neighbor2neighbor

The neighbor2neighbor (n2n) initiative promotes learning and service rooted in the local community. Just two miles south of Northwestern’s campus is the beautiful community of Rogers Park. Rogers Park is considered one of the most culturally and socio-economically diverse neighborhood in Chicago.

Northwestern students are invited to build relationships and become actively involved with their neighbors through unique opportunities to connect with community-based organizations.

Highlighted Community Partnerships

neighbor2neighbor connects with Rogers Park community partners in a multitude of ways that includes events on campus and in the community. As an example, on April 30th 2019, all 60 girls from the 5th through 8th grade at Gale Community Academy spent the day on Northwestern Campus attending the second annual Girls Summit.

This event is about equity -- for all girls but especially girls of color. We set out hoping to bring together resources from Gale, Northwestern and the greater community to create an event full of life, celebration, education, and bonding. The summit intentionally cultivate spaces where girls understand they are worthy and deserving of access to education, and love.

Big thanks to our partnerships with Northwestern’s Women’s Center and Gale Community Academy along with support from Northwestern student organizations and Chicago community members.

Ways to Get Involved

Northwestern students can join one-time events or be involved in weekly opportunities with any of our community partners. Engagement opportunities include:

  • Campus conversations on locally relevant justice topics lead by community members
  • One-time work projects at a community partner site
  • Weekly programing at Gale Community Academy
  • Regular volunteering directly at a community partner site
  • Support hosting a one-time event with a community partner

neighbor2neighbor strives to think creatively and collaboratively to co-create one-time and on-going opportunities. If you have a special skill or interest, reach out! Community Partners are always asking for specific projects around research, multi-media community art, sports camps, architectural design and more!

For more information on upcoming events please check out our Facebook page.

Join our listserv for a monthly email that shares important information about upcoming opportunities and highlights the previous month’s events.

Questions or want to get involved? Email Val Buchanan.

 

View a video about the neighbor2neighbor program here.

 

A Closer Look at our Community Partners

Gale Community Academy 

Gale Community Academy is a Chicago Public School serving kids Pre-K through 8th grade.  Currently 377 students are enrolled at Gale including many immigrant and refugee children from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, Malaysia, and Nepal.  Gale core values include teaching Purpose, Integrity, Commitment and CommUNITY. Gale is restoring the community’s faith in Chicago public schools by co-creating with their neighborhood’s resources to nurture the whole child and cultivate confident, happy, and creative leaders. 

Howard Area Community Center

The mission of Howard Area Community Center is to assist low-income individuals and families to stabilize their lives and to develop the social skills necessary to become effective community members. What began as a food pantry in 1967 has grown from helping hands coming together to create HACC as a safety net that not only feeds thousands every year, but now offers resources to families from birth through old age.

In order to accomplish this mission, the agency’s programs include but are not limited to: emergency intervention; HIV/AIDS outreach and education; youth after school and summer programs, mentoring, arts programs, and youth-led social justice projects; Adult education, family literacy and re-entry programs.

A Just Harvest

A Just Harvest’s mission is to fight poverty and hunger by providing nutritious meals daily while cultivating community and economic development and organizing across racial, cultural and socioeconomic lines in order to create a more just society. AJH intentionally utilizes three comprehensive strategies to combat hunger and poverty:

  1. Direct service –feeding hungry people
  2. Advocacy, Outreach and Community Organizing — organize to empower through Northside POWER
  3. Community and Economic Development — Creating Jobs, Education, and Community Development

Grounded on a set of foundational values of feeding hunger, cultivating abundance, seeing beyond, and building power; AJH programs include a workforce development, community and economic development, community-based learning partnerships, community organizing and advocacy, a community kitchen and more.

Family Matters

In 1987, ten families gathered together and dreamed of a place where parents and children could share their experiences, partner with staff to design programs, and work to improve their community. Since then, all of Family Matters’ programs are grounded in the organization’s commitment to fostering leadership opportunities. “We support youth and families in building healthy relationships to self, others and the community through individualized and age- and gender-specific activities, all of which incorporate both academic and social emotional learning (SEL).”

Holistic youth engagement efforts include an overlay of the following initiatives in each program: SEL skills, health/wellness, academic achievement, post-secondary readiness, leadership and social justice, youth-led community impact, business acumen and career mentoring.

Good News Partners

In 1976, Bud Ogle founded Good News Partners with a mission of creating safe, affordable, reliable housing, and to help build community simultaneously. Today Good News Partners runs the “New Life Interim Housing” shelter, they own the Jonquil Hotel that offers single room occupancy, and provides multiple housing units at 30-50% below current market rates through their continuum model. Their vision is to elevate those who are in need of dignified housing to foster justice, and build bridges of reconciliation.

Starfish

In February 1997, a couple opened their home to help a student with reading. Fast forward 17 years and Starfish now serves 30 students through “homework assistance, a computer lab, a children’s library, games and contests, daily Bible study and prayer, educational outings, summer camp and trips, special events, performing arts workshops, and more” while also being directed by a program graduate. The goal of Starfish to “break the cycle of poverty and violence…” is guided by the core values of social emotional learning, character development, academic competence and spiritual formation. The mission to have educational support and equip students to lead productive, successful lives through mentoring as resulted in the “[Starfish] program [being] something the youth can count on to provide a safe, loving environment after school.” 

C24/7

James and Natalie Crockett, with the support of Good News Partners created the “non-profit organization [C24/7 that’s] dedicated, through the power of Jesus Christ, to improving the lives of children and young adults in the North of Howard neighborhood by providing them with the necessary tools, security and environment for them to thrive economically, socially and spiritually.” This non-profit currently enrolls 35 elementary and middle school students in their afterschool program four days a week. C24/7 also has a work force development program and community outreach. Community outreach includes weekly men’s and women’s bible study, open gym at Willye B White Fieldhouse, street ministry, and one-on-one mental, emotional and spiritual support.