Posts Tagged ‘#organizations’

Nov 02

Do it for the Children! Notes for a Counter-Narrative

By Moratorium on Deportations Campaign — Across the political spectrum, people are talking about the “illegal immigration” crisis and about Immigration Reform as the best possible “solution.” But these debates do not challenge the root causes of forced migration, and do not consider how or why migration has become so criminalized. Instead, the debates center on the supposed need for a […]

Captivity as Service? Interview About Detention Centers for Undocumented Children

By AREA — A short piece about the intersection of the detention/prison industrial complex with the nonprofit industrial complex. Undocumented children are being incarcerated in increasing numbers, and often in adult facilities where they face extreme and brutal conditions. There is an urgent need to get these children released from the grip of Homeland Security. And yet the case of children detained as "unaccompanied minors" illustrates some of the contradictions: in order to ameliorate conditions for detained children, nonprofits become funded to administer their captivity. In this and many other ways, the sphere of advocacy becomes complicit with, and financially co-interested in, the very structures it is supposedly working against.

Oct 14

American Families United

By Euan Hague with Kathy McGroarty-Torres — Euan Hague interviews American Families United (AFU) president Kathy McGroarty-Torres about the impact on children of having one parent trapped in immigration limbo. Euan Hague (EH): Why did you get involved with American Families United? Kathy McGroarty-Torres (KM): My husband and I got married eleven years ago. Ten years ago, the US government rejected my […]

Crayola Architecture: Architecture for Humanity and Public Interest Design in the Hands of Kids

By Tom Veed — In April 2013, Charlie Branda, a long-time Old Town resident and mother of two, brought together the Near North Unity Program and Architecture for Humanity Chicago to help realize her vision of a nonprofit storefront arts center, providing sliding-scale classes for children and adults in the near North Side. The art center is intended to […]

You Win Some: An Excerpt from Gender Matters

By Rebecca Kling — This story is from a zine titled Gender Matters that is compiled by Carrie Colpitts. Here’s a short explanation about Gender Matters from Carrie: “It’s a collection of writings from trans/gender-fluid folks focusing on adolescence, growing up and transitioning. The idea to put it together came when one of my students asked for an extra copy […]

Jan 08

What About the Farmers?

By AREA — We realize that by focusing on activities in the Chicago area, we are excluding a great many seriously important players in the regional food system. There are many sources for finding out about local farmers, including the many projects of local agriculture advocates Sustain, such as We have decided to compile a list of […]

Introducing: Seed Archive

By Salvation Jane — The Seed Archive: A public archive of healthy seeds collected from many places and people The seed archive is housed in Chicago. The seed archive is particularly interested in seed that is food or medicinal, habitat building, shade creating and soil building. The archive only accepts, stores and loans viable, well-identified seeds. Seeds are alive. […]

Introducing: Dill Pickle Food Co-Op

By Alisa Baum — When you talk to Dill Pickle Food Co-op (dpfc) instigator Kathleen Duffy, it’s easy to see how her dreams of a neighborhood source for organic food turned into the little idea that could. With one email asking a few friends what they thought about starting a food co-op, Kathleen publicly asked the question that many […]

Driving Around With Ken Dunn

By Sarah Lewison — I jumped into the Resource Center’s 10-wheeler as it rounded a corner in Hyde Park, with Program Director Ken Dunn at the helm en-route to his first load of some-thing. I’m riding along to get a sense of what keeps the program going day to day. While the Resource Center isn’t the only recycling operation […]

Growing Power

By Cassie Fennell — Growing Power’s “deliberately comprehensive” approach to urban agriculture embeds sustainable farming practices within first-rate training programs, and a national, family farmed food distribution network. Renowned in Milwaukee for its farming initiatives and a training facility nested within an urban farm that houses ducks, fish and many a happy worm, this national non-profit began to tackle […]

Growing Home

By Cassie Fennell — At the height of the summer, foodies jam Chicago farmers’ markets in pursuit of fresh fruit and heirloom vegetables. For nine years, the Chicago non-profit Growing Home has worked to transform perceptions that these markets are solely the hunting grounds of the well-heeled, by providing employment opportunities for homeless and low-income Chicagoans. Recruits of this […]

God’s Gang

By Micah Maidenberg — Food is at the center of God’s Gang. A South Side group with a holistic perspective on community transformation founded in 1980, God’s Gang is a volunteer-run organization that tutors neighborhood kids, curates exhibitions on Black history and teaches about agriculture and food through farming, animal husbandry and urban gardening. God’s Gang’s flexible organizational structure […]

