Stories

Reflecting On 20 Years Of Successful Community Organizing.

Reflecting On 20 Years Of Successful Community Organizing.

It is the rare community organization that makes it to 20 years.  It is rarer still when you have leaders who have been there from the beginning and can tell stories about all the work they’ve seen and been a part of.  At this year’s annual SWOP Holiday Party, Sister Margaret Zalot and Betty Gutierrez shared their reflections on what it has been like to be a leader in SWOP for all of its 20 year history. Sister Margaret went…

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Following Her Passion

Following Her Passion

Jamillah Rashad has decided to follow her passion and is leaving SWOP.  Ever since she started at SWOP, Jamillah has told anyone who would listen that she loves early childhood work.  To that end, Jamillah has taken a position with the City of Chicago helping to plan and deliver high quality, early childhood programming. Jamillah started with SWOP over five years ago, working on the Elev8 program at Marquette.  She moved from being an assistant to running the program at…

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Another Great Year, Another Great Holiday Party

Another Great Year, Another Great Holiday Party

On Thursday, December 14th over 300 people gathered in the basement cafeteria of Maria Catalyst High School for a SWOP event; the annual SWOP Holiday Party.  They came out in the cold to celebrate the holidays, to remember 20 years of organizing work, but most importantly, to make connections and build relationships with their neighbors.   At the party, everyone enjoyed chicken from Holy Cross Hospital, pizza from Greater Southwest Development Corporation, lots of homemade dishes from Parent Mentors, and…

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Looking Back To Continue To Move Forward

Looking Back To Continue To Move Forward

Recently, Senior Organizer David McDowell was asked by LISC Chicago to reflect on the first Quality-of-Life planning process and resulting work.  Though the work for that 2005 plan began more than 14 years ago, it has formed much of the basis of SWOP’s work still going on today. Here are David’s thoughts on the process and results: To build a new community, we begin with relationships. Vision[1]: Because we love Chicago Southwest and want to stay here, we envision a…

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Devonta Boston Joins SWOP as Public Allies Member 

Devonta Boston Joins SWOP as Public Allies Member 

It would be hard to say that SWOP is welcoming Devonta to SWOP as he’s been a youth leader with the organization for more than six years.  Devonta first started working with SWOP as a 14 year old freshman at Gage Park High School in the VOYCE program.  In this program, he developed his leadership skills and a strong taste for community organizing.  At VOYCE, Devonta learned about one to one meetings, building power, and taking action to make changes…

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Two More Houses Ready For Sale

Two More Houses Ready For Sale

SWOP and Brinshore are hosting an open house Saturday, November 18th from 10:00 a.m. until 1 p.m. for the next two houses ready for sale under the Reclaiming Southwest Chicago Campaign.  Both homes are classic Chicago bungalows, have been fully rehabbed inside and out, and come with new appliances.  The homes are located at 5749 S. Talman and 6147 S. Mozart.  Please stop by and see them.  For more information, please contact Harry Meyer at 773-471-8208 ext. 131 or hmeyer@swopchicago.org.

SWOP Needs Citizenship Workshop Volunteers

SWOP Needs Citizenship Workshop Volunteers

SWOP Needs Citizenship Workshop Volunteers Every month between now and next June, SWOP will be sponsoring a series of Citizenship Workshops.  To make these workshops as effect and efficient as possible, SWOP needs volunteers to help out.  Volunteers help with logistics, translation, completing documents, and many other tasks.  SWOP provides training to all volunteers to help you prepare for the workshop.  To find out when the next workshop is, check here. To become a SWOP Citizenship Workshop volunteer, please contact…

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SWOP Expands its Work with Young People within the Community School Initiative at Talman Elementary School

SWOP Expands its Work with Young People within the Community School Initiative at Talman Elementary School

SWOP recently expanded its work with young people by being awarded the partnership with the Community Schools Initiative at Talman Elementary School. Talman has long been a member of SWOP and host to a large Parent Mentor Program. Over the summer, Principal Jacqueline Medina invited SWOP to join the school as a partner on the CPS funded program. The goal of the program is to improve students’ academic performance by offering before and after school programs and to increase parent…

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City Offers Grant Opportunity for Homeowners

City Offers Grant Opportunity for Homeowners

The City of Chicago is making funds available for homeowners to replace old and non-working furnaces, boilers, and hot water heaters. If you live in the area bounded by 59th to 71st STs. and Western to California, you may be eligible to receive funding to improve your home’s systems.  Applications and supporting materials are due to the City by November 10th so don’t delay.  Please contact Heather Windmon at NHS for more information at 773-392-4202. These grants are being made…

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SWOP Welcomes New Adler School Intern

SWOP Welcomes New Adler School Intern

SWOP is pleased to welcome new Adler University intern Diana Chaidez.  Diana is a first year student completing her social justice practicum.  At SWOP, she will focus on all kinds of data.  Her first task was working with SWOP staffer Harry Meyer to complete the latest housing survey of the community.  Over the course of this school year, Diana will work to track participation at SWOP meetings and leadership development; housing, crime, education and other data trends in the community;…

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