State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates - Click Here

As protests continue in Chicago and across the nation this week, I encourage you to find ways to support peaceful protests and stand in solidarity with businesses that are trying to recover from damage at the same time they are cautiously reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.


We must stand together to say that Black Lives Matter. We must commit to the work ahead to reform our justice system and dismantle the layers of harm of systemic racism. As we stand in support of the peaceful protesters who are seeking reform, I want to highlight resources we can use to amplify Black voices and help in our communities. Read below for information on those resources.

 

Sincerely,


Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

 

Groups to support and follow for information on the protests and on seeking justice

 

Chicago/Illinois Organizations:

  • Assata's Daughters is a Black-woman led organization that organizes young Black people in Chicago by providing them with political education, leadership development, mentorship, and revolutionary services. (https://www.assatasdaughters.org/)
  • Black Lives Matter Chicago Chapter works to end state violence and criminalization of Black communities by deconstructing white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy. (https://www.blacklivesmatterchicago.com/about-us/)
  • Brave Space Alliance performs social activism against discrimination, racism, and bigotry against queer people of color. It provides resources to marginalized communities including a food pantry. https://www.bravespacealliance.org/
  • Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression is a local chapter of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. This group addresses and fights against discrimination based on race and religion. (https://www.caarpr.org/?fbclid=IwAR2xIoQjUyn3fXyoverRY9b4CBWFehByn7gd3AqF7g8FvaFYex4MBlo2XCw)
  • Chicago Community Bond Fund raises money for bail for those arrested in the protests who cannot afford it. https://chicagobond.org/
  • Chicago COVID-19 Hardship and Help organizes mutual-aid to families that are hard hit by the virus. Families make requests to the organization. Volunteers fulfill those requests. https://transformativespaces.org/2020/03/15/chicago-covid-19-hardship-and-help-page/amp/
  • My Block, My Hood, My City funds and organizes efforts to repair small businesses. It also provides aid to seniors for COVID-19. https://www.formyblock.org/
  • Imagine Englewood works to strengthen and empower the Greater Englewood community through teaching local youth and their families healthy living, environmental awareness, and positive communication skills. (https://www.imagineenglewoodif.org/). They are also using funds for neighborhood clean-ups.
  • SOUL (Southsiders Organized for Liberty and Unification) seeks to empower and support low income residents on the South Side. Currently, they are arguing for the release of arrested protestors and putting them in touch with legal services while spreading information about demonstrations/protests. (http://www.soulinchicago.org/)

 

National Organizations:

  • Black Youth Project 100 is a grassroots organization building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and education. Our membership core believes in the principles of decision-making, radical inclusivity, and is building a Black politic through a Black, queer, feminist lens. (https://www.byp100.org)
  • Color of Change is an online organization that develops campaigns to challenge
    injustice, hold corporate and political leaders accountable, commission game-changing research on systems of inequality, and advance solutions for racial justice that can transform our world. (https://colorofchange.org)
  • Dignity and Power Now is a grassroots organization grounded in the principles of abolition, healing justice, and transformative justice. Dignity and Power Now has multiple programs centered around activism, health and wellness, and leadership building. (http://dignityandpowernow.org)
  • Campaign Zero supports the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide. (https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision)

 

Aid for businesses affected by civil unrest

The state's Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is working to secure access to helpful resources for businesses affected by circumstances arising out of the past weeks of protests and police action. DCEO is working with the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely affected by these events in counties that have received a disaster declaration (including Cook). As a part of this process, DCEO is collecting information from businesses that have been negatively impacted. You can access the form by clicking here.

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