Category Archives: Social Justice/Peace

These organizations fight the causes of peace and justice.

Chicago Appleseed fund for justice

Chicago Appleseed fund for justice
Chicago Appleseed fund for justice
The Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice is a nationally connected social impact research and advocacy organization that works to achieve fundamental, systemic reform by addressing policies and practices that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential. We focus on social justice and government effectiveness issues ranging from fair criminal justice systems to equal access in financial institutions. The Chicago Appleseed Difference We at Chicago Appleseed are not content to sit on the sidelines of social reform. We gather and study information from a variety of sources to create objective research that takes all viewpoints into consideration. From this research, we make recommendations to fix the flaws in current systems. Change does not happen by simply making recommendations—we believe that we must actively work to create change. To that end, we meet with policymakers and public citizens in a variety of ways to advocate for fair and just change.
Address:  750 North Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor
  Chicago, IL 60611
Phone:  312.988.6565

Citizen Action/Illinois

Citizen Action logo

Citizen Action/Illinois is the state’s largest public interest organization and a progressive political coalition committed to creating social change both in Illinois and across the nation.

The organization is based on several core values: a belief that every human life has equal worth, that the purpose of our society is to allow all its members to live meaningful and fulfilling lives, and that there is a collective good beyond our individual interests. It seeks to promote and win public policies that reflect these values and embody social justice, but recognizes that winning justice requires political power. It exists to create that power by being a values-based, issue-oriented political center in Illinois.

Citizen Action/Illinois is both an organizational coalition and an individual membership organization. Individuals members are recruited through the organization’s on-going door-to-door canvasses and through a phone/pledge giver program. Members are asked both to financially support the organization and to take action on issues such as contacting key members of Congress or writing lawmakers. The organization currently has 23,000 individual members recruited through the door and phone canvasses. Individual members are frequently contacted through public education efforts before elections.

Citizen Action’s organizational affiliates include statewide organizations and local groups, including labor organizations, community groups, consumer and health organizations, senior citizen organizations, disability rights groups, local political organizations and gay & lesbian, religious and rural organizations. The organization also works with several on-going coalitions of allies that are not directly affiliated, including those involved in environmental and campaign finance reform efforts.

The affiliates are represented on the 97-member Policy Council (most statewide organizations have two or more representatives) which also includes leaders serving as individuals, among them Members of Congress, state legislators, and local government officials. The Policy Council is elected annually at the state convention of affiliate delegates and interested individual activists; it meets quarterly to determine the organization’s public policy positions, its legislative agenda, and any endorsements of candidates for public office.

Citizen Action/Illinois was formed in 1997 to work on behalf of the public interest both in Springfield and Washington, DC and is built on a tradition of strong grassroots citizen organizations– in labor, the communities, and in the progressive movement. Citizen Action/Illinois is the state’s largest public interest organization and a progressive political coalition committed to creating social change both in Illinois and across the nation. The organization is based on several core values: a belief that every human has equal worth, that the purpose of our society is to allow its members to live meaningful and fulfilling lives, and that there is collective good beyond our individual interests. It seeks to promote and win public policies that reflect these values and embody social justice.


28 E. Jackson
Suite #605
Chicago, Illinois 60604
phone: 312-427-2114
fax: 312-427-2307

Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History Logo

Since 1976, Facing History and Ourselves has offered in-depth professional development services; curricular resources; and ongoing support to educators and students in the areas of history, social studies, and language arts. We are dedicated to helping teachers around the world lead their students in a critical examination of history, with particular focus on genocide and mass violence.
Facing History’s work is based on the premise that we need to—and can—teach civic responsibility, tolerance, and social action to young people, as a way of fostering moral adulthood. If we do not educate students for dignity and equity, then we have failed both them and ourselves.

We believe that students are moral philosophers—able and willing to think about tough moral and ethical dilemmas in surprisingly sophisticated ways. Our materials and our approach help students with a wide range of abilities and learning styles understand that their choices and actions matter, and that young people can, and should, be agents of change. We provide teachers with the tools they need to educate students so that they can act on their knowledge.

Our Mission: Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development and lessons of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.

Since the Chicago regional office opened in 1990, more than 1,900 local educators have participated in Facing History’s professional development programs. These teachers annually reach over 190,000 middle and high school students in over 300 public, parochial, private and charter schools in the Chicago region, including 120 Chicago Public Schools.


