Healing Illinois announces nearly $4.5 million in awards for racial healing efforts across the state


Illinois Dept. of Human Services and The Chicago Community Trust partner to award funds to 179 nonprofit organizations


SPRINGFIELD- The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today the recipients of $4.5 million in funding for community-based activities to advance racial healing.


Healing Illinois, an initiative to engage residents of communities across the state that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in meaningful dialogue, has selected 179 organizations to receive awards. The organizations will use the funding to create community-centric, inclusive spaces to talk, learn and grow, supporting the initiative’s overarching goals: to build and advance knowledge and understanding of racial healing and racial equity in communities across the state; increase trust and relationship building among the residents of Illinois; and provide opportunities for communities and individuals to begin to heal from the harms caused by racism.


“Systemic racism affects all Illinois residents, and COVID-19 has made addressing it more urgent than ever before. I am so pleased to see the work, dedication and commitment by hundreds of community leaders to join Healing Illinois in tackling racism and the need to heal from its effects,” said Grace Hou, Secretary, IDHS. “With all 179 organizations on board, we will make tremendous progress in developing more compassion, racial understanding and equity across the state.”


The State of Illinois allocated $4.5 million for Healing Illinois projects. About 85% of the funding (exactly $3,807,335) was used for direct awards. Additional funding details include:

·          Of the direct awards, four organizations are serving as intermediaries, receiving $477,550. Intermediaries are nonprofit organizations that will re-grant the funds to smaller organizations across the state.

·          Seventeen organizations are sub-contractors, receiving $590,000.  Sub-contractors will host events, recruit participants and conduct specific racial healing sessions. 

·          There are $102,665 in funds reserved for nonprofit organizations in southern Illinois counties.


Grant recipients are in 25 counties across the state, and include:

·          Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, for its Raise Your Voice social justice program for teens, which will focus on establishing a Social Justice Club in middle and high school sites in Elgin;

·          Illinois Public Health Association in Sangamon County for expansion of its Healing Ambassadors program and amplifying of healing stories; and,

·          Westside Justice Center of Chicago for Healing Justice activities using digital storytelling and conversations about race, community defense, food justice, and healing.


For a full list of grant recipients, intermediaries and subcontractors, visit healing.illinois.gov.


Managed by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, Healing Illinois was launched in October. Since then, hundreds of people have attended public webinars to learn more about the grants, and nearly 500 grant applications were submitted by the final deadline. The first round of $2.53 million in awards was disbursed in early November; and the second round of $1.86 million in awards is being disbursed this month. Award recipients are located in 25 counties across the state’s five regions.


Awards will support four types of activities:

·          Promoting dialogue: conversations to build understanding and empathy

·          Encouraging collaboration: activities that bring people together in person or virtually to connect and to act together on a project or idea

·          Facilitating learning: activities designed to build or enhance knowledge

·          Seeding connection: racial healing circles, peace circles, or restorative justice activities


All Healing Illinois award recipients are 501(c)(3) organizations and Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) certified or working with a GATA-certified intermediary. All awardees must expend funds and complete projects by March 31, 2021.


About IDHS:
The Department of Human Services is one of Illinois' largest agencies, with more than 13,000 employees.  Illinois created IDHS in 1997, to provide our state's residents with streamlined access to integrated services, especially those who are striving to move from welfare to work and economic independence, and others who face multiple challenges to self-sufficiency. The mission of IDHS is to provide equitable access to social/human services, supports, programs and resources to enhance the lives of all who we serve.

About The Chicago Community Trust:
The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to strengthening the Chicago region and improving the lives of the people who call it home. For more than 100 years, the Trust has served as a trusted philanthropic partner, connecting the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to nonprofit organizations working to create lasting change. Following the creation of a new strategic plan in 2019, the Trust stands committed to addressing Chicago’s legacy of systemic inequity and closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap, while continuing to respond to the critical needs of our most vulnerable residents. The Trust administers more than $360 million in annual grant making as part of its commitment to equity, opportunity and prosperity for the Chicago region. To learn more, visit cct.org.

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