News

Photo by Alexis Sanchez-Boyzo (June 2020)

 

After a historic voter turnout, the presidency of Donald J. Trump is coming to an end. In January, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States, and Kamala Harris will be Vice President, a historic first for women, Black, and Asian American communities. All across the country, people voted in record numbers. Still, it was the overwhelming support of Black, brown, and indigenous voters that got the electoral votes needed to win. We take time to pause and exhale.

 

However, we cannot negate the terror and violence against marginalized communities during the past four years. Instead of looking away, we have to face the painful truth that our country is broken and that the cracks made visible under Trump were made long before he took office. 

 

Looking to the next four years, we resolve to continue funding grassroots groups fighting to build an equitable society that treats every person with dignity and cares for the most vulnerable. A Biden presidential win is not a reason to stop supporting resistance movements. The wins on Election Day are the direct result of people taking to the streets and organizing against every bad policy, every threat to civil liberties, and every gasoline-fueled fire of division by the outgoing administration. Organizing is how we win and there is so much at stake.

 

We echo the calls from organizers and activists for bold visionary policies that will bring us closer to collective liberation. The global pandemic has emphasized the need for universal health care and financial safety nets. The increasing frequency and intensity of climate catastrophes mean that we are overdue for nothing less than a Green New Deal. The stock market's resilience, while millions of people are unemployed and housing insecure, demands that we reign in the racial wealth divide. The violence that Black and brown people across the country experience at the hands of police and the carceral system calls us to shift resources and build restorative and transformative justice models. The time to act is now. 

 

Join us and our grantee partners in fighting for a just world; we are in it for the long haul regardless of who is in the White House today or after January 20th.

 

La lucha continua! The struggle continues!

 

What You Can Do Right Now

 

Electoral politics alone will not free us; organizing will. Please consider a gift to Crossroads Fund so that we can continue to fund the intersectional organizing and movements we need for liberation.

 

Apply to the Critical Response Fund

To meet the needs of communities hit hardest by this political moment, Crossroads Fund has re-opened our Critical Response Fund. The fund will provide organizations with resources to protect, empower and support community members in this time of crisis. In addition, we seek to support work that radically reimagines community care, expands our notion of what is possible, and orients toward building the world we need.

Deadline: November 23, 2020

 

Let's take a moment in community to breathe and learn about ways to support grassroots movements for thefights ahead. Please register today to join us on Wednesday, November 18th at 4:30pm for our Post Election Community Care Night. 

Mon, Nov 09, 2020

 

Crossroads Fund is excited to welcome five dynamic leaders to our Board of Directors! These individuals bring a wealth of experience in a variety of fields to Crossroads Fund as we continue supporting organizers and activists in this unprecedented political moment. Since our founding in 1981, Crossroads Fund has served as an anchor organization for movement building by pooling resources and moving money to support underfunded and necessary organizing for racial, social, and economic justice in Chicago.

Learn more about the movements and organizations that received a grant from Crossroads Fund.

Meet our newest Board members below.

Makkah Ali is a Director on the Managed Organizations team at Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic advisory firm that works with partners to develop, structure, and maximize the impact of charitable projects. In this role, she provides operational and management support to non-profit organizations and fiscally sponsored charitable projects. Prior to joining Arabella, Makkah served as Grants Manager at the El-Hibri Foundation where she managed all stages of the annual grants cycle and facilitated learning and collaboration opportunities between grantees. In her spare time, Makkah co-hosts the Identity Politics Podcast which features new stories and perspectives at the intersection of race, gender, and Muslim life in America. She previously served as President of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative and was a proud participant in the 2019 Giving Project.
Cecile DeMello is a community organizer, community developer, and policy maker working to uplift communities on the South and West side of Chicago. Currently the Executive Director of Teamwork Englewood, previously Cecile was Co-Executive Director of Blocks Together for 10 years, a Crossroads Fund grantee. She is also currently serving as the acting Englewood Quality of Life Plan Project Manager at Teamwork Englewood. She holds a Masters in Not for Profit Management and a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from UIC.

