Stories

Lots of Reclaiming Updates Since May 25th Kickoff

Lots of Reclaiming Updates Since May 25th Kickoff

On May 25, 2017, more than 500 community leaders gathered at St. Adrian Church to kickoff the next phase of the Reclaiming Southwest Chicago Campaign (read about it here.)  Since then, a lot has happened with the campaign. SWOP/Brinshore have completed 10 buildings since May, leasing up 25 units.  All the units completed during the first phase of the campaign are occupied.  Recently, SWOP/Brinshore sold their first single family home.  Three more are scheduled to be completed soon.  Using $1…

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Parent Mentors Ready To Work

Parent Mentors Ready To Work

School is back in session and that means it is time for Parent Mentors to be back in classrooms helping students succeed. During the week of October 2nd, 120 parents, from 12 local schools, gathered at Gage Park High School to build their skills. Mostly moms, these emerging leaders have committed to their children and their schools that they will work collectively to make things better. Now in its second decade of work, the Parent Mentor Program is an effort…

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Community Wraps Up Planning Process at Gage Park

Community Wraps Up Planning Process at Gage Park

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, more than 25 SWOP leaders, Gage Park educators, students, and alumnus gathered in the Gage Park High School cafeteria.  They came together to answer the question: What Actions Should We Take to Achieve Our Vision For Gage Park High School?  Their work built off a similar session held on July 17th (find a report on this meeting here) where the group built a vision for the school. After introductions and an update from principal Tamika…

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SWOP Is Hosting a DACA Renewal Workshop

SWOP Is Hosting a DACA Renewal Workshop

SWOP is hosting a DACA Renewal Workshop on Saturday, September 23rd at Gage Park High School, 5630 S. Rockwell.  Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. and is open until 10:00 a.m.  You are eligible to renew for DACA renewal if: Your current DACA expires on or before 3/5/18. You do not have a serious, new arrest since your last DACA approval. All previous encounters with Immigration were reported at the time of your initial DACA application. You did not leave the…

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Juan: A DACA Story

Juan: A DACA Story

My name is Juan and I am a DACA beneficiary.  I came to this country with my family when I was 9 years old.  As soon as I started school, it was my goal to learn English as quickly as possible, and by the time I was in eighth grade, I was able to speak it fluently.  I also was very diligent and dedicated to my studies, earning top grades consistently throughout high school and college. I was able to…

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Adriana Velázquez: A DACA Story

Adriana Velázquez: A DACA Story

By Adriana Velázquez It’s been 15 years since I first placed foot in this country. My name is Adriana Velazquez and I am an undocumented young adult in the south side of Chicago. I came to the United States when I was 11 years old in 2002 with my mom and my two sisters to finally live as a family with my dad and to build a better future together. I received DACA in 2013 and have had it since….

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SWOP’s response to the  White House’s horrifying decision to end DACA

SWOP’s response to the  White House’s horrifying decision to end DACA

Leaders of the Southwest Organizing Project are horrified at today’s White House announcement to end the highly successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has a tremendous impact on the lives of nearly 800,000 young immigrants and their communities across the United States, including more than 42,000 who live in Illinois. “Our federal government, through the much publicized DACA program, both encouraged and made a promise to young people that if they cooperated with the Federal Government, passed…

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Time For Another Round Of ESL Classes

Time For Another Round Of ESL Classes

by Maggie Perales SWOP is again partnering with Gage Park High School and Instituto del Progreso Latino to provide English as a Second Language classes for community residents.  The free classes begin on Tuesday, September 19th.  Literacy support begins at 9:30 a.m. and Level 1 and Level 2 classes begin at 11:30 a.m. To participate, you must register.  Registration will take place on Tuesday, September 12th and Thursday, September 14th from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at Gage Park High School,…

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SWOP Rallies To Support DACA

SWOP Rallies To Support DACA

On Tuesday, August 15th SWOP leaders attended a press conference downtown in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.  The purpose of the press conference was twofold: celebrate five successful years of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and to send a message to the current administration to keep the program in place. SWOP was one of many participants in the press conference pulled together by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).  Joining…

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Building A Vision for Gage Park High School

Building A Vision for Gage Park High School

A group of SWOP leaders, along with staff from Gage Park High School and partners gathered in the school cafeteria on Tuesday, July 18th for the first of two planning sessions.  The goal of the first session was to develop a vision of a successful Gage Park High School.  The goal of the second session, to be held on August 15th, is to develop the action plan to bring that vision to fruition. The group began with a discussion on…

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