Chicago's corporate sector has long played a role in supporting social service programs, arts and culture, and recreational opportunities in the city. But a new initiative by AT&T stands apart from many philanthropic efforts: theirs is designed to directly address the city's violence and high unemployment rate for people of color by focusing on 19 neighborhoods that are home to 28 percent of Chicago's population and 72 percent of homicides in 2017.
AT&T's Believe Chicago was created with employees, who called on their employer to pivot its giving toward job creation, neighborhood investment and employee volunteerism in the 19 prioritized neighborhoods – the same neighborhoods that community-building grants from the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities are being activated. The company is partnering with nonprofit organizations that include Heartland Alliance, the North Lawndale Employment Network and St. Sabina's Employment Resource Center. We salute AT&T and other corporate citizens in Chicago that are exploring the ways their enterprises can help create the conditions for safer, more peaceful communities.
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If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.