Lee Andel Dewey (they/them) provides sliding-scale-to-free accounting, bookkeeping, and consultation services under their business, LADhoc Accounting. They are an organizer, activist, and advocate for the trans/gender nonconforming, queer, and HIV+ communities, all of which they are a part, laboring in collaboration and support of those which they are not. Their activism is focused upon anti-racism, anti-bigotry, the abolition of the police, prisons, and related systems of oppression, and towards effecting positive radical change. Lee is the Lead Organizer/Facilitator for CommunityCave Chicago, the Treasurer of the Board for Upswing Advocates, and a Community Advisory Board Member for AIDS Foundation Chicago. They are a passionate, year round commuter cyclist, a fair weather artist, enamoured with the outdoors, and always in search of their next dance floor.

 

Brenda Hernandez is a Chicago-based Mexican educator and cultural worker. She is currently Co-Director of the Allied Media Conference and AMSeeds convenings of Allied Media Project. Brenda has curated neighborhood programming for Chicago Artist Month, Yollocalli Arts Reach, FMEL, Soul Togetherness and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She has written on the intersection of art, education and youth advocacy for A.R.E.A.  and Contratiempo Magazine. Brenda was a member of the Crossroads Fund Giving Project in 2018; and is a Board Member of the Public Media Institute.
Muhammad Sankari, the child of Arab immigrants from Lebanon, is the current Lead Organizer at the Arab American Action Network where he has worked since 2010. Currently he helps guide the youth-led campaign to End Racial Profiling which focuses on combatting specific tools that law enforcement uses to surveil, entrap, and oppress memebers of the Arab & Muslim communities of the Chicagoland area.

View our full Board of Directors here.

Mon, Sep 28, 2020

 

 

Pictured from left to right: (front) Barbara Resendiz, Ruth Maciulis, Caroline Wooten, Cherie Lockett, Erica Knox, Michael Aguhar (middle) Felicia Slaton-Young, LaTierra Piphus, Robin Semer, Jessie Robinson, Gaby Wagener-Sobrero, Wendy Weinstock Brown, Jessica Barrett, Anjali Misra, Tomás Uriostegui (back) Aisha Truss-Miller, Meredith Coulter, Lena Singer, Elli Krandel, Bill Lamme, Jake Wild Crea, Jonah Krischer, Gabriel Jones, Jazmin Garcia, Erica Lynette Edwards, Lizette Garza, Jane Kimondo (not pictured: Jojo Galvan, Mike Strode)

Crossroads Fund is excited to announce that the 2020 Giving Project cohort raised $174,116 - a new record! This multi-racial, cross-class, intersectional group of 24 people faced an unprecedented challenge by raising these funds while sheltering-in-place as existing inequalities intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the group rose to the occasion and demonstrated organizing by pooling resources from 355 donors to be in solidarity with movement groups.  

“Being a part of Crossroads Fund's 2020 Giving Project cohort transformed my understanding of mutual aid. I’m thankful for the guidance that staff gave us to direct our energy around donor organizing and participatory grant-making during such a critical time for supporting our communities’ health and safety. I learned that pre-existing inequalities were only being exacerbated by the pandemic, and that solidarity efforts (such as the Giving Project) are important antidotes. It was an incredible opportunity to show up alongside fellow Chicagoans and help amplify collective liberation work through impactful giving.” 

- Anjali Misra, 2020 Giving Project participant

In the current moment where corporations and the wealthy are exploiting disaster capitalism to extract even more from Black and brown communities, the Giving Project granted these funds to 36 organizations who are in the streets challenging the very foundations of white supremacy and racial capitalism. These grantees are leading the calls to defund the police, constructing mutual aid networks to support those most impacted by the pandemic, and are galvanizing a radical imagination to cultivate communities of care.

The 2020 Giving Project listens to Jane Kimondo's instructions during an introductory activity in January 2020.

“During the pandemic and uprisings, there are/were moments when I felt powerless; crushed that my experiences and that of my people would never matter in a nation that took so much from us, and has done nothing to reconcile its moral and financial debts. The Giving Project gave space for me to voice my rage of deprivation and acknowledge my privilege- to feel it and work through it, constructively. Learning about the work of dope-as-f* grassroots agencies fighting for transformative change and freedom, and the teaching-learning within the GP cohort helped to restore my hope, when I had lost all hope for change. Reflecting on the GP experience helps me LIVE (beyond simply surviving) through the pandemic and the pain of disparity, ignorance and tolerance of anti-Black violence and oppression, and the heartbreak of gun-violence in our city. When I was overcome with feelings of powerlessness it was the Giving Project that fostered a space for me to exercise my leadership and power in the struggle for liberation, when no other spaces could or would. I am forever grateful for the entire experience.”

