Founding members Samantha Martinez, Katia Martinez, and Antonio Santos of the Gage Park Latinx Council. Not photographed Edith Dimas founding member and volunteer coordinator.

This article ran on July 29, 2020 in Block Club Chicago by Alexandra Chaidez.

CHICAGO — A new fund awarded more than $200,000 to 12 neighborhood groups led by people of color in Chicago as they battle the coronavirus pandemic, gun violence and the economic recession.

Chicago Beyond, an organization that invests in the city’s youth, started its Backing the Fight Fund as a response to the “current crises” impacting Black and Brown residents, according to a press release announcing the fund.

The organizations receiving part of the $205,000 in funds include Teamwork Englewood, Gage Park Latinx Council, Brave Space Alliance and The TRiiBE.

The organizations chosen by Chicago Beyond have “reshaped the narrative of Black Chicago” by providing resources to community members, promoting safety in the neighborhood and through reporting, according to Chicago Beyond.

Chicago Beyond wanted to help small group that connect with young people and communities of color while serving Chicagoans during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the organization.

“To help combat the disproportional impact of this triple pandemic, more funds need to be directed to communities in a way that is flexible and responsive,” Liz Dozier, founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond, said in the press release. “The bold action any impact investor, social impact organization, and foundation can take is to actually step back and let community leaders do their work.”