New grants approved in December bring total grantmaking for the initiative to more than $34 million in just over one year
(Chicago …) With its latest round of grants to support development projects in Black and Latinx communities, We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery has invested nearly $34 million in the past 15 months, unlocking $328 million in new real estate investment to support thriving neighborhoods and a stronger Chicago.
We Rise Together announced more than $4 million in grants in December 2022 to support five new development projects that will bring health services, community services, youth programs, restaurants, business incubators, and jobs to Black and Latinx communities. We Rise Together complements these real estate investments with additional support to organizations working in these neighborhoods to strengthen Black and Latinx businesses and increase quality, resilient employment.
One of the grants approved will support a new medical clinic in Sauk Village being developed by Dr. Taiwo Durowade of Dardur Medical Group in partnership with Southland Development Authority.
“The value of this investment from We Rise Together is threefold: First, the investment supports the development of a health center in a medical desert that begins to address the needs of Sauk Village, a community of color in need. Second, this investment supports locally based professionals and an entrepreneur of color, Dr. Taiwo Durowade. Third, the investment supports a regional economic development organization servicing the needs of more than 750,000 residents,” said Bo Kemp, CEO of Southland Development Authority. “In short, We Rise Together’s investment directly impacts the Southland Development Authority’s efforts towards equity at a regional, local and individual level.”
Gloria Castillo, We Rise Together director, said that the December grant recipients represent the value of investing in Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and communities.
“Investments in projects such as Dardur Medical Group are bringing health care and much needed amenities to Black and Latinx communities while supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and building local wealth,” said Castillo. “We Rise Together is proud to support investments by and in Black and Latinx communities. When all communities in the Chicago region, regardless of race or geography, are stronger, our entire region will be stronger.”
We Rise Together awarded grants in December to the following projects:
Dardur Medical Group, Sauk Village, $500,000: Spearheaded and owned by Dr. Taiwo Durowade, Dardur Medical Group is a Black woman-owned and operated healthcare startup that will develop a two-acre parcel at 1771 Sauk Trail Rd. in Sauk Village in partnership with Southland Development Authority as a 6,000 sq. ft. medical clinic and eventually a more extensive medical campus to serve the area.
Enlace, Little Village, $1,000,000: Enlace will rehabilitate a 7,500 sq. ft. building at 2329 S. Troy Ave. in Little Village (South Lawndale) as its second community service hub to meet the need for increased violence prevention and mental health services, particularly for at-risk youth, as well as additional Enlace programming around education, workforce, and immigration.
Policy Kings, Bronzeville, $750,000 Policy Kings is a Black-owned, mixed-use commercial and residential development at 353-357 E. 51st St. that will help catalyze the revitalization of the 51st Street corridor by creating space for locally owned businesses and enterprises in the arts, culture, health, wellness, and food.
Urban Juncture, Bronzeville, $1,500,000: Urban Juncture will renovate 300-314 E. 51st St. to house four new culinary businesses, workforce programming, and small business support services, adding to this transit-oriented development that has already brought community gardens, business services, and more than 50 jobs to the Bronzeville community.
Batter & Berries and The Bruce, Austin, $650,000: Juan & Only, a Black-owned events production company, and Batter & Berries, a successful Black-owned breakfast and lunch restaurant in Lincoln Park, will collaborate to bring a restaurant and shared event space to Austin called The Bruce, by renovating a 4,000 sq. ft. vacant building at 5924-26 W. Chicago Ave.
About We Rise Together
We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery is a collaborative of corporate and philanthropic funders making focused investments with and in long-disinvested Black and Latinx neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed how chronic disinvestment exacerbated health and economic risks and left communities of color uniquely vulnerable. In response, this five-year initiative, which made its first grants in September 2021, is developing a model for hyper-local community reinvestment at scale by making grants, transforming business practices, and changing policies to support investment in disinvested neighborhoods, strengthen Black and Latinx businesses, and increase quality, resilient employment. wrtogether.org.