- Aisha Truss-Miller, 2020 Giving Project participant

The Giving Project program is part of Crossroads Fund’s commitment to racial justice. Through staff-facilitated training on white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and power, the cohort centers the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and nuanced discussions dive deep into the realities of structural oppression in our society. The cohort explored how race and class show up in fundraising and grantmaking. Each participant made a meaningful gift and mobilized their networks to support grassroots organizations in Chicago fighting for racial justice. Join us in congratulating them on their boldness and determination to fund groups fighting on the front lines for change.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

The Giving Project is an innovative model for democratizing philanthropy and grassroots organizing. Through political education that explores race and class, alumni of the Giving Project are equipped with fundraising and grantmaking skills, to be stronger advocates in raising money for progressive movements. Since 2015, the Giving Project program has raised more than $650,000 from over 1,000 donors

Crossroads Fund is a public foundation that supports grassroots organizations for racial, social, and economic justice.

Tue, Aug 04, 2020

Crossroads Fund is excited to announce that we awarded $81,000 in grants to twenty-three organizations through our Youth Fund for Social Change (Youth Fund) in 2020. These impactful youth-led movements are fearlessly challenging Chicago’s unjust systems by imagining bold solutions to build community and heal in a time of uncertainty. 

In 2008, Crossroads Fund launched the Youth Fund to confirm our commitment to supporting the vision and voices of our city’s young people. Since then, we have granted over $500,000 to more than 100 organizations whose innovative activism and resistance has left an indelible mark on Chicago. Some of these movements include the 2010 launch of the Immigrant Youth Justice League's "Coming Out of the Shadows" as undocumented and unafraid campaign, We Charge Genocide’s visit to the United Nations to present a report on the brutality of the Chicago Police Department in 2014, Fearless Leading by the Youth's (FLY) organizing victory to open a trauma center on Chicago's Southside in 2015, and the recent #NoCopAcademy campaign challenging the construction of a new police academy and galvanizing the city in a call for schools for kids, not for cops. 

This year’s awardees are carrying this legacy forward in building cross-connected movements for racial, social, and economic justice in the face of climate change’s looming existential threat. In spite of this, young people are cultivating new ways of healing through art, developing creative new ways to protest and resist the prevailing power structures, and doing all of this with an irresistible sense of hope. Join us in celebrating and supporting the work of these inspiring groups:

A Long Walk Home

About Face Theatre

Alliance of the SouthEast (ASE)

Arab American Action Network (AAAN)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Chicago Desi Youth Rising

Chicago Freedom School

Cicero Independiente

Circles & Ciphers

Club Taji Ciudad Hidalgo

Free Street Theater

Free Write Arts & Literacy

Hana Center

ONE Northside

she crew

Solidarity Studios

Southside Together Organizing for Power

Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL)

Student Coalition for Reproductive Justice

Territory NFP

The Warehouse Project & Gallery

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP)

Youth Outlook

Thu, Jul 16, 2020

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade

Say their names and add these to the tragic list of Black people murdered by police and white supremacists. These state-sanctioned murders continue the unabated legacy of violence against Black people in the United States. This violence, simultaneously occurring while COVID-19 is decimating Black and Brown communities due to the negligence of elected officials, has pushed community members to their limits. Young people, organizers, neighbors, activists, and others rose up and voiced their rage over the last few days in Chicago.

In response, the police erupted in violence with the full support of Chicago’s mayor. The juxtaposition of medical professionals desperately begging for personal protective equipment during a pandemic while militarized police were fully equipped in armor to battle protestors over the weekend is staggering.

Crossroads Fund stands in solidarity with protestors’ demands for the dismantling of white supremacy, the immediate divestment from carceral racial capitalism, and investment in the things that actually keep people safe: reparations, food, housing for all, healthcare, police-free schools, transformative justice practices, accessibility and more. We will continue to support movements for racial, social, and economic justice by listening to the demands of protesters and funding the grassroots organizations who are imagining a more just future that is yet to come.

Meanwhile, we invite you to support local grassroots organizing. Please find our list of grantees here or contact us if you have questions.

And/Or consider making a gift to Crossroads Fund’s work of supporting local movements even when the limelight has dimmed.

Wed, Jun 03, 2020