Author Archives: lyndap88

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.


637 S. Dearborn
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone:  312-427-2533 Fax: 312-427-4171


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.


7521 Madison St
Forest Park, IL 60130
Phone: 708-209-1500 Fax:  708-209-1735

Chicago Coalition for Information Access

Our fundamental tenent is collaboration: As a non-profit organization, we are working towards cooperative, strategic partnerships among members: to be a table for many diverse organizations in partnership towards planning and implementing information infrastructure development in the region, and to be a catalyst for change by bringing together a diversity of individuals representing public and private organizations on a regular basis. We feel that one of the best ways to strengthen the Chicago region economically and educationally is to bring the multifaceted communities together in civic networking efforts.

Since forming in the third quarter of 1993, we have regularly met as a general body to both educate our membership about issues pertaining to the NII and to plan public events. On Freedom of Information Day (3/16/94), we held a public forum on the NII at the Harold Washington Library, attended by over 350 people. This meeting, which also included a live demonstration of “Surfing the Net”, illustrated both the broad appeal, and concern voiced by the public, about the ways new technologies will impact our society.

Our Goals:

Assure democratic freedoms such as freedom to communicate, protection of privacy, civic participation, including access to information about our government and public institutions.

Help our public institutions develop affordable access points to ensure full public access.

Pursue institutions for sponsorship of civic networks and community computer centers. These access points must be convenient to all local residents, including persons with disabilities and persons with non-traditional schedules.

Support efforts that seek to create collaborative mechanisms within Community Based Organizations that will afford cooperative learning sites.

Facilitate local organizing efforts and encourage full participation of new and existing community groups and other expressions of popular interest, need and support.

Develop and encourage legislative initiatives that advance our aims and provide material support for these goals.





3411 W. Diversey

Suite 1

Chicago IL, 60647

Phone:  312-384-8827

Bread for the World

Bread for the World (BFW) is a nationwide Christian movement that seeks justice for the world’s hungry people by lobbying our nation’s decision makers.

In October 1972, a small group of Catholics and Protestants met to reflect on how persons of faith could be mobilized to influence U.S. policies that address the causes of hunger. Under the leadership of the Reverend Arthur Simon, the group began to test the idea in the spring of 1974. By year’s end, more than 500 people had joined the ranks of Bread for the World as citizen advocates for hungry people. This small group has grown to a nationwide movement of more than 58,000 members. In September 1991, the Reverend David Beckmann succeeded Simon as president.

BFW’s 58.000 members are organized by congressional district into local networks nationwide. We write, call and visit members of Congress, and generate media attention about national legislation and other efforts that address hunger. BFW staff keep members up-to-date on hunger-related issues and pending decisions.


As individuals, we may volunteer in social ministries and give to our churches’ hunger appeals. But we also know that a single decision by Congress or the president can outweigh or multiply our contributions.


Every year during worship services and other events, tens of thousands of BFW members and others offer to God letters we have written to our members of Congress on legislation that is important to hungry people. Again and again, our Offerings of Letters win significant victories.






Illinois Field Office

205 W. Monroe
Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: 312-629-9529 Fax: 312-629-9531

Lakeview Action Coalition

LAC logo

The Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC) is a non-profit, multi-issue community organization. The Coalition is made up of 40 institutional members, including religious congregations, non-profit agencies, banks, business associations, a credit union and a senior citizens caucus. These diverse institutions are stakeholders in the Chicago communities of Lakeview and North Center.

LAC enables its members to act on their values in public life by participating in the decisions that shape our community s future. We fulfill this mission by organizing people around issuesaffecting our members and by developing leaders through training, action and reflection. Since our founding in 1993, we have stood for justice, solidarity and diversity.

LAC’s Affordable Housing Task Force has organized a broad affordable housing campaign over the last few years that has successfully made affordable housing a major issue in the 32nd, 43rd and 44th Wards. The campaign, named “Room For All,” is broad in scope to allow us to build a large affordable housing constituency, and has worked mainly through two avenues:

Preservation of affordable housing through Section 8 and Creation of affordable housing through set-asides.


Health Care has always been an important issue for LAC. In the last three years, LAC has built or renewed relationships with area legislators, many of whom serve on key health committees in Springfield. As part of United Power for Action & Justice, LAC leaders played a front-line role in the campaign to insure 200,000 low-income parents by expanding the state’s KidCare program into “FamilyCare.”

In the last year, clergy from several of our United Church of Christ (UCC) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations have worked with “debtor” patients to lead the effort through LAC to reform unjust discriminatory pricing and predatory debt collection practices at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital in Lakeview. Discriminatory pricing is the practice of charging people without insurance (and the least ability to pay) higher sticker prices than those with insurance. Predatory debt collection is when hospitals aggressively seek the payments of debts, often at the expense of a family’s livelihood.






3225 N. Sheffield

Chicago, IL 60657

Phone: 773-549-1947 Fax: 773-549-4639

Centers for New Horizons

Centers for New Horizons mission is to develop the capacities of families to become self-reliant, to improve the quality of their lives, and to participate in rebuilding their community.


Centers for New Horizons, affectionately referred to as “Centers” has played a vital role in the transformation of Bronzeville. For the past 35 years it has provided a holistic approach to community development centered on the strengthening of families. The results of Centers’ work has been a burgeoning of energy and momentum to ensure that this historic African American community, known for producing legendary cultural, academic, entrepreneurial and sports heroes, continues to nurture the brilliance that has been part of its legacy as it encounters new challenges and opportunities linked to its renewal.

