandemic through photography and video. Amid a pandemic and global uprisings for racial justice after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, I have grown to understand the importance of relationships building that is strengthened when we choose to trust one another. What comes after trust is the power of organizing with people that care about you and others. When a country fails to look out for you, looking out for one another becomes a priority. All this to say, in the words of Miriame Kaba, "Everything worthwhile is done with others."

My internship experience has been transformative, and for that, I thank everyone, especially the friends of Lisa Fittko, who have made this opportunity possible. - Alexis Sanchez Boyzo

As Crossroads Fund celebrates 40 Years Rooted in Radical Change and Lisa’s birthday, we thank you for being part of Lisa’s legacy. Your support has made the difference in building youth leaders who are making a difference and creating their legacies of change. Will you consider making a gift today to continue our tradition of fostering the growth of young Chicago leaders? Your gift of any amount will be pooled to support the Lisa Fittko Internship at Crossroads Fund for years to come.

Thank you!

Jacqueline Kirley and Jaquelyn Zevin
Friends of Lisa Fittko 

 
 

The Life of Lisa Fittko Told by Vreni Naess

WATCH: The Life of Lisa Fittko Told by Vreni Naess


The Lisa Fittko Internship at Crossroads Fund was established by the friends of Lisa Fittko to honor her legacy as a social justice activist. All her life, on two continents, Lisa advocated and worked for social justice and political rights. From her teenage years until she fled Europe in 1941, Lisa worked to oppose fascism. She and her husband helped to lead people out of Nazi-occupied France into Spain. Lisa passed away in 2005. Through the Lisa Fittko Internship program, she is remembered by her friends, family, and a global community of individuals.

Mon, Aug 23, 2021

 

A year ago, we didn’t have a vaccine or all the information necessary to keep our communities safe. What was true then and now is that the harm caused is not equally distributed. Through our Critical Response Fund, Crossroads Fund has supported groups on the ground who have stepped up to ensure that their communities have the necessary information and resources to survive through mutual aid support.
 
Mutual aid isn’t about changing hearts and minds but about changing our economic structures and our social relationships to build the world we want. It is not just a number to call in an emergency, but a blueprint for how we build solid relationships and collectively care for our neighbors without expectations. It is profoundly challenging interpersonal work.

Grantee Highlights:

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) - a group providing mutual aid to LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and creating alternative systems of support.

Mama's Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity - mothers of folks who have been impacted by criminal justice state violence.

360 Nation - a West Garfield Park community organization that works with youth to transform vacant lots into urban farms and spaces for developing critical consciousness.

Crossroads Fund is committed to supporting mutual aid movements rooted in the belief of solidarity, not charity.  Will you join us in supporting these movements by making a one-time gift or a gift over time

 

Jane Kimondo

Executive Director

 

 

LISTEN UP! Follow our Hot Rad [ICAL] Summer Playlist, a digital gift to you from the Crossroads Fund staff.

Wed, Aug 18, 2021