200 East Randolph Street
Suite 2100 Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 726-4500
Fax: (312) 726-3713

Center on Halsted

Center on Halsted Logo

Following the advice of noted Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, Center on Halsted organizers early on decided they would “make no small plans.” The Center’s vision reflects this philosophy:

A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender journey… celebrating, affirming and discovering possibilities.

To achieve this vision and create a place where people can come together to play, learn, and talk to one another, the Center’s mission is as follows:

In a safe and nurturing environment, the Center on Halsted serves as a catalyst for the LGBT community that links and provides community resources, and enriches life experiences.

These guiding messages inspire every step of the way as Center on Halsted becomes a reality. The Center will be an anchor for all facets of the LGBT community to congregate freely in a safe, understanding and nurturing environment – with support networks and programs that meet the cultural, emotional, social, educational and recreational needs of LGBT persons, whether youth, adults, seniors or families.

Above all, the Center will act as a bridge between persons and between communities, enabling new possibilities.

The Center on Halsted will also house a number of organizations serving Chicago’s LGBT community. More than 40 have expressed their interest in participating with the center. Chicago has long been the center of the LGBT community for the greater Midwest. While the city has a wide array of LGBT organizations that provide many health, social services, recreational, cultural and advocacy programs and services, there is no one place where these organizations can easily come together to collaborate, extend their reach, or share resources. The Center on Halsted will celebrate and solidify this role. This multipurpose facility will provide organizational support and meeting space for LGBT groups, cultural and recreational programming and counseling services. At the heart and soul of the Center are programs that will be offered by a community of nonprofit organizations. Literally tens of thousands will be served each year through the organizations that become partners in this bold new project. The Center will also strengthen the community by serving as a link among diverse organizations that otherwise might not interact.


Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted
Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: 773.472.6469
Fax: 773.472.6643
TTY: 773.472.1277

Common Cause

Common Cause is a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Now with nearly 300,000 members and supporters and 36 state organizations, Common Cause remains committed to honest, open and accountable government, as well as encouraging citizen participation in democracy.


70 East Lake Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60601
phone – (312) 372-3860
fax – (312) 372-3861

Critical Resistance


Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement
to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief
that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that
basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what
really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of
global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success
of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected
by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support
any work that extends its life or scope.

Critical Resistance’s vision is the creation of genuinely safe, healthy
communities that respond to harm without relying on prisons and punishment.
We call our vision “abolition”, and take the name purposefully from those
who called for the abolition of slavery in the 1800’s. Abolitionists
believed that slavery could not be fixed or reformed – it needed to be
abolished. As PIC abolitionists today, we also do not believe that reforms
can make the PIC just or effective. Our goal is not to improve the system;
it is to shrink the system into non-existence.
We don’t believe that we need the PIC to keep us safe. Instead, we work to
build safe and healthy communities, where the basics are provided, such as
food, shelter, and self-determination. We also work to create and promote
alternatives to the current system.
Critical Resistance (CR) is building a member-led and member-run grassroots
movement to stop using punishment to “cure” complicated social problems. We
know that more police and prisons will not make our communities safer.
Instead, we know that things like food, housing, and freedom are what
creates lasting safety. We work to prevent people from being arrested or
locked up in prison. In all our work, we organize to build power and to
stop the devastation that the reliance on prisons and policing have brought
to ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Website: http://www.criticalresistance.orgCritical Resistance Chicago
Phone: 212.462.4382
CR-Chi meets every other Monday at 7 p.m. at
CLAIM’s offices
70 E. Lake
St. Suite 1120
Phone: (312) 281-1463
Cell: 1-773-443-4077
Yusufu L. Mosley, Project Coordinator

Acorn Institute

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation’s largest community organization of low and moderate income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. Since 1970, ACORN has grown to more than 220,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Peru

ACORN’s accomplishments include successful campaigns for better housing, schools, neighborhood safety, health care, job conditions, and more. ACORN members participate in local meetings and actively work on campaigns, elect leadership from the neighborhood level up, and pay the organization’s core expenses through membership dues and grassroots fundraisers.

ACORN has constantly challenged the traditional notions of what a community organization is, and its family of organizations includes two radio stations, a voter registration network, a housing corporation, and several publications.

Chicago ACORN, honored as Chicago Community Organization of the Year in 2003, is on the move! You’ll see red t-shirts in core Chicago communities of Englewood, West Englewood, North Lawndale, and Little Village, in the South Suburbs, in demonstrations on city-wide issues, at city council and school board meetings, and in Springfield when the legislature is in session.

Website: address:

Contact: Chicago ACORN

209 W. Jackson Blvd. 2nd fl, Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: 312-939-7488 Fax: 312-939-6877