Community Spotlight: Groups Making a Difference
The second half of our name, collective, is important to us — we’re a collective because what we do, we do together. It’s part of our DNA to share resources, ideas and successes with everyone in our ecosystem. That’s why today, we’re sharing a community spotlight to celebrate groups making a difference in our neighborhood, Bronzeville, and the surrounding areas. Here’s just a few:
Bright Star Community Outreach
Bright Star Community Outreach (BSCO) is proud of its nine-year history and by-us-for-us roots. They’re led by founder and CEO, Pastor Chris Harris Sr., who grew up in Bronzeville and saw a need to address systematic problems impacting the neighborhood — problems like “violence in our communities, poor economic opportunities, inadequate mental health services, homelessness, child safety, and drug abuse.” Through resource development and collaborative partnerships, BSCO is empowering Bronzeville residents to share in the responsibility of building community. You can learn more about BSCO programs here.
My Block, My Hood, My City
The second group in our community spotlight, My Block, My Hood, My City, also known as M3, was started by Jahmal Cole in 2015 with a mission to “break down the social and emotional barriers of segregation, empower people to meet and serve their neighbors, and inspire Chicagoans to pursue their dreams.” M3 has been nimble in its approach, providing everything from youth education to engaging adult programming. Just one example: as part of their Viral Response, M3 performs Senior Wellness Calls, where volunteers perform senior wellness checks to help provide proper PPE and even just to chat with older adults to help combat social isolation. You can visit their website to learn more about their efforts (and get involved) here.
Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab + Bronzeville/Kenwood Mutual Aid Network
Food deserts are an ongoing concern on the South Side of Chicago, and as many faced food scarcity like never before during the pandemic, things got even worse when some grocery stores temporarily closed after the George Floyd protests in June. Seeing the need for increased access to resources, two Bronzeville organizations joined forces: Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab and Bronzeville/Kenwood Mutual Aid Network. Since the summer, their efforts have continued to stay strong and to have meaningful impact on the neighborhood; you can read more at Block Club Chicago here.