Formed in 2020 in response to the uprisings against continued police violence of Black people across the country, the Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund is designed to provide additional funding to Black-led organizing. The Fund provided grants to Black-led community organizing groups as well as allied community organizing groups addressing anti-Blackness. In this context, community organizing means bringing people together who individually may lack power but collectively can build and wield power to advance racial justice.
The Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund will raise and move $10,000,000 to Chicago organizations building and sustaining movements for justice that center Black lives and address anti-Blackness.
Community organizing in this context means: Building movements and collective power to dismantle the systems, structures, and institutions that are rooted in white supremacy and perpetuate anti-Black violence.
Applications are reviewed as they are received. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis. The Fund is continually raising money from our partners and will continue to release grants as funding is available.*
*Fund will open mid- September
While $10,000,000 is not enough to address the ongoing violence that racial injustice inflicts, this is the first step of many needed toward a more just Chicago.
Justice is only possible through community-led movements. Chicago has a long history of community organizing which has evolved considerably. In the Black Lives Matter era, many Black-led organizations are building intersectional campaigns which understand the complexities of Black life and illustrate that no one is free until we’re all free.
Longstanding, deeply committed community organizations are amplifying their tenacious racial justice work while newer organizations are developing another generation of leaders ready to transform Chicago. They are all bringing expanded understandings of leadership, a different sense of priorities, new perspectives and new imaginations.
The Fund welcomes grassroots organizing that addresses white supremacy and systemic racism in the criminal legal and policing systems as well as organizing that seeks to create alternative economies, affordable housing, equitable public education policy, accessible healthcare, and worker justice.