The power of collective impact
Sage Collective was founded in 1978 as the Tabernacle Senior Citizens Project, Inc. (You can learn more about our story here.) As the focus of our work has evolved over time, we took the opportunity to rebrand as Sage Collective in 2019.
Sage refers to the great wisdom and spiritual connection we strive to claim. Collective defines the sense of community engagement and interaction we seek, but it means much more than that.
When we say “collective,” we make reference to the positive ways we can address the systemic challenges and inequities in our society — by forging connections among people and ideas. Joined together, we function as catalysts for change to lighten individual burdens, creating stronger and more purposeful communities along the way.
Moving forward from the essential meaning of “collective,” we embrace the powerful idea of collective impact, which recognizes the diverse strengths and weaknesses of communities, while working with neighborhood leaders and resources to achieve a more just and equitable future … particularly for older adults. We are always seeking to align ourselves with conceptual frameworks and organizations that are taking bold and efficacious approaches to transformative change through collective impact. We believe that Together Chicago is such an organization:
Together Chicago came into being in 2017 as a mix of local leaders in business, faith, nonprofit and government questioning how they could do more to address the root cause of violence the city was experiencing.
The organization’s vision is to prevail as a catalyst of change and inspire hope within underserved and underrepresented Chicago communities. Together Chicago has five main areas of focus for creating change through the methodology of collective impact: economic development, education, violence reduction, gospel justice and faith community mobilization. Concentrating on these different areas, Together Chicago partners with a variety of local businesses, nonprofits, churches and schools to achieve equitable justice and further their mission of collective impact.
If you’re out and about the last weekend in August, Together Chicago is participating in Chicago Peace Week’s Peach Walk & Festival, to be held at the Dusable Museum of African American History on Saturday, August 28. The event will start at 9 a.m. at the museum’s sculpture garden with a gathering of faith leaders throughout the city for a Peace Walk, directly followed by the Peace Festival. You can learn about the Peace Walk & Festival here.
Collective impact is more of a movement than it is a phrase, providing a roadmap for communities to enable change by inviting everyone to take action together. And as we have seen in communities across our country and around the world, empowering and uplifting all voices is critical to ensuring the success of a collective goal.
Functioning as more than just part of our name, the term “collective” celebrates our rich identity and codifies our beliefs into a framework of mutual engagement for an equitable future.