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Three finalists for Chicago Prize receive $500,000 each from We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery for development projects in Black and Latinx communities

By April 25, 2023May 3rd, 2023No Comments

Grants will support new retail, workforce, and business development in Greater Grand Crossing, South Chicago/South Shore, and the former LeClaire Courts neighborhoods

(Chicago) … We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery announced $1.5 million in grants for three new development projects that will support stronger local economies in Black and Latinx neighborhoods in Chicago.

Each project was part of an application that advanced to the finalist round for the 2022 Chicago Prize awarded by the Pritzker Traubert Foundation. We Rise Together pledged to support Chicago Prize finalist projects that align with We Rise Together’s strategies to invest in disinvested communities, strengthen employment, and support Black and Latinx-owned businesses.

“Chicago Prize and We Rise Together share the goal of accelerating locally led visions for thriving economies in Chicago’s Black and Latinx communities,” said Christen Wiggins, program director, We Rise Together. “There’s a strong pipeline of investment opportunities in these communities, and we’re excited to be a part of a growing ecosystem of philanthropic, corporate, and public funders whose investment encourages communities to continue to think big.”

“We are extremely grateful for our partnership with We Rise Together and for their ongoing commitment. These awards provide critical investments toward the important work of advancing bold community-led plans for neighborhood change that were highlighted by the Chicago Prize,” said Kenya Merritt, program officer, Pritzker Traubert Foundation.

The three projects We Rise Together supports will bring new retail, local businesses, community ownership, and workforce and business development services to Greater Grand Crossing, South Shore/South Chicago, and the former LeClaire Courts neighborhoods of Chicago. In addition to $500,000 in funding for each project, We Rise Together also provides expert assistance to help project leads overcome challenges that arise during construction.

We Rise Together awarded grants in April to the following projects:

Exchange Crossing, South Shore/South Chicago, $500,000: Funding will support the acquisition, development, and re-programming of the Star Plaza retail center at 7908 S. Exchange Ave. with locally owned community businesses and amenities.

The Green, the former LeClaire Courts, $500,000: Funding will support the construction of The Green Business Institute (“The Green”), 4942 W. 44th St., a cradle-to-career green business development center that will be an extension of the Cultivate Collective Community and Sustainability Hub, which broke ground in April 2022.

Xchange Grand Crossing, Greater Grand Crossing, $500,000: Funding will support the development of Xchange Grand Crossing, a 50,000 square foot building constructed on approximately two acres at 7327-7369 South Chicago Ave, where graduates will train for and secure jobs in technology, address health care needs, and start new businesses.

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.   

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