Chicago Foundation for Women Announces Over $930,000 Investment in Women’s Health and Freedom from Violence
June 27 2019

Foundation also increases investment in wraparound supports for women in Englewood 

CHICAGO, IL (June 27, 2019) – Today, Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) announced 68 grants totaling $931,400 to support access to health, freedom from violence and economic security for women and girls in the Chicago region. Entering its third year, the Englewood Women’s Initiative will grow to ten partner agencies and increase investments in women and families in Englewood to $200,000. Investments also include 14 grants, totaling $104,400 made by the LBTQ, Women United and Young Women’s Giving Councils and the North Shore and Western Suburbs Giving Circles of CFW, which empower women as philanthropic leaders in their communities.

“Access to health and safety should not depend on your zip code, your race or ethnicity, or how much money you have,” CFW President/CEO Felicia Davis said. “Thanks to thousands of supporters across the region, Chicago Foundation for Women is making critical investments in building safe and healthy communities for all women and girls who call Chicago home.”

CFW’s spring grantmaking cycle focuses on freedom from violence and access to health care and information through direct service, as well as advocacy. Organizations receiving grants include:

Chicago Women’s Health Center, a pioneering feminist health center providing access to health care and health education for women and trans people in a respectful environment, on a sliding scale.

Latinos Progresando, the largest Latino-led immigration legal services program in Illinois, provides immigrant victims of domestic violence with legal support to achieve independence.

CFW made a third round of investments totaling $200,000 in the Englewood Women’s Initiative (EWI), and expanded the initiative to ten partners working collaboratively to support economic security for women and their families in the Greater Englewood area. EWI partner agencies work in concert to connect upwards of sixty women with skills, resources and comprehensive support to put them on a path to good jobs (earning at least $40,000/year with benefits) and long-term economic stability. At the time of enrollment in EWI, 77 percent of participants report annual incomes under $10,000.

“We are excited to deepen our investments in health, safety and justice in the Greater Englewood area,” Davis added. “By taking a collaborative, neighborhood-based approach, we are able to build a supportive network that helps remove whatever barriers stand between women in Englewood and economic security.”

EWI partner agencies are Accion Chicago, All Chicago, Chicago Women in Trades, Demoiselle 2 Femme, Family Rescue, Jane Addams Resource Corporation, the Dawson Technical Institute of Kennedy King College, the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, Metropolitan Family Services and Teamwork Englewood.

The Giving Councils and Circles of CFW bring together women to make an impact in their communities through collective giving. In fiscal year 2019, the six Giving Councils and Circle of CFW have made 19 grants totaling $137,400. Organizations receiving spring Giving Council and Circle grants include:

360 Youth Services, which provides transitional housing for young women struggling with homelessness in DuPage and surrounding counties with the support of a Western Suburbs Giving Circle grant.

A Long Walk Home, a Chicago-based national nonprofit that uses art to empower young people to end violence against girls and women. A Women United Giving Council grant will support the Girl/Friends Leadership Institute to empower teen girls of color to use art and youth leadership to create campaigns to end gender violence in their schools and communities.

Brave Space Alliance, a Chicago-based social justice collective run by and for transgender women and gender-nonconforming people of color. A grant from the Young Women’s Giving Council will support community organizing, self-defense training and workshops, workforce development and job fairs, peer-led homelessness prevention, counseling, food justice initiatives and advocacy.

Center for Independent Futures creates person-centered programs giving individuals with disabilities and families skills and opportunities to realize full lives. A North Shore Giving Circle grant will support designing and implementing supports for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have experienced sexual and/or physical assault.

The National LGBTQ Workers Center, an organization for LGBTQ workers to stand up to workplace discrimination and fight for economic justice. A grant from the LBTQ Giving Council will support Chicago-based organizing to create forums where LGBTQ workers can come together, learn about their rights, share stories, build community and get the tools they need to organize for a stronger tomorrow.

CFW awarded five additional grants through a matching grant from the Polk Bros. Foundation Fund for Emerging Organizations. The fund fosters early growth in promising nonprofits with annual operating budgets below $75,000.

For the complete list of grants awarded for the Spring 2019 cycle, click here. CFW has invested over $36 million in women and girls since its founding in 1985.