Mayor Emanuel and Emerson Collective Announce Peace Mini Grants To Be Awarded For Youth-Led and Youth-Created Peace Initiatives This Summer

City to award grants of up to $25,000 for innovative ideas by youth to promote peace this summer

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 16, 2016.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Emerson Collective today announced the 2016 Peace Mini Grants pilot program to expand opportunities for youth to engage in safe and productive activities this summer. Funded by Emerson Collective, the Peace Mini Grants will identify and support innovative ideas by youth to promote peaceful activities for youth ages 6-24. The City has begun accepting proposals for Peace Grants now through the end of June.

The Peace Mini Grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, are designed to decrease violence among youth by awarding grants to creative youth projects that will promote peace in communities across the City of Chicago.

“The summer time is when our youth need us most—and this summer, we are exhausting every opportunity to ensure that our youth will be safe and engaged in a program or job that will help them build skills and realize their full potential,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I want to thank Emerson Collective for their partnership with One Summer Chicago and the Peace Mini Grants, both of which will empower our youth to contribute to their communities and to experience a more peaceful summer.”

The goal of the Peace Mini Grants is to encourage a more peaceful summer by generating programming that provides youth an active role in making their community a safer and more peaceful place for each of its residents. Grants are intended to generate community programs to teach youth self-acceptance, acceptance of others, conflict resolution, and ways positively affect and contribute to their communities. Emerson Collective is piloting the peace grant program specifically to support Chicago’s youth this summer.

“We know that when we empower our children to play a role in their future, that they will rise to the occasion to make better choices tomorrow,” said Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and managing partner at Emerson Collective. “The Peace Grants this summer are designed to help youth play a firsthand role in making a difference in their communities, encouraging innovation and leadership skills that will serve them in their studies and careers.”

To be awarded a Peace Grant, projects must be student-led and available to youth serving organizations with participants ages 6-24. Programs may include: a youth-led and organized peace march or rally in their neighborhood; community peace garden with aldermen; or speakers’ forum on topics related to peace, conflict resolution or deterrents to community violence.

“We are incredibly excited about the opportunities the Peace Grants will bring to our communities,” said Lisa Morrison Butler, Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, which is a lead agency for One Summer Chicago. “We want youth to think outside the box and come up with new ideas that will positively serve their communities by promoting peace and decreasing violence.”

A youth advisory council assembled by Emerson Collective will review application proposals and will make recommendations for recipients of the Peace Mini Grants. The youth advisory board is comprised of hard-working minority college and high school students from Chicago with a strong interest in creating peace initiatives in their city.

A 2016 Peace Mini Grants Information webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 16. To register, please visit Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) organization or sponsored by a 501(c)(3) based in the City of Chicago to be eligible for a Peace Grant. All of the city’s youth are encouraged to share their ideas and to apply for a grant. DFSS will work to connect any youth applicants without a sponsor to an organization working with youth for sponsorship.

The application deadline is Thursday, June 30 at 5 PM. Applications will be reviewed the week of July 4 and recipients of the Peace Mini Grants will be notified the week of July 11.

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About One Summer Chicago:
DFSS leads One Summer Chicago in partnership with participating agencies including: Office of the City Treasurer, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, After School Matters, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Public Libraries, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Chicago Public Libraries and Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.

One Summer Chicago also receives support from private companies including: Chicago Community Trust, Citi Foundation, Civic Leadership Foundation., University of Chicago Crime Lab, JPMorgan Chase, TCF Bank, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, TraceRoute, MHA Labs, and Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC, and the McCormick Foundation.

About Emerson Collective:
Emerson Collective is an organization that invests and advocates for immigration reform, school improvement and various other social justice initiatives through investments in entrepreneurs and nonprofits, as well as support of public policy advocates. Former U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan joined Emerson Collective following his work at the Department of Education to focus on creating job opportunities for 17- to 24-year-olds who are neither working nor in school.