$10 Million Fund Designed to Invest in Individual, Organizational, and Systemic Institutions that Prioritize Community Healing
Chicago Beyond, an impact investor that backs the fight against the inequities pervasive in Chicago’s communities, is making a $10 million investment in supporting holistic healing for Chicago’s communities through the launch of a distinctive fund, the Chicago Beyond Holistic Healing Fund.
“Every human being is worthy of living a free and full life with space to breathe and heal,” said Liz Dozier, Founder & CEO of Chicago Beyond. “We must each commit to those ideals through our voice and action, not just in this current moment, but always. Our commitment must be grounded in creating systemic change driven by our communities and Black and Brown healers. Chicago Beyond’s Holistic Healing Fund is our way of saying we recognize your immense impact, we stand in solidarity with you, and we are here to do our part.”
Chicago Beyond’s work in healing since its founding has taught the organization that in order to meaningfully invest in healing, those investing must:
- Name, acknowledge, and address the many layers of harm that exist, and their interconnectedness. The layers of harm go beyond the harm experienced by an individual, but the harm experienced as a family, as a group, as a neighborhood, as a culture, and as a system.
- Recognize and honor the many paths to healing, and the numerous individuals and communities that do this work.
- Invest substantively and holistically over time, in a way that reflects true value of humans. Support the healers, too.
Chicago Beyond’s Holistic Healing Fund is designed with these fundamental beliefs in mind.
- It looks to support healing from various forms of harm. Beyond a single focus, such as only healing physically from gun violence, or healing from trauma, or healing from systemic racism, the Fund recognizes and honors the diverse and connected forms of harm that exist, and the multitude of healing approaches possible for young people and communities.
- It is centered on healing that is indigenous to communities and provides resources to hyperlocal healers to grow their work and impact more people.
- The Holistic Healing Fund investments are intentionally directed towards Black and Brown leaders and Black- and Brown-led organizations who have not previously received substantial funding and have had limited access to the resources needed to grow their visions for healing, including supports for the wellbeing of the individuals and collectives doing the work.
The Fund’s initial investments exemplify these beliefs. One of the initial investments is in Solutions and Resources. Solutions and Resources offers immediate and on-going care to those impacted by various forms of violence, with a prioritization for trauma-related support. It names and acknowledges the impact of violence on a whole community. For example, with a homicide, Solutions and Resources supports everyone impacted by the homicide – not just the immediate family member – through activities such as grief support and prayer, and their work is valued by many in the community. Even though it is a one-person organization that had never previously applied for funding, Chicago Beyond is making a multiyear investment totaling $1M to support the healing work of Solutions and Resources, along with supports to fully realize that vision.
“I am honored to be a part of the amazing, and overtly necessitated work that Chicago Beyond is doing by investing in communities that are both terrorized and traumatized, as they have been for generations,” said Pastor Donovan Price, Founder of Solutions and Resources. “The Holistic Healing Fund provides unprecedented help to communities here in Chicago, while at the same time creating a prototype for change and healing to neighborhoods across the country. We live in a time where either you are a part of the problem or a part of the solution when it comes to the advancement of trauma and violence.”
Another initial investment of the Holistic Healing Fund is Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.), an asset-based grassroots organization that strategizes to address community problems and works to create tangible solutions. R.A.G.E. understands that disinvestment in its community suggests to residents there that they do not matter. R.A.G.E. instead focuses on an invaluable asset within Englewood – its residents – and works to support them as powerful change agents for the community. Recognizing that a key to repairing the harm within the neighborhood is enabling the residents of Englewood to act with real agency, Chicago Beyond’s partnership with R.A.G.E. includes $250,000 to seed a resident-led fund, which will allow residents to invest in ideas by Englewood residents. Chicago Beyond’s multiyear partnership with R.A.G.E. will allow R.A.G.E. to build out its organization to fully actualize its vision for Englewood.
“For too long America has struggled to tell the truth about the history of this country and the systems that were created to initially leave folks behind,” said Asiaha Butler, Co-founder & CEO of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) “It’s time we start acknowledging there is real pain and real trauma caused by the lack of resources, investment, and empowerment by these systems that make it hard for all of us to reach our full potential. That is why everything we do at R.A.G.E. is rooted in healing. From food giveaways, to economic development in Englewood, the heart of our work is to heal communities from decades of disinvestment.”
Since Chicago Beyond’s launch in 2016, the organization has been dedicated to investing in ideas, individuals and organizations creating more equitable opportunities for young people. From creating meaningful spaces to bring together young people and their fathers experiencing incarceration, to supporting restorative justice models, to working with young people and organizations in the education setting, Chicago Beyond’s commitment to wellbeing is deep. Several partnerships have grown over the last five years, from co-creating the first-of-its-kind framework for holistic trauma support for over 350,000 students in Chicago Public Schools to reducing harm for young people in Chicago impacted by parental incarceration, in engagement with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
To learn more about the Holistic Healing Fund, click here. To learn more about Solutions & Resources click here and to learn more about R.A.G.E. click here. To learn more about Chicago Beyond’s work to ensure all young people are free to live their fullest potential, click here.