Introducing: Chitown Chefs

By AREA — About two and a half years ago, Cooperative Image Group (Co-op Image) was working out of their first art center, a two car garage sized space in Humboldt Park, across the alley from Carmen Arroyo’s (El Coqui) garden and around the corner from Campbell Gardens. The space would oftentimes fill up with more than 20 […]

Humboldt Park Food Not Bombs

By AREA — As a new local chapter of the international Food Not Bombs movement trying to take form in Chicago’s Humboldt Park area, can you say anything about the specific motivations of this FNB Chapter in relationship to the local area? What is the impetus for starting up a FNB in this specific location? What challenges have […]

Nance Klehm

By AREA — Nance Klehm is a grower, forager and artist with experience making cheese, brews, miso and other ferments. Her ‘neighborhood orchard‘ involves neighbors growing on various urban sites (“vacant” lots, back yards, transportation corridors…) and bartering between one another for services and food. She actively collects food waste and community composting. On occasion she barters produce […]

Ken Dunn of the Resource Center

By Sarah Lewison — What do you see as the future for food production in Chicago? We’ll have all of the vacant acreage in Chicago under production and the city will be able substantially to produce its own food. That’s probably ten years down the road, but the Mayor is in agreement with the principle of producing food or […]

Introducing: Chicago Freedom School

By Kristen Cox — The early Civil Rights movement was led, in part, by unsung heroes in their teens. In 1951, 16-year-old Barbara Johns organized a walkout and twoweek strike at Moton High School in Farmville, VA. This case became one of five reviewed by the Supreme Court when it declared segregation unconstitutional in the 1954 Brown v. Board […]

Introducing: Roll Call Chicago

By Cassie Fennell — It’s hard to imagine a sea change emerging from the ranks of men and women with little to no earning power, little to no voting power, and few reliable sofas on which to stretch out their limbs each evening. Yet since winter, members of Roll Call, a group of ex-offenders and their allies, have met […]

Introducing: Chicago Couriers Union

By Chicago Couriers Union — The following interview was conducted by members of the Chicago Couriers Union (ccu) who felt it was best to remain anonymous for various reasons. As a truly democratic organization, we feel that consensus in our actions is a necessary component in the work that we do, including how we represent ourselves publicly. For these reasons, […]

How We Learn: Building an Educated City

By Members of Area, Mess Hall, Platypus, Free greek, Chicagoland/Calumet Underground Railroad Efforts, Bronzeville Historical Society, Chicago Women's Health Center, The Odyssey Project, Neighborhood Writing Alliance — Daniel Tucker, AREA Chicago: This exhibition, just to give you a little context, is called The Pedagogical Factory: Exploring Strategies for an Educated City. It was organized by the Stockyard Institute. Area decided to initiate a series of programs entitled How We Learn that would go along with the exhibitions. The way this particular forum […]

Local and National Organizing by Radical Teachers

By Faith Agostinone-Wilson — A kindly first grade teacher is not most people’s idea of a revolutionary, but that may be because the radical history of teacher organizing has been forgotten. In Chicago during the early 1900s, teacher and activist Margaret Haley led a fight for teachers’ rights as Vice President of the Chicago Federation of Teachers (CFT) with […]

Introducing: InCubate

By AREAChicago — Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and The Everyday (InCUBATE) is a research institute and residency program dedicated to challenging current infrastructures, specifically those which affect artistic production. As art historians and arts administrators, our goal is to explore the possibility of developing financial models that could be relevant to contemporary art institutions, as well […]

Introducing: Fire This Time Fund

By Kristen Cox — Radicalization, nourished by a critical spirit, is always creative. – Paulo Frieire Lessons Learned In Year One  I thought it would be an interesting experiment to invite peers in my larger social network, whose activist work—in anti-prison, education, media, LBGTQ health, and community arts circles—I admired and respected, to join me in devising a process […]

Can Experimental Cultural Centers Replace MFA Programs?

By Mike Wolf — While it starts in a place relatively remote from Chicago, this text focuses on Mess Hall, an experimental cultural center in the city’s Rogers Park neighborhood.    In June 2006, I was on a long walk in southern Minnesota. While spending a luxurious night at a Best Western in Cannon Falls, I caught a brief report […]

Chicago Teaching Artist Collective

By Sarah Atlas — In the summer of 2004, born out of lack of support and networking available for teaching artists in the city, eight Chicago artists created the Chicago Teaching Artist Collective (CTAC). The group wanted an organizing body to address the specific concerns in the field of artist as teacher.     These concerns consist of lacking art […]