American Friends Service Committee

The American Friends Service Committee is a practical expression of the faith of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Committed to the principles of nonviolence and justice, it seeks in its work and witness to draw on the transforming power of love, human and divine.

We recognize that the leadings of the Spirit and the principles of truth found through Friends’ experience and practice are not the exclusive possession of any group. Thus, the AFSC draws into its work people of many faiths and backgrounds who share the values that animate its life and who bring to it a rich variety of experiences and spiritual insights.

This AFSC community works to transform conditions and relationships both in the world and in ourselves, which threaten to overwhelm what is precious in human beings. We nurture the faith that conflicts can be resolved nonviolently, that enmity can be transformed into friendship, strife into cooperation, poverty into well-being, and injustice into dignity and participation. We believe that ultimately goodness can prevail over evil, and oppression in all its many forms can give way.

We seek to understand and address the root causes of poverty, injustice, and war. We hope to act with courage and vision in taking initiatives that may not be popular.

We are called to confront, nonviolently, powerful institutions of violence, evil, oppression, and injustice. Such actions may engage us in creative tumult and tension in the process of basic change. We seek opportunities to help reconcile enemies and to facilitate a peaceful and just resolution of conflict.

We work to relieve and prevent suffering through both immediate aid and long-term development and seek to serve the needs of people on all sides of violent strife.

We ground our work at the community level both at home and abroad in partnership with those who suffer the conditions we seek to change and informed by their strength and vision.

Seeking to transform the institutions of society, we are ourselves transformed in the process. As we work in the world around us, our awareness grows that the AFSC’s own organizational life must change to reflect the same goals we urge others to achieve.

Website:  http://www.afsc.org/about/default.htm

Contact:
637 S. Dearborn
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone:  312-427-2533 Fax: 312-427-4171
mmcconnell-glr@afsc.org

Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet was founded on April 27,1996, shortly after Jack Kevorkian was acquitted in the assisted suicides of two women with non-terminal disabilities. In a 1997 Supreme Court rally, the outcry of 500 people withdisabilities chanting “Not Dead Yet” was heard around the world. Since then, eleven other national disability rights groups have joined NDY in opposing legalized assisted suicide, chapters have taken action in over 30 states, and we helped put Jack Kevorkian behind bars in 1999. In the 2003-2005 fight to save Terri Schiavo, twenty-five national disability groups joined Not Dead Yet in opposing her guardian’s right to starve and dehydrate her to death.

Since 1983, many people with disabilities have opposed the assisted suicide and euthanasia movement. Though often described as compassionate, legalized medical killing is really about a deadly double standard for people with severe disabilities, including both conditions that are labeled terminal and those that are not. Disability opposition to this ultimate form of discrimination has been ignored by most media and courts, but countless people with disabilities have already died before their time. For some, a disabled person’s suicidal cry for help was ignored, misinterpreted, or even exploited by the right-to-die movement. For others, death came at the request of a family member or other health care surrogate. This is not compassion, it’s contempt. People already have the right to refuse unwanted treatment, and suicide is not illegal. What we oppose is a public policy that singles out individuals for legalized killing based on their health status. This violates the Americans With Disabilities Act, and denies us the equal protection of the law. Some bioethicists have even started to argue that intellectually disabled people are not persons under the law. That hasn¹t happened since slavery was legal.Legalized medical killing is not a new human right, it’s a new professional immunity. It would allow health professionals to decide which of us are “eligible” for this service, and exempt them from accountability for their decisions. Killing is not just another medical treatment option, and it must not be made any part of routine health care. In these days of cost cutting and managed care, we don’t trust the health care system, and neither should you.People with disabilities have an opportunity to lead society from the isolation and despair of today into a renewed recognition of belonging and community for all. The idea that people with disabilities are not worthy of society’s acceptance or resources is not new. We see this form of hatred throughout history, often masked as benevolence. But for the first time in history, people with disabilities are organizing our community to fight back, to demand the equal protection of the law.

