Two-Thirds United, a coalition of black and brown community leaders, was recently launched to promote unity and racial healing. The group was formed as a result of the unrest that took place over the summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Seeing a need to strengthen ties and promote long-term sustainable unity and collaboration among Latino and African American communities, leaders from both communities have come together.
“On this day when we remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded that the struggle continues and that our Latino and Black communities, which together make up two-thirds of Chicago’s population, and can and must shape the future, together,” said Martin R. Castro, Co-Chair of Two-Thirds United and CEO of Casa Central.
To further its mission, Two-Thirds United has been awarded funding from the Chicago Community Trust’s Healing Illinois program to conduct activities that promote and foster unity and collaboration of both communities, including creating micro grants to support the mission of Healing Illinois.
“It requires courage and determination to engage in racial healing. As a country, we have witnessed increased violent racial clashes over the past few years. If we are to learn from the past and strive for a more just future, empathy and understanding are vital to begin and sustain racial healing. The grant opportunities provided by Healing Illinois and Two-Thirds United recognize the need to understand our communities and work together to establish trust and a renewed sense of humanity and compassion,” stated Karen Freeman-Wilson, President and CEO of The Chicago Urban League, and Co-Chair of TwoThirds United.
Total Awards and Application Process
As part of its Healing Illinois activities, Two-Thirds United will award micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. The total amount of grants to be awarded is $25,000 and will be announced on Feb. 15, 2021. The micro grants will fund programs:
Promoting Dialogue: Conversations to build understanding and empathy
Encouraging Collaboration: Activities that bring people together in-person or virtually to connect, 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
On January 19, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Two-Thirds United members will join more than 600 people across the City of Chicago for the 5th Annual National Day of Racial Healing virtual event hosted by Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Greater Chicago. Those gathered will participate in Racial Healing Circles designed to open up and guide conversations and form action groups in solidarity with Chicago youth led organizations to counteract the systemic racism built over time by our government, communities, language, and perceptions.
Two-Thirds United member organizations include (still in formation):
Centers for New Horizons
Chicago Child Care Society
Chicago Community Trust
Chicago Urban League
CS Insurance Strategies Inc.
DuSable Museum of African American History
Egba Unity of Chicago
Increase the Peace
Instituto del Progreso Latino
La Casa Norte
Latino Policy Forum
Metropolitan Family Services
My Block, My Hood, My City (M3)
National Museum of Mexican Art
One Hope United
Organized Communities Against Deportations
United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
YMCA Metropolitan Chicago