Stories

Takeaways from Leadership Development, Part 1

Takeaways from Leadership Development, Part 1

Leadership Development trainings are not what someone might expect – they’re not about public speaking, or personality, or personal success. Rather, these trainings could be renamed “Reflection on Public Life” according to SWOP’s executive director Jeff Bartow, who led the English-speaking training in November 2019. Throughout the first session of Leadership Development with Bartow in November, a group of staff and community members learned together about power, organizing, anger, community, change, and transforming overwhelming problems into tangible and actionable issues….

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Check out Martha Irvine’s article on Chicago Lawn’s comeback

Check out Martha Irvine’s article on Chicago Lawn’s comeback

“The comeback is a particularly stunning feat when you consider the neighborhood’s history,” wrote Associated Press reporter Martha Irvine in “Inspiring tale of a Chicago neighborhood that would not die.” Irvine highlighted the work of SWOP, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), and neighborhood residents as resistance to the issues caused by white supremacist violence and divestment.  Read Irvine’s “Inspiring tale of a Chicago neighborhood that would not die” here.  Irvine, Martha. “Inspiring tale of a Chicago neighborhood that would not…

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Action Council Meeting

Action Council Meeting

Action Councils are spaces for SWOP organizers to share about their work. Partners, members, volunteers, and more gathered together to learn updates and be invited to work on campaigns. At Thursday’s Action Council on November 14, organizers shared updates on their work with immigration, building community safety, and education. Most of the time focused on the 2020 census because it impacts everything of which SWOP is a part. Imelda Salazar, who is leading SWOP’s work on the Census work, presented…

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Work on Maplewood Avenue

Work on Maplewood Avenue

Community organizing looks like many different things. The reason for this is that community organizing depends on relationship building. Sometimes, this looks like a group of people doing fall yard work. Through SWOP’s partnerships with United Power for Action and Justice and Ascension Parish, Nick Brunick became a supporter of SWOP. Nick is an attorney at Applegate and Thorne-Thomsen (ATT) which focuses on affordable housing and community development. So Nick connected ATT with SWOP.  Now ATT is sponsoring the rehab…

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Joining SWOP

Joining SWOP

National Health Corps is a branch of AmeriCorps that provides support for community organizations that effectively and compassionately bridge the health-resource gap in underserved communities. In these neighborhoods, the social determinants of health are often outside of individual or family control and lead to disproportionately health-damaging experiences. Organizations like SWOP connect people in the community with holistic support and address factors such as housing, education, income, and healthcare while fostering one-to-one relationships. I plan to support SWOP’s System of Care…

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Southwest Side Schools Unite

Southwest Side Schools Unite

  Snow and rain didn’t dampen community support for teachers on the tenth day of the Chicago Teachers Union strike. Students, teachers, parents, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members, and community members showed up to support teachers in their stand for equity in Chicago Public Schools. Southwest Organizing Project, led by organizer Jasmine Serrano, and local teachers organized a community march to unite the southwest community and to share testimonies and strike updates.  The gathering began with a march north…

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SWOP’s Position on CTU Strike

SWOP’s Position on CTU Strike

We are intimately aware that members of the Chicago Teachers Union have worked without a contract since June 30th, 2019 and that contract negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and leadership of the Chicago Public Schools have been slow moving. As of October 2nd, 2019, 94% of the members of the CTU approved a strike authorization and no contract has been reached. We are hopeful that all parties will exercise the full extent of their resources to ensure that there…

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Job Fair in Southwest Chicago Draws Nearly 200 People

Job Fair in Southwest Chicago Draws Nearly 200 People

By Amanda Reilly On Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, 27 employers, and nearly 200 job seekers piled into the gymnasium at Catalyst Maria School in a combined SWOP & Youth Job Center (YJC) event to help connect people in the community with jobs. As part of SWOP’s mission to enable families to determine their own future, SWOP has established a growing partnership with YJC to connect young people and adults with stable employment opportunities. From 3 pm to 6 pm on…

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SWOP Receives Extension of Sustainability Community Schools Grant

SWOP Receives Extension of Sustainability Community Schools Grant

By Amanda Reilly For the 2018-2019 school year, SWOP was one of just 20 community-based organizations partnered with schools to receive the Sustainable Community Schools Grant from the Chicago Public Schools. The grant made it possible for SWOP to expand after-school programming in Morrill Elementary School throughout the year and create extensive parent programming. The funding was also utilized to bolster SWOP’s existing Teen Reach program within the school and develop a new partnership with the Youth Job Center, commonly…

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