Website:  http://www.notdeadyet.org/

Contact:
7521 Madison St
Forest Park, IL 60130
Phone: 708-209-1500 Fax:  708-209-1735
ndycoleman@aol.com

National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Greater Illinois Chapter

   
  National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Greater Illinois Chapter  
  The National Multiple Sclerosis Society funds more MS research, offers more services to people with MS, provides more professional education programs and advances more MS advocacy efforts than any other MS organization in the world. Through its home office and fifty-state network of chapters, the National MS Society provides assistance to over a million people annually in its continuing mission to end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.  
 
Website:  http://www.msillinois.org
Address:  910 West Van Buren Street, 4th Floor
  Chicago, IL 60607
Contact:  Danielle Estler
Phone:  (312) 423-1136
Email:  cgic@ild.nmss.org
 

Go Girl Go! Chicago

    
  Go Girl Go! Chicago  
  GoGirlGo! Chicago is an initiative launched by the Women’s Sports Foundation in conjunction with the Chicago Foundation for Women to increase the physical activity of Chicago girls, create sustainable girls’ sports programming and execute a model public education campaign on the importance of getting girls moving. Our goal is to get 100,000 sedentary Chicago girls in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will active and involved in physical activities over the next three years, as well as keep 100,000 already active girls playing sports. GoGirlGo! includes four key components: Education and awareness campaign – A free, curriculum-based educational program created for girls, coaches and parents to reinforce positive behaviors and educate one million currently active girls about the dangers of inactivity and negative habits that affect health Community-based activation – GoGirlGo! Week and public information campaigns will be conducted in pilot communities where active adults and girls bring inactive girls to free “open houses” (GoGirlGo! Centers) to introduce them to various activity programs. Pilot communities currently include Atlanta, Chicago and Boston. Peer-to-peer and adult-to-youth mentoring – High school athletes and active adults are asked to pledge support to help get one million girls physically active one girl at a time. Go to GoGirlGo.com to make your pledge and we’ll show you how! Grant Program – $2.6 million will be earmarked to enable new sport and physical activity opportunities to be offered to economically disadvantaged and underserved girls and expand programs to accommodate recruited inactive girls.  
 
Website:  http://www.gogirlgochicago.com
Address:  3725 N. Western Ave
  Chicago, IL 60618
Contact:  Val Bushey
Phone:  773-478-8839
Email:  GoGirlGoChicago@womenssportsfoundation.org
 

Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois

    
  Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois  
  CAAAELII is a groundbreaking cross-racial, cross-cultural collaborative. Our work is centered on creating a new model for organizations serving immigrant and other disenfranchised communities: an organic amalgam of leadership development, organizing, activism, concrete social change and direct services. It is one of the largest immigrant-led coalitions in the country. Their mission statement is: To strengthen diverse voices of inter-generational immigrant and refugee communities by building alliances through a transformative process to develop grassroots power that impacts public policy. To engage the people and raise their voices to assert human and civil rights, promoting peoples’ participation and integration into a democratic society.  
 
Website:  http://www.caaaelii.org
Address:  4300 N. Hermitage Ave
  Chicago, IL 60613
Contact:  Marc Kelley
Phone:  (773) 248-1019
Email:  contact@caaaelii.org
 

Chicago Urban League

 
  Chicago Urban League  
  The Chicago Urban League (CUL) was one of the first affiliates of the National Urban League (NUL) organized in this country to address the needs of African Americans migrating from the rural South to the northern cities in unprecedented numbers at the dawn of the 20th century. Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League is a civil rights organization that empowers and inspires individuals to reach and exceed their economic potential. The League focuses on growing Chicago’s African American workforce and business community. The Chicago Urban League is pursuing three strategies that advance our mission: ensuring that African American children are well-educated and equipped for economic self-reliance in the 21st century; helping adults attain economic self-sufficiency through gainful employment, home ownership, entrepreneurship and wealth accumulation; and ensuring the civil rights of African Americans by eradicating barriers to equal participation in the economic and social mainstream of American life. Today the work of CUL focuses upon education, economic development and community empowerment for African Americans, other minorities and the poor. As one of the largest affiliates in the nation, the Chicago organization remains a leader in the Urban League movement.  
 
Website:  http://www.cul-chicago.org
Address:  Chicago Urban League
  External Affairs
  4510 South Michigan Ave.
  Chicago, IL 60653
Contact:  Attn: Marquis Miller (Vice President of External Affairs)
Phone:  (773) 451-3500
Email:  please inquire