Chicago Community Trust’s “On the Table” Builds Strong Chicago Community

By: Kathy Bolano, Communications Intern

In partnership with Niagara Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust and Affiliates will be hosting On the Table on May 12, 2015. On the Table is an event where the people of Chicago are invited to sit down and have dinner with their neighbors of all walks of life and discuss how to build strong, safe, and dynamic communities region-wide. With Chicago Community Trust’s extensive experience connecting donors with community needs and dispersing grants to local organizations in order to improve Chicago over the last 100 years, they have been able to grant more than $160 million to nonprofit organizations in 2013. Take a look at last year’s event on our website, where Niagara Foundation staff contributed as members of the On the Table Steering Committee.

On the Table gives everyone in the community a chance to have their voices, concerns and ideas heard. In their premier event last year, they had an estimated 11,500 participants that represented every residential zip code in the city of Chicago and gathered around 1,000 tables to share a meal and their ideas. These discussions generated new ideas that lead to certain themes, and in turn produced six potential ideas that they are stewarding. The six projects from 2014 will have an opportunity to present their proposals to potential investors and influencers in order to advance their ideas in April 2015.

The six collaboratory finalists are:

  1. Asset Mapping which would connect community needs to resources across Chicagoland by mapping out nonprofit and government services on a digital platform.
  2. The GenG Project, or Generation Green Project, will connect opportunities in sustainability and green industry to youths in the greater Chicagoland area.
  3. Opportunity Hubs that will help create innovation hubs using revitalized vacant properties in underserved communities to promote community change that are to be self-determined by local communities.
  4. Parent Engagement Roadmap will help and empower parents to understand, navigate, and improve their neighborhood school system.
  5. Sister Neighborhoods which aims at breaking barriers across communities in the city and suburbs by organizing and facilitating activities that promote cultural awareness.
  6. Where is your Bench? will encourage people on their own block to get to know one another by identifying, establishing safe spaces where they can meet.

In keeping with the Niagara Foundation’s idea of spreading knowledge and tolerance through hospitality, we would encourage you to take a look and participate.  

The views and opinions expressed on The Falls are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Niagara Foundation, its staff, other authors, members, partners, or sponsors.