UChicago Community Programs Accelerator Accepts 17 More Local Nonprofits

The Community Programs Accelerator recognized the nonprofits and the first graduates of its nonprofit management program on March 12.


Office fo Civic Engagement

The University’s Community Programs Accelerator is a joint initiative between the Office of Civic Engagement and the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.

By Tess Chang

The University’s Community Programs Accelerator recognized 17 new nonprofit organizations and awarded Certificates in Nonprofit Management to 14 nonprofit leaders during a virtual event on Friday, March 12. The certificate recipients were the inaugural cohort of the Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program, a joint initiative of the Office of Civic Engagement and the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.

The 17 organizations are: Ayodele Drum & Dance; BlackStar Seed Nation, Inc.; C.H.A.M.P.S. Male Mentoring Program; New Community Outreach; Chicago Mentoring Collaborative; Off the Pews: Faith in Action, Ltd.; Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; Gathering Chicago; The SHE Society, Inc.; Global Strategists Association; Definition Theatre Company; Praize Productions, Inc.; The Renaissance Collaborative, Inc.; Urban Therapeutic Solutions; Women of Color Empowerment Center; Work2gether4peace.info; and Matthew House.

The Community Programs Accelerator is an initiative of the Office of Civic Engagement which seeks to provide support for new and established community organizations which serve the South Side. In total, 37 organizations have been selected to take part in the Community Programs Accelerator this year, and more than 160 organizations have taken part in the program since its launch in 2014.

An announcement posted to the program’s website describes how the University will support the nonprofit organizations, for instance by leveraging partnerships and customized resources. Support will range from “strategic planning and data collection to board development and marketing.”

Nonprofits in the Community Programs Accelerator are categorized as special projects, associates-level organizations, or core organizations. Special projects receive technical assistance from staff and students, while associates-level organizations receive support from consultants and graduate students for one year. Core program organizations receive $50,000 in funding, as well as a greater level of support for up to three years.

100 Black Men of Chicago, an organization based in Douglas which provides mentoring to young Black men, was invited to join the core program level. Ayodele Drum & Dance (based across the South Side), Imani Community Development Corporation (based in South Shore), Ring of Hope (based in Greater Grand Crossing), Free Lunch Academy (based in South Shore), and Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub (based in Woodlawn) were invited to join the associates program level.