Marking Our 35th Year of Working with the Community… Centers has:

  • Educated over 20,000 young children
  • Encouraged thousands of youth to stay in and achieve in school.
  • Provided community leadership that generated over $500 MM in capital investment in Bronzeville
  • Supported the employment of thousands of parents, directly employed hundreds of community residents either part of our staff or through job programs.
  • Supported hundreds of fragile families and seniors
  • Spun-off a dozen new nonprofits to expand opportunities for resident leadership and demonstrating the capacity of extremely low income people to organize for their own empowerment.
  • Provided vision and support to citywide coalitions to improve our public schools, ameliorate poverty, increase the supply and the quality of early childhood education, and provide quality affordable housing for low income families.

Through the years, Centers for New Horizons has received some affirming accolades for its work. Centers is a past recipient of the Chicago Community Trust’s James Brown IV award and the SaraLee Foundation’s Spirit Award. In 1994, Dr. Karanja received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work in building Centers. In 2005, Centers received the Bank of America Foundation’s Neighborhood Builders Award. Today, Centers continues as a leader on the cutting edge of best practices in education and innovation in community building, focusing in the present and future, as it always has, on building ‘Kujitegumea” or Self-Reliance in the African American community.






4150 South King Drive

Chicago, IL 60653

Phone: 773-373-5700 Fax: 773-373-0063

People for Community Recovery

PCR’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for low-income residents living in communities affected by pollution. PCR educates , advocates policy and programs in an effort to coordinate local residents on issues of the environment, health, housing, neighborhood safety and economic equity.


PCR‘s founder and CEO, Hazel Johnson dedicated years learning about urban environmental issues and networking with other environmental groups. After conducting her research, she learned that many waste disposal companies surrounded Altgeld Gardens as well as manufacturing companies that produced and emitted thousands of pounds of pollutants into the air, water and land. PCR found that due to the heavy concentration of industry, low income residential communities on the Southeast side of Chicago were being exposed to substantial amounts of toxic chemicals that could be responsible for negative health impacts.

With these facts in mind, PCR along with other residents from Altgeld Gardens began to address the environmental problems within their community. For the past two decades, PCR has been applying pressure on “corporate polluters” and government officials to make them aware of their negligence. It is PCR‘s goal to make both corporations and the government accountable to the communities in which they operate.

Concurrently, PCR has continually been educating itself and the community about urban environmental issues and their relationship to industry. Through extensive research and partnerships, PCR has found a significant correlation among various industrial processes– the byproducts of which pollute the air, land and water–and the health status of urban minority communities. With perseverance, tenacity and dedication, continues to be a force not only within Altgeld Gardens, but within the Environmental Justice movement.






Cheryl Johnson

13116 Ellis Ave.

Chicago, IL 60827

Chicago Lawyer’s Committee

Lawyer Logo

The mission of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is to promote and protect civil rights, particularly the civil rights of poor, minority and disadvantaged people in order to facilitate their participation in the social, economic and political systems of our nation. The Committee’s direction is community driven: that is, the agenda and priorities are determined in consultation with the myriad community-based organizations in Chicago that have been addressing the results of virulent poverty, entrenched segregation, insufficient public services, and other barriers to opportunity faced by communities of color in Chicago.

The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee functions through five civil rights programs staffed by nine lawyers with expertise in specific practice areas within civil rights law. Over 1,000 Chicago lawyers accept pro bono legal work from the staff attorneys every year, contributing almost 10,000 hours of professional legal services, with an estimated value of approximately $3.5 million. In 2005, the Committee represented almost 1,500 individual clients, and in twelve class-action lawsuits, another 670,000 persons state-wide were class members. Transactional legal services, involving tax, corporate, and real estate law, were provided to 230 nonprofit community-based organizations. Staff and pro bono lawyers also were deeply involved in training, fair housing testing, numerous amicus briefs, and legislative and policy advocacy.

The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee maintains a focus in a broad range of civil rights and economic justice matters, including: hate crime prevention and response; employment discrimination litigation; affordable housing development efforts, fair housing complaints and fair mortgage-lending advocacy and litigation; and support for a broad range of economic development activity in Chicago, including free legal services to individuals using small businesses/micro-enterprises as strategies to achieve self-sufficiency.

The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s membership includes the most prestigious firms in the City, ranging from small boutique firms to many of the largest firms. The Committee is governed by a Board of Directors composed of member representatives. The Board’s decision making and planning are informed by several program Advisory Committees, made up of representatives of the affected populations, Board members, and volunteering attorneys.






100 North LaSalle Street

Suite 600

Chicago IL, 60602

Phone: 312-630-9744 Fax: 312-630-1127


Center for New Community

Center Logo

The Center for New Community is committed to being “on the ground,” working with communities, organizations, coalitions, and congregations that share a vision of a democratic future based on human rights, justice and equality.

We need you if we are to make real the vision we share for a new community, and a nation in which the dimity and value of all humanity is manifest.

We invite you to join us in that journey. With your involvement and support we can, indeed, transform the world!
We invite you to become a member of the Center for New Community today!

The mission of the Center for New Community is to build community, justice, and equality.

We believe that a broad and concerted effort by individuals, families, organizations, congregations, and communities to address contemporary social, economic and racial justice issues is both necessary and achievable.

Grounded in many faith traditions, we seek to live out new relationships that lead to ongoing acts of community building and organizing to achieve that end.

From border to border and coast to coast, in village, small town and city alike – the work of the Center for New Community is being seeded and rooted.






P.O. Box 479327

Chicago, IL 60647

Phone: 312-266-0319 Fax: 